What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed by Life

8th April 2019

Feeling overwhelmed by life? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Let me tell you about last week.

From the 29th of March to the 1st of April, I was visiting family. It was lovely, but it was busy. What was originally going to be a weekend with my sister turned into all sorts of adventures. It was worth it but, by the time I got home on the Monday, I was exhausted.

As much as I love seeing my family, I get the worst case of homesickness when I’m back. It can last for between two days to two weeks. With that in mind, I took the decision to extend my blogging and social media break.

BUT life had other ideas. At least for the blogging side of things.

See, while I was away, the whole Pipdig disaster kicked off. The only thing I could do while I was away was update their plugin to remove the malicious code. I was keen to change my theme following those events so, on Tuesday, I made a start.

That, in itself, would have been plenty to keep me busy. Between trying to perfect the look of my site and updating my posts/ebook to remove recommendations of their products, I had plenty to do. However, in my infinite wisdom, I decided it would be a good time to restart my mailing list as well. Which begs the question, why am I like this?

Of course, nothing worked. Nothing looked how I wanted it to. A plugin which was fine with my previous theme completely ruined my new theme. My integration with my sign up forms wasn’t working. By Thursday evening, I was just about tearing my hair out and ready to call it quits.

Throw into the mix the fact I decided I wanted to eat healthier so I was in a constant state of hanger, PMS, the 20th anniversary of my Grandma’s death and a year since I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression, I just felt completely overwhelmed by life.

I realise these are mostly the very definition of “first world problems”, but it was such an intense week. In some respects, it’s my own fault, and I recognise that. I shouldn’t have pushed myself. Other things were just very inconvenient mishaps that I could have done without.

Here’s What I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed by Life:

1. Get Some Fresh Air.

On Wednesday, I had to go out to the shop. I didn’t really want to but I didn’t have a choice. It wasn’t the nicest day but I saw some dogs on my travels and got some air into my lungs so I felt better for it.

It’s very easy to become trapped in your own little bubble. You become so fixated on the problem you’re trying to fix that everything else goes out the window. Or, that’s certainly the case for me. Going outside is a good way to physically step out of the situation.

2. Cry.

Oh, I do love a good cry! For me, it provides a great sense of relief. On Thursday afternoon, when I was convinced my head was about to explode, I stood up, walked away from my laptop, got into bed and cried. It was a short outburst – no more than 5 minutes at the most – but it felt good.

I wasn’t crying because I was sad, but because I was frustrated and fed up. I just needed a quick release of emotion so I could regain focus. Crying is one of the best ways for me to release some pressure.

3. Have a Treat.

My usual reaction to stressful situations is to go and buy the biggest bar of chocolate I can find then eat it all in one sitting. I don’t recommend that. And, given that I wanted to improve my diet, that was the last thing I should be doing. So, I went for the next best thing: a cup of tea.

You can have whatever you want but just press pause on everything to properly enjoy it!

4. Sleep.

This isn’t practical in all situations. If you’re feeling stressed at work, for example, I don’t think it would go down too well if you had a nap under your desk. Otherwise, I find it’s a good way to refresh your mind. Whether it’s having a nap or an early night, getting a little extra shuteye can give you a clearer perspective.

5. Prioritise.

The only thing I needed to do last week was change my theme. It didn’t even necessarily have to be perfect. It just needed to be something else.

Instead, this was my week:

  • Changed theme and tweaked it until I was 98% happy with it.
  • Updated posts and ebook to remove recommendations for Pipdig.
  • Wrote two blog posts.
  • Finished updating pins for popular posts.
  • Stressed about domain/hosting renewal costs.
  • Set up Tailwind queue for the week.
  • Integrated mailing list sign up forms.
  • Created a welcome email for subscribers.
  • Added a resource library for subscribers.
  • Created 3 resources for said library and started a 4th.
  • Cried a lot.
  • Contemplated giving up blogging.

Some of this stuff needed to be done. The majority of it, though, did not.

There was absolutely no need for me to restart my mailing list at that specific point in time. None whatsoever. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have felt the need to create a welcome email or resource library, either. Updating my pins could have waited, too. Happy as I am to know it’s done, these things were not a priority. Especially not for a week when I was “taking a break”. I only have myself to blame there.

If you feel you have too much going on, take a look at what needs to be done. Focus on those things and put everything else off until a more suitable time.

6. Talk to Someone.

I do feel a little hypocritical here. I’m always one to talk about things after the fact. It’s much better to discuss how you feel before you get to that overwhelmed state or during it.

If you’re the same as me, though, I’d still recommend talking about it – even if you think it’s all over and done with. Things were mostly resolved by the time I spoke to Neal. All the same, it felt good to acknowledge how I felt. Sometimes, it’s good just to say “this has been a stressful week” and have a natter about it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life consistently or on a regular basis, it could be an idea to contact your GP or one of these mental health organisations.

Overwhelmed by Life

Feeling Overwhelmed
Restore Balance
Dealing With Overwhelm

A to Z of Blogging: The Ultimate List

27th March 2019

A

  • Above the fold  The top section of the screen which is visible before a visitor scrolls down.
  • Ads – Images or links for another site or company for which you receive money for having them on your blog.
  • Affiliate marketing – Earning a commission when visitors make a purchase through your links.
  • Akismet – Spam filter plugin.
  • Alt Text – A description of an image. Primarily an accessibility feature so that those using screen readers know what the image is.
  • Archive – The collective term for your previous posts – usually organised by date.
  • AnswerThePublic – A tool to generate long-tail keyword ideas based on a short-tail keyword.
  • AWIN – A site which allows you to sign up to be an affiliate for numerous popular brands (mostly in the UK.)

B

  • Backlink – A link back to your blog. You may create your own when you leave a comment on someone’s site, or somebody may include one if they are discussing a post of yours.
  • Blogger – Google’s blogging platform.
  • Bloglovin – A place to follow all of your favourite blogs.
  • Bounce rate – The percentage of visitors that leave your site after reading only one page.
  • Broken link – A link which no longer works because the page it is linking to has been removed.
  • Buffer – Social media scheduler.

C

  • Canva – A site to create graphics for your blog.
  • Captcha – An anti spam feature which means people have to complete a task before their action is complete.
  • Categories – A way of dividing the content on your blog.
  • Content Management System (CMS) – The platform you use to create your blog content such as WordPress, Blogger and Squarespace.
  • Comments – A way of leaving a response to a post.
  • Cookies – small files which are stored and used to tailor a website to the visitor.

D

  • Dashboard – The “behind the scenes” area of your blog.
  • Disclosure policy – The process of sharing when you have received payment of any kind (including gifts) in exchange for content on your blog. See my disclosure policy for an example.
  • Domain – Your main web address (e.g. www.ruthinrevolt.com).
  • Domain Authority – A score between 1 and 100 which demonstrates how much trust Google has in your site. There’s more information on this in my post: 5 Ways To Improve Your Domain Authority.

E

  • Editorial Calendar – A system for planning out future content.
  • Evergreen content – Posts that will stand the test of time and remain relevant.

F

  • Favicon – The small image displayed in the browser tab.
  • Featured image – The main image in your blog post and usually the one that is included when you post your link on social media.
  • Flatlay – A style of photography where you shoot items from above.
  • Footer – The bottom section of a site. Generally where legal information is found.
  • Follow Link (‘Dofollow’) – Links are ‘dofollow’ as standard which means they give more credit to the site they are linking to and increase their chances in search engines.

G

  • GDPR – A regulation introduced in May 2018 to give individuals in the EU greater control of their personal data. There’s more information on this in my post: Take 4 Steps Towards GDPR Compliance.
  • Going live – Using a platform such as Facebook or Instagram to talk to your audience in real time.
  • Google Analytics – A system that records stats such as visitors and bounce rate for your site.
  • Google Search Console – All things relating to search and your site, like what queries bring people to your site and what position you are in the search results.
  • Google Trends – A record of which search terms are gaining or losing popularity.
  • Google Keyword Planner – A research tool to choose appropriate keywords for your posts.

H

  • Hashtag – A way of grouping similar posts together on social media.
  • Header – The top of a blog which is often an image.
  • Hootsuite – Another social media scheduler.
  • Host – Whoever supports your site and stores your data such as SiteGround, BlueHost, Lyrical Host and others.
  • HTML – Language used to create web pages.
  • Hyperlink – A link to another resource such as another blog post.

I

  • Instagram – A social media platform, primarily for sharing photos.
  • Instagram pod – A group specifically for improving Instagram engagement.

J

  • Jetpack – A plugin that allows self-hosted WordPress.org users to access the same or similar features as those on WordPress.com such as the comment system.

K

L

  • Landing Page – A page that visitors see upon arrival on your site.
  • Lightroom – Photo editing software
  • Long-tail keyword – An in-depth and specific search term.

M

  • Mailchimp – An email service provider to send newsletters and run campaigns.
  • Mailerlite – Another email service provider, similar to Mailchimp.
  • Mailing list  – People who provide their email addresses to receive email newsletters.
  • Media kit – A document that is sent to brands for potential collaborations. Includes stats such as social media following and average monthly visitors to your blog.
  • Menu – The bar, usually along the top of the screen, which has easy access to the main pages of a blog.
  • Meta description – A description/overview of the page for search engines.
  • Meta keywords – A word or phrase which describes the subject matter and is likely to be searched in search engines.
  • Monetization – Making money from your blog through ads, affiliate marketing and your own products.
  • Moz – Provides DA scores and other SEO tools.

N

  • Navigation – Similar to menu. A way to move around a site from one section to another.
  • Niche – The main topic you blog about such as parenting, finance or mental health.
  • NoFollow Link – A link which is prevented from giving credit to the site it is linking to. These should be used for paid content. If you use follow links for paid content, Google sees this as an attempt to pay for an improved ranking and may penalise both parties.

P

  • Page Authority – A score between 1 and 100 which indicates how well a certain page will do in Google.
  • Page views – How many times the pages of your blog have been viewed.
  • Pingback – I believe this is mainly a WordPress feature but it’s basically getting a notification if someone links back to your blog.
  • Pinning – Adding images to Pinterest.
  • Pinterest – A visual search engine.
  • Pinterest board – A collection of images in the same category such as home decor.
  • Pinterest communities – A discussion forum where users can come together and talk about a common interest.
  • Pinterest graphic – A vertical image designed specifically for Pinterest. Often includes a text overlay.
  • Pinterest group board – A board which allows multiple Pinterest users to add images in the same place.
  • Plugins – Add ons to help improve your blog in all sorts of ways such as how it runs and how it looks.
  • Privacy policy – Information about what data you collect and how it may be used. See my privacy policy for an example.

R

  • Redirect – When someone lands on one page and is directed to another.
  • Responsive layout – Changes according to the size of the screen it is being viewed on (e.g. laptop or mobile.)
  • Retweet – When someone else shares your tweet onto their timeline using the retweet button.
  • Retweet account – An account on Twitter which has been specifically created to retweet content. For example, here’s 50 blogging retweet accounts.

S

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Using various practices to ensure your blog is visible to search engines.
  • Self-hosted – You have paid for your domain and a hosting service. A hosting service rents online storage space to you so your website data is stored. Then you have to build your website, and take care of it, ensuring it runs smoothly.
  • ShareASale – A site which allows you to sign up to be an affiliate for numerous popular brands (mostly in the US.)
  • Short-tail keyword – A vague search term. Often one word.
  • Sidebar – The section at the side of your blog. Most often used for a short bio, contact information and ads.
  • Site map – A file which lists the content of your site and shows search engines how it’s organised.
  • Site speed – How quickly your site loads.
  • Slider – A revolving image feature.
  • Slug – The part of a web address which dictates what page is leads to.
  • Smush – A plugin which reduces the file size of images without reducing their quality which improves loading time.
  • Social media – Websites with the primary purpose of getting users to interact with each other and build connections.
  • Spam – Junk comments.
  • Squarespace – Blogging platform.
  • Stock photo – Existing high quality photos. Licensed for different uses. Can be either free or paid.

T

  • Tag – Similar to hashtags – a way of grouping similar posts together by theme or series.
  • Tagline – A sentence which encapsulates your blog’s purpose.
  • Tailwind – A Pinterest and Instagram scheduling tool.
  • Theme – The layout of your blog.
  • Traffic – How many visitors are coming to your blog.
  • Tweet – An update posted on Twitter.
  • Twitter – A site where users post short updates of 280 characters or less.
  • Twitter chat – An event where a host asks questions on a certain topic using a specific hashtag. Others then respond with their answers and the same hashtag. The hashtags means it is easy for participants to track the conversation. A great way to meet other bloggers.

U

  • Ubersuggest – Another keyword research tool.
  • URL – The full website address which is usually a combination of the domain and a slug.
  • User – Someone who visits your blog.

V

  • Vlog – Video blog.

W

  • Whois – A website to find the registered owner of a domain.
  • Widget – A place for additional coding such as the footer of your blog.
  • WordPress reader – A feed of blog posts from those you have followed on WordPress.
  • WordPress.com – A website where you can create a free blog.
  • WordPress.org –  A paid version of WordPress for self-hosted blogs.

X

  • .XML Sitemap – A list of a website’s important page which helps Google to understand the structure of your site.

Y

  • Yoast – A WordPress plugin to help with SEO.

The Ultimate A to Z of Blogging

A To Z of Blogging
Blogging ABCs
Handy A-Z Guide

30 Positive Affirmations To Boost Your Mood

25th March 2019

Positive affirmations are short, powerful statements. The idea is that they refocus your attention onto good things. It’s very easy for us to slip into negative thinking, so positive affirmations enable us to take control of our thoughts.

There are various types of affirmations. Some are for daily use, others are for as/when you may need them. Personally, I like to use them on days when my anxiety is high, or when my self esteem is particularly low.

It is advised that you read affirmations when you are alone and somewhere quiet. This increases the chances of you focusing on the words in front of you and really taking in what they are saying. With that in mind, feel free to save this for later and come back to it!

Positive Affirmations To Boost Your Mood

  1. I believe in my own abilities.
  2. Happiness is within my reach.
  3. I deserve the compliments I receive.
  4. My unique qualities are part of my charm.
  5. I love myself as I am.
  6. I have enough, I do enough, I am enough.
    (See also: What Does It Mean To Be Good Enough? if you need an extra boost!)
  7. I am capable.
  8. This is my body and I love it.
  9. I am in the process of becoming the best version of myself.
  10. I can do anything I set my mind to.
  11. Small steps can lead to big changes.
  12. I have the courage to follow my dreams.
  13. I will not give up.
  14. This day is filled with possibilities.
  15. I deserve to achieve amazing things.
  16. I free myself from the doubt that holds me back.
  17. My challenges bring opportunities to grow.
  18. I am taking action for a better future.
  19. I am not a burden.
  20. My thoughts are not facts.
  21. I am loved.
  22. I am strong.
  23. Today, I choose to be happy.
  24. I am in control.
  25. I am trying my best.
  26. Whatever the day has in store, I can handle it.
  27. I will not compare myself to others.
  28. I am grateful for my life.
  29. There is something good in every day.
  30. I am enthusiastic and optimistic about what’s to come.

Positive Affirmations

30 Positive Affirmations
Boost Your Mood With These Positive Affirmations
Use The Power Of Positive Affirmations
Need A Break From All The Negative Noise

Blogging 101: A Feel-Good Guide to the Basics of Blogging

20th March 2019

I have a bit of a surprise today. I’m both excited and nervous to announce that I’ve created an ebook – Blogging 101: A Feel-Good Guide to the Basics of Blogging. Over 100 pages of guidance and good vibes!

I’m going to get the price out of the way right off the bat – it’s £2.99 (roughly $4). I don’t want to spend the whole post going on about it, for you to get to the end, see the price and think “no thanks.” So, there it is. Some people probably want it to be free, others may think that’s really cheap, but it’s the price I’m comfortable with. It’s a labour of love above anything else, but I do have bills to pay. 😉

This may come as a shock, but I’ve been sitting on this secret for about 4 months. I actually started working on it before Christmas. At that point, it was a course. However, making an ebook had cheaper creation costs which meant I could keep the final price low.

The original plan was to kickstart the New Year by launching it. Yet, when the New Year came around, I saw an increase in the number of bloggers complaining about newer bloggers creating courses and ebooks. Whether it was scrolling through Twitter or in the Facebook groups, there seemed to be a lot of it going around. Or, maybe, I had just become more sensitive to it now that I was working on my own. Regardless, it made me second guess everything.

Mental health wise, January was wobbly at best. Although I knew there was no way those comments were aimed at me (as I hadn’t discussed this with anyone except Neal), they got under my skin. Imposter syndrome kicked in and I abandoned it.

Then a wonderful blogger friend of mine, Bibi, gave me the nudge I needed. She had messaged me about something else and I opened up a little about how I felt. She was so incredibly sweet and supportive that she gave me my motivation back.

Though I don’t like to give myself too much credit, I have achieved a lot. I want to share how I did that with others. There are so many unnecessary mistakes bloggers make, simply because they don’t know any better. I don’t think I’m an expert and I’m not claiming to be. But I do have some knowledge which is useful and that counts for something.

Quick Background Story 

When I was brand new to blogging, I remember scrolling through Twitter and seeing someone say, “I wish there was just a simple guide to all the basic stuff for blogging.” At the time, I had only been blogging for a couple of months and there was no way it would be viable for me to create such a thing. I didn’t have the knowledge, skills or experience necessary.

But that stuck with me. The more I grew my blog, the more I felt compelled to create something like that. Or as close to it as I could manage.

I have learnt so much since I started. I get a lot of questions about how I’ve accomplished the things I have in such a short space of time. Happy as I am to answer these questions, I have been mulling over a way to share everything I’ve done, all in one go.

I’ve also thought a lot about the people who, for whatever reason, wouldn’t feel comfortable to reach out and ask. How could I help them, too, without any pressure?

The thing is, I wanted to do it my way. I didn’t want it to blend in with all of the other blogging guides that already exist. I just couldn’t figure out how I wanted to achieve that.

Then, a few months ago, I had an idea. A way to merge my knowledge with my optimism and passion for uplifting others. To achieve a balance between information and a feel-good factor. A blogging book… with affirmations worked in, too. A guide that doesn’t only boost your blog, but also your confidence.

What Can You Expect from Blogging 101?

There are no top secrets for success hidden amongst the pages. There is simply consolidated knowledge that I’ve learnt from my own experiences and spending hours and hours and hours browsing Google and Pinterest. Apologies if that’s a disappointment.

I know what it’s like to launch your blog and think “now what?” I went through the same emotions. You set up your site, write your first post and then you’re stumped. So, I started exploring and finding ways I could get my blog seen which means I’ve also had that moment of realising there was so much more to it than I thought. I can clearly remember questioning if I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

Everything in the book, you can learn for free – if you have the hours to put into it. So, if you’re wondering what you’re paying for, it’s essentially my time. The hours of research and pulling together my knowledge into a concise beginner’s guide to blogging. If you’d rather find it all out yourself, then be my guest.

The purpose of this book is to give you a solid foundation to build upon. It does not guarantee instant success, but I believe it will help you start in the right way. If I could describe it in three words, they would be: honest, informative and uplifting. Fingers crossed, you’ll agree.

Most blogging courses I have taken and books I’ve read have been PACKED full of information. I’m hoping you will find this one to be no different. Where I do want it to be different, however, is with a bit of focus on yourself, and your mental well-being. I will shout about the positives of having a blog from the rooftops, but I’m also aware of the negatives. The stress. The comparisons. The self-doubt. So, throughout Blogging 101, there are a number of affirmations, accompanied by a short essay to give you a bit of a boost.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then some of it may sound familiar. That’s because selected parts made their debut on my blog. For the most part, though, it will be fresh, hot off the press information.

Blogging 101 Covers:

(Don’t panic if some of the terms in this list are unfamiliar. They’ll be explained!)

Writing  – crafting your content, finding your style, tools to help with your grammar and spelling and how to overcome writer’s block.

Layout & Design – choosing a theme, what to have in your sidebar, creating an easy-to-navigate blog, readability and images.

SEO – keyword research, how to use your keywords, site speed, lowering your bounce rate and improving your domain authority.

Organisation – planning your time, making a schedule, how to stick to your schedule and setting goals.

Email Marketing – when to start building your list, different services available, growing your list, freebie ideas and what to include in your emails.

Blog Monetization – affiliate marketing, finding sponsored opportunities, pitching to brands and creating products.

WordPress Plugins – a few of my favourites.

You will notice that social media is not included in that list. You may be thinking, “how can you have an ebook about blogging and NOT include social media?!” That’s because I wanted this to focus solely on your blog. Social media is undeniably important in blogging, but you need to learn some basics of blogging itself before you attempt to tackle social media. There’s no point marketing something on social media platforms if you’re not maximising its potential to begin with.

I think a common error is bloggers trying to do EVERYTHING at once. Create a killer blogger AND rock social media. It’s a recipe for a headache, closely followed by burnout. That’s why we’re purely looking at the main event: your blog.

Who Blogging 101 Suitable For?

This book has been created especially for new bloggers and perhaps those who are just feeling very overwhelmed and a little lost. For those who love the idea of blogging, but struggle with their confidence and self-belief. Textbook meets self-help book.

The only expectation I have is that your blog is up and running and you know how to navigate the platform. I also assume that you are self-hosted on the WordPress.org platform or are planning to be in the near future. If you’re unsure of the difference, or undecided about taking the next step, check out is going self-hosted right for you?

I use WordPress myself, it’s where my expertise lies so it’s what I trust myself to assist you with. There may be other nuggets of information in here to help those using other platforms but please be aware that this is who my target is.

What I Can Promise Is This:

Everything you read has been researched and tested by me. If it’s in the book, it brought me results. While your results may vary in comparison to mine, all I can do is share what I did to make that happen and let you give it a go.

In addition to that, it will make you smile at least once.

What I Won’t Promise Is:

Guaranteed milestones by certain deadlines. That seems to be the thing to do, doesn’t it? “Get a money-making blog in six months!” – you know the drill.

I have no doubt that approach sells. But here’s the thing: blogging varies according to so many factors, including the amount of time you have, your chosen topic and the market at the time. I’m not here to leave anyone feeling disappointed – I’m here to help.

I worked on my blog full time from the very beginning, after I had to leave my job due to poor mental health. The time in which I achieved the things I have is not going to match up with someone who is working full time, blogging part time and maybe even raising a family.

So, I’m not going to put a deadline on this thing. It puts unnecessary pressure on both of us. What if you don’t reach the milestone in the outlined time? Does it mean there’s something wrong with you? Or does it mean that I’m a liar? Well, probably neither.

Work through it at your own pace and come back to it whenever you need to. We’ll get there together.

Oh, Did I Mention There’s A Freebie, Too?

Yep… the blog includes a download link to the printable Rainbow Blogging Bundle. You get a blog post checklist, content creation ideas sheet, monthly planner and weekly planner. It’s not available anywhere else so it’s a nice exclusive gift for you!

If I’ve won you over, click here to purchase a PDF copy of Blogging 101: A Feel-Good Guide to the Basics of Blogging or you can get a Kindle copy on Amazon.

Blogging 101 is a blogging guide unlike any other. It’s been lovingly created to not only educate you, but also REALLY encourage you. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know your thoughts!

Blogging 101 ebook

Blogging 101: A Feel-Good Guide To The Basics Of Blogging
Beginner's Blogging Guide
Blogging 101 The Ebook Every New Blogger Needs To Read
Introducing Blogging 101

Social Media Usage And Why I Gave Up On Instagram

18th March 2019

As bloggers, we use social media a lot. We kind of feel like we have to, right? Be it to drive traffic to our sites, secure opportunities or purely to make some friends along the way, blogging and social media seem to go hand in hand.

But how much effort should we be putting into something we can’t control?

On Tuesday night, I finally made the decision to scrap my Instagram account. Less than 24 hours later, Instagram (along with Facebook and Whatsapp) went down. I guess it just couldn’t cope without my presence.

I’m joking, of course.

But I do want to talk about Instagram – why I got rid of it and also the uncomfortable amount of panic which followed the outage.

Let’s start with how I ended up deactivating my account.

Back in October, I wrote a post about trying to solve the Instagram mystery. In it, I discussed various methods I had tried to grow on the platform. I tried a few others and saw little improvement.

So, when 2019 rolled around, I decided I’d just do Instagram for fun. I started posting less, rambled a little in my stories and did my best not to take it seriously. I wasn’t really concerning myself with follower numbers because they had become as unpredictable as the British weather.

Things were okay. Then, for the last few weeks, I’ve had this niggling feeling that I should give it up. While I was trying my best to have fun with it, I realised I wasn’t. It was sucking up my time, but bringing nothing to my life or my blog. It’s not a platform I enjoy, and it never really has been. I had seen lots of tweets complaining about the algorithm and the unfollowing games and I felt the same way. Yet, I wondered why we all cared so much and if it was even worth it.

Still, I was torn between getting rid of it and holding onto it because I know brands often appreciate an Instagram presence. I was apprehensive about the fact it could reflect negatively on me. Plus, I’m a little bit stubborn and didn’t want to admit defeat.

Every night (and I mean every night) I would have a debate with myself. It went a little something like this:

I really don’t like Instagram, I should delete it. 

But then, what about brands who value Instagram over other platforms?

My value goes beyond Instagram.

But you’re a blogger, you should be on Instagram.

It always came back to the same two points, though. I don’t enjoy it and I have value beyond that. It doesn’t make me a bad blogger to not be on there. In fact, it has no reflection on my ability as a blogger at all.

I didn’t want to make a rash decision but, the more time passed, the more I believed I should step away from the platform. I am sure that Instagram CAN be great, but pictures are not my strength. Words are. That was the attraction of blogging for me. Having a space to write – not the idea of having to maintain an Instagram feed and update my stories multiple times a day.

I realise you get out of it what you put in and, every minute I spent on Twitter, I would be stressing about the fact Instagram would suffer. Then, when I tried harder with Instagram, Twitter fell to the side. That just makes me human – there’s only so much I can do. And then I realised I could remove some of the pressure by taking one of them out of the equation. The one I enjoyed the least.

So, I said goodbye to my Instagram account. There was an instant sense of relief.

I don’t want to say my life isn’t “Instagram worthy” because that’s ridiculous. However, most of my days look the same. I’m sat in front of a screen, working hard to try and get things off the ground. My time is put into writing content, working on other projects or cleaning my flat. There are only so many times I can post those things before it’s just… dull. Both for me and for anyone following me. When it comes to my blog, Instagram felt pointless. It wasn’t driving traffic, I wasn’t enjoying it and it was taking up one of my most precious resources: my time.

I’ve tried a few things since I started blogging. I’ve naturally taken to some and failed miserably at others. That’s fine because I gave them a go and realised they simply weren’t where my strengths were. Blogging is a journey. Along the way, you will discover things that work for you and things that don’t. It’s perfectly acceptable to admit a platform isn’t suitable for you. You can then use your time to be the best at the ones you enjoy.

LH-Balloon-2

What Happens When Social Media Goes Down?

The following day, Instagram went down. And, my goodness, what a reaction.

Before I delve into how concerning and uncomfortable it was to witness, I want to clear up a few points.

Number one. I don’t actually spend a lot of time on social media anymore. I tend to pop on, update, close it and come back to it later. The amount of time I put into it has reduced drastically in the past few months. I don’t feel the same pull towards it as I have done previously. The very fact I’ve spent so much time deliberating about what to do with my Instagram account shows that it still has some sort of hold on me, though.

Number two. I realise it’s important for my blog. To be completely truthful, I probably wouldn’t be on any social media if I wasn’t blogging. I enjoy connecting and talking to other bloggers, but it’s not an essential for me. Yet, I do understand its importance for blogging and business. So, when people were feeling a little alarmed because of the potential damage to that, I kind of get it.

Those things out of the way, I find it alarming the way people react when social media goes down. The main reason for that is because, realistically, it will be back soon enough. It normally goes down for a little while, gets fixed and everyone carries on as normal.

So, people seriously can’t find something else to do for a few hours? For me, it’s an “oh well, it’s down, let’s do something else”. But the sheer amount of people who decided they’d rather take to Twitter to panic about it was almost comical. I realise some of those tweets were done to be ironic or funny but I’m confident many of them were serious, too.

Worst case scenario: it’s gone forever. What then?

Though I don’t think it’s likely to happen anytime soon, Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same people. They could quite easily vanish or fade out. You know, like good old MySpace did.

If you’ve put so much into it that that’s a massive issue, that’s equally worrying. Even from a business perspective, surely you should have other means of generating it (like your own site) rather than just social media?

I’ve got to be honest. I’ve felt uncomfortable about other people’s relationships with social media for a long time. That sounds a little arrogant, but that’s not my intention. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else because my relationship with social media is different. All I’m saying is that you should have other things you enjoy doing. A book, for example, won’t let you down. And I don’t like to see members of my generation – or any other – so reliant on something which can disappear in the blink of an eye. It’s not healthy.

In fairness, there are probably a handful of people who were justified in their panic, for whatever reason. When it comes to the majority, though, I fear there’s too much invested in the world of social media.

The biggest value of having your own blog and your own site is that it’s yours. Instagram going down confirmed for me that I was right to move away from it. Not because it’s unreliable, but putting my energy and effort into something which I don’t have control over has an element of risk. Focusing on my blog and freeing up more time to work on that (or interact with the audience I already have) is a good decision to make.

As bloggers, I’d urge you to think about how you use your time. Is it being absorbed by something you don’t control, or are you using enough of it on your own site? We all put a lot into social media and maybe sometimes we lose focus. I know I do. As I’ve said, social media is important for your blog and there’s no getting past that. But your blog and content creation should always be the priority. This latest hiccup is proof of that.

Social Media For Bloggers

Social Media Usage And Why I Gave Up On Instagram
Bloggers And Social Media
Why I Finally Got Rid Of My Instagram Account
Instagram Went Down

About Me

About Me

After being diagnosed with depression and anxiety then receiving treatment, I wanted to turn my situation into something constructive. So, with a lifelong passion for writing and a renewed sense of determination, I took a step out of my comfort zone and began putting all my efforts into creating a positive space online.

I talk openly about mental health and also share blogging/social media tips to help others on their journey.

Thanks for visiting! Follow me on social media or subscribe to my mailing list if you want to keep in touch!

Follow Me

Sign Up To My Mailing List

Sign up to receive a monthly newsletter so you never miss a thing!

Categories

×