I want to talk about all of the online habits I’ve booted from my life. A few weeks ago I read this post from Forever Amber and I was like, “MY GIRL! YESSSSSS!” because I felt like I’d found a kindred spirit that realized some online habits are super bad for us and just not worth keeping up with anymore (or at all). It feels like almost every blogger I know, myself included, started a blog because they wanted a place to write and share their lives. It all goes well for a few months until you start comparing yourself to other bloggers and reading up on all of these blogging tips that make you feel like you have to do #allthethings or you’re a failure. Suddenly you’re spending all your time on stuff you don’t care about and you hate your blog.
Raise your hand if you’re a blogger and you’ve been there. 🙋♀️ Well, it all came to a head for me a couple of weeks ago when I checked my Google Analytics at 12:05 am to see how many page views I had ended the day with and saw that it was lower than I’d been averaging lately. Not only did I feel super upset that my page views were down and obviously everyone hated me now but I was hating me because I had checked my page views at 12:05 am. It was ridiculous and I knew I had some seriously bad online habits I needed to drop asap.
Here are a few of the online habits I’ve dropped and I feel like my life and my blog are way better because of it:
Checking my page views every day
I bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? There are a million reasons why page views differ from day to day and checking them daily doesn’t do anyone any good. Literally, the only thing it did was make me feel bad about myself if they weren’t equal to or higher than the day before. I’m a statistics and analytics person by nature (and in my career) so it felt normal for me to obsess over numbers but it was driving me mad so it had to stop.
Instead, I put together a spreadsheet in Google Drive (side note: how did people organize their lives before Google Drive? For real.) and I track my numbers in there at the end of the month. That way I can do EOM reporting and check gains or losses for the month instead of stressing about it every single day.
Checking to see who unfollowed me
For you non-bloggers reading this – yes, it’s a thing and yes, most bloggers do it. It’s usually done for one of two reasons…
- You participated in a “follow train” where everyone follows each other to build followers.
- You followed someone back in order to build followers.
So, bloggers have apps to track who unfollows them so, if someone does unfollow them, they can unfollow back and it’s a vicious circle that lives on repeat forever and ever. I haven’t done a follow train in forever but I do have a habit of following people back, just because. On Instagram, in particular, that’s a vicious circle that never ever ends and I finally gave up. I did a massive purge of my social media accounts and unfollowed anyone I wasn’t truly interested in following. Then, I deleted the unfollow tracking app to just let things be what they are. I’m engaging with those that do follow and I’m not stressing anymore about anyone that doesn’t.
Following people back
See above ^ because it goes along with exactly what I shared there. I’m being far more intentional with who I’m following because it reduces so much stress. I’m following the accounts I truly care to engage with and not worrying about anyone else. I mean, an Instagram account might have gorgeous photos but if it’s not a lifestyle I can mirror and it’s not something I am truly interested in, why bother?
Responding to every single comment
I love every single reader of my blog so much and the fact that anyone takes the time to leave a comment and show a little love means the world to me but with a full-time career in addition to this blog I just don’t have the time to respond to every single comment on every single platform. I used to try. I’d spend hours online every day responding to every comment on the blog as well as every comment on each of the social media platforms but doing that plus sending my newsletter, updating my Patreon, creating products, plus having a life just became too much.
I still do my best to be active, answer questions, and engage with those who invest time in engaging with me but I’m no longer stressing about replying to every single comment everywhere Honey & Pine Co shows up. I just can’t.
Checking traffic sources and reading forum threads
I used to be so obsessed with where my traffic came from but over the last couple of years, I’ve learned to let it go. I track search engines and social media channels but otherwise, I ignore it. There have been times I’ve received traffic from threads on forums like Reddit and more often than not, you don’t want to read those forums when you’re mentioned. A couple of times someone linked to me in a positive way (a post about gardening) but sometimes it’s been in snark or trolling which can mess you up for days if you let it. I’m trying to train myself to think positively and ignore it because I know if it’s negative it’ll just drag me down.