An Honest Discussion About Blogging and 2020 Changes

Hey everyone! I originally intended to include these blog changes in my 2020 goals that will be published on January 1st, but decided to turn it into a discussion because I have a lot to say. I‘m going to be really honest and transparent here so please bear with me. 

2019 was a really discouraging for me as a blogger. It was my best blogging year stats-wise, but it never felt that way to me. The first half of the year, I struggled to come up with creative content. I literally had no idea what to talk about, even though I was a reading machine. By the second half of the year, I started feeling burned out so I took a two month hiatus. But as soon as I returned, I started feeling bummed out by the low numbers.

When I started this blog, I didn’t care about the numbers. I just wanted a place to talk about what I love. I didn’t care who was reading because I was just doing it for myself. When the followers and comments started rolling in, I was super excited because it meant people liked what I had to say. I still appreciate every single person that takes time to read what I have to say. However, there are times when it doesn’t feel worth it and that’s what the past few months have felt like for me.

Getting Real About Stats

I know this isn’t something we talk about often, but I’m going there and in the spirit of transparency, I’ll share my 2019 blog stats with you.

17,427 total views
12,073 total visitors
667 followers (as of 12/28)
89 posts (as of 12/28)

Those numbers are decent on the surface and they really surprised me because I only knew my follower count, but they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell you that the reason I couldn’t continue the same output as last year (I published 130 posts last year) is because all the effort and work I put into making my blog as interesting as I possibly can felt pointless.

The numbers also don’t tell you that sometimes I found myself comparing my blog to other people. I’m extremely happy and grateful my blog surpassed 500 followers this year. However, 663 followers after two years of blogging is discouraging when compared to new bloggers who’ve amassed more in less time. It’s especially discouraging when I think about how I ended 2018 with 384 followers.

I try to avoid comparing myself to other people in all aspects of my life, but my blog’s growth has been really slow. My follower count at the end of the year means my blog didn’t grow much this year and I’m at an impasse. Do I post more? Should I change my content to appeal to more people? Should I be boosting my content more?

Where I Am Today

Despite everything I’ve said, I still love blogging and I plan to continue, but I’m probably going to do it a lot less next year. I know the answer isn’t to post less, but it is for me because I don’t want to become obsessed with stats. Also, it feels like I’ve lost sight of the fact that I blog for myself and this is supposed to be fun. Taking a step back to regroup and getting back to a place where I don’t care about numbers is ideal for me.

2020 Changes

The biggest change I’m making in 2020 is to my blogging schedule. I’m striving to only post once a week (every Wednesday). This schedule is flexible so if I’m feeling motivated or excited about something, I’ll post more than once, but for now it’s only once a week.

The second change relates to my content. I alluded to this in a previous post, but my reading tastes are changing. With the exception of six 2020 releases, I have no desire to read young adult books. Since I’ve never considered myself a young adult book blogger, I don’t think this will significantly impact my content.

I have an exciting recommendation series that I’ll be rolling out in January and I’m going to try to incorporate discussion posts. I won’t be doing any secret TBR challenges or any challenge that requires me to read any specific book. I think those things negatively impacted my reading this year so I’m going to stay away from that. 

Lastly, I won’t be rating books on here. I’ve been toying with this in my head for a few months and have decided to implement it in 2020. I’ll rate them on Goodreads, but on here it’s mostly going to be qualitative: Recommend or Do Not Recommend. Sometimes, I’ll throw in the occasional Highly Recommend if I really love a book. Otherwise, my star rating will be on Goodreads.

I’m extremely thankful for every single follower, like, comment and view on this little old blog of mine. My blog is an extension of me and it means the world to me that people take time to interact with me. And because it’s an extension of me, it goes as I go. I hope you’ll stick around next year, but no hard feelings if you don’t.

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19 thoughts on “An Honest Discussion About Blogging and 2020 Changes

  1. Thanks for your post Merline and for your honesty. Tbh, I’ve been feeling some of the things you mentioned here A LOT, particularly in the last half of the year. I set my blog up in 2017 and I still haven’t surpassed 500 followers. It has been very disheartening especially during periods where I put a lot of effort into my blog, content creation and with the price tag of the cost of a premium WP plan… I’ve always tried not to compare myself to others but it’s pretty hard when I see people who had been blogging less than a year who already have 1000+ followers.

    Anyway, moving on past the sadness… I’ve barely blogged over the past 2 months and I’ve been a lot happier for it. I want to return to blogging next month but on a very relaxed basis bc I’ve given up on trying to grow my blog. I’m happy to just make posts every so often, connect with book blogger friends, and keep up to date with books! Hopefully this will help you too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always excited to see other people excel, but it is hard to see others with 1000+ followers in less than a year. I was planning to self-host this year and I’ve since put those plans on hold indefinitely because I’d hate to regret that cost.

      I’m going to adopt your approach to blogging next year. I’ll post when I feel like it, connect with others, and read. Low pressure, low commitment.

      However, I do hope your blog grows tremendously next year. You deserve it.


  2. Great post, Merline! I love your honesty here and can say that I relate so much. I really only upload reviews and wraps up and I’ve felt better since I don’t have to think of content.

    Also, yes to less YA in 2020. I have been so disappointed this year with the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I totally understand the feel about stats, I used to stress so much about it too. In July it’ll be my second blogging anniversary and I’m still not at 200 followers but I just stopped caring and stopped checking my stats all the time. I feel so much better now just appreciating that even if no one is reading, its like a reading/review journal for me 😂 your blog looks like its done amazingly well so be proud! And good luck for 2020 🥰🥰


  4. Love this post, and thank you for your honesty, Merline! I can totally relate with you, I’ve been blogging for 5 years and I have considerably less number of followers compared to other bloggers who’s been blogging for less time. It can be discouraging at times but I also never really bothered with stats haha. It can feel tiring as you do put your time and energy for blogging, so I hope this changes will help you feel better and love blogging even more! ❤


  5. It really is tough not to compare yourself to other blogs sometimes. I admit I do that too and it’s always discouraging. But I’m trying to focus on the positive now and do this for fun because it’s supposed to be fun, right? I hope the changes your making will help you enjoy this more!


  6. I think stats wise I was about where you are when I was blogging 2 years. I’m at about 4,5 years and while I don’t grow as much as other blogs I certainly still grow. So don’t let that discourage you too much ❤ (Though I completely understand).

    Try and find your joy back in blogging. Focusing on once a week and then more if you are inspired sounds like a great way to go about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand the struggle not to care about stats. I work really hard not too think much about mine, haha. I know that I blog differently from others and don’t care to do the things that would gain me more ‘followers’. I am a new follower of your blog but I always love to see bloggers taking ownership of their blog and making decisions that work for them. I hope you are able to enjoy blogging more in 2020 with the changes you have planned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for sharing, Merline!! I completely relate to and understand the feelings you mentioned about the discouragement of statistics. This past year, I blogged far less than I had in my first year of blogging, and that was certainly reflected in my stats. To be completely transparent here, I had 1,300 followers at the start of last year, and have only started this year off with 1,700. The fact that I gained only a third the amount of followers that I had the previous year was difficult to cope with at first, but I’m learning to take things one step at a time and to not allow my statistics to affect my self-perception of my worth as a blogger. I’m really glad that you have taken the time to make some changes that you think will make blogging more enjoyable and fulfilling for you this year!! I can’t wait to see all your content in 2020, love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Kelly! I love your blog and I hope it continues to grow! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve not allowed your stats to affect you!


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