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Forever Amber: UK influncer

Blogging | Dealing With the Summer Slump

o, it looks like we’ve hit the summer slump.

(Yes, I know it’s still technically spring, but ‘Spring Slump’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it, somehow…)

The Summer Slump is something I’ve been noticing for as long as I’ve blogging, and it always goes exactly the same way. Every year I find myself thinking that maybe THIS year I’ll manage to avoid it, but nope: spring arrives, and gradually my blog traffic starts to fall. At first I’ll tell myself I’m imaging it: it’s just a little drop, after all, so it’ll probably pick back up soon, wont it? As the summer goes on, though, the slump continues:

Lower traffic.

Fewer comments.

Complete panic as I become increasingly convinced that OMG, no one is reading my blog any more! That, almost overnight, everyone has decided they hate me, and nothing I do will ever change their minds. There will be long nights spent wondering what I’m doing wrong, and why that post I thought was one of my best failed to get more than a couple of comments. Sometimes there will even be tears as I decide that this is it: I’m stuck in a downward spiral I’ll never break out of, and this time next year I’ll probably be homeless, because I’ve obviously forgotten how to blog, and now everything is going wrong.

SUCH DRAMA.

blogging through the summer slumpThen comes autumn, though. Gradually the traffic starts to pick up. People start commenting again. Suddenly a post I DIDN’T think was one of my best will get a great response, and I’ll have absolutely no idea why. I’ll start to relax, and stop worrying about having to get a REAL job. I’ll get back into the swing of things again. And then spring will roll round, and the whole cycle will start again.

Fun times, huh?

I know plenty of bloggers who just don’t experience this cycle at all: bloggers whose traffic and engagement remain totally steady all year round, and who never have to deal with the uncertainty of The Slump. I’m not one of them, though, and I’ve experienced exactly the same thing on every blog I’ve ever owned, AND the ones I’ve worked on. It’s not hard to understand WHY it happens, either: I mean, summer is the best time of year, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a time when I’m spending more time outdoors, taking more day trips, maybe even taking a vacation, if I’m lucky. If I’m doing all of these things in the summer, it stands to reason other people will be doing these things, too: and that means they have less time to sit indoors, reading blogs.

I HOPE that’s what happening, anyway. I mean, the alternative is that my blog really DOES just get super-bad during spring and summer, and that it does this every single year without fail, and despite my best efforts to stop it. That would be a hard reality to deal with obviously, especially given that summer makes me even MORE interested in blogging than I am in winter. I’ve talked about this before, but I really struggle in winter: both with blogging and with … well, life, I guess. The lack of daylight makes me feel really low: it saps my energy levels and leaves me feeling totally unmotivated. There are weeks in winter when every single post is a struggle, and I really can’t think of a single thing I want to write about. Which kinda sucks when your job depends on you finding things to write about, doesn’t it?

Summer, by contrast, is a breath of fresh air. In summer, I seem to have no end of inspiration: I’m out and about more, trying new things, visiting more places. Even getting dressed becomes easier, and more fun, when I don’t have to worry about freezing to death as soon as I step outside the door, or build every outfit around a pair of the hated black tights. I want to write about all of these things on my blog, but the fact is, people don’t really want to read them. Because they’re ALSO out enjoying the longer daylight hours (if not the sunshine); they’re putting together their own fun outfits, and having their own adventures, and so they don’t really have time to read about mine, do they?

Fair enough. If I’m honest, I spend less time reading blogs too during the summer, so I can’t really complain about other people doing the same. But what DO you do when blogging  is your job, and you don’t ever seem to be able to fight your way out of the summer slump?

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what DO you do when blogging  is your job, and you don’t ever seem to be able to fight your way out of the summer slump?
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Well, first of all, I’ll just point out that it’s not quite as dire as I’ve made it sound here. Yes, my traffic drops – but not catastrophically. My income, meanwhile, tends to remain fairly steady, which is the most important thing, and which mostly leaves me with lack of engagement as the biggest issue resulting from the slump. One of my biggest issues is that, although blogging is my job, it’s also my hobby: money isn’t the only thing that matters to me, and I find it really hard to motivate myself when I’m writing blog posts and not getting much of a response to them. I end up feeling like there’s not much point, and that I might as well go and do something more productive instead.

So, this year, that’s what I’m going to do.

I don’t mean I’m giving up blogging, of course: I mean, heaven forbid!

In previous years, though, I’ve always tried to fight the slump by attempting to up my game and outwit it. I’ve doggedly continued to create content, even although I knew it wouldn’t get much of a response, and I’ve ended up feeling really disappointed as a result. Some of my favourite posts have ended up being amongst the least popular on the site: they’re not radically different in quality or content from some of the MOST popular posts, so the only reason I can find for their lack of success was the fact that they were posted in the height of summer, when people just weren’t around to see them.

This year, I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to put pressure on myself to have a new blog post up every single day, for one thing. I mean, I’m not going to deliberately AVOID doing that if I have a lot to say for myself, but in general, I’m going to try to be a bit more relaxed about things: to accept that engagement is going to be lower over the next couple of months, and to take advantage of that by using the time I’d normally spend frantically trying to push out new content, to do other things instead.

I’d really like to finish my ebook, for instance. I have lots of plans for my secret diary section – which I’m starting to think is a bit wasted here on the blog, because while the feedback it’s had so far has been really positive, there hasn’t really been enough of it to justify the time I spend creating the posts. There are also tons of other ‘background’ things I’d like to do for the site – things that have been on the ‘to do’ list forever, basically, and which I never seem to get round to because I’m always so locked into the MUST! CREATE! NEW! CONTENT! mindset – a mindset that just becomes a stick to beat myself with when that new content doesn’t generate much response.

I don’t think I can ever really beat the summer slump: but maybe I can try to enjoy it, instead?

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23 Comments
  • Emma
    May 29, 2016

    Sounds like a plan 🙂 In other news, you’re in a Pinterest advert I’ve just seen on Channel 4 (or rather “All4” as they’re now calling 4OD). It starts with someone saying something about how they can’t possibly take just one suitcase, because their whole wardrobe wants to see Milan, and then it cuts to some outfit pins, and one of them is your pin. Thankfully I was watching alone or else I probably would have shouted “I know her” 😛

    • Amber
      May 29, 2016

      Oh, cool! I knew there was a chance they’d use one of them, but I wasn’t sure – will have to keep an eye out for it!

  • Donna
    May 29, 2016

    I don’t comment often, as I feel that what I might have to say doesn’t really contribute to the conversation. But I follow all your blogs everyday. They are my reward for surviving yet another hectic day! I adore the diary series! From the comments I’ve read, many of your readers identify, and are touched, by what you’ve written. I would comment 10 times a day if that would encourage you to keep it up. Enjoy your summer, it passes far too quickly!

    • karla
      May 29, 2016

      Exactly what I was going to say, Donna! Thank you

      Exactly what I was going to say, Donna! Thank you!

    • Rotem
      May 29, 2016

      Sorry for crashing your comment, but I agree one hundred percent with everything you said.

    • Heather
      June 4, 2016

      yes, everything Donna said 🙂 I’m sorry that I tend to be a lurker as well, I don’t feel like I have much to say in the way of actually commenting, even though I enjoy all your posts.

  • Sharon
    May 29, 2016

    Please please please don’t stop the diary posts. It’s a genius idea and as someone else said they are so relatable. They are also very funny, both the 11-year-old Amber musings and your comments on them.

    But otherwise cut yourself some summer slack.

  • Call me M
    May 29, 2016

    I experience this on my blog too over the summer months, but my traffic has generally decreased over the past few months, compared to the previous years.
    I hadn’t been commenting on your blog as much lately, because I don’t have the same free time I used to have, but also because I read many of your posts in one day when I catch up with your blog. But I always read all of them. 🙂

  • Myra
    May 29, 2016

    I always read your posts too, they brighten my day, although I don’t always comment. Your diary entries are poignant and relateable as others have said. Keep writing

  • Jackie
    May 29, 2016

    Sadly I think I spend as much, if not more, time indoors during the summer. I live in the southern US and it’s just too hot and humid to really enjoy being outside – even early morning or evenings. Plus there are bug everywhere – mosquitoes and such. So, please stick around for me! Also I’m loving the diary posts and personally I’d say do them for yourself if nothing else. Maybe not forcing yourself to find a picture to go with each one would help to cut down on the time spent? Though personally I love those too. Er, I don’t mean to make this sound like so much pressure because obviously balance is good. Just want to let you know that those of us hanging around appreciate the efforts made!

    • Amber
      May 30, 2016

      Finding photos actually doesn’t take very long (I have loads of old photos!), it’s typing it all up that takes time, and then when they only get a couple of comments, it feels like time that could be better spent on something else!

  • Brenda
    May 29, 2016

    I’m with Donna et all above! DON’T stop the diary posts!!! Just DON’T! Please!!!

  • Jennifer
    May 30, 2016

    One more voice saying please don’t stop the diary posts. They are funny and poignant and relatable. I frequently read them on my phone and mean to go back and comment and then it never happens, but I really do enjoy them all.

  • kitkatkrispie
    May 30, 2016

    To be honest Amber there is a bloggers slump as well! I guess longer days, realising there is a life outside, makes it harder for bloggers to keep posting. Take for example this weekend. I follow many blogs, to be honest far too many, only two have posted over the long weekend. Yes, that will be you and Did You Make That. The second one has been posting tempting little holiday snaps of the Isle of Wight. How have I spent my weekend, you may ask. Thanks to you I have be revamping my wardrobe. There is a big pile for the charity shop, I have sorted through and made outfit combinations and I have noted the gaps. Which of course led to some shopping. The biggest gap in my wardrobe? Navy blue top/T-shirt. Now how exciting is that? So do keep posting there is an audience out there!

  • Amy
    May 30, 2016

    I have been a long time lurker on this blog but have come out of hiding to say, “noooo! Please, don’t stop!”
    Amber, your posts are always entertaining and informative.

    • Amber
      May 30, 2016

      I’m not stopping, I’m just going to be posting a bit less over the summer, while there are less people reading 🙂

  • Sagan
    May 30, 2016

    Oooh I like this idea!

    I’ve got the summer slump too — it’s so hard to look past it! But I like the concept of just going with it. A much better way to deal with it than working ourselves ragged trying to force pageviews 🙂

  • Colene Woolcott
    May 30, 2016

    Em, but most importantly…where is this skirt from?!?

    • Amber
      May 30, 2016

      It was from New Look last summer.

  • I get the slump every year and it kills me because i hate blogging when i feel like no one is there :/

    http://www.beautyandtheboy.com

  • WhatLouWore365
    May 31, 2016

    I wonder if it’s a bit like autumn winter TV versus summer TV? What I mean is, over autumn and winter I’m at home much more in the evenings and watch more TV and in the summer, when I am at home, I like to read in the garden after the kids are in bed. Broadcasters are onto these sorts of patterns as there’s nothing on in the summer anyway, except tennis, football, golf etc (all of which funnily enough I do watch – through the window, ha ha!) but the good drama stuff is always scheduled to start in September.

    I spend less time reading blogs or the internet in general in the warmer months as I’d rather be outside enjoying a glass of wine and then do a mass catchup on a wet day – like today!

  • Charlotte Lane
    May 31, 2016

    I L O V E reading your blog and I always check every day (as sad as that may sound?) to see if there is a new post from you because I just find your content so engaging and I’d love to be able to write the way you do! I’m hoping one day I will be able to with the more experience I get 🙂 xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.blogspot.co.uk

  • Dana
    June 1, 2016

    I totally relate. My business slows down every summer. It totally makes sense, as I am a wardrobe consultant. Past June everyone is on vacation and enjoying all the great summer things there are to do. Even though I know I am going to have the summer slump, I try to figure it out every year and stress. Thanks to your wisdom, Amber…I’m going to enjoy my summer a bit more and stop worrying.

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