Contrary to to popular belief, blogging really hard work! Writing new posts, managing social media, editing pictures, brainstorming new posts… There’s always something. And as somebody who’s been blogging off-and-on since 2007, I’ve had my fair share of periods where I was all like “I’m not going to blog and you just can’t make me.”
“Blogger burnout?” Trust me, that’s a thing. I promise, if you’re a writer/blogger, there will be days where you avoid your computer like the plague because you can’t face all you have to do.
Do you feel like you’re about to crash and burn? Try one (or more) of these:
1. Host a roundup
One of the best ways to both get an easy post out of the way that also build bonds with other bloggers is to host a roundup. Pick a topic, link to posts of some of your favorite blogs on the topic, and voila! A new post with relatively little effort, with the added bonus of showing to other bloggers that you’re somebody who’s willing to promote their work to your viewers. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even promote your blog too!
Looking for some examples?
- Superheroes and Teacups – 20 Mouth Watering Watermelon Recipes shares a picture perfect post on how to do a roundup that’s engaging and informative.
2. Guest Bloggers
Put out a notice or contact some of your favorite bloggers in your genre and ask them to write a one-time or series of posts. It’s a great way to get a break and give somebody a break… As in, a chance to be discovered by an audience other than their own. Just be smart about it… Lay down the ground rules beforehand (Can they link back their blog in their post on your blog? Who’s going to promote the post on social media?) and try to stick with people you know and like. You don’t want to make more work for yourself by taking on a guest blogger who’s poor writing means you need to play editor.
3. Rework Old Posts and Republish Them
Find your most popular posts on your blog… Look at the content, look at the comments… What really resonated with people to make it your most popular content? Well, if it has been a few months, add new content, and republish a new post. If it’s a recipe, tweak it a bit. If it’s a craft, re-do the craft with a new spin (add glitter… Most of life’s problems are solved by adding glitter). If it’s an introspective post, do a follow-up. Since it has been written once before, writing about it again won’t be too hard, and it will surely please your readers too.
Looking for an example?
- This post from several years ago was the biggest traffic source on this site. When I was stuck for ideas (and time), I did a new, updated version of the post which only took like 30 minutes. Thanks to the tags at the top and bottom of the original article, the new article draws the same and more viewers than the original on all my social media.
4. Make Sure Your Workload Is Reasonable
Time to take a realistic inventory of what works and what doesn’t. Do you spend hours on link parties that you see no real traffic from? Are you trying to hammer your social media presence somewhere that nobody uses anymore (*ahem* Myspace)? Don’t beat your head into a wall… Pick 3-4 means of social media that work for you and excel at them. Struggling to post 5 times a week? Try posting 3. Find a balance that lets you hit your stride.
5. Write Less
I can’t tell you how many times I had an idea, but I couldn’t think of more than a paragraph or two for an article. I’d sit, agonizing forever, trying to turn a 200 word blurb to a 1,000 word novel. It doesn’t have to be like that… Don’t be afraid to call it done at a short article if you’ve said what you need to say. Down the road, if you have more to add… Well, see tip number three.
Looking for an example?
- Compare this post on my blog, when I was struggling with burnout, to this one when I decided “less is more.” Being less chatty resonated with my readers too, the last one gaining more views in a day than the other did in a year!
6. Get Used To Saying “No”
This is more for the larger bloggers, but since we’re all bloggers on the brink of making it big, better hear the advice now, amirite? There will come a point where you check your email/comments/social media and you see question after question after question, special requests, e-vites to host chats, Twitter parties, write sponsored posts, and everything in between. Guess what? You can say no. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Be that person who knows the value of their time and carefully picks what they can do, and do it well, not the person who cheapens it by doing too much and being completely ineffective.
Sometimes the best solution is to just unplug. Go something that you enjoy. Don’t bring the camera, don’t bring the phone, don’t even bring the mindset that says “I’m on the hunt for my next blog post.” Hearken back to the days when you could do things without thinking about how to bottle it up and “sell it” on your blog… Or am I the only one who goes to take a picture and says to herself “Take a landscape shot for a header, portrait shot for Pinterest and Facebook, center it so there’s room for the banner and copyright”?
Remember, time off is important too. Blogging means we’re always a keystroke away from our job and the ability to access our work 24/7 means it feels like we’re always on call. No employer asks you to maintain that kind of lifestyle to work with them, you shouldn’t expect that of yourself as your own employer.
At the end of the day, all we want to do is be good at what we do. If you avoid burning out, your blog and your readers, as well as you, will benefit immensely.