Blogging is hard, let’s not pretend otherwise. Not all the time, no, most of the time it is THE most amazing gift of a hobby/job, but sometimes it can be a slog. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. There is always a never-ending list of things you feel you need to do and just when you tick a couple off, more are added. How many of these tasks are critical to your blogs success? How many of them just make us feel better? It can feel as if we are never able to catch up or actually get ahead. This schedule, on top of running a home, working, actually trying to have a life, can start to create the beginnings of burnout in your blogging life.
Create a schedule you are comfortable with and that you can stick to without killing yourself
There is lots of advice telling you how many times you should post for maximum traffic and this can put us under so much pressure. What works for one person, may not work for another, it maybe unrealistic with their commitments or it may not bring them joy. Don’t forget that your blog should bring you joy, EVEN if you blog for profit and it is your job, it should still nourish you, if it doesn’t there are plenty of more reliable jobs that you could do instead. We blog because it gives us pleasure and if your schedule means your blog is a chore, then change it! I publish at least twice a day, I can manage this and it doesn’t seem unachievable for me. I have a fair bit of brand work that goes on my blog, plus my more personal content, which means 2-3 posts a day helps me get through things. This would not work for most people, so don’t feel as if you have to stick to anyone elses schedule. Just create your own, one that you feel is manageable.
Focus on one social network at a time – you can’t win them all
I received this advice recently relating to social networks ‘You have to be on them all, you don’t have to win them all’. Isn’t that great?! It made things a lot clearer for me; we need to be on them to have a presence and so our following can start to grow (even if we do not actively use the platform), but we don’t have to invest ourselves completely. There is simply not enough time to be fully invested in ALL the platforms. You need to figure out where your audience comes from and focus your attention there. A friend of mine has lots of non bloggers for readers and Facebook proves the most effective for her in terms of driving traffic and engaging. I run this blogging series and consequently have lots of bloggers as readers, so I need to have Twitter in my arsenal. If you have a design blog, then Pinterest and Instagram will be your focus.
Don’t waste time comparing
Remember the saying ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’? Good, huh? We all need to focus on this when the green-eyed monster strikes. Which it will. If the joy is taken from us, then there really is no point in blogging. Be happy for your fellow blogger who got the opportunity you wanted, be inspired by the writer who wrote so eloquently the post you had been meaning to write, rejoice in the success of your peers.
A rising tide lifts us all
Stop looking for the golden ticket
I don’t know about you, but I spend quite a lot of time searching for better ways to be things; to be more organised, more productive; a new app, a fresh download that will really help me to do more in less time. What we need to remember is that new things aren’t always better, they don’t always solve your problems, but what searching for them does do is take your focus off what you should be doing.
Learn to say no
When you start to blog and those first emails regarding opportunities hit your inbox, it is natural to be thrilled; we snap them all up. Then we tend to get into the habit of doing everything we are offered. You don’t know when the next opportunity will come along, right? Wrong, we need to ask ourselves do you really want the item being offered for review? Will the project enrich your blog? Are they paying enough to cover your efforts? If not, say no, simple. I turn down the majority of things offered to me, because I weighed them up and they didn’t work for me. There is no point in doing things that your heart isn’t fully invested in.
Look for inspiration outside your niche
When you blog in a particular niche, it is natural to read a lot of blogs in that same niche. This can lead to self-doubt; should you be doing what they are? By looking outside your niche to gain inspiration from bloggers doing their thing in other niches can be really refreshing. The competitive element is removed and you can look at their work more objectively and be inspired.
Log out of everything
Even typing this bring me out in a cold sweat, but I am going to put it out there anyway. Log out of everything and remove passwords. I don’t know about you (but I bet I can guess), I spend so much time flicking through my timelines, responding the second a notification flicks up, whether it is important or not; I just have to see it. If you close the windows you can open them back up in a millisecond. However, if you log out then you have to be more conscious about logging back in, this might be what you need to stay logged out and focused.
Use a text expander to reduce the response time
Responding to emails and tweets can take such a long time and contribute to that ever-increasing workload. So my advice? Use a text expander, for Windows it is Phrase Express, but just Google text expander for Apple/Mac whatever system you are on and it will give you some options. Simply programme in some key words and the phrases you want them to link to and your responses will take a fraction of the time. You’re welcome.
Take a day off a week
Completely. Yeah… a whole day… no cheeky Instagramming or tweeting; a day off just to be you, not you the blogger, just you. Try it, you might enjoy it.
Focus on what you really want
Blogging is vast. So much to do, so many aspects to it that we can develop a scattergun approach to deal with everything that is competing for our attention. Consequently, our focus is diluted and we can lose sight of what we really want to achieve. Do you think your Pinterest following is too low? Are you trying to win Pinterest, no? Well don’t let it take up space in your brain. What is your mission? Write out your goals and keep them on your desk, refocus each month to make sure you stay focused on things that will help you achieve your goals. Everything else it just window dressing.
Give yourself a lunch break and do something else
If you blog, then you probably work mainly from home. You might be fitting blogging around the kids and other commitments and it can soak up all the free time you have and more. Give yourself a lunch break, even 30 minutes to get some fresh air and regain perspective. Feel the sun on your face and feel grounded. The virtual world is amazing, but it is good to reconnect to the real world.
Take a break
If you start feeling frazzled or full on burned out; if the thought of blogging doesn’t warm your heart, then take a break. If you don’t, then your posts will suffer, people will tell that what you have written isn’t from your heart. So take a break, completely or get some guest bloggers in. However you want to organise it, just step away and give yourself time to fall back in love with your blog.
Refresh your work space
We can be so affected by our surroundings. Our workspace can make us feel creative, productive, inspired, or simply just happy. So whether you blog from a desk or your kitchen table, take some time to freshen up the space, add some flowers or whatever else would make your heart sing a little and make it a lovely place to be. I have recently created a workspace with lovely postcards, photographs and fairy lights and I love it!
Take a look at your content, do you still enjoy writing all your features and regular posts? You might have been writing a certain feature for years, but if you don’t enjoy it anymore, then stop writing it. I used to run Share Your Wedding each week and while it was lovely to share other bloggers special day, it was adding unnecessarily to my workload and so I stopped writing it (I actually gave it to a blogging friend to run). So think what do you write, what do you want to write and make sure the lists match up.
In all the madness that is blogging, promoting, networking, family life, work life, make sure you take time out for ‘you’; just you, thinking about nothing much, just not blogging. Even just for a few minutes a day. When hubby comes back from work, make a cuppa and sit on the patio for 30 minutes and read a couple of chapters of your book. Just a few minutes, being you and doing something you enjoy that isn’t tapping away on a keyboard.
Have you ever had blogger burnout? How do you avoid blogger burnout?