Photo: Helga Weber
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Sorry but my Wednesday blogging tips post is a tiny bit late this week.
Late last night I got back from a camping trip that capped off an awesome birthday weekend. In the rush to get everything organized for the trip and make the most out of the whole weekend, I just didn’t have the time to get a Tuesday and Wednesday post scheduled ahead of time.
This situation got me thinking a lot more about managing a blog and balancing it with a satisfying lifestyle.
First, here are some recent blogging tips posts to check out if you are new to this weekly blogging tips series:
And now onto this week’s blogging tip…
How To Avoid Blogger Burnout
One thing I have seen time and time again during my blogging journey is new bloggers going gung ho early on only to eventually hit a wall. They get so caught up chasing stats and trying to build up their blog asap that they just find it impossible to maintain that frenetic pace. I’ve even experienced it first hand myself.
It’s not that blogging is some super stressful hobby or side business. It’s more that it can be so time consuming and that there is always more to do. So if you’re not careful you can get overwhelmed by the dreaded blogger burnout.
If you’re really enjoying blogging, you can usually get back on the horse soon enough. Unfortunately I see too many bloggers just drop off the map soon after. So hopefully these tips help new bloggers maintain their momentum and keep their blogs going long term.
Early on when I was blogging, I put in a ton of time. My entire life revolved around my blog. A day wouldn’t go by when I wasn’t spending at least a few hours on my blog, but usually it was pretty much the whole day. Doing this with nearly anything is bound to lead to burnout. So of course it’s not any different with blogging.
Eventually I realized that sometimes you just need some breaks away from it all. Then you can clear your mind a bit and come back revitalized with new found energy.
Different people probably need different kinds of breaks and of varying lengths. For me I find a day or two away does wonders. That might be an out of town road trip, a weekend hanging out with friends or just some time on my own doing things I enjoy.
The key is that you you truly take a mental break and that you avoid getting into a monotonous routine. You don’t want to end up just punching the clock each day with your blogging activities. You really need time to balance your life with other things that make you happy. As much as I love blogging, the break this past weekend was priceless.
Blogging On Your Schedule
Part of the reason new bloggers tend to avoid taking breaks is that they are led to believe that they have to maintain a specific schedule. They might’ve read that bloggers need to establish a set schedule or they get forced to post a certain amount of times each week for blogger challenge groups.
Really though, what’s the worst that can happen if you miss posting some days? Will all your readers and blogger friends abandon you for not providing reading material that day? Will the blogging gods strike down on your blog for not following some code of blogging ethics? While some consistency is important as things build up more, it just doesn’t matter as much as people are led to believe, especially early on.
So I’m not saying throw away the concept of having a blogging schedule. Just don’t get stressed out if your schedule occasionally strays a bit. Any true blogger friends and loyal readers will appreciate that you need breaks and that life is more important. You are not running some newspaper that will get countless angry phone calls if they don’t get their daily fix.
Set Realistic Commitments
As your blog gets going, you’ll find that all kinds of commitments build up. First there is the assumed commitment of posting on a certain schedule. Then there is the commitment to regularly read and comment on your friends’ blogs. These kinds of commitments really should have some degree of flexibility. It’s great if you can be loyal, but don’t feel bad about missing a day here and there.
There are some commitments which do require more dedication such as when you agree to guest post or host a blog carnival. For those you will want to stick to your word to maintain a strong reputation.
The trick is to not take on more commitments than you can realistically keep up with. If you are finding it difficult to keep up with it all, you have likely committed to too much. Then comes the tough choices of deciding how to scale back.
Connect With Like Minded Bloggers
This was covered in last week’s blogging tips post about blogger networking. To make your blogging less like work, you will want to surround yourself with blogger contacts who you can relate to and enjoy connecting with.
When a lot of your marketing involves connecting with people you like, the easier it becomes to work on your blog. The last thing you want is for your blogging to feel like a chore. It should feel like a hobby even if you are using it to make money.
So if a blogger rubs you the wrong way or they’re a straight up asshole, just move on. There are enough bloggers out there that you simply don’t need to waste your time on those types.
Stay True To Yourself
With blogging there aren’t really any rules set in stone. Sure there are some basic etiquettes to follow, but for the most part, you are free to run things how you please. Just because some other blogger has found something that works for them, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow the herd. Do what feels right for you and what keeps you most satisfied with your blog.
So if you want to stray a bit with the niche of your blog, go for it. Do keep your readers in mind though. Be aware that you may lose some readers if you stray too much. At the same time, the new direction might attract an even better audience. Go with your heart.
Stay true to yourself with your marketing too. Don’t feel obligated to comment on posts that don’t interest you. Don’t jump on every marketing strategy just because people say it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do.
Remember It’s Not A Race
Chasing stats can provide some motivation with blogging, but don’t get caught up competing with other bloggers’ stats. There will always be someone who can commit more time, someone with more experience, someone with better writing and so on.
In my case I had plenty of time available and lots of website marketing experience. Still, I would get a bit jealous when the better written blogs would get more exposure. Why should it matter to you how quickly other blogs’ develop though?
Each blog develops at its own pace. So don’t get discouraged if your blog is growing slower than your friends’ blogs. Since a blog is always an ongoing project, remember that there is no finish line. There is no pressure to reach certain stats at specific times. Just put in the amount of time and effort that keeps you happy. Your blogging journey is only as satisfying as you make it.
What do you do to avoid blogger burnout?