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Avoid Blogger Burnout: 5 Tips to Save Your Sanity

For the beginner, the blog learning curve can be steep. As well as all the technical and blog visibility issues, there are questions about focus, content types and research, and of course reaching readers.

You’re plugging away, day after day, and getting little in the way of recognisable success. How can you stay motivated during what can be a very trying time? Here are the techniques I use.

1. Do what you love.

Staying motivated is a whole lot easier when you’re constantly thinking about, and dealing with, the topic you blog about. If you love your topic, you’ll find it easier to think up content ideas, engage with readers, and establish a warm and welcoming voice that encourages rapport and develops readership.

2. Take it one step at a time.

When you start a blog, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the things you feel you should be doing to help it grow. Realise up front that your blog isn’t likely to be an overnight super-success and pace yourself. Instead of focusing on what you haven’t done yet, spend time each week assessing the things you have done, and considering ways to build on those results.

If you’re going to avoid burnout, you need to be kind to yourself. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to tell yourself it’s too hard, you don’t have time, and to give up.

3. Plan, plan, plan.

If you haven’t already, develop a flexible, but clear plan of attack for building up your blog’s content and reach. A focused plan will help you to keep your expectations of yourself in check, and to test and assess the results of what you do.

This kind of periodic review will give you information that you can feed back into your efforts to make each new promotional approach more successful, and helps you avoid the must-do-everything-now, scattergun approach that quickly exhausts even the most motivated blogger.

As you plan, you’ll likely identify some easy wins — things that you expect will be fulfilling or gratifying on some level. Perhaps these are tasks that will pull in a lot of readers, or maybe you just know you’ll really enjoy doing them. Try to space these jobs so that when the going gets tough, you know you have a favourite task just around the corner. This can make a big difference to your motivation over time.

4. Allow for downtime.

Once you’ve got a plan, fit some downtime into it. Make sure you’re not always operating at breakneck speed, or that if you are, it’s only for a short, manageable period. Be sure to build in time out for family and friends, and to be flexible about your schedule.

Above all, let yourself really enjoy that time off — don’t spend it guiltily obsessing about all the things you should be doing to build your blog.

5. Realise that everyone has bad days.

It’s true. Some of us even have bad weeks! And months. It doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel or that you don’t have what it takes. Of course you have it — the thing is, you need to manage it to get the most out of it. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up. Accept that this is part of life.

If you feel like giving up, let yourself feel it. Stare your discomfort in the face and see if there isn’t some way you can overcome it, or work around it, and make your blog better in the process. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes, it’s the thin end of the wedge that gives us the impetus to innovate solutions that make our blogs — and our work on them — infinitely more enjoyable.

These are the main ways I keep motivated about blogging. What kinds of techniques do you use?

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Georgina,

    I just started my blog, in fact I’ve only had it a few days and I have had great success and great comments from my customers.

    I’m not a great writer, but understand that having a blog will help me connect better with my customers. So I will persevere, but may stuggle with subjects.

    Thanks for the info

    Dave

  2. Hello again Georgina,
    You can tell you wrote on a ‘hot topic’ since there are so many comments. I totally agree with the idea of ‘do what you love’ since I am very passionate about my work as a coach

    BUT it is important that if you are blogging as a business you choose one of the things you love that people are willing to pay to learn more about. This I know is obvious but sometimes in the virtual and material world people choose a business because they love it and they burn out since no one is interested in what they have to say online or they simply have a terrible location or product in reality.
    Once you love what you are doing and people want what you have to share or sell you are on your way.
    That’s my opinion, what do you think?
    David

  3. paul says:

    very good post :)
    This is where I struggle at with starting blogs, I have many interests but I just cant seem to get stuck into one deep enough that produces very good content keeping people interested!
    Anyways, thanks :)

  4. Tony says:

    Great tips. I particularly relate to step #2, I feel like there is always something more I should be doing. Even though my blog is only a couple months old I just *want* it to be what I know it can.

    Anyway, great post and thanks for giving me some perspective.

  5. Juanita says:

    I really enjoyed this easy to swallow information. I think that if you can figure out what you love you will have an easier time writing. Do you have any special tips on figuring out what you Love?
    your friend for life Juanita Waterman
    Charlie Ellis Sent me

  6. Great tips! I’m consider myself a baby blogger since I’ve been at it for only a 4-months. I’m trying to not feel like I ‘have’ to blog every day and am trying to ‘plan’ my posts. I’m on testing grounds these days, but I know I will continue to improve on post at time. Thanks for the advice!

  7. Matthew says:

    Do you have any recommendations as to how to manage your schedule of upcoming blog posts (an editorial schedule)? Do you do this in a spreadsheet? Could you share some details as to how to keep track of what needs to be written, what needs to be reasearched, etc.?

  8. Maggie says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips. I’ve organized mine in a recent presentation that you might find useful: http://www.slideshare.net/maggieto/30-ways-to-avoid-blogger-burnout-and-get-ideas-for-your-blog
    Cheers!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Avoid Blogger Burnout: 5 Tips to Save Your Sanity "You’re plugging away, day after day, and getting little in the way of recognisable success. How can you stay motivated during what can be a very trying time?" (tags: blogging, writing) AKPC_IDS += "4587,"; [...]

  2. [...] the early days, I found that just when I’d get close to completion on an idea, I’d suddenly be overwhelmed with dozens of new ideas. As a result, I’d move from idea to idea, never finishing a single one. [...]

  3. [...] the early days, I found that just when I’d get close to completion on an idea, I’d suddenly be overwhelmed with dozens of new ideas. As a result, I’d move from idea to idea, never finishing a single one. [...]