This guest post is by Timo Kiander of Productivesuperdad.com.
Are you afraid that you’ll never reach blogging success? Are you working your backside off on top of your day job to produce articles, ebooks, videos, and podcasts, and learn everything about Pinterest (or any other social network for that matter)?
Do you feel you are running on a blogging treadmill like a hamster but never giving yourself time to rest and recover?
If this is you, then welcome to the club! I have been there, done that, and I can relate. It’s not a very pleasant feeling to experience. However, things don’t have to be that way: there is a solution for this situation.
Burnouts, broken relationships, and abandoned blogs
Let’s face it: working harder and longer hours on your blog doesn’t necessarily make you more productive.
In the short term it might do that, but in the long run you are going to burn out. You are going to lose the fun of blogging too—even on the topic you’re passionate about.
On top of all that, you also put your relationships with your closest ones to danger. When too much of your blogging time is prioritized over the family time, you are soon in a situation where you have to make a decision: you can choose either your blog or your family.
They’re to blame (and you too!)
It’s a lot easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility for your own actions, but in this scenario there are really two responsible parties: them and you.
No matter which blogging hero (or productivity hero) you listen to, they keep telling you that more is better. Create more. Engage more. Be everywhere!
They say, “You cannot build a successful blog without working like crazy, taking massive action, and producing solid, shareable content on a frequent basis. And if you can do it all on a daily basis, that’s even better!”
So, you look up to your blogging hero and think, “Well … s/he must be right. I’ve got to get my act together and work more, do more, engage more. Otherwise, I’ll never see the blogging success that I want or the six-figure income that I’m dreaming about.”
You believe the stories they tell you. It’s virtual peer pressure at its worst—and you take the bait.
Time to slow down
I have been blogging since 2010 and I have consistently produced material for my blog twice per week. That includes written content and videos, and at some points I was even doing podcasts.
In addition, I have guest posted on big blogs and produced couple of ebooks as well—all while having a day job, a family (my wife and a son), and some time-consuming hobbies (I’m a triathlete and a marathoner).
Lately, I have felt like that hamster on a treadmill—I keep running and running but I never have a chance to relax or recover. Nor have I had time to study, do more research, or truly connect with other bloggers.
That’s why I decided to slow down my blogging pace. I’m not leaving blogosphere. I’m just cutting down the speed a bit. By doing this I aim to grow my blog even bigger than it is now.
In practice, slowing down means posting every other week instead of on a weekly basis. This change gives me more room to breathe, and allows me to do more reading and testing, and to create more new material.
For instance, for a couple of months I have wanted to build my own time management system, but I had to postpone the project because of lack of time. Or what about learning photo reading? That’s yet another project that I had to postpone. Interviews, tests, experiments, case studies … I guess you already know by now why I have never started with these projects, though they’re all on my list.
Some people are scared of this change and think that slowing down is like regressing—that if you slow down, you won’t be on everyone’s minds and lips anymore.
Well, maybe. But look around. There are many big bloggers who don’t follow a daily blog post pattern, and they’re still doing well! Derek Halpern and Glenn Allsop and Jon Morrow come to mind (and by the way, check out this video to learn why Derek is posting so infrequently).
In my opinion, slowing down is not regression. Actually, it is the best thing that has happened to me for a long time.
How to slow down successfully
Slowing down may sound easy, but in reality it’s not. One scary word keeps most of the bloggers working the same way they always have: fear.
They fear that if they change their routines and habits, they are not going to reach blogging success. They are also afraid of missing something crucial if they don’t follow to the letter what the gurus are teaching (advice that so many other bloggers are following).
But if they’re brave enough and decided to get through that glass wall known as fear, a new world would emerge for them. Are you one of these brave ones? If you are, here are five steps to follow that should make the transition much easier:
- Acknowledge your current situation. You are stressed or burned out by blogging, thus you want to spend more time with your loved ones. Things cannot continue this way any longer.
- Listen to external signals very carefully: Are you working too much and taking the common time off from your family? Are you working like a madman, but without any remarkable results? These clues should give you indication that you should slow down your blogging.
- Make a decision to test the blogging slowdown. Shift to blogging once per week instead of every day, for example, and see what advantages and disadvantages it has for you.
- Hire some professional help if possible. In fact, my decision to slow down was greatly affected by my blogging coach. Although at first his suggestion of slowing down sounded foreign, I have learned to appreciate it and I feel grateful for this advice! That’s really the power of having an external person looking at you: they have the ability to give powerful, objective advice for your benefit.
- Connect with other bloggers and ask them to write guest posts for your blog. That way, you get content almost without any effort, and you can free up your time even more. And don’t forget interviews either. They are great a way to generate valuable content with less effort.
Don’t get me wrong: it is fine to learn from gurus, but be sure to adjust their lessons to your unique situation! You are the only one to say if you are capable of producing epic content every day, or only once a week.
Over to you now: have you slowed down your blogging pace because of increased stress, weaker relationships with your close ones, or just plain burning out—even when blogging about something you are passionate about? Leave your comments and share your experiences below. Let’s support each other to slow down!
Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.