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How to Blog Effectively When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Outtake - Nooo! [Overwhelmed]
This post is from ProBlogger Managing Editor Stacey Roberts.

Blogging is a voracious beast, and there is literally always something you could be doing to improve your traffic, find new readers, interact with other bloggers, and make some cash. The more you put in, the more you get out – but how do you cut through the (almost) infinite internet and create a manageable blog environment? Well, like anything, it takes trial and error. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is alive and well, but soon we all get to a point where it can all get too much to keep up with, and something’s gotta give.

These tips could work with anything that you find overwhelming, not just blogging. Just started a new job? Want to start your own business? Want to write the Great American Novel? Well, don’t panic – let’s get some perspective.

Break it down

Once you realise the magnitude of what you’re about to do, hyperventilation is only a moment away. Get back on top by sitting down for a minute and taking the task apart. Once you see it in sequence, it can be much easier to achieve. Yes you might need to blog, then tweet, then share on Facebook, then read six articles on blogging, then respond to comments, then find something to write for the next day, but it doesn’t all need to be done at once. Break it down and spread it out.

Don’t let your head run away with you

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Our brains conjure up worst-case scenarios, which in turn scares us and makes us think it’s not possible to succeed. Recognise when you’re about to board the Paranoia Train, and get some facts straight. You can survive (and thrive!) with just doing a little every day. Don’t just assume it’s too much and you won’t ever make it so you shouldn’t even try. Get out there and do what you can, for something is always better than nothing. Even one tweet can be useful.

Get some perspective

Often when you write down your tasks and responsibilities, you can see that they’re not so overwhelming. A list of things you need to do is a tangible thing to help you get your head around the job at hand. It’s common to then realise it’s not as crazy as you thought, and in fact is actually quite do-able. Identify the parts that aren’t important, or not viable at this time, and focus on the things you can actually do. An overview is incredibly useful when you’re liable to get carried away.

Find five things you can do right now

This helps make everything seem even more manageable, and gives you that perspective you need. Once you’ve got five easy things done, you feel much more productive, which inspires and motivates you to do more. Maybe it’s just one extra tweet, editing some photos, or even writing a couple of post intros. Each journey begins with a single step, as they say, and you’ve just taken five.

Set mini deadlines

Want to write brilliant posts, but don’t know where to start? Time is of the essence, and you’ve got none? Set yourself a deadline and get stuck in. It might be a post a day, it might be two posts in the next hour, but give yourself a time to have achieved at least one thing on your list. If there’s an even bigger deadline (guests post submission cut-off date or something), then set mini deadlines before then so you’re not frantically scribbling something at the last minute. Have your post ideas sorted by Monday, a rough draft by Wednesday, and a well-thought-out, well-written post and image by Friday. It might only take five minutes a day, and that’s infinitely more do-able.

Ask for help

You might need someone to watch the kids while you write. You might need someone to show you how to create good video content. You might even need to ask a blogging veteran to share a tip or two – don’t be afraid and think that your questions are silly, or that you should know this stuff by now. Or that blogging isn’t important. If you need help, reach out – you might even make a new friend in the process.

Spend some time getting acquainted

The first thing I do when asked to write for a publication is spend some time hanging out in the archives to see what’s been covered, where’s a knowledge gap I can plug, and what the vibe is. That can work for anything – if you’ve been asked to guest post, or if you want to see what is the trend in your blogging niche. What are people looking for? What can you provide that’s missing at the moment? What are other people Tweeting? What’s getting engagement on Facebook? Getting a feel for what you will be doing is essential for toning down panic and turning up productivity.

Just do it

Stop talking yourself out of it. Stop reading this! Go and kick some blogging goals.

But come back to ProBlogger when your’e done! What’s one thing you can do today to cross off your overwhelming to-do list?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor at ProBlogger.net, and the blogger behind Veggie Mama. Can be found making play-dough, reading The Cat in the Hat for the eleventh time, and avoiding the laundry. See evidence on Instagram here, on Facebook here, and twitter @veggie_mama.

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Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    I usually create a blog series when I have time that can be published at regular intervals. Although this is time consuming to create initially it can be done when you have time and then you have spare posts to publish even when you are busy. Check out my blog series’ at http://leighonseaforum.org/tag/blog-series/

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      Series are great for that sort of thing! Especially if you’re the kind of person to be organised in advance.

  2. Sean DeSilva says:

    Blogging is kind of funny in that it’s scary before the act, and then relaxing during it. That is, if you have a topic in mind, and a decent flow state when it comes to actually writing, which I seem to anyways.

    For anyone reading this, if you feel like writing on a frequent basis would be overwhelming to you, it helps to read a lot of articles. Having a lot to talk about stems from standing on the shoulders of others

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      I love the flow state! I rarely get scared blogging, but sometimes I am a bit wearied by it!

  3. Samuel says:

    Blogging will overwhelm any individual out there and it does get to me sometimes.

    I have so many duties and tasks that revolve around my business and brand that they can take so much more time.

    It’s always best to set and follow a plan that will help take you from point A to point B.

    I myself have created an editorial calendar and have set to publish a post every 4 days.

    So far, it has been a tremendous help along with my plan I created for the growth of my business.

    Thanks for some of the tips.

    - Samuel

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      Oh an editorial calendar is a great idea to keep a basis from which to work. It also cuts down a bit on the panic! There’s always so much we can do as bloggers, that I guess it’s best to just do small steps and keep some things constant. Thanks for your input as always, Samuel! great to see you here.

  4. Gary says:

    This is definitely advice I need to follow. I manage quite a few sites and sometimes the amount of work to complete is just overwhelming. It doesn’t help that I’m also a perfectionist, but hopefully with time, I’ll be able to control my urge to give everything 110% and instead realize that, for efficiency’s sake, 95% is acceptable. Thank you, Stacey, for the helpful tips and reminders!

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      As they say in Facebook headquarters: “done is better than perfect”!

  5. Your tips are very useful. especially for fellow bloggers. thank you. Other suggestions that we later

  6. Stacey, I felt a bit scattered this morning. I filmed 3 quick videos based on ideas I just absorbed through other posts. Reading does that for ya ;) Super tips!

    Now when it hits 12 PM Thailand time I will have 3 video posts ready to go, at 12 AM EST. Pulling back does wonders for me, and actually led to the idea for these 3 posts. I break 5 minutes each hour, dropping everything and either exercising or meditating. The simple, easy to follow practice dissolves overwhelm immediately.

    Overwhelm is simply an attratchment to outcomes. Although we might not become enlightened overnight we can defeat the energies by breaking, relaxing, and doing whatever it takes to establish peace from within our being.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      Ohh that’s an interesting perspective – overwhelm being attached to outcomes. Sometimes that’s not avoidable (i.e. being an employee), but other times it’s food for thought!

  7. Santel says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I used to feel overwhelmed in the last few years. I was looking for a good way to increase my online income. I tried too many things at the same time and I didn’t make any improvement.

    I took a new approach to start my new year 2014. I define my goals and reduce down things I want to do. I start doing one by one. It allows me to focus and write more good contents.

    I think to be effective we need to do one thing at a time with a clear goal.

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      Focusing and reducing works wonders for me, I find. Well said!

  8. Rohit Sharma says:

    WOW this is such my case. When I get busy in my exams all I think about what will happened to my blog or how I am gonna recover it after a time. But now I get some more buddies to help me and they take care of the work.

  9. Kalen Bruce says:

    I subscribe to the theory of writing everyday, even if you don’t feel like it, no matter what. This way I can at least accomplish that much for my blog even if I do nothing else.

  10. Brian Jones says:

    Thank you very much for this article i am quite new to blogging and found this very useful sometimes i have so much to write but just can,t get it down.

    Thanks Once again !!!!

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      I have that feeling too! and then if I don’t write it down, I forget it :(

  11. Vicki says:

    I ask myself, what is the consequence of not doing this today? The worse the consequences, the sooner it gets tackled!

  12. I think the last point stands out more to me. I need to start doing instead of thinking too much.

    I am a thinker and a planner but sometimes never get around to put into action what I have planned.

    The other tips that you have mentioned are valid as well and I thank you for the awesome post pal.

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      I’m a bit the same – a list-writer and total organiser. And then all of a sudden I’ve written 10 lists but done nothing concrete!

  13. You can only limit yourself, push yourself above your comfort zone sometimes to get the extra in you. Complaining or giving up can only make it worst, but start no matter how small can be encouraging.

    Scheduling ahead of time helps me stay ahead of time as well, that way even when am not feeling up to it, i have something in place already.

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      Starting small is such a good idea. Sometimes too I have to do the thing I’m most dreading first, and then I feel better!

  14. Its great posts and actually what I was going to cover in my post. Basically what we need to do, we need to focus our reader’s demand that what actually they want to read and listen from us. After that we should do a little work in finding the solutions for their top and most needy small problems. Once we start doing for our readers, our blog will automatically get rank and we will be getting traffic. This is the summary I think of your post Stacey,, Good work dear.

  15. Dan Erickson says:

    I just write and post in advance. Works wonders.

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      That’s sometimes the only way I can get everything done.

  16. Rosie ellen says:

    Great tips from blog experts that really add value to their community, thanks so much
    Your posts is awesome..

  17. John Engle says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I often times feel overwhelmed with the projects that I need to complete for my Internet-based business.

    The night before I fill out a To-Do list which helps me stay focused the following day.

    Many times I have a thought that pops in my head, “Am I Ever Going to Finish My Blogger’s Bootcamp?,” but then I ignore that little devil voice and move on knowing that it may take a while, but it will get done some day, and be well worth it.

    You asked, “What’s one thing you can do today to cross off your overwhelming to-do list?”… finish this comment and get back to writing my article.

    Thank You for a Great Post and have an AWESOME Day!

    John Engle

    • Stacey Roberts says:

      I love to-do lists! And doing them the night before is really helpful. I don’t worry about it overnight, and I also get a fresh start in the morning. Awesome idea!

  18. miguel says:

    just started on blogging and haven’t yet reached that level but when i do i will follow the tips you shared :)

  19. Great topic and tips. I am a recovering perfectionist and every once in awhile (like right now) I find myself in this situation where I am trying to tackle too many BIG things at once. I just published a new book and in a couple of days I’ll be launching a new blog. I finally had to put myself on a “time out” so I could review my HUGE task list and quickly realized that, beyond not giving myself breathing room between projects, I’d been trying to set the new blog up as though it had been around for 3 years when in reality a lot of the things on my list could easily be done the first week or so after launching without creating any problems whatsoever. I may actually sleep a couple of hour tonight!

  20. Phuong Le says:

    When being overwhelmed, I often schedule time to blog. You will quickly learn what days and times you are best at writing. The days and times that writing comes naturally and without struggle. Tap into that power and schedule time to blog. Trust me, it will make blogging much easier.

  21. Scott Ewart says:

    Hi Stacey, I like your post, I learned a lot from your post. T’was very informative and it will help me a lot. Blogging nowadays is a trend most especially when promoting a business. Thanks for sharing your post.

  22. metz says:

    Don’t let your head run away with you – I have the same opinion. We know how rapid people shrink if they will mess up and wreck their name by doing such thing like this. In every playing field, I must say this behavior or attitude is a no no.

    Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble. :)

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  23. Ryan Percy says:

    Now a days people are looking towards blogging as “pro” business. This article is really useful for the people for such people. I have also started working on one niche blog and found that I am really getting fed up with all tasks, but this article gives me relief.

  24. cris says:

    great post thanks for sharing these great and interesting article.

  25. Brian Jones says:

    HI I Have been trying to make sure that i write everyday and for now that is helping..

    Thanks again !!!

  26. Hasan says:

    Really nice tips Stacey. Setting up the goals and creating an index for the work to be done is the most necessary part of blogging strategy.

  27. David says:

    This is why on some days I don’t blog at all – I just take a day off to reset and look at what I am doing. Of course, if I’m not careful, I finish the day having read a heap of other blogs and I’m overwhelmed with the information – best to take information in slowly!

  28. Just write about the trending stories in your niche. It is endless content and people love it. Plus it is share-able. That is how I get over it. Then when I want to write. I just write.

    - Bryan

  29. A blank Page is often a daunting thing to look at, I always tell myself just start typing and then edit it later.

  30. Eden Haza says:

    It boils down to time management, The better you are at managing what little time you have the more effective your usage will be

  31. John Dow says:

    Now a days people are looking towards blogging as “pro” business. This article is really useful for the people for such people. I have also started working on one niche blog and found that I am really getting fed up with all tasks, but this article gives me relief.