Have you ever suffered from bloggers burnout, or have you ever hit a wall in blogging? If you haven’t yet then that’s great! However you still need to watch out for the telltale signs.
What is bloggers burnout? Just in case you’re new to all this and wondering what this is – bloggers burnout is simply exhausting yourself and all of your resources when it comes to creating content for your blog, or just working on your blog period.
When I first started blogging some years back, I never imagined I could burn myself out from blogging. I mean, I just thought that I was too passionate and motivated to burn out, and that nothing could stand in my way.
I was so busy writing content every single day that I really didn’t think about hitting ‘the wall’.
But then in the summer of 2013, after almost 3 years of flat out writing and publishing posts everyday, I hit the wall in blogging, and my creative mind simply came to a grinding halt.
My bloggers burnout experience didn’t just last a few days either, it went on for three whole months.
In that timespan I didn’t write a single word on my blog, not a post, not a comment… nothing!
I don’t really know to this day, what came over me, I just woke up one morning and didn’t feel like blogging, I just stopped everything!
I tried hard to get back into the swing of things, but I couldn’t find my creative flow and became bored quickly. I tried everything to motivate myself, but I’d usually end up procrastinating more than doing anything productive…
So how did I overcome this feeling?
I finally decided to do something about this, because in all honesty, I actually love blogging. There was certainly passion when I first started, and it lasted for almost three years, so I had to find that burning flame again.
Here are 10 things that helped me to find my rhythm and creative flow in blogging again, these 10 things can certainly help YOU too, if you’re going through a dry spell with your blog.
#1. Develop a blogging routine that works for YOU – Getting into a routine can help you stay focused on writing and working on your blog.
I’ve found from my own personal experience that writing blog posts roughly the same time each day helps a lot, however, you don’t have to be posting everyday, just writing something everyday helps to stay on track.
Update 29/03/2015: I no longer write and publish a post daily, I now put out a really good post once per week. Although I still write daily, as a post now takes me a whole 7 days to put together! I work on the same post for around 30 to 45 minutes each day.
If you get yourself into a routine where you’re working on your blog for 2 or 3 hours every evening, starting roughly the same time each day, let’s say from 9pm to midnight, then keep to that routine.
In any event, a blogging routine can only be effective if you’re motivated to keep to that routine.
Sometimes distractions can knock you off course, especially if you live a busy life, maybe have a family to take care of or have other commitments. But if you can keep to a regular blogging routine as often as you can, you’ll be doing ‘one positive thing’ to help you keep from burning out.
#2. Set yourself “realistic” reachable goals – Creating small daily objectives can certainly help you get more done, in addition, goal setting is a great way to measure your success.
Having something to focus and aim for daily can completely dispel any possibility of suffering from bloggers burnout, since your focus is on reaching your objective, and not trying to complete lots of things in one day.
Update: I use a to-do list daily, but these days my to-do list only consist of ‘one thing’, if I can complete one thing daily to help me move forward with my blog, then I’m making progress.
#3. Brainstorm for post ideas – What’s the benefit of brainstorming for post ideas? So that you can always have a list handy, of the things you might want to write about in the future. This was something I started doing a lot more of after hitting writers block.
Here’s what you can do, spend 10 minutes or so each week looking through your comments, checking out what’s popular on social media sites, visiting blog communities and forums, reading other blogs, and make a list of post ideas you can write about.
You can use your computer to do this or good old fashion pen and paper. I use Evernote to write my list of post ideas so that I can access it from all of my other devices.
At the end of the day, you might find you don’t end up writing about anything that’s on your list, or you might find you only use one or two post ideas from your list, but sometimes just having some ideas already down on paper, can spark off other interesting post topics to write about.
#4. Schedule your blog writing – What I mean by this is create a content strategy for the month ahead. Make a list of all the posts you want to write for the next 30 days, and schedule your blog writing.
If you use WordPress, I’d highly recommend you check out the Editorial Calendar plugin. I’ve been using this plugin for sometime now, and it’s been really helping me figure out what posts to write and have scheduled for what days.
#5. Get inspired by getting offline – I totally agree that blogging is great fun and can be rewarding at the same time, but it’s not all about getting inspired through doing online activities, you also need to get out more!
Get out more… what? You mean go outside?
Yes! Shut down your computer completely, and go off for a walk, spend time with friends, family, socialise in the real world, read a real book, cook a meal (and eat it), just do something inspiring that doesn’t involve being online or using a wireless device.
If it’s not possible to go outside, maybe because the weather’s on the grim side, find things to do in your home like washing some of the dishes, cleaning, sorting out your filing system…
Doing these things can help motivate you, it gets you thinking lots about what you want to do or want to write about next. Seriously, doing offline activities gets your creative juices flowing, just give it a try.
For me it’s either painting, reading or watching a movie.
#6. Fuel your mind and body (eat healthily) – You’re probably thinking what on earth has your diet got to do with avoiding bloggers burnout right? A lot is the answer!
If you don’t fuel your mind and body with the right nutrients, how are you suppose to concentrate, stay focused, energetic, productive and creative? And I don’t mean grab your laptop and head down to McDonalds for lunch either…
There’s an interesting article on Buffer that discusses how your productivity is determined by what you eat, it really is worth a read.
#7. Take frequent breaks – If you spend a lot of time sat in front of your computer, consider taking longer and more frequent breaks in between.
Go outside and get some fresh air (by this I don’t mean have a cigarette break!), just get away from your computer, grab a cup of green tea or what ever you love drinking (lay off the caffeine if possible). After a short break carry on with your blogging.
As a general rule I like to take a 15 minute break every 2 hours I spend in front of my computer.
#8. Take regular exercise – Again, blogging might be fun and rewarding as I mentioned earlier, but blogging and doing nothing else but blogging isn’t healthy.
Sitting down isn’t healthy. Gees, come to think of it… Blogging can actually be BAD for your health if you don’t regulate it properly.
I mentioned in tip number 5; inspire yourself by doing offline activities, in addition to socialising, you should also ensure that you’re taking regular exercise.
You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise and keep fit, check out YouTube for videos on tips on how to stay fit and exercise from your home or office.
#9. Bring in some guest writers – Sometimes when no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t muster the motivation to write, or can’t think of anything really worth putting words together for, it’s time to call in some guest writers.
Guest posts, no sorry, let me rephrase that, super high quality guest posts from industry experts and trusted bloggers can help to ensure that your blog stays updated, whilst you get yourself organised for writing again.
If you don’t trust anyone to write quality content for your blog, consider hiring an expert writer.
#10. Sleep more… – OK so my last top tip for helping you avoid bloggers burnout is to get more sleep. Oh I can see you raising your eyes up to this tip… So you think writing your next post with your brain half in gear, where you’re almost dozing off at your keyboard is good practice do you?
Far from it, I don’t recommend anyone sacrifice sleep for blogging. If it’s advice you’ve been given then it’s bullsh*t advice if you ask me.
Missing out on rest and quality sleep is bad business for your health, what’s more, blogging when you’re mentally drained is only going to reflect in your work.
Know your limits, get sleep, eat well, take regular exercise and keep inspired and organised! Get yourself in a routine and you’ll never suffer from bloggers burnout… period.
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