Conquer Blogging BurnOut
Chances are if you have been blogging say, more than 24 hours, you know what overload means. Blogging burnout occurs for a variety of reasons and I am going to touch on just a few of those today.
But first, let’s talk about conception. When the idea for a blog first arrives most of us are filled with excitement, ideas, and expectations.
If the only overload we ever experienced was the one that fills our heads full of article ideas, we’d be just fine.
I’m here to tell you that if you are feeling burnout, know that you are not alone. In fact, every single successful blogger that I have ever had a conversation with talks about some different stages of blogging burnout or business frustration.
People who don’t blog generally don’t understand that blogging is the same as starting up a business. Many of the bloggers who quit in the first few months were ones that didn’t make this connection either. Perhaps they thought blogging would be easy or some get rich quick scheme. Bauhahaha.....Later Gators. Click To Tweet
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Blogging has start-up costs, reoccurring bills, and a multitude of tasks needing to be done on the regular to earn and keep customers, aka audience or community, just like a brick and mortar.
Here’s where things get sticky. As a blogger, you do not have to physically show up and unlock the doors to your business. No one is waiting in the parking lot to get in the front door.
But what happens when you don’t log-on, publish, or do your oh-so-long list of business to do’s? In the short term, nothing. You won’t get fired. But if this becomes long-term or a frequent habit people lose their faith in your reliability and start looking elsewhere.
So just like the brick and mortar guy, your audience, customer, and friend jumps ship. Goodbye Walmart, Hello Target.
Another problem with blogging burnout is that if you are forcing yourself through the motions, especially on the writing end, the quality of your “product” diminishes quickly.
The main goal of most bloggers is to build a huge community of people who love their content and keep coming back for more. We want people to subscribe to our opt-ins or updates, potentially buy products when we create them. We crave interaction with our posts and hope for a sense of fulfillment when our words truly impact another. (Hint: if your main goal is to sell stuff you are going to really suck at this blogging thing and should probably try Ebay)We crave interaction with our posts and hope for a sense of fulfillment when our words truly impact another. Click To Tweet
I know the reality of blogging being a business will weed out the weak pretty quickly. Many don’t make it past the first month or two. The realization that hosting and email providers cost money squash their get rich quick idea. Or having to come up with new ideas for writing because they picked a niche they are not even remotely supposed to be in overwhelms them.Blogging requires a huge amount of self-reliance and accountability. Click To Tweet
Here’s the thing though, even us bloggers who are in it for the long-haul, busting tail and losing sleep quite regular to etch our spot into the blogosphere, experience burnout, frustration and overwhelm. So let’s address a few of these and figure out how to beat the blues.
Where to Start
People who are serious about blogging are creative to a certain degree even if they don’t realize it. We can struggle with narrowing our focus and want to blog about many random things as the ideas pour in. This creates a lack of focus and can feel a bit chaotic as we try to sift through the good ideas vs the not so good ones.
- Pick one main focus with two side focuses. Bonus points if these are at least slightly related or can be tied in together. For example, your main focus is lower body fitness, you could easily write about fitness equipment and throw in some healthy meal plans as side focus posts. But if your main niche is home remodeling and suddenly you are posting about parenting tips, your audience is going to be confused.
- One thing I wish I would have done differently was to have a greater backlog of posts before I started my blog. This does three things. First, it makes sure you are interested in your blog topic enough to write about it long term (I was). Second, it ensures you have a good amount of content to post when you first go live so the audience has more than three posts to read. Lastly, it helps you stay ahead of your publishing schedule so that if something comes up that derails progress, you aren’t falling behind.
This can be a doozy depending on your skillset before you start a blog. Some of you have great hardware and software skills. I had basic internet and Word skills and I could type quite fast but that was about the extent of it. I had never dabbled in WordPress or touched CSS HTML. Segments, Tags, Email Lists, oh my. What is all of this? So if you are having some tech skill issues here are some tips.
- Don’t take on too much at once. You won’t learn things properly if you are trying to do it all at once. Break things up into “classes”. Hop over to this article for a couple mins to see exactly how I broke down my blogging learning curve into mini-courses that I learned over a period of time.
- Don’t assume you have to know the ins and outs of every single platform. Focus on your content and learning some things about your host, theme, and email provider. If you don’t have an email provider please click here for the best service possible. Seriously ConvertKit has these easy little videos to walk you through every step of effectively mastering email marketing. YES, you need an email list. No, you cannot put it off. This is a necessary expense and one all bloggers wish they would have started from day one on their blogs. Haven’t met a single blogger yet who regrets their email list. But have met a few that regret using other providers because of lack of customer support or capabilities. You shouldn’t experience either of those with ConvertKit.
- Please for the love of all that is holy, use the live chat features available from your providers. BlueHost saved my bacon more than once. In fact, they answered WordPress questions for me. That isn’t even in their job description yet they didn’t hesitate. These people know what they are doing. If you don’t have live chat don’t be afraid to email and ask questions. No, you are not a dummy, Not asking and spending 10 hours trying to figure it out on your own while pulling out your hair, that’s dumb. (I may or may not have done this ;).
Social Competition. Blogging Burnout Guarantee
Those of you who read all my articles will start to hear a pattern here. But for those of you who don’t let me say this: You do NOT need to be on every social media channel to gain a good following. In fact, it’s counter-productive. Decide where your ideal audience might be hanging out the majority of their time and focus on two channels, three max.
- If you are a food blogger, Pinterest and Instagram are probably your best bet.
- Event promoter, more likely Facebook and SnapChat
- Financial Business consultant, probably better be on LinkedIn
See where I am going with this? Choose two and really put in some effort. If you try to be on 4-8 channels, trust me there are even more, this is going to run you ragged and diminish the quality of the conversations you are having.
HINT: Do not automate all of this. The majority of people do not like auto direct messages or DM”s for short. In fact, I usually unfollow someone if I get one right after a follow unless it is a thank you. I mean, who pitches their product to you in the first ten seconds you’ve established contact. Not good.
Then you also have the headache of managing all the automation tools. A few are worth it, many are not.
If you are only present on a couple of social channels you can actually connect with people and build relationships which are what will draw in readers and a true audience of fans.
Combat Writer’s Block
I have never met a great writer who has not experienced writer’s block. Trust me, it happens to the best of us. You can find dozens of articles online on tips and tricks to get through it but I have found that only a few things work for me. This is what I recommend but again, we’re all unique.
- Take a break. Not an hour, take a week. This is much easier to do if you have that backlog of posts I was referring to.
- Spend time outdoors. Go for a long walk, hike, or bike ride. Seriously. Fresh air stimulates creativity.
- Travel. Something about traveling just takes our mind off of things and opens it for new ideas. We relax from the stresses we leave behind.
- Go back to one of your favorite articles and re-read. This should stimulate a brain dump of possible related ideas.This is similar if you read your favorite book, magazine, or even watch your favorite show as long as it’s semi-related to your niche.
Sometimes we feel like we are in over our heads. We spend countless hours working our little fingers to the bone and tiring ourselves out staying up into the wee hours polishing off a great idea. Then, nothing. Zero views, Maybe a few trickle in over the next few days. It’s truly difficult to keep the blogger tears from streaming down our faces when this happens, especially if we wrote something we are so happy with. So what can you do?
- Enlist help. Blogging is not meant to be a lonely venture. Connect with other bloggers and ask them to share. Be willing to share their stuff too. The blogging community can be very supportive.
- Read this article about building a true community.
- Promote your posts on your two social accounts you chose. Not once, more like once a day on slower feeds, and a few times a day on something fast paced like Twitter.
- Pinterest seems to be a number one source of traffic for many bloggers. Create an attractive pin in Canva and attach your blog URL to it. You can learn more about that by clicking here. If you post not only to your own board but blogging group boards as well, you should get some views.
- Write “how-to, tutorial, or another problem-solving type post”. Posts that solve a problem for someone are often clicked. This will at least get them to your site where they are exposed to your other articles.
- Improve your SEO. Search Engine Optimization. Keywords. The words you use in your article titles, images, and body of your writing matter. If you struggle with this, find a video or mentor to help you. Tools like Yoast SEO and Buzz Sumo can really help.
Making Some Actual Money
This tends to be a huge sense of frustration for many bloggers. The burnout happens when the content has been flowing for some time, we’re posting away on our socials, and doing all the other things we think we are supposed to be doing but the dollars are just not falling off the tree like we hoped.
Now, this is my theory and you may or may not agree. You should be using a few methods at a time for making money on your blog. If, after 45 days you have not made some sort of progress, you should jump ship and try another. Making money blogging is trial and error. However, perhaps it isn’t the method that needs abandoning. It could be your execution of it. So find a blog mentor or ask around and find out if your method needs a little tweaking or just dumped.
Remember, what works for one, does not always work for another. And be honest with yourself. Have you been giving it the effort it deserves? One cannot just pump out content, throw up a few ads and expect to leave their day job in a few short months.
You can learn all about the pros and cons of different monetization methods by grabbing a free copy of my cheat sheet available here!
There are a lot of moving parts involved in this whole blogging thing. We haven’t even discussed the legal or business side of blogging which comes with its own headaches. But blogging is so worth it when you gain your location or boss free independence.
And once you learn how to put all your systems into place, this gets easier. I promise.
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