Blogging and being a blogger takes time. If you’re a regular blogger, there may come a time when you might feel burnt out from blogging.
Blogging burnout often means feeling tired of blogging. It could mean feeling uninspired to blog or drained from engaging with the blogging community. Maybe blogging less and less.
This month marks six years since I put up my first post on this blog. Blogging burnout is something I admittedly feel. The longer I blog about all things multiculturalism and culture here, the more I feel it. There are days where I don’t want to blog, let alone write anything.
To be really honest, there are many days where sitting down and writing a blog post feels like a chore. Not to mention days where I’ve seriously thought about calling it a day on this blog.
Many everyday bloggers like you and me might feel blogger burnout because we get tired from monotonously churning out repetitive content. Or find it hard to keep up with fellow bloggers and reading every post they publish. Or don’t see the point of blogging anymore. The list goes on.
If you recognise blogging burnout and are determined to get back on track with blogging, blogging burnout can be a phase. Or it could be at the very least a phase until we next feel stuck on blogging.
How To Avoid Blogging Burnout
1. Ask yourself why you started blogging
As a blogger, you started blogging for a reason or a number of reasons. Over time the more you blog, the more you may adventurously explore different themes on your blog and perhaps lose sight of what motivated you to blog in the first place. Perhaps the more you blog, life behind-the-blogging-scenes goes on and our priorities on both the life and blog front change.
So brainstorm, ask yourself: why did you start a blog in the first place? What do you blog now? Knowing the reasons behind your blog can make you feel a sense of purpose behind it.
Every now and then I look at my ‘Why I Blog’ page, reminding myself of the reasons for keeping up this blog. Compared to 2012 when I first started, I still blog today because I love writing and this is a space where I can freely share my thoughts on culture and a space where others can share theirs too. The reasons on why I blog are simple but reasons that help me see the bigger picture of being a blogger.
I also initially started the blog to improve on my academic writing. Over the years I’ve published my academic-driven essays on the blog and in academic journals – achievements unlocked. But over the years I felt more comfortable writing in more colloquial language and it’s become the writing style on this blog these days. As the outlook of your blog changes, you could revamp your blog’s voice, theme or categorise posts differently to give it a new look and feel that resonates with where you’re at in life.
2. Get organised
When you make time for your blog, you choose to make it a part of your life. Make time for blogging, chances are you’ll feel less overwhelmed, unsure and intimidated with it. There’s a lot involved with blogging, such as putting together posts, visiting and commenting on other blogs and sharing your posts and other blogs across social media. So setting a blogging routine or schedule can help you juggle all (or some) of this and blog regularly – and once again give you a sense of purpose behind it.
At one point, I spent three to four hours at night responding to comments and checking out blogs – and that was after a full day of work. I honestly enjoy long blogging nights but then each night I would go to bed with bloodshot-Chucky-looking eyes.
Time limits help me manage blogging: one hour a day commenting and reading blogs, three to four hours a week researching a topic I’m going to blog about, a few nights one week drafting a post, a day to collate and post-process blog photos and one night once a month sharing fellow blogger’s post on social media. In between blogging, I get to live life and of course, get cozy sleep.
3. Blog less
Sometimes taking a break from blogging is what you need to feel inspired at it again. We all need to live and experience life in order to tell stories. A sabbatical of a month or even just a week could be what you need to recharge and come up with blog ideas again – and it’s not like the internet, your blog and the millions of other blogs will disappear overnight. Unless there’s a zombie apocalypse headed your way, you can always jump back into blogging when you feel ready to return.
Six years ago I blogged once a week. Then realising I wanted more time to research my posts, it was a post per fortnight. Then once every three weeks. Now once a month. And as much as I want to read every blog post of every blogger I follow, I’ve stopped doing that so as to manage my time. When I write my posts and comment on each blog, quality over quantity is what’s on my mind, more honest engagements because everyone deserves some attention.
In addition, having guests post on your blog is one way to blog less. It’s a good way to outsource and delegate blog content, while showcasing the work of other dedicated artists.
4. Content variety
If you find yourself tired of blogging about what you blog, perhaps challenge yourself by blogging about what you’ve never blogged about before. Or you could revisit older posts and blog about these posts from a different perspective. Blogging about unfamiliar topics is way to stretch your blog content while making blogging feel less mundane.
Tailoring your content to a specific audience could also make you more driven as a blogger. Blogging for an (changing) audience, there’s a need to persistently think outside of the box to learn what makes them tick and engage with your posts – could be as hard as cracking the code to a dead-shut safety deposit box holding one million dollars in cold hard cash.
The same can be said if we want to blog for SEO and increase our blog traffic: learn to blog with essential keywords, snappy post titles, paragraphed text and more.
Moving forward, I’m toying with the idea of switching up my blogging approach by blogging less anecdotally and more analytically over the next year. While it has been fun writing about parts of my life on here, writing about non-fiction is what I prefer writing about.
5. Tell yourself blogging is not a competition
It’s easy to compare your blog with other blogs and bloggers. You can compare blog views, Likes and comments and why some blogs and certain blog topics seem more popular than others. When you compare, you might question your place in the blogging community, question if it’s worth blogging and even doubt your reasons for blogging.
Unless you are aiming to be a social media influencer or make a living off your blog, there’s no need to compete and outdo other blogs. There’s only so much satisfaction that comes from triumphing in the popularity stakes for a night, for a moment.
Admittedly up until a couple of years ago I kept an eye on my blog views. After all, blog views means blog reach, and reach means chances are your blog and work is connecting with others. But at the end of the day, blog views don’t necessarily translate to blog engagement and thoughtful comments. When my post Understanding the Asian-Girl Relationship went viral, a few hundred voices chimed in in the comments section. But when the post How I Came To See ‘Whiteness’ As Just Ordinarily Beautiful went viral, not as many chimed in.
In general, blogs that have a quite a reach are usually more personable and relatable. For instance, commercial blogs Lifehacker, Gizmodo and Mashable feature posts predominantly about everyday technology, style, dining, relationships and tips to get through life, and are read by millions each month. On the more modest end of blogging spectrum, authors such as Jeff Goins and Stephanie Klein made their mark as authors through hardwork in blogging and blogging about their everyday lives – sharing personal challenges, conversations with friends and parenting ups and downs.
As an introvert, sharing my personal life online isn’t something I’m comfortable with and I do draw a firm line between what I share and don’t share on my blog. Unlike many high-profile social media influencers, shunning the trends of showing my face, talking about where I work, talking about my personal relationships and broadcasting where I’m going each day is something I am not ashamed of.
When you blog about what you’re comfortable with and what you believe in, that’s blogging aligning with your values – honest blogging, and honesty goes a long way when making a connection.
6. Talk to others who don’t blog
Others who don’t blog can have a different and refreshing view on blogging. For one, they can offer you a different or even brutally honest perspective on your blog, giving you a reality check about your feelings towards blogging. As blogging is generally seen as a casual hobby, those around you could try to convince you to give it up.
Very few of my friends and family in real life are bloggers, and very few read my blog. The latter doesn’t discourage me as I’ve never felt the need to show off my blog or my writing. Those of my friends who read my blog think it’s cool and are amused at how much time I put into it. Whenever I lament how I’m so done with blogging, they reiterate my blog – in their words – is ‘cool and famous’ and I’m a quirky bean 🙂
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Even after trying all these ways to feel more motivated about blogging, I still found myself in a blogging rut this year. Maybe sometimes when you don’t feel like doing something, you just don’t anymore. It’s like falling out of love with something or growing apart from friends as you all grow up. That said, I do feel my writing (and blogging content) is the strongest it has ever been; the more I still blog, the more I am still writing and getting better at it. Moreover, at the end of the day I really do express myself best with words.
Experiencing blogging burnout, you might feel a failure at being a blogger. But there are no boundaries to blogging, and we’re all free to come and go blogging. Notably, some have argued the average lifespan of a blog within the world of social media is two years (bloggers might stop blogging after one or two years). As blogs are taking on different formats, a study titled Lifetime Value of a Blog Post found by day 700 since being published, a blog post would have receives 99% of its impressions (times change, information becomes out of date and/or losses its appeal).
It’s then worth asking is blogging still relevant these days? Should you stop blogging when you don’t feel like blogging? Often blog credibility and reliability as information sources are questioned given many opinions on blogs are subjective and aren’t always fact-checked – so if you continue blogging, will you be taken seriously? Ultimately whether you continue blogging likely depends on what you want to achieve with your blog and if you can sustain your blogging motivation against these odds.
Sometimes doing something you don’t want to do is a means to an end. For me, blogging is a means to an end on the passion side: it’s a nice little writing portfolio proving I can write. It keeps me writing and keeps alive my determination of putting my own book out there. It’s a collection of lovely different people from around the world voicing their thoughts, learning from each other.
On a side note, while half of my blog is dedicated to writing about what goes on in Australia, most of my readers come from the States with a handful from Australia. This is not surprising as social analytics platform Sysmos found (through online aggregation) 29.2% of bloggers are located in the States while 2.22% in Australia. The blogging atmosphere in Australia is seemingly on the small and reserved side. Not that maintaining a high viewership in Australia is aim of my blog. Not that I expect anyone to read my blog. Bloggers and readers come and go, just like how people come and go in our lives and the ones who stick around are the special ones. But it’s an interesting statistic to note.
Where to from here with my blog is interesting. Freelance work has been trickling in. Writing my first book (and another) is well underway. There’s people to look out for. Chores to do. Dishes I want to make in the kitchen. Other hobbies I want to pursue like finding the keys to Kashyyyk. So where to indeed with this blog, we will see.
How do you avoid blogger burnout?