I began this blog 4 months ago as an experiment. I knew I possessed an ability to write, I could clearly and creatively express my thoughts and ideas, and that I tended to have unique opinions on a variety of topics.
At the time I started the blog, I was not a regular reader of many, if any, blogs. In these short few months I have gone through highs – people actually reacting to my content; content being spread virally; getting to know fellow “Newbie Bloggers”; gaining small following (albeit impressive to me personally).
My expectations began to change. I felt pressure to deliver more content, better content. I felt if I didn’t at least meet or surpass the quality of writing I had already published, people would be disappointed.
Then life started to become a HUGE distraction from my writing. How unfair! All bloggers know that capturing our life events through our words is more rewarding than experiencing life itself. Right?? (Touch of sarcasm here)
So here is my list of the 10 Top Causes of Blogger Burnout (in no particular order):
- Lack of Focus – In my case, I have a broad range interests, and I could right at length on any of them – spirituality, recovery, job hunting, nursing…the list could go on and on. The issue is that without narrowing my focus to a “niche” (as its called in the blogging world), I became overwhelmed with ideas.
- Overgrown Expectations – There are “Professional” bloggers out there, but for the vast majority of us, it is only a hobby! Sure I want to grow my audience, and I get fulfillment when someone enjoys reading my content…but I haven’t written in 10 years! Who am I to think I can enter the ranks of the professionals in just a few months??
- Misuse of Free-Time – This goes along with #4; but every person is wired slightly different. Some of us are at our best in the evening hours, others are at the best shortly after the sun rises. I tend to be a morning person, and when I misuse these hours, it is hard for me to find both the motivation and the inspiration to write.
- Poor Time Management – Writing takes time. Sure, there are times when you are just so inspired that you can pump out a 2,000 word post in under 30 minutes…but what about editing? And finding images? And this is just the WRITING. There is research; reading other blogs; marketing; blog design and upkeep. You have to schedule this time, or when life hits you – this falls completely off the list of priorities.
- Losing Ideas – Inspiration can hit at anytime! I tend to have some of my most brilliant moments while driving the car or when in the shower. Great timing, right? The problem isn’t with the ideas…it is with not keeping track of the ideas. An easy solution is to keep a small notepad in your car, beside your bed, in your bathroom. You can even use the “Notepad” feature on your cell phone. Its just important to capture the ideas when they strike.
- Poor Planning – Unless you are experienced, and have a very clear vision you want to take a new blog, it is going to evolve over time. Is this going to remain a “public journal”; are you aiming to educate and inform your readers; are you trying to persuade people to your way of thinking? As the blog takes a focus, it may become necessary to overhaul the design and layout. A poorly designed template can frustrate you even more than the readers.
- Trying to Keep Everyone Happy – Bloggers are a friendly bunch of people. As you continue to write, undoubtedly many, many people will proceed to connect with you. Your network can grow so large that it is hard to maintain intimate contact with everyone like it was when you first started.
- Not Maintaining Emotional Balance – When emotions that are hard to deal with inevitably enter your life (grief, anger, jealousy, etc.), they tend to sap creativity. Not only do they reduce your creative spirit, but they also take a large bite out of motivation too. Writing is a therapeutic practice, but unless you use it as one, you wouldn’t know. Inspiration and those negative emotions come from the same place. Tap into it, and you may not only provide yourself emotional freedom, but you may be able to produce some of your most “real” posts.
- Not Maintaining Balance in Life – This is a piggyback on #8; We all have a Physical Life, Mental Life, Emotional Life, and Spiritual Life. To ignore any area will affect all the others, so we must take the time to feed all these separate areas of our life. What have you been ignoring lately? Have you not been getting enough sleep, and haven’t been to the gym in 3 months? Have you not taken quiet time to connect with your soul and with God in a few weeks?
- Blogging Becomes More Work than Play – I would probably say this is the #1 reason for burnout. Think back to the first few weeks of blogging, how freeing it felt to write. Think back to the first feelings of success or appreciation. Then the ego entered, you gained a little pride, grew a few expectations, and the ‘grown up’ in you told you how things should be done. You quit listening to the ‘kid’ inside, who thought the whole process was so much fun. Look back at the good times, and reconnect with that “kid’ inside.
Hope this list helps you avoid the dreaded “Blogger Burnout” that I’ve been struggling with recently. Now, if I can only take my own advice, maybe I can turn this thing around once and for all!