Raise your hand if you have tried several times to start a new blog, and then completely forget about it weeks, months, or maybe even years later. You’re definitely not alone. Blogging can be fun, but it can also at times be very tedious, time consuming, and possibly even boring. In addition to the occasional case of writer’s block, another hazard of the blogging profession (or hobby) is burn out. Burn out is different than writer’s block; you can think of plenty of things to write about, but you just don’t want to or don’t have the motivation to. You’ve been there, done that. You’ve blogged so much that you don’t know if you can blog anymore. Burn out can kill even a well-established blog, something you might regret later when you’re feeling inspired again, so how can you avoid it?
Write About What You Love & Know
My primary website covers a multitude of topics and I have a quota I try to reach everyday in terms of what topics to cover. I don’t always meet the goal, but I try to. There are some days when I cannot for the life of me do a post on the latest health news, but I could easily whip out an entertainment piece. This is one of the same concepts that I use to overcome the occassional bout of writer’s block. Instead of trying to force out the kind of writing that I know I’d struggle with, I allow myself to write about something else that interests me at the moment. It’s more productive than sitting there staring at a black screen, and you’ll at least get some content up.
Create a Stockpile of Blog Post Ideas
Just as there are days when you struggle to come up with something to blog about, there are also days when you have so many ideas that you can’t possibly cover them all. When these days come around, make sure you write down all your ideas, either down on paper or in a file saved on your computer. When you aren’t motivated or can’t think of something “good” to blog about, consult your list – you might find yourself inspired again.
Reconsider Your Blogging Frequency
Perhaps blogging daily is too much for you, and scaling your blogging frequency back a little bit might help. It doesn’t have to be permanently, but you might find that if some of the pressure to perform is removed, your interest in blogging may increase.
Read to Find Inspriration
Sometimes blog burn happens because you just don’t know what to write about anymore. Similarly to overcoming writer’s block, with blog burn out you can try reading to find inspriration. Read some new blogs on a topics that interest you, read the newspaper or some magazines. Read and enjoy it. You might find something that sparks something in you, compelling you to write. Or, you might just enjoy the break from blogging and find enjoyment in simply reading for a change. Sometimes you really just need to take a break (more on that below).
Take a Break
If you find yourself struggling to write, no longer feel inspired, or dread the task of updating your blog, it may be time to step back and take a break. As an online writer, I am pretty much on-call every day of the week. It can get tiring and old, and there are times when I think to myself “It would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about the website.” I get that feeling like I don’t know how I can possibly go on, writing day after day after day. But I’ve always found that a break from it can really help recharge my mental batteries, renewing my excitement and interest. Sometimes, it could just be allowing myself an afternoon to take in a couple movies at home, or if I’m particularly burnt out, I might need a weekend free of blogging responsibilities.
Once I’ve had my time away from writing, I feel more inspired. I have more things to say and to write about, and amazingly, it’s not so much of a struggle to produce. The same thing applies to other forms of work — if you feel you’ve been slacking off, just don’t care, or are no longer excited or interested in what you’re doing, sometimes a break is just what the doctor ordered.
Enlist the Help of a Guest Blogger
If your blog is a topical one, and not a personal one in which you talk about your daily life, getting a guest blogger to step in when you’re burned out is a good way to keep the content flowing on your blog while you take a break. Networking with other bloggers is a good way to find willing bloggers, and if you guest post yourself from time to time, you’ll find that others are willing to reciprocate.
Coming Back from a Burnout-Related Absence
If you’re struggling to blog and will be taking an absence from blogging for more than a few days, it might be a good idea to give your readers a heads up that you may not be posting for a bit. You don’t have to tell them that you’re burnt out, but the least you could do is say “I’ve got a few things to take care of and I’ll not be posting as much for the next week.” This helps to protect traffic to your site and your relationship with your readers. They know you’re out there and that you’ll be back at it soon. Simply abandoning your blog for a week or two might lead your readers to believe that you’ve quit for good, and they’ll start checking in to see if you’ve written anything new less frequently. If you’re gone too long without any notice, they’ll stop coming back for good. If you’ve done this and notice less traffic when you do start blogging again, you’ll need to stay consistent in your writing. People might start coming back around.
Have you struggled with blogging burnout? What did you do to overcome it? How many blogs have you abandoned, never to post on again? I’d love to hear your experiences with this. We can all learn a little something from others’ struggles.