Like any long-term relationship this blog and I had started to stagnate. I still loved blogging but wouldn’t say we were in love. So, we took a little unplanned break over the holidays in order that I might think things over. Since coming back to blogging this January, we’ve being going greats guns – I’m pumping out posts with more passion and fervour than ever before. (The relationship analogy will stop here, it’s gone a bit weird!)
I’ve fallen back in love with blogging and this is how we got our mojo back.
5 ways to beat blogger burn out
1. Go On A Break
An obvious but essential solution. If blogging is beginning to feel forced and not so much fun to you, I suggest you take a break. Just like a relationship, it’s hard to see what might be going wrong when you are busy being in it. By taking some time away I was able to remember what it was I loved about blogging, vow to eliminate what wasn’t working and was itching to get back into it after the time off.
Also note, a blog does not die if you stop feeding it fresh content for a few weeks. I know it’s good practise to stick to a blogging schedule and post regularly so that readers know when to expect your posts, but I am sure your readers would rather you take a break than pump out something sub par. (Am I right folks?)
Personally, I would rather wait until I had something useful or funny to say then publish something just because it’s Wednesday and the schedule says so.
2. Stop Overthinking It
There was a time when I wrote posts without a single second of pre-planning or thinking. I travelled, I experienced, I poured words onto the internet. Admittedly a lot of these posts are rather embarrassing and often littered with mistakes, but there is so much joy and honesty in them – I suspect this is what first attracted readers to my blog.
As your audience grows and you begin working with brands it’s hard not to overthink every post – wondering how readers will react and if you’re staying ‘on brand’. I’m at a stage where I feel I can’t avoid that, it would be reckless to write things without thinking of the consequences, but I’m trying to find more of a balance between being sensible (semi-professional) and writing whatever the hell comes to mind that day.
Adam from Travels With Adam recently made a similar promise to his readers with a mission he calls getting ‘back to blogging basics.’ He’s made a great start in this post entitled ‘The F*ck It I’m 30 Mantra!‘.
3. Forget The Stats
There was a time when I didn’t know what SEO meant and had never heard of Google Analytics, and yet still readers found me. In this stat-driven age, though, it’s hard to avoid them – no one wants to write into an abyss and if you monetize your site in any way, shape or form they are kinda essential.
But I do not want traffic and social shares to be my driving force, my raison d’être, the starting point of crafting posts. Sure, measuring stats can be a good marker of success but whatever happened to just blogging for pleasure? I’m going to be doing more of that in future.
4. Stop Comparing
I read a few different travel blogs because I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to and am often inspired by their travels or writing. (As The Bird Flies inspires me to write more, This Battered Suitcase makes me want to write well, and Vicky Flip Flop and The Travel Hack are my good friends and buddies, who I love to bounce ideas around with.)
But I’ll admit there are a few blogs I read (not naming names) just to see how big their blogs are getting, where they’re going to next and generally just to make myself feel sh*t.
More recently I had widened that net to include fashion and lifestyle blogs, so the list of ‘blogs that are better than mine’ got even longer and my self-esteem was the size of a pea. What kind of nonsense is this? I’ve now whittled my reading list down to the blogs I enjoy and the ones who inspire, and vow to stop this ridiculous and unnecessary comparison torture.
5. Be Honest
And finally, life, travel and blogging can sometimes be tough. The travel blogging lifestyle is a constant juggle between wanting to be on the road, needing time with loves ones, paying bills, chasing invoices, planning the next project and trying to stay sane.
At the same time it is a wonderful privilege to be able to do this for a living and its a lifestyle I wholeheartedly chose and chased. So writing about the tougher times becomes a little awkward. Disclose in the name of full honesty and risk seeming ungrateful? Or don’t disclose and perpetuate a lie about how awesome and easy it is to do this for a living? It’s a constant dilemma.
Ultimately if you are struggling to blog because you are unhappy or burned out, you have two choices – don’t write (see first point) or just tell the truth. (Unless your blogging burn out is due to something personal in which case we all have a right to a private life.)
When I confessed to feeling tired and uncertain at the start of this year, you kind and supportive readers were there to pick me up and many of you responded to say you feel the same way too. (I’m not alone – yay!)
Of course, once you’re back from your blogging burn out you could write a positive post about how you dealt with it. See above for example 🙂
Have you fallen out of love with blogging? How did you bring back that lovin’ feeling?
Read more about life as a travel blogger
Photo thanks to Jess Watters on Unsplash