Blogger burnout. Sounds scary, right? Well, to be honest it is. For the new bloggers reading this you might not have had this experience yet. You might even think ‘this will never happen to me. I love my blog.’ Good, but give it time. There will be a moment, a month, a week, an hour that you think about throwing in the towel, giving up, walking away and not coming back to it. It’s blogger burnout and it happens to the best of us.
The worst part is that it is usually unpredictable and to your readers it may appear sudden, maybe even a little rash. Your blog might go dormant for a week, a month, or maybe you close it down all together. Either way the ultimate reasoning is usually the same – you don’t take pleasure in blogging the way you used to. It has become a burden and a chore, not a pride and fun hobby.
Since this is an inevitable byproduct of blogging and life it’s best to face this possibility head on. What will you do when your blog begins to weigh on you? How will you handle the anxiety you feel to post more, write better, and interact more? This week’s Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday questions are all about blogger burnout. What it feels like, how to cope and when to step away.
(Sidenote: this topic was partly in response to a friend who decided this week to stop blogging, taking us all by surprise. We’ll miss her posts, but at least she’ll still be reading ours.)
1. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging? Whoa. I have no idea how many hours I spend since they are sporadic and never in one solid chunk of time. I’ll be at work, sitting on hold with some customer service rep and blogging or reading other’s posts. If I has to estimate I would say about 15 to 20 hours a week – between taking pictures, editing them, writing posts, editing interviews, coordinating FBFF and reading other blogs.
And yes, the amount of time spent on this has increased dramatically since I started the blog. It’s increased dramatically especially this year when I decided to get really serious about ModlyChic and fashion blogging.
2. There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on… how do you limit your time spent on these tasks? When I’m scrolling through my google reader and clicking through to my favorite posts to leave a comment I try to set a time limit. Saying ok it’s 12:15 I eat lunch at 12:30 so I have 15 mintues and then I need to get up and walk away. And then what I try to do is set aside one afternoon a week to work on pre-posting the non-outfit-of-the-day posts. This helps me have peace of mind during the week and gives me a set time in which to get things done – like any other freelance deadline.
3. Have you experienced Blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that? Yup! I went through it for the first time back in October. For about a week I thought about not blogging anymore. I posted about my lethargy and my ideas to overcome it. (see my post here)
But one of the things I decided to do contrary to my list of ‘I shall overcomes’ was to not stress the daily posts for awhile until I got out of the funk. It was revitalizing in a way I never thought it would be. Before too long I was back to blogging as usual and feeling the drive again. If it happens again I will be stepping back a little instead of pushing through with half-hearted posts.
Another great way to step back but still get new content up on your blog is to work with guest bloggers. They can fill the void while you recoup your senses.
4. This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result? I don’t stress the daily blog posting and the daily outfit pics as much anymore. And I certainly won’t be stressing that as the holidays draw nearer. I also plan to do a lot more pre-posting and product reviews. Things that have been pending for a couple weeks and can go live at any time without losing some of their appeal.
I’m toying around with a guest blogger series in the second half of December… but am not sure how that would pan out so I’m still on the fence about that one.
5. Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore? How would you identify that it’s time to walk away? It’s time to walk away when blogging because more of a burden than a pleasure. I blog because I like fashion and I love to write. I used to write little stories and novels for family and friends that I did nothing with other than save them in the drafts portion of my email and in a file on my desktop. This fills that desire. But it wouldn’t be worth it if the stress and struggles were more dominant than the joy blogging brings.