Easy answer: DON’T! I say this with as much love and kindness that I can, but I stand 100% behind my position. As bloggers, whether we do it for our business, for fun, or personally its easy to get burnt out. We go through periods, or rather seasons where we are uninspired and just plain tired and unmotivated. Many don’t understand the time, attention, and sheer amount of work that it takes to blog, especially doing so consistently. Its even harder for those of us who blogger on very niche specific topics, because coming up with unique, useful, and engaging content can get hard at times.
Yes, while its true that the more you blog, the easier it becomes to come up with content, us consistent bloggers are no exception to being tired or having life get in the way of our content schedules. So when life does this to us, or our bodies or minds are simply worn out, we have to give ourselves some grace and rest. This is why I strongly believe that you shouldn’t blog when you don’t feel like it, but there are plenty of other productive things you can still do in the meantime. Today, I’ll be sharing my suggestions with you on them, in hopes that they take some of pressure off and motivate you to put out the best content possible, when you’re at your best!
For me as a wife and mom, whose husband works unconventional hours, my time is extremely limited for blogging, much less running a business full-time. My son is my first priority and at 19m he’s quite the little energy ball. Let’s not even count in teething, tantrums, doctor’s appointments, etc. when it comes to his needs. I still have to maintain a household, cook dinner, go grocery shopping, get laundry done, and oh yeah…take care of myself. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all and although its a reality I fail to accept on the regular, the universe remind me all too often. Recently, I’ve had a busier schedule than normal, with my mind, body, and soul all being taxed at the same time. May was quite the month for me and my family, and we are just now coming out the other side. Fortunately, I was still able to keep up with my blogging consistently, but it wasn’t easy. It took a lot of preparation, a few nights burning the midnight oil, and me just doing the work. The one thing I didn’t do was force myself to write a post if I wasn’t truly motivated to do so. If I felt the inspiration wasn’t there, I had to forgo it that day, even if I didn’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, I totally felt super guilty for leaving my readers hanging on those rare days, but it was for the best.
Don’t Break The Rules
One of the cardinal rules in blogging, or putting any content out there is to not do it just to do it. I refused to publish a post just to have something up, and I know you’ve heard me mention this plenty of times before. I’m passionate about not doing it, because 1) I see it all too often 2) readers can tell when you’re just posting for the heck of it. I’d be letting my readers down more for throwing up a post I’m not completely behind than to wait and do a post that I can dedicate the right amount of energy and effort to. I have a post coming up very soon all about consistent blogging, and it will touch even more on how readers perceive content that appears to be thrown up without any real heart or effort behind it.
You Make Your Own Consistency
All you ever hear in the blogging world is to blog consistently, but what is consistent blogging? Well for one, its different for each blogger. You actually determine how “consistent” you blog and relay that to your readers. For some bloggers, consistent posting means several times a week, once a week, or even as little as once a month. If they’ve established this schedule with their readership, then that’s what their readership has come to expect, and therefore its consistent. Just because someone isn’t blogging daily or even several times a week doesn’t mean they are inconsistent. For that matter, if someone does blog daily and they miss a day, that doesn’t break their consistency whatsoever. Sure their readers will miss them for that day, but their readers have confidence that they will be back, because that schedule has been established. Doing the work upfront to establish a schedule will make it that much easier to blog consistently, because again, you can allow yourself some grace in doing so.
Allowing Yourself Grace
Allowing yourself grace during the times when you can’t get a post up will actually allow you to focus on still doing productive and interactive activities that support for blog or online presence. So when you don’t feel like blogging, here are some other things you can be doing for your blog:
- Promoting on social media
- Cleaning up/Upgrading your site
- Working on SEO for your posts
- Creating content upgrades
- Creating graphics for your posts
- Brainstorming post ideas
- Creating a content calendar and organizing future posts
- Reading and commenting on other blogs
- Working on your newsletter
- Thinking of classes, courses, and other useful ways you can help your readers
- Researching content
- Deleting old and no longer needed files on your computer (because you want to make sure the tool you blog on is in good condition)
- Going over your blog’s income and expenses (if you monetize)
- Studying your analytics to give you better insight into the type of content that’s most popular (this can give you insight on the type of content that readers are really enjoying)
- Coming up with a reader survey (helps you get a better idea of what readers want from you)
- Educating yourself on your niche, via classes, courses, podcasts, webinars, etc.
- Pitching guest post ideas
- Participating in a mastermind or like group
- Creating new products (if you blog for your business and sell things)
- and lastly….Getting some R & R, closing the computer, connecting with your family and friends, and stepping away for a bit.
Vacation Is The Best Motivation
Sometimes the best motivation for working is a vacation. It gives us time to get refreshed, clear our minds, and open ourselves up to new thoughts that wouldn’t otherwise come with a cluttered mind. It never fails that for me, anytime I start getting a crowded, or for that matter ridiculously blank mind in terms of blogging, that stepping way is the magic solution. I know, its plain common sense, but even I don’t remember to do it on my own many times. I’m typically forced into it by not being able to focus or being uninspired to write. These are the times when I look at my 120+ drafts and don’t know where to start and I get instantly overwhelmed. The steaming, high-speed locomotive of a blogging machine that I usually am, comes to a screeching halt during times like this, and that’s when I know its times for a break.
In taking a break, I’m still doing at least one of the twenty aforementioned things, so that I don’t completely loose momentum. Basically, I go from a 10 down to a 6 or 7, just enough to allow me to regroup and take some pressure off. I don’t put out my best work when I’m overwhelmed and feel a lot of pressure, and I’m sure the same can be said for many of you. Focusing on some of the small things can really make this time count and set you up for blogging success in the future. I can stress enough how important it is to listen to yourself and take a refresher when your body and mind tell you to. Trying to push through it can come at a steep price, in that you may find yourself putting out content that looking back on you may not be happy with. You can bet that if you’re not completely happy with it, that your readership isn’t either. When you put out content that you’re proud of and know that you put max effort into, your readers will too. They will respect and appreciate you more for it and support you as well. You can’t ask for much more than that from your community! If you put out good, you will get good back and vice versa.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, having a mental, creative, or writer’s block when it comes to blogging, you easily refer back to my list of 20 other things you could be doing. It will help you get out of your funk and still use your time wisely, knowing that you’re still being productive and doing the work. I’ve made a downloadable version of this list for you, so that you can save it to your system, print it out, or share it with a fellow blogger friend.
What are some of the things you do when you’re feeling burnt out on blogging? – Do you ever feel guilty for not posting or taking a break?