It was all so exciting in the beginning, wasn’t it? A passion in your heart, a shiny new blog with endless possibilities, a long list of post ideas and oh so many things to learn.
And so you dug in and immersed yourself in the world of blogging. First PicMonkey, then Canva. MailChimp then MailerLite then ConvertKit and back to MailerLite. Buffer, HootSuite, CoSchedule. Facebook groups. Tailwind tribes. Instagram pods. And ALL.THE.COURSES!
Things were going great. Traffic was increasing, A community was being built around your words. Maybe even a little income so the blog was paying for itself.
But those things came at a cost. Late nights after the kids were in bed. Making a quick graphic while dinner simmered on the stove. Banging out a few words on your lunch hour because you had a guest post deadline to meet.
And suddenly, something born out of a God-dream has become a nightmare … consuming every spare minute and constantly dividing your thoughts. It’s no fun any more, and you just can’t make yourself open the laptop one more time.
Welcome to Blogger Burnout. (#BeenThereDoneThat)
Almost every blogger I know has experienced it at one time or another. So if you are there today, congratulations! You’ve just hit another milestone in your blogging journey. It may not feel like a reason to celebrate. You may feel like a failure. But as Thomas Edison famously said,
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
And believe me, in the midst of blogger burnout, it feels like you’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
If you are burned out on being burned out, look at these five ways you may have gotten into this situation and a super-helpful resource I’ve found to help you can get over it.
In the excitement of doing a new thing (see what I did there??), it’s easy to let it consume us. It does take a lot of hard work and effort to get something off the ground, and there is a period where we have to put in some extra time and effort. When that period becomes a lifestyle, our boundaries become broken. First, it may be just a little leak somewhere. But soon, the gate swings open and the blog has flooded every area of our lives.
Boundaries are important. They help us focus, and keep us from wandering too far from home. When they are broken, our minds and bodies are trying to do too many things at once and we get overloaded.
To repair your boundaries, create some time blocks for different areas. Pre-decide the acceptable time to work on your blog and stick to it.
Following step-by-step programs helps me keep my boundaries by preventing the shiny object syndrome. I loved working through the 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch course from Crystal Paine’s Your Blogging University, even well after I had launched my blog, because it helped me focus on the most important steps. When I am looking for a jump-start, I can avoid a lot of “what-if” mind-wandering about things that aren’t important.
Keeping boundaries intact might mean saying no to some things, and being ok with limitations that come with discipline. But that’s ok. Your brain will thank you.
Most of the work of blogging is done alone behind a computer screen. That feeling of isolation can be suffocating, especially if you are an extrovert.
On the flip side, one way to grow as a blogger is participating in Facebook groups and masterminds. For the introvert, all of that social activity can be exhausting and it is more comfortable to pull back from it.
God created us for community, and encourages us to love and support one another.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
To keep isolation from creeping up on you, find one or two groups that you can interact with and commit to making at least one comment in each group every day. The Your Blogging University Student Facebook group is full of people who know what you are going through, can offer encouragement on the tough days and celebrate the little victories with you will give you a sense of community and belonging. And it comes as part of any YBU course!
One of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is Sharpening the Saw … self-care, self-renewal and self-improvement. Steven Covey teaches that self-improvement is a never-ending upward spiral of Learn – Commit – Do. If we don’t take time for self-improvement, it looks more like Learn – Commit – Do – Do – Do – Do – Do. We DO the same things over and over again because we don’t know how to do anything different. Our saw becomes dull from the doing.
If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and our dull saws become less and less effective as the days wear on. Many of the best influencers in the blogging world have free courses that will get you going, but to bust out of burn out, investing in a course or coaching may be just the thing to get you re-motivated and engaged. 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch can give you some new ideas to “re-launch” when you’ve been inactive for a while. Learning from one of the most successful bloggers whose teaching is consistent with our faith and values is an important step.
Why does it always look so easy for someone else? Well, guess what? Here’s a little tough love for ya.
It’s not easy for them, either.
If someone is achieving more success than you, it is probably because she is working a little harder, spending a little (or a lot) more time than you can, growing her network a little stronger. Is it fair? Maybe not. But is is reality? Yes. Instead of looking at what someone else is achieving and wishing you had what she has, spend your time studying what she is doing. What can you learn from her? I learn so much from Crystal in her courses. She shares transparently about the ups and downs of growing something meaningful and it’s obvious that she has put in the hard work!
Getting over the comparison trap also means accepting your own limitations and being satisfied with your results. When I am working fifty hours a week at my job, I’ll never be as successful with my online business as someone who is working their business full time. That just makes sense, so I have to wrap my brain around it. I do the best I can in the time I have available and trust God to use it where He will.
Running on Empty
Which brings us to the #1 reason for blogger burnout … not keeping our spiritual tank full. And even being full is not enough. What we share in our writing should be from the overflow of what God is teaching us, what He is inspiring in us, and what He is leading us to do.
If blogging has so overtaken your life that it has limited (or eliminated) your time with God, then, sister, it’s time to stop right now. Because God is not going to bless anything that comes between you and Him. This might seem obvious to you, I have learned (am learning) this through painful experience.
God wants to be all in this blogging and online ministry thing with you. When you stick close to Him, you’ll avoid all the other causes of blogger burnout. His Holy Spirit will give you a little jab when things start leaking though your boundaries. He’ll be your companion in the lonely days and nights. He’ll teach you new things and lead you to new methods that keep your saw sharp and vibrant. He’ll remind you every day that your worth in His eyes is beyond compare.
Don’t waste another minute being burned out. Fill your tank and get fired up again.
How have you experienced blogger burn out and what have you done to get over it? I’d love for you to share in the comments!