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How To Blog Without Burning Out

February 13, 2017
(image via wikimedia)

(image via wikimedia)

If you’re writing a blog, it’s easy to find basic tips all over the internet.  Leave comments on other blogs.  Promote yourself with other kinds of social media.  Use key words that show up on search engines.  Become a credible source in a specific niche.  Those tips can be useful, but some of them are time-consuming and can take the fun out of blogging.

I’ve been blogging for a little over 5 years, and I’ve noticed that a lot of writers who had blogs 5 years ago have either slowed down or no longer blog at all.  I think some of them burned out because they were trying too hard to follow the usual guidelines, and doing all of that isn’t very fun.  Self-promotion is time-consuming when you just want to write.

In my five years of blogging, I’ve accumulated lots of writing.  I’m embarrassed by some of it, but that’s part of the process.   I’m not famous, and I haven’t made much money, but it’s fun, and that’s why I keep blogging.

I have a few disadvantages as a blogger.  I haven’t told anybody I know about my blog, so I can’t get readers that way.  When I put out an e-book, I can’t get friends/family to buy it (except Mom sometimes).  I have a full-time job and a family, so the blog is a low priority.

My writing goal is 15 minutes each weeknight, and two hours a day on weekends, but none of that is always possible.  Even though I can’t follow all my tips all the time, here are my basic rules to blogging without burning out:

* Be ready to be ignored.

Being ignored isn’t fun, but it’s easier when you’re emotionally prepared for it.  It’s tough to write something and then realize a week later nobody has read it.  During my first year of blogging, hardly anybody read what I wrote.

I even wrote a blog post that was completely unread for three years.  The only reason anybody eventually read it was because I wrote about it, mocking the blog post that nobody reads.  Then several people found it.  Somebody even “pity liked” it.  I’ll take a “pity like,” but I don’t like it.

* Don’t stress yourself.

It’s true that new content is important, but it’s just a blog.  If you don’t post something that particular day/week/month, nobody really cares.  I don’t think anybody who reads this blog notices when I take a vacation.  It’s just a blog.

*Write about a variety of stuff.

Most blogging advice suggests that you stick to a niche, but that bored me when I tried it.  Once I branched out into anything I wanted, I began writing more.  Sometimes I write about books and writing.  Sometimes I write about pop culture.  Sometimes I write about my family.  I even wrote a 60 episode blog serial about an ex-girlfriend called “The Literary Girlfriend.” And then I wrote an ebook sequel.

Writing a variety of stuff stimulates my brain and keeps my creativity going, and I rarely get in a rut.  If anything, I usually have too much to write about and can’t find the time to get to it.

*  Write short posts.

Some bloggers start off by writing stuff that’s thousands of words long.  Then they get frustrated when nobody reads it.  If there’s the possibility of being ignored, you’d rather rather be ignored at 600 words than 3500.

Plus, readers appreciate shorter posts.  If you have a topic that requires thousands of words, split it up into several posts and link them.  You increase the chances of being read, and when people enjoy your thoughts, they can read your other blog posts.

*Ignore social media when you’re writing.

Since I’m a blogger, I try to stick to blogging.  The other stuff (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) is okay, but they can end up wasting a lot of time.  If I had more time, maybe I’d spend more of it on Twitter or Instagram.  If I didn’t need to be kind of anonymous (or if I was more attractive and had a better voice), I’d try a YouTube channel.  But doing too much other stuff can drain your writing energy, and if you’re a blogger, then writing is probably your thing.

When I use other forms of social media, I give myself a time limit (usually five minutes).  Anything more is a time waste.

*****

Following these tips probably won’t make you wealthy from blogging, and you might not get a huge number of followers.  But if you just want to blog and see what happens, these tips may help you to enjoy your blogging experience for a long time, and that might help you keep blogging for a long time.

*****

What do you think?  What tips do you have to make blogging an enjoyable experience?

22 Comments
  1. My five years come up this July. I agree about the stress part. The worst part for me was getting the Freshly Pressed award my second year. For a while, writing for a second award, was my only goal. Making money from blogging has never figured into my plans. Interacting with other bloggers, I find the most fun.

  2. All good points, especially the one about just squeezing in 15 minutes of writing on work days. People don’t like to read long posts anyway, so it’s a good thing I don’t like to write them.

  3. Yup, this is basically my philosophy as well. I like to keep it low key.

  4. I try to just be myself, talk about what interests me, let the blog grow organically in both content and followers.

  5. As someone who’s been writing a blog for 6+ years now, my advice is to remember that there almost always easier ways to make money than blogging, so just do this for fun. And setting a goal to get rich from blogging is 99% of the time a road to disappointment, which is rarely fun.
    Of course, if the very process of trying to make money from blogging is already fun, then by all means, go for it.

  6. I’ve just started blogging. Thank you for this post, it was just what I needed to read! Fingers crossed I’ll still be here in five years’ time…

  7. Terrific post, so true. Thank you for your advice, it’s come at the right time for me. Very insightful. S

  8. Thank you. This is very reassuring. I post all sorts of stuff – short stories, poems, memories, humour, odd philosophy, stuff about writing, stuff about books – but have always felt guilty for ‘breaking the rules’. Also, I ran out of steam a bit recently and at the moment am just chugging along, posting a couple of times a week. I think you’re right, people don’t desert you if you take a bit of a break. : )

  9. Thanks for this article, I just started blogging five days ago. This article is helping me prepare for blogging. I always loved to write and I hope to keep blogging.

  10. Thanks for this post. I’m new to blogging and haven’t been too worried about how many followers I have. Recently, however, I have been hoping to reach a wider audience, feeling that what I have to say is important (I write about mental and chronic illnesses). Thanks for the tips 🙂

  11. Hello,

    this is really great post.
    What do you think,should we promote blog how?Did you promote your blog for this years of blogging ?
    Thank you

  12. I couldn’t agree more. As a fresher at blogging I could relate to your post very well.

  13. Thank you for your tips in this article. I am very new to writing a blog and your insights are encouraging.

  14. I just started my blog today, and the first thing I did was search for “how to start a blog” and after reading barely 2 articles, all I was wondering was “it’s a blog, it’s my blog, why should I only write about one specific thing?” As someone who writes because of a want and not a need, this was really helpful and motivating. Thanks.

    • yuzha permalink

      Ha, I read so many how to articles…such a waste of time right. It’s all about what we want to portray. The only way to be different is to just do it the way you think you should, and if it doesn’t work then change it. It’s all a process.

  15. Very interesting points! When it comes to social media, I think stuff like e.g. a facebook page for your blog is a good opportunity for gaining some wider audience and feedback, although it all depends on one’s individual goals ; ) As a “fresh blogger” I have to admit that writing short posts is more difficult than I expected!

  16. Very helpful tips, being ready to be ignored rang very close to home. I’ve been blogging now for a few years and was ignored for most of it, although it was my own fault, I wrote what I wanted not what my audience wanted.

  17. It’s been almost a year since I started my blog. I started having no idea how to blog but I thought of it as something for me rather than for the readers. I see my blog more as a thing for me, to document my travels and if on the way someone is interested in reading it they are more than welcome! But as you said, we have to be prepared to be ignored. Great post by the way!

  18. love it!
    I’ve attempted to start a blogs a few time, between my inability to “get” the computer to do what I want them to do and having a variety of different subjects I want to post about, so yeah the “ignored” piece I get.

    I do have 2 MMI tickets to give away as I’m going to use them and I was planning to run a competition for them so hopefully that’ll get some followers. took me 6 hours to do find and compile a landing page so I can do a random draw tho.

    Plus I have no idea about how to tag!! is this a 1 word thing, phrase or the hash tag thing? anyone help?

    Thanks Iydlici

  19. Very helpful! I started trying to blog a few months ago but then stopped for a bit as it took me quite a while to write the posts (however, that’s mostly because i have a TERRIBLE habit of rambling on for ages and subsequently my posts are huge!). I want to try get back into it for fun however, i know i need to work on my ‘war and peace’ approach to blogs and try cut them up into various smaller ones! Maybe then someone will finally see my blogs! 😂

  20. I had to chuckle to myself and force-stop myself thinking you were speaking directly to me tee hee hee hee. I started my blog around the same time as you and I found everything you said to be absolutely true! The more I worked, the more my personal time got put on the back burner and I followed a steep decline and then nothing. I have recently decided I must allow myself time no matter what and have begun writing again. I even have a new post! I have so many things to say that I believe your advice to write about a variety is bang on. I, like you, will have a series that will be connected and then others will be simply life or whatever is pressing the mind.

    Thanks for the post! Sound advice.

  21. Thanks for these very helpful tips! My blog was gathering dust for four years until I restarted the habit a few months ago. I burned out last time and I’m already feeling the start of burnout this time ’round, mostly because I find promoting it exhausting with (so far) little reward. I’ll be taking some of these points on board!

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