How To Blog Without Burning Out
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?