My guest post today comes from Jessica, author of the blog Four Plus an Angel. She’s sharing some sage advice on maintaining a blog AND a life outside of the blogosphere before reaching blog burnout. I know veteran bloggers will easily relate to this and the ideas presented here are also imperative for newbies.
We were driving home from a long weekend away with the kids when I decided I would quit.
I unplugged for four days and felt great. My eyes were not strained from staring at the computer screen for hours or keeping up with a twitter stream. I felt connected to my kids and confident that I had truly enjoyed our trip rather than worrying about my next blog post or my current stats.
As we got closer to home I daydreamed about what I would do with all of my free time now that I would not have to post nightly and blog-read every free moment.
But then I got home. And I checked my Twitter stream. And I missed my friends and wondered what they had all been writing about while I was gone.
Maybe I wouldn’t quit after all, but I would have to make some significant changes if I was going to continue. I tend to be an “all or nothing” type person so I would have to adjust my blogging attitude and reprioritize in order to avoid burning out.
I made a few immediate changes:
1. I stopped blogging so frequently. In the past I would blog 5-6 days a week. Now I blog 3 days a week and ONLY when I have something to say. If I am not inspired to write I don’t. I can honestly say that this has improved the content of my posts and increased my readership and comments. Best of all, I am not spending every weeknight staring at my computer screen for blogging inspiration.
2. I dedicated time to learning new social media tools. I invested time learning Stumbleupon, Pinterest and improving my Facebook page. I also started using Crowdbooster to effectively target my social media interaction. Utilizing these tools has helped me to network, strengthen my social media relationships and also increase my readership.
3. I give 100% to what I am doing. If I am playing with my kids I no longer check Twitter at every pause in the action and I leave my phone in another room when I am getting things done around the house. I don’t spend my day trying to find five minutes to write, I write when I have a chunk of time to do it. My mommy-guilt has decreased and I genuinely enjoy the things I am doing much more (except for maybe the laundry).
I can honestly say I am pleasantly surprised by how these changes have improved my blogging life. My stats have maintained what they were when I was blogging five or six days a week, I feel more connected to my readers and blogging friends and I even cook dinner every once in a while.
What are some ideas that have worked for you when you found yourself at a blogging crossroads?