I’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers lately talk about the pressures, dissatisfaction and overall burn-out they’ve been experiencing. This always makes me sad because in a way I know what they’re experiencing very clearly, but I’ve also been fortunate to have worked through it quickly and adjusted so I could continue pushing forward and doing what I love.
So I’ve put together some tips that may seem like simple and common sense, but they’re not as easy to implement sometimes. Maybe they just need a little reminding. If you’re feeling it, hope they give you some food for thought on something you can do to get over the slump.
Tip # 1: Just Say No
I know, so simple. But as a blogger, getting so many requests from authors, publishers, independent publicists, tour companies, the list goes on… sometimes you feel as if you have to say yes to everything that’s thrown your way or you may not be able to continue working with said contact in the future. Or you just genuinely want to help every author you love to promote their next coming release. We forget what all that pressure does to us at times. It’s ok to say no. No, because you’re not interested in a book. No, because you don’t have the time. No, because maybe it doesn’t fit with what you want to post. Just say no.
You may find that you’re feeling burned out because you over-commit yourself and then don’t have time to even have a life outside of your blog responsibilities.
Tip # 2: Set Rules and Enforce Them
What I mean by rules can range from the type of content you want your blog to have, the frequency of your posts, what kind of material you are ok with authors providing, what kind of tours you are willing to sign up for (or maybe you are tired of doing tours altogether), even how long in advance you want to have an ARC before a post date. If you have the rules clear in your mind and you are also clear with anyone that wants to work with you on what they are, then it’s easy to enforce them and not drive yourself crazy.
If your rule is that you won’t accept an ARC unless you are given at least 2 weeks with the book (and as a general rule, that should be the minimum time unless it’s previously discussed and agreed upon because we all have lives outside of reading), then that one time you get a book 24 hours before you’re supposed to review it, you simply email back the person that sent it and tell them there’s no way that’s happening.
Or if your rule is that you only post original content, then when you get something generic to post that’s not what you agreed upon you simply email back that you won’t post it. You can work with someone on other arrangements, but you should stick to the rules you’ve set for yourself and your blog.
Tip # 3: Post What YOU Want
This is the biggest source of issues I see right now. There’s so much pressure for posting content that gets enough reach, or likes, or views, or whatever. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers lately asking their followers the most insignificant questions about their content. From whether they want to see more current or older releases featured on their blogs, to what filter do you think looks best on my feed.
It’s YOUR blog. You should be posting things that make you happy. Things that YOU like. If that means right now you feel like reading only older titles and that’s the reviews you are posting on your blog, that’s ok! Or if you happen to go on a cheesy sci fi romance binge (*cough*Suzanne*cough*) then it’s ok that your content reflects that. You shouldn’t feel like you need to read certain books, or like certain authors, or have your blog look a certain way. It should make YOU happy first. If you are not happy with the content you are posting, if you are not happy with what your site (or feed) looks like, you won’t want to continue doing it.
Tip # 4: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
This is the biggest one for me. I’m a little OCD (I hear Suzanne laughing) and I always want everything to be perfect down to the last detail. But I’ve learned to let some things go. Sometimes you don’t have the time to get everything just right. Or you just don’t have the capability.
That goes for writing what we think should be the perfect review as well. There is no such thing. Get your thoughts on the page. Period. The more pressure you put on yourself to write a certain length or style, if it doesn’t come naturally, it’ll weigh on you and make the whole process more stressful.
Be perfectly imperfect.
Tip # 5: Don’t Focus on the Numbers
We all look at numbers. Numbers everywhere! From the follower count, to the views on a post, to the likes on a social media status. How many people are we reaching? Constantly. There’s nothing that will stress you out more than this. Not to say you shouldn’t look, because without that information you can’t tell what works and what doesn’t. But don’t make it your only focus. Don’t let it dictate everything about your blog life.
If your passion is posting about books and your funny memes get more views, that doesn’t mean you need to bombard your page with them.
If you’re posting a picture to Instagram, take it and post it because you like. Not because you think it’s the one that will get you more likes.
Numbers matter, but posting what you like and want matters more for your sanity.
Tip # 6: Slow Down. Take a Break
Sometimes you just need to walk away for a while. Recharge. And that’s ok. And if you’re not quite ready to step away for a while, then maybe just slow down. That’s something we’ve done here at UTC a lot over the years. We’ve dropped Sunday posts because we want to make sure there’s at least one day that’s completely free of obligations so that we can spend time with family/friends. We’ve reduced the number of posts that we coordinate with others each month as well. Adjust to what feels right for you, but it’s ok to change the pace of things to best suit your life at that moment.
Tip # 7: Venture Into New Mediums
If Facebook is driving you crazy with their algorithm, maybe it’s time you tried a different platform. Maybe chat a bit more on Twitter. Or post more on Instagram. Or if you’re feeling brave, try doing videos. Anything from Facebook Live and Insta Stories to testing out YouTube 🙂 When you’re feeling stuck, venturing into a new way of promoting your blog and the content you love may give you the needed variety to keep things fresh.
Tip # 8: Remember the Why
Why did you start blogging? It should always be about that. Not about the followers, or the free stuff, or the income. You started blogging to share what you love with others. Or at least that should be it. If you started blogging to make it your full time job, then you probably should be reading a different post than this one. If that why isn’t at the forefront, maybe it’s time to step back or change something and find that again.
Tip # 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Change
When you figure out what you need to do to revitalize your blogging life, go out there and just do it. Implement the things you want. Your blog should be a reflection of you. People will follow.
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