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How to Prevent Blog Burnout

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Are You Excited about Your Blog?

Are You Excited about Your Blog?

Blogging is a long term proposition. Once the excitement of your new blog wears off, how will you maintain enough enthusiasm to crank out post after post? It’s a great question to ask yourself before you launch a blog, because unless you have writing in your blood – and sometimes even if you do – all that writing will burn you out. So here are some things you can do to prevent blog burnout and seeing all your hard work go up in smoke.

7 Blog Writing Tips to Keep Writing Exciting

    1. Form a writing team. Sharing the workload takes pressure off, creates opportunity for interaction, and quite often makes a blog more interesting. Many bloggers are open to writing regularly on other blogs because it keeps them fresh. If you’ve got a few people in-house who like to write, by all means involve them in your company blog.
    2. Plan your editorial calendar well in advance. There’s nothing worse than not having a topic for a post that needs to be published immediately. It is a surefire recipe for angst. One handy editorial approach is to set up 8-10 general topics in advance and keep cycling through them, with each post focusing on a different specific. I like to take an hour or two every so often, head over to Starbucks, leave my cell phone in the car, and sit down over a cup of coffee with my Moleskine notebook. Invariably, I’ll leave with 10 or 20 solid blog post topics on paper. That feels good.
    3. Solicit guest posts. If you can’t find or don’t want regular writers, invite bloggers to guest post. They’ll add variety to your blog and bring in new readers.
    4. Do interviews. The interview format bring dialog and life to any topic. For business blogs, interview opportunities abound – everyone is looking for an opportunity to showcase their products and services. Conducting interviews is also a great way to be generous – to help suppliers, stakeholders, and associates get some exposure. The spirit of generosity is what makes blogging such a special form of business communication, and it never goes unrewarded.
    5. Take a break. There’s no law that says you have to publish on a rigid schedule. If you need to recharge your blogging batteries – just do it! Your readers will understand, especially if they’re bloggers, because we all go through the same ups and downs. A lot of blogging pressure is self imposed; bloggers worry if they miss one scheduled post, their community will abandon them. I’ve never seen that happen yet.

  1. Brainstorm post topics. Do you know someone with whom you have great creative chemistry? Folks like that can be a stupendous source of inspiration. For me, SEO specialist George Ajazi is a go-to guy for post ideas. Fifteen minutes with him generally yields about 5 blog topics I never would have thought of on my own. So not only do brainstorming sessions work, they’re fun.
  2. Try something new. Study Joanna Young’s writing blog. She is brilliant at pushing the creative envelope, experimenting with new media, bringing new approaches to old topics, and applying traditional approaches to new topics. Nothing destroys writing quality like being in a rut. Don’t let it happen to you: take a new angle, make a video, do a podcast, try satire … there’s always something you haven’t tried.

Over to You

How do you prevent blog burnout? If you’ve had blog burnout – how have you recovered?

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17 Responses to How to Prevent Blog Burnout

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Blog FAQ | Blog Writing Tips | Word Sell Inc --

  2. Ulla, What a great point! Readers and conversation should be energizing … if not, why blog?

  3. Brad,
    I love collecting a list of blog topics over a mug of freshly brewed black tea with milk and sugar at my breakfast table (Starbucks in the afternoon after work is a very good alternative for me, too).
    May I add one item to your list? Whenever I think of the people who belong to the readership of my blog I feel highly motivated. They give their time to come over and read my blog posts–so I am giving mine to provide them with a good read!

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  5. Hi Cath, At the moment, I am a member of the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog – that’s a great team project spearheaded by Rosa Say. It’s a lot of fun – we have about 20 people or so who contribute monthly. I tried to start a group effort with another one of my blogs, but it never picked up much momentum. I’m always interested in collaborations, guest authoring, etc., if it’s the right mix of topic and talent. Maybe we can develop something …?

  6. Hi Brad – I’ve taken a lot of breaks when I’ve needed to – especially this year. But I love the idea of forming a writing group – it would be a great way to cover for each other when you need to. Are you a member of one? Should we start one do you reckon?

  7. A lot of folks like to do “best of” posts where they’ll simply write an intro and do a link list that points to some of their old material. It’s a good way to share old stuff with new readers, and it’s a way to cheat once in a while, since you don’t have to write a “real” post that day. :)

  8. Thanks for this post Brad, I think most bloggers turn to advice like this at some point. I agree with your point about taking a break. As a reader of blogs, I am not disappointed if there is nothing new on there for a day or so…everyone deserves a break and writing every is hard work! Think you make a valid point and taken the pressure off a lot of people.

  9. Lindsay, Excellent advice. Best Of posts really do provide an indispensable service for readers. If a blogger has published lots of posts, readers may never find them otherwise.

    Jenny, Agreed. So much of the pressure to publish bloggers feel is self-imposed. One thing worse than writing nothing is writing about nothing – and let’s face it; nobody has something to say all the time.

  10. Andrew, You are living proof of what you are saying. When you write about business ethics, it is obvious you are enthusiastic and informed. As a result, you not only capture the attention of readers, you sometimes inspire them to action. I think the root of it all is enthusiasm: if you are really into a topic, all the research and reading becomes something to look forward to. As for corporate blogs, presumably there are people on staff who are enthusiastic about their firm’s products and services, and who would love the opportunity to write about it. (If not, the company in question has bigger problems than staffing their blog.) I haven’t done a whole lot of work with very large firms, but from what I’ve read, it sounds like plenty of employees would like the opportunity to blog, but management is uncomfortable giving them the freedom to do so. I think that will change as blogging becomes more and more mainstream.

  11. Brad,

    Interesting topic – one of a great deal of relevance to all of us.

    I fully agree with each of the points mentioned above, and I especially feel that taking a break every now and then is important – so too is maintaining an interesting and healthy lifestyle outside of work and blogging.

    I have two further thoughts. First, I feel that choice of topic is crucial in this regard. I feel that it is important to choose a topic which has sufficient breadth so as to ensure that there was always something new to write about, and also to choose a topic about which you as a blogger possess sufficient knowledge/expertise and enthusiasm so as to produce interesting new discussions on a consistent basis. (Of course, with a corporate blog, as opposed to a personal blog, the choice of topic is somewhat restricted)

    Second, it is also important to pay close attention to news and commentary about your topic in the media (both traditional media and social media). Exactly how useful the media is or isn’t will of course vary according to the topic in question, but with my own topic, I personally find that I can more than easily find enough material contained within the media to generate interesting topics for conversation.

  12. I can honestly say that I’ve thought stopping my blog several times in the nine years I’ve been blogging. I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, I just handled burn out similarly to these tips. I don’t force myself to blog daily or meet the minimum required word count.

    Sometimes it helps just to cut down on the blogging. Try to blog at lease once a week — which I do every Friday with a link post. It’s OK to slow down — just follow these tips to revive yourself.

  13. Meryl, You are not the only one who is glad you kept blogging – count me among that number as well! I always look forward to your posts and whether they are frequent or infrequent matters not.

    Jan, It’s great that reading inspires writing for you. If you enjoy reading – and it looks like you d0 – you will never run out of post ideas. Quiet reflection works for me, though. Just yesterday I was having a salad in a bar/restaurant on the way to a client – very peaceful and comfortable atmosphere. I came up with about six really strong post ideas.

  14. Reading keeps me relaxed. I’m stumped? I’d read. Too tired to write? I’d read to get back that energy. Great ideas have a way of bringing you back to fighting form.

    Inviting guest bloggers is a great idea. Having one gives you a lot of breathing room and a much needed respite. Spices up the blog, too, when you introduce a different voice to your readers.

    Love the little scene you conjure here of you writing in a cafe, oblivious to the bustle about you, intent on pinning down that promising idea on paper. “,)

  15. Nice round up for the 7 tips to prevent blog burn out. I really admire blog authors who can produce a post daily, I will never be able to do so. Sometimes it’s quality vs. quantity and I’m going for the first choice.

    I did experience burnout, much frequently when I started my niche blog. Only after I got used to the momentum, but still sometimes the problem will come but less bothering as it used to be. I find stepping away from the PC or have a good read of someone else’s site or news can help a lot. It’s normal and no one should feel depressed by it. After taking a deep breath, sit down and start writing something… before you know it, you’re flying on your keyboard. ^^

    Social/Blogging Tracker

  16. Talking with friends via email and comments – that’s a cool way of defeating blog burn out. We’re more forthcoming in private communication, right? Problems are shared – mostly related to blogging. And friends would jump in offering solutions. The concerned blogger goes to implement the best of the lot. At one point, the problem will get solved. Isn’t that something? Now there’s a how-to somewhere that can be culled from the experience. Great idea as this might prove beneficial to other people who have the same difficulty.

    But you’re a lot creative. Love that – going off in the real world and finding inspiration from totally unrelated stimulus. That takes a lot of synthesis and imagination. Like your recent experience for example. “,)

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