Battling Blogger Burn Out and Lack Of Blog Posting Frequency
Published 8/14/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
The past few weeks have been tough on me as an aspiring full time blogger. After almost a full year of nearly regular blog posts and after months of practicing fairly consistent writing habits, I've finally been smitten with the ailment that inevitably afflicts all bloggers and online entrepreneurs at some point or another - blogger burn out. Blogger's block, as the affliction is commonly called, is basically the lack of motivation and sudden depletion of new ideas found in those suffering from writer's block, except it affects those who blog online for alternative side income or for amusement. However, in my case, it's not the lack of new article writing ideas or lack of potential subjects to opine about, but rather the summer laziness feeling that has made it nearly impossible for me to stay self driven and self motivated. I actually have a spiral notebook that I keep around and regularly update. The notepad contains all my various scribbled down notes and ideas as they come to me. With hundreds of personal finance article writing topics and self jotted potential leads to inspire me, it's rarely a matter of running out of ideas - I have plenty of them - it's actually the drive and daily motivation to actually sit down and put fingers to keyboard that's the feet dragging hurdle for myself at the moment. When it comes to running a side business in the nature of self employment, one must have a consistent way to stay focused and stay driven, working consistently despite personal and family issue disruptions. When motivation wanes or when concentration becomes too difficult, blog production and growth can quickly hit a snag.
Fortunately, a blog can still stay alive and remain healthy even without fresh updates for very long periods of time (weeks to months). One very unique aspect about blogs not found in most other industries is the ability to harness residual Internet traffic for long term growth despite lack of immediate content production. Oftentimes, it's past blog posts that rank highly in Google keyword searches, which do the most to help sustain a blog's successful traffic levels, and not posting frequency per se. Posting frequency is actually quite overrated, especially for mature sites that have at least a solid year's worth of quality posts. Of course, in a perfect blogging world, the more posts that a site can accrue and index, the better, but offering a new post everyday is not necessarily a deal breaker. So long as the motivation to keep a blog alive is still there, a blog can still thrive, grow, become widely read, and become financially successful with proper monetization.
Even Formerly Consistent Bloggers Ultimately Get Bitten By Writer's Block At Some Point Or Another
It's been a year since I first started blogging for fun and transitioning my little hobby into a decent part time side job. I've had numerous ups and downs in terms of motivation and focus over the past few months - most of which I assumed I had permanently overcome. Much of the initial frustrations with running a fledgling personal finance blog happened early on when search traffic was non existent and lack of advertising success led me to question whether I could turn my hobby into a sustainable source of quasi-passive income. However, after 9 months in, the worries and gripes associated with the initial lack of blogging success faded away when my blogging efforts finally started to pay off and my efforts to convert organic search traffic into tangible pay per click and affiliate advertising income started to bear fruit en masse. Monetary success and upward trends in terms of website traffic have a way of greatly lifting one's blogging spirits and sparking confidence to become more self motivated.
However, despite the steady traffic growth and monetization successes of my original personal finance blog and the newer health and fitness blog, persistent blogger's block finally bit me again. For the last few weeks, I've struggled to motivate myself to update my blog posting and to adopt more sustainable entrepreneurial work habits. At first I tried cutting down my daily posting schedule to just a few personal finance and frugality articles a week, but ultimately even that proved difficult to sustain. I think after nearly a year of working continuously on my part time blogging business and putting time in at my full time job, I've finally burned out, at least for the moment. Thankfully, it's happening during the annual summer slump, when most blogs and online websites see a noticeable decrease in search and referral traffic due to the cyclical and seasonal nature of Internet use. While certain niches such as college preparation and travel sites tend to enjoy an appreciable surge in traffic during the summer months, the vast majority of sites see a noticeable decline during the months of June, July, and August as prospective readers and viewers choose to spend their free time outdoors at amusement parks and take advantage of summer vacation traveling opportunities, putting off any significant financial moves or planning decisions until the fall.
As luck would have it, my sudden pangs of writer's block couldn't have come at a more fortunate time. The summer slump allows me to lesson the strain on my posting routine and take some time off to unwind and get away from the pressures of posting regularly. The urgency of needing to write regularly was starting to become a bit overwhelming. For those who wonder why I even bother stressing about the need to write regularly, or putting self imposed worries on myself, the answer is simple. I treat my network of blogs like a part time project that must be sustained consistently until the day they can completely overtake my full time job and allow me to become independently self employed and fully sustained financially. My dream and goal for myself has always been to become fully self employed, to become independent from the shackles of working for someone else (the Man if you will), and to find true financial freedom from the daily work grind. The fruits of success will be even sweeter when I can permanently escape the hassles and limitations of painfully long daily rush hour commutes and having to deal with high gas prices.
To reach this lofty but reachable goal of making money online through the monetization of my financial and health related blogs, I know I'll need to get my blogging mojo back, so to speak. Unable to get out of this rut on my own, I've decided to take a little blogging break and go on vacation to momentarily escape my full time job and part time work responsibilities. I'm currently traveling overseas and will do so for the next few weeks. I plan to visit my parents and get my mind off the rigors of running a network of monetized blogs. It's amazing how a little simple change of scenery and work space can refresh one's motivation and perspective. I think it's also the same reason why weeks ago I was trying to find public places outside of my home that provided complimentary free WiFi Internet access. It was probably in an attempt to escape the monotony and ho-hum sameness of working from home. Sometimes, a little healthy distraction is all we need to get our business minds back on track.