Your blog calendar was completely full. Reviews, interviews, tutorials, tour stops, the works. Your blog had everything a book lover could want, and your stats showed it. Email subscribers, Facebook likes, affiliate earnings; they were all going up.
It’s an amazing feeling. I can speak to that.
But it can’t last. The amount of work that it takes isn’t sustainable for a one-woman blog, which I know a lot of us are.
Eventually, you’re tired, you’re overbooked, and what’s worse, running the blog isn’t fun anymore.
I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t felt any burnout. But going by the posts about burnout that I see in The Book Blogger’s Resource group, I seem to be pretty better than most at dealing with it before it becomes a serious problem.
I’ve had a few moments of feeling burnt out. But I immediately dug deep to figure out the problem and fix it, so I never get to a place where I no longer enjoy bumbling about books and book blogging. 🙂
So, when blogging starts to feel more like a chore than a hobby, here’s what ya do:
5 Ways to Beat Book Blogger Burnout
1. Take a Look at Your Blogging Activities
As always, first you need to identify the problem before you can come up with a solution. There’s a lot of work that goes into blogging and chances are, you still enjoy some of it. Think about how you feel when you’re doing different things like scheduling tour posts, coordinating ARCs, promoting posts, etc.
Now, do any of those activities make you groan, roll your eyes, or feel the urge to procrastinate? Any activity that makes you not look forward to blogging is likely part of the burnout problem.
Once you’ve figured out what’s wrong, you can figure out how to make it right.
2. Unload Your Blogging Calendar
There’s a good chance the problem is just that your blog has become too much to handle. Especially if you work with tour companies a lot. This is nothing against tour companies, but more about the commitment.
When you sign up for a release day blitz or a blog tour, you’re committing to post on a specific day, maybe even at a specific time. That creates a more rigid schedule than when you’re kind of doing your own thing.
If you think a more flexible posting schedule will help you enjoy blogging more, take a break from any scheduled commitments – blog tour reviews, release day blitzes, cover reveals…everything. It might not be easy, especially when you see a signup for a book you’re excited about. But you need to give yourself a break.
You’ll still have to honor any future commitments you’ve already made, so the relief won’t be immediate, but it will come. You may find that you love blogging so much more without tour posts (I know I did), or you may decide to jump back in.
But let yourself take a breather for a few weeks first, and in the future, try to set and adhere to limits on how often you post each week. That will keep your blog calendar more manageable down the road.
3. Switch Things Up
Variety is the spice of life, right? If you’re posting a lot of something, you may get tired of it. I know that by the end of #BookBlogWriMo, I was starting to feel a little burnt out (although I was posting a lot of other stuff during that month, which made my calendar a little too full).
Having a good amount of variety in your blog posts will keep you from doing too much of one thing. If you don’t post anything but reviews, try adding some discussion posts, interviews, or spotlights. If you post a variety of things that are all book-related, see how you feel writing something more personal.
This is a great way to take a break from a certain activity (like reviewing, for example) without taking a break from blogging completely. So traffic doesn’t plummet, people won’t wonder if you’ve stopped blogging, and you may fall into something that you and your readers both love.
4. Figure Out How to Save Time
You know what I love? Figuring out a way to spend less time on a task without sacrificing quality. That’s the main why I find the time to launch things like Be a Better Blogger without having to skip sleep in favor of one more post.
I’m a big fan of creating workflows, processes, calendars, checklists, and other things that help me stay organized. It’s amazing what a few good tools can do (find recommendations here, here, and here).
Sure, it takes some effort up front figuring out what tools and systems work best for you, and creating the templates and stuff. But once you’ve figured out the best way for you to get something done, figuring out to make that process as easy as possible for yourself.
This is another way to cut down on how much time, effort, and sanity goes into your book blog, without cutting down on the amount of output. Your readers will never know if you don’t want them to.
5. Focus on Small Wins
Sometimes blogging feels really unsatisfying. You put blood (well, maybe not blood), sweat, tears, and a ton of time into your blog, and sometimes it’ll feel like you’re not getting the same amount of love back in return.
Whether that love is in the form of traffic, comments, new opportunities, or affiliate revenue, you want yourself and your blog to feel appreciated. When you’re not feeling that, it’s easy to get down on yourself or think your blog isn’t worth it.
So rewrite what you define as success, or love for your blog.
Instead, focus on small wins. Maybe you didn’t get that ARC you were dying to get your hands on, or were turned down by an author for an interview. But, you gained a few new subscribers this week, and someone Facebook messaged you saying how much they loved your new posts!
This actually happened to me on Friday. I’ve been feeling down on my affiliate revenue for months. Two days ago, I was stressing over it, Googling tips for Amazon Associates and trying to come up with new ways to drive clicks and purchases. I wanted to rip my hair out.
Then I heard the ping of a Facebook notification and decided it was time for a break. The notification was for someone recommending someone subscribe to Bumblings Blog Tips, saying that they’ve learned a ton from my posts.
Did I suddenly know how to improve my earnings? No, but it made me feel appreciated and got me motivated. If I can help these people so much, I can figure out how to get someone to click on a book link, dammit!
6. Find a Support Group
If you don’t get support from things like blog comments or Facebook notifications, find another source of external love. The Book Blogger’s Resource is a great outlet for book bloggers, for example. We’ll be there for you if you just want to vent, but we also help each other out a lot with other stuff.
Being a book blogger can be tough since there probably aren’t a lot of people in your everyday life who “get it.” When you want to vent when it’s the night before a blog tour and the publicist hasn’t sent you the tour packet yet, your friends and family may not understand the struggle.
Being a part of a book blogging community means there’s always someone around who knows what you’re going through.
7. Take a Break
This is last on the list for a reason. I think you should try whatever possible to get your groove back before you call it quits, even just a temporary one.
It takes a long time to turn something into a habit. And a very short time to break it. Most bloggers eventually find their groove, whether they have specified systems of not. Taking a break means breaking the habit, and that can be a really bad thing long-term.
I know of so many bloggers (book-related and otherwise) who said they were going to take a “short break” to recharge for a few weeks, and never logged into their blog again. I’ve done it myself for some blogs I wasn’t as serious about as this one.
Even if you do go back to your blog after your break, your readers may not. If they’re not subscribers, they may forget about you on your hiatus. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s the reality of such an overcrowded blogosphere. New book blogs are created every day, so ones that aren’t posted may easily be replaced in feeds and in minds.
Have you ever felt burnt out on blogging? How did you deal with it?