How to beat blogger burn out
Blog Tips

How To Bring Back That Lovin’ Feeling For Blogging!

Like any long-term relationship this blog and I had started to stagnate. I still loved blogging but wouldn’t say we were in love. So, we took a little unplanned break over the holidays in order that I might think things over. Since coming back to blogging this January, we’ve being going greats guns – I’m pumping out posts with more passion and fervour than ever before. (The relationship analogy will stop here, it’s gone a bit weird!)

I’ve fallen back in love with blogging and this is how we got our mojo back.

5 ways to beat blogger burn out

1. Go On A Break

An obvious but essential solution. If blogging is beginning to feel forced and not so much fun to you, I suggest you take a break. Just like a relationship, it’s hard to see what might be going wrong when you are busy being in it. By taking some time away I was able to remember what it was I loved about blogging, vow to eliminate what wasn’t working and was itching to get back into it after the time off.

Also note, a blog does not die if you stop feeding it fresh content for a few weeks. I know it’s good practise to stick to a blogging schedule and post regularly so that readers know when to expect your posts, but I am sure your readers would rather you take a break than pump out something sub par. (Am I right folks?)

Personally, I would rather wait until I had something useful or funny to say then publish something just because it’s Wednesday and the schedule says so.

2. Stop Overthinking It

There was a time when I wrote posts without a single second of pre-planning or thinking. I travelled, I experienced, I poured words onto the internet. Admittedly a lot of these posts are rather embarrassing and often littered with mistakes, but there is so much joy and honesty in them – I suspect this is what first attracted readers to my blog.

As your audience grows and you begin working with brands it’s hard not to overthink every post – wondering how readers will react and if you’re staying ‘on brand’. I’m at a stage where I feel I can’t avoid that, it would be reckless to write things without thinking of the consequences, but I’m trying to find more of a balance between being sensible (semi-professional) and writing whatever the hell comes to mind that day.

Adam from Travels With Adam recently made a similar promise to his readers with a mission he calls getting ‘back to blogging basics.’ He’s made a great start in this post entitled ‘The F*ck It I’m 30 Mantra!‘.

Blogging bad habits & mistakes I’m guilty of

3. Forget The Stats

There was a time when I didn’t know what SEO meant and had never heard of Google Analytics, and yet still readers found me. In this stat-driven age, though, it’s hard to avoid them – no one wants to write into an abyss and if you monetize your site in any way, shape or form they are kinda essential.

But I do not want traffic and social shares to be my driving force, my raison d’être, the starting point of crafting posts. Sure, measuring stats can be a good marker of success but whatever happened to just blogging for pleasure? I’m going to be doing more of that in future.

4. Stop Comparing

I read a few different travel blogs because I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to and am often inspired by their travels or writing. (As The Bird Flies inspires me to write more, This Battered Suitcase makes me want to write well, and Vicky Flip Flop  and The Travel Hack are my good friends and buddies, who I love to bounce ideas around with.)

But I’ll admit there are a few blogs I read (not naming names) just to see how big their blogs are getting, where they’re going to next and generally just to make myself feel sh*t.

More recently I had widened that net to include fashion and lifestyle blogs, so the list of ‘blogs that are better than mine’ got even longer and my self-esteem was the size of a pea. What kind of nonsense is this? I’ve now whittled my reading list down to the blogs I enjoy and the ones who inspire, and vow to stop this ridiculous and unnecessary comparison torture.

5. Be Honest

And finally, life, travel and blogging can sometimes be tough. The travel blogging lifestyle is a constant juggle between wanting to be on the road, needing time with loves ones, paying bills, chasing invoices, planning the next project and trying to stay sane.

Making a living from travel blogging: 15 things you need to know

At the same time it is a wonderful privilege to be able to do this for a living and its a lifestyle I wholeheartedly chose and chased. So writing about the tougher times becomes a little awkward. Disclose in the name of full honesty and risk seeming ungrateful? Or don’t disclose and perpetuate a lie about how awesome and easy it is to do this for a living? It’s a constant dilemma.

Ultimately if you are struggling to blog because you are unhappy or burned out, you have two choices –  don’t write (see first point) or just tell the truth. (Unless your blogging burn out is due to something personal in which case we all have a right to a private life.)

When I confessed to feeling tired and uncertain at the start of this year, you kind and supportive readers were there to pick me up and many of you responded to say you feel the same way too. (I’m not alone – yay!)

Of course, once you’re back from your blogging burn out you could write a positive post about how you dealt with it. See above for example 🙂

Have you fallen out of love with blogging? How did you bring back that lovin’ feeling?

Read more about life as a travel blogger

Photo thanks to Jess Watters on Unsplash

23 Comments

  • Reply
    Kirsten
    January 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I’m guilty of feeling a lot of the above: I hate publishing something when I’m not really feeling it and don’t believe it’s my best (yet you think you have to stay on schedule and keep up a presence), and I compare myself to others so much. I was tossing up last year whether I should just stop, but taking a break and realising I love writing (even if it’s not good writing…) helped me decide that hell, no one else is going to be the driving force behind my blog except me! 🙂

    Really good advice and also: your blog is awesome and one of my favourites (seriously).

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Kirsten, that is such a good point about you being the driving force behind your blog – and you can drive it however and where ever you like! ‘Good content’ is such a subjective thing, what one reader may like the other may hate. I reckon as long as you love what you are doing you’re winning!

      And thanks so much for your kind words. I need to stop the cruel comparison game and focus on my own site more!

  • Reply
    Cherie City
    January 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Jayne, I love this post. I think you’ve reassured a lot of us that it’s ok to have a bit of blog fatigue sometimes.

    When you really care about your content, it’s easy to quake under the pressure of doing a hotel/destination/experience justice. If it’s one that I really enjoyed, that can make it even harder, as it’s going to be there on my blog forever.

    Travel blogging can bring some incredible opportunities, but we need to be in the right frame of mind and not stressed to really make the most of them.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      This is such a good point Cherie. We’re so lucky to have lots of great travel experiences but when they are all great it can be a struggle to do them justice in a unique and engaging way. This is the type of situation when it helps to step away from the laptop. I tend to take a train or visit a beach with just a notepad and pen and then see what comes out on paper instead.

  • Reply
    Janice Stringer
    January 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Jayne,
    I’m a real goal orientated person – my husband is the complete opposite. Go figure!!
    I need to have that striving towards a goal and a purpose. It’s part of my DNA 🙂 but I find i’m better when I write because the words are there-from the living, breathing emotional first hand experience of an encounter or a visit – this is what I want to share with the reader. If it’s about a place or an activity. I like to help others do things they may not normally think they can do. Because if I can do it – You can do. But as I said to you before. My goal is to give people something interesting to read about -like an ongoing engaging relationship. With chapters and endings. New beginnings and changes . Like life and sometimes that means not writing anything. The only problem with this was when I realised my revenue streams were not necessarily to do with the writing and that is where my passion is! Living, learning and still blogging. Just trying to find a different way forward now!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 15, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      I love this “living, learning, still blogging.” Think it sums up a bloggers life perfectly!

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I loved this. I think so many put undue pressure on their little slice of the internet. At the end of the day, a blog is meant to be an online diary – use it to help others or post selfishly, it doesn’t matter.

    What I’m so disillusioned with is being told HOW to post. You MUST optimise, you MUST schedule, you MUST network – I optimise my work’s blog daily which is DULL AS, I’m so useless at scheduling I haven’t even bought a diary this year, and I really don’t like people sometimes.

    Blogging with pressure is bound to make anyone snap. And you’ve validated exactly how I’ve felt on and off over the past two years!

  • Reply
    Jayne Gorman
    January 15, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    I’m a rebellious non-planner too! I write a content plan and then rearrange it everyday depending on my mood. I don’t blog so well when it feels strategic and one of the great things about having a personal blog is being able to do whatever the hell you want. Let’s break ALL the rules together!!

  • Reply
    Elle Croft
    January 16, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I fall in and out of love with my blog pretty regularly, to be honest. Usually when I fall out of love with it, it’s because I’m concentrating on all of those things you mention – like stats, or comparing my blog to other, better ones. But then I realise that my life really wouldn’t feel right without my blog in it, and it’s always that love that gets me back into it! Glad you and your blog have found that flame again 😉

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 18, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Ha thanks Elle. I like that approach of thinking what it would be like to give blogging up – that gives me a kick up the butt to get back to it as well!

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 16, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I was just thinking of you and your blog the other day while on a walk — how I love your voice and writing and need to tell you that! I haven’t commented on blogs often in the last year while I’ve been sick, but I told myself this week I needed to tell you I enjoy your writing 🙂

    We all need a break from time to time for various reasons. Glad you’re feeling back in the groove 🙂

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 18, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Heather, thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. It’s wonderful to love blogging but if someone else loves what you do too – it’s just the best feeling in the world. Thanks so much for thinking to tell me.

      I also remember how excited I was when I saw you were posting again, it reminded me how much I enjoyed reading about your Australian adventures. I’m pretty sure you have a lot to do with my current location 😉

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 18, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Great advice Jayne – I’ve definitely had moments like this and have recently taken a bit of a break. A friend gave me some advice too – the three C’s: never compete, copy or compare – this helps me too!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 18, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Love the 3 C’s – going to take that mantra on board!

  • Reply
    Greg
    January 18, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Not really got much input here apart from to say – bloody love this post… completely agree with all points and have been there myself… I typically write quite far in advance when articles are not time sensitive and I’m in the zone, that helps for the periods of time when I just don’t have the energy but with whisky there is so much going on and so many releases it is tough! Let alone Strat-Talking!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 18, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      I admire your organisation skills so much Greg, I’m going to try and do more post drafting in advance on the days I am feeling it!

  • Reply
    Suzanne - Travelbunny
    January 20, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I’ve been out of the zone too this last few weeks – work is full on and I just really needed a rest and I feel better for it and ready now to get back in the groove. I don’t always comment on your blog but I always read your posts and when the email comes through I know I’ve got something great to read. So glad you got your mojo back!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      January 20, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Suzanne, you ladies have inspired me to comment on blogs more often and let the author know I enjoy what they’re doing. It really makes a big different to what we do 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply
    Abi
    February 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Ah,yes. I understand the dilemma. And the comparison. And the non-scheduling. Ah well…

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 1, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Onwards we go!

  • Reply
    Our Favourite Travel Bloggers - traveljunction.com
    April 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    […] will be a refreshing perspective. This means you get a spectrum of different posts ranging from how to fall back in love with blogging, through to tips for traveling in Ao Nang in Thailand. It’s a great resource for anyone […]

  • Reply
    The Ultimate Blogging Advice Link Post – Lauren the Curator
    January 17, 2016 at 7:26 am

    […] bloggers have experienced and reflected on it, so I recommend reading this by A Girl Obsessed, this by Girl Tweets World. Also, this Jess Lively interview with Young House Love describes the pressures which eventually […]

  • Reply
    Todd @Visit50
    July 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    My best tip for this challenge is to talk to people about where they’re visiting. Eventually we’ll stumble on a place I’ve been, and we end up covering something really interesting that I hadn’t written about or posted photos on.

    I should do better covering these things the first time, but I’m a part-time travel blogger, and often do travel in bulk (10 countries in 2 months through Europe) so I certainly miss some elements.

    Hope this helps some people! I need to take this advice today…

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