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Over the past seven months, I have been blogging every day for at least 3 hours a day whether it’s weekdays or weekends.
The only two days I slowed down was after Baby FAF came back to DC from China.
I didn’t spend as much time commenting on other blogs or writing posts.
I wanted to give our son the attention he deserved after staying away from us for more than a year.
After those two days, I tried to use every waking moment of my life outside of work and family to catch up with my posts and stay active on social media.
Two weeks later, Baby FAF started daycare, and our lives got into a rhythm.
Over the past 7 months, there hasn’t been a day when I was awake and not thinking about my blog.
In the weeks leading to October 25, I spent most of my free time writing posts and increased my post backlog from 3 months to 4.5 months.
I had 48 posts and 8 drafts scheduled until mid March 2018.
I felt happy because I had been able to apply my frugal mindset to blogging.
I need a 3-month emergency “fund” for my posts in case something happens and I don’t have enough time to write.
However, amidst the happiness of staying ahead of my own schedule, I also felt tired and resistant. Blogging suddenly felt like a chore and a job. I felt like I had to stick with my own schedule, and I’d feel guilty and unproductive if I didn’t.
That day I tweeted that I’d spend the night not worrying about my blog and just unwinding. And I did for the most part except that I still responded to comments, shared my content on social media, and double-checked my next post.
I felt tired and started to dread blogging. However, instead of giving up on my blog, I took the following steps to re-balance my life.
Step 1: Take a break
If you’re burned out from blogging, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time on your blog. It doesn’t have to be 10-30 hours. The amount of time could simply be more than what you’d like to spend blogging.
For me, I spend on average 25-30 hours a week writing posts, staying active on social media, responding to comments, among other tasks. When I realized I was starting to dread doing anything blog-related, I decided to take a break later that evening.
When I woke up the next day, I felt more refreshed. Yet, after another 3-4 hours of blogging, the dreadful feeling came back.
That weekend, I started to take most of Saturday evening off and not think or do anything blog-related. In the following week, I slowed down on writing posts since it was the main reason for my burnout.
Step 2: Resume your favorite activities prior to blogging
Prior to Frugal Asian Finance, I used to do the following things in my free time:
— Learning about real estate investment
— Watching YouTube videos about food, traveling, and any topics that I was interested in at the time
— Hanging out with friends
— Meeting new people
However, since I wanted to grow my blog fast and consistently, I gave up on most of those activities to focus on blogging and my family.
When I got burned out on October 25, I felt like my life had gone down a path that revolved around my family, my day job, and my blog. I didn’t have time for anything else.
When I took a break later that day and on the weekend, I wanted to catch up on my favorite YouTube videos, and I did.
The nice thing was that our son went to bed super early that day (8 PM instead of 10 PM), and my husband and mother-in-law also went out. I had the whole evening to myself and enjoyed catching up on a lot of the YouTube content I had missed.
That weekend, instead of blogging anytime I could, I went to attend a Meetup group and had a great time meeting new people.
However, when I came home, I knew that attending Meetup events was only a small part of my life and wouldn’t give me the satisfaction or a sense of accomplishment that blogging does.
Step 3: Reassess your passion
Before starting my blog, I was passionate about real estate investing, more specifically rental property. I watched YouTube videos and listened to various podcasts about real estate such as Bigger Pockets and Rental Income podcasts.
After launching Frugal Asian Finance, I turned to YouTube only to find solutions to technical WordPress problems or instructions on Pinterest and Tailwind. I also started listening only to blog-related podcasts such as The Smart Passive Income podcast and Do You Even Blog.
I sat down and asked myself: What am I passionate about? What is it that I want to do with my free time and possibly for the rest of my life?
At one point, I thought about giving up doing rental property altogether. Why bother dealing with tenants and repairs when I can just sit in front of my computer and blog all day?
However, the blog burnout showed me that writing all the time can be exhausting. Although I can interact with other bloggers online, I sometimes feel isolated. Being creative is also not easy since I constantly have to think of new ideas and create engaging content.
I resumed listening to some of my most favorite real estate podcasts and found that sometimes routines can be soothing to the mind as much as being creative.
I also thought more about my interest in opening an Etsy store and an Amazon FBA business. I have to admit that I feel that blogging is still easier to me than those two endeavors.
I have no idea what product I’m going to sell on Etsy or Amazon. However, it’s refreshing to think about having a physical product that doesn’t have to do with writing.
Step 4: Ask yourself if you will be happier without your blog
After taking the break and feeling more refreshed and energized, I asked myself the 64 million dollar question: Do I still want to blog?
I thought about my life prior to Frugal Asian Finance and can still feel the void in it. I wanted to write and be creative. I wanted to start a business on a budget. I was and still am passionate about frugality. And blogging just came out as a winning idea to me.
Now that I have spent almost 1,000 hours on this blog over the past 7 months, I feel like I have invested so much time and effort that it wouldn’t be a wise idea to end the project completely.
Of course, one can argue that it’s a sunk cost, and that there’s not much I can do to take those 1,000 hours back. But as a frugal person, I don’t want my investment of time and money to go to waste.
And most importantly, I don’t think I’ll be happier without a creative outlet in my life.
I can be a stickler for the rules. I am good with self-control and self-discipline.
My life would feel so restricted if I couldn’t express my thoughts and feelings freely in writing. I need my blog to process my thoughts and explore topics that appeal to me.
Step 5: Rekindle your love for blogging
If you feel tired of blogging, just take a moment and ask your self: What is it about your blog that makes you so burned out?
It could be because you’ve written so much content, read too many posts from other bloggers, commented on so many blogs but didn’t get much feedback, or simply have yet to get the traffic that you’ve aimed for.
Whatever the reason is, you can slow down on that activity and focus on what really appeals to you.
It also helps for your to talk to other bloggers to get their support and advice. For me, Lily at The Frugal Gene gave me the much needed encouragement to get me through this tough time.
For me, there are two main reasons for my burnout in October. First, my Pinterest referrals dropped drastically in the second week of that month. I tried to repin more and created new Pinterest images for my popular posts but didn’t see good results right away.
I also tried StumbleUpon and other strategies in a desperate attempt to keep my traffic up. Not seeing the outcome for the work that I put in was demoralizing.
In the third week, my traffic started picking up significantly thanks to Pinterest, but I had tried to produce so many new posts in advance (4.5 months ahead) that I got tired of writing all the time.
I needed a break and didn’t feel like typing nonstop for hours. Sometimes I felt like I just typed away without even breathing. When I did pause typing, I felt like I was just pulled out of a black hole that just kept sucking me in. It was exhausting.
After taking the much needed break on Wednesday (October 25) and the following week, I felt relieved and more energized to produce this post: How I got over a blogger burnout.
My love for blogging has been rekindled.
After this experience, I feel like blogging is like a marriage. It needs love, work, and time. My relationship with my blog needs to be nurtured.
However, when I devote too much time and energy to blogging, it can get suffocating. I tend to forget almost everything else that I used to enjoy in my life and stay razor-focused on growing my blog.
It’s almost the same as forgetting about your friends and fun activities you used to do when you were still single now that you have a husband or a boyfriend.
The new love can be sweet and enjoyable. But if I don’t know how to moderate it and balance it out with your other activities and relationships, at one point it will take over your life and leave you wondering what else you would have if you didn’t have a blog.
Of course, I would still have my family and my day job, but there’s more to life than just family, work, and blogging. I need to reassess my priorities and give blogging the right amount of time and devotion so that I won’t get burned out so badly again in the future.
If you are a blogger, have you ever experienced blogger burnout before? If yes, how did you deal with it? I’d love to know your thoughts.