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On October 25, 2017, seven months after launching Frugal Asian Finance, I got something called a blogger burnout.
A burnout is “the state of having no energy or enthusiasm because of working too hard,” according to Cambridge Dictionary.
When someone has a blogger burnout, it means that they are no longer as motivated or enthused to do anything related to their blog.
And that’s the state I found myself in after working on my blog for at least 3 hours every day for seven months (roughly 1,000 hours in total).
As a personal finance blogger, I was perplexed and disappointed in myself for not having the drive to continue with something I held so dearly to my heart.
I tried the steps I laid out for myself to get over the blogger burnout.
In a way, I got through it since I was still interested in blogging and didn’t want to give up.
Yet, the dreadful feeling of constantly churning out content lingered on.
I have to thank my blog sis Lily at The Frugal Gene for her unwavering support.
She cheered me up when I felt down and always offered suggestions on how I could improve my blog.
I can’t say enough how helpful she’s been in this blogging endeavor.
In my 11th month of blogging, I gradually realized that the burnout actually had both pros and cons to it.
Related: How To Get Over A Blogger Burnout
1. I’m no longer obsessed with blog traffic.
When I was engrossed in the blogging world, I tried to use every waking moment of my life to build my blog.
Whether it was listening to blog podcasts, writing new content, creating Pinterest images, or sharing content on Twitter and Facebook, I tried to use every minute of my day outside of family and and work to build my site.
I wanted to be productive, and nothing made me happier than knowing that I had done something useful for my site and seeing the the traffic grow.
After I got burned out from blogging, however, I reassessed my priorities and work-life balance. I realized I had spent too much time blogging: 20-25 hours a week on top of an 8-5 job and a 2.5-year-old toddler).
From being obsessed with traffic and letting it dictate my mood every single day, I started to not care as much anymore. I no longer checked my stats constantly, sometimes every 5 minutes. I didn’t feel bad when traffic dipped.
In fact, my pageviews plummeted during the Thanksgiving weekend, and I still felt happy because I was spending time with family and friends.
If it happened in my 4th month of blogging, I might have had a major nervous breakdown and probably lost sleep over it.
But it’s not the case anymore. My blog no longer took control of my life. I got my life back!
Related: The Glorious Life Of A Personal Finance Blogger
2. I spend more time with family.
I resumed some of my favorite activities I did prior to blogging without feeling guilty about it.
I watched a Christmas romantic company called “Back to Christmas” with Mr. FAF. We had a great time enjoying the movie (or at least I did) and discussed the plot and the acting.
That was something I did NOT want to do with Mr. FAF before getting the blogger burnout. Watching movies, to me, was not a good use of my time since I could have spent it blogging instead.
But now that I dreaded writing content and sometimes staying active on social media, spending time with the husband sounded appealing again.
I became more patient with Mr. FAF since I no longer felt annoyed whenever I thought he was wasting my time (i.e. asking me to find his stuff for him).
I started experimenting with some dishes for the family. I made the Vietnamese chicken soup (with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving), and got raving reviews from Mr. FAF and my mother-in-law (MIL). I also made rice pudding, and my MIL loved it.
Mr. FAF and my MIL are very honest when it comes to my cooking, so I’m confident they liked what I made. Those dishes would not have seen the light of day had I been still so obsessed with blogging and traffic.
I made this vegan rice noodle pizza. You can see Mama Tang’s recipe here.
Related: How Blogging Has Affected My Marriage
The first thing that took a hit from my blogger burnout was my traffic. After increasing at an average rate of 20% for 7 months straight, my blog traffic took the first hit in month 8.
Instead of being all moody and frustrated like I normally would, I just accepted that fact and moved on. It would be nice if the traffic kept increasing. But if it didn’t, and it was ok with me.
Rather than seeing the traffic decrease as a failure on my part, I just thought of it as part of life. There are ups and downs to everything that I do. If there’s a bump on the road, I just need to get over it and proceed with my journey.
I have no excuse. The traffic dipped, and that’s a fact.
The decline in traffic is just the tip of the iceberg. What I found particularly frustrating about the blogger burnout was my lack of passion and energy for the whole blogging endeavor.
I once thought I had found my true passion, something I could do every single day for the rest of my life: blogging about personal finance.
If I’m no longer interested in blogging, then what is it that I’m passionate about? What’s my purpose in life? Is there anything out there that I’m good at and can do even when I retire from my day job?
Related: What To Do When You Are Tired Of Money & Life
I thought I would be blogging away when I retire early. If I don’t like blogging as much anymore, what will I be doing when I’m FIRE’d? What’s the point in retiring early if I don’t know what I want to do with so much free time?
Those questions keep popping into my head, attacking my already exhausted brain, which had no answers. I felt so empty, lonely, and aimless.
I felt like I was walking alone in a jungle and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was just walking for the sake of walking. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life.
One of my biggest fears is to die one day without knowing what I’m good at or building a legacy for my offspring. That fear seems to be materializing since I don’t know what I’m good at.
I want to publish a book one day about my life and the lessons I have learned all those years of living on this earth. But if I don’t even feel like typing, then how is that book going to get finished, let alone getting published?
As you might already tell, blogging for me is not just a side business. Blogging is an outlet for my confused emotions, desires, drives, passions, interests, and everything in between.
In a way, I associated blogging with part of my identity and purpose in life. When I started doubting my passion for blogging, I also began to question my identity and lifelong goals. I felt lost.
As I’m pouring my thoughts out into a blank page of paper, I realized I had just finished a post for my blog.
It’s new content for my site. But more importantly, I have been able to articulate my perplexity into words, which in turn helps me think more clearly in figuring out what it is that I want to do with my life.
As I’m typing these last words in the article, I still don’t know where my blog is going and when this blogger burnout will ever end completely.
However, I don’t want to add more pressure on myself by posing more questions I don’t know the answer to. I will just let my head and heart guide me in this journey.
If I have something I want to share with you all, I will. If I don’t like writing, I will stop temporarily until I regain the momentum.
I have enough post backlog to know that even if I stop writing for half a year, my blog will keep going. And I hope and believe that during those six months of possibly not creating my new content, I will find my true passion and rekindle my love for blogging.
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31 thoughts on “Blogger Burnout – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”
Good luck in finding your true passion, this is the most important thing in life 🙂
Thanks for all the great content you already contributed to this blog, seems to me you’re quite good at it 😉
Thank you for the kind words! 🙂
I found I went through a similar burnout (maybe still going through?) where I needed to reset how I approached blogging. I started trying to chunk my work into blocks of time during the week (vs bits every day), take days off, ignore for an entire Saturday, etc. I think it was natural and even healthy to go through it for me… I approach blogging in a more balanced way now 🙂 Thank you for sharing and for your honesty!
I think it’s great you’ve found a strategy that works for you, Mrs. Adventure Rich! Blogging all the time can get tiring. We do need to strike a balance! 😉
Thanks for sharing this! I completely understand how you feel!
I have been working on my blog so hard for the past 4-5 months, and I can see good results. I am worried that if I put fewer hours in, I am going to lose momentum. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is being happy and have a good balance in life!
And I feel like I have been working too much between blog, real job and setting up a new rental property!
I really need to take a break! Thank you for inspiring me to do so 🙂
Hi Sara, it’s a good idea to take a break when you feel exhausted. I know having a rental property can get really stressful. I get super stressed out when we have repairs to do at our house. Best of luck with your blog and your rental property!
Burnout is a real thing 🙂 It’s okay! I think people get burned out at EVERYTHING every now and then, not just blogging 🙂
It’s really helped for me to set it down during the week and just blog on the weekends. I have little time with my life during the week and so I want to make it count, plus one full weekend day. The other weekend day, at least in the mornings, I get to blog.
It’s put some extra pressure on me to have topic ideas for a full week (something I’m terrible at but clearly you’ve been really good at with such a big backlog) but so far, so good!
Thank you, Dave! That sounds really productive! I do a log of blog-related tasks in the afternoon on the weekends too since that’s when everyone is taking a nap, and I usually don’t nap during the day unless I’m extremely tired. Gotta find time time to grow our blog hehe 😀
“One of my biggest fears is to die one day without knowing what I’m good at or building a legacy for my offspring.”
Holy cow me tooooooooo. Have I told you how it grinds at my soul everyday??? I hate this feature in our heads. 90% of people go through life happy and not worried about legacies or life goals (my husband being one of them.)
It’s so freaking hard when one spouse isn’t that supportive as they could be. He believes life has no meaning and it’s a very hard area to…disprove?
When does blogger burn out stop? Because I thought it’s something you get over… It ain’t going over. xS
I’m with Jared. When you’re dead, you’re dead. Who cares? Enjoy it while you’re alive. :b
My kid could always go read my blog. I guess that’s kind of a legacy.
It’s funny, my hubs is the one with that deep seated fear of not “having done anything big enough” with his life, whereas I’m more in the “just enjoy today, when you’re done you’re done and life goes on without you” camp. Yet still, burnout is real, and happening for me now. Thanks for the honesty and perspective Mrs. FAF.
I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that? I wonder the same thing. Will I ever find the motivation to burn out content as much as I did during the first 6 months? I hope it will happen one day!
If it’s any consolation, I started reading after your burnout began and can’t tell at all from the content. It’s hard to get anything done above and beyond a full-time job and a toddler. But it sounds like you’re doing a great job of rebalancing your priorities!
The obsession with success and faltering to comparison doesn’t exclude those of us in the PF community! I appreciate this open and honest post about something that so many people struggle with.
I think it’s great to take some time off to regain your balance and enjoy living in the present. It may even give you some new fodder to write about when you’re ready.
I would KILL for 6 months of blog content. Every post for me is like a high-speed chase where I barely make it out alive! OK, I’m being dramatic.
I’m the same way with the blogger guilt. I do spend most of my time on it, but on certain days where I spend time with family, I feel like I should be doing stuff for the blog. That’s messed up, though.
Haha! Me too, Luxe! I have never had more than two posts on deck and that is raaarrrre! I haven’t had burnout yet because I’ve been so strict with myself about how’s much I let myself blog. I started a business right after my son was born and spent waaay to much time on it, and vowed I’d never do it again. But I’ve definitely experienced burnout! It sounds like you’re working towards a more normal and reasonable schedule. That’s awesome—congrats. And your pizza looks soooo good! I bet you’re an amazingly cook!!!
Thank you for sharing, Ms. FAF. I can feel the burnout already. I’ve only been blogging for a month now and realize that although I have a lot to share, it’s challenging and time-consuming to actually put all the jumbled thoughts in my head on paper and organize them in a way so that they make sense to everyone else. I have a passion for personal finance, but not necessarily a passion for writing. =) However, I believe that I’m helping someone out there with what I share so that keeps me motivated to continue.
I think you write incredibly well and I share a lot of your concerns. I hope you will find what it is you’re truly passionate about.
So sorry to hear you are at the burnout stage, given those hours you have been putting in it’s no wonder.
Please take care of yourself, and only write when you really, truly want to.
You have created so much in so little time. Congrats. Burnout or not, seems like a huge achievement to me!
Definitely understand the blogger burnout FAF. I’ve been going through the same thing myself – I get super motivated, then just end up staring at my computer screen. February was tough for me writing wise. Sounds like you have a wonderful backlog of posts, which is amazing, so for sure, take some time to recharge!
I would say you have done quite well for coming up into your first year anniversary of launching this site. Congratulations and the site looks great.
They say this is common and having recently launched a site of my own, I am expecting to hit that wall too. That is if I can even get to that marker. 😬 Full time job and 2 young daughters doesn’t give me too much time. I am sure you understand since you have a young child of your own.
I am looking forward to more of your post and support your frugal lifestyle as I am one myself. Btw,as a new reader, I live the domain name. Asian pride! Lol
I have been a reader for quite some time now and I appreciate your content and honesty. I also feel like I can relate to you and your husband, and therefore I can empathize.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you health, wellness, and happiness 😀
“As I’m typing these last words in the article, I still don’t know where my blog is going and when this blogger burnout will ever end completely.”
You’re not alone, Mrs. FAF. I feel the exact same way. In fact, the only reason I’m building a house is because it’s giving me something to freakin’ blog about. Haha! I’m kidding, of course. But having a big project that is perfect fodder for weekly blog updates is a great way to fight through the blogger blahs. If it’s any consolation, Mrs. FAF, I’m rooting for you. Cheers.
I appreciate your honesty Mrs. FAF. Blogging isn’t easy. I can relate to what you’re currently experiencing. I started my blog in March 2017 and had many bumps along the way. Similar to you I also hit a dead end questioning if blogging about personal finance was my calling. If it’s any consolation I’d say take a break and seek advice from successful bloggers you look up to.
What helped me was realize that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I found myself constantly chasing other bloggers and reading their posts for free advice. You may get a kick from hearing Gary Vaynerchuck’s videos. He literally is walking proof that we live in a world of abundance. That you can live life on your own terms doing what you love. It won’t be easy but if it was wouldn’t everyone have success?
I’m still pursuing my blog and hope to one day build my brand to the point where many amazing opportunities open up. I wish you the best of luck Mrs.FAF. I hope that you find your passion or even next step in paving the way towards your happiness.
If it’s any consolation I think you’re good at blogging, so to me you found your thing in life. Now whether you like it or not or want to continue or not is the question you’re struggling with . To me, it’s like most (all?) things in life – they can be awesome when you start, but when there becomes a sense of duty to do it because of external pressure, then the stress and burnout start rolling in. Things that were once joyous quickly transform into “jobs”. And all us us in the PF blogger community hate those 😉
I feel your pain! Close to the end of 2017 after blogging for a little over one year, I Felt the blog burnout as well. I took some time and rethought my blog, and I decided to change some aspects of who I was targeting and what I was writing about. It helped revive me and I am feeling better right now. I’m sure you will figure it out as well.! Also, I only wish I had a 20% gain in traffic every month on average! Unfortunately that has not been the case until somewhat recently for me.
Every now and then we need to remind ourselves to slow down and look at life as a gift. Have you considered employing or hiring a VA? I used to employ one for $200/month but now my developer is doing everything for me from Pinterest to site maintenance.
I have thought about it but can’t justify the costs. I’m in the red with my blog right now. >_<
“Is there anything out there that I’m good at and can do even when I retire from my day job?”
That’s the 64 million dollar question for me too! Still not sure what the answer is…
Saw you on around the blogosphere, thought i’d come check out your page 🙂 I like the the light and airy color schemes.
I went though that. What’s the root cause of your blogging burnout? Is it because it isn’t earning any money yet? Is it because of maintenance?