So now there I was again, stressed out, asking my husband when I could quit – and could I? This is the second post along the theme “burnout” the first one was overcoming photography burnout. The product shot list was piling up. The deadlines were changing and coming up soon, there wasn’t enough time to do the tutorial, take the photo, edit and post. I was drowning yet at the same time needing to schedule more sponsored posts – because in the blogging world, you can’t stop. If you stop, your blog dies.
I want to make it clear that I love blogging – it’s my dream job. I am truly doing exactly what I want but didn’t knew it existed at the time. I’m a content creator, photographer, and writer all in one. It’s my dream job but as with any job, dream or not a dream job, there’s work, and it can easily get out of hand.
Whether you are a blogger like myself and it’s one of your main sources of income, or you use it for your business and need to blog, there are a few tips of encouragement I want to give from my experience.
This is what I had to do to save my sanity, mind and blog:
- Remember nothing is free. Rightfully so. The products you receive will be sent but since you requested it, you should post about it – it’s a fair expectation. That means work, the expectation is there and the follow-up emails will be plentiful by PR teams that may not communicate they have already seen your post. Prepare for it and then ask yourself, is that worth it? If not, kindly say you aren’t accepting free products at this time.It’s OK to accept products for free if you want it, don’t let anyone act like that’s not ok (as long as you disclose) – every blogger has taken free product in exchange for a post. You just want to make sure you don’t do that too much which in return makes you overwhelmed with more than you can handle – tasks and product.
- Place a visual reminder. I placed a Post-It on my monitor that said, “NO to free products and book reviews.” One of my visiting girlfriends who stayed in my office laughed. Eventually I removed it but at the time, my cup runneth over.
- Keep YOU in your blog. My blogging life first started as a personal blog, then I started a new one and it was all about photography sessions, then I added more of me back in it. Once I established myself as a blogger, the sponsored posts were more regular but I forgot that I needed to keep ME in the posts – my stories, not just showcasing a product. So while the work does mean it’s an advertisement/sponsored post, you also need to remember why visitors return to your blog to begin with – they like YOU. So add the personal story that relates to the sponsored post.
- Finish your commitments, stop making more. You have those assignments and products, finish it and take a break.
- Read a book. Whether it’s a business building book or one that has nothing to do with business at all – you decide what you need and what can help you escape, or motivate you – whatever you need.
- Know your worth and guard your time and energy. You worked hard for your following, page views, ranking, whatever it is – and that means you probably deserve to get compensated more than a product exchange (unless the product exchange is REALLY good there’s nothing wrong with taking it for payment!). Be cautious when companies ask you for a long list of deliverables in exchange for a $200 product that probably costs $20 to make. Those small things that you aren’t excited about will burn you out so fast.
- Don’t let your brain get over picked. I like helping people out, but if I’m already busy, a meet up to talk about business without actually getting any business might put me over the edge. Be slow to respond and think about it before you over commit to meetings. A friend of mine was overwhelmed and her husband told her, “If it does’t make money, it doesn’t make sense,” and that was a good reminder for that season in her life when time was scarce and she needed to make money.
- Mentally reset and take back your blog. Remember no one is forcing you to blog about a certain product or way. This is your blog.
- Remember why you started. What is your goal? What’s your why? Why are you doing this? That will help you get through this hard time. Maybe you started just for fun and you don’t need the money – so remind yourself that! You don’t have to keep up – if you’re happy that’s fine, but be aware of what steals happiness – being over worked and setting too high of expectations.
- Go on a vacation. Schedule posts, or don’t. Actually enjoy your vacation – whether that means you are absent from the blog or social media, or you are posting like crazy because you want to!
- Limit your sponsored posts. And really screen if you like them – are they on brand for you, genuine? Or are you doing it to pay the bills? Either way, stop trying to look busy and actually be busy doing what you love.
- Feel free to cancel the campaign. I did this recently and I did it early before product was sent. Unfortunately I misunderstood the commitment and when it was clarified there was no chance that sit well with me, the brand was great, the approach to reach my audience didn’t make me feel comfortable. If you do this, I suggest you offer a substitute for leaving. I’m writing a post about what to do if you have to break a commitment soon.
- Sign off of social media. I post on weekends if I feel like it, and I don’t feel like I need to. I don’t think anyone is sitting on their phones on the weekend thinking, “I wonder what Diana is doing and I wish she’d post a photo.” Haha so I don’t feel the need to. My social media accounts are business (with a mix of personal).
- Stop putting pressure on yourself. No one would care as much as you think if you took a break for a week. They might notice, but it wont be the end of the world if you need it to reset. Have a blogger friend guest blog and take a break.
- Hire out help. The $5-$10 you need to hire out. Someone else needs to be doing that work for you – assisting you. If it costs an extra $200 a month to hire that help, find a way to make that extra $200 a month.
- Stop comparing yourself. There will always be someone with more followers, whether you think they earned them or not (get over it, be kind) and post and move on.
I hope these tips help. I’ve been blogging since 2009, but not seriously as a blogger until 4 years ago where I decided to say, I’m a blogger. It’s been nonstop and I absolutely love it, even if it wasn’t bringing in once in a lifetime opportunities or paying the bills I still would be doing it – it’s just something I enjoy. But even the things you love that slowly turns into a career paired with being overly ambitious can get to you.
Have you ever been burnt out from a job? How did you recover?