I have been blogging since March, 2014 and while I’ve gone on a few hiatuses since starting my original blog, I don’t think I was ever really burnt out of blogging. There have been times when I was close to a blog burn out, but I have managed to work through these periods and I haven’t experienced anything like that for quite some time.
In today’s post, I’ll be discussing how I’ve avoided the dreaded blog burn out, and while this isn’t a “tip post” exactly, I do hope that my own experiences and methods will prove to be helpful for some of you, at least.
scheduling ahead of time
The most important step I’d taken to avoid feeling burnt out was to start scheduling posts ahead of time. While I wouldn’t call it a burn out, there are times when I’m not in the mood to blog. Granted, in most cases, I could force myself to sit down and write something, but I believe that would lead to a proper burn out, which is something I always try to avoid. On top of that, I don’t always have the time or mind-space to come up with new ideas and give them proper attention to make a good post out of them.
Thankfully, at other times, I can and want to write multiple posts in a couple of days, which makes up for the times when I just can’t concentrate on blogging. Typically, I have posts scheduled well into the future. I know scheduling is not for everyone, but I still recommend trying it out, as it has taken out all the stress from blogging for me. For those who have a predictable schedule – e.g. university students, like myself – I recommend trying to prepare for the periods when you know there’s a good chance you won’t feel up to blogging. For instance, I always make sure to have posts scheduled throughout my exam period.
posting about what I want
The second most important thing was to realize that this is my space on the internet, and as such, I can do whatever I want with it. Even a few years ago, I used to feel a pressure to write reviews, simply because they are “expected” from book bloggers. I kept seeing all the wonderfully detailed, convincing reviews my favorite bloggers were writing, and I wanted to create content like that.
However, I grew to recognize that it’s more important to create posts I’m actually enjoying working on than to force myself to write something I have little interest in writing. I still review books, but I tend to write mini reviews these days that I group together based on the genre of the books, or another aspect of them. One of my favorite things I’ve started is ranking books written by a given author; these posts contain nearly full length reviews, but I enjoy myself way more than I ever did when I wrote single reviews.
As a whole, though, I post a lot more recommendations and discussions than reviews, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Part of what I love about blogging is that I get to talk to you all in the comments – or on your blogs – and recommendations, discussions, and even mini reviews tend to create more of a discussion than simple reviews.
Another thing I find important when it comes to creating content is to write about whatever I am interested in, even if it’s not just books. I really appreciate it when bloggers share their favorites or hobbies on their blogs that are not necessarily related to reading. In our case, Sabrina and I both loved working on our folklore post, in which we paired Taylor’s songs with some of our favorite novels, and as such we connected an album we loved with reading.
Letting Go of ARCs
Let’s go back to the topic of reviews for a moment! Knowing that ARC reviews bring in more views than backlist reviews – do they still, though? I don’t necessarily think so. – I requested ARCs left and right. Being a smaller blogger, I obviously didn’t get everything I requested, but it was enough to make me feel like reading was a chore. When I had to get to certain titles by a certain date, reading and reviewing started to feel like a job, albeit one I was not paid to do.
These days, I rarely – if ever – request ARCs, and I’m much happier this way. That being said, this is not me saying that “ARCs are bad!” I know many incredible reviewers who request and review tons and tons of ARCs, and I love their blogs and all the effort they put into their reviews. Just because something doesn’t work for me, it can still work very well for others.
Coming Up With Post Ideas
When it comes to coming up with post ideas, mine tend to come pretty naturally to me, but I’ve also been inspired by other bloggers before. (Do not copy other bloggers, though! That’s not what I’m saying.) For example, a few months ago, I was inspired by Caitlin’s tweet to write a post where I shared my all time favorite pieces of media. Then, Emily – who really enjoyed the post/liked the idea – asked for permission to create her own list. This is what I’d consider a respectful way to be inspired, but usually it’s more subtle than this.
For those of you who are as forgetful as I am, I recommend writing down all your ideas, even the ones you are not 1000% satisfied with; you can always start working on reshaping these ideas whenever you are in the mood to blog. I note down every idea I have into my phone, which I always have with me, even though some of these are pretty silly and will never see the light of day.
Do you suffer from blog burn outs? Do you have any tips for avoiding them? Do my methods work for you, or not?