How I Avoided Burnout During 10 Years of Blogging

4 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout from a 10 Year Blog Veteran at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

When I shared my 10 years of blogging celebration post last week, I got asked how I avoided burnout over all these years. And the truth is, I really have, all without taking any extended breaks, rebranding or changing topics. I’m very proud of that because I’ve seen many bloggers succumb to the blogging pressures over the years and either quit from burnout or take long breaks away to regroup. It happens, the pressures are many that is for sure. Blogging for income is not for the faint of heart. There is always something more to learn, to do, to hustle for. Literally you could spend 24 hours a day working on your blog and still not feel like you are any farther ahead. It’s hard y’all, especially now with so many blogs on the market vying for reader eyeballs. It’s made even harder with a whole new crop of bloggers making a living adding fear to the mix with posts like “top 10 pinning secrets you MUST know to get ahead” and “do these five things NOW before your blog tanks for good”. You know the ones I’m talking about. Then there are Facebook Live feeds, Periscopes and many a webinar that if you don’t watch right this minute they’ll be gone forever and you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. It’s brutal and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. Now listen I’m not dogging on those who are just trying to make a living, I get that, but for those of us that are constantly bombarded by the pressure, it can be very very hard to not get sucked in to the more and more mentality. Honestly at such a pace it would be very hard not to eventually burnout. Here are a few ways I’ve avoided it all these years.

Purpose and Priority:

I discovered during my first year of blogging that I could make an income writing about organizing, something I’m so very passionate about as you know. My youngest was a baby and I had recently been laid off from my job as a Payroll Administrator while I was pregnant with him. So my husband and I agreed that if I could make an income blogging I could stay home with my little guy, something I’d always dreamed of doing with my older two but couldn’t manage financially. So I was motivated and with a lot of perseverance I did it.  For the past ten years I’ve been able to stay at home with my kiddos working from home, helping others and it has been such a blessing. I get teary just typing that, I’m so grateful for it.

Blog purpose = to make an income and to help others get “hooked” on organizing right along with me.

Priority = work from home making a part time income in order to stay at home with my kiddos

However, here’s where it gets tricky. The opportunities with blogging are so vast and fruitful that engaging in all these enticing things can easily become the priority rather than the means to facilitate the priority already in place. It’s a slippery slope especially when blogging can be so validating and rewarding leaving us wanting more and more.  And let’s face it, parenting isn’t always quite as glamorous. Yet I kept my focus in tact all these years by essentially using my priority as a decision making barometer and that has made all the difference in avoiding the stress that leads to burnout.

So whether your priority is to create a business that both you and your husband can run or just make enough to cover your monthly grocery bill, to avoid burnout narrow in on what your purpose and priority is to help guide the decisions you make along the way.

Put Up Boundary Fences:

Knowing I only wanted to work part time, I implemented work hours right from the beginning. These boundaries really helped me separate my work and family. When you love what you do it can be so hard to close the door at the end of the day and walk away. There is always one more email to answer, one more opportunity to get excited about, one more webinar to watch, one more person to help. It never ends unless we are intentional about drawing that line that says enough.  There will always be more that you can do or that someone will want from you, so you have to put boundaries in place to protect your priority. For me, right now, that means taking two days off a week where I don’t even open my computer and I don’t work evenings.

Another important boundary I put in place early was to keep my personal life separate from the blog. My blog is my work and I try not to mix the two. For instance, I have a separate personal Facebook page that I’m very careful who I invite as a friend. I also rarely cross post my work stuff on my personal page. My friends know what I do but they also know it’s not who I am. I am the Organizing Junkie online but to my friends and family I want to be known as a fun loving girl of God that just happens to blog.  Does that make sense?

I’ve also not once in 10 years of blogging, shared a picture of my family or given their names. It hasn’t been easy and I’m pretty sure it has had a negative effect on my blog growth but it’s also been a key way to keep my two identities separate and private. It’s tough though because I do consider my readers to be friends too but it’s just a necessary way for me to simplify things and keep them more compartmentalized in the long run. How organized of me right? Ha! But at the end of my work day I can close my office door and transition to home life without work following me. I can choose not to check work emails or my work social media channels because my work and personal life online aren’t intertwined.

Step Off the Comparison Train:

Okay here’s a big one and quite honestly this has been the hardest one for me to learn. Experience has taught me that in order to keep your sanity about you, you really need to throw away the “keep up” mentality that comes when we compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing. If we are constantly trying to keep up, we can never be proud of where we are and what we have accomplished. The thing is don’t compared yourself to someone else who may have a different purpose and priority to you. You worry about yourself and don’t panic when others seem to be doing more and you feel like you might be getting left behind. Easier said than done I know! Take the advice of this young thing. So cute!

Listen everything comes at a cost. I would absolutely love to provide my readers with ebooks and workshops and online courses. There are some awesome bloggers doing just that. But when I evaluate what can be done within the boundaries I have set (see why that step is so important to do?), these things just don’t make the cut for me right now. Instead I focus on what I have been able to accomplish…I’ve written a book, I’ve written thousands of blog posts and helped a lot of people get organized all while being able to stay at home with my three kids. It truly is incredible and I’m extremely grateful. The thing to remember here is that we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes with these other bloggers we may be comparing ourselves to and what it is “costing” them to do all the things they are doing. There usually is a sacrifice somewhere.

Clutter rehab final

I can only do what I can do in the time frame I have available and as a result this has meant that I have had to turn down many opportunities including things like sponsored trips and blog conferences. Would these things have helped grow my blog? Absolutely they would have and I could certainly be making more money than I am now. But that’s not my priority for this season of life and I need to keep that front and center in my mind at all times.

Remember to just go at your own pace within the boundaries you have set for yourself.

Something else that doesn’t work for me…stat checking. I would live in the pit of despair if I tied my worth to the stats I gather from my analytics especially when compared to how other bloggers stack up. I actually didn’t track stats at all for the first five years of my blogging experience and only do now, once a month, to provide to potential sponsors. Would stressing out over numbers change how I blog within the boundaries I have set? Nope, I would blog exactly the same whether I had a following of 100 or 10,000 a day.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of keeping up with others and all there is to do, sometimes it helps to just stop the noise for awhile.

How to Stop the Noise that Clutters Our Minds

Let Go of the Guilt:

Finally, having all these above steps in place has really allowed me to let go of any guilt I feel for being content right where I am. I have struck a beautiful balance for this time in my life. It doesn’t mean that this won’t change eventually especially with my kids getting older. Occasionally I do take some time to re-evaluate my priorities and what it means for the future of this blog. At some point I’m guessing I will run out of organizing things to talk about, although I honestly thought it would have happened a long time ago :)

I hope that by sharing my experience with you here, I might be able to help someone who is struggling with burnout from the demands and pressures of blogging or any other job really.  Know your purpose and priorities for what you are doing, put boundaries in place to facilitate these, don’t compare yourself to others in the process and most definitely let go of the guilt. What works for you and your family is exactly right.

What else would you add to this list?

If you liked today’s post please be sure to share it with your friends and also subscribe to my blog so you never miss an update. Thank you!

How to Avoid Blogger Burnout from a 10 year blog veteran

  • This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you,  if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Filed under: Blog Business, My Life

Comments

20 Responses to How I Avoided Burnout During 10 Years of Blogging

  1. 1
    Jean says

    Belated congratulations on your 10 year blogging anniversary! I loved reading your fresh perspective on avoiding burnout. I’ve been reading your blog since before I started a blog myself and it is still one of my favorites.

  2. 2
    Linda S says

    thank you thank you! I loved this post and all you shared in it. Your words of wisdom can be applied not just to blogging (which I greatly appreciate just now!) but to so may areas of our lives.
    I’ve enjoyed following you all these years (not quite since the beginning but almost!) and look forward to visiting often in the years to come. Congratulations and Blessings on your 10 Year Blogiversary!

  3. 3
    Mridu Parikh says

    So much wisdom in this Laura. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I agree with you that the “comparison train” is definitely the hardest. Kudos to you for staying true to yourself and always circling back to your priorities. Thanks for all your inspiration friend. :) xoxo

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Mridu, it’s not always easy but it is worth it!

  4. 4
    Hilda says

    Thanks for these great tips Laura! Blogging is a part-time thing for me too but I haven’t done nearly as well as you at setting priorities and boundaries and when too much is going on I end up taking a break from blogging and find it hard to get back at it. I’m going to work on that… especially knowing how it’s helped you all these years :) Congratulations on your 10 years of blogging… that’s such a huge milestone!

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Thanks Hilda, it definitely takes practice but it’s so nice to have a peace about it.

  5. 5
    Linda says

    I get caught up in bright shiny things. Maybe I should change what I’m blogging about? Maybe I should write a different way? Maybe…..
    I get a bit frantic when I write what I think is a good blog, but nobody comments.
    I wrote down why I blog, and remind myself to read it. This helps. Thanks for your writing.

  6. 6
    Thea says

    thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for sharing your wisdom. I have to say that your message is the best I have come across. I so agree with your point about not succumbing to the pressure.I work hard to just be me and blog about what I love. It is so true that blogging can be an infinite process that can consume you if you let it. The frustrating part about blogging for me is there are so many things that are out of my control. The only thing I can control is the quality of what I produce and the enjoyment I can gain from it. It is those two things I make my blog purpose and priority. I work hard to stay away from all of the what I call negative noise in the blogging world! Here is to another ten years!

    • 6.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Great point Thea, I think you do a terrific job being authentic. And I agree it definitely takes practice to learn how to ignore the negative noise.

  7. 7
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy says

    Thank you so much, Laura. This is very helpful to me. After 4 years of blogging I don’t know if I’m burned out, but I’m definitely frustrated and wondering what the heck I’m doing! This post gives me some very practical ideas for getting focused and sticking with my purpose.

  8. 8
    Brenda says

    That’s great that you set up such a good system at the beginning, that you’ve been able to be a successful blogger for 10 years. Congratulations!

  9. 9
    Brie says

    This is so beautiful. I’m planning to start a blog soon, and I appreciate what you’ve shared here- especially about your priorities and boundaries. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas … and congratulations on your ten years!

  10. 10
    Kristi says

    Oh my goodness, this was just what I needed to read today Laura! You are SO right, I need to really think about my purpose within all of this and then bring everything back to that. LOVE it!

    • 10.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hey Kristi! It really does make a difference especially if you are a person who hates to make decisions like I do. Decisions are easier when you have a solid reason/goal behind why you are doing something.

  11. 11
    Marcia at Organising Queen says

    Loved this post, Laura! I love your priorities and purpose point, and am very impressed you’ve never shared names and photos of your family online :)

    I’m not sure if it’s because we’re not in North America or what, but if I ever even make petrol money from my blog, I’ll be doing the happy dance ;)

    xxx

  12. 12
    Daria says

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I needed this post so much! As a new blogger (who doesn’t make any income from my blog yet) it’s so easy to sit here all day saving articles and watching webinars and feeling like everyone else has got it down and I’m so far behind. You’ve helped me put this in perspective. I’m in this for the long haul and it doesn’t all need to be done right now. Thank you very much for your perspective.

    • 12.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh you are so welcome Daria, so glad it could help. Pacing yourself is a big part of the process for sure. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

  13. 13
    ECPC says

    Congratulations, and thanks for your wise insight! I’m presently deciding whether to begin a blog, again. My “first” blog, was a personal exercise in being bolder about putting my photographs and writing “out there”, and making regular writing more of a habit. I’m now mulling over the primary purpose and mission of my “next” blog, and whether or not to “monetize” it. I’ll be referencing your site for tips, as I see that you’ve got good priorities backing up your purpose! Thanks for that!

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *