Friend Friday: Blogger Burnout—Tips and the Truth

What is happening in the blogosphere, my lovelies? In the last few months, the bloggeristas on my reading list have been dropping like flies. I fear something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark.

Is blogger burnout getting the best of them? That’s this week’s Friend Friday* topic—hitting the blogging wall, and breaking through it.

Now on to the questions for this week.

How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Has that number changed since you started blogging?
I’m guessing I spend about 10-15 hours a week on blogging, which includes shooting and editing photos, writing, commenting, technical updates, etc. When I first started my blog, I posted rather sporadically…just a handful of posts a month. At the beginning of this year, when my direction and intent finally became clear to me (after almost four years of blogging), my blog time increased dramatically. As soon as I figured out what I wanted to focus on—and what I would no longer write about—my blog grew in virtually every way possible.

That’s kind of good and bad. The good: my readership has grown exponentially, I’ve made fantastic and fulfilling connections with other bloggers, and I’ve learned so much about social media, from the inside out. The bad: now I need more time to interact with my readers and visit their blogs, and I do feel pressure (because of lack of time) when it comes to keeping my blog fed. It’s like my baby. I feel compelled to nurture it and stretch the boundaries of my writing and creativity, and regularly.

There is always more you can do, write, read, comment on…how do you limit time spent on these tasks?
Well, my husband’s pretty good at letting me know when I’m spending too much time in front of my PC…ha!

When my blog really started taking off, I was between jobs (and countries), so I had all the time in the world to spend on it. Fast-forward a few months and suddenly I’m working full-time, I’m trying to help my expat hubby settle in on U.S. soil, I’ve got a niece and nephew I adore and try to spend time with, I’ve begun using rich media in my posts, and I’m not only writing for G&G—but three other blogs as well! GAH!

Needless to say, I had to put the kibosh on something, so here’s what I did:

  • I scaled back the frequency of my own posts to two-to-three times a week.
  • I stopped contributing regularly to two of the other blogs I was writing for; I’m now only contributing regularly to Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), because I think it is an incredible resource, and I feel like my posts there actually help younger, less experienced bloggers.
  • I’ve  stopped commenting on every single post published by my blogging homies. Wish I could hit them all, but there is just no time. I try to interact with them at least weekly since daily really isn’t possible anymore.
  • I try not to blog on the weekends. That’s my time with Hubby. I will pop on and comment in the morning since I tend to get up earlier than he does, but once he’s up, I move on to brekkie and the rest of my day.

I’m sure some people in my life would like me to scale back even further, but the Web is my thing, and my blog actually makes me a stronger Web content editor and creative professional. I’m a writer and the Web is my medium. I have to do it.

Have you experienced blogger burnout yet? How have you dealt with that?
I have. I took a six-month break from July to December 2008; I had so much going on in my life and I needed time to digest it all. But eventually the fog cleared, and I came back, on a new blogging platform.

I actually just wrote a post about this very thing for IFB; if you want to know more about the symptoms of blogger burnout, and tips for dealing with it, check out Beating Blogger Burnout.

I started to feel a little burned out this past summer as well, so I re-prioritized my responsibilities and decided that outside of the occasional post, I would stop contributing to blogs other than G&G and IFB. And I also made a firm rule: I will only write and post when I am 100% into it. If not, then I will not post. That’s the surest way to loathe something, and I think for creatives, it’s the kiss of death. I take the same approach toward painting: I only paint when I “feel” it. That’s like every five years or something. But I get good results.

This time of the year is always a lot busier than any other time. Will your blogging change as a result?
I’m not sure that it will change much because I will not be away for the holidays, and I’ve got a pretty manageable blogging schedule. Other than a mini blogger meetup, and a guest post here and there (I can’t wait to share…I’ll be guesting on at least two other blogs!), my blogging should remain unaffected. Should. But life is unpredictable, so you have to just try to roll with it.

Could you forsee a moment in which you are not blogging anymore? How would you you identify that it’s time to walk away?
Walk away?! After all the work I’ve put into my blog over these years? No can do. Burnout, schmurnout, I say. I might take a hiatus if life demands it, but I really cannot imagine never blogging again. I love it too much. It’s my #1 hobby…aside from shopping, of course.

As I said above, I’m a writer. The way I cope with my emotions—happiness, anger, bewilderment, frustration, melancholy—is through writing. And the only medium I’ve found that allows me to meld the verbal and the visual (and my love of technology) is blogging. So I’m here to stay, whether I have one reader or one million (yeah, right). I ain’t goin’ out like dat!

*The Friend Friday project by Modly Chic is a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and create a friendly connection with other bloggers. Join the conversation by joining the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group.

60 comments

  1. Amazing post, I feel that I should comment more, but right now I feel like I’m kind of stuck
    I just read almost hundreds of posts, and replied to comments and edited my pics, so I’m just burnt out right now
    I will take a wee break dear, and when I feel I’m up for it, I’ll come back to this comment and perhaps add more
    Hope you don’t mind and thanks for understanding

    Kisses
    J
    xoxo

    1. Hi V, hope your weekend is filled with fun 🙂
      Btw, I really LOVE this topic, but for me, I blog because I want to, I don’t want to feel pressure or stress.
      It just so happen that blogging is sort of a full time job for me, so the whole posting and commenting, I take it as part and parcel of the job, right now, I am still enjoying it very much, but i’ll definitely take a break when I’m burnt out, thus the previous comment 🙂
      Wishing you a happy day
      Kisses
      Jemina
      xoxo

  2. Not having a full-time job, I look at blogging as my job so I like having some structure with it – but at the same time you need to be inspired and you can’t force that.

  3. That is the approach I take with blogging; if I’ve nothing to say, I don’t post.

    Or I become Dave Kendall and just post music videos. 😛

    I sometimes think I should do more beyond my scheduled posts, but I feel a bit better about that now that I’ve read your view on the subject. I definitely don’t wish to depart from the blogger’s mortal coil any time soon.

  4. Definetly feeling the burnout coming over me, and am seriously considering taking a two week leave over christmas, but am not sure i will be able to fully disconnect. we are going to hawaii, so i feel like i should do it, but i am scared!! luckily i can auto-post every day, but e-mails would pile up, comments, so on, so on… im not sure what to do!

    all though yesterday i was refueled by a nomination for best outfit blog here in norway, sure helps to get feedback that one is doing something right! 🙂

  5. Great post V! I’d love to see what your next paintings all about cos the one we all saw in a vlog was amazing!!!
    You’re also absolutely right about posting when you feel like it too… I no longer post everyday and i’ve tried to get into the 3 days a week posting schedule, but working 6 days a week, leaves little time for everything else-friends, family, general day to day life.
    I’m also in a situation where work/life is demanding more from me at the mo, so it is really difficult to comment on every single post on everyone/my fave gals blog post. I do read the posts, but interacting requires more time for sure!

    Anyhoos, what better time to take a break than X mas? It’s supposed to be a special time with family and friends eh?
    x.o.x.o

  6. Thank you for everyone of your posts.
    I know that commenting everytime is time cosuming, but I do know That you are there for me, and many other bloggers, and all I have todo is to stretch my hand if I need you. And you will be there…
    Un abrazo siemnpre my dear friend.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  7. Oh V, I can totally relate to what you are saying. As you know, I have been blogging for just over 6mths. Your blog was one of the first I came across. Just recently I have questioned why I am doing this for. Then I realize the reason why is because I love photographing. Sharing my love of fashion and my photos is great and I love the reactions of the unknown people I photograph and also the readers who read it. Just recently the blog has really taken off and my web traffic is actually going up quite a lot. I am getting all sorts of offers now. Who knows what will happen but for the moment I am loving the ride.

    LOx

  8. This is a great post. As a beginning blogger, it is always great to read tips about how to stay passionate about blogging. I have so much to learn and love gaining insight from experienced, successful bloggers!! Thanks for the post!!

    P.s. Looking forward to hopefully meeting you when styleactivist and I come through!

    -Meghan Rae
    http://www.thefashionistafoodie.blogspot.com

  9. I love that you said blogging is your #1 hobby – after shopping!! Totally how I feel!

    You clearly have a massive passion and drive for blogging and it comes through in your writing 🙂

    xx

  10. FASCINATING. Your relationship to your blog sounds similar to mine – you’ve I’m guessing been doing it longer – so it feels like reading my own experience further down the road. I’m finding that on the weekends my husband has gotten used to the ‘how long will it take you to shower/dress/post (or pack, if we’re going away’ – that kind of blog-time is small compared to what’s going on during the week.

    This is my first Friend Friday and this topic is so relevant to me now. I’ll be going back to this post again to help me keep it in perspective. The problem I’ve had for quite a while is I happen to FEEL like posting every day. But I have to remember – thank you for reminding me – that I don’t have to unless I’m feeling it.

    You’ve also said exactly how I feel about that guilt about not visiting and commenting on every single post my friends do. It’s lovely to have so many friends – real and virtual – and I got spoiled when some of them were in the position to comment on every post I’ve done. I get so few comments compared to my viewers and I realise it’s because I don’t comment enough – and when I do, I go on forever, like I’m doing here. Which is why I can only manage a few comments a day! Anyway, today, you’re the lucky one. Have a great weekend and hope you can steer clear of your laptop. I love your blog & the way you think, & will be back. x

  11. I totally wished I had participated in this weeks questions. I guess it’s not too late, but my full time job is consuming my life right now. Anyway, as usual, thanks for your wisdom!! I have been fighting the proverbial blogger burnout for months now primarily as a result of such a big lifestyle change with my move but I am determined to push through it because I do love blogging and the interaction with other fabulous ladies that comes with it. Interestingly enough, it feels like I have to find my voice all over again…like when I first started.

    Oh, and Kristy is all around amazing. I will definitely be supporting her Full Time Fabulous blog and hoping she wins! She’s one talented lady!

  12. Oh, and you are so right about the hubby. Fabrice is quick to let me know when my blogging time is getting out of hand. Lol! We had an all out war about it when I first started but I have found balance these days and he’s much happier.

    1. Hmmm. That war. I know that war. I’m trying to do better myself. Can’t say I blame them, you know? If only we could clone ourselves!

  13. Good Morning V!! Thank you again for another fabulous post! I always have so much to say after reading your posts ha!
    I do feel like I have teetered with blogger burnout not because I have run out of ideas believe me, I constantly have a million ideas running through my mind at any one point, but because I get really hung up on my follower count. Some weeks it rises quickly, some weeks it rises slowly, some weeks it stays the same. And I let it control my emotions WAY TOO MUCH! But I have tried to just keep on because I really do enjoy blogging so much and I look forward to interacting with all of the wonderful women I have met through blogging! My husband too gets soooo annoyed with me!! I have my email on my phone too so when we have a date and I am contstantly checking my email and Twitter he tells me to “put it away please”. I try to tell him my blogging job never ends! It is always running!!
    I would say I spend about 15 hours a week also on my blog getting posts ready etc. Sometimes more if you count all the brainstorming, ideas, and outfit planning running through my mind at any given point!!
    Ok I am done rambling!
    HAve a fab weekend with your Hubs and I will do the same!
    XX

    1. Hey Angela, I feel ya, girl. It’s taken some willpower, but do NOT pull out my iPhone when I’m out with Hubby anymore. I wouldn’t want him to do that to me either. I’d like to say I don’t check it but I do…but only if I’ve taken a trip to the powder room!

  14. Great post V and I’m surprised to see you took a six month break and still managed to come back as strong as ever. Also, way to give a shout-out to Kristy. I’ll be profiling her on Monday – she really is exceptional! – Katy

  15. You’re answers are always so well thought and personal. Every thing you’ve written is so valid and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve experienced blogger burnout on more than one occasion, but I liken it to motherhood. Mothers are always burnt out but that doesn’t stop you from caring for your child. I’ve had to readjust life and set parameters so that I don’t get so burnt out that I never return. Love the tip on only posting when you’re 100% into it and I really believe that if you need a break from blogging, take one. You’re readers will understand and at the end of the day you have to take care of yourself first.

    Great post! Luv ya V!

  16. I always love your answers!

    I am with you on scaling back. I know in the beginning with me I felt like I had to be everywhere and on top on every single story in order for my blog to suceed. I’m finding now a year later that it’s not the case and only leads to burn out! You’ve got to feel your posts 100% or it’s not worth it. I’m in the process of going through some weekly things I do on my blog and getting rid of those I’m not feeling to make room for more exciting things I want to try (like more outfit posts! Yay! LOL). Switching things up is a great way to keep you excited and creative for your blog.

  17. Great post. I think I need to accept that posting a certain number of times a week is not what’s important; quality should always be the focus. With my life change of moving from a city to a small beach town, my blog, too, has gone through quite a few changes. I’ve struggled with mixed emotions, most of all feeling as though my new casual look wasn’t worth posting and would end up hurting my follower count. I think I may have convinced myself that blogging more frequently would somehow compensate for what my outfits are lacking. While blogging has definitely become a part of who I am, I also feel conflicted about spending too much time on a computer. I mean, all too soon I will be back to working a full time job, certainly one using a computer. I really think savoring this time in my life might be more important than focusing on the numbers behind my blog.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Santina

    1. Hi Santina, thanks for your comment. This has been a hell of a year for you, that I know. Savoring your down time and going with the flow is a good think…trust your gut!

  18. How thoughtfully written! You are quite eloquent that it made me not only read the entire piece but it also made me feel compelled to bookmark this post for future reference. I haven’t reached that B. burn-out yet since I just started months ago but I’m certainly realizing it’s no easy feat!

    Thank you for this!

    xox,

    ML

  19. Your post on IFB and this one here are really fantastic. It’s inspiring how much passion and talent you have for blogging, but even more so, for writing. I also wanted to say that I very much appreciate how you support beginning bloggers and those of us who have a more limited readership. It is one of the things that makes the time and effort I put into blogging all seem worthwhile.

    1. LHdM, thank you very much! I appreciate your kind comment…I’m glad we’ve found ourselves a nice place in the blogosphere, a good little community of supportive and fashionable friends! We have to support each other. That’s the way it should be.

  20. This is such a great post, V!! Before I got a job, I had all the time in the World to blog, spending up to 8 hours on my laptop. That was certainly not healthy! Now, with my job, I am finding it hard to fit everything in, so like you, I have scaled back my posts and aim to post four times a week. I think that’s a nice amount and it avoids the dreaded burnout.

    Again, love this post. :)SArahD

  21. You know, I wasn’t sure you were going to participate in this week’s FF because I had read your post on IFB and thought you had covered so much of this… I am so glad you did though! I especially adore your answer to the last question.

    “As I said above, I’m a writer. The way I cope with my emotions—happiness, anger, bewilderment, frustration, melancholy—is through writing. And the only medium I’ve found that allows me to meld the verbal and the visual (and my love of technology) is blogging.”

    That is so perfect, and really mirrors my own feelings about it. Blogging is both my creative and emotional outlet, so I plan to stick it out for as long as humanly possible. Hopefully that will be for a long time!

    As for your blog, if you are ever down to 1 reader, I’ll die of shock. Aim for millions, babe. You can do it!

  22. Blogging and shopping is what I do best! I checked out Kristy’s blog and she is fantastic! Love your blog too and how awesome are you that you give the love to your other blogger friends. Hope you have a fab weekend. xo

  23. As expected: GREAT post. A lot of burnout going on because there is now a lot of bloggers. Yeah, I’m feeling it myself, not so much like I won’t do it again, but that I need to chill a bit. Since blogging for 3 blogs and starting a couple of projects, my head is spinning on all the info I take in, and send out. I’m all for a blogger holiday. Thanks for saying it so well, and putting it down so clearly.

    PS: Kristy Elena rocks!

  24. I really admire all the effort you’ve put into making Grit & Glamour a labour of love and such a comprehensive archive. Was laughing though at the caption of how your hubby would like to strange you 😉

  25. I definitely love your rule of “If I’m not 100% into it, I don’t post.” I could learn a lot from that, and I’m definitely going to apply that to my own blogging style. I’m the type of person to post just because I need to, and sometimes when I’m not into it, it’s painfully obvious. Thanks for the great post!

  26. Hey V

    At my old job I used to write for the company blog and I just didn’t enjoy it in the slightest and it definitely showed in the quality of my writing. It was a lesson learned for my own blog so I definitely feel you on this comment “I will only write and post when I am 100% into it. If not, then I will not post. That’s the surest way to loathe something, and I think for creatives, it’s the kiss of death”

    I love reading your blog, your posts entertain, educate and inspire. I want my blog to be as good as Grit and Glamour and after reading this particular post I realise I have to make a whole lot more effort. You are dedicated to your craft and it shows in your work, I’m going to follow in your footsteps and with any luck I will get the same results.

    1. Aw, Hannah, that is one of the sweetest comments I have ever received. Thank you…I am so very flattered!

      You just keep writing…if you can take any classes on writing for the Web or social media, they’d probably serve you very well.

  27. You are such an inspiration V! I love reading about your personal blogging journey. Your points are always right on target and I’ve learned so much from you.
    “I will only write and post when I am 100% into it.” I love this! When I first started blogging I was completely guilty of quantity over quality but I’ve learned that posting something you’re not totally feeling is poison. Like you said above, it’s the kiss of death. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back and deleted those posts because I feel like they don’t properly represent me or my blog. I still catch myself from time to time doing this but I’m really trying to focus on only posting content on my blog that I’m passionate about and can 100% stand behind. I don’t want to waste my time or my readers time on a half-ass post. Great post V! xx

  28. It was great to see your take on this Friend Friday. Your posts are always so helpful and well thought out. I still haven’t quite found my niche with blogging, but I haven’t given up on it yet, and am still working at it.

  29. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh vahni, thank you so much, for both sharing my sunglass hut blog and for all the kind words.

    ok, so i had no idea that a bunch of people were dropping out of blogging!! it’s crazy how involved i’ve been in blogging lately, but at the same time i feel so isolated because it’s a new focus.

    i agree with you, i don’t think i would ever just… stop blogging. all that work, all that effort? and then what? plus i’m pretty much planning on further entering the fashion industry through blogging, so i take it all very seriously. =P

    i laughed when i read the part about your hubby letting you know when you’ve spent too much time on the computer. my bf is the same way. though lately he’s had to ease up, but under normal circumstances he helps keep me from getting sucked directly through the computer into the blogosphere!

    when you said you were between countries… where were you before?! is your hubby australian? =)

  30. I briefly saw the post you did on IFB but I didn’t realise it was you that had written it. It’s funny as I always intend to read the posts on IFB but sometimes lack of time makes me focus on other things.

    I work full time so usually juggle my job with blogging. I have kind of devised a routine so I have scheduled days of the week and times where I post. I don’t always stick to this 100% it does tend to vary from time to time. But I’m always surprised at how long it actually takes me to go from writing a post finding the pictures and actually getting up on my blog I can easily spend an hour doing that. I’d say in total for the week I’m probably putting in around 7 hours approx. That’s a rough guess, it can vary. A lot of my time goes into commenting on other blogger’s blogs, stumbling, tweeting then researching about blogging and reading about blogging related topics.

    Being a relatively new blog I still feel that unless I put the effort in getting my blog out there I won’t see any return in terms of comments/traffic to my own. But I’m always more than happy to share the love and give value to other bloggers in whatever way I can.

    I wouldn’t say I have yet to fully feel a burn out but I can easily see how other bloggers can feel burned out. I see some people tweeting like 83 times a day, posting every day and such. I know Christmas is coming so it’s going to be harder for me to spend as much time on my blog as I have done. I think the key thing is to post quality content, even if you cut back on your posting volume.

  31. Another great FF post!
    I adore Kristy and wishing her all the best with her Full Time Fabulous blog! She has so much potential, I hope they see it! 🙂
    I wasn’t aware that a lot of bloggers had dropped out lately, but it is sad that they can’t carry on. I limited myself to sundays when I was really busy and although it’s christmas time and I probably should be even busier we have started getting in staff so that I can have time off now and again, but i’m starting to up my days to 2 now. I think it’s just about blogging in moderation and having stamina at the end of the day. Maybe they were trying too hard or thinking too much. I know when I start to think about things too much my mind goes into shutdown mode so all they probably need is a break and get inspired by the world around them!!
    xoxo
    Meg

  32. These are great answers – especially for us “baby bloggers” to read. My blog is only 6 weeks old so I haven’t gotten close to burnout yet but I do understand the pressure to post/comment frequently. In trying to build my readership I have found myself up WAY past my bedtime so I have had to tell myself “no blogging past 9:30P”
    I do enjoy your blog and thank you for the time you put in to posting, commenting, sharing, and answering the questions we “newbies” throw your way.
    PS – I got the code you sent me inserted in my blog – even though it’s not really positioned where I intended. At least it is out there! Thanks again!
    http://www.fashnlvr.blogspot.com

  33. Lovelies, thank you all so very much for your thoughtful comments! Time got away from me last week, but I will endeavor to visit all your blogs this week!

  34. I am guessing I am one of those gals who fell off the map?! Yes, I have experienced blogger burn out and I love that this post is here for me to read now. I find I burn out when I start working 15-18 hour days at work to meet our deadlines. I am a corporate designer and that is very creative and I give %110 percent to it. I find it sucks all the creative energy I have and when I come to blog I have no more to give. I am working really hard on creating a balance. I know 2011 will only be more productive for me and there will still only be 24 hours in a day. I really like your plan of blogging two days a week. I am going to incorportate that model into my set of goals for 2011. Thank you V for all your great advice over the year. I am thankful you are a part of my life.
    Happy Holidays!
    XOXO Mish

    1. Oh my, that is such a lovely comment, Mish. Thank you! You know, modern life in general is all about finding balance. You’d think with all our conveniences and time-saving devices we’d have more time, but we actually have less!

      You will find your balance. And it’s great so see your name here again!

  35. Great answers, I tend to go with the flow myself, I’ve never really had blogger burnout, but I had life burnout. I hit a period where everything was just going wrong and I had to take a step back, I was unmotivated and felt pretty downtrodden, so I knew I couldn’t focus on producing anything for that time. I’m still dealing with a lot of these things, but much more constructively, and blogging helps get some positive energy flowing, for sure.

    1. Hi Miss ED, thanks for sharing. Yes, life burnout does happen, and taking a step back is always the right thing to do. When I’ve had life burnout, I also found blogging to be very therapeutic. We just all need to remember that we should only blog when we feel the need. When we adhere to that, we stay balanced. There is no pressure.

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