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As the dog days of summer drag on, are you feeling the heat? You know the kind of heat I’m talking about…..

The freshness of spring has worn off and been replaced with that seemingly endless, dragging feeling that fall might never arrive. You lost your new year zeal quite awhile back. It’s the middle of the summer slow down; the pocketbook is feeling it. You’re trying to focus forward to an exciting, and profitable holiday season. You need to end this year with a bang.

And then, on top of it all, you have your gosh darn blog to maintain. You’re feeling dry and it’s showing in your writing, and your stats. You’re feeling the heat. You are just burned out on the whole shebang right now. You wonder at times if it is even worth it.

You wonder at times if it is even worth it.

It does, you know this. You know that, when done right, a blog with well-structured SEO can help to build a larger, more consistent audience, and enables you to pop into more and more search options.

If you are sitting there and truly wondering whether or not blogging is helpful, then you should READ THIS.

If I lost you at SEO, READ THIS instead.

By the end of your reading adventure, you should be well aware as to the benefits (and necessity) of having a blog.

What to do? Sigh.

First, you need to realize, you are not alone. I don’t know a serious blogger who does not struggle with the same. The successful ones have learned how to manage burnout and experience it a whole lot less though. They keep that winning edge more consistently, without sacrificing sanity to do it.

How?

Use a three-pronged attack on blogging burnout.

Start with a foundation of caring for yourself, and keep it a priority. Remind yourself that nothing is worth sacrificing your health or sanity for.  Also keep in mind… if you don’t care for yourself, who will lead your business when you are unable to? Think about it and keep yourself number one. Besides, you wouldn’t treat others as you do yourself, now, would you?

So, first you will be nurturing yourself, but the second prong requires you to roll up your sleeves and get tough with yourself about the nitty gritty of blogging. Find ways to be more efficient in what you do, across the board. Becoming more productive is money in the bank, and less pressure on you. It creates a little breathing room. Ahhhhh. Yes, that. That is our goal.

The third prong is to not do it at all. Kinda’. I bet that threw you for a loop! No, I don’t mean give up and close down your blog.

What I DO mean is, there are other ways. You should use them. And we will share what they are, after we delve into the details of applying the first two prongs. Besides, it is fun keeping you in suspense…

Prong One: Support Your Favorite Blogger

Your favorite blogger had better be yourself. Why? Because if you can’t even interest yourself, it is doubtful you will stay interesting to others. I cannot imagine a comedian not laughing at his own jokes. It is the same with blogging. If you aren’t your favorite blogger, then start working on becoming it.

Then I want you to start caring for your favorite blogger like you should. Treat yourself as well as you would others. It is a challenge, I know, but the future of your business depends on you having that edge. You can’t get it and keep it if you are not nurturing yourself.

If you don’t maintain your car, it can’t keep on performing well indefinitely. So, we maintain them and it is a given in our lives. Surely you can treat yourself at least as well as you do your car. Just do it.

Nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

Eat right, move more. Stress less, learn more. Speak less, listen more. Mostly, we know these things. It is applying them consistently that trips us up. Commit to it and do the work to develop the habits you need to support yourself.

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Sometimes, we are weak with those “no’s” because we aren’t solid our priorities. I love the meme I see floating around that says something about replacing the words “I don’t have time” with “It is not a priority to me”. How powerful!

To apply that and see things in an all new light, get out a sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to draw a line down the middle. On the left side, put a header that says: My Priorities. Over the right hand column, write: NOT a Priority.

Now you will list everything you do every day…..in the appropriate column. Include those things you should do but never seem to find time for. Also list those things that are vying for attention they should not have. Then add the items others are asking you to do, but you know, deep down, you shouldn’t.

Some examples:
  • My left hand column includes most REAL work activities. It does not count looking-like-I-am-working activities like watching random videos on YouTube, stalking social media to see what’s up, chit chatting, or getting lost in fascinations on Google.
  • The left hand column also includes the stuff I consider priority but don’t find enough time for: targeted exercise, eating, sleeping, brushing my hair……and time with those I love.
  • My right hand column includes: selling an MLM product for a friend just because I love her, social events I have no desire to attend, and every back-burner project I have in varying states of incompleteness. The work activities in my “Priority” column are front burner projects only.

When you feel the lists are complete, I want you to get some scissors. Cut off the right hand side of the paper. Ball it up and throw it away. The remaining list is what you will be doing daily. Now we will move on to how to do that list more efficiently.

Prong Two: Get Tough About Productivity

Now that you have eliminated all the things that are not a priority, you can focus on those that are. Most likely, the items you listed as priority, but you are not consistently doing, can be managed with a good dose of self-discipline. Start working on developing the habits you need to do those items and do them efficiently. Again, just do it. Nobody enjoys establishing new habits, but they sure do offer a great return in increased productivity, without wearing out your hard working brain.

Another strategy that frees your mind up for better things is to create work flow systems. Any time you have to do the same thing repeatedly, develop a system for it, follow it, then you can throw your cheat sheet away after awhile. You will naturally follow the system and be much faster.

Examples:
  • When I sit down to write, I don’t have to think about what step is next. I automatically jot down any research I need to do, do it, create an outline, write a first draft, take a breather, go back and edit and tweak, send it in, invoice for it, job done. I never do it another way because I have found what works best for me.
  • When I do what I call my social media fly-bys, I use a system and do it the same way every day. I check out stats for every account, and check messages and comments I missed while I was sleeping. I reply where needed. Then, onto my “On This Day” to see if there is anything I want to reuse. Next, I check out my feed. I save posts I’d like to share purposely later. Then I show the love by flitting around liking and commenting, and I check on anyone who is on my heart and I’ve not “seen” in awhile. I always do it the same way….and yes, I time it. I knew you would immediately wonder how I managed such a potential time suck.

When you feel the lists are complete, I want you to get some scissors. Cut off the right hand side of the paper. Ball it up and throw it away. The remaining list is what you will be doing daily. Now we will move on to how to do that list more efficiently.

One more word about the value of having systems in place.

One more word about the value of having systems in place. What is not included in the system is just as important as what is. You will notice my work flow for writing does not include dozens of pre-writing activities we tend to use to procrastinate. My social media workflow does not include game time or chit chatting just to be doing it. I chat with purpose.

That brings me to another tool you can use to relieve some of the pressure you feel. Make rules for yourself. Write them down. Have rewards and consequences. Then do it and enforce them.  When you are an entrepreneur, there are times you have to kick your own butt into gear. Be tough about sticking to your rules.

Examples of rules I use:
  • My morning social media fly by is thirty minutes long and I reward myself with some music therapy afterwards if I don’t go over. I use that time to dance around, get the blood pumping, and tackle some household tasks. When I go over my thirty minutes, those tasks are going to be waiting for me when I am done for the day, and I must get right to work.
  • I’m not allowed to get my evening glass of wine if I don’t hit my writing goals
  • My reward for knocking off my daily task list early is I get to work on back burner projects.

You know your weak areas. Create rules that address them and then don’t cut yourself much slack.

Prong Three: Don’t Do It All Yourself

There are other ways to get posts done with little, or even no effort. When you start feeling burned out, fall back on these to lighten the load and still keep your blog active and interesting:

Use guest bloggers.

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Invite a blogging friend to contribute a post. The guest benefits from reaching your audience, and you benefit the same way because they will share the post with theirs. It benefits your audience because they get to enjoy a little variety.It doesn’t get much easier than this. Invite a blogging friend to contribute a post. The guest benefits from reaching your audience, and you benefit the same way because they will share the post with theirs. It benefits your audience because they get to enjoy a little variety.

You don’t have blogging friends in your niche? Get some. Those people are not your enemies, but the ones you want to network with.. You will always be more successful by working with competitors instead of against them. Seeing them as somehow being “the enemy” is a rotten mindset that won’t take you far.

Invest in some good PLR.

Quality PLR can be a lifesaver when you are feeling uninspired and brain dead. It can also be a total waste of your time and money if you don’t do it right. Making it your own is more than using a thesaurus to switch out some words, or rearranging things a bit. That’s just lazy….and a waste of time. There will be no life in it.

Quality PLR can be a lifesaver when you are feeling uninspired and brain dead. It can also be a total waste of your time and money if you don’t do it right. Making it your own is more than using a thesaurus to switch out some words, or rearranging things a bit. That’s just lazy….and a waste of time. There will be no life in it.

The way I use PLR comes from a particular homeschooling discipline, narration, made popular by Charlotte Mason. It’s simply the process of repeating back, accurately, what you have just read. It is a valuable skill to have. So, I take my PLR, read a chunk, then without cheating and peeking at it, I just write what I read in my own words. I get the raw information down that way, then go back, edit, and polish it. Job done, with very little effort.

Using PLR eliminates the steps of researching and outlining. Then, if you use the tool of narration to make it your own, all that’s left to do is a little bit of editing and some polish.

Hire a ghostwriter.

This is another effortless way to keep your blog going while taking a break from it yourself. When you use a ghostwriter, your name is on it, they are legally your words and you get all the glory, while somebody else does all the work.This is another effortless way to keep your blog going while taking a break from it yourself. When you use a ghostwriter, your name is on it, they are legally your words and you get all the glory, while somebody else does all the work.

A benefit of using a ghostwriter is you don’t even have to put time into polishing it, making sure it’s optimized to appeal to search engines, and fixing grammatical errors. Every bit of that is taken care of for you. You can publish your ghostwritten pieces with confidence that they are professionally written. All you have to do is schedule them. That’s as close to a vacation from your blog as you can get without shutting it down.

Using ghostwriters also comes in handy when you are anything but burned out and are wanting to put more time into other pursuits. Most of us have back burner projects we are anxious to get to. Hiring somebody else to do the actual writing of your blog posts can free you up enough to slide one of them to a front burner.

I hope you are coming away from this with ideas you will implement right away…. if not to fix burnout, then to prevent it. I will add one last tip that applies to any type of business, not just blogging.

burnout-lone-ranger

Be your own boss, but don’t be a Lone Ranger.

Develop relationships with others who do what you do. They understand your challenges. They can also have insights in areas you are stumped. Join business groups, whether it is your local Chamber of Commerce, an online Mastermind group, or a Facebook group.

Find the people who are successfully doing what you aspire to do… or are struggling to do. Watch them, learn from them… and give back. When you get good in, give it back out and help somebody else. We are all in this together. We can work against one another and stay all stressed out, or we can work together and everyone benefits. Find your tribe and if you can’t, create one.

Do you have a favorite tip or tactic you use to help prevent, or recover from, blog burnout?

  • We’d love to hear it! Simply comment below.

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