I have something I need to get off my chest. Can we talk about blogger burnout for a hot minute? In the past couple months, I feel like there have been tons of other bloggers questioning their place in blogland, admitting to the struggle and double-edged sword of blogging for fun versus worrying about stats, sponsors, traffic, social media, graphics, photos, SEO. You know, the 12 billion other things we have to do besides just writing a blog. Oh, and that’s all in addition to each of us also having a life – a job, a family, hobbies, friends, chores, errands, struggles, personal issues, health struggles, etc. This often seems to lead to the inevitable blog break. Sometimes short, sometimes long, sometimes never to return. Blogger burnout is a thing and it is real, and I feel like it’s spreading.
When I go through my Bloglovin’ feed, in between those posts (the ones where we spill our hearts and admit to not being able to do it all), I see another several posts with a list of blog rules and tips. “8 things you MUST be doing on social media.” “How to make money on your blog and have fun!” “Why you NEED to hire a blog designer/use Photoshop/advertise on other blogs/whathaveyou.” “How to be a blogging rockstar.” I’m sorry, but I’ve started ignoring nearly all of those, because the more I read the “rules,” the more I feel pressure to be perfect, the more inadequate it makes me feel, and the more I start to pour tons of time into my blog, which translates into less time loving on my pets, my husband, relaxing, being productive, fulfilled and happy.
I’m a member of several blogging-related Facebook groups, and just the other day I saw a post from a new blogger that said something to the extent of “I’m trying to figure out how often I should be posting. I see some bloggers post a few times a week, but I also read that you should post every day. What do you recommend?” My heart sank a little bit, because I remember being in that spot, trying to do it all correctly and figure out this weird blogging thing. I used to write filler posts because I felt like I had to do it all to have it all. It was exhausting. I also thought, what happened to posting whenever we have something to share or say? Must we feel like we HAVE to blog X times per week just to fill up a calendar? No wonder we have so much burnout! I don’t know about you, but If I’m writing to hit a quota, I’d rather not blog at all. That took me awhile to realize.
Most comments on this particular post said to focus on quality over quantity, and I whole-heartedly agree. And yet, I’m still seeing posts in my feed telling me to post consistently, to have a calendar, to do XYZ. It’s a fine line to balance. Especially for a klutz like me.
I also just ran across this post that reminded me of all those years ago when blogs were places angsty teenagers vented about their love lives, their parents or spilled their soul in some other way. In my own Blurty from 15 years ago, I never once thought about writing to be useful or helpful. I didn’t worry about SEO or posting consistently. But then again, I don’t even know that I had a single reader, and then again, that was more online journal than real blog. I wrote when I wanted to (and yes, that often meant once every 3 months). These days, in the age of Pinterest, everything has to be pinnable, with easy-to-scan bullet points and headers, gorgeously shot and edited photos and helpful content to please the masses. So. much. pressure. So. many. rules.
Since my rebrand, I mentioned that I’m trying hard to throw the rules out the window and blog for me. In the two weeks or so (plus since my blogiversary when I slowly started to shift my mindset this way) since I’ve taken some of this pressure off myself, I feel freed. I feel refreshed. I still hope to post a few times a week and I like to have a photo with each post if I can, but if it doesn’t happen, no biggie. Life goes on. And if my stats take a nosedive, that’s cool too. At the end of the day, what’s important is that I use this space for how I intended it: To share what’s on my heart and relate to other women while living the rest of my life.
And so, a really long ramble later, I’m brought to the question I asked myself that started this whole post: Should a blog post be useful? (And by that, I mean, should it be “pinnable”?) Sometimes, maybe, sure. But that also depends on WHY you blog. If you want to make it big and invest tons of time (and money) into your blog, then yes, every post should be useful, and more power to you, girlfriend. But if you blog for fun (like me), my answer is hell no. Blog about what you want, when you want, how you want. Sometimes ya just gotta look at the rules and give them the finger.