Friday, July 24, 2009

Beware blogger burnout!

Every now and then articles about how people burn out while blogging pop up in the media. It seems odd that something people do in their own time, and on their own terms, can cause them so much stress. I mean, burnout is usually associated with people working too hard in "real" jobs.

While I don't think I'm even near that point, I do understand why such a thing occurs. It's simply that with blogging there are no set limits. There's no point at which you - or some separate authority - says, "that's enough; you've achieved what's required". In other words, there's no "knock off" time, and no bell to tell you it's arrived.

When you start blogging for fun, it's enjoyable just to post regardless of anyone else's reaction. So you just keep at it with no real goal in mind. But eventually you see that the more you write the more traffic you get. (Of course there are other factors, but this is certainly one of the main ones.) You like the attention, so you keep posting more frequently. You get to the point where your blog is drawing a few hundred hits a day, say. You don't want your traffic to wane, and you don't want to lose your regular readers. So you make sure that you keep up that pace. But eventually even that's not enough. Your traffic is a source of some pride, but it's nothing compared to the readerships of bloggers you admire. So you keep trying to up the ante.

If you're making money off the blog the same motivation applies. You start with a few bucks here and there, which is a nice surprise. It slowly increases, but never fast enough. So you post even more. And more, and more ...

In both cases there are no upper limits. The more you get the more you want. So your blog becomes like this huge magnet that keeps demanding your time and effort. Before you know it you haven't slept or showered for a week, and can barely say your name!

Needless to say, it's a good idea to take a break from blogging occasionally and just "smell the roses" as they say. Blogging is great fun, and can be a good source of income for some. But it's certainly not worth sacrificing your health for.

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