Blogging and producing content can be a time-consuming business task – being able to recognize and recover from burnout will help.
Small business owners and freelancers should be commended. There is a misconception that they go to work, and from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave, they are doing what they love. Then when 5 p.m. rolls around, they are able to put their work aside, go home and enjoy some of that freedom that became the reason they left the workforce in the first place.
The truth is that most small business owners and freelancers started doing what they do because they love it. But turning that hobby and passion into a professional path brings other responsibilities with it.
There’s the accounting piece. It’s crucial to understand how to assess profits and loss. Of course, there is the marketing and relationship building. This includes everything from building a website to writing blogs to weekly networking obligations. There’s payroll. There’s management duties. There are long days that can take an early detour into the unexpected, not to return.
In short, it becomes critical to learn how to recognize and recover from burnout. It’s the only way you will ever be able to show up to a dinner party without mentally working through your project while the other guests are trying to carry on a conversation.
First, there are the obvious signs. Maybe it’s been a little too long since you experienced a real day off. Maybe your toddler decided to empty every toy he has on the floor right before the work day started. Maybe you’ve been staring at a blank computer screen for an hour when you intended to write a blog post about the last positive customer experience.
There are other, more subtle signs too.
The Goals Aren’t Defined
Maybe the reason you found yourself racking your brain on that blog post isn’t exactly what you thought. If you write it, and if it is published, how do you know it works? With blogging and marketing, just like other aspects of your business, it’s important to have your goals defined.
Do you have a concrete plan to raise your financial goals? Do you have a plan to increase web traffic? Is your blog post there to highlight a seasonal issue that your business addresses? Understanding how your blog fits in with your larger business goals gives you a sense of purpose. It helps you to better value time spent writing.
The Tools Aren’t in Place
An editorial calendar can help you align your blogging goals with the rest of your marketing. It can help alleviate the stress of determining topics on the fly. In short, it can save the hair pulling stress of not being sure what to blog about. Brainstorming sessions outside the normal blog writing schedule can help keep your mission fresh.
It also helps to have an SEO plugin such as Yoast to guide your SEO efforts and ensure that you are publishing content that will reach a wider number of people.
Lack of Passion
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by a heavy workload, and lose a sense of joy.
The nature of your industry may change. The nature of blogging and marketing can change. It’s important to continue your professional development to give your customers the optimal experience.
For example, web designers who don’t incorporate WordPress into their service arsenal are doing their clients a disservice. Doctors aren’t using leeches and teenagers aren’t buying flip phones. The world is changing. Technology is changing at warp speed. It is important for all businesses to keep up.
Are you doing anything to stoke your initial passions for your business? Attending conferences and reading blogs, books and magazines can help. Writing about that passion in the form of a blog can be a chance to convey that passion to your customers and build trust.
Recover From Burnout
If you feel yourself burned out over something that used to give you an immense amount of passion, its important to take a step back and consider how to recover from burnout.
The obvious answer is to take some time off. If you can step back for a few days or a week, use that time to enjoy other facets of your life and recharge. It’s not always possible. Sometimes it’s just as important to be able to step away from the computer for a few moments.
There’s more content out there in the world than ever before. There are new blogs, YouTube videos and books published on a daily basis. It’s not hard to go out and find the voices with a fresh take on your industry.
Slow down. If you’re writing a blog post, you don’t need to be checking email or checking Facebook every five minutes while you write. Focus on creating some output.
Vary Your Routine
If you always work at the same time, or go to the same location to work, change it. The change of perspective may be all it takes to recover from burnout.
Focus on the Good
If you don’t have any goals in place, it may be time to revisit your marketing plan, and develop a strategy for how your blog can fit in. It may be time to look at how your blogging efforts have improved your business.
Keep in mind there are many ways a blog can improve your business. In addition to traffic and finances, a blog can help build trust. It can educate your customers and serve as a resource. It can be a way to stay top of mind with your customer base.
Sometimes additional steps are needed to recover from burnout. If your schedule is pretty full from start to finish, it may be time to hire out your blog writing or content marketing to a professional marketing copywriter.
Ultimately, it’s time to take a deep breath and get back to your passion.