Blogger burnout can be overcome with visits to inspirational places like the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa

Me in the inspirational Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa

Is the grind getting to you?

Has the blogging inspiration muse deserted you?

Are you, like me, trying to figure out how to avoid blogger burnout?

Here’s a summary of my presentation on this topic for the Building Community Midwest Travel Bloggers conference … the first-ever event was held in 2018 in Clear Lake, Iowa, and the 2019 Midwest Travel Network conference is scheduled for June 13-15, 2019 in Medora, North Dakota.

3 Reasons for Blogger Burnout

Based on my own experience wrestling with this problem – I started my first blog in February 2006 and let me tell you, the well has run dry a few times – here are three reasons for feeling as though your bloggy skull is aflame….

1)  You are actually fried. You really have hit a wall.

Just about the time that I started thinking about this presentation, the New York Times ran an article titled “Feeling Burned Out? Here Are 3 Things That Can Help” that gave me some concrete steps to fix things.

They suggest:

a. Stop digging. Take tiny steps to get out of your mess.

This reminded me of my favorite Martha Beck quote, from, of all things, an article about interior decorating:

“Tiny steps allow action to slip through the cracks in your anxiety.”

b. Take time off. Even a half-day can do wonders.

c. Talk to people. Get some help.


2)  You simply need better content planning to feel less frazzled.

Lord knows I’ve pulled a lot of blog posts out of my left ear, but it’s so much less stressful to have a plan.

The content planning process sparks ideas, AND it shows you the gaps between what you’ve already blogged about, and what else needs to be said.

Some tips for not running out of blog post ideas:

a.  Build a proper editorial calendar of planned content, based on your blog’s topic areas, for at least the next couple of weeks. Here’s how to kick-start that DMO blog.

b.  Quit waiting for a magical blogging muse to strike. Make sure that you build inspiration boosters into your daily routine, to feed the [brain] machine (which includes scheduling regular exercise, to help that mind-body connection.)

Plan some time to be around art, gardens, music, architecture….beauty that feeds the mind. If you’re a CVB or DMO blogger, that’s a good excuse to get out and about in your town and region.


3)  You need to make better use of work you’ve already done – especially your archives.

a.  Have a plan for consistently re-sharing evergreen and seasonal blog posts from your blog’s archives. Yes, you’ll have to read through the post to ensure that it’s still accurate, and that the links still work, but that’s easy compared to starting a post from scratch.

I use a simple system in my Google Calendar. New posts are shared across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter when they are a day or so old, then I set up calendar reminders to re-share (mostly on Twitter, because it’s the noisiest platform and easy for people to miss things) 1 week later, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year later.

For a tourism pro, you sometimes need to come up with fresh ways to tell the same story, especially with recurring events. Try to change the type of content: if last year’s post about the event was text, make this year’s mostly video, and next year’s a photo montage.

b.  Let your own visuals inspire you. When I’m stumped for ideas, I scroll through photos in my Dropbox that are backed up from my phone. Often I’ll find a few pics from a trip that I haven’t done anything with yet that could form the nucleus of a blog post.

That’s how I wrote this post about a sunset river cruise in Pittsburgh – I’d taken photos on the cruise but had forgotten I’d taken them! Half the work was already done.

c.  Never waste a well-thought-out paragraph. When you find yourself writing a long response in an email, or in a Facebook comment, or a Twitter thread, that’s a draft blog post right there. Copy, paste, boom.

For more lessons learned, here are my thoughts after 10 years of blogging, and below are my slides from the conference if you want to flip through….

Direct link to the slides on SlideShare – Avoiding Blogging Burnout from Sheila Scarborough

How do you avoid blogger burnout? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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