Tuesday , December 6 2016

The Future of Content Marketing: Experts Share Content Predictions for 2017

The Future of Content Marketing: Experts Share Content Predictions for 2017

At a time in the not so distant future 2016 will come to a close and many content marketers will reflect on 2016 and think, “Man was that unfair!”. They’ve tightened their belts, worked hard to develop a content strategy and tried to stay up on latest content trends. But the sad reality is that [...]

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How to Use Offline Events Ads From Facebook

How to Use Offline Events Ads From Facebook

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Do you use Facebook ads to promote your physical store or event? Want to know if your ads are driving foot traffic? Facebook now lets you track in-store or live event visits that occur after people see or engage with your Facebook ads. In this article, you’ll discover how to track conversions on Facebook ads [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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5 Ways to Use Periscope to Connect With Customers

5 Ways to Use Periscope to Connect With Customers

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Looking for new ways to connect with your customers? Have you considered live video via Periscope? Broadcasting live on Periscope lets you build meaningful relationships with your customers and prospects. In this article, you’ll discover five ways to use Periscope to improve customer engagement. #1: Host a Live Help Desk Yes, Periscope is a good marketing [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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PB170: 9 Ways to Stay Inspired and Avoid Bloggers Burn Out

PB170: 9 Ways to Stay Inspired and Avoid Bloggers Burn Out

How to Stay Inspired and Avoid Bloggers Burn Out

In today’s lesson I want to talk about blogger burnout and how to avoid it.

Most bloggers start out blogging with an incredible burst of passion, excitement and energy with their blogging, but usually at some point within the first year or two, many bloggers come up against their first bout of blogger burnout.

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It can happen in different ways and for different reasons. Some bloggers push through it and others get stopped in their tracks by it. Most successful bloggers go through it numerous times – I certainly have.

So in today’s episode, I want to share 9 strategies for staying fresh and inspired with your blogging so that you can avoid bloggers burn out.

So if you’re feeling burnt out at the moment or you want to get ahead of your next blogging slump and develop some strategies for avoiding it altogether – this is for you.

Further Resources on 9 Ways to Stay Inspired and Avoid Bloggers Burn Out

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Welcome to Episode 170 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger.com – a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of eBooks, and a real book as well – all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your audience and to make money from your blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger at ProBlogger.com.

In today’s lesson, I wanna talk to you about an issue that impacts most bloggers at one time or another – blogger burnout. I wanna teach you how to avoid it, give you some strategies that you could put in place when you’re facing bloggers burnout at the moment or whether you want to stop it happening to you in the future.

Most bloggers do start out blogging with an incredible burst of passion, excitement, energy, with lots of hopes and dreams of where their blogging will take them. As a result, they start out really strong, but usually at some point, within the first year or maybe two years of blogging, they come against their first bout of blogger burnout. It can happen for different reasons and happen in different ways.

Most bloggers tend to push through it, or at least try to push through it – that first bout. But some, even at the first time they hit it, gets stopped in their tracks. Now, most successful bloggers go through this numerous times, and I certainly have. I can think back over the last 14 years of blogging. I’ve hit bloggers burnout many times.

In today’s episode, I wanna share with you nine strategies for staying fresh and inspired with your blogging, so that you avoid bloggers burnout. I’m gonna speak from my own experience of having gone through this or having seen bloggers burnout approaching me, and I’m getting better now at seeing it coming before it actually hits and putting things in place as it approaches to actually stop it hitting in full force.

So if you are feeling burnt out at the moment with your blog – it does happen at this time of year for many of us – or you wanna get ahead of your next bout of blogging burnout, I wanna share with you some strategies for avoiding it today. This episode is for you.

You can find today’s shownotes at problogger.com/podcast/170.

Yesterday, I celebrated my blogger-versary. I might sound like a bit of a crazy thing to do, but I do have a little alert in my calendar that goes off on the 27th of November every year. It’s actually the 28th today, and so last night, I turned to Vanessa and said, “Guess what? It’s my blogger-versary! It’s been 14 years since I started blogging to this day.” Started in 2002.

Blogging has been very good to me in so many different ways. I don’t really have the time to go through them all, but it has given me a place to express myself and find my voice. It’s helped me to develop confidence in myself, helped me to think through my ideas and improve those. It’s opened up opportunities that I’d never dreamed of: to meet amazing people, to travel around the world, and to build a business out of the ideas in my head. That is a strange thing to say, but out of ideas has come a whole income.

It’s enabled me to create work with real flexibility that allows me to spend time with my family and friends and to volunteer my time to causes that I believe in. Hopefully that allows me to make the world a better place, as I’m doing all of that, through the sharing of my story and what I know with others.

I love blogging! It has been so good to me and to many others that I see, but I would be lying if I said that blogging was always easy. It hasn’t always been this amazing time of opportunities falling in my lap and fun times. The reality is that publishing a piece of content almost everyday for 14 years is both an amazing privilege and a lot of fun but is also incredibly challenging at times.

Almost every year since I’ve started, over those 14 years, I’ve had periods of time where I felt doubt and where I’ve wondered whether I should give up or where I felt burnt out by blogging. Whilst I do sing the praises of blogging in many episodes, I really want to go to this place today, because it’s often these tough times that don’t get talked about on podcasts about blogging. Most bloggers do have patches like these. If you’ve been blogging for a year or two years or three years, you probably had one yourself or have come close to burning out.

Bloggers burnout comes in different forms, and it comes for different reasons. It can be that it comes when you run out of things to say on your topic, when you feel like you’ve said everything there is to say. You suddenly have this block. Sometimes it comes because you’re feeling disillusioned with your topic, for one reason or another, or maybe you’re becoming disillusioned with blogging or the niche that you’re in and how other bloggers are treating one another. Sometimes it comes when you feel like you’ve been doing a lot of hard work and it’s not paying off. You’re not reaching the goals that you set for yourself. Maybe it comes when you’re feeling worn out, where you’ve overworked yourself.

Or maybe it comes because you started blogging for reasons of creativity and self-expression, but then you feel like you’ve built a machine that you have to keep feeding in order for it to attract a readership or to be profitable. Many bloggers start out for one reason and then end up with a blog that really doesn’t serve why they started it. Or maybe it’s just you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things that you need to do to keep your blog running. I could go on and on with this list of types of bloggers burnout that do come and the reasons for it.

But, as I say, over the last 14 years, I’ve noticed particularly at this time of year, at the end of the year, when many bloggers have been busy all year, and now they’re reviewing their year or they’re seeing other people review their year and talk about their successes. It’s so easy to feel a bit down about your blog. So today, I really do want to share with you some strategies for keeping yourself inspired and fresh, particularly as you head into the new year, next year.

I’ve got nine things I wanna go through with you. Some of these will be more relevant to you than others, but hopefully there are things that you can keep in the back of your mind for the next time that bloggers burnout does approach you.

The first thing I wanna talk about briefly is to know your limits and set realistic goals and expectations. Many bloggers that I talk to feel pressure to have to blog in a certain way that’s just not realistic for the amount of time they have or the resources that they’re currently able to put into blogging.

For example, a lot of bloggers that I talked to have this expectation that they have to post daily. This is something – I don’t know where it came from, but there’s this expectation amongst some bloggers that they have to post everyday. It’s just not feasible for many bloggers to do.

I actually remember when Vanessa, my wife, started blogging a few years ago now. She was juggling a part-time job. We still had one of our boys at home; the other two boys were at school, but it was a short day. She’s got a busy life, full of friends and family and other interests and passions that she pursues.

When she started her blog, I remember having a chat with her about how often she was going to post, and whilst on one hand, she did have this idea that a daily post would be a good thing, she was really smart in that she set herself the goal to do just three posts a week. I don’t mean “just” because they were three pretty meaty posts. She’s a fairly detailed writer.

She decided three posts a week was more realistic for her, and whilst daily posting was probably tempting for her at the time, I’m so glad she made that decision to do three good posts a week because it’s a decision that has made her blog sustainable now for the two or three years that she’s been at it. I look into the future and I see that she could continue to keep that amount up. She set herself a goal that was realistic.

Now there’s also been other times, where she said, “Well, this week, I’ve got a really busy week” or “This week we’re away” or “This week I’ve got these other demands in my life, so I’m only gonna post two times or even one time.” She’s flexible with that goal, and I think this is something that many bloggers need to really grasp onto.

The sky won’t fall on your head if you post a little less one week, or even if you take a full week off. To have some realistic expectations and goals that are based upon your actual reality and your availability I think is really important.

The other part of it is your expectations, and I think a lot of bloggers do get into blogging and then get depressed, disillusioned, and dejected when their expectations are not met. I’ve seen this in many areas of life. Often it’s our expectations that get us into trouble when things don’t hit what we’re hoping for. I see bloggers starting with unrealistic expectations all the time, dreaming of millions of readers, millions of dollars in short amounts of time, but the reality is: if you’ve been blogging for a while now, you know that successful bloggers are almost always built on years and years of consistently producing useful content. It takes significant time and energy to build that.

I guess, one of the things I wanna say is if you are feeling a bit burnt out, maybe you need to look at your goals and ask yourself – are your goals realistic? Also your expectations of the results – are they realistic? Chances are, if you’ve been blogging for a year or two now, you need to change some of those things because most of us do. Most of us start out with some sort of unrealistic goal or expectation, so it’s about trying to find that middle ground of having big dreams but also grounded expectations.

That was the first thing. Know your limits and set realistic goals and expectations.

Number 2: find your groove with a routine that works for you. Now, I find that blogging is more effortless (and it’s never completely effortless), but I find it easier when I am in a groove and a rhythm with my blogging. I find that, if I set myself some kind of a rhythm for my week and for the way that I produce content, that I’m much better at producing content. Then there is much less tension about my blogging.

I’m not going to go into great depth here because in Episode 40 I did share my weekly schedule, my weekly template, where I talked about the times that I write content, the times that I edit content, and the times that I come up with ideas for blog posts. I think if you can design yourself a rhythm like that, it can really help a lot.

I’ve actually got it in a spreadsheet, in an actual calendar. You don’t need to do that. In the old days for me, it was simply about me deciding that in the mornings, I was going to write, and in the evenings, I was going to edit. I had limited time, and so I had an hour or so in the morning, an hour or so in the evening. Then I had to go and do my real job, so I set myself that rhythm. It was very simple in those early days. Write in the mornings; edit in the evenings. That might be all you really need to do.

I found that once I got into that rhythm, it was easier, and it would flow easier. Now there are still tough times, but that was half the battle – getting into the rhythm of it. The same is true for my exercise. I know that if I go on a holiday for three weeks and don’t exercise for three weeks, it’s really tough to exercise, but if I get into the rhythm again of walking everyday at midday and going to the gym Tuesdays and Thursday mornings – once I’m in that rhythm, it just becomes what I do. So it’s about establishing that type of rhythm. I think that really does help you to keep things sustained – helps you to have that well-oiled machine.

Think about the things that you need to do and when you could place them into your week, whether you need to create that calendar or whether you just need to decide that “Monday mornings, I’m gonna do this. Tuesday mornings, I’m gonna do this, and Thursday evenings, I’m gonna to do that.” That might be enough to help you to get into that groove.

Number 3 thing that I would encourage you to do is to identify the sticking points, to identify “where am I getting stuck?” Usually, when you have bloggers burnout, there’s a particular area where you’re getting stuck. It may be that you have a lack of ideas to write about; that might be the area. That might lead you to feel really disillusioned about your blogging, which leads you to feel unmotivated, which leads you to other things, but really, at the core of it, is that you are lacking ideas.

Or maybe you are really stuck on feeling like you’re comparing yourself to other bloggers, and that’s the core of it. You’re comparing yourself to others, and then you’re realizing you’re not meeting your expectations. Then you’re feeling dejected, and you can kind of see that there’s a root cause of your blogger burnout. It could really be so many different things that are at the cause of it, but it’s really important to try and to identify what that particular thing is that is starting it for you.

Back in Episode 83, I actually talked about blogger’s block and getting stuck in the creation of content, and in that particular episode, I talked about three different types of blogger’s block: idea generation, being one; the creation of your content, getting into writing of your content; and then the other part is completing your content. They’re three very different types of blogger’s block.

I talk in that episode about if you are just trying to fix your blogger’s block without identifying the particular type of blogger’s block that you have, you’re gonna get yourself into trouble. What I’m trying to say here is if you’re feeling burnt out, try and dig into what exactly is causing it. What is the core thing that is holding you back, getting you down, and burning you out? It may take you a little while to dig into that. You may need to have a chat with someone about it. You might wanna even find someone who can help you – some professional help – to actually dig into those types of issues. If you can identify the exact issue that is holding you back, it puts you in a much better position to be able to come up with a strategy to fix it.

To be really transparent here, I’ve actually been approaching blogger’s block over the last couple of months. I’ve actually been feeling like my energy and motivation has been lacking these last couple of months, and part of that is because we had our ProBlogger event. Usually I go into a bit of a slump after that. It’s the highlight of the year, and everything seems a little bit greyer after the event because the event’s so much fun.

The other thing I realized is that this year I haven’t had as much time off. The more I thought about why I’m feeling like I’m feeling like, the better position I was in to do something about that. As I was chatting with Vanessa the other night about how I was feeling and feeling a bit dejected and unmotivated, we dug into it, and after half an hour or so of really talking it through, we realized that I just haven’t had enough time off this year. So having identified that, I’m in a much better position to be able to do something about that, so we’re already beginning to plan the breaks that we’re going to have as a family next year.

Identify where you’re getting stuck. What is the core thing that’s facing you because burnout really can be the end result of lots of different things that could be going on for you. Really dig into that and talk to someone about it.

Number 4 thing I wanna talk about in avoiding bloggers burnout is to look after your body. I’m not going to go into great depth about this because it is something that I’ve done a whole episode on in the past, but as I’ve said before, you’ll only ever be able to sustain having a healthy blog over the long haul if you’re able to maintain a healthy you. Behind a healthy blog, I believe, needs to be a healthy you.

One of the biggest reasons that I see bloggers burning out is that they’re just not in a healthy place themselves. Of course, this can happen on a number of fronts. It could be your physical health. It could be your mental health. It can be your brain health and its learning. It could be your sleep. All these different areas do play into it.

For me, physical health is a big part of it. I realized about three years ago now that my blogging was suffering incredibly because I wasn’t looking after myself on a physical front. My diet and my lack of exercise were really beginning to take a toll on my body and how my body was performing, but it was also impacting my outlook and my positivity, my mental health. It was also beginning to have an impact on my creativity, as well, and my alertness and my ability to output great content.

I’m not gonna retell the whole story about how I pulled myself out of that because I did it back in Episode 38, except to say that your physical health is one thing that you need to pay attention to, if you are feeling burnt out. It may be that you need to start to exercise, build that into your routine. It may be that you need to change that diet in some way.

I have to say – it’s not easy. We all have these temptations and struggles in getting the balance right with our physical health, but it’s definitely connected. I’ve talked to a number of bloggers since I’ve shared that story back in Episode 38 of me losing some weight and getting some exercise into my life and changing my diet. A number of bloggers have reported back that that inspired them to go on and do the same thing for themselves, and they’ve seen it flow-on effect into other areas of their life: their blogs being one, their relationships being another, and other aspects of their lives as well.

Look after your body. I think it’s really important. One of the best things that I’ve ever done to improve my blog is to build a walk into my day and to get a stand-up desk. It really has changed things quite a bit.

Another thing that I’ve been doing over the last few weeks is going out and playing basketball. While my kids are at school, I go out and play on their basketball ring in the middle of the day, just five minutes. Just to run around, shoot some hoops – actually gets the blood pumping a little, come back to blogging in a fresh way. It really does help.

That’s number 4: look after your body.

Number 5 is all about taking breaks, developing a system and a rhythm for your day, like the calendar I talked about before, my weekly template. That’s great. That helps me to be more productive. That’s about how to work better and work smarter, but I think just as important is to think about rest – is to think about when you are going to not work on your blog. I’m a strong believer that if you get rest right, if you get sleep right, if you get taking a break from your blogging right, it will help your blog in so many different ways. The better you rest, the better you work.

For me, I’m thinking about rest and taking time away from my blog on a number of fronts, different time frames. For me, the daily rest. I work business hours; I try and work 9:00 to 5:00, but I take a walk in the middle of the day. I take a break in the middle of the day. I take a break at the start and end of the day.

A weekly basis for me – and it’s gonna be different for everyone because we’ve all got different commitments – I try not to work on weekends. I have a couple of really short bursts on a Saturday morning and on a Sunday evening, but everywhere in between is a time off. That weekly rest is really important.

Then on a yearly front, I’m trying to take time off. I’ve just admitted to you that this year I wasn’t as good at it, but I try and take a couple of weeks off in January and a couple of weeks off in the middle of the year as well. Then we have a couple of long weekends as well. These are things that we schedule ahead of time as a family.

These offline times are so important, being unplugged, not thinking about your blog all day every day. These rejuvenate you. They’re also good for other areas of your life as well. They’re good for your relationships, which I think also has an impact upon your blog. If things are good in your friendships, in your family, then that frees you up to think creatively about your blog as well. Take breaks.

Number 6 is to look after your relationships, and I’ve just talked about relationships, taking breaks with family, friends is good for your relationships. We work in a space, which is very often described as social media, as being a social space, but most of our interactions if you’re like me are online and in virtual nature.

I remember when I started blogging, I’ve discovered this whole community of people that I could connect with, and I became almost too virtual in my relationships. It was kind of a strange thing. I just got married, and I had this really wonderful relationship with my wife, but many of my other friendships were coming from the online space. It turned out for me – that wasn’t an overly healthy thing.

Now, online relationships can be very positive, and I do think there’s a really good argument for finding some good online friends to share the experiences that we have as bloggers, but I also think it’s so important to have good, grounded, real-life relationships as well. This is particularly important when you are feeling burnt out in the online space, particularly when you are feeling burnt out because of some online relationship.

I know, for me, there’s been a number of times over the last 14 years, where I’ve been on the end of some pretty vicious online attacks from strangers usually, from trolls that left me on the verge of giving up blogging. Whilst I had some good online friends at that time, who supported me through those times, it was actually my real-life friends who were able to give me the real support and respite that I needed from that online stress. I’m so grateful for the fact that I have real-life friends to debrief and to escape from the online with. It’s so important to have those offline places and spaces and relationships to get energy, to retreat from that stress.

Having emphasized the importance of real-life relationships, I think it’s important also to say that it’s important to find those online relationships and to try and build strong online relationships because the reality is your friends and family may not understand what you’re going through as a blogger. They may not understand what it is like to get a comment that’s unfair or to be attacked by an anonymous troll. To have the combination of strong online and offline relationships – for me, there’s been a number of times, where I’ve gone through really tough stuff in my business, and to be able to have someone else who’s going through similar things or who’s been through similar things is really important.

For that reason, I actually think one of the best things that I’ve ever done is to go to blogging events, where you could actually spend real-life time with people who understand the online pressures. And if you have the chance to go to a blogging event, I know it’s a tough thing to get to. There’s an investment there. For me, that’s one of the big and best reasons of going to those types of events because you’re able to solidify some of those online relationships and take them into the real world. And to spend time with people who understand what you’re going through is really a very powerful thing.

The last thing I’ll say about relationships is that there are times where they get unhealthy. They can actually be the reason for your burnout. What I’m thinking of here is this thing that many bloggers go through is the comparison of themselves with others. This can be a really unhealthy thing, and it can actually lead you to a pretty dark place. It’s something I think most of us as bloggers can relate to. It’s very easy to look at other bloggers in our niche or other bloggers in our area and to see their successes, to see their achievements, and to compare them with ourselves.

This is probably the topic for a whole other podcast, so I’m not gonna go into great depth there, but I really want to encourage you, in your burnout, to also ask yourself: are you comparing yourself with others too much? That can actually be the source of unrealistic expectations and can lead you to pretty dark places, so monitor your relationships. Are they taking you to a healthy or an unhealthy place? It’s really important to not allow yourself to do that comparison thing.

Three more to go here. The seventh thing is to charge your day with inspirational moments and times of learning. Actually build into your life inspiration. I think, for me, this is one of the most powerful things that I do. I try and schedule at least 5-10 minutes everyday, where I am putting myself in a position where I will be inspired. A few years ago, I was an avid watcher of TED Talks, and I would watch random TED Talks. A lot of these had a more positive kind of inspirational aspect to them.

In more recent times, it’s been listening to podcasts. I’m trying to put myself in a position to listen to two types of podcasts: firstly, inspirational ones, and secondly, learning ones. I think both are really important because they stimulate different parts of your brain, and they give you energy in different ways.

It doesn’t even matter if what you’re listening to is connected to your blog’s topic or blogging itself. To me, it’s anything – being inspired about anything. Watching a documentary about wildlife and being inspire about the beauty and the intricacy of how the animal kingdom works. That can be inspiring, and that lifts your mood. That has an impact upon your blogging.

Learning about that type of stuff stimulates that part of your brain, where you are learning, you are connecting new pathways in your brain. I think that has a flow-on effect into other areas of your life. Then of course, being inspired and learning about your niche is a very powerful thing.

Build into your day moments – it may not be long moments. It might be 10 minutes to watch a video, 10 minutes to listen to a podcast, where you are stimulating those parts of your brain, where you’re inspiring yourself about big things and inspiring yourself to dream but also learning – really important.

The eighth thing I wanna talk about is to play, pivot, and evolve. Those three words may feel like they’re disconnected, but hopefully you’ll understand what I mean in a moment. One of the things that has pulled me down into a blogging slump over the years is that I tend to get bored. If I get bored, I tend to get a bit dejected. Now this might just be my personality type, but I find that doing the same thing the same way day in and day out is almost always going to kill my passion for that thing. As a result, I’ve learned over the years that I need to look out for new ways to do things and for ways to play and experiment with what I do and to change things up.

One of the great things about the space that we operate in as bloggers and as people in podcasting and on social media, is that we are operating in a space that is always changing. There’s always something new to try. This can be a problem because we can spend our whole lives playing with the new tools and new toys and not actually doing anything, but I do think it’s important to bring play and experimentation into what we do as bloggers.

For me, this happened many times over the years. Many of you will be familiar with the fact that I’ve started a podcast; you’re all listening now. I started this about a year-and-a-half ago. That was 12 years into my blogging, and I’d already been blogging about blogging for 12 years and suddenly to start a podcast about blogging gave me a huge rush of energy and motivation. Simply by changing the medium that I was using to communicate was really important.

I spoke with another blogger recently, who had the exact same experience, when she started creating videos on her blog. She’d been blogging for 10 years about her topic. As she was feeling a bit burnt out; she’s feeling like she’d said everything she needed to say so she decided to start a video, a weekly video, where she repurposed some of her old blog posts into videos. She found that simply by changing the medium, even though she was writing about the same things and creating content on the same things, it gave her a huge rush of energy. So this experiment with a medium might be one thing that can help you to find new energy for your topic.

There are other ways of pivoting and evolving what you do and changing up what you do in different ways. It might be simply adding a category to your blog. This is what happened a few years ago for me on Digital Photography School. I have a blog about photography, how to take photos, for a long time, and one of the things I just decided to do is to add a whole category to the site about post-production, how to process your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. This brought energy to me and to my readers. It gave me new motivation to explore a new area. Whilst I continued to write about the other things, adding something new stimulated that part of me and helped me not to be as bored with the topic that I had.

Changing up your categories could be good. Starting a new series of content – this is what happened when I did the first series of “Thirty-one Days to Build A Better Blog” many years ago now. One of the reasons I did that series was I kind of feeling a little bit stagnant with the blog. I wasn’t feeling as motivated, and so to try a series of content to start this event on my blog gave me a lot of energy. It also gave my readers a lot of energy as well.

Might be that you wanna try a new way of monetizing your blog. I remember when I first launched my first eBook. It gave me a rush of energy for my blogging. It’s this new way of monetizing; it impacted the way I wrote content and the energy that I brought to my blog.

I remember even before the eBook, I’d been monetizing my blog with AdSense, and then I found a new ad network to put on my blog alongside that. Simply by adding a new ad network, I suddenly have this excitement. What was gonna happen to my blog? I had this more motivation to drive more traffic to my blog, to write better content for my blog. So changing up the monetization might be useful.

Changing the design of your blog. Getting a new logo. Doing something with new colors on your blog. These simple changes that you can do on your blog, that evolve your blog, that improve your blog, that pivot your blog in some way. These playful moments can really give you energy as a blog. They can help you to see your blog as a little bit new, a little bit different.

The great thing about these is that not only will it energize you, but many of these little pivots and little changes will actually keep your blog fresh for your readers, which has another flow-on effect. If you start getting emails from readers saying, “Hey, I love the eBook” or “Hey, I love the new design,” that gives you energy.

This to me is probably the most important thing I’ll say today. I probably should have said it right up front. Number 9 is to do something that matters. This is probably the best way to stay inspired; the best way to stay fresh is to do something that matters to you and to others. When you are doing something that you have a genuine interest in and a genuine passion for and that you believe in, you’ll find that 99% of the time, you can keep the momentum going.

As I look back over the last 14 years that I’ve blogged, I’ve had over 30 blogs, and I only run 2 today. And the two that I have today are the ones that I had the most genuine interest in, the most passion for myself. Those two blogs that I still have today Digital Photography School and ProBlogger – they’re the ones I get personal satisfaction. They are meaningful to me.

I have a genuine love for blogging. ProBlogger is a blog that – once there are tough times, generally I love to create content about blogging. The other blog I have – I have a genuine interest in photography, so it’s easy for me to put aside time to create content on these topics and to learn more about these topics and to stay fresh in these things. It’s meaningful for me, so I’m energized by it.

You’ll notice before, I said that if you have a genuine interest, 99% of the time you’ll be able to keep the momentum going, while there’s still this other 1%. This is the times that you do get the burnout, but the other part of the factor for me in doing something meaningful is to choose something that is meaningful for other people. This is what gets me through the other 1%. When you are making other people’s lives better, you’ll find you get energy and inspiration from that.

I know there have been tough times in my own blogging, in building up ProBlogger for instance. The last 11 or so years of building up ProBlogger – those tough times, where you’re wondering, “Should I keep going?” It’s the emails or the comments that you get from readers, letting me know that I’ve done something that’s had a tangible impact upon them. Those are the things that really helped me through.

Spend your time creating something that is real, something that makes your readers’ life better in some way, and you’ll find that that will feed you through those tough times yourself. Do something that matters. Do something that’s meaningful to you and to other people, and that hopefully will get you through that next blogging slump, that next bloggers burnout that comes your way.

Now I guess, the last thing I’ll say is that there’s nothing wrong with taking a break. If you’re right in the middle of a bloggers burnout at the moment, take a break. It’s totally fine to do that. Maybe put a limit on how long that break will be. Maybe, say, it’s only a one-week break or a two-week break. Put a boundary on the other end of it, so you do have a point where you are going to come back to it, but take a break. It may be you need to find someone to help you to write some guest posts during that time or maybe simply that you say to your readers, “Hey, I’m taking a bit of a sabbatical. I’m taking my annual leave, and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.” You will find that your readers will understand that because they instinctively know that if you don’t look after yourself, you can’t really look after them either.

I hope that somewhere in the midst of those nine things that I’ve shared with you today will be something to get you through the tough time that maybe you’re going through at the moment as a blogger or the next tough time that you go through as a blogger.

Number 1: Know your limits and set realistic goals and expectations.

Number 2: Find your groove with a routine that works for you. Get into that groove.

Number 3: Identify the sticking points. Actually identify the things that are holding you back at the moment.

Number 4: Look after your body. Look after your diet. Look after your exercise.

Number 5: Take breaks – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly breaks.

Number 6: Focus on relationships. Build strong offline and online relationships, and particularly be aware of comparison that we so often do.

Number 7: Charge your day with inspirational moments and times of learning.

Number 8: Play, pivot, evolve. Try something new.

Number 9: Do something that matters.

I hope that you’ll stop by the shownotes at problogger.com/podcast/170 and tell me which one of those nine things works best for you and suggest anything else that you think might help other bloggers going through a burnout period at the moment. I’m sure there’s a lot more that can be said. Tell your story. When were you burnt out, and what did you do about it? I’d love to hear a little bit more about that in the comments of this podcast in the shownotes at problogger.com/podcast/170.

If you’re going through a tough time at the moment, I just wanna encourage you to really look after yourself – so important. And if you need any more advice, please drop me a line at darren@problogger.net. More than happy to listen to what you’re going through, and if I can give you any more advice than I already have, I’d love to speak into your situation in any way that I can.

Thanks for listening today. I hope you’re well, and I’ll chat with you next week on the ProBlogger podcast.

If you’re looking for something else to listen to at this point, I did mention a few episodes during this last episode. In episode 38, you might wanna listen to that one if health is something that you know you need to put your finger on. I tell my story of getting myself a little bit more in shape and some of the other things I did to improve me, improve my health. It had a flow-on impact for my blog.

In episode 83, I talked about blogger’s block, and this is one part of burnout that many bloggers go through. I talk about those three types of blogger’s block. In the ongoing episodes after 83, we talked a little bit about each one of those and gave you some strategies about how to really break through that.

Then I also mentioned in Episode 40 about my weekly rhythm, and that was much more about being productive with your time.

I hope you find something useful in those. The last thing I’ll say is if you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would give us a review and ratings on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and also I’d love it if you know someone else who you think might benefit from this particular episode – if you would share it with them. You can share it by sending them to the shownotes at problogger.com/podcast/170 or tell them to search on iTunes for ProBlogger.

Thanks for listening. Chat with you soon.

 How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post PB170: 9 Ways to Stay Inspired and Avoid Bloggers Burn Out appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.

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Pinterest Launches Rotating Showcase: This Week in Social Media

Pinterest Launches Rotating Showcase: This Week in Social Media

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Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Pinterest Rolls Out New Looks for Business Profiles: Pinterest announced several updates to its business profiles including a [...]

This post Pinterest Launches Rotating Showcase: This Week in Social Media first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Online Marketing News: Content Deluge, Spotify Data Stories and Cyber Monday Breaks Records

Online Marketing News: Content Deluge, Spotify Data Stories and Cyber Monday Breaks Records

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What Can Be Done About the Content Deluge? Insights From 42 Content Marketing Influencers [Infographic]
Content marketing isn't easy. Although it's not a new tactic by any stretch of the imagination, marketers are still struggling to spread their message to an increasingly inundated audience. So, how can marketers make their content marketing stick? These 42 influencers, including our own Lee Odden, have some helpful tips. Business to Community

Spotify Crunches User Data in Fun Ways for This New Global Outdoor Ad Campaign
Spotify mined user data for a delightful purpose - a playful new outdoor campaign thanking 2016 for, frankly, being really weird. Some highlights include showing some love to the 1,235 guys who loved the "Girl's Night" playlist this year, and wondering why someone would need to play "Sorry" 42 times on Valentine's Day. AdWeek

Report: Cyber Monday was the largest e-commerce day in history
This year, Cyber monday was the largest day in history for eCommerce, bringing in $3.4 billion in revenue. For comparison, eCommerce revenue for Black Friday was $3.34 billion. Interestingly enough, 53% of that revenue came from mobile -- 44% via smartphone and 9% via tablet. Marketing Land

Google is Saying Goodbye to Content Keywords
Google announced this week that it's retiring the Content Keywords feature in Google Search Console. Not to worry - this same data and much more can be found by using the Fetch as Google feature within GSC, which enables users to test how Google crawls and renders an on-site URL. Google Webmaster Central Blog

Four top digital priorities for B2B marketers: Report
A new study from Adobe and eConsultancy shows the top digital marketing priorities for B2B marketers, including catching up on content optimization, targeting and personalization, mastering the tools and analytics for data driven marketing and implementing a customer experience strategy. eConsultancy

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Instagram Is Facebook's Biggest App Advertiser. Twitter Is Banned.
Instagram is advertising on Facebook - and quite successfully. Twitter doesn't share the same luck. Ad Age reports: "Instagram has grown to 500 million monthly users today from 100 million monthly users in 2013, likely aided in part by its promotion on Facebook. But social-media competitor Twitter, whose 317 million monthly users are growing only slowly, is barred from advertising on Facebook." Ad Age

Programmatic To Grow 31% In 2017, Ahead Of All Other Channels
A recent report from Zenith suggests that programmatic will grow by 31% in 2017, which is faster than all other digital marketing channels, like social media (25% growth) and even online video (20% growth). The report also found that the U.S. is the largest programmatic ad market, valued at $24 billion this year and making up 62% of total programmatic spend. MediaPost

Blogging Benchmarks: Writing Time, Post Length, and Media Use
A recent survey showed that 56% of bloggers say that it takes them three hours or fewer to write a typical blog post. 25% of survey respondents say it take them between one and two hours, 24% said between two and three hours, while only 8% said it takes them less than one hour to write a blog post. MarketingProfs

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

I'll be back next week with my lovely co-pilot, Josh Nite, to bring you more online marketing news. Have something newsy to share? Tweet it to @toprank or leave it in the comments!

The post Online Marketing News: Content Deluge, Spotify Data Stories and Cyber Monday Breaks Records appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Grow a Business Using YouTube

How to Grow a Business Using YouTube

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Do you want to use YouTube for business? Want to learn how to script and produce YouTube videos for your business? To find out how marketers can develop a business channel on YouTube, I interview Sunny Lenarduzzi. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media [...]

This post How to Grow a Business Using YouTube first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Curb End-of-Year Marketing Burnout with These Digital Marketing Quick Tips

Curb End-of-Year Marketing Burnout with These Digital Marketing Quick Tips

For many marketers, the holiday season is one of their busiest times of year. But let’s face it, focusing on solving your top marketing problems when you have a holiday party to go to and a new year just around the corner isn’t always easy. This year, let’s change our perspective. Instead of letting things [...]

The post Curb End-of-Year Marketing Burnout with These Digital Marketing Quick Tips appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to Find Social Media Micro-influencers for Your Small Business

How to Find Social Media Micro-influencers for Your Small Business

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Want to promote your small business on a budget? Have you considered partnering with less famous influencers? Highly targeted micro-influencers can help your small business gain visibility, engage an audience, and promote your products. In this article, you’ll discover how to find and connect with micro-influencers who can promote your small business. #1: Find Micro-influencers [...]

This post How to Find Social Media Micro-influencers for Your Small Business first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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How to Create Consistently Valuable Content for Your Blog

How to Create Consistently Valuable Content for Your Blog

Doing something of value is a basic motive that drives us in doing pretty much anything in our lives. Writing is a passion and there is a little art in every piece of content we create, irrelevant of the topic or the reason why we put the words in this ...more

The post How to Create Consistently Valuable Content for Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

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