Taking up travel blogging is a lot like falling in love. At first it’s all exciting and new. Posting on your blog makes you feel euphoric and all of a sudden it’s all you can think about.
Then, one day you wake up and the honeymoon is over. You start to notice all of your travel blog’s faults and resent the many hours you must spend with it. You don’t want to break up, but you are tired.
You can practically feel the deadline of an article submission’s due date growing closer and closer and powerless to stop it.
2016 was A great year for me professionally but it certainly came with a toll. By the end of the year I was so tired that I refused a trip to Indonesia, and a couple of short gateways in Australia. I couldn’t keep up with emails, blog post or any other commitments. I felt tired and ready to quit.
But for someone stubborn like me, quitting is not an option and after weeks of struggle and reflection I decided to turn something bad into something good. I was on a mission to get back the joy of blogging and find ways to make it work!
So here is what I did to avoid travel blogger burnout:
1| Turn Off Your Computer
You closed one tab, might as well shut the entire computer off while you’re at it and go do something else instead. That’s what I did in the last 2 weeks of 2016. I went bushwalking, surfed twice a day if the swell was good. Go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee. I felt that I was slowly marinating in front of a dimly lit computer screen with a heap of emails to answer, posts to write and a loudly ticking clock in the background – I was going crazy! More than just crazy, I felt trapped – helplessly tied to my computer and fearful that leaving it means not getting the job done.
2| Get Organised
This year I promise to: back up all my photos using multiple sources, organise my photo folders, consolidate my files, and make sure all my images are tagged in my library. Who puts their hands up to become an assistant?!?
Organisation has been the theme of my life for the past month. I’ve organised my computer files, my emails, and I have started on my photos. I have even organising all our travel and sports gear!
About organising emails – I have found the best website in the world to clean your mailbox… do you know all those sites that you have subscribed in the past and fill your mailbox every single day? Well, UnRoll.Me instantly sees a list of all your subscription emails and let you unsubscribe easily from whatever you don’t want, or simply get all of them in one single email a day! Brilliant isn’t it?
Without clearcut organization, you’re doomed from the start. As Ben Franklin said: ‘ For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned.’
Running a website or blog requires a million of different tasks so it’s only appropriate that you use more modern methods of organisation to keep up.
Evernote is essential for me to keep going at the very least.
3| Time Management Is Crucial
When I feel overwhelmed my time management is at its worst. It’s hard, but it’s important to stick to a schedule and setting aside time to work. For travel bloggers, it can be really difficult on the road to crank out content and get a lot of work done when internet connections can be weak and schedules unpredictable. My time management has improved significantly since I’ve started to use Trello and CoSchedule.
4| Keep It Simple
Keeping it simple is essential because the more decisions you make, both large and small, the more energy and time you consume. These incremental decisions affect your output in the long run.
There are a million of different apps, books, and tools out there to help us organise our blogs, learn more and streamline media but at some point it’s counterproductive. Keep it simple and prevent blogger burnout.
5| It’s A Marathon
This has been a massive lesson for me – I want things to happen now! Realising that there are so many things that contribute to success over time helps you keep perspective. Slowing down makes you enjoy the process more, think clearly about what you want to share with your readers and the community and also think deeper about their needs and expectations. Don’t rush through the creative process of putting a blog post up!
6| Keep Your Expectations Real
It’s easy to draft a list of a ton of things you need to do, but being realistic is important, believe me!. I’m overly ambitious so I often bite off more than I can chew. I never want to make my goals too easy but I’ve found that this mentality can lead to discouragement in blogging, whereas it may be more appropriate in other areas of life.
One thing I’ve learnt in 2016 is that putting too much pressure on ourselves is unnecessary and counterproductive.
7| Market Your Work
I often have more things to do than time to do them and marketing my work just doesn’t happen often enough. I’ve decided this year it will happen.