Pretty much everyone I talk to thinks my job is pretty easy. I sit around and write about all my favourite things all day. There is so much they don’t realize about my job. There is a high amount of stress related to performance, and high expectations when it comes to my job.
The blogging world is very results oriented, and blog networks are always looking to grow larger, get noticed more, and make more money. While content is king, there are so many secondary elements that bring attention to the content I write, and if you don’t take the time to deal with the secondary stuff, the blog won’t grow very fast making it look almost stagnant.
I have worked more sixteen hour days as a blogger than I have in any other job I have ever done. Blogging sometimes consumes my life where I wasn’t taking care of myself, or even my family obligations. I was working harder, faster, and better in hopes of building up my personal brand and value so that I could make more money, and eventually slow down. The funny thing is, the more work I did, the harder it became to keep up the same pace.
Even worse, I was trying to do everything. From supporting WordPress, converting templates into WordPress themes, writing thousands of posts, and networking with a variety of people. I was keeping up to date on marketing and advertising trends, as well as the key players in the various niches I wrote content on. I was in a constant state of information overload. I was finding the job more like a chore than a hobby I once enjoyed. And when you change all of your hobbies into work, what else is there to do?
After a while I started feeling depressed when the RSS subscribers went down, or traffic lowered. I really wanted to do well, even though I wasn’t enjoying the job anymore, I knew it was still the best job I ever had.
I was suffering from blogger burnout. I had to take a week off without blogs, blogging, RSS, e-mails and just focus on the last hobbies I had: reading and writing science fiction.
So many people that make it to the full time level with a network or on their own, don’t realize the amount of work required to continue to grow and you can’t rest on your laurels as others are pushing hard to get to the top spot as well. You either continue to grow faster than the rest, or you fall behind, and eventually have to get an office job.
With every job there is a pressure to perform, but it seems to me like anything that touches technology then has to perform at the same rate as the continued evolution of technology, and I don’t think everyone can always keep up.
Make sure you take the time to focus on yourself, and just because you love a subject, doesn’t mean you should change it into a blog, especially if it is your only hobby. I have definitely learned my lesson.