September 29th, 2017

Blogger burnout

Don’t worry. This post isn’t about me—or at least it’s not primarily about me. I’m not planning to quit blogging, and I’m not fishing for comments that beg me to stay.

But every now and then I think about quitting, because blogging takes its toll. It is a ridiculously time-consuming activity for the amount of money I get. And for most bloggers—at least, most bloggers who aren’t among the few extremely successful mega-bloggers—it remains for the most part a labor of love (or of obsessive-compulsive disorder).

But I can identify with what Jim Treacher has written about why he’s quitting his post as blogger for the Daily Caller:

Daily blogging can be a fun job, but it can also be a grind. Living on the Internet 24/7 has turned out to be kind of a bad idea. It seems to have driven everyone utterly insane. Everyone except me, of course! But spending every waking moment online, for years at a time, has taken its toll on me. Wading nostril-deep through the endless hostility and madness and dishonesty, being expected to have an instant “take” on every single thing that happens, every minute of every day, is exhausting.

I’m tired. Aren’t you tired?

I plan to keep writing, because otherwise I’ll need to get a real job. But I just can’t maintain the manic, unrelenting pace required to keep a blog viable in 2017. At the beginning of the year I was told to go from three posts a day to five (I did), on the theory that it would boost my traffic (it didn’t). I just don’t know how else to get more clicks. Recently I was given a month to do so, but I can’t crank out even more posts in a day, day after day, without sacrificing the minimal level of quality my readers expect.

Yep, I’m often tired. One of the things I’m tired of is the amount of junk that so often passes for news in the MSM and elsewhere, the same-old predictable and transparent propaganda. So much is a tempest in a teapot, or unreliable, or opinion journalism masking itself as objective. I’m tired of feeling the need to monitor all of that verbiage and sort out the wheat from the chaff.

One thing I believe is going on with Treacher is that his bosses seem to think that quantity is the answer to getting more clicks. Of course, I’m probably not the world’s authority on how to get more clicks; my traffic is steady but moderate. But from what I’ve observed around the blogosphere, going from three to five posts a day isn’t going to change a thing. These days blogs are considered somewhat passe; the dogs have barked and the caravan moved on to social media, and no doubt will move on to other platforms someday soon. Bloggers, the hot new commodity when I started out, are the old dinosaurs now, especially individual bloggers. Group blogs are really the only way to generate a lot of content—which people seem to want, because the most popular blogs these days are generally group blogs.

I’m pretty sure that there have been big news days on which I’ve put up as many as five posts. More often it’s three, and even that’s pushing it. To regularly churn out five posts a day, as Treacher was asked to do, would either require the “living on the Internet 24/7” to which Treacher refers, or the content of each post would pretty much have to shrink to a sentence with a link in it and then maybe a short quote. That’s fine if that’s the type of blog a person wants to run, but anything much longer than that and it becomes very labor-intensive to produce a large volume of commentary by oneself.

As I said, I have no plans to quit. But sometimes I think that maybe, perhaps, I should try to actually write that change book I thought I’d write many years ago. To do that, I’d probably have to take the number of posts I write a day down to one, with more posts than that only on big news days, with a few more hours each day devoted to the book.

I have no intention of being chained to my computer 24/7, although some days it may seem as though I already am. But that way lies madness.

6 Responses to “Blogger burnout”

  1. om Says:

    All things in moderation I’ve heard. Quality is your strength.

  2. Cornflour Says:

    This isn’t the first time I’ve written to support the idea of a book on political changers. In keeping with the old adage “show don’t tell,” I’d hope for a book focused on the people themselves, people with interesting or representative stories. Of course, stitching it all together into one coherent narrative would be hard, but you now have years of practice.

    A book on changers could have lasting value, so If you had to reduce your blogging to make time for the book, then I could accept a lower daily dose on the news.

    For whatever it’s worth, just one opinion.

  3. parker Says:

    Neo,

    I have a suggestion. At least once a week re-post one or two of your previous posts and start at the beginning. Do this on Fridays and unless something just can not be ignored and you are compelled to post your thoughts, take the weekend off.

    I have read perhaps 10 or so posts from before I began reading your blog regularly. Please don’t get close to feeling burned out…. we all enjoy reading your thoughts and findings; and the lighter things you bring to our attention.

    I prescribe a SweeTango or three and have a glass of a crisp dry white wine. Currently my sweetheart and I are enjoying Vinho Verde, a 9.5 % alcohol Iberian white. Plus it is nice marinade for fish such as tilapia.

  4. John Says:

    ((sigh)) don’t change. Your posts offer consist and insightful into to which ever topic you focus on.

    My mother’s generation often wrote long letters to close life long friends that illustrated wisdom gain though life, and a degree of self honesty rarely encountered. Your post reflect
    and continue this tradition.
    If it helps, at 62 years of age I have read and viewed the video your posts on ballet, a subject dear to you and of no interest to me.

    At 15 a female classmate commented to a group of males “you are pigs, and live in the gutter”. To which I responded, “but we like living in the gutter” in a hurt tone. Ballet at 62 who knew?

  5. John Says:

    I second Parker’s suggestion.

  6. MollyG Says:

    Neo, if you write the book, I will buy it through your Amazon portal!

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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