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Smart ways to stay a sane and happy food blogger

Karen Miner is the Food & Home Editor for SheKnows. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and her h...

The best advice for avoiding burnout, staying motivated and achieving long-term blogger happiness

Blogger burnout. It’s real and it happens.

Whether you've been blogging for one month or five years, you've probably experienced it. You start your blog, come out the gate strong, tell yourself that you're going to blog every single day, and then at about day three, your motivation tanks.

After picking up the pieces, you start again, fully recharged. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Don't get discouraged just yet. There's hope. With this very smart advice from five successful food bloggers who have collectively been at it for decades, you can avoid the dreaded blogger burnout.

Here's what Michael Procopio, Elise Bauer, Irvin Lin, Sabrina Modelle and Jaden Hair had to say at #BlogHerFood15 about achieving long-term blogger happiness. Listen up; they know their stuff.

On the secrets to their success

First things first, Elise hit the nail on the head: "We have to acknowledge that what we do is really hard and overwhelming." She also says she has realized, after a change in Google's algorithm and big traffic drop on her blog, that you can't let the things you can't control affect you. "I couldn't let external factors impact my internal peace. I'm just going to choose to be happy."

Sometimes you have to change the way you look at success. "I've come to realize that change is OK. Stats, money and growth was my measurement of success," Jaden says. A couple years ago, she realized that she needed to change the way she was looking at success. She stopped looking at stats and doing social media. "And that made me happy!"

It's easy to get in a rut. Irvin says, "Sometimes you forget why you started a blog in the first place. I'll go to the kitchen and just my make food. I don't take notes. I don't share it on social media. And it revitalizes me."

Michael has similar advice. "If I'm not feeling it, I just back away. I go outside, I see friends… I forgot at some point that I had friends in the real world, and not just online. I was running out of ammunition for personal essays because I wasn't living my life."

"Identify what sucks the life out of you and what makes you happy." The things that suck the life out of you "just aren't worth it," Elise says, "and I'm not going to do it."

"We get on a hamster wheel of things we 'need' to do," Sabrina says. "If you're not being authentic and not honoring yourself, it comes across. And that won't make most people happy long-term."

On social media

The general consensus amongst the group: Find social media that's fun, not the ones that feel like an obligation. If it's not making you happy, don't do it. Elise elaborates, "It's OK not to do every single social media. If Pinterest bugs the crap out of you, stay away from it."

Take a break. Sabrina says, "Fasts from social media, even a week or two, is (sic) an amazing thing. When I get back on, I'm recalibrated."

For those with smaller blogs who are nervous about taking a break from social media, Jaden recommends "promoting your blog and message via traditional media — print and publications that fit your market. Leverage their media." Another option — Elise advises starting an email list. "You get a core of people that continues to grow."

On staying positive

"It's hard to just say 'don't be jealous [of other blogs],'" Jaden says. "If I feel that tinge of jealously coming on, I need to rationalize and back myself off." She also says that having a dream board made a huge difference for her. "Graciousness" is in the middle and it brings her back to reality.

Irvin says that sometimes he just takes a break. "There were weeks I didn't post, and that's OK."

Sabrina agrees, "Nothing happens if you don't post for a week or a month. Your blog will still be there… and your readers will support you." And another great tip: "Be gentle and kind to yourself if you feel like you can't keep up. Treat yourself like a friend."

On staying motivated

Snapchat! Elise says, "I can create content with Snapchat without being in front of a computer. It's fun. I don't feel overwhelmed at all. I want to do more of that stuff that's really fun."

Irvin recommends trying NaBloPoMo. "It lets me experiment a little more."

Michael writes for himself. "My blog is a selfish blog, and that makes me happy," he says.

On negative comments

"I view someone coming to my blog as a visitor in my home," Michael says. "And if they are mean to me or any other commenters, I will let them have it."

Elise has a different approach: "Privately make fun of them and delete it. You can't argue with the crazies. Whatever you do, don't let them make you feel bad."

Smart advice from successful bloggers, and useful tips to keep in mind next time you're struggling to stay happy in the blogging process.

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