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Burn out
I've looked at my own site too long.
Smashing Young Man

 1:19 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

For the past month, I've come home from my day job to sit at my computer and work on my website for the rest of the evening. I'm now so sick of looking at it that I can no longer view it objectively. I don't know if what I have is any good, be it the articles I write or the layout. Inspiration is going down the crapper as well.

Fortunately, my site is augmented by a fairly active forum community who give helpful feedback, and they seem to like what I'm doing so far. However, they also make it somewhat difficult to get away from my site for any length of time, because I'm constantly having to answer any questions they have. I've added some moderators, but they're of little help when it comes to answering questions involving the nonforum pages.

I started the site as a hobby, but it's quickly turned into a second job. It's grown faster than I had anticipated or prepared for.

Any of you other webmasters suffer the occasional bout of severe burnout? If so, how do you deal with it? I would love to take a complete break from my site for at least a week and travel a bit, but I believe that would be a bad idea as that would leave the place without any support at all.



 1:27 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Post a message saying you're gone for a week and just go. Been there, done that -- it won't die in a week and most likely what you'll get is cheers and good lucks.


 1:29 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't have the same problem as you, but it might be going in that direction.

I am looking to build a secondary income, not another full time job complete with obligations.

My goal would be able to travel for up to 3 months and have the site setup so well that I'd just add a articles as I wrote on the road (internet cafe) and answer some emails.

I'd love to hear anyone's advice on how to avoid being tied down by your site/community.


 1:58 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a hobby site that was never intended to produce money but have created just for the love of the hobby.

I feel for you. But try convincing yourself to "take a fresh look" after working on it for a year or so!

It's indeed difficult, after a while "spaghetti" doesn't even close close to how your your site looks and your brain feels.

I keep going by reminding myself WHY I'm doing it, and by going off on other projects to break the monotony.


 8:42 am on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

i know what you feel. i just set aside the project, focus on something else for sometime, and return later to pick up the project where I left off.


 12:53 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have the same problem. Full time job and a forum community that is active 24hrs a day. I have been working too hard and have now been diagnosed with viral pneumonia. Take a tip from me. Forget it for a bit. Do something else. It will still be there when you come back.



 1:15 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems that many of us (not me yet) are cursed by our own success.


 3:13 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems that many of us (not me yet) are cursed by our own success.

Successful in as much as I have a job and an active forum community.

I have also successfully become ill as a result ;-/

Not successful as I still have to run everything myself. One day I will be able to afford to employ some other geek to run it all for me. ;-)



 3:18 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

For the past month, I've come home from my day job to sit at my computer and work on my website for the rest of the evening. I'm now so sick of looking at it that I can no longer view it objectively. I don't know if what I have is any good, be it the articles I write or the layout. Inspiration is going down the crapper as well.

Ah, that old chesnut ;-)

Happens to us all - don't worry too much about it.

You absolutely must take a break. As mentioned in the post below yours, tell your community and most likely they'll wish you a nice holiday ;-)

Do you have some trusted members with admin/moderation rights?



 4:17 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I started the site as a hobby, but it's quickly turned into a second job. It's grown faster than I had anticipated or prepared for.

I think that steady 'cold hard cash' might help cure your blues. I would suggest taking 2 weeks off and using that time to find some revenue producing avenues that you can add to your site.


 9:20 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I completely agree with Easy Coder - it's time you concentrated on making some real money out of the site.

Passion and enthusiasm fade away after a while. When that happens, you need to be making money out of your site and enjoying the lifestyle changes that come with this. And believe me, these are real: no more tedious commute to work; the choice to work only when you want to; the ability to live wherever in the world you want to; and the reality that there is no longer a cap on your earnings.

And focusing on this gives you the motivation to push on.

As others in this thread say, firstly take a break. Think through what you want from life (Google "goal setting") and work out how to monetize your site. Then knuckle down and do the hard work needed to give you the lifestyle you want.


 10:11 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Burn out is not the correct word to define me. I am totally obsessed or screwed up by my own sites. I started my first site at around june 04 and am now owning several websites with one main income website. The reason i am saying this is because i feel like i have nothing else left besides the websites. I am currently a student studying but due to the obsession with the websites, i totally screwed up my last semester and now doing badly in the current semester. Everyday adter school, i will just sit infront of my own computer and start doing stuffs. Uploading, modifying or checking my stats. Homeworks will be ignored and studies will be put aside.

Adding to this depression is that i found my sites not developing well. I am totally depressed in this situation. No social life for a long time. I desperately need advice on this. :<

Added :- It is now 4.13a.m and i have a rough draft due yesterday which i have not yet started. So what the heck am i doing?


 10:43 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

SirKei - Are you in a position to turn full time and receive an income from your sites? If you are how about droping out of UNI? Think long and hard before you do.


 10:46 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I desperately need advice on this. :<

Sirkei - you're doing something creative and that you're clearly enjoying, and there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes we all just need a little perspective.

Your school or Uni are bound to have people that you can talk to about this.

I think you need it right now, and if you put your school in the picture, and be completely frank with them, I'm sure they'll be able to advise and help you.



 1:32 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

That is when I move on to the next site.

If I get sick of one site, I move on and work on another. If you have enough sites, not only will the learning process help with each one, but you can try different things.



 1:51 pm on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

sirkei -

I didn't realize you had scheduling conflicts with school. So let me revise my suggestion. But first
repeat after me... "I will stay in school because it's the single best investment I can make over the course of my lifetime".

Think about the life long earnings, benefits, retirement advantages that a career can garner based on your formal training. That is a return on your college investment. You simply can't beat it.

Sure we all know that there are uniquely talented folks and they've become zillionaires w/o formal training but we all don't fit that mold. Guess what, we've also all worked with the buffoon MBA types that don't know their elbow from a hole in the ground but somehow they're pulling down 100K per year. Ever wonder why they're getting 100K per year?

Here's the revision...
Instead of taking 2 weeks off take 3. Find yourself some revenue based features and more importantly find yourself a working partner that can take over and share in the revenue.


 9:06 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

sirkei as a fellow University Student (Aerospace Engineering) i can fully understand what you going through. I used to be like that in the begining, checking my website everyday, worrying if the site was down...etc. However as time passed i managed things a lot better, firstly you pay a lot in tuition so if your website is not making money or its a hobby site, you owe it to no one to maintain that site at a professional level-Meaning to can leave the website alone for a couple of months. Secondaly try to make all important update on weekends and all major one in Spring/Fall break (1-2 weeks usually). Instead of keeping a dozen website just keep 1-2 and focus on them. I usually write aritcles for my website while taking the subway to and from school, i also find its a great way to unwind especially when "Laminar Flow, Shear Stresses and Pressure Gradient" stress you out. Keep it simple and try not to obese over it. Hope things work out for you. P.S Try to get a Good Nights sleep b4 coming to a decision, For me that always works.


 1:31 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with blackraven

I am also a uni student.

I only work on one site. Honestly I end up doing the majority of my content writing in a $0.79 pocket notepad during school. Between classes ill outline an article, during a boring class movie ill brainstorm article ideas, while waiting to see a professor I'll write a few paragraphs.

Mon-Thurs I rarely actually visit my site. Most of the time you can find me writing in my little notebook while doing some work or watching a movie. My only real activity on the site is answer a few emails.

Friday I take a complete break and just go out and enjoy myself. No computers, no school, just me, my fiance, beer, food, and fun.

Saterday is when I get my hands dirty with the site and do any coding that needs to be done AND publish all the articles I created during the week.

Sunday is when I start concentrating more on school and do what I need to do.

This might sound like a pretty strict schedule, but when you are being pulled in so many directions I have found that it is best (for me) to impose some kind or artifical struture to my life. If I don't I could easily fall into one aspect (work, fun, school) and neglect the others.


 1:44 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Livenomadic, have you thought about investing in a PDA? that re-writing content must must take up loads of your time.


 1:52 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

You know, I have been thinking out it.

First I tried an Ipaq, which was nice except for for the fact that the battery life was only about 4 hours and if it ran out of battery the entire memory of the machine was wiped.

Second I tried a laptop. However the idea of carrying $1000-$2000 in my bag all day scared the hell out of me so I ended up leaving it at home.

Finally I settled on a notepad for 2 reasons: infinite battery life and dirt cheap.

I would be very interested in trying a cheaper ($100-$200) and long battery life pda that I could get a keyboard for.

Any suggestions for one?


 2:09 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

not too sure what the best pda is, but i had a quick look on ebay, there are a few for under $100, and I saw a dell (Dell Axim X5 400 mhz PDA + wireless keyboard + BONUS) for $165, not too bad. 29 minutes left ;)

plus it's a mp3/movie player that can surf the net.

battery life 8 - 10 hours.

I guess you only really need it for text tho?

you should be able to get a good one for the cost of around 100-200 notepads, oh but then there is ink too. :)

plus you'll be saving the planet.


 2:44 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the replies. I really aprreciate all. In fact, it's weekend now and i guess i should clear up my mind and get back to some works on school. Cant afford to drop out of school.

What i do when i get burnt out of my sites :-
1)Computer games( totally addicted to warcraft 3)
2)Yahoo launch cast plus
3)yahoo online chess
5)Well, i guess the last thing i will do is just have a good sleep. That always helps.


Smashing Young Man

 9:42 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Welp, I took everyone's advice and got away from my site for a few days. It did a world of good for my outlook on things and, despite my fears, it didn't crash and burn in my absence. :p

On monetizing my site: I've thought this over and have decided to give it a try. I've added Adsense (I'm very pleased with how well targeted the ads are) and a couple of affiliates. So far so good. At the very least, I'd like to take what money I make - no matter how little or great it may turn out to be - and invest it in the stock market.

Thanks for the feedback, all. :)


 3:23 am on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)


Although I have to agree with others that education is paramount, it isn't for everyone. _Especially_ if you're actually doing decent money from your sites and you foresee that to grow further. Education is good for one thing - to get a job. That little piece of paper they give you at the end of a 4 year trial isn't even good as toilet paper.

If you're doing full time webmastering and getting revenue from it, it puts a different spin on things, wouldn't you say so? Having said so, I did go to school and I'm graduated already. After a year and a half doing the career thing I got into building my own sites and shortly thereafter I quit my job. I don't plan on working for anyone else ever again, so in effect my degree (in Information systems) means nothing to me anymore, and because technology advances so fast, what I learned back then is worth crap now.

Having said that, there's some stigma in not having a degree, for some reason, and that may factor in your decisions.

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