Once you build up a readership and/or audience you may start to notice a recurring guilty feeling over the quality or consistency of your posts crop up. No one person can reasonably be expected to – without fail – publish perfectly regularly for years upon years on end, yet I do find that when we as content producers fail to provide our audience content that has as high a standard or volume as we’d expect ourselves to deliver, guilt does often sink in.
This is one of the trickiest parts of the job to deal with – especially since pushing out content is not the only task we have to do as content producers. Sometimes that extra 4-5 hours you would’ve spent on a new article is better spent promoting an old one, reading about new methods of content marketing, sorting out social media posts, fixing a blog layout, replying to emails, planning out monetization – basically an endless list of other tasks. There are also times when you’ll feel completely unmotivated when it comes to pushing out new content because you’ll feel yourself getting burned out; in which case, it’s my opinion that you should be taking a break rather than publishing content you’re not proud of or powering through and continuing to publish as you always have. Without taking a break when you need one, you stand the risk of finding yourself completely losing interest for your platform over time out of sheer exhaustion.
My best advice when it comes to dealing with the problem of guilt over slowing down is not particularly head on – essentially I’d advise you never to make promises to your audience that you’re not 100% sure if you can deliver on over 90% of the time. If you promise to upload a new post, video, podcast, etc, every single Thursday, but don’t, your audience is going to feel let down. If it’s implied because you always post on a Thursday, it’s a lot less harsh of a blow, at least in my opinion. And if you never really end up publishing on the same day each week, but have a much looser schedule by posting sometime within the week usually, even better – no one will probably be sitting there hitting refresh on your page hoping to see a new post, and so there will be a lot less disappointment if you’re late publishing from their end.
So in essence, my advice is – don’t commit unless you’re truly able to deliver. Don’t let people down and you won’t have as much guilt over not posting enough quality content.
Does this completely alleviate the guilt? Not really, no. If you are used to pushing out a specific quality or volume of content and you don’t feel as though you have delivered that to your audience recently, you’re going to feel guilty. But realize that this is a good thing. It’ll keep you on your toes with regards to content creation; will help make sure you always keep striving to put out the best you can produce. The guilt is there for a reason – it helps you to push yourself to do better.
Of course, if your standard is too high, your guilt can also help you to figure this out, as if you’re always feeling guilty, you’ll know that the bar needs to come down a notch. This means, if you’re not planning on hiring a team, either decreasing post frequency in order to retain high quality without getting burned out, or reducing the length/quantity of at least some of your posts so you can maintain your schedule and post as regularly as you once did.
You shouldn’t feel guilty over having to lower the bar. Don’t feel that your audience will hate you for it, as if they do, they’re missing the bigger picture (which you can let them know about to clear things up if they ask you) – if you don’t tone things down and take the posting down a notch, you risk burning yourself out altogether, which in turn pretty much always eventually leads to you ceasing to create any new content at all and abandoning that particular project.
So you’re really doing both yourself and your audience a favour by lessening your load when you feel it needs to be lessened – because otherwise you really do stand the risk of not wanting or being able to produce content for that avenue at all.