How To Not Burn Out (Or Fade Away) When You’re A Link Builder
Note from Julie: I asked Paul to write a piece about how he deals with our biggest problem, which is burn-out. Whenever I talk to other people how how our link builders work, one of the most common questions that comes up is this exact one.
When it comes to link building, it is not better to burn out or fade away, though you do run the risk. It could happen to the best of us if we aren’t careful. When you come home and your roommates ask you, “How was work today?” chances are you might say, “the same as yesterday”, especially in the world of link building. It’s a tedious and frustrating thing sometimes and there have been times when I never wanted to see another bing results page in my life. So how do you spice things up and prevent burnout as a link builder? Well, it depends really. What kind of personality do you have? What are your interests? What problems are you having?
The most common complaints I’ve heard have been in regards to the monotony of the process, often in combination with sitting at the computer for hours at a time. Well, those complaints are real but they don’t have to be that simple either (or overwhelming). If you’re struggling with the monotony of the day, you should be taking action to insure you aren’t doing the same things every single day. At the very least, you should be breaking up your time with different activities, goals, and tasks. Look for new ways to work on discovery like setting up a Twitter account and following people that share some of your own interests. The internet is a very big place so don’t feel like you have to go through the same searches over and over again. Learn to use social media to your advantage. Make friends with webmasters and let them do some of the work for you. If they run a quality site, chances are they learned from other people while making friends in the process. Use blogrolls from quality sites to cut down on crap sites you’d have to sort through otherwise. Let people know you’re interested in doing business and follow through in a professional manner. Before you know it, you’ll be getting emails from sites you may not have seen before. I promise this will help cut down on the frustration factor.
I’ve read several articles about how getting up and moving for just a couple of minutes can do wonders for your mind and body. You need to get your blood flowing for your brain to work properly. So every hour or so take some time to get up, stretch, walk around. Forget about what you’re doing for a moment and clear your head. Have a cigarette or take your dog for a short walk, whatever you want as long as you’re getting off your butt for a few minutes. It’s a good way to find new inspiration and it will work wonders when it comes to returning to your computer with a fresh perspective. Speaking of new ideas, read the newspaper or at least be aware of what people are talking about. Remember the elections? It wasn’t much of a stretch to tie in a whole host of clients to that. I found so many sites I never would have otherwise just because I took advantage of what people were talking about at the time. Link building is not meant for those who want to stick to a single routine. You have to stay up-to-date on what’s going on to remain relevant and productive.
Don’t feel like you have to be a machine either. You are not a spam bot, you’re a person. Find ways to balance your work load. Did you send out 100 emails yesterday? Then don’t feel too bad about spending a few minutes sorting your playlist or reading an article on your favorite site. You’ll be judged not only by how many links you get (if that is how productivity is measured in your office), but the quality of those links as well. So take it one link at a time. My most successful months have been those when I wasn’t trying to get X amount of links for the month. Instead, when I’m relaxed and clear-headed (i.e. not stressing/freaking out), I almost always have a better month than those when I’ve been stressed, distracted and running the risk of a burn out.
And don’t forget that your personal life will affect your professional life too. Burnouts could come from a combination of factors (that may not have anything to do with work), so take a day for yourself if you need to. Getting burned out means you’re pushing yourself too hard and you might be amazed by how much a day off could help. A happy link builder will almost always be a better and more productive link builder. Take care of yourself, get creative, and I bet you’ll find a whole new (burnout-free!) perspective.