Ryan Hanley

author, speaker, marketing geek

33 Methods to Rebound from Content Marketing Burnout

content marketing burnout

content marketing burnoutLately I’ve felt the anchor weight pull of content marketing burnout.  So far in 2013, between this blog, my insurance blog and guest posts on the various sites I contribute to I’ve written over 70 posts.

That’s a lot…

…and be honest in recent weeks it started to feel like I’m drowning.  It’s as if I’m swimming in the content ocean and Poseidon has a hold of my feet pulling me just below the surface.

But this isn’t a “Woe is Ryan” post.

This blog has always been about sharing my personal journey into inbound and content marketing.  Dealing with lulls in the quality of my content creation seems like an important part of the process.

Honestly though, I couldn’t put my finger on the feeling till today… then it hit me, my Resistance… my own fear of mediocrity was pulling me under the waves of creation.

I made a promise to myself that 2013 would be the year I took this little blog and turned into my art. This small piece of online real estate is my playground, my canvas, my microphone… and regurgitating tired marketing ideas you can find on a hundred other blogs much better written than mine isn’t part of my art.

We all feel this way at some point, right?

You feel like you’re capable of providing more to the world.

…and when that’s not happening, it’s suffocating.

You begin to ask stupid questions like:

Why aren’t traffic numbers growing faster?

What are some tricks to grow my email list faster?

How come more people don’t comment on my Facebook posts?

Not just stupid but harmful to my mission.

I have to thank my friend Mars Dorian {listen to our podcast here} for getting my head back above water with this amazingly honest post:

He outlines fighting a few of his own echo chamber demons in a way only he can.

It’s kinda like getting trapped on “The Grid” for anyone who’s seen Tron or it’s newer sexier sequel Tron: Legacy.  When on “The Grid” you have to play by the same rules as everyone else.  The system gives us structure and a path but at the same time places limitations on our movements.

The same things happens in content marketing (regardless of what niche you write in).  If you lose yourself to that niche and the system that governs it, the only possible result is exactly the same as everyone else.


There are only two paths to success in the content creation game:

  • Be first
  • Be unique

“Be First” has come and gone for most of us.

But “Be Unique” is always an option for all of us, it’s just a longer, tougher path.

We were given our unique voice for a reason…

…the adventure is finding out what that reason is.

Which brings me back to the purpose of writing this post to begin with.  Lately I’ve felt like whatever it is that makes me unique has been dulled and I have no one to blame but myself.  Luckily, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way.

I say luckily because now that I’ve experienced content marketing burnout multiple times I have a few tricks for quickly getting out of da funk and here they are:

33 Methods to rebound from content marketing burnout

1) Write something completely off your normal topic that you have no intention of showing anyone else ever.

2) Delete every blog you subscribe to by RSS or email except for the three you couldn’t live without.

3) Start the first big project that comes to mind and have no intention of completing it.

5) Do, watch, involve yourself in something completely juvenile you used to love but gave up as an adult.

6) Do something so physically strenuous that when your done you immediately need to lie down and pass out.

7) Call your best friend and relive a completely awesome memory from high school or college.

8) Slap yourself across the face as hard as you have the guts to.

9) Have breakfast for dinner.

10) Get drunk on cheap beer.  My recommendations are Labatt Blue or Molson Export.

11) Make out with your spouse or significant other like you mean it. High school style, not that boring good morning peck.

12) Watch a really bad movie.  My recommendations are Evolution, Starship Troops, True Lies and anything starring Timothy Olyphant.

13) Play with kids or pets and really get into it.

14) Break the law.

15) Have a drink before Noon on a workday.  See #9.

16) Perform a completely random act of kindness and don’t tell anyone. Ever.

17) Purchase a hotel room someplace you’ve never been before for one night.  Then figure out how to get there.

18) Dance to good music like you mean it.

19) Fart in public and blame it on someone else. This is called “crop dusting” and it does take skill.

20) See #12 but replace Timothy Olyphant with Michael J. Fox and include anything with a lead character named Hon Solo or Indiana Jones.

21) Call someone you care about and sincerely ask him/her how their day was.

22) Put ’90s gangster rap on and clean your house.

23) Make up a word, give it meaning and use it in conversation like it’s been in Webster’s dictionary for a hundred years.

24) Refer to yourself in the 3rd person.

25) Write the day’s “To-do” list in your opposite hand.

26) Sign up for an online investing account and buy $20 worth of the crappiest stock you can find.

27) Forget about #4.

28) Leave the house the without your cell phone on purpose.

29) Read the War of Art  and Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield then something by Dr. Seuss.

30) Meditate on Sean Connery still being the best Bond.

31) Write every single stupid idea you can think of and don’t stop until your fingers bleed.

32) Watch True Facts about the Mantis from zefrank and allow yourself to laugh out loud no matter where you are.

33) Finish a game of Monopoly.

34) Reach out to every expert or guru you respect online that you previously thought was too famous, too busy or too important to contact and ask them for help. You’ll be surprised.

Bonus Method

35) Do something you normally charge a lot for and give it away for free.

Double Bonus Method

36) Sit back, relax and remember why you started to begin with. If you have to step away that’s OK. Ana Hoffman did it and so can you.

The Rub

Burnout is in our head. We are the master of our own mind. When our mind feels like it’s trapped, it’s natural reaction is to shut down or in writer parlance “Burnout.”

These 35 methods are just silly ways to give your brain an escape. Just like a Nintendo, sometimes our mind freezes and we need to hit the reset button.

This stupid list was my reset button.

What is yours?

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley and if you enjoyed this article you’ll love the Content Warfare Newsletter, get it here.

About Ryan Hanley

I help make sales easy through content marketing. My work as a marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and Amazon bestseller author will help your business establish authority, attract an audience and grow revenue. Hire me to speak at your next event or grab a copy of my new book, Content Warfare.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

    No doubt it does Neil… No doubt!


  • http://www.barry-overstreet.com Barry Overstreet

    Excellent list, Ryan!

    It can become very difficult to consistently have to produce content. It doesn’t matter how creative you are, it will still become a struggle at some point.

    The better you are at it, the more susceptible you are because then you have to live up to the “standards” you’ve set for your content.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here, though. You just simply have to take the time to allow yourself to reset in order to be effective.

    Thanks for sharing. I found your site from over at Ana’s. I like what I see so far and I’m going to have to do some more digging around.

    Have a great week!


    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      Thanks so much Barry…

      Writing this article definitely was a reset button for me. That and I actually did as this stuff in one night… kidding.

      Great to connect with you and I look forward to more in the future.


  • http://danrippon.com.au Dan

    Great list Ryan, hope you found it cathartic! I’m still chuckling at #4, that’s the best by a country mile, so I’m off to implement it right away…


  • http://www.matthewlbrennan.com Matt Brennan

    It takes practice and a routine to truly hit your stride with writing, and content marketing. All of our social networks can be an incredible distraction. I especially like “Leave your house without the cell phone on purpose.” I always feel like it’s the end of the world when I do this. I need to appreciate the liberation, and get more done!

    Seriously, great post.

  • http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/best-aweber-autoresponder-review/ Ana Hoffman

    This comes up a lot during interviews, writing posts, responding to comments, etc – HOW do you find your unique voice?

    I find it interesting that more of us have no clue how to answer that. It should be simple, right? Just be yourself.

    Yet, we spend most of our lives imitating others, whether we admit it or not, that we forget who we truly are.

    Finding your voice is a journey, and if anyone has the guts to follow even a few of your suggestions, Ryan, they’ll get there a lot faster.


    PS saw your post submission; will take a look and hopefully publish next week.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      Finding your voice is definitely a journey. No doubt about that. I probably should have listed, “Be ready to flail…”

      That’s what it seems like we’re doing so often when trying to find our voice.


      Ryan H.

  • http://www.brentmkelly.com Brent Kelly

    That is some funny stuff. Very true as well. I think we can all get so busy grinding and pushing everyday that we forget to sit back and enjoy once in a while. The best part is that often times the best ideas seem to come when we are not actively looking for them.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      So true buddy. Often the harder to “try” the harder it is for ideas to flow. I’m starting to realize a steady process with no expectation tends to yield the best results. As soon as you place expectations on results it puts the brakes on creation.


  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ craig McBreen

    Love it :)

    “Fart in public and blame it on someone else. This is called “crop dusting” and it does take skill”
    – This instantly reminded me of being stuck in that flying tube, some 30,000+ feet up. Not the blaming, but the “crop dusting.”

    Now I’m back to work and off the social web! :)

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      We’ve all done it buddy… Thanks for stopping by!

  • Mike

    Knowing I’ve experienced content burnout many of times in the past 13 years, I think I’ve done almost your entire list at some point! It’s good to get away and refresh.


    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      Doesn’t it feel like after you refresh yourself and come back the work you do just then… That’s some of your best work.

      I think that means we need to refresh often.



  • http://fiorecommunications.com/blog/ Jeff Machado

    Number 6 is my reality ever Wednesday when I have my leg workout day. Squats, 2 different types of deadlifts and then at least 3 other machines have me wanting to eat everything in sight and sleep right after.

    But I will be calling up people – I’ve been neglecting this for a while.

    This must have felt great to write. I’d ask which one is your favorite but it could get really personal really quickly haha.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      This did feel great to write… And my favorite is all of them I think. Though I do like drinking cheap beer.


  • http://www.jasondmulholland.com Jason Mulholland

    Labatt – now that brings back some good Syracuse, NY memories. Thanks Ryan!

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley

      Did you ever get into Molson Export… It’s the Champagne of cheap beer?

      • Jason Mulholland

        Unfortunately (or fortunately!) not :)

        Would love to brew my own now.

  • dacesita


  • http://harmsinsurancegroupblog.wordpress.com Nicole

    That. was. hilarious. Your list makes me think you really needed to sweep out the cobwebs and we all got to see some of the stuff that keeps you up at night! Break the law?!?! Crop dusting!??!

    I’m still giggling. Too hard to concentrate on what my list would look like….

    Alright alright. I’ll go write a post already.

    • http://www.ryanhanley.com Ryan Hanley


      This is why I write so much imagine the nightmare I would be for my wife if all this was forced to stay in my brain….

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!


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