Is it Time for a Blogging Break? Here’s How to Take One
In every blogger’s life, there’ll be times when blogging is harder than usual.
You might be tempted to keep going; after all, you know it’s important to keep up a steady stream of content, and you might be worried that you’ll lose your hard-earned readers if you stop posting for a while.
The problem is, struggling on could mean that you put out lower-quality content than usual – damaging your blog and your reputation.
There’s no blogging law that says you can’t take a break … and sometimes the best thing to do is to step away from your blog for a few weeks or even months.
Why You Might Need a Break
There are plenty of reasons why bloggers stop blogging temporarily: these are three of the most common.
#1: Major Life Events
If you’re going through something really big in your life, it may well be the case that you don’t have the time and/or energy to blog.
Hopefully, this is something positive (e.g. landing the job of your dreams), but it could also be something negative (e.g. a family member’s illness). Either way, your blog isn’t going to be your top priority for a while.
#2: Feeling Burned Out
Posting regularly, whether that’s daily or weekly, takes up a fair bit of time and energy. Sometimes, especially if you’re not getting quick results, you may simply feel discouraged and burned out.
If you’re thinking about giving up, then taking a temporary break could recharge you enough to carry on. You might also find you get some new ideas while you’re away, helping you return with fresh enthusiasm and even with a better long-term plan for your blogging.
#3: Working on a Relaunch
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with you … it’s your blog that’s the problem. If you’ve decided on a change in direction (e.g. a broader or more narrow topic), or a radical design overhaul, you might need to stop blogging for a few weeks to give yourself time to prepare for the relaunch.
Having a few silent weeks on your blog can help prepare readers for the change to come, and will hopefully give you enough mental distance from your blog to make good decisions.
How to Take a Blogging Break (Without Losing Your Readers)
The key don’t here is that you shouldn’t just stop posting one day and not return to your blog for three months. Loyal readers won’t just be disappointed not to have new posts – they may well be anxious about what’s happened to you, especially if you normally blog on a very regular schedule.
You’ll also risk alienating new readers who come by in your absence; if they see that the last post was dated a couple of months ago, they may think the blog’s been completely abandoned.
So here’s what you need to do before you take off:
#1: Put Up a Post to Say You’re Away
It’s usually a good idea to explain your reasons for taking a break, though of course you can be vague if it’s something personal that you don’t want to talk about (e.g. “family commitments” or “a busy period at work”).
Ideally, your reason for taking a break will be something your readers will support. At the start of 2013, I took a few months off from my blog Aliventures while I had a baby. My readers were all really supportive … and were excited to see the photos when I came back.
Whatever your reasons for going, it’s a good idea to use your “bye for now” post to:
- Link to some key posts on your blog (this is handy for new readers).
- Link to your products / services.
- Let readers know roughly when you expect to be back.
- Give your RSS link and email sign-up – you may even see subscriptions go up while you’re away, as readers will want to be alerted as soon as you’re back.
#2: Update Your About and Contact Pages
Chances are, if you’re taking a break from your blog, you’re probably not going to have time to answer lots of questions by email. This means it’s a good idea to add a sentence at the top of your About page (one of the most-read pages on your blog) and your Contact page to explain that you’re currently taking some time away from blogging.
Depending on your blog, you may need to update a Contact form to direct to a colleague or assistant who’ll be answering emails while you’re away. If no-one will be answering for some time, it’s probably best to remove the contact form and set up an out-of-office reply on your email account.
#3: Consider Using Guest Posters
This definitely isn’t a must but it’s something you might want to think about – inviting guest posters to cover the period while you’re away.
If you’re taking a short break (e.g. two weeks off) this could work well, by keeping up the momentum and allowing some fresh voices and perspectives to invigorate your blog. If you’ve never used guest posters before, though, or if you’re going to be away for a long time, you’ll probably want to avoid this – it could prompt readers to unsubscribe as they signed up for your content.
Have you ever taken a blogging break, or have you seen other bloggers do this successfully? Let us know your best tips (or your lessons learned!) in the comments.
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6 Responses to “Is it Time for a Blogging Break? Here’s How to Take One”
I post 4x a week and twice a year a take a week off. I rerun popular posts for the week I am off calling it the Best of…
New readers get to see content they didn’t see before & subscribers & long time readers get to be reminded of the content again.
‘There is no blogging law that says that you can’t take a break’- I just loved that sentence! To be honest, blogging has no strict rules and regulations regarding the frequency of posting new stuff. We are free to it the way we wish!
As mentioned in the post, there are several reasons to take a break from blogging. The ones that I have had so far is- landing a good job and facing burnout. Both the events have ensured that I’ve had my fair share of blogging breaks. In fact, I still have them periodically!
The strategies mentioned to take one such break, without losing the visitors are all useful. In fact, on some blogs of mine, I’ve been taking help of guest posters to keep things running and provide something for visitors to read.
I found the link to this post on Kingged.
Taking a break from blogging is advisable especially when you feel you are suffering from a “Writer’s Block”. It helps to rejuvenate yourselves and come back fresh with new ideas and thoughts.
One of the best ways to ensure that you do not let your readers and visitors get impacted with your break, is by accepting guest bloggers. I have seen a lot of established bloggers doing it and it works well for your blogs.
Nice post overall..
Another way could be to create a backlog of content so you can take a break when you need to. Currently, I’ve got 2-3 months of blog posts lined up and ready to go.
Should anything happen and I need to take a week or two off, I’m covered. There’s plenty of content to go out and I can take a break.
I take a long break from blogging when my grandma passed away!
I agree with you. Blogging isn’t an easy job. Many people think that sitting in front of the computer all day and writing about topics you like is an easy task. But everyone who ever decide to wrap some things and put it on the Internet knows how it can be exhausting.
Everyone needs vacation so as bloggers even if it doesn’t require losing lot of energy.
Good work with the post
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