I’m considered an old school blogger. I’ve been doing this since before we called them blogs and I learned a couple of things in the process.
I don’t think I’m an expert by any stretch, but I do think I learned how to grow a successful blog from scratch and how to enjoy and interact with a supportive community. And I’ve loved every minute of it.
In the years that I blogged, there has been much discussion about blog frequency. At first we insisted you had to post at least once per day. It’s the only way to keep the traffic constant and stay on top of the search engines.
We also felt that consistency is important; that our communities needed to rely on us to post at certain days and times or else they wouldn’t read our stuff. In fact, many of us at that time felt it was confusing and inconsistent to post at 9:00 a.m. one day and 2:00 p.m. the next.
Over the years some of that’s changed. Most bloggers have taken on a quality over quantity stance when it comes to frequency, though optimal time is still a big consideration. In fact, thanks to RSS and our links being shared on the social networks, we know the people who enjoy reading our blogs will continue to read our blogs, regardless of whether or not we post every day.
I remember several years ago, a hot topic on blogs was “blogger burnout” and what happens when you’re all blogged out because you’re trying to keep up and find fresh topics. At that time, very few people recommended taking a break, because that would mean less traffic to the blog on a regular basis. For those who monetized with ads, this was especially the issue.. I’m now of the mindset that a blogger needs to take a break now and then to keep fresh, stay sane, and not have to resort to posting the same dang things everyone else are posting to their blogs. Just as we need a break from our jobs, our homes and our kids, we also need a break from our blogs.
5 Reasons to Take a Break from Your Blog
1. To not get bored
Even if you’re passionate about blogging like me, when you blog day in and day out you run the risk of becoming bored. If your job is to blog or to write for someone else, sometimes the last thing you want to do is come home to your own blog and write. Lately for me it’s been hard what with a full time job (with lots of writing involved) plus a book project. Writing about the same things time after time can get a little stale. Taking a break from your blog can make blogging new again and bring back the passion.
2. To gather ideas
Brainstorming ideas doesn’t always yield results. Sometimes you can sit down and make a list of topic ideas and the ideas just flow. Other times you try thinking of topics and nothing happens. Taking a break from my blog helped me to realize the direction I want to go, the things I want to talk about, and the ways to go about doing it all. I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who jump on a bandwagon and post a topic simply because it’s the topic du jour – though I will sometimes offer my thoughts on something I feel strongly about even if it is a bandwagon topic. When I take a break, the ideas hit me when I’m working, walking, reading, watching TV and I have enough time to plan it out without feeling like I have to post it the next morning to keep traffic flowing.
3. To plan a calendar
Admittedly, I blog off the cuff. I don’t often write in advance at all. Lately I plan the topic ahead of time but blog on the day I want the post to go live. This is how I’ve been doing it for over ten years and it works for me. I think I like to keep my thoughts as fresh as possible because in this business things get old and ideas expire quickly. But even though I like to blog in the moment, I do like to plan ahead. When I take a break I’m able to plan a calendar and this tells me if a topic needs careful planning, research and writing.
4. To love your blog
I know we don’t hate our blogs. However, sometimes a blog can be stressful. We feel an obligation to provide the best content possible on a regular basis. Sometimes, this can cause us to resent blogging or dread having to pull yet another blog topic out of the air. Taking a break can ignite the passion again. Ok, so I’m corny.
5. Because you owe it to your community
Nothing disappoints me more than reading a post that isn’t well thought out or just posted for the sake of posting. There are loyal people who read and comment on my blog every single time I post. As any writer can attest, it’s an honor having people read and even react to something you wrote. I owe it to everyone to put out the best content possible and be on top of my game. When I take breaks it doesn’t only mean I’m busy (though that’s a big part of it). It means that I don’t want to just slap up any old content because my community deserves better.
Talk to me…
Do you take breaks from your blog? If so, why – and if not, why not? Also, when you come back to your blog after a break, what is the result? Are you more rejuvenated or is it business as usual?