Today on Episode 41 we’re going to be talking all about taking a break from blogging and what kind of impact that has to readers and sponsors. At the time of recording we just had our May long weekend here in Canada. I’ve seen in forums and online many post from bloggers debating whether they can take a break and just leave… picking up their blog later.
How To Take A Break From Blogging
For most of us, blogging isn’t paid. It may bring a few hundred dollars a month (which helps with the household bills) but it’s something that you would have quit a long time ago if you were working for someone else making that kind of money. Here are few of my thoughts on taking a break.
Do You Owe It To Your Readers To Notify Them?
So do you owe it to your readers? If you’ve been putting up 4 post a week and social media shares, etc… do you owe it to them to continue?
My opinion? No!
If you’re providing your readers the content for free, and monetizing in indirect ways, you don’t owe it to your readers to let them know you’re taking break. Some of them may be ticked off, and that’s okay. If you’re like me, your readers don’t come for the newest post anyways. They come from social sharing I’ve done from past post. If I leave for a month, a lot of people won’t notice unless they go to my home page.
Other bloggers like Young House Love blog about family, house projects, etc. They heavily involved their kids, and had a huge following of loyal readers who were very accustomed to knowing what was going on in their life. When they stopped blogging, they experienced a lot of backlash from their loyal following. Their followers felt like they had supported them by buying through affiliate links or clicking their ads, and therefore they were owed something. I think that was a bit of overreaction. Now, if you have a paywall subscription then don’t actively update, despite the fact people have paid for your content, that’s wrong. For most of us, however, that’s not the case.
If you want to tell readers that you’re taking a break, you can. For me, I don’t like going to a blog post and the first few sentences say “I know I haven’t blogged in awhile”. I personally don’t care. It makes me wonder if I should continue reading and sharing content if they may bounce again. The exception is if you have a very loyal following who would absolutely notice if you were gone.
What to Do If You Want to Take a Break From Blogging?
I recently went back to work on a contract and had a friend pass away. I wasn’t in the headspace to put my all into blogging. For whatever reason if you need a break away, you have a few different options. If you know you’re planning on taking a break you’re at a huge advantage. You have time to get ready. You can start writing and scheduling post. You can cut back on the amount of post per week if needed. Scheduling programs allow you to loop your content so that it will remain active on social media, despite the fact that you are away. This works really well for vacations, and just a chance to seamlessly step away.
You can also hire a ghost writer to continue on with your blog and do your social sharing. I don’t recommend paying someone else to do the work unless you’re making money on your blog. You already put enough money into your blog anyways, and you don’t want to take it out of your household purse in order to do that… in my opinion, anyways.
What Happens to Upcoming Sponsored Content?
What if you have sponsored content that’s in the works, or that you’ve already agreed to do? I’m going to be honest… that happened to me. I was supposed to do work with Teacup Analytics and… I just didn’t do it. No excuses, I just didn’t. It was during that time that life got crazy, and I didn’t do it. I did attempt to do the video I promised a few times, but it just didn’t happen. Issues got in the way, and I never completed.
Here’s what I did wrong; I didn’t contact the person at the company I was working with. That was wrong. Although I was working outside the home during that time, my reputation and the reputation of my blog is always on the line. He put aside a marketing budget for us, and was counting on us to help him go towards that.
If you plan on taking a break, make sure you do whatever it is you promise you’re going to do. If you’re in the middle of the series, complete it. If you’re talking to someone about a sponsored campaign, talk to them and explain the situation.
What Happens to Stats and Analytics?
You’ll likely notice a decrease in your stats and analytics if you aren’t actively marketing your content. If you’re concerned, maybe every couple of weeks’ pop into Google Analytics and see what’s going on and decide if you perhaps want to go in and schedule social media for that week, even if you aren’t writing new post.
What Is Teacup Analytics?
I mentioned above that this was the company I was supposed to be working with for a sponsored campaign. While I wasn’t able to follow through with that, I did want to tell you a little about them, because their services are very neat. They actually allow you to enter in your Google Analytics details and they’ll give you a grade of how you’re doing in different areas, and how you can do better.
They’re offering a free trial that will give you snapshots of each area at a quick glance, rather than needing to weed through Google Analytics. This may be a good tool for you while on your break, to save you the hassle of evaluating Google stats when you need to.
Taking a break can be helpful for your sanity and your family, and maybe even help you gain more clarity. Just know that if you do take a break, you’re going to be starting back off. You’ll need to climb back up the hill again and get back to where you were. If blogging is something you plan on pushing harder, or turning into your source of income, and you need a break, use the blogging planning tools out there to help make your blog run smoothly in your absence.
“Until next time, thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at ITunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on twitter. Don’t forget to check out the show notes, which can be found at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!”