With the holidays coming up and lots of lovely family time planned, vacations to look forward to, and shopping to do it’s time to start thinking about how to take a break from blogging and how to do it without losing your readers!
1. Schedule new content ahead of time. This is the method I prefer because it guarantees fresh new content during any absence. Once big downside is that it’s a total work-a-thon in the weeks leading up to your break. As far as social media goes there are loads of tools like hootsuite that you can use to schedule your updates. Or you can convince your mother to take over your Facebook page for a while (see here), just don’t forget to send flowers afterwards as a thank you!
Another ‘new content’ method that is a little quicker to do are summary posts. They’re still new posts but you can round-up your best links, images, and trends from previous content. It’s a great way to push the reset button on older material that is still relevant.
2. Ask your blogger buddies for guest posts. Usually they’re more than happy to send something your way. It’s a nice, fresh new face on your blog for your readers, it will bring new eyes to both your blog and theirs, they’ll promote their posts on social media for you, and don’t forget to return the favor when they need a break too! Aileen at At Home In Love did this SO well – she introduced her lineup of guest bloggers beforehand and got everyone all excited about it. See it here.
3. Open your blog up to your supporters. Turn over one, two, or a week’s worth of posts to your readers and/or vendors. You’ve probably got a few (or several!) die-hard fans that you see on your blog nearly every day and trusting your brand to them and giving them an opportunity to try their hand at blogging is not only generous, but that generosity will lead to really high quality content. Trust begets trust.
4. Come clean with your readers. If you are going on a vacation or have an exciting life event coming up – tell your readership that you’re taking a break to enjoy it! Tell them that you’ve scheduled awesome new content ahead of time, or that you have some pretty fabulous guest bloggers coming up, or that you’ll be back in a week. Trust me, they’ll understand since they’re human too. Don’t forget to direct them to your social media feeds if you plan on sharing during your blogging break so that they can follow along in the adventure and write about it when you get back.
(side note:) I truly believe that honesty is the best policy. If you’ve kept up a consistent schedule that your readers have learned to rely on don’t just drop off the internets without telling them why you aren’t going to be blogging everyday like you used to. They deserve better than that! After all, they’re the impressions, page views, social media shares, comments, and clicks that keep your blog afloat.
If you don’t tell your readers about extended breaks ahead of time they’ll get tired and annoyed of constantly checking back for new content and eventually stop looking for it. The worst-case scenario is that when you do come back to your blog they won’t trust you with their time anymore and then you’ve lost some hard-won fans for good.
5. Republish old content. You know all those amazing posts you wrote way back during those early days when your ‘readers’ consisted you and your best friend? Give those posts a little dust-off and republish them. Again with the honesty thing though – tell your readers what you’re doing.
A little “Hey guys! I’m taking a break from the blog for a few days to get some fresh air. Today’s post is an oldie but goodie from the archives” should be enough.
Have you ever taken a break from blogging? Would you have done anything differently or did it go off without a hitch?