What Happens When You Don’t Blog

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll notice that I’ve been surprisingly absent the past few weeks. In my two years of blogging here, this is the longest I’ve gone without a post.

I have good reasons why I’ve been absent (business has been booming and I’ve taken a few days off). But, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from my hiatus. And, I think you can benefit from this too.

So, what happens when you don’t blog? Here’s what I learned from my blogging break:

You get out of your rhythm.

I talk a lot about blog post consistency. I think it’s a incredibly important component to keep your readers engaged and coming back.

But, there’s another big reason to write regularly – it helps keeps you sharp.

Getting back on the blogging horse is hard after taking time off.  It’s much like exercise. If I go a week or two without running, that first run back is really tough because I have to coax my muscles back into submission.

Blogging is no different. When you’re writing regularly, you’ll find that you have more ideas, posts flow easier and you can even write faster.

You may miss opportunities.

When someone shows up to your website and sees that your blog hasn’t been updated in a few weeks, your website quickly turns into an abandoned social media ghost town.

This could lead to all sorts of problems when people visit your site. Instead of subscribing to your blog or emails, they’ll move on. Or, maybe they were considering contacting your business about a project, but decided to hire someone else when they saw you hadn’t blogged in awhile.

Although it’s impossible to know if this is the case, don’t let visitors think you don’t care enough to keep your blog updated. It sends all the wrong signals that may negatively impact your business.

Your readers will miss you (or move on).

Even if your blog only has a small number of readers, I guarantee there are people who regularly read your content. You may not always know who they are as they may read without commenting or sharing.

But, when you stop blogging, they’ll miss your content. And, perhaps they’ll find somewhere else to spend their time.

I was lucky enough to get a nudge from a friend who asked me “where have you been? I miss your blog.”

That was just the wake-up call I needed to get back in the game.

Thankfully, I know that friends like John will come back to my blog after taking a break. But, it certainly makes me wonder if other readers moved on because I’ve not been delivering my regular dose of marketing and social media tips here.

I’ve never been one to say that you need to write every day, but don’t give your readers a reason to move on because you’re not keeping your blog updated.

How do you stay on track?

I’m the first to admit that sometimes it’s important (and even necessary) to take a blogging break sometimes.

But, instead of letting excuses get in the way, it’s important to find the rhythm that works best for your blog. That means defining your blogging goals to find the balance that works best for you.

And, if you need some additional tips, here are some ideas for how you can produce blog content faster.

What about you? Have you ever taken a blogging break? If so, what lessons did you learn from it?

Image credit: D. Sharon Pruitt

About Laura Click

Laura Click is founder and CEO of Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based integrated marketing firm. In addition to being the lead blogger on the Blue Kite blog, Laura is a proud Mizzou alum, avid runner and dog lover. You can connect with Laura on Twitter at @lauraclick, on LinkedIn or Google Plus.

  • http://www.blognetworking101.com/ Jeevan Jacob John

    Oh, I have taken many blogging breaks (and I do dare say that those blogging breaks are the reason why I still find interest in blogging).

    The breaks help me to fresh my mind and body and to attain a new perspective (Which allows me to blog even better when I get back).

    But of course, getting back on the track is a bit tough like you mentioned (I actually find that enjoyable since it helps me to rediscover my purpose with blogging and my motivators to move forward).

    Good to have you back, Laura (I hope the break went well!).

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      You know, Jeevan, you’re right. Breaks can be very good. I’m a big fan. They can help us be refreshed and get new perspective that we can bring to blogging.

      I just wish my break would have been planned instead of one that slipped up on me! If I had planned it, I could have posted some archived content or asked some guest bloggers to step in.

      Either way, getting back in the rhythm can be tough. That is, unless you’re truly refreshed!

      Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

      • http://www.blognetworking101.com/ Jeevan Jacob John

        Ah, planning ;) I never plan my breaks, they just come to (well, if I find myself not in a mood to blog at all for a while, I just go ahead and take break!)

  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

    I’ve decided I need a dictaphone or something. Really, something I can hook to my head as post’s just kinda write themselves in the moment, only to be forgotten the second the phone rings or an email beeps. So many ideas have come and gone; I need to be more consistent but hate the feeling of forcing it; I also need to stop and respect those moments of inspiration when and if I can.

    If it’s a vacation, I can announce a break – or write something that holds space. If it’s an unplanned break, I try not to panic and when I publish something new, I’m more aggressive in promoting it – which in my case, means tweeting it more than once ;-). One thing to do, check your unsubs, woo them back if you can.

    Another thing to try to fill the gaps – and I’m trying this too, here and there: shorter posts. Either a ‘too short for a post’ on one of your social profiles (I do this a little with G+) and/or just a short, one-off thought on the blog. (Still haven’t pulled off that trick.. for whatever reason, I keep typing until I hit 500 words.) Let me know how it goes, FWIW.

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Oh, wouldn’t that be grand?! Though, there are some things like this….I’ve not used it, but Dragon Naturally Speaking lets you speak instead of type. Maybe that’s an option?

      But, I know what you mean…ideas so easily come and go it can be hard to capture them all. I know some people use Evernote or a notebook. I use a Word doc on my Desktop.

      Shorter posts are a great idea. I usually try to keep mine under 500-600 words anyway. But, after all, look at Seth Godin – his are often only 50 or 100 words and they are very popular! I know we can’t do that all of the time, but it wouldn’t hurt to mix it up and give it a try. Let me know if it works!

      • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ Davina K. Brewer

        Think I have a few drafts on the iPad via Dragon Dictate.. always a challenge to stop what we’re doing in the moment. And shorter posts, probably need to combo that w/ G+? We’ll see.

  • http://twitter.com/Soulati Jayme Soulati

    Wow, is @ericamallison listening? She’s pretty much stopped blogging (well, a post every now and again with her usual aplomb, but I miss her content and ‘raderie). I also noticed your absence, too, Laura. And, @ShakirahDawud is off the radar, too.

    When you engage regularly with peeps and they disappear it creates discomfort for me. I wonder where they are, is all well, why the absence, should I start calling, will I get responses to my tweets and etc,

    This funky boundary we have is a fine line. I, the nurturer, wants to bud in and make sure everyone is in their places.

    You are so absolutely spot on with this post; I’m so glad you realized the benefit of keeping things moving. It is a benefit to you, your business, your health and your brand. Great to have you back!

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      I think this is something we bloggers always struggle with…or at least I do. Every so often, I get knocked off track for a variety of reasons. Life happens and that’s okay. We all need to have a break every now and then. But, I’d like for those breaks to be more planned instead of something that sneaks up on you and the next thing you know you haven’t blogged in three weeks.

      I definitely felt out of sorts when I wasn’t blogging. Something I didn’t add to the list (and should have) was that it’s something I really enjoy. Not only writing, but engaging with lovely peeps like you! I neglected social media in general. And, I hated that.

      The challenge is finding balance – learning what you can reasonably do and maintain over the long haul. Far too often we bite off more than we can chew!

      I’m with you – it’s always sad when friends aren’t showing up to the party. Sorry I’ve been absent!

  • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

    Breaks are good for the mind, body and soul. I feel the way about blogging as I do about many things in life: when/if it becomes a duty full of drudgery, an obligation that seems to be on someone else’s terms or something that just isn’t inspired or inspiring, it’s time to take a break. This online world can be a fickle place (as Margie and I will be discussing further this week on hecklershangout), but those who are true blue and loyal (even lurkers like me:) will find their way back, and understand that, everyone needs a break now and then.

    I do agree: like exercise, it can sometimes take a bit of time to get back into the swing of things. But usually a break provides just the refreshment and perspective to come back swinging. Cheers! Kaarina

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Hi Kaarina – I’m with you. Breaks are important. I’ve written about that before. I just think there’s a difference between a planned break to refresh and one where you let excuses and priorities get in the way.

      It all boils down to balance, which is such a tricky thing for me these days. I didn’t quit blogging because of drudgery, but because of client work and other priorities. I think that’s why a rhythm is so important. When you have that in place, it’s much harder to get knocked off schedule.

      Thanks for being one of the true blue readers! :)

      • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

        I may not always comment, but I’m around:) [and we gotta' talk about that "balance" thing...I'm all about embracing imbalance, & it's what my Fall workshops, writing and speaking engagements are all about]

        • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

          Embracing imbalance = a great concept! That makes so much more sense! You’ll have to keep me posted on that. I’m sure I need it!

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

    Life happens and you never know when you’ll be tripped up by something unexpected. We also need a break every once in a while, right?

    I’ve been experimenting with posting twice a week vs. just once a week. I like putting a bit more time and effort into each post, so the “once a week” model is great for that, but you certainly get more “juice” with twice a week.

    It runs the gamut and there is much debate on which direction is best. Look at the machine that is Gini Dietrich, and then you have someone like Derek Halpern who posts 2-3 times a month. His model is based on the list and promotion, but I still wonder which is the best way to go.

    But I am with you on staying fresh though. Anyway, great to have you back, Laura!

    • http://flybluekite.com Laura Click

      You’re right – different strokes for different folks! I’ve talked about frequency before and there’s not one right way to do it. Everyone has to find the balance that works best for you and will help you reach your blogging goals.

      If blogging is a primary tool for promoting your business, I think it’s important to have regularity – whether that’s once a week or once a month. Though, like you, I’ve found that the higher frequency seems to work better.

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