Let me get a little bit deep on you guys. Blogging, like life, is cyclical. It has ups and downs, busy periods and slow periods. For most of us we can’t help but have our blogs affected by what’s going on in our personal lives. Can’t you tell when your favorite blogger is a little absent? You might not know why, but you can tell that something’s off- maybe they’re busy or going through a transition or even worse, maybe they’re just having a hard time.
For some reason we bloggers seem to want to fight the cycle tooth and nail. Maybe we’re just all addicted to the internet, or maybe it’s all about blog guilt, but I know that I have a hard time when it doesn’t work out for me to put as much into my blog as I want to. I want it to be awesome. All the time. Don’t you feel the same way about yours?
I think most of us assume (and we all know what happens when we do that) if we don’t post that our blogs will suffer.
What we’re not factoring into this assumption is that sometimes when you force yourself to blog, the quality will suffer. And ultimately, I tend to think that posting nothing is better than posting something subpar.
I’ve taken both intentional blog breaks and unintentional blog breaks, and as with most things in life I’ve felt much better about the intentional ones. Here are some things that I learned from my past breaks and my most recent one.
Be strategic. Some times of year are just slower than others. A lot of it is just common sense- for example, the week in between Christmas and New Years usually yields the least amount of traffic out of the whole year, even when I’ve posted regularly during that time. Now I know that I just take that week ( and a lot of times the week before, too) off as time to rest and come up with new ideas since I know not a lot of eyes will be falling on my blog anyway.
There’s probably an argument that can be made for any time of the year, but for me July seemed good because school is out and people are on vacations. It made sense for me personally because I knew I’d be going back and forth between my parents’ house and our apartment, and Brian was studying to take the bar so it would be helpful if I had less on my plate so that I could pick up more of the slack surrounding our move. Do what works for you, just try to make it a conscious choice instead of something that happens because you’re too haggard to make it to the computer.
Set limits. Your traffic might decrease while you’re on your break, and that’s okay. But since you’re accepting that, you might as well leverage the break to create some hype about your return. Set a date that you’ll come back. In my case, it helped motivate me to write content while I was away, and I was able to have a lot of scheduled posts before I came back.
Learn something new. This is a great time to take some of those courses that you’ve been putting off! I went a little nuts with signing up for things, and that definitely helped spark my creativity. I joined Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz and Life Academy and I took my first Braid Creative ECourse, both of which I highly recommend.
Follow your heart. “What if I don’t feel like picking it back up again?” To be honest, when I started my break part of me was worried that was what might happen. I realized that if taking a break would help me decide if my life was better without blogging then it was worth taking it. Clearly that’s not how I feel, and I wasn’t really prepared for the creativity that would kick into overdrive when I took some time to just be instead of feeling like I had to create for my blog all the time. Trust your gut, and make sure that you’re blogging because you really want to and not just because you have to or because it’s part of your routine.
I know we’ve talked about this before, but have you ever taken a blog break? How did it affect you? How did it affect your blog? I’d love to hear your answers!
P.S. Tomorrow’s newsletter will be all about how to keep yourself from going crazy when you get back from your break (or vacation.) Make sure you’ve signed up if you haven’t already!)