Last week, I stopped blogging. I didn't give notice, I didn't preschedule posts. I just stopped. It was a stupid idea, I knew that, but I did it anyway.
You see, I've been really busy with the blog lately, and when a business trip came up, I just didn't have the enthusiasm to go through pre-writing posts and contacting guest posters. I figured everything would be fine for a week while I was gone, what's the worst that could happen?
The Negative Impact of a Poorly Executed Blogging Hiatus
By letting my blog go stagnant for a week, I suffered the consequences. Naturally during the hiatus my traffic suffered, spiralling downward during the week of silence. Once I came back, it wasn't immediately business as usual. For a few days, my traffic was lower than usual, and it's only getting back to normal levels now.
My Alexa ranking also suffered. It had been inching down slowly and steadily. When I checked it at the beginning of this week, it had started to reverse that trend. As anyone who is chasing their Alexa ranking knows, this isn't what we want to see!
Luckily, I didn't lose any twitter followers or subscribers, but if I'd taken a longer break, I imagine I would've started shedding those too.
How to Successfully Take a Blogging Hiatus
Taking a break from blogging can be a great way to step away from the day to day and get some perspective. If done properly, it's easy to take a break while still bringing the same great content to your readers. Your traffic won't suffer, but you'll come back ready to write again.
When taking a blogging hiatus, try and schedule the same number of posts as would go up in your normal blogging schedule. In this arena, guest posts can come in handy because the guest poster can be responsible for promoting the post on social networks, and responding to comments.
Most fellow bloggers are more than happy to contribute if they know there's a need. Make sure you don't leave this to the last minute, give people a chance to get their writing done!
Prewriting and prescheduling posts can also be a useful tool for the blogging hiatus. The only downside is that if you're taking a true break, you probably won't be around to respond to the comments.
Again, having an extra set of hands can be very useful, and hiring someone just for the week to take care of promotion and commenting can give peace of mind. Having several generic posts that aren't time or season sensitive written in advance is a very easy way to get these prescheduled posts sorted out before taking a break from blogging.
Taking a Blogging Hiatus Has Benefits
Taking a break from blogging has many benefits. It's a chance to bring new and original content to your blog in the form of guest posts. It's a chance to relax and remember why you started blogging in the first place. This is exactly what happened to me.
Even though I did absolutely none of the things I suggested above, I still came back to my blog with new ideas. I also realized just how much I missed blogging and the PF community. I felt like I'd missed so many good posts in the week I'd been gone. Next time though, I'm going to do it right.