How to take a blogging break … but keep your blog going

Today I would like to welcome Dionna from Code Name: Mama, who has written a guest post about taking a rest from your blog while keeping up your readership.

Lauren's note: When I was expecting Alrik, I was brainstorming ways to continue my blog for the sake of my readers and my advertisers while taking a highly valued babymoon. Now Dionna's in the same boat! For you it might be a vacation or family trip or just some needed time to disconnect from the screen. These are Dionna's ideas for stepping away from the blog but keeping up a basic amount of posting.

New babies, vacations, outside obligations, blogging burn-out. All bloggers need a break sometimes — it can even be healthy to plan a regular break into your annual blogging schedule. If you're worried about losing readers and subscribers during your absence, here are some tips that might help ease your mind.

1. Republish your own guest posts.

Have you had guest posts published at other sites? Run those! Unless you made a deal to the contrary, you still retain the copyright. Just be sure to check the other site's guest post policy to make sure you're within its exclusivity terms.1 Include a note that it's been republished from a post previously seen on the host blog, with the appropriate link.

2. Repost old posts.

Readership changes from month to month, year to year. If you've been blogging awhile, surely there are old posts you can rerun. If you republish posts from when you were a beginning blogger with less of a following, you may be pleasantly surprised by the increased response to old posts. Include a note again mentioning that it's been republished (and possibly edited) for any hardcore archive delvers among your readers.

3. Book guest posters who will promote their own posts.

If you're going to be AWOL from your blog, you'll likely also be taking a hiatus from social media. Call on guest posters you trust to promote their own posts on their blog, Twitter, and Facebook and to respond to commenters. Don't hesitate to tell them that part of the deal is they need to interact, since you'll be taking a break.

4. Skip regularly scheduled posts.

Do you have a habitual post you put up every week (Wordless Wednesday, recipes on Friday, Sunday Surf)? Skip it, and don't feel guilty AT ALL.

5. Schedule some quick shots.

Try to schedule a few posts ahead, but don't make them be ambitious. There's something to be said for short, 1-2 paragraph posts — think of them as the blogging equivalent to a witty or insightful status update.

6. Warn your readers.

Let your readers know in advance you will be taking a break. Turn it into a post asking for guest posters! Your readers will understand, and they will welcome you back when you return.

Dionna is a lawyer turned work-at-home mama of an amazing son and an incredible new daughter. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting, consensual living, eclectic learning, and compassionate advocacy.

Photo courtesy sylvie szafranski on flickr (cc)

1 For example, here is the guest post "exclusivity" policy for Natural Parents Network: "While contributors to Natural Parents Network maintain the copyright to all their work, we ask that you not post your submission anywhere else (including your own blog) whether paid or unpaid, for 90 days after publication on Natural Parents Network. This exclusivity adds value for our readers without our asking you to give us copyright on your work. Similarly, we will wait 90 days to republish any previously published article."


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