David Pennington, a member of our Publisher Development team provides some great insight on maintaining your blog during those moments when you may not have the time to do so. Read on to hear some of his suggestions!
The holidays are coming. Your kids are on vacation. Your in-laws are in town. You’re tired, busy, uninspired. It is beautiful out. There is too much good TV on.
For as many reasons people start their own blogs, there are just as many reasons why they fall off and are never updated again. Starting is easy – you’re full of ideas and fresh content and every comment left on your blog is reason to celebrate. Burnout is inevitable – there are so many demands and not enough time to fill them. From developing your content to arranging your ad zones to developing a bigger audience and even taking the time to optimize for SEO – there is always something you need to be doing with your blog to stay on top.
We all need a break. Not taking one can result in forced-sounding blogs, bland content, and uninspiring entries. Your audience loses confidence in you and your blog falls apart anyway. How can you take a break without losing audience, traffic or ad revenue?
Consult your audience: Whether your loyal readership is just “blogluvr281″ from Illinois or a thousand of the finest mommy bloggers from around the world – the reason you have kept a blog to this point is for those who take the time to read it. Through your blog you’ve likely created a community and made friends. Why not ask them flat out what it is that keeps them coming back to your blog? Create a blog post with a survey in it (a simple, and free, survey can be created through Google Docs). There is little purpose in creating the kind of content that your audience isn’t exactly fond of.
Juices still not flowing? Do you actually need a break? Try these:
Guest Editors: Three things, which are true for every blogger: They write blogs, they read blogs, and they LOVE attention. Just imagine what one of them would say if you handed over the keys to your blog for a week or two? Your audience and readership, in the palm of their hands. Go outside and think “what would my blog look like if blogluvr281 ran it for a few weeks?” You might come back to a wealth of new readers!
Go on Auto-pilot: While there is some stigma towards blogs that auto-post with no one at the wheel, many popular bloggers do it when they aren’t able to dedicate time to their craft for a while. Plan ahead and create a backlog. Come up with your own content, contributions from guest blogs, do a “top 5 posts from the archive” week, or curate content from other quality sources. Your goal is to have your audience not even realize you’ve left.
There are dozens of tools out there that allow you to schedule content, and automatically post to social media, and manage your blogs remotely. For content ideas I use the blogging tools from Zemanta. Most blogging platforms already have scheduling tools built in and most social mediums have API services that are easy to use.
The only thing left to do is ask: What are you going to do with your blogging break?