Blogging can be as stressful as any other job, and this is something many of us don’t realize until it’s too late. By the time your blog reaches any sort of steam, you may already be experiencing any of the following:
- Physical or mental exhaustion
- A lack of creativity or new blogging ideas
- A general lack of interest due to blogging burnout
- Extreme social pressure to “always show up” and not disappoint readers
Blogging may have also become much more difficult due to the ongoing pandemic (as of this writing). This has caused drastic changes in the way we go about our daily lives, to say the least.
But how can you possibly stop blogging without losing readers and traffic overall?
Thus, knowing how to take a break from blogging without losing your audience is very important for long-term success.
First: Be Honest With Your Audience
It’s important that you communicate the need to take a break well in advance, regardless of your blog’s popularity. This helps ensure that both new and existing visitors aren’t turned off by the abrupt change and inconsistent posting schedule.
Provide the exact reasons or general circumstances behind the break, along with an estimated time that you plan to return. This will keep readers from feeling abandoned or having to blindly guess when (or if) you’ll resume blogging again.
You may inform your audience through your mailing list, social media accounts, and as a dedicated post on the blog itself.
Once ready, perform any (or all) of the following to maintain your blog while on break.
Schedule Posts in Advance
It’s easy to forget that WordPress allows us to schedule articles for a future date.
Simply click “Edit” next to the publishing options within the WordPress editor, set the desired time and date, then click “OK.”
Make any necessary changes to the article itself, then click “Schedule.”
This useful feature effectively allows you to “set and forget” any amount of content so you can focus on other things in the meantime.
The downside, however, is the need to work on multiple articles in preparation for this. Thankfully this task can be taken care of with the help of others…
Hire Temporary Help
Maintaining a WordPress website may require much more than just writing, depending on your ultimate blogging goals. This is where hiring a virtual assistant comes in handy, as this person can:
- Perform SEO research
- Write your articles from start to finish
- Edit your content
- Find images and/or format your content
- Create multimedia files as necessary
- Answer blog comments
You may even decide to turn this person into a permanent hire if the above work proves too overwhelming to handle yourself.
Pro tip: It’s important that this person adapts your voice and overall style. Changing your blog’s tone may negatively impact readers.
Allow Guest Posts
Allowing guest contributors on your website has its pros and cons:
The good: You could quickly gain a lot of content to publish, which helps keep your blog looking busy for a while. This all depends on your blog’s popularity and how much effort you put into promoting the fact that you need guest bloggers.
The bad: Accepting guest contributors can be messy. Some articles will not have the same voice or your blog’s overall direction. Other contributors will submit low-effort content, despite your best effort to only attract high quality submissions.
Ensure you execute the following strategies before accepting submissions from others:
Create a “Write for us” page and be very picky about the type of content you’re willing to accept.
Don’t leave anything out, including the need for blog images, links, reputable resources, and for bloggers to proofread before submitting.
Make it easy for people to submit their content, as this greatly minimizes the amount of work you do on the backend while taking a break from blogging…
For example, there are several frontend article submission plugins to enable writers to quickly submit a blog post (for review) without much hassle:
Plan this out well in advance, as these articles may take a while to trickle in.
Create Shorter Content
Taking a break from blogging doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely hands-off; you could also focus on content that is easy to handle and can get out of the way in mere minutes.
I have personally relied on this tactic for years, depending on how busy I am with other areas of my life. Most importantly, these shorter entries can be just as useful as publishing traditionally longer content.
Embedded videos: Thankfully, there are high quality videos based on virtually any niche. This means you don’t always need to come up with original content, as you can freely publish an embedded video with a short description.
Blog images: The sky’s the limit when it comes to images. Leverage infographics, memes, motivational quotes, and just about anything that fits into your blog’s niche. Write up a short description and engage readers with a question where appropriate.
This consists of sharing content from other blogs, either manually or automatically. For example:
Manually schedule a series of blog post titles from a related website, along with a brief description. You would then place a link to the original source before or after said description.
You may also perform a similar action automatically, 100% hands-free, with the help of various RSS aggregator plugins. Some of these plugins include:
Simply provide the plugin with one (or more) RSS feed from a related website. The plugin will then publish that website’s content on your behalf.
Note: It’s very important that you don’t publish content in its entirety unless the original source allows it. Relying on the post title (and perhaps a short description) is generally ideal.
This tactic is also a great way to build new relationships with fellow bloggers in the process.
As you can see, taking a break from your blog doesn’t mean the end of it all. Nor does it mean that you have to abandon it completely, as you can focus on content that is easy to digest and isn’t overwhelming.
Everything will be just fine as long as you proceed with caution by taking all appropriate measures. Best of luck on your much-needed break!