Every January, I promise myself that this will be the year that I don’t need a break from my blog. And every year I find myself taking a month off from blogging.
Sometimes it’s in May. Sometimes it’s in July. And sometimes it’s in October. Yet the break never fails to sabotage my perfect blogging attendance.
I could blog for days on the importance blogging regularly. That’s how you keep readers returning to your blog, how you learn from blogging mistakes faster and how you spark newer and better ideas for blog posts.
But sometimes you just need a break.
Now that I’m back, I realize that this temporary hiatus may have been the best thing I did not just for my blog, but also for my own life.
It’s OK to Go MIA
I didn’t spend this time away from my blog relaxing on the beach or gallivanting the world—although I wish I did!
I was living my life. I moved myself across town. I welcomed my newborn nephew into the world. I put in 50+ hrs/week at my job. And there’s the adulting and chores in between.
Did I mention my unrelenting running schedule?
I was hitting a wall, so something had to give. It couldn’t be the non-negotiables like my family and job. My move was happening whether I was ready or not. And there’s only so much time you can put off washing the dishes or getting an oil change before it has to happen.
(I could technically categorize running as a nice-to-have, but I think of it as a saving grace for my sanity.)
I clocked out just how many hours—yes, hours—it takes me to write a blog post, design the layout, schedule it for posting and promoting it across channels. It was obviously the chunk of time I needed to keep afloat during my current life circumstances.
Now I’m settled in my new place. Most of the family get-togethers celebrating the newest family addition (before and after birth) have been gotten together. I have achieved my never-ending goal at my job so I feel comfortable reigning back to a mere 45 hrs/week.
And my car finally has a working backup camera again!
I needed the extra time normally dedicated to blogging to focus on other aspects of my life. It didn’t mean I was giving up on my blog, although I admit that it felt like I did. Sometimes you have to temporarily take out a piece of the puzzle in order to see how to shuffle around the rest.
I learned it was okay to live my life for a bit so that I could return back to blogging with more gusto and allegiance.
My Blog Posts Were Still Read
When I took a month off from my blog last year, I noticed a significant drop in my blog readership.
So when I forced myself away from my dedicated blogging schedule, I anticipated the same results.
Yet that wasn’t the case. My blog posts were receiving just as many clicks—and some weeks, even more!—as during weeks that I did blog.
Now that I’m nearing my sixth anniversary of blogging, I’ve learned that the summertime is when my blog readership lulls to a lower plateau on my stats page.
What I learned from this is that the effort I put towards creating content that’s found to be valuable over time allowed me to step away from blogging without having any statistic readership consequences.
In short, I have you to thank for keeping my blog alive!
I Know Where to Steer This Ship
Up until my break in July, I was rhythmically blogging between creative writing, content marketing, editing and grammar, social media and business strategy to maintain a variety of topics alive on the Internet.
After stepping back, I could see what my readers will continue to read if I ever chose to never blog again. And my most popular posts weren’t what I expected.
Now that I know what my readers want to read, I can produce more content related to those topics to maximize their enjoyment with their experience on my blog.
During this time away, I also spent time drafting out where I want my career to go. And in order for me to reach maximum oomph at these mini-milestones, I need to commit to a self-hosted WordPress blog platform.
This is uncharted territory for me. Then again, so was blogging six years ago and I jumped in blindly without looking back. It’s a chance I’m willing to take again.