When you have a blog, it’s a good idea to post on a fairly regular schedule. If you go too long without new content, people might assume that you’ve fallen off the earth. Also, if people know when your posts are coming, they’ll be able to time their visits accordingly. Despite our best intentions, though, sometimes it’s just not possible to get a post ready on the usual days. What to do?
First of all, DO NOT post a big long apology explaining how busy you’ve been and/or how much you’ve neglected your blog! I see this all the time and it makes me cringe. Here’s why:
- Apologizing implies that you’ve done something wrong. It’s not wrong to have a job, a life, or too much on your plate from time to time.
- Those posts assume that your readers are regulars and have been keeping up with all of your posts. But what about new people who just showed up today? If the first thing they see is, “Oops, I haven’t posted in ages!” they may assume you don’t update regularly and just leave.
- Let’s face it – apology posts aren’t really for your readers. They’re for YOU, because you feel guilty and think you can exonerate yourself by saying you’re sorry. Remember when I said that your blog shouldn’t be a diary if you want to gain an audience? Don’t write a diary entry. It’s okay, I promise.
- I’ve noticed that once people start apologizing for being absent, their absences tend to increase in number and duration. I won’t claim that posting about your lack of posts causes you to stop blogging, but I think it’s a sign that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Which leads to burnout. Which leads to quitting if you don’t do something about it.
How to Return Gracefully After a Blogging Absence
So you haven’t posted in a few days, weeks, or months. You desperately feel the need to explain to your readers that you are still around and haven’t abandoned them. You want to return in a way that completely makes up for your busy schedule/surgery/new baby/laziness. How do you do it?
By coming back with a post that completely kicks ass.
Don’t acknowledge your absence. Don’t grovel at the feet of your readers, begging them not to forget about you. Just come back with something so amazing that everyone goes, “Holy crap, no wonder s/he has been gone for so long! THIS post was worth waiting for!”
Okay, I’ll be realistic – it isn’t always possible to come back with a kickass post, especially if you’re still dealing with whatever took you away from your blog in the first place. And that’s okay; just at least make it interesting if you can’t make it awesome. Tell a story you’ve never told before. Share some cool pictures from a trip you took or a recipe you recently discovered. Give your readers something useful.
Basically, you want to remind readers why they started reading your blog in the first place. You aren’t apologetic; you’re a cool blogger who loves to write and interact with your audience! It might also be a good time to remind them about options to subscribe or interact with you on social media sites, just in case they forgot. And by doing this instead of a wimpy apology, your readers won’t even remember that you were gone – they’ll just be glad you’re dazzling them with your rock star posts!
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