It’s summer time. “And the livin’ is easy.”
All across the blogosphere (particularly with my favorite stops), I see bloggers hanging out their “gone fishin” signs, indicating a much-needed hiatus from their sites.
July through September appears to be a popular timeframe; due to vacation travel, the draw of outdoor activities, and the desire for more family time that coincides with the kids’ break from school. (Winter holidays placing a close second).
WHY BLOG BREAKS ARE GOOD FOR THE BLOGGER'S SOUL…
Though it may seem counter-productive, strategic blog breaks are essential to increasing your overall productivity and helping you to go the distance.
I can personally attest, as a blogger with over eight years of professional experience and multiple sites under my belt.
Accordingly, here are 4 main reasons why periodic blog breaks are crucial to your long-term success:
1. Blogging is truly demanding --week after week, month after month, year after year-- in terms of time, commitment, and creativity.
Just like parents need a “date night” to kick back and have fun, bloggers need to step away from the computer, disengage, shift gears, and seek balance.
Blog breaks allow bloggers to rest, rejuvenate and replenish. As a result, we become more energized and less likely to suffer from frustration and burn-out.
2. Stepping away periodically allows you to miss it and rekindle that flame.
There’s a degree of validity to the expression, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Think of how excited you feel when you, your significant other or cherished family member return from a trip.
3. Blog breaks can help enhance creativity, combat boredom and broaden your horizons.
For example, during a recent blog break, I was able to work on a new ebook of motivational quotes for my blog subscribers; dabble in poetry; do research; connect with clients to assess their ongoing needs; and read other blogs to formulate topic ideas and stay on top of what‘s trending.
I also worked on several of my house projects and even guest posted about it.
Here are some recent images from my upstairs bathroom "Home Spa" make-over.
Let’s face it: when you’re on the “grind” your main focus is typically coming up with weekly content for your readership to keep your blog current and stay the course. True?
A blog break allows you to revisit your blog with fresh eyes, analyze, and determine if your professional goals are being met or what needs to be “tweaked“.
A little time and distance can serve you well here.
Now that you know why blog breaks are a plus, here are a few practices and principles to consider moving forward:
Announce your intentions.
Nothing is more frustrating and discourteous to your readers, than taking a blog break without mentioning it. (Did you think we wouldn’t notice?)
I have actually stopped following sites where blog owners are M.I.A. for extended periods of time with no notice. A short blurb posted on your site specifying the duration of your break, shows respect for your readers’ time and keeps you on their radar upon return.
Use your down time wisely.
A good approach is to mix a little pleasure with a little progress.
Since I really dig blogging, sometimes when I’m on break from my blog, I guest post on other popular sites to keep my name out there, build my platform and build relationships within the blogging community. I don’t always have the time and energy amid my weekly blogging routine to do this.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: while you may typically pen epic posts for your readership, there are some very worthy sites that require posts with low word counts of 250-400 words. The benefit here? It doesn’t require a major time commitment or mental haul.
Find other ways to stay connected to your tribe while you’re away.
A fellow blogger I know, for instance, Tweets some of her most popular posts with her Twitter followers; shares valuable resources and links for writers on Facebook; or briefly comments on other bloggers’ posts when she breaks from her blog. You should too.
If you’re looking for a clever way to blog better, maintain momentum, and approach blogging with greater passion and joy, consider the benefits of taking blog breaks.
Your muse (and your spirit) will thank you.