I recently had my own blogging slump, which as you can imagine was not something I wanted to talk much about. I am, after all, a business blogging expert who has written a plethora of posts about how to keep your business blog updated.
While I wanted to be authentic, and most of all to share my lessons and strategies with you, I wanted to be sure to avoid any of the classic mistakes people make after a break from blogging.
Your business blog doesn’t come with voice-overs
You know how television shows often begin with the words “Previously on…” and then a few clips that provide context for what you’re about to see? The same isn’t true for your business blog.
People arrive at your blog from all sorts of directions, with varying levels of context. Some are brand new to you. Others have read some of your work, but in a different order than you posted it. Super fans read almost everything as soon as its published.
A blog post is forever. The person reading your first post after the restart may not have any idea that you ever took a break from blogging. They may not see or pay attention to the dates on your posts.
People are on your site to get information about a specific topic, and to form or solidify their opinion of you as an expert in that area. Keep that in mind before making one of these common mistakes when restarting your blog:
1 – Over-explain
This is a habit that goes way beyond blogging. Over-explaining usually stems from the false belief that you can either predict what someone else is thinking, or control what they think about you.
If you were disappointed by my break from blogging, or it changed your opinion of my credibility, I’d rather try to win you back through action, not words. Besides, any explanation I give probably won’t make you feel any more valued as a reader (which you are!).
Instead: Make sure you explain to yourself what happened, so you can understand and avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
2 – Promise
I see this one a lot: “From now on I will blog X times per week/month, at 7:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Watch for it!”
Again, words can seem empty when you’ve just abandoned your blog and its readers for a time. This kind of ultra-specific promise can also create undue pressure on you while you’re getting back on track with your blogging workflow.
Instead: Put your own internal blog publication calendar in place. Make a promise to yourself and maybe an accountability buddy, business coach, or small group of supporters. When you’re feeling more confident, you can start to promote that schedule to the public.
3 – Apologize
Even though you may feel guilty or embarrassed because you haven’t posted as regularly as you hoped or promised, it didn’t do anyone real harm. And for a first-time reader of your blog, an apology will seem completely out of place.
Instead: If you’ve also been sending a regular newsletter on a set schedule, you could include a simple apology there. Email often makes a more intimate connection, and this will let people know how much you appreciate their trust in continuing to receive your messages.
4 – Overcompensate
Whatever got you fired up about blogging again, you may find yourself in a posting frenzy, with new ideas spilling out more quickly than you can capture them.
The problem is that if you double or triple your posting frequency, people may feel let down again when you return to your regular schedule. They may even wonder if you’re taking another break.
Instead: Keep writing – blog every day if you want to! Then schedule those extra posts to publish according to a manageable schedule you’ll be able to keep up with. Even if you don’t finish all the posts, outline your ideas so you can easily fill them in later.
Also, be sure to stay focused on your blog’s central topics – the things your ideal clients are most interested in.
5 – Raise the bar
Similar to overcompensating on frequency, after a blogging break you may also feel pressured to put out an epic blog post – one that’s very long, very detailed, or guaranteed to go viral.
Instead: Choose a blog post that will be easy for you to write – answer a customer question, introduce one of your local customers, or share someone else’s content and explain why you think it would be valuable to your reader.
If you’ve gotten waylaid on your business blogging journey, let go of your letdown and start again. Just don’t confuse your audience or damage your credibility when you do!