In the life of a blog, it can happen that it is abandoned. How to resume your blog after a break, when we haven’t updated it for several weeks or months?
In this article, I’m giving you some tips on how to answer these questions and get back on track if you’ve left your blog behind for a while.
Many good reasons to take a break
There can be multiple reasons for leaving a blog aside, for example:
- Pregnancy and the arrival of a baby, with the desire to refocus on a suddenly upset daily life.
- A personal ordeal : mourning, illness, a period of unhappiness, so many life events that can lead to abandon your blog for lack of mental availability or energy to take care of it.
- Moving : sometimes the connection to the Internet takes longer than expected or you simply have other cats to whip (the boxes to unpack!).
- Demotivation : you no longer know what to write on, you have doubts about the orientation you have chosen, you wonder if you would not be better to change the subject and in the end, all these hesitations block you and prevent you from writing .
- The need to step back : because you have invested a lot of time and energy in your blog, because you do not get the expected results, because you blog for a long time and feel a certain routine, you may feel the need to step back, time to ask questions about the direction your blog has taken and its future.
- Lack of time : For a variety of reasons, you can’t take the time to write articles anymore. So you started by spacing out your posts a little bit, then more and more until you left the blog for a while.
- Lack of human or financial resources : in the case of a professional blog, we can also be faced with a situation where the editor who took care of the blog has left the company and has not yet been replaced, where budget cuts leave you facing the temporary impossibility of continuing to feed the blog…
There are surely real reasons which led you to take a break from your blog … just as there must be real reasons which make you want today to resume the blog after a break. But where to start ?
1. Make a big point about maintenance
When you decide to resume your blog after a break, there has often been a long period of time during which there has been no update, no technical follow-up of the blog. To start on a healthy basis, it is therefore useful to start with a little maintenance.
First, if your blog is not on a free platform, ask yourself where is your contract with your host (and possibly your registrar, from whom you bought your domain name). When will the next renewal take place? Is the email address you use to be alerted of the end of the contract still valid?
You can also take the opportunity to take stock of the strength of your passwords, whether it’s the password used to access your blog or your database, FTP or account with your host. Enter for example your e-mail address on the site Have I been pwned and see if any of your passwords have had a security issue. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to change the passwords in question!
Then look on the blog itself if there are any updates to be made : If you use WordPress for example, it is likely that you will need to update your plugins or your theme after a long period of absence.
It’s also an opportunity to detect broken links on the site in order to offer your visitors the best possible experience by preventing them from falling on inaccessible pages (here are some tips for detecting dead links on WordPress).
You can also go to check on your statistics tool that traffic information is always collected correctly (on Google Analytics for example).
I also advise you to take a look at your blog as a simple visitor, both on the desktop version and from a mobile phone. This can sometimes detect certain bugs that have appeared and which you may not have been aware of due to your absence.
I have encountered this type of situation on my blogs: an update of Google Chrome caused a problem with the display of my articles which I took a while to detect, failing to regularly walk on it from my smartphone.
2. Where is your traffic?
Direction the statistics tool that you use to take stock of your traffic.
- Has your site suffered greatly from your absence or does it maintain a good base of daily visitors?
- Which acquisition levers have lost the most? Social networks, SEO natural, referring sites, direct access? Useful information to then know by which end to “straighten the bar”.
- What are your top pages currently (Behavior menu> All pages on Google Analytics)?
- Which pages lost the most traffic? This is sometimes a sign that your SEO has suffered, that you have been dubbed by a competitor or that your article is outdated and is therefore less popular.
Statistics can shed light on another aspect of the question: do you want to continue in the same direction as before or evolve the editorial line of your blog, taking into account the topics you get the most attention from your readers?
3. Take stock of your content
Your statistical inventory will then allow you to review the articles that you have published on your blog. A quick read of the titles may be enough to remind you of the existence of these articles.
This is a useful exercise for several reasons:
- A source of inspiration – It can give you ideas of new subjects to deal with, or subjects on which your vision has changed.
- An opportunity to sort – By re-reading your titles (or your entire articles, depending on the size of your blog and the time you have), you will sometimes realize that some articles were not very qualitative or out of step with the orientation you want to give to the blog. This is an opportunity to delete them and create redirects if necessary to a similar article or to the home page of your blog.
- Make updates – Thanks to your statistics tool, you were able to identify the pages that lost traffic, but also the pages that bring you the most. Take the time to update this content: see if you can enrich it, update the information that has expired, maybe review some visuals, etc.
All this allows you to start again on healthy foundations, having in mind a global panorama of the content you offer.
4. Manage late comments
When you decide to resume your blog after a break, you usually find yourself faced with a host of comments that have gone unanswered. I advise you first to bulk delete unwanted comments.
It can happen that your antispam mistakenly filters certain “viable” comments by classifying them as spam… but when you have a large volume of messages to manage, it is far too time consuming to go in search of these “false positives” . Better to remove all unwanted and start off on the right foot.
Regarding old comments, you can make a decision based on several parameters:
- The duration of your break – If you have left your blog for 2 or 3 weeks, it may remain relevant to reply to messages. Conversely, if it has been 1 year since you last touched the blog, it is likely that people have found answers to their questions in the meantime.
- The nature of the comment – If it is a “practical” question (for example, “where can I find the item of clothing that you are wearing in the photo?”, “In which hotel did you stay during your trip?”), It is likely the person did without you. Responding can of course enrich your page with useful information … but not responding can be understood, as long as excessive time has passed.
- The volume of comments – It is certain that if you have 800 unanswered comments, it is not realistic to consider all of them. Better to devote yourself fully to the “relaunch” of your blog.
If these unanswered comments bother you, you can decide to delete them to start on a good basis – it is better in this case to express yourself on your absence so that no one feels struck by the process.
5. Manage emails after a break
Here, I would tend to take a radical approach: classify all the emails received in your absence, without touching them.
As a precaution, you can sort on the sender to see if the same person has raised you many times on a possibly important subject (imagine for example a legal problem with one of your contents!). You can also do a quick search for terms like “right of reply”, “lawyer”, “legal” to check in your emails if you have not received anything of this nature, because these are actually the only types of messages that we cannot really afford to ignore!
If your blog is amateur, you don’t no justification to give or an obligation to respond to anyone. Even a few years ago, I felt compelled to apologize when I took a long time to reply to an email. This is no longer a thing that I do today. As soon as you manage a blog in your spare time, you do “your best” … and if it is not perfect, too bad.
There are always people who will expect a quick, complete, personalized, detailed response from you, who will wait for you to replace a coach, travel agency, Google, or any other source of information. If you have time to help them because they are friendly, so much the better … but if they are not, no reason to feel guilty.
If your blog is professional, you may have made a small strategic mistake by letting people send you emails without any absence messages. You can try to “save face” by sending each person a standardized response saying for example:
Hello, we have received your message. Unfortunately, our blog had an interruption of a few weeks / months and the associated mailbox was not consulted during this period. We apologize.
If you are still waiting for a response following your contact, please let us know so we can help you. “
Add to that a nice polite phrase: the goal is that people do not remain with the image of a company that has royally ignored them. Thanks to this type of message, they may still have a bit of resentment towards you but will also see that you know how to recognize your mistakes and that you are ready to help them, which leaves a more positive note even if they have solved their problem in the meantime.
And among these people, there may still be people looking for solutions!
6. Prepare to return to resume your blog after a break
Now that your blog is technically clean and your content is up to date, you may need a little extra help get back in the saddle and restore your confidence.
You can for example change blog theme. Creating a new visual identity, or more simply giving a fresh touch to its design, can be motivating and breathe new life into your project.
Also plan a list of article ideas, do not hesitate to re-read my advice on inspiration! This will be an opportunity to reflect on the editorial line of your blog, especially if you feel like you have to go in a new direction. It’s also a way to anticipate a possible blues that will push you to give up everything too quickly.
Sometimes, after a break, it takes time to reconnect with your community, feel comfortable with blogging again… and having some ideas for ready-made articles can help you to pass this course with more serenity.
Another suggestion: schedule social media posts, here again to relaunch the machine very slowly! Whether you choose to explain your absence or to pick up on the heart of the matter, take advantage of a moment when you feel like you have things to tell: pretty photos to share, a message to relay that keeps you going. to heart, an article that you liked to share…
Start a Facebook advertising campaign (or other social network relevant to you) can also give a boost to your return by increasing your visibility or by bringing to your page subscribers any costs that have not been aware of your absence (read my article on this subject to get more likes). Again, start feeding your page before launching the ad campaign.
Finally, if you have a newsletter, you can also plan to send one to your subscribers to announce your return. Like a dinner, don’t come empty-handed;) Wait until you have published at least one new article before contacting your subscribers, you will give them something to grind, a medium to exchange with you.
7. Justify or not justify his absence
Let us finish with this question: should we or should we not justify his absence?
The real answer is your personal feelings. Do you want, need to explain? Or do you prefer to ignore the reasons – sometimes very intimate – that led you to abandon your blog?
If you had an active community before your “disappearance”, you will inevitably have to face questions: where were you? Better to prepare for it, even if you choose to answer with an evasive formula (“I went through a difficult period, I do not want to dwell on it but I am happy to resume the blog”).
In my opinion, the best reaction to have if you feel guilty after his absence get back to creating content. It’s gratifying on a personal level because it revives the machine… and it allows you to (re) weave relationships with readers.
Finally, resuming your blog after a break also allows you to remember why you started : what was your goal, do you have a passion for your subject, is it still there?
If you encounter this kind of background questioning (“should I change the subject?”), It is probably useful to take the time to reflect rather than slip into a familiar, reassuring, but routine. not necessarily fulfilling!
Have you ever had a long enough break on your blog?