Worried your blog traffic will dive if you stop posting?
After blogging for a while many bloggers start to feel like a slave to their blog. I admire
people who post daily because I know writing and publishing posts can become an eternal slog, even if you only post a few times a week or less.
For new bloggers who are wondering how often to update their blog I recommend setting a regular blog publishing schedule (once a week is ideal) and sticking to it to get in the habit, but for those who've been blogging a year or longer a break could be what's needed to prevent blogger burnout.
I had a busy year in 2012: my blogs grew, I started selling sponsored blogs posts on my travel blog and went on many international and national media trips. The trips were great but they meant I had to write and publish more blog posts with less time available. Just choosing from the hundreds of photos I take, even during a short trip, and editing them can take days.
So I had a month-long blogging break in January because I could. My three kids are on school holidays for six weeks over the Australian summer. For the last three years I've kept posting on a reduced level during that time but this year I decided to stop publishing posts completely to see how it would affect to my blog traffic and business income.
Blog traffic is always slower in December anyway because of the holiday periods but here are the results of my little experiment (or lazy work ethic if you prefer) with statistics from Google Analytics:
How often I published a new blog post in Oct, Nov and Dec 2102: Once a week.
How long I stopped publishing for: 6 weeks (from Dec 26 – Feb 1)
Unique visits in Oct, Nov and Dec 2102: 8,111
Unique visits in January 2013: 9,765
Results: Over 1,500 more unique visitors in January even though I didn't publish any new posts or promote my blog in any way.
Get In the Hot Spot.com
Over on my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot I didn't stop publishing completely but I did cut from 11 to 8 posts per month and promoted those posts less to save time.
How often I published a new blog post in Oct, Nov and Dec 2012: 11 (average per month, included 3 guest posts)
Number of blog posts published in January 2013: 8
Unique visits in Oct, Nov and Dec 2102: 10,841
Unique visits in January 2013: 12,668
Results: Almost 2,000 more unique visitors in January even though I published less than usual.
Overall Results: So I ended up with slightly higher traffic on both blogs in January with reduced posting and no posting at all. New people kept subscribing too and there were less unsubscribes because the newsletter wasn't going out.
What about income?
My income was largely unaffected. On Successful Blogging.com my eBook and blog consultations continued to sell, web design inquiries kept coming and affiliate income came in as usual too.
On Get In the Hot Spot my income went down because I didn't get any requests for sponsored blog posts. That could be a seasonal thing with so many people on holiday in Australia in January but it did allowed me to post less often than usual too so I could have a much-needed break.
Warning: Stopping Blogging Doesn't Mean Stopping Writing
I did keep writing new blog posts though, working with an editor for the first time to improve my writing and create new posts that I'll start publishing soon. It's good to have a stock of strong posts up my sleeve so when I get busy later in the year (and I know it will happen) I can still publish a post with minimal effort.
So if you need to stop blogging or want to take a blogging break go for it because you probably won't see a big dive in traffic. Just make sure you come back to it again because your regular readers will still be there, waiting to dive back into your new content.
It was good for me to have a break and now it's great to be back. I'm looking forward to helping you more and watching our blogs continue to grow and evolve in 2013.
What have you been up to, on or off your blog?