I have written a great deal recently about how to blog better, tips and hints, sage thoughts turned into sage words. I’ve read a lot of great articles from other people recently on topics of a similar nature and some not so. Everybody is taking care of their business, making a contribution to a writing pot, advancing the story.
But what happens when you stop for a week, stop for a fortnight, a month, a few months, the best part of a year?
How do you recover those followers you’ve lost, how do you know those who are left remaining are interested now you have the front to return?
Relighting the blogging fire after substantial time away
Image Source: Wikipedia by US Navy
You can’t brush it under the carpet
So don’t try to. If you were away and it was personal, don’t leap to share. Most of the time if your audience aren’t your best friend or next door neighbour they don’t care as much as you hope they might.
Keep it simple, reveal enough that you are happy with and move on in a sustainable way. Most people are sympathetic in some sense but don’t rely on that.
If you were away and it is something you can share, something positive that has increased your capacity, share it. Use it!
Out with the old and in with the new
Loyalty is a hard thing to come by in the time that we live in. If you’ve really made a solid connection with someone then it is more than likely possible that those followers have been keeping tabs on you whilst you’ve been away. They may have even contacted you to find out how you are. Those sorts of followers are the rare few you should stay best friends with.
For everything else it is a reset. You are going to have to work at re-establishing that level you worked to before and look to exceed it.
Reassessing the environment
You’ve been away for a while which has given your competitors a chance to weigh in with more content and more exposure. You could well have lost the marginal loyalties of your followers to other voices because you stopped writing.
In the world of hyper-competition, barriers to entry are non-existent. This means that your competition, both existing and newcomer, are able to reach unrestricted heights. When your voice was strong it is now quiet to the screech of this evolved competition. You may have to work 10 times as hard just to get back to where you left the environment.
What you can rely on
It is most likely that if you set your SEO up well and that your content had some afterglow quality to it that people still find your content useful. You may have a guide or an eBook that is keeping your visitors arriving.
Something is leading people to your site but they may have been turning away. Work on this and you can have your first real start.
If you have been doing well enough to have a sizable mailing list, sending an email to let people know you are back in the game, is advisable. Make sure you have some content to show them that you mean business.
Watch the Learning Gap
Be mindful that if you have been away for some time it is possible that the way of doing things has changed. You may not be able to use the same publicity channels as effectively as you used to. This is mostly due to how the nature of technology has changed and how the trends of the audience based on how they like to ingest their information, has changed.
You may have to reinvest the time you needed before leaving in order to re-establish or build new publicity channels.
If you had kept up the blogging over this length of time you would know that you have to adjust your approach to better suit an ever shifting audience. Doing this every post day you would have built up this knowledge automatically and corrected to suit. Having been out for a long period, that knowledge is defunct, there is a gap you have to work to fill. You can’t click your fingers and make it happen.
Eating the elephant
It is beyond a suitable expectation to return yourself to normal operation within a very short space of time. You aren’t going to get the traction in terms of results because you have to get the reactor started.
Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time!
It is known that nuclear reactors are generally not shut down. The reason is that it takes too long to start them back up again. In the UK we have a number of mothballed reactors (as we have some of the oldest nuclear powerplants in the world). In order to get some of them started up again, it will take several years.
Bearing that in mind it is worth thinking about when you pause from blogging. If it is unexpected, without ability to control the events, then it is unfortunate. If you have the chance to manage the pause you should try to keep your elbow in the water, figuratively speaking. Posting a tiny amount is better than not at all. If all that you could manage was a post every fortnight, at least you’d be keeping it moving forwards. Leaving the dust to settle will hurt. You need to stir the paint, not leave a skin to settle.
You can’t return with all guns blazing
You have to do what is sustainable, what you can manage. If you need to rely on some aid before you get up to speed then remove your guilt and do it. Hire some help, whether it be casual or semi-permanent, especially if what you do is for profit.
Often there is a great deal of enthusiasm returned or a vigorous need to restore order. It’s a bit like when you’ve been away from an office job and you want to start digging out that pile of folders on your desk to restore some order.
Take it easy, establish a routine/schedule and get back to business.
Take control. The lay of the land might have changed but you can do it. Life is change!