Maybe you’re gettin’ ready to take a little vaca somewhere. Maybe you’re swamped tryin’ to get that next great entrepreneurial venture off the ground. Maybe you’re just sick of posting on your blog day in and day out and wanna take a break.

After spending just over half a year creatin’ one of the most explosive blogs ever, takin’ profits from $254.72 in June ‘07, my first month at it, to just over five figures in December ‘07, I decided to take a break. Why? First, I’d made enough money between a hot job in Corporate America and rockin’ my site to be able to. Second, I wanted to redesign my site to visually reflect the same high quality as the content of my posts. Finally, and more than anything else, after workin’ with my nose to the grindstone for the past couple years, I just wanted to travel for a couple months, enjoy life, get drunk off margaritas on Mexican beaches and Guinness in Irish pubs, and not give a sh…. Sorry, not WORRY about posting on and managing my site every day.

Now, I could’ve made my way to the internet for an hour or so each and every day while away to post an article. Maybe I could’ve had guest writers post articles while I was away to keep content in front of my readers. Or before headin’ out, I could’ve spent hours and hours… hell, DAYS, frontloadin’ my blog with articles to post each day I’d be gone. But plain and simple, I didn’t wanna worry about any of that. I just wanted to get away, have fun, kick it on my own for a while with no worries.

Now that I’m back in the game and ready to rock it even harder than before, I’m dealin’ with a problem similar to what I faced in the beginning – gettin’ the buzz out to my readers that I’m back and better than ever. And at the request of Kevin here at BloggingTips.com, that’s what brings me here today. To answer the question: How do you bring your blog back to life after goin’ MIA for a while?

While I could go on for hours about search engine optimization, ad swapping, affiliate marketing, link building, and other passive internet marketing tools, what I wanna focus on today, because it’s far too often ignored, is the active side of rebuilding, or just building for that matter, your reader base.

As I’ve discussed in another post on my site, the bloggers who’ll end up on top of the heap at the end of the day, who’ll continue to make ridiculous cash even after the hype of how much they’re makin’ has died down, are the bloggers who have personality to back up their content. Every blogger has access to the exact same content, but very few bloggers out there really have any personality. I’m convinced that this is what’s led to my unbelievable success: Not only do I provide top-level, useful content, but I have a personality to match, creating a blog that readers can’t stop comin’ back to after they get that first taste. This has to be your starting point. If you can’t keep your readers comin’ back, what’s the point in wasting your time drivin’ traffic to your site anyway?!

So you’ve got that rockin’ site now, but how do you get the readers there, to take that first bite? The key is puttin’ yourself out there, lettin’ readers see your content, your personality, YOU! Think about it. As a reader, are you more likely to check out a blog because you saw a 125 x 125 ad or link for it on the side of some website, or because you saw an article written by the blogger on a fave site of yours that grabbed your attention and made you say, “Hey, I wanna read some more from this guy!” Not only will this get more readers to your site, but it will get word of your site spread much faster, since readers are more likely to talk about some hot post they just read than about some hot ad they just saw. And there’s your answer, friends.

The three most effective ways that I’ve found to actively put yourself out there and really build your traffic quickly are through forum posting, guest posting, and what I like to call feature swapping:

(1) Forum Posting can be as simple as joining a forum and each day posting the same article that you just posted on your site, though it is much more effective to actively participate in discussions on the forum to both interact with and build your reputation among other users. You want to look for forums with (a) a large number of members, (b) very lively discussion, and (c) a member base that matches your target audience. One of the best forums I’ve ever come across, which matches all three of these criteria better than any other I’ve seen, is YoungEntrepreneur.com. No matter the forum, get out there and meet your readers!

(2) Guest Posting is writing an article for someone else’s blog. There are plenty of bloggers out there happy to take the day off, kick their feet up (or go to their day jobs), and let you do their dirty work. As a result, your goal is to find the bloggers with (a) the highest traffic and (b) a reader base that matches your target audience. Start with a list of the bloggers that best match these criteria and start contactin’ ‘em. And don’t be shy. The worst thing they can do is not respond or say, “No.”

(3) Feature Swapping is an agreement between two bloggers to each write an article featuring and reviewing the other’s blog. This may be difficult because (a) it requires more time and effort from the other blogger than, say, guest posting and (b) few bloggers are willing to agree to feature swap with a new blogger or even another seasoned blogger but with considerably fewer readers. Still, this is great for bloggers in similar situations, to work together to grow their reader bases and blogs. On top of that, you might be surprised to find out that some of us big dogs are still open to the idea. For example, in order for me to get my name back out there, to let my readers know that I’m back and kickin’ it on my new site, I offer free product placements to any bloggers who feature my site in their blogs. You just have to take that first step and shout at us. Like with any negotiation, you’ll never get what you don’t ask for.

One of the most important things to take from this article is that to bring your blog back to life after goin’ MIA for a while, just like with any other entrepreneurial venture, you must be active, creative, and really put yourself out there. Are you gonna sit back and let the world pass you by, or you gonna take the bull by the horns and get those readers to your blog?! Rock it, baby! – JP