I’ve read a lot of posts recently about what you should do to revive a dead blog and what you should do if you have not blogged in a while. The key question always seems to be ‘Should you explain to your readers why you have not been blogging?‘. Also, do you think you should apologise to readers?
Snoskred from Aussie Bloggers wrote a post today in which he mentioned that
I have seen it said around the web that a blogger should never write a blog post that apologises for not blogging – no matter how long it has been, no matter what happened to get in the way of blogging, you should return as if you never left.
He didn’t refer to any posts which stated that though I do recall reading posts like this in the past myself. The consensus seems to be that you should just jump back on the horse and carry on as if nothing happened.
BloggingTips author John Leschinski echoed this thought recently with a comment on XFEP stating that
I’d just go at it as if nothing happened. New readers of those blog probably wont notice, and anyone who is still subscribed will just continue to read. People upset you have stopped have unsubscribed by now.
Do you need to explain why you haven’t been posting?
Personally, I don’t think that you should have a set rule about whether you should or should not explain your absence to readers after some time off. Every blog is different, nothing is black or white. The most important thing I believe you need to consider is how much of a relationship do you have with readers. For example, I’ve got a joke blog which is updated semi frequently with funny pictures, stories and jokes. The posts are short and do not have a personal touch. If I was to stop posting there for a few weeks I would just start posting again without an explanation.
However, most successful blogs engage with their readers and have a good relationship with those who read and comment regularly. In this situation I believe that an explanation of why you haven’t been posting is a good idea. You don’t have to give full details of exactly what you have been doing as it may be personal but by simply letting readers know why you haven’t been posting you will indicate that you intend to get back to your regular posting routine and this should help encourage subscribers and readers to check out your blog again for updates.
I also think it’s worthwhile to explain any posting absence in advance if you can. For example, a few weeks ago I let readers know that I wouldn’t be posting much for a few weeks because I was going on holiday. Many of you may think this is not necessary though I didn’t want regular readers to assume that I had lost interest in the site or whatever. High profile bloggers such as Darren Rowse and John Chow regularly let their readers know that they will be away for a few days and that guest bloggers will be taking over. I assume their reasons for doing so are much the same as mine.
I have to disagree with John with the idea that older readers would have been upset by a blogger not updating their blog and would unsubscribe. Infact, as I discussed a few months ago, it usually takes a few weeks or even months of not updating your blog before readers unsubscribe. I personally still subscribe to a few blogs which haven’t been updated for a while because the quality of posts are high and when they are updated again I want to know about it. Therefore, I still believe that the majority of the people who read the blog which has just started up again are the same people who read it regularly when it was actively updated.
I know this is a question which many bloggers have a difference of opinion on though I strongly believe that writing a post which explains your absence is worthwhile if you have a good relationship with your readers.
What do you think? Should you explain to your readers why you have not been blogging?