6 Times in Your Business When You Shouldn't Blog
We've all heard the advice that consistency is the key to blogging. "If your readers don't know when you'll show up," the advice-givers say, "they'll stop reading your blog altogether." This is true, for the most part. If you're a new blogger, you have to put in some serious hours and publish plenty of consistent posts to build up your followers and make a name for yourself. But if you've been blogging for at least a year, there are some situations when you're better off letting your blog go silent.
That's why I've been absent from my blog for more than a month. How much guilt do I feel about that? Zero. Sure, my blogging break was planned, which makes me feel less like a flake. But honestly? I reached a point where the blog needed to sit on the back burner for a while.
At the beginning of December, I was stressed out, burned out, and exhausted. I'd taken on more work than I should have, and I was squeezing it all into less time than usual so I could take a break for Christmas and New Years.
So I've spent the last four or five weeks doing not much of anything. I read eight books---which is good for the soul, even when three of those books were the Divergent series, which ripped my heart out. I started a new project I'm working on with a friend. (More to come on that soon!) I decided to stop sending out my weekly newsletter.
In short, I became a hypocrite of a content marketer. I make a living off of content strategies, and I spent a month being inconsistent and unpredictable about my own content. But it was totally okay, because I was dealing with some of these six situations when you shouldn't blog.
6 situations when you shouldn't blog
We spend so much time hearing about the benefits of constantly producing new content. Is there really a time when it's better not to blog? Yep. If you find yourself in any of these are six situations, it's time to back away from the blog.
1. You're losing focus on client work.
Blogging takes up a ton of time---usually more than new bloggers were planning for. Blogging is one of those mysterious, never-ending tasks with a to-do list that never gets any shorter. Sometimes we get so swept up in keeping our blogs going, we don't leave ourselves enough time for client work.
Your blog is an important part of your business, but client work should never suffer because of it. The only reason you have a business is because your clients or customers are paying you. Unless you make the majority of your income through affiliate links, sponsorships, or ads, your blog is not the primary focus of your business.
Take some time away from content creation to give your clients your best work. It's better to have your priorities straight than to sacrifice paying work for a blog post.
2. You're working on the blog 24/7.
Like I said, blogging can be a huge time-suck. If you find yourself working on blog ideas morning, noon, and night---even when you're out with friends or playing with your kids---you need to take a step back.
Yes, blogging is fun, and it's often the driving force behind your website traffic. But blogging shouldn't become your entire life. Take a short break and give yourself time to live your life again. Then make a plan to rein in your blogging schedule so you don't run into this problem again.
3. You're going through a major life change.
No one expects you to stick to your MWF posting schedule if you just had a baby or are moving across the country. (Okay, some people will totally expect that of you, but those are the people who have no idea how time consuming blogging is.)
Sometimes you'll be able to work ahead and keep your blog running smoothly even as you deal with big life transitions. Other times, you need to step back and focus on getting your ducks in a row in the real world before you can get back to your regularly scheduled blog posts.
Take a time-out and evaluate how your blog will fit into your life going forward. This might be a good time to change up your posting schedule and adjust readers' expectations.
4. You're rebranding your business.
Your blog plays directly into your content marketing strategy. That means that if your business focus is shifting, your blog focus needs to shift along with it.
Rebranding takes a Herculean amount of effort. Taking time off from the blog will let you focus your energy on all that project management that comes with a rebrand. Once you're clear on your new target audience and your business's new products and services, you can draw up a rock-solid content plan to make your blog better than ever when you start posting again.
5. You're stressed out.
Business owners have 101 things on their plate at any given moment. Some days, it all starts to feel like too much. Things like taking care of clients and sending invoices are essential to your business---but the blog can sit empty for a week or two without any huge consequences.
I know it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy and believe that blogging is of the utmost importance. But that attitude is what led to my blogging burnout in the first place. Save yourself the stress and take a week to get caught back up on the important things. Pushing "pause" on your blog isn't forever. You'll come back refreshed and better than ever.
6. You don't actually like to blog.
Blogging isn't for everyone---but the good news is, there are plenty of other content strategies that allow you to share your knowledge with your readers and draw traffic to your site.
There's no point in spending hours on your blog each week if it's a task you absolutely despise. Ditch the idea of a traditional blog and create other awesome content for your followers instead. Trust me, they can tell the difference between someone who's passionate about their blog content and someone who isn't. And if you just can't bring yourself to do away with blogging, there's no shame in hiring it out!
Do you need a blogging break?
We all need to back away from the blog every now and then. (I've actually noticed that some of my biggest solopreneur role models are only able to get so much done because they aren't slaves to their blogs!) Brush up on how to take a blogging break, log out of Wordpress, and enjoy your time off.