You may be in the practice of receiving or choosing to read my job advice themed blog on a regular basis. Then again, you may have only recently stumbled across it and are just getting to get a feel for the topic. Suffice to say, I’ve been writing this blog since February of 2012, striving to write it Monday to Friday with the exception of holidays.
I feel that if you are trying to recruit a following, you have to write on a regular basis; where your audience comes to look forward to your posts, and in so doing you maintain connections. So with my recent 3 week vacation, I wondered whether or not I should also take a vacation from the blogging or not. What would happen if I did or didn’t?
And so, I took a well-considered break not only from my daily job for three weeks as an Employment Counsellor, but also the same length of break as a blogger. I want to share what I’ve observed and the impact of that decision across a couple of platforms. You could learn from this.
While off, I still continued to check the daily stats on my blog site. What I noticed is that while past blogs were still being read anew, the overall number of people reading on a daily basis dropped significantly; a drop in 50% of my regular numbers in fact. At the same time, the volume of comments dropped to almost zero, with only a slightly higher number of spam comments being received over legitimate comments.
While these numbers were clear on my WordPress site, a curious thing also happened over on my LinkedIn profile. I noticed that the number of people visiting my profile to check me out personally dipped, and the number of people endorsing my skills dropped as well. And doesn’t this make sense, even though the two are separate entities on the web?
So it appears that readers are reading the blog first in some cases, and then checking out my LinkedIn profile to find out who I, the blog author, really am and what I’m all about. While visiting the LinkedIn profile, the same readers are sometimes endorsing my skills as they relate to what they may have just read and the help they may have received or anticipate others receive.
What is clear is that as I write on a regular basis (weekdays), my on-line presence and visibility rise. As I break from that pattern, my online presence dips and my relevance quickly diminishes.
Now if you are just reading this and thinking that I’m only talking about myself here, you’d be missing the next logical leap and that would be a shame. If my experience; my little experiment, is not an anomaly, then the same pattern of increasing or decreasing readership and visibility applies to you.
So now it’s personal for you. Suppose you have a business and as part of your marketing campaign and you’ve blogged to communicate with your audience. You write about your new products, instructions on how and when to use your services to maximize benefits to consumers, and in so doing, your writing keeps your audience thinking about you so when they do need to buy, you’re first and foremost in their thoughts. If my results were what you experienced, you’d potentially lose a large number of clients or customers who were used to receiving a daily dose of your content.
Now you may not write a daily blog as I’ve done, and if you are writing once or twice a week, your results may not be as dramatic, because the break in the receiving of the blog for your audience would only be two or three intervals, not the 15 consecutive days mine involved. The other variable here is also that if your audience is only local to your business, then they too may have been on vacation at the same time as you, and your online absence could go completely undetected. But if with the internet your audience is world-wide, the vacation factor has less impact as readers around the world are always to some degree on vacation while others are not.
My advice is to write consistently. Readers can choose to read your articles daily or not – as is their right. But if you cease to write on a regular basis, your relevance diminishes, and people may or may not follow you on a regular basis. This would be true no matter the topic. So whether it’s a self-employment business, or just your thoughts on a specific subject near and dear to your heart, consistency should be strived for.
So I’m back and the experiment is over. When it comes to dispensing advice on the subject of finding and keeping employment, I want to continue to share my thoughts and advice, hoping as I do, that my readers benefit, or pass along my words to others who might benefit in turn.
Connecting with readers certainly is welcomed, as are comments in return. If you like what you read, I appreciate that, and if you are inclined to visit my LinkedIn profile to find out about my own career path that’s great. It can offer you a glimpse into where I’m coming from and I’m open to answering any and all questions too.
Read at your leisure, and if I’m fortunate enough to educate and entertain along the way, fantastic.
2 thoughts on “Taking A Break From Blogging: An Observation”
Hi Kelly – Don here,.I’m of two minds on the whole frequency question. Everything you said makes perfect sense in terms of the numbers. And on the other hand, author John Locke’s (How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in Five Months – (http://www.amazon.com/Sold-Million-eBooks-Months-ebook/dp/B0056BMK6K/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356156587&sr=1-10&keywords=john+Locke) resonates very strongly with me as well.
in that book Locke said, “Everyone has a way of blogging that makes him or her unique. But few authors embrace the concept that LESS is MORE. You may post a blog every day, and perhaps all your subscribers read each daily blog, but I doubt it. I think if you post every day most of your subscribers will delete them unread. I may be wrong, and hope I am. I’m not basing my opinion on anything more than a feeling about blogging in general, and you might be the exception. If you are, good for you. ~~ My approach to blogging is to post approximately 12 to 15 blogs .. . . per year! ~~ That’s not a misprint. I rarely write two blogs in the same month, and never write unless I have a specific purpose. I spend weeks deciding on the topic and days trying to determine the most effective way to present it, which will always amount to less than 800 words. I spend hours composing, formatting and shaping it into the best blog I can write.. . . .I want a lot of subscribers, and I believe the best way to keep them happy is to NOT inundate them with content. . . . .
He has lots more to say on the topic, and covers much of the gist of his thoughts.
For sure there are lots of ways to skin a cat, and I hope your time away was all that it should be.
Great to hear from you Don! Thanks for adding your thoughts. I have to agree with you that there are a lot of different ways to go about blogging and reaching their target audiences.
Some writers are prolific, others like yourself write less often but like someone at a meeting who speaks occasionally, others listen closely when they have something to add.
If anything Don, a response is what I enjoy provoking whether it’s an actual reply such as yours, or even when I have to believe that somewhere there is someone who is thinking over what I’ve shared.
Time away was very good; some nice relaxation with my wife and I’m recharged as it should be!