Fandango asks for his Provocative Question this week:
Have you ever taken a hiatus (break) from blogging? If so, how long did your hiatus last and why did you take it? How difficult was it to return to blogging after your hiatus? Did your stats suffer and did you lose readers as a consequence of your absence?
Ooh, good question for me as this is actually my fourth blog on WordPress in the seven years I’ve been blogging.
My first ever blog only lasted about seven or eight months before I lost interest and decided to stop posting, or even reading any other blogs at all. I left it all lying dormant for a while and then after a few months I started to wonder how everybody was doing and thought I might go back to it, but I found I just wasn’t ‘feeling it’ any more so instead of picking up where I’d left off I created an entirely new blog and deleted the old one completely.
My second blog lasted a lot longer, maybe 18 months or so but I eventually got bored with it and again found I’d had enough of blogging for a while, so after another complete break of a few months I repeated the whole process as before and started all over again with blog number three. By this time I’d really started to work out what worked for me blog-wise and what didn’t, and that blog lasted a good couple of years before it too bit the dust. I guess you could say I have a kind of virtual restless wanderlust that happily uproots itself and moves on without a backward glance whenever the time is right…
So here I am now on blog number four, and this one has currently been going for three years next month – a bit of a record for me! Hmm, perhaps that’s why I’ve been getting itchy feet lately? So of course every time I’ve deleted my ‘old’ blog to start afresh I’ve lost all the followers associated with it, although I could still interact with all the blogs I’ve followed since the beginning. And often, as I picked up with them again as before, they would then start to follow my new blog and things would build up again from there.
So overall when it comes to the numbers game I’m not too fussed about having lots of followers data-wise, and I rarely (if ever) look at the figures or graphs these days. I mean, whatever the stats say there’s usually a set group of like-minded people who like and comment regularly on my posts and with whom I reciprocate, and that one-to-one personal interaction between us is what matters most to me. In fact some bloggers have been with me from the start, through every iteration of my online presence, which is great!
People tend to come and go for a variety of reasons. Some of the people I used to follow have now changed direction with their blogs and we’ve inevitably gone our separate ways as our interests have diverged, and I’m sure some of my followers have fallen away for the same reason. Inevitably when I post more regularly I get more interaction, and if I read other blogs more often, more people tend to come to look at mine in response, but I don’t need a stats page to tell me that. I like that fluidity of following or fading away as things change, it feels like that’s how it should be online as well as in real life.
In the grander scheme of things I blog just for me in the sense that I don’t have a business to build or a product to plug, I just want a dedicated space of my own to post stuff that allows me to share my everyday life with others, and those tend to be the kind of personal blogs I prefer to follow too. I like photography and poetry and family and home-based anecdotes and snippets and hearing about people’s health and hopes, and so for me it’s neither about wooing followers nor worrying about losing them, either.
I don’t ever think about what other people might want to read about and research in-depth journalistic articles accordingly, I just go with the flow of life, answering prompts or not as the inspiration captures my attention. Sometimes I do let myself get bogged down in stuff that I need to let go of, just let drop, because however much courting controversy can generate a frenzied flurry of firebrand feelings and a calamitous cacophony of comments, ultimately all that virtual vitriol is not what I’m here for.
Anyway, I think that’s probably answered that one, in however much of a roundabout way… Yes, I’ve taken blogging breaks, no, it wasn’t hard coming back because I started all over again, yes, my stats reset to zero and yes, I lost readers but then I gained back those that mattered again in time, and I’m still here after seven years, so that’s saying something 🙂