Return of the Mac: How to Bounce Back from a Blog Break

by Marie on April 15, 2011 · 6 comments

Jumping back into blogging after an extended period of time away can be daunting. I recently took a month off to focus on a myriad of major life changes I was experiencing. I knew my readers didn’t deserve to be subjected to monotonous posts filled with whining and incessant I’m. So. Stressed. Need. Tequila. Now. SOS calls (those are reserved for my mother and fiance).

But with every passing day, the idea of getting back onto my blog made me anxious. I didn’t want to start back up again until I was ready to commit to my typical posting schedule and I was nervous about how many readers I lost during my hiatus. Secretly, I also really wanted to have a kick-ass “I’m baaaaaaaaaack!” entry to share with my readers.

Composing your first entry back may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your “Welcome Back” post.

  • Don’t overly apologize. Ever had that friend who profusely apologizes for everything? “Oh I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize. Oh geez, I’m so so sorry.” Ugh. Saying it once is polite, saying it a thousand times sounds insecure. So you took a much-needed break. Own it.
  • Think about your readers’ perspective of your situation. Do they want to know why you were gone so long? Perhaps. Do they want you to dedicate an entire post to explaining every detail of how your friend’s aunt’s hair dresser’s cat got loose and you drove to Tampa to help search for it? Probably not. Keep it brief. I had final exams at school. My work deadlines were looming. I underwent vaginal rejuvenationbut now I’m back, so let’s move on.
  • Recap, don’t retell. Depending on how long you were gone, there are likely to be a million little things that happened to you while you were away. Instead of writing the standard “What I did on my Blogging Break” five-paragraph essay, try presenting your recap in a new and interesting way. Think of the first post back like your personal highlight reel and just give us the good stuff. Using slide shows or photo collages is a great way to showcase the best selection of your photos. Just because you took a photo doesn’t necessarily mean we all need to see it. Be choosy. It’s better to leave your readers wanting more than to bore them to tears.
  • Save some material for later. Did a ton of things happen that you want to talk about? Do you have six new recipes to share? Don’t do it all in one post that first day. Spread them out! If you have three amazing, must-tell stories from vacation, tell them throughout the week of your return. Save those recipes for a day when you have blogger’s block.

While it can be beneficial to acknowledge your absence and thank readers for being patient, don’t get bogged down in the details. Ultimately, look at your first post back as a springboard into your future blog posts. Give your readers the Cliff Notes version and then set your sights on what’s to come next.

Ever bounced back from a blogging break? Any tips on rejoining the blog community after a long break?

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MelissaNibbles April 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Honestly, I hate posts that say “I have to take a break” or explain why they’re gone. Mostly because the blogger is gone for a day, maybe two, it’s really not a big deal. I understand if your blog is REALLY popular, but 9 times out of 10 I don’t notice if someone doesn’t post.

Hannah April 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Ahhh I know!! I hate this too. Are they afraid that they are going to lose lots of viewers or something? If someone is overly apologetic for not writing on their blog once or twice, it makes me concerned that they think their blog is like their entire life!

other marie April 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

They are, and, it is.
other marie´s last post which I take back everything bad I ever said about the treadmill

Tammi Kibler @ How Do You Cook Quinoa? April 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I struggle with this right now. I have a writing blog that has been silent for far too long and I feel like it gets harder with each passing day to resume. Every day, I feel like I owe incrementally more value in that first entry when I come back. I feel like I need a better explanation than “I was a little lazy and I have this huge project on my quinoa blog.”

I like your recommendation to keep explanations simple and brief and just start blogging again. I agree with Melissa that often the blogger makes a much bigger deal of it than the readers.
Tammi Kibler @ How Do You Cook Quinoa?´s last post ..Quinoa Contest

Katherine: Unemployed April 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm

OMG I don’t think I’ve even on before a break; you’re awesome for these tips!

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