My Adventures in Not Blogging for One Month
One thing I’ve done with my blog is take this entire month of August pretty much off – from blogging, social media sharing and even just being on social media for fun.
I’ve taken a break.
I’m enjoying these last few weeks of summer with my children. I’m enjoying simply relaxing again. Literally relaxing. I’ve been watching tv, playing more, putting my feet up, deliberately slowing down and I’ve even taken two cat naps (with one kid climbing all over me – so maybe it was a pretend nap).
The first week of this Not Blogging adventure was uncomfortable. I felt off and uncomfortable with the fact that I just let it go. Along with letting go of actually being productive, making progress on work related goals, I let go of the NEED to be productive. (It is possible.)
Like anything new you set out to do, there is an adjustment phase.
Sometimes people need to take a good break. From stress, chaos, burnout, deadlines and just being exhausted.
I wasn’t at that point.
The truth is I’m in a switchover phase where my writing career was at the forefront of my day to day decisions and actions. My second career (more on that another time) has taken the backseat this last year and been in simple maintenance mode – where I worked on it when I had time and just enjoyed it carefree (not aiming for anything in particular).
So this month I’m stepping back from making my blogging and book writing first. In fact I’m taking the month off.
(Side note – I have made sure to step up my fitness and workouts now that I have more time available and I’ve really enjoyed getting back into mega workout mode. In other words, I’m not being lazy and totally unfocused and undisciplined, I’ve just shifted my time and energy to other things.)
While I really have not enjoyed the social media aspect of blogging, I can say this about the effects of not doing social media – the effort we bloggers put in every day does pay off. My traffic and engagement with minimal social media effort dropped off. My website traffic decreased by about 1/3 of normal. To keep the decline at a tolerable level (of like not utter panic) I kept up with basic FB/T posting and Pinterest – about half of normal.
The difference and decline was noticeable – a bit too much for my preferences.
During this time I had confidence that traffic would pick back up – and it did, as I had new content lined up and ready to roll out.
I also gave Tailwind a test run. I’m a firm believer in trying new things here and there.
So the results of Not Blogging for One Month –
I always say the numbers don’t lie and well they don’t!
My traffic stumbled, I lost a few followers on Twitter and FB. Although Pinterest, the one thing I continued to do at a snails pace continued to grow.
Not being driven, focused and goal/task oriented was a blend of relief (hey it felt good to do nothing for once) and feeling bummed. I love the work I do, it refuels me and helps me stay energized and motivated – so being away from it was kind of like having a kid staying away from home for a few days. You want to celebrate and also hug them (or your work) and not let go.
One highlight of my efforts this summer that is continuing to grow and flourish was the results of writing my two EBooks. They are selling, doing well, and even though I took 3 weeks off – I’m still receiving income from book sales!
If you want to plan ahead for a good time to take a break from blogging, summer is a good time for it. Planning ahead allows you to load up on creating great content to keep your readers coming during your time away, plus if you’ve created products and/or have affiliate ads you will still continue to receive income. And tip I received from well seasoned bloggers – summer is slow. Especially August. (Unless you are a big Back To School blogger.)
Things I will do differently next time I want a real break:
Plan ahead better – prepare the content ahead of time even if means more work before the break. This way there is still new content to share while on blogging vacay. I don’t think I would create a full amount of fresh content – just enough to keep the crickets at bay.
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Edited to add: There is now a sequel to this post – Will I Take Another Break From Blogging? With new tips for successful planning.