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How to Come Back in a Big Way after a Blogging Break

How to Come Back in a Big Way after a Blogging Break | CosmosMariners.com

Blogging breaks are essential from time to time. Sometimes, you'll have a big moment in life you want to focus on (like a wedding, honeymoon, or birth), while other times blogging breaks just happen when life speeds along faster than you can keep up.

As someone who took a much-longer-than-was-prudent blogging break earlier this year, I am in the midst of cranking my blog back up. Thanks to a combination of my daughter's preschool letting out, early pregnancy woes, and general blog burnout, I stopped working on the blog back in May and left it to its own devices until about 6 weeks ago. (Oops!)


While I've had smaller gaps in my blogging, I've never walked away from Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown for this long, and I've learned quite a few things about returning after such an extensive blogging break.

If you've stepped away from your blog for a while and are contemplating whether to return, or if you've made the leap back into blogging after some R+R, here are some tips to get you back on top of your blogging game in no time!

1) Keep your expectations low. 

When I decided to hop back into blogging after an absurdly long time away this summer, I wasn't sure what I would find. Would I have readers? Would everyone mock me for being such a poor blogger?

I seriously had no idea what the process would entail, so I decided to keep those expectations low. And, by "low," I mean, "I wanted someone, anyone to show me that they were still out there in blog land."

When my lovely readers did respond to my return, I was incredibly grateful. I'd left them hanging for months, and they absolutely didn't owe me anything. But what a good feeling to know that my audience is still out there!

So, take your expectations of what your blog return will look like, and lower it. And lower it again. It's not going to be the same starting back as it was when you left, so prepare yourself.

2) Center on the basics. 

Before the craziness that was my summer and mid-pregnancy, I was trucking along on my blog in a big way. I had over a dozen press trips under my belt, I was gaining new readers right and left, and looking at my Google Analytics was the best part of my day since it keep going up and up.

After returning, I decided to cut out a lot of that and just get back to the core of my blogging: good articles, steady social media posts, and lots of interaction with my readers and other bloggers.

As I've gotten further into blogging again, I've slowly added more to my daily to-do list, but it was nice to ease myself into the process. Diving back into everything (guest posts, collab posts, press trip pitching, etc.) all at once would've likely sent me fleeing back to the non-blogging world again quickly.

3) Be prepared for a blow to your social media channels.

This is probably the most surprising thing that I've found over the last two months of returning to blogging. Between May and mid-August, I didn't do much on any of my social media channels other than send out the occasional tweet or re-pin a few things that interested me. Yet, my followers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram continued to grow.

Yes, they were growing at a slower pace than they were when I was posting consistently, but there was still forward movement.

Now, flash forward to late August when I decided to get back into the swing of things. I started posting daily on all of my social media accounts--just as I had been prior to my blogging break--and followers started leaving in droves.

While the worst was on my Instagram account (something that has driven me INSANE over the last 6 weeks), this trend occurred on all of my channels. Perhaps in posting again, I reminded some followers who were on the fence about my blogging that they'd been meaning to unfollow me. Perhaps they forgot why they were following me in the first place.

I have no idea why, but it is incredibly, incredibly frustrating to see that 40 people have started following me one day on Instagram only to wake up with a net loss of 60 people. So, even though I was gaining at a good clip, my total number of followers were going down to the number of people unfollowing me. Ugh.

My advice: just keep your head down, stay focused, and get past this. Remember that you're gaining better followers!

4) Don't cry when you look at Google Analytics. (Well, don't cry too much.)

I have always been one to put too much stock in blog numerics. I know this is a major weakness of mine, but I love seeing those little numbers climb and climb and climb.

This past summer, I knew that my analytics numbers were down--after all, they had to be after three and a half months of inactivity. However, when I checked the black and white numbers, I actually did well: numbers had dropped by about 8%, but overall, my stats were holding steady.

However, when I started back in earnest--regularly posting, commenting on social media, and doing lots and lots of blog promotion--my numbers plummeted. I got about half of the pageviews last month as I did back in the January-April period even though I was doing everything I'd been doing during that period.

I don't know why this boomerang effect happens, but it's done it every time I've taken a blogging break of more than a few weeks. Just like the mass exodus from social media channels, watching those Analytics numbers plummet feels as if I'm hitting my head on a wall.

In good news, the numbers always come back up. And, in my experience, after that initial heart-wrenching dip, the pageviews and users usually shoot back up past where they were at their previous high. It just takes perseverance and time to get back there!


5) Schedule. Then, schedule. And schedule some more.

I've always been a planner, but I knew that it was going to take a different kind of discipline to overcome everything awaiting me on my blog.

This time around, I've structured everything: when blog posts should be written and scheduled, when certain posts should be shared on my social media channels, and how to approach my social media promotion. Because I have limited time (both due to my freelance writing commitments and my preschooler's inability to let me work when we're together), I've had to streamline this process and make a list for even the most mundane of details.

Doing so has made this transition infinitely more easy and has given me hope that I will be fully back in the swing of things very soon.

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Have you taken a blogging break before (either on purpose or by accident)? What challenges did you face when starting back? What's your best tip for jump starting your writing after being away for a while?

How to Come Back in a Big Way after a Blogging Break | CosmosMariners.com

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