When Do Bloggers Get a Break?

Bloggers continually produce posts to maintain a consistent, regular publishing pattern to keep readers happy. And if they’re going to take some time off, they should let people know that they’ll be disappearing-…

Wait. Say what? Disappearing? Not posting? Unheard of. How dare we. Bloggers taking leave of absences? Without permission? Without leaving something for people to read??

I recently asked the Twitterati what they thought about bloggers taking posting vacations. I wasn’t doing it to find out whether Harry and I should take a vacation – we already know we’re way overdue.

We’ve had one week of vacation in the past three years, and we work 7 days a week. Sure, we take a few hours here and there, but there isn’t one day where we don’t touch the keyboard. Many of you out there are living the very same situation, too.

But vacations for bloggers are a general no-no, and that bothers me. Modernevil said, “When & WHY did blogging become so constant that anyone would notice a few days without a post?”

Indeed.

Popularity? Loving the information? Habit? A drug fix people can’t live without? A sense of something owed, as if the bloggers had an obligation? Just plain missing the blogger?

Who knows. But people and bloggers certainly have unspoken rules about the etiquette of blogging, and those rules are firmly rooted in everyone’s expectations. A break in blogging isn’t acceptable unless:

  • The blogger goes away for a day or two at the most, or
  • The blogger writes and timestamps posts to publish in his or her absence or,
  • The blogger replace his or her posts with those of guest posters.

sandielaw agreed, with a caveat: “I don’t know if they should or not [take vacations], but I do. Granted, I wouldn’t leave the blog unattended for an extended period of time, but a weekend? Owlbert was kind enough to chime in with, “Certainly! Everyone deserves time for themselves. Mind you, I’d prepopulate my blog with posts so nobody would know… :)

jonathanfields also agreed, saying that lining up guest posters was the way to go to populate a blog. And so did SHurleyHall, who mentioned that she would “go for future posting or guest posts. If it’s only a couple of days it might not matter, but longer needs some input IMO”.

But what if you don’t want to accept guest posters? What if you don’t have the time to collect and edit or aren’t ready for guest posters? What of those bloggers (like us) who have simply chosen not to go the guest posting route? Some blogs are accepting so many guest posts these days that the original blogger seems almost forgotten.

A dilemma.

spiritualtramp said, “Sure as long as it was communicated. Heck if it’s a blog I’m loyal to a not overlong unannounced break is ok” Note the words “not overlong”. Patience only goes so far in the virtual world.

Bloggers can leave their post, but not empty. They can take a short break, perhaps a weekend or maybe a few days more, if they work twice as hard before they leave to make sure people have something to read.

Readers expect to have their dose of blog reading. Period. And bloggers are worried about the effects of leaving a blog empty for a short while.

Chrisgarrett offered something interesting: My photography blog had weeks without posts, twice chrisg.com has had a week without posts, both came back fine.

Some blogs don’t post regularly: Dosh Dosh, Copyblogger and Rock your Day, to name a few. Their populations don’t leave… then again, the first two blogs are huge and famous. Rock your Day is still working on balancing day job and night blogging. (Are you subscribed? Check his blog out. It’s worth a look.)

Indeed, davenavarro said, “Bloggers should do whatever the hell they want with their posting frequency.”

But to counter his helpful advice, DebNg asked, “A month off? What is that? I’m looking forward to full days of camp so I can work more.”

It appears bloggers want time off but have so much work and worries that obligations come first and rest second.

Kellye_Crane noted the issue in a nutshell. “Bloggers need to take it easy. Far too many of my favs burn out and cease to blog- better they post less often but stick around.” And why do we burn out? Because we’re busy feeding the machine, working to earn income and to stay on top of business.

What for?

“What the?! You want me to actually READ your posts?! All 140 characters, even the spaces? What am I made of milliseconds? ;-)”

Those were the words of jonathanfields, spoken in jest but with a grain of truth. There’s so much content out there that readers constantly skim and scan. It’s disheartening for bloggers to know that vacation time is far out of reach but no one really reads what they work so hard to produce.

SCartierLiebel had a great little trick up her sleeve. Take a vacation, write when you feel like it and bank up a little for when you return to extend the break a little bit.

My favorite comments were the following:

LaptopForHire: Heck with that. I take weekends off, and will vacations, too. No blog I can’t be without a couple of weeks; same for mine.

slpowell: Absolutely! Everyone is entitled to time off and bloggers are no exception.

berrybrewer: “Of course bloggers should get vacations. Why wouldn’t they?”

Why wouldn’t they indeed?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Shawn Norris says:

    I’d have to agree with the “not overlong” comment. Not because I don’t think that bloggers should get time off, but more because of the number of great blogs that simply just stopped without any sort of warning. One day a great post, then nothing more. Ever.

  2. I understand how you’re feeling. I strongly believe that everyone needs a break from time to time.

    For bloggers, however, taking a break can be challenging because of the constant pressure to produce new content lest your readers move on.

    So, the question becomes not whether you should take a break, but how?

    My suggestion is simple. The answer can be found in two words: guest bloggers.

    Guest bloggers can keep new material in front of your readers while you take some time off.

    Good luck! (And enjoy your break :) )

    Laura Spencer’s last blog post..Is Being a Work-At-Home Mom Harmful to Your Career?

  3. I really think it should be determined by the blogger’s personal desires and goals. For me, well, I always prepopulate content whenever I take time off – it just makes business sense for me as this is one of the ways I make money online.

    However, vacations and the Ling family….they’re hysterical, really, because if it’s just me and my husband, we start itching to return home after 24 hours or so. And my kids…well, their ideas of vacation are joyful interludes of day trips so long as they can return to their beloved anime at night.

    In other words, we really don’t have any insane desire to “get away from it all”! I’ve since learned that the best vacations for my husband and I involve getting to a place by 6am, enjoying the day, spending the night, and driving home the next day. Excitement, thy name is Ling! :)

    Heck, in 3 weeks, the conference http://www.animenext.org will take place – I had promised my kids I’d spend the extra money to drive down and give them a night away from home. Their reaction? “But Mommmmmmmmmm…. I can watch anime on TV and buy Cosplay at eBay and and and…..”

    Sigh.

    So…..vacations? We have a vacation every day at our home. It’s all a matter of your mental views of it.

    Enjoy,

    Barbara

    Barbara Ling’s last blog post..5/31 Gourmet Blogger Breakfast! Poached Salmon, Mozzarella Di Buffalo and

  4. @ Shawn – So how long is too long?

    @ Laura – And what if you don’t want to accept guest posters?

    @ Barbara – Heh, I have to disagree. For example, my workday lasts 14 hours a day. Vacation isn’t really the question of how I mentally view the situation. It is what it is.

    I am glad that you do take vacation time, even if you feel a night away isn’t a vacation.

  5. Are your readers so fickle they would leave if you failed to post for a week? 10 days? Do you not offer something uniquely different from other bloggers? I’ve yet to see a Drive by Shooting elsewhere. Critiques of sites are easy to find; your style of writing is not.

    I know a lot of real estate agents with the same mistaken belief, “If I’m not always on, I’ll miss out on golden opportunities.”

    Go on. Take a vacation. I’m willing to miss a Sunday Drive by Shooting. And, I’ll be here when you get back.

  6. @ Kathy – You’re lovely.

    In general (not speaking about us), readers can be that fickle. And readers are everything to a blog, it’s the blood that keeps a blog alive. A drop in subscribers can set bloggers into a panic or have them come back to emails of criticism. Not fun, that.

    Our readers would probably say, “Well, it’s about time, for god’s sake. You’ve been whining for months!”

  7. James, I found the most important thing is to let your bloggers know you are taking a break of may be not posting with regularity. If they are using a feed, it works beautifully because they only go to the feed when a new post pops up. Ironically, many complain about blogs which post too frequently…others without enough regularity. The good blogs don’t lose their readership for taking a break and everyon needs the pause that refreshes and helps them get their content back up to par.

    Thanks for the mention!

  8. Ok, last post full of typos…I mean to say, ‘let your readers’ know you are taking a break ‘or’ may not be posting with regularity. Geez…my fingers are not working with me today!

  9. Shawn Norris says:

    @James – I can’t imagine readers bailing in large numbers after only two or three days of new posts even for blogs with multiple posts per day. After a week or two, however, I just assume the worst and move on. That may just be me, I don’t know.

    I can understand not having guest posts and not wanting to write the posts in advance. That’s a blogger’s choice. But is it really too much to expect a simple “Going on vacation. Back in two weeks?”

  10. @ Shawn – When did I mention anything about not posting a notification? Or maybe my wording was misleading, so if so, I apologize. I’m assuming that anyone going away for a day, a weekend or a week or more who has a regular posting frequency would put up a note that they’ll be absent. That’s just common sense.

  11. I think the real issue here can be summed up in one word: “Entitlement.”

    I’m sure people will take offense at this, but as a blogger, you don’t “owe” your audience a single thing. Not one. Single. Thing.

    But in today’s 24/7 environment, people have become conditioned to the idea that their *free* entertainment and information sources have an obligation to *them.* That “I’ve come to expect X from you guys, and damn it, you better keep delivering!”

    If I’m paying you (or have some other contractual arrangement) for daily content, then yeah, you owe me daily content. But if I’m not, then you don’t owe me a single thing. Perhaps unless your tagline is something like “daily tips on X” …

    If you stop posting, will I go elsewhere? Maybe. Maybe not. DoshDosh posts infrequently, but I stay because the info is good. SelfMadeChick posts once a week – and hasn’t posted in a few weeks – but will I unsubscribe? No. Personally, I know she’s taking a blog break to pursue a business venture, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t care. She has a right to a life. She doesn’t owe me a thing.

    I think the real issue is people projecting their expectations on bloggers. We want more, more, more, (for free, even) and if we don’t get it, it becomes an issue. Not everybody, naturally, but enough people that it’s worth writing a post about.

    I took a week off – not intentionally – I just decided to – and I didn’t announce. I just didn’t have anything I wanted to say at the moment. And somehow my RSS stats went up 15%. So apparently my readers didn’t mind.

    I’ll say it again – unless there is an explicit understanding that regular content will be be provided, a blogger has absolutely ZERO responsibility to post regularly. Audience expectations/projections will always be what they are, and those expectations don’t matter. (I’m not saying the audience doesn’t matter, just that you can’t live a life enslaved to fickle expectations). Plenty of blogs post infrequently and still grow wonderfully.

    If an audience is so high maintenance that they get in a huff because you’re not giving them free stuff often enough … well, that’s an audience I’ll be pleased to not have. :-)

    As James says, “vacations for bloggers are a general no-no, and that bothers me.” As well it should. Some readers may say “A break in blogging isn’t acceptable.” I say agreeing to that statement is what’s unacceptable. Letting readers – not customers, mind you, but readers, become your taskmasters … well, that’s a sure step into the personal branding prison that James warns us about. It’s being locked into a needy relationship.

    If you’re building a blog to further your business, then you should post accordingly. Not daily, not 3x weekly, not weekly, but *accordingly.* If you provide solid, solid, SOLID content on a basis that is frequent enough for you not to slip off the radar completely, then you’ll reap what you sow. You post according to *your* goals, not your readers goals. You post according to *when* you have damned good content, not when you tear another page off the daily calendar.

    James, thanks for the plug above. I’m not of DoshDosh or Copyblogger stature (… yet …) , but I’m catering to an audience who values content, not frequency. I love the fact that MwP posts every day … because you have solid content every day. You could post once a week for all I care, I’d still be here.

    I value my audience. That’s why I post only the best that I have … and nothing else. I don’t worry about keeping up with posting frequency, because there are plenty of other blogs out there to keep my readers satisfied. :-) And if my reader is going to jump ship because I took some time off, well, they weren’t my reader anyway.

    I respect all bloggers, regardless of posting frequency. Thanks for bringing this up, James. And I’ll try not to write uninentional “guest post” length comments in the future!

    Dave Navarro’s last blog post..Embrace The Suck:How To Hate What You Do And Love It

  12. Hi James:
    I’m with the ‘take a vacation’ crowd! Too much work isn’t healthy or conducive to long-term happiness. I have a blog I absolutely love, the guy posts about once a week or so. I always check back to see, that’s how good it is. And I’m perfectly fine that it’s not every day. I don’t have time to read tons of blogs every day anyway. I love the Men, but if you took a few days off, I’d survive, and I’d be back when you were!
    And…for you and Harry isn’t the blog a PART of you business, but not the bulk?

  13. James and Harry,

    Notice how no one thinks you’re just generally putting a question out there. You’re jetting out. Visiting Philly? I’ll meet you on the Art Museum steps. ;)

    There is one thing you guys have that we mostly don’t: Harry’s Mom.

    No seriously, each other. Unless you plan to vacation together, you could easily slow the pace down (I’ve suggested that before in the comments, as a regular thing) for a few weeks, and each do three days’ posts per week while the other’s on holiday. Nobody would mind.

    I don’t think any bloggers should feel obligated to post as often as you two do, vacations or not.

    Alternatively, any blog that puts up a post, saying see you in two weeks, will come back to in-tact statistics. It’s those who go away without a peep who lose readers, on the assumption they’re gone forever.

    I’m not a big fan of guest posts. (Though I am doing some this summer for a vacationing friend!) Here, you already have two voices, and they ARE your blog. It’s just not necessary.

    How long is too long? If you have set your readers up to expect daily, then I’d say longer than a couple of days without a word is going to worry loyal readers. Really worry them (projection and all that). With notice? You could take a two-week hiatus and the love would still be there. Likely a month would be too long, though remember, a lot of your (northern hemisphere) readers have crazy summers planned, too, so even a month wouldn’t be as noticeable in summer.

    You’d miss it long before your readers would run away.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Learn Something Old Every Day

  14. Shawn Norris says:

    @James – I apologize. Re-reading the post, I realize it was my brain that was on vacation.

  15. WHERE DID MY COMMENT GO?

    Not typing it again. There’s two of you, just slow down, or give notice, we’ll be fine.

    It was a nice comment. A fine comment. It’s GONE.

    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Learn Something Old Every Day

  16. @ Kelly – My Askimet thinks you’re all sex spammers today. Hm. Maybe it’s beginning to recognize my crowd… now to tell it there’s a subtle difference between good and evil? ;)

    And I’m well aware I have intelligent readers. You guys all know we’re building up for a break. The last one we had was four days at Christmas. Before that? It’s been three years since either of us have been away from a computer more than a few hours.

    Unfortunately, we’re not taking a true vacation. We just want to clean up some work on our plate

    @ Dave – You, my friend, have said it all. Thank you. I needed to hear that. Because to be very honest? I feel guilty as *shit* for wanting to have a day or two off from blogging.

  17. Dave,

    I wuz gonna say that, AKA, that’s what I meant. Awesome response. :)

    Bloggers do not owe anybody their posts. It’s for the love of the game or it’s getting ugly.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Learn Something Old Every Day

  18. What Dave said. (Including the thanks for the plug!) Not a lot to add to that. Well, one thought.

    There’s one common piece of advice for building up blog readership I’ve read frequently that may contribute to the problem, and though the words may change but the idea is the same: To build readers, remember the blogs is about the readers, not the writer. I agree with that to a point. I think bloggers can take that idea too far and forget that, well, the blog is about the writer’s needs, too, to an extent. And sometimes the writers needs include time off.

    The timing is funny on the post because I know this blog is popular enough that the link you’ve generously provided to my site will bring a bump in traffic–and I haven’t updated since Monday. Oops! Just one of those weeks, I guess. It did spur me on to get new content up today, though, so I appreciate it!

    Matt Tuley, Laptop for Hire’s last blog post..Casual…Saturday?

  19. I think a lot of bloggers (including you Men) have already set a precedent, and you’ve painted yourself into a corner. You post every day. Hell, I’ve noticed two posts on special occasions. Now your readers have come to expect it from you. Regulars have added you into their daily reading ritual, and heaven help the blogger that breaks that before/during coffee routine!

    I read bloggers that post daily, and I read others that post maybe once a week (one posts even less frequently, but I stay because the content is right up my alley). I think readers only expect what they’ve been given in the past. The casual surfer may forget about you after a few days of no posts, but someone who uses an actual RSS reader won’t go through the trouble of actually removing a blog from their line-up because they fail to post a few days. Too much work!

    Of course, from a personal standpoint, if you didn’t post one day, I’d chalk it up to being busy elsewhere. (If we read you at all, we know you’re both stretched thin more often than not.) But if you disappeared without word for two days I’d begin to wonder, and then by day three that would turn to worry, and I would have to email you… and I’m not even good at keeping up with my blog reading like so many are. I can only imagine what their reactions would be to 2-3 days absence. My guess would be that Twitter would light up with queries for the Men with Pens. :)

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..New Addictions and Getting Organized

  20. @James: The reasons I come here are the quality writing, the useful information, the humour, the creativity, the innovation, the camaraderie…etc. If you guys don’t take breaks every now and then, as we all must intimately know, all of the above will inevitably suffer and my reasons for continuing as a reader will diminish (except that now I feel loyal to you guys and would only be disappointed rather than upset enough to leave). We need breaks: mental, intellectual, physical breaks. If one thing’s not working right, the rest will have to compensate, and then it too will need a break.

    You’re right about readers being fickle: there are several blogs I’ve unsubscribed to because of a lack of posts (not Dave’s, though, because I know his reason for not posting every day!) but this is because I have had no explanation for their absence, and I thus assume they just don’t regularly post. So how long am I to have to wait for something? I’m not loyal to them yet, either, so then I feel all right and it’s easy to leave. I guess my point is: TAKE A BREAK ALREADY! Who wouldn’t understand this? I know and was amazed by how much work you guys put into the role-playing game sites while maintaining this site and your business. That SITES, plural!! But do let us know when you go. I’ll miss you but I’m happiest when you’re happy and well rested because it will show in your posts. :)

    steph’s last blog post..Fiction: Episode III

  21. Now if I were paying you for daily content, you had better deliver. As it is, take a break!

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..New Addictions and Getting Organized

  22. Remember postcards? Say a blogger put up a Gone Fishing sign-see you in two weeks. Then went about having a fine holiday. Did some neat stuff, saw some cool things. Saw a nice picture postcard or a stupidly silly one. “Hmm. I ‘m having a great time, but you know the folks back home would love that.” You scribble a note , lick a stamp and drop it in the box. On the other end, the folks back home are thinking I bet so and so is having a great time. Glad so and so got a chance to get away. Oh, what’s this in the box? Well, now isn’t that nice.

    Bet there’s an e version of that.

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Uh Oh, It’s Getting A Little Whacky

  23. @ Nicole – Feel free to pay us :)

    You bring up a good point. The bloggers, the very experts on blogging in general, are the ones that started this whole, “Do this! Do that!” thing. Then they paint themselves in a corner, as you say, and realize they should’ve said, “Do this! And we’ll… uh, well, do something else. That okay with you?”

    Of course, no, it’s not 100% okay, because the precedence and expectations are there, and people look to these experts (are we experts yet?) to tell them how to run a blog and business. If the people that lead the pack and say, “Do this” don’t follow their own advice…

    Well. Can they be good leaders? Perhaps there’s the quandry.

    @ Steph – I thrive on too much on my plate. Harry doesn’t, though, and many other people don’t either. Also, while I thrive when I’m running full speed and top gear, I also lack the judgment to know when I should stop.

    We’re not the only ones like that. Many bloggers are so caught up in the pace that they can’t take a step back. The fear of loss and consequences keeps them caught. The weariness of trying to keep up wears them down.

    Bloggers should all be on medication, probably.

    A note to all: This isn’t a post about whether the MEN should take a break (okay, well, sorta, yes) but more a post about blogging expectations and how bloggers feel caught in the cycle.

    Our advantage is that we’ve never really done what everyone else does :)

  24. @James That makes me wonder, and I don’t know if you have any idea or not, but how many of your readers are bloggers themselves. It seems bloggers would have completely different expectations of you than say.. me. I’m just a non-blogger/non-writer who happens to enjoy reading your blog and others because she appreciates good writing and thoughtful posts.

    I’d say the bloggers have higher expectations of you than I would simply because they hold themselves to those same expectations. Maybe they’re just jealous of bloggers like Dave (not sure how to post links in WP comments, and not sure if you even allow it) who can up and move their entire site and take time off to do it, and STILL have their readership increase during their away time? :)

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..New Addictions and Getting Organized

  25. @James If you ever get to the point of offering additional premium content or something, I’d definitely pay you guys! Maybe a seminar or class on.. something? *waves a handful of cash in the air* C’mon, you know you have something we’d pay money for.

    Nicole Brunet’s last blog post..New Addictions and Getting Organized

  26. James,

    I was there for your Twitter survey, and I really don’t think you were asking the right questions. It is fine for a blogger to take a vacation. You asked individual bloggers if THEY would take a vacation and and not post. That’s a whole different animal. Many of them, like me, chose other solutions for their vacations. Most DID NOT say there was something wrong with not posting. They simply chose other solutions for themselves. I really think you jumped to a conclusion and prying you out of that mindset is going to be tough.

    I went the guest blogger route for June for specific reasons, only one of which had to do with the fact that I would be out of town for a while. I have stopped posting before and I might again, Heck, I took almost six months off from posting articles (I still posted jobs a few days a week) because I was starting a new job and wanted to focus on it. My site stats barely dropped and I made MORE money because the job crowd clicks on more ads. I only came back because I enjoy writing.

    I think the biggest point you are missing (and one of the reasons I decided to try guest posts) is the point YOU made in your Copyblogger article.

    Do you really want to create a personal branding prison for yourself?

    To me that meant that I should get my readers used to the idea that I may not always be writing the posts. That doesn’t mean I intend to post any less, but I may sprinkle in more guest posts just because, if for some reason I can’t or won’t post for a while, my audience is prepared to accept it.

    My site is the brand. It is a publication just like a newspaper or magazine. It is there to help people become better writers. I created that brand and it is reliant on me in many ways, but it would not collapse without me. If another writer (or writers) of reasonable skills took over with the same basic frequency, I doubt my audience would plummet. Some people might miss my style (but give the new writer a shot) and many would never even realize there was a change.

    That isn’t my plan. In fact, I may be moving to a much more personal approach when I get back, but it is nice to know that my blog can survive without me.

    John Hewitt’s last blog post..05/23/2008 Writing Jobs and Links

  27. Kevin Blake says:

    James,
    While I am not blogging yet, I am putting together plans for 2 different blogs. Part of those plans include that the readers I want will be ones that come to read my site for the quality not the quantity of posts.
    For those other reader that want to demand my time and energy be at their disposal 24/7 I will refer you to Harry’s post about “get the fuck out of my shop.”
    Just as there are clients that are unacceptable to work with, there are readers not worth pursuing.

  28. Boy, I was kind of feeling left out in this post for not being on Twitter. But I just don’t have the time and I guess I’m not part of that community.

    Accepting multiple guest posters definitely has its advantages, though.

    1. The guest author will bring their traffic to your website
    2. You can take vacations.
    3. Your blog can transform from YOU as the company or blog to a company’s blog that can live on without you (ok I just noticed John Hewitt mentioned this too).

    If you don’t want to accept guest posters in general, maybe you could start a “limited time” guest posting offers. It only happens a couple times a year when Harry and James take a week off. I bet you’d get a flood of bloggers wanting to post. If it’s one week, you could have them submit guest posts early and you could review and approve them before you leave.

    Also, I think it’s a little easier for bloggers who only post 2 or 3 posts per week to take vacations and timestamp a number of posts. If you post everyday like you guys do, that’s a lot of queued posts you have to do. Is it really necessary to post 7 days a week?

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  29. @ James – you know, this topic is all fine and great. But the real question here is when you reply to my comment and John Hewitt’s comment, are you going to include our last name so we know who you’re replying to

    … or

    are you going to type out two @ John’s and let us figure out who you’re talking to?

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  30. @ John – You tell me. ;) We’d love to go the five days a week route or posting every second day. Dunno how people feel about that.

    Special weeks are a good idea. Deb Ng did this recently at Freelance Writing Gigs, and it was a fun event. That’s certainly one solution – not the norm, but the opportunity is there.

    @ Kevin – That’s a very important point. Do bloggers want readers who only take and not give, or do bloggers want communities who understand that real life is there as well and that people need time off? I like to think that we have the second type of crowd going on over here, but I know that many bloggers don’t have that kind of community. Shame, really.

    @ John – Hm. A case of be careful what we wish for? I think that you bring up a good point, but I think that you also might be going beyond the Copyblogger post, which was about using one’s personal name or business name.

    True, there are solutions that avoid the prison scenario (I don’t think it’s a branding issue, btw). On the other hand, it can be difficult to throw open the doors to anyone and say, “Hey, party down at our blog.”

    Dunno. I have a *thing* about guest posting. Tough to convince me on that one.

    @ Nicole – Good point. It may be the blogger’s expectations of the bloggers out there creating pressure for each other. Which again, brings up my, “Just stop, people” point.

    And stop that cash waving thing. It’s just temptation ;)

  31. @ John-John – Oh, well, fine, get picky now, eh?! Sheesh! What a demanding bunch of readers, expecting me to DISCERN between the two of you…*mutters mutters*

  32. James,

    I understand your aversion to guest bloggers. My other point — perhaps lost in the rhetoric — is that you CAN just stop posting for a week. The world won’t end. I’ve done it before. Until I decided to try guest posting, that was my general method. I might write one or two posts ahead, spread them out over the break, and never even tell people I was gone. No harm done. Of course, over half my readers don’t even realize my site is a blog, so that helps. Just because other bloggers are afraid to stop, doesn’t mean it is a bad choice for you. My bet is, it would hardly be a blip on your radar.

    John Hewitt’s last blog post..05/31/2008 Writing Jobs and Links

  33. My problem is that I will be away from the blog for the best part of three weeks, later this year. Unfortunately, I have mis-trained my readers and they now get extremely aggressive if I miss a couple of days. It’s not the kind of blog that lends itself well to pre-publishing or guest blogging, as a lot of the fun is in the comment banter.

    I suppose I’ll just have to resign myself to a loss in readership. *sigh*

    Grandad’s last blog post..Scribo, Ergo sum

  34. Dave nailed it:

    “If an audience is so high maintenance that they get in a huff because you’re not giving them free stuff often enough … well, that’s an audience I’ll be pleased to not have.”

    Most bloggers are not running news sites, so there’s no need to pump out a new post every day (or more), constantly feeding a beast that will devour you if you let it.

    As noted, plenty of highly successful blogs post infrequently, such as Dosh Dosh, Copyblogger, and Tim Ferriss (who I think has the answer to this).

    Ferriss says:

    “Set the rules of the game so that you can win and have a life at the same time. If you set the expectation that you’ll post 12 times a day, it’s going to overwhelm you.”–Or daily, or…whatever.

    As a blogger, you set the expectations for your own blog and for your readers as well. If daily posting is starting to confine you, then cut it in half.

    Your readers will be fine, and those who do leave because they want new info every single day–they should go, because they’re kind of sick. Good blogs are great sources of information, but they’re not a necessary part of daily life.

    James and Harry–you guys run a great blog and I’ve benefited greatly from it, but, for the sake your health, both physical and psychological, take a break: take a vacation, reduce your posting frequency (even going to Monday – Friday would be preferable).

    A sabbatical that gets you outside in the fresh air for an extended amount of time can be one of the most liberating, enlightening experiences there is–it can also give you the time to reflect on what’s really important to you personally.

    It might give you a new perspective on things that will improve you, a perspective that you can’t access right now because you’re working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sooner or later, something’s going to give.

    Your health is more important than your readers–I can’t fathom anyone disagreeing with that.

  35. @ Grandad,

    I doubt the loss will be that major. Lots of people “threaten” to leave. Every time I have a bad day at work I talk about quitting. The next day though, I’m back. If your site truly adds value, your readers won’t want to quit. They’ll just want to complain. People like to complain. Just don’t take the bait. be nice. Say, “Sorry, but it was something I had to do.” Don’t spend a lot of time explaining yourself. It will just give them more to complain about. Go back to your pattern when you get back and things will be fine.

    John Hewitt’s last blog post..05/31/2008 Writing Jobs and Links

  36. @John,

    I love my readers – they’re a grand bunch! I’ll just tell them I’m off on a three week World Tour to gather more blogging material, and that if they don’t like it, they can lump it!

    That should satisfy them and keep them glued to their feed readers?

    Grandad’s last blog post..Scribo, Ergo sum

  37. @James “Lead me not into temptation… I can find it myself.”?

    Nicole’s last blog post..New Addictions and Getting Organized

  38. Well, I can only speak for myself, but:

    I usually post daily. However, if you look back through my archives, you’ll find times when I went WEEKS without posting and..

    It didn’t matter. I didn’t lose PR, my Alexa stats didn’t change, RSS subscribers didn’t dip, nobody sent me nasty email.. it simply did not matter.

    I started taking weekends off recently – now I’m only posting Mon – Friday. To my astonishment, RSS stats, which usually nosedive on weekends, stayed much higher than usual.. go figure.

    If you want time off, take it. It takes me WEEKS to even notice that a blog that I subscribe to has gone stagnant, and it’s months before I’ll unsubscribe..

    Tony Lawrence’s last blog post..Why does Firefox use Sqlite? by Anthony Lawrence

  39. There are a few blogs that have gone on loooong hiatuses only to pop up and explain the absence. One blog I read recently said that he was closing up shop permanently. One or two I read went from posting daily to sporadically with no explanation. None of those bother me particularly. The ones that mystify me are the ones that just disappear. I mean at least leave a last post. I get attached to folks after a while. I actually co-wrote on a blog for a while and the main dude did that. That wasn’t cool.

    So breaks? Vacations? Heck yeah. Just don’t fall off the face of the earth and when you come back tell us a good story. If you’re getting paid though I say plan for your vacation and use a robot to post or find a guest poster. That’s what the good webcomics do.

    Scott’s last blog post..Podcast Drama Pimp #2

  40. Problogger once asked his readers about the biggest mistakes they made as bloggers. Several of the commenters talked about losing a lot of traffic/ subscribers when they had to take a break. I found one comment especially disturbing: the blogger said that she had the flu and couldn’t post for ten days. She was mad at herself for not lining up pre-published posts for a case like that. All I could think was: YOU ARE HUMAN. Illnesses, emergencies and vacations are part of life. It’s crazy that anyone would be punished for being sick or for taking a break.

    Perhaps it’s easy for me, b/c I blog as a hobby, so only blog a few times per week and don’t feel the pressure that professionals feel to “make it” as a blogger (does that mean I shouldn’t be commenting here? I still struggle with many of the issues you raise). But even if you blog professionally, shouldn’t you consider the ROI compared with a corporate job? (Is mentioning “corporate job” acceptable here or is it a dirty word?)

    How much would you make if you worked 40 hours/ week + health insurance (in the U.S.), a 401(k) and vacation/ sick time at a corporate job? And how much do you make working 70 hours/ week, with no benefits and no safety net, as a blogger? I know that making a living doing what you love is amazing, but if you work so hard that you can never take a break, it can still burn you out, and considerably lower your ROI.

    I am a mom blogger. Rockstarmommy
    was a mom blogger too. She got burnt out to the point that she shut down her blog. She said “A once light-hearted hobby has turned into a chore that sucks up every last ounce of my free (and sometimes not-so-free) time, leaving my family competing with the internet for my attention and me not living REAL life and all the things I’ve always said I wanted to do with it.”

    I don’t want it to happen to me.

    Vered’s last blog post..The Sleazy Ads of Google Adsense

  41. I keep telling James the world won’t end. The house won’t burn down and the people won’t abandon us.

    It’s difficult when you have a business partner that embodies everything the Energizer Bunny is and then some. Like James said, I can’t keep going. I get overwhelmed easily and it’s way too much pressure. But I keep pushing because James keeps pushing. And if one half of the team in the harness doesn’t know when to stop, what’s the first half to do but try to keep up? James knows I’ll run myself into the ground just to get things done.

    I’ve already stopped posting – not by choice, it just sort of happened over several weeks. Let me tell you, the guilt is incredible and it doesn’t help the situation either. I know I have to write something, but end up staring at the screen wishing I could walk away.

    The thing is, I don’t want people to think I’ve quit. I’m not ready to do that at all. But I do need to recharge – frequently.

    Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with this and if it’s disjointed, forgive me.

  42. Fortunately I have not created an environment where I post all the time, every day. I post maybe 3 times a week and then I went to Chicago for the SOBCon08. I didn’t post for a week and came back to write articles. Everything was fine.

    Like you did not too long ago, I experienced breaking through 500 subscribers so taking a break didn’t hurt me. But if you put yourself under pressure to write one every day then that’s what your readers come to expect of you. I think the key is to establish a comfortable routine from the start and more or less maintain that schedule.

    My two cents.

    Stephen Hopson’s last blog post..End of the Week Gratitude Theme #30

  43. @ James – just as everyone has a different opinion of “pictures,” LOL, I would assume many people have different opinions on how frequent you should post.

    Personally, I think you gotta keep the Drive-by shootings as that’s a great way to promote part of your services while also indirectly educating your readers.

    For me, 3 days a week plus your Drive-By would be sufficient (yes, I’m being selfish and telling you what “I” like).

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  44. Harry,

    When one half the team breaks down they may end up shooting them both as they get tangled up. Rest well.

    Must go before I get all motherly on ya.

    Follow my lead—never do anything just ‘cuz James tells you to.

    Subservient, my eye. ;)

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Learn Something Old Every Day

  45. @ Harry – I think your case and point is the perfect argument as to why you need to be careful not to push yourself too hard or you’ll end up burning out – in the end, that will only hurt your company.

    We have to take a look at our goals, needs, and drive – I know you know this already. Plus with the new increase in business and growth you guys have experienced, it’s only normal for businesses to adjust (in some ways).

    I’m glad you have not taken the route to post for the sake of posting and writing articles that suck.

    There’s a reason why I’m subscribed to your blog – and it ain’t because you guys post 7 days a week!

    On a side note, my mom LOVES your cat blog. Her name is Theresa and I think she’s commented a time or two. She sent me a message the other day how much she likes your site. She has 3 cats and is a cat lover as well.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  46. @Kelly: Saved from spam!

    @John: I was wondering what relation Theresa was. I’ll start up again eventually, still got a lot of topics on the list there, just haven’t had the chance to do them. I appreciate the feedback though, that means a lot.

    Yeah, neither one of us believes in posting for postings sake. That’s just wrong and people recognize it when they see it. I’d rather do one good post when I’m in the zone, than half a dozen filler posts that say nothing at all.

  47. Harry- That is called burnout. Send us a postcard from your vacation. Have some necessary down time. Empty out. So the good stuff can come back in. :)

    Janice C Cartier’s last blog post..Uh Oh, It’s Getting A Little Whacky

  48. Heh, I love it when I post a general question to the world and people know that the topic came up because we’re facing the situation. I also love it when I protest that’s not the reason and no one listens to me.

    If we had 100, 300 or even 500 subscribers, this would be a no-brainer. We’d be gone with a note that says, “Back soon.” We have 1500 subscribers and climb at the rate of 100 a week. Pivotal point in blogging growth. Bad timing, if you will.

    I also find it very interesting to see other people’s perspectives. Some are as cautious as we are. Some aren’t. And the reasons for everyone’s views is interesting, too.

    One thing Tony brought up – weekends. I think bloggers should take weekends off, even if that’s perhaps a very western world thing to do and the Internet being international. Why? Because the Internet is falling back into the group of “traditional business” (even while still being non-traditional). Many of the methods used to market and gain business in the traditional world now apply to the Internet. Why not make weekends a standard, too, at least for those who consider blogging their full-time job.

    Or, take Tuesdays. Take Fridays. Who cares. Just take days off.

    Like a few people said, bloggers build up their expectations based on other bloggers reactions and readers expectations. Vicious circle.

    @ John – I appreciate you telling me what works for you.

    @ Kelly – I know, Mom. You were right. ;)

    @ Vered – That’s what we don’t want either. Thing is, we’re not facing burnout (thank god). It’s more of a “Hey, let’s clean up some stuff, finish off some projects and stop feeling guilty, hm?”

    @ Scott – Manners matter. Falling off the radar isn’t cool. Posting a notice and walking away for a little is very cool.

    @ Nicole – I can find more temptation than you can shake a stick at.

    @ Jesse – I write much better when I have time to think first.

    @ Everyone – Thank you for your comments. You’re all actually giving me tons of fodder, and the response we’ve experienced on this post (for a Saturday, no less!) tells me that this is a hot topic for everyone – not just for us personally.

    Steph said it best. Blogging should be *part* of a business, not a whole business. It’s a gateway. It isn’t the sum of it all.

  49. An additional note – I want to stress that *no one* here is facing burnout. As a psych major and having had a few episodes many years ago, I know *all* the warning signs. No one will reach that point here. Ever.

  50. I have a few more requests, James. Would you like those in pdf format or is an informal email ok? hehe ;)

    And remember . . . we only selectively hear you. Forget Dave’s comment. It’s all about us here!

    Uh, hi Dave! :)

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  51. When I took a long vacation from work, I put the following message in my autoresponder (and a similar message on voicemail):

    —-
    Dear friend,

    I will be out of the office from X to Y. I will not be accessible… at all. Do not even try. The purpose of a vacation is to recharge after all.

    As this is a ridiculously long period of time to be away, I shall delete all emails and voicemails upon my return and start fresh.

    If you have something of burning importance, please hang onto that though until I return. Upon my return, if it is still burning, use a pair of tongs to grip the idea firmly and speed it to my attention.

    Thank you for your understanding. You may count on my reciprocation when you decide to take your vacation.
    —-

    I cannot tell you the number of laughing messages that waited for me in voicemail. Not one person complained.

    Take your vacations and enjoy, guys!

    P.S. Why not put up a Gone Fishing sign and then let people sign up for an email that will let them know when you are back?

    Jamie Grove – How Not To Write’s last blog post..How to Write a Book and Why I Write About Writing

  52. I love Jamie’s comment, although I’d personally never have the guts to use a message like that. . .

    The bottom line here: It’s your blog, your life, and your rules . . .

    Do what is best for you and your family.

    Laura Spencer’s last blog post..Of Note: How Not To Write

  53. @ Laura – And how many bloggers actually put that wise advice into practice?

    @ Jamie – Sounds like the one I’d cooked up for an old autoresponder “…currently working on the world’s greatest miracle, so please yadda yadda…”

  54. I’m 100% with Dave Navarro on this one.

    In fact, like Dave, I recently did not blog for a whole week (unplanned) and like Dave, my subscriber count went up. Go figure.

    However, if I had a blog that was directly tied to my business and the readers were my (paying) customers, I would probably be a little more strict about scheduling and posting notices when I’m going to be away for awhile.

    I also noticed that when I stopped adhering to a strict posting schedule, both my subscriptions and my comments increased significantly. I stopped worrying about the rules and tried to just relax and have fun with it. Best blogging decision I ever made!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..The Watson-Guptill Fickle Writer

  55. Brett Legree says:

    I never did reply to the original tweet (not sure if it came in while I was at work or I just missed it), so my thoughts.

    I’m sort of with Dave Navarro on this, and Melissa, and Jesse Hines – and Tim Ferriss / Tyler Durden :)

    Now, I’m not an expert by any means as I’m pretty new, but I figure if people like what you do, and you’re honest with them, they’ll be pretty reasonable if you take a break or something.

    As it’s your blog, you could say, “hey guys, I’m working on ‘project X’ and I need to spend more time on it” – the kind of people you want to attract will understand. The ones who get all pissy, well, maybe you don’t want them anyway.

    (Now don’t everyone get all pissy and unsubscribe from my blog!!! I just broke 100 subscribers this week, and I hope to keep climbing – but if not, well, it isn’t the end of the world. My end goal isn’t to have 40,000 subscribers – I have bigger plans than that.)

    I think what Melissa said was pretty close to where I personally need to go. Just have fun with it, write good stuff, and let the blog go where it goes. I’ve got some pretty cool people reading it and hanging out. That’s more than I could have asked for when I started out.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..best laid plans.

  56. Absolutely, everybody deserves a vacation. I think it’s only fair to leave a “Gone Fishing” kind of notice so that people won’t worry–especially if you blog frequently enough that an absence of more than a day is going to be noticeable. I mean, I miss my favorite bloggers when they disappear for a week or two, but as long as I know in advance so that I’m not worrying about car wrecks and family emergencies, I think it’s more than reasonable. EVERYBODY gets vacations! If a blogger opts to pre-schedule posts to ease the time away, or lines up guest-bloggers, that’s fine, but I can’t think of a single blog that I would be offended enough to stop reading if the author(s) took a week off!

    I mean, really, is ANYBODY really that self-involved? “What, they’re not there writing the blog posts I rely on with my morning coffee? Well! I’ll never darken their website again!”

    –Deb’s last blog post..MM: Period

  57. To be honest here James,
    I have so many emails arriving each day from blogs I have subscribed to, that I cannot keep up with them all when they post every day.
    Okay, that’s my own fault, but there are quite a few good blogs out there, so it’s hard to say no, and I actually like reading the full posts – not scimming – so it makes life even harder. I bet there are many others like me also.
    You post every day, sometimes more than that. Sometimes, like today, I don’t get around to reading your post until everyone else has. I have work to do online myself.
    Personally, I probably wouldn’t notice if you didn’t post for a day or two – and that’s being honest.
    Take your break. Don’t bother with a guest writer unless you really think it’s necessary. People come here to read you, not someone else.
    Those who enjoy your writing, as I do, will still be here when you come back.
    As long as it’s not too long… ;)

    zania’s last blog post..Keep a Suspicious Mind When You Make Money Online

  58. Blogging is closely related to journalism, and traditional journalism operates on a reliable schedule. Daily newspapers are published, daily. Broadcast newscasts are on the hour (except for breaking news). Weekly and monthly publications also have reliable schedules — though they are obviously at the other end of the universe than, say, Twitter.
    So consistency is important, and if we see ourselves in the totality, while we certainlly can take vacations, if our blog is to be seen as reliable, meaningful, and follow the conventions, then, it must be published on schedule. Quality is important, of course, and this can be handled by guest posts or preplanning — and readers will certainly accept some vacation downtime if you give them advance notice.
    Bloggers are free to do their thing when and how they wish, but we should not downgrade the importance of consistency in the practice.

    Mark Buckshon’s last blog post..CSMPS and PSMA for Canadians

  59. Due to my own need to recharge between online forays, I’m often late to the party which is why I don’t always comment. Daily posting is so common, there’s too often a newer post up thus a new conversation underway. It’s that standard I believe to be the problem as I certainly can’t keep up nor am I willing to try. My brain would explode, especially since I too actually read the posts & its comments.

    Aside from sites w/timely content, particularly news, I not only can’t see the need for 7 posts (or more!) a week but feel posts can get lost in the shuffle. W/high readership, each post still gets widely disseminated but could have an even larger percentage of the audience if it wasn’t always out of the limelight the very next day.

    Grandad & Tei tend to post daily but neither are necessarily bowing to perceived pressure; Grandad’s “Rambles” are part of his morning routine & Tei’s “Ink” seems to be a nightly catharsis. They’re both offering value each & every day, just as you two offer value w/each post (or you wouldn’t be posting). The result tho’ is many loyal readers being forced to pick & choose which posts we read.

    Vacations aren’t always practical & shouldn’t be the only way we recharge. If we think of ourselves as rechargeable batteries, the only question is how often we need to be recharged. The intervals will vary for everyone but need to be honored. Find your pattern, be transparent & post accordingly. Given how long many bloggers have now been at it, we’ll hopefully see this more sane & healthful approach start spreading.

    (|_|*cheers*|_|)
    “If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” ~ Logan P. Smith

    Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)’s last blog post..Found Fridays; links loved, finding Fridays

  60. Due to my own need to recharge between online forays, I’m often late to the party which is why I don’t always comment. Daily posting is so common, there’s too often a newer post up thus a new conversation underway. It’s that standard I believe to be the problem as I certainly can’t keep up nor am I willing to try. My brain would explode, especially since I too actually read the posts & their comments.

    Aside from sites w/timely content, particularly news, I not only can’t see the need for 7 posts (or more!) a week but feel posts can get lost in the shuffle. W/high readership, each post still gets widely disseminated but could have an even larger percentage of the audience if it wasn’t always out of the limelight the very next day.

    Two of my fave bloggers do post daily but aren’t necessarily bowing to perceived pressure; Grandad’s “Head Rambles” are part of his morning routine & Tei’s “Rogue Ink” seems to be a nightly catharsis. They’re both offering value each & every day, just as you two offer value w/each post (or you wouldn’t be posting). The result tho’ is many loyal readers being forced to pick & choose which posts we read.

    Vacations aren’t always practical & shouldn’t be the only way we recharge. If we think of ourselves as rechargeable batteries, the only question is how often we need recharging. The intervals will vary for everyone but need to be honored. Find your pattern, be transparent & post accordingly. Given how long many bloggers have now been at it, we’ll hopefully see this more sane & healthful approach start spreading.

    (|_|*cheers*|_|)
    “If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” ~ Logan P. Smith

    Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)’s last blog post..Found Fridays; links loved, finding Fridays

  61. Jacob Cass says:

    Funny you bring this up… I am just about to go on a 2 month break travelling around Europe and I managed to get 12 GREAT guest articles for my time away and on each article I let the readers know that I won’t be on the blog so I guess yes, I guess some bloggers get a break :)

    Jacob Cass’s last blog post..If I Could Only Read 10 Blogs…

  62. James I kinda like the guest posting route a lot of bloggers are taking (including me in the future). It exposes you to others who find their blog worthwhile — and whom you may in return find worthwhile.

    I don’t think it should be for an extended time though, but that’s just my personal opinion. Each person has to define “extended” for themselves.

    I kind of think of my blog as my home — I don’t mind visitors for short periods of time, BUT, there is no extended stay here buster; only immediate family please. And, even those, you want to kick out sometimes.

    Interesting insight from everyone on this subject though. Blogging is growing up.

    Yuwanda

    The Freelance Writer’s Blog’s last blog post..How to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic with Link Bait Articles

  63. I have to say this is an issue I’ve thought about a lot since I started blogging. Blogging can be quite demanding, with the need to write every day, respond to comments, and generally be available all the time. It’s almost like a steady job. I’ve managed to go on pretty well so far only posting three times a week, but I’m quite aware that I could probably do better with it if I were posting every day. Still, I decided a while ago that I didn’t want to do crappy posts, that I probably would do some crappy posts if I forced myself to do it every day, and that if it became too demanding it wasn’t for me. I think I’m going to write a longer post about this tomorrow or possibly next week. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Developing a Sales and Marketing Mindset

  64. Let’s talk about business blogging – blogging from a CEO or other high-ranking authority of a company.

    In this case post frequency does not matter. The issue is focus and post quality. And nobody will even notice your absence for couple weeks.

    The problem is that nobody noticed the diverging of blogs to diary blogs, corporate blogs and business blogs. And business blogs have different rules.

    I even wrote an entire e-book on this topic – “The New Rules of Business Blogs”. You are welcome to check it out in my blog at http://www.positioningstrategy.com. Please feel free to post it on your blog or pass the e-book to whomever you believe might benefit from reading it.

    Linas Simonis, PositioningStrategy’s last blog post..Can You Have an Editor of Your Business Blog?

  65. @ Linas – I find your comment interesting. Why do you feel that there are different rules for blogging depending on the type of blog you have?

    Agreed – there are blogs that only want PR and SEO visibility. There are blogs that are gateways to business (ours is a gateway blog). There are hobby blogs.

    But why do you feel that our blog is different from a CEO blog or corporate blog? Why do you feel post frequency doesn’t matter? Why do you feel that any blog doesn’t need to focus on quality?

    I really would like to hear your views, because I think you have brought up an important point about perception that would be valuable to the audience.

  66. James,

    My entire e-book “The New Rules of Business Blogs” is dedicated to answer all these questions. Check them out in my blog at http://www.positioningstrategy.com.

    Sure, quality is important in all blogs. But there is such a big pressure to post frequently that often the quality suffers. And when I must choose, I always choose quality over quantity.

    CEO’s job is so time-pressured that he must post infrequently or not have business blog at all. In my opinion it is better to post once a week or even once a month than not to have a business blog at all.

    Your blog? Your blog is a typical business blog. And exceptionally good, by the way. I found it a couple days ago and still enjoy reading all posts you wrote. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    Linas Simonis, PositioningStrategy’s last blog post..Can You Have an Editor of Your Business Blog?

  67. Vacation is blogger’s (and everybody’s) right. Stop thinking about it, go away and have fun, rest and recreation.
    Vacation is your obligation to yourself. You need to recharge, to see something except monitor and excercise something with fingers that is not typing.

    But bloggers are special breed in this respect. “Not a day without a post” became an imperative. But, we often forget that imperative is dictated by searchbots not the readers or craft. It’s googlebot that will “punish” you and your blog if you don’t spit something new everyday. But, do you care about readers or the software? Let’s be honest, good blogging takes both. But if you have to leave a bot hungry to go to vacation, would you even think what to do? I hope you won’t.

    And then, there are readers, of course. Do they really have to have a daily post from you? Bloggers are not bakers, and you’ll agree that daily bread is much more a necessity than daily post. Breaking news: bakers take vacations too. So, going honest once again, it’s not the readers that will die without the daily dose of your blog, it’s the blogger that hates to think they are reading something else.

    For what it’s worth, a bit of stats-talk…. last month I went lazy, saturated and left my almost two years old blog a bit neglected. And starting another blog helped too, so I end up this October with four posts total. Guess what, I have a bit more unique visitors and about the same amount of hits than the month before. As I wa also lazy with other blogs and screaming my name around, most of my traffic comes from search engines, but that is the only difference.

    Forget about not taking the vacation.

    dandellions last blog post..Fighting A Worldwide Monster Over A Peanut

Trackbacks

  1. [...] this morning, I checked my feedreader, commented at Should I Publish Free Articles On My Blog?, When Do Bloggers Get a Break?, whipped up an incredible Gourmet Blogger Breakfast and am now starting the day.  [...]

  2. Casual…Saturday? | This Laptop for Hire says:

    [...] got linked to today by James over at Men with Pens in a post discussing if and when bloggers get time off. It’s funny, because this blog has [...]

  3. 05/31/2008 Writing Jobs and Links | PoeWar.com Writer's Resource Center says:

    [...] When Do Bloggers Get a Break? James isn’t sure guest blogging is the right way for bloggers to take a vacation. He wants to know why he can’t just stop posting (he can). [...]

  4. [...] 31, 2008 It’s coming, I swear. But after James’s post today, I feeI relieved, and I have to tell you: I REALLY need a break from my computer. I [...]

  5. [...] recent post that discussed bloggers taking a break accomplished an important goal. While some readers perceived the post as our personal request for [...]

  6. [...] When Do Bloggers Get a Break? at Men with Pens [...]

  7. [...] commenting King, James Chartrand wrote ‘When Do Bloggers Get a Break?‘. I’m sure if you’re a freelancer who blogs you’ll like that one! (and even [...]

  8. [...] like I’m in good company, even if Men With Pens are still struggling with the concept of taking a break. Make me famous. Share this post: These [...]

  9. An Internet Bard's Tale, or How I Found Social Media | Internet Bard says:

    [...] got addicted to posting and hearing how wonderful I was.  I got completely sick of posting and hearing how wonderful I [...]

  10. [...] have time to read our posts and enjoy them, and we feel this decision is the best route to take. It gives us more room to continue to offer readers good lessons, strong messages and creative content. (We wouldn’t [...]

  11. [...] have time to read our posts and enjoy them, and we feel this decision is the best route to take. It gives us more room to continue to offer readers good lessons, strong messages and creative [...]

  12. Off to Gencon says:

    [...] Bloggers Network, and will be here when I get back. Besides, Men With Pens did a great piece about taking a break from your blog, and it seems to have done them some [...]

  13. How I Discovered Social Media - internet-bard.com says:

    [...] got addicted to posting and hearing how wonderful I was.  I got completely sick of posting and hearing how wonderful I [...]

  14. How to Hack Your Negative Inner Monologue « BWoz Daily says:

    [...] I’ve gotten used to it, really. Except when I get myself into a funk. You may or may not have noticed that I’ve taken more than a week break from blogging. I feel terrible about it despite my mostly subconscious attempts to find blog posts that say it’s okay to take a break. [...]

Leave a Comment

*