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.