I have a confession to make that I am totally embarrassed to admit.
I haven’t written a blog post for Rough Draft Solutions since December. How in the world did I let that happen? As a content writer, this gives me a big dose of guilt. What kind of professional writer am I if I can’t even keep up with my own blog?
Well, the thing is, I allowed myself to indulge in a break over the holidays and didn’t have a plan for getting started again. And before I knew it, the weeks were slipping by, and I still didn’t have a plan. I didn’t feel inspired, and frankly, I felt like I was too busy with client work. While all of this may have been true, it didn’t have to result in me neglecting my blog for four months!
So while it may feel tempting to take a mini break from your blog, I highly encourage you to resist the temptation.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been blogging every week consistently for nearly two years… Once you hit the pause button it is hard to get started again! Sure, it has been nice not thinking about the content I need to publish every week, but I know blogging is an important part of my business. And let’s be real, if I am encouraging my clients to blog regularly, it feels lame not to be doing it myself. Here are three reasons it is a big mistake to indulge in a blogging break.
1. You Simply Get Out of the Habit
When I was actively blogging, it was a regular task on my to-do list. My team was always aware of what blog posts we were writing, what needed editing, and what was scheduled to be published. When I was doing really well, I had a fully functioning content calendar that planned our blog posts weeks in advance. The blogging process was simply part of our weekly routine.
The beauty of making blogging a habit is that it’s not up for debate - you don’t have to spend time deciding whether or not you're going to do it. You just do it.
I remember there were weeks when I didn’t feel like writing but I felt like I had to because I didn’t want to let my team or readers down. I had the pressure of “I’ve been writing blog posts for X number of weeks, I can’t drop the ball now.”
Once I made the decision to take a blogging break, I excused myself from that habit. Week after week I became more used to not thinking about blogging. It soon became my habit NOT to have to write a post. And that leads me to the next problem.
2. Once You Stop, It’s Hard to Restart
Quitting is generally the easy thing to do… unless we’re talking about quitting carbs, sugar, or dairy. (Right?!)
When it comes it blogging, it’s easy to quit. There are plenty of other things you can do to fill your time. And yes, not blogging has been a nice break, but now it feels like a bigger burden to get started again. I feel like I have to sacrifice time working on client projects to work on my blog. While this year has been busier than last year in terms of billable hours, I don’t feel like that is an excuse for me to NOT work on my blog. After all, my blog has helped me grow my business; it deserves some attention!
The truth is, as a small business owner, you will always have something else you could and maybe should be doing besides blogging. But as we’ve discussed before, inconsistent blogging will hurt your business. Blogging is an investment in your buisness and in your client relationships.
I for one, have noticed that because I am not blogging, I am not actively sharing links to my website on Instagram. As a result, fewer people are visiting my site! So take my advice, don’t give in to the temptation - keep blogging!
3. The Less You Write, the Fewer Ideas You Will Have
This may seem counterintuitive, but I think when I was in the habit of writing, I was more in tune with the needs and interests of my readers. I paid closer attention to the questions they were asking and jotted down ideas throughout the week. I talked to my team and business colleagues on a regular basis about what they were interested in learning.
When I felt like I had to write a blog post on a weekly basis, I was always concerned with whether or not we had enough blog topics. While this is a consistent struggle for most business owners, the act of writing helps us realize other issues that we could write about or discover different routes we could take a discussion.
If you’re anything like me, you may fall into this trap of telling yourself that you have nothing to say. That’s not true! In fact, I had those very thoughts as I started this blog post, but I finally told myself “You have to start somewhere.”
The more you write, and the more you read, the more in tune you will be with what is relevant and what solutions your customers are looking for! And isn't that where the best blog ideas come from?
So, the next time you feel like taking a break from blogging, don't. Sure, we all need a vacation sometime, but plan ahead and either write your content in advance or have a very specific end date for your break. That way it isn’t so hard to jump back in.
What do you think? Did I scare you enough to discourage you from taking a blogging break?