When you turn over a new leaf, the old saying goes, nobody has to know how many leaves you’ve turned before. You can tell this is an old saying because they’re using the word “leaf” to refer to the pages of a book, but most people who use the expression don’t realize that.
We like the association of “turning over a new leaf” with leaves from trees, and we often think of it in the fall when we see bloggers trying to get back to regular posting. Whether they know that the new leaf could be the fresh page in their diary or not, there are a lot of bloggers reviving their abandoned blogs, often with a post lamenting how long it has been since they posted.
Don’t do this.
Posting your blog regularly shows that your company is on top of things, that you’re a good source of information, that you provide thought leadership or at least a steady stream of good content. Failing to post regularly means your company doesn’t have those qualities. Pointing out to people that you lack positive qualities is rarely a good plan.
So what should you do when you recommit to regular blogging?
- Really recommit. Make yourself a schedule — three times a week, daily, whatever fits your resources — and stick to it. If your blog was intermittent or abandoned for a while, it’ll take some time to get your readership back up, but search engines will notice right away. Go ahead and write for the spiders until you get your traffic back up.
- Don’t try to make up lost time — do or don’t do. Most blogging platforms let you post with a date from the past. If you slacked off for a week or two, take the time to go back and add articles from the company newsletter, announcements or press releases, or actual new blog posts. Use the dates on which you had planned to post and didn’t, so that people who visit your blog won’t see a hiatus. If it has been months, you probably can’t fit that into your schedule, so just start again. Don’t post three things today in an attempt to make up for the weeks when you didn’t post. It won’t work.
- Make a realistic commitment. Our data shows that regular posting gets the best results. If you can post twice a week, post twice a week. Don’t post twice a day for a week and then give up because you can’t keep up that pace. here’s the thing: if people come to your website a few times to read your new blog post and there’s nothing new, they will quit coming. If they expect something daily, it only takes a few days for them to give up; if they only expect a weekly post, they may check back each week for a month before they give up. So set up a routine and stick with it.
If blogging is not the best use of your time — if, for example, you have a business to run — it’s wiser to hire a blogger than to start and stop your blog repeatedly. You look like you’re dropping the ball, and there are very few industries in which dropping the ball looks good.
If you can’t blog and don’t want to hire a blogger, have the blog removed from your website.You can repackage the content as white papers, put the articles into your newsletters, or otherwise make use of them. Just don’t leave them hanging around making you look bad.
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