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How to Know When to Stop Blogging

Blog writing tips and articlesBlogging isn’t for everyone, and everyone doesn’t need to blog. There are times when you should stop blogging, and there are times to take a rest from blogging.

I stumbled across an article on How to Know When Not to Volunteer and it got me thinking. After some consideration, I realized that there needs to be a “How to Know When Not to Blog” article to help you understand that blogging isn’t for everyone and you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to.

There are times to blog and there are times to stop blogging, especially if blogging interferes with the rest of your life. And there are times when you don’t need to stop blogging, you just need to take some time out from blogging to deal with your life. Then you can return to blogging.

So here are my tips for “how to know when not to blog”.

  1. Stop blogging if you don’t have a purpose: Honestly, you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to, and if you don’t know what to blog about, don’t. If your blog has no purpose, stop blogging.

    Your blogging purpose doesn’t have to be specific, but it does need to exist. A blog purpose is the reason you blog, the definition of your blog, and why your readers come back to read your blog. If you are blogging about your daily life’s activities and affairs, then that’s your purpose. If you are blogging about a specific industry such as online technology, space, transportation, or ice skating, that’s your blogging purpose. If you are blogging about a specific rare area of science, math, or research, you’ve found a purpose for blogging.

    If you blog because it fulfills some deep inner need to express yourself, and it makes you happy and motivates you to get up in the morning, and that feeling lasts longer than 3 months, you’ve got a purpose for blogging. Keep blogging.

    Vague, empty blogging just because it’s something to do, or because everyone else is doing it, is useless and a time waster. Stop blogging.

  2. Stop blogging if you do not have the time: If your time is limited and you can’t find time to blog, don’t. You don’t have to post every day. You don’t have to post ten times a day. In fact, you don’t have to post more than once a week. Control your time and if you feel the time crunch, don’t blog.
  3. Say “no” if you are already over-committed: Blogging isn’t for everyone and when you’ve got a lot of other things going on, stop blogging. If the withdrawal pain is too much, then you can restart blogging, and stop something else. But don’t start blogging when you can’t keep up with the rest of your life.

    Stop blogging if you are over-committed on your blogging, too. You don’t have to blog every day. There are thousands of news bits and articles I’d love to write about on my blogs, but sometimes, I just have to “say no” when time is short and I’m running out of energy. Not everything has to be blogged about, so by choosing only the topics that really matter to me and to my audience, I’m blogging wisely and with purpose, not straining to get every ounce of information from every source published on my blog. Quality over quantity.

  4. Don’t blog when you’ve run out of original things to say: If you find yourself blockquoting everyone else and not writing anything original, stop blogging. Find your own voice and say what you want to say. You can quote others and use their words to highlight your point of view and help your commentary, but don’t just blockquote and echo what everyone else is blogging about. Let your blog be you and your voice or stop blogging.
  5. Don’t blog if you don’t have the temperament: Blogging is a fad for those who blog for short term or vague reasons. Blogging takes time, energy, commitment, discipline, organization skills, communication skills, and research and writing skills. Blog because you understand how it works and you enjoy blogging. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t have the temperament or personality for maintaining a blog, then don’t. Do something else.
  6. Don’t blog when you are emotional: When something strikes at our soul and spirit, the natural tendency is to lash out. Stop. Don’t do it, and don’t do it on your blog. Go ahead and pummel your keyboard with your first thoughts and reactions but DO NOT PUBLISH IT. Save it and wait a while. Think or stop thinking about it. Come back in a few hours or days and then give it another look. Does it really say what you want it to say? Is it the truth or just a rant? Don’t blog when you are out of control with emotions. Take your time and make blogging a conscious decision.
  7. Be careful blogging about topics “close to home”: This is a tough one. Much of blogging is about sharing your opinion and voice on a subject. But when that subject cuts too close to your spirit, your words may incite others or hurt you later. As the article on volunteering states:

    This means to take care that your personal issues and feelings don’t spill over into the volunteer work in a way that impacts negatively upon you. If you have been abused yourself and you have decided to help others who are abused, be fully certain that you have worked through the issues that are likely to be raised in your role as a volunteer. You don’t want to break down when confronted with an issue that is still very raw for you. This is not to say that your shouldn’t find catharsis in facing the issues head-on through volunteering but it does mean that you must feel strong enough in yourself to cope with the feelings as they are presented back at you from someone else suffering them.

    Your words matter. What you say matters. Sometimes when the hurt is still too close, we tend to lash out or say things we regret later. Think through your blog writing and take care not to do more harm.

  8. Be aware that there are certain stages in your life when blogging is not a good option for you: Once you start a blog, do you have to maintain it forever? Some do, but most people don’t. Your blog is a reference point in your life as you share your opinions and knowledge at this time in your life. Sometimes life will take priority over your blog and other times your blog will take priority over your life. Find a balance between the two, but if you can’t and you have to stop blogging, stop. You may not always blog, and you may not always blog about the same things, but go with the flow and know that not all blogs last forever and blogs evolve over time.
  9. If you stop blogging, don’t burn your bridges: If you make the decision to stop blogging, don’t make a big deal about it. The more you publicize your quitting, the harder it will be to return if you choose. Don’t burn your blogging bridges. A note on your site that says you are taking a vacation or time out is fine. If it’s permanent, fine. If it isn’t, you can pick up where you left off, no harm done. Always leave your options open.
  10. Don’t blog just because your friends blog: Again, just because everyone else is blogging, you don’t have to blog. If you do, do it because you want to blog. Do it because you have something to say and you love writing.
  11. Don’t be bullied, coerced, or co-opted into blogging about a specific topic: You choose what you blog about. You don’t have to blog about something because everyone else is. You don’t have to blog about something because you are told to or challenged. Don’t let commenters or other bloggers pressure you into writing, commenting or responding to their comments if you don’t want to. There are a lot of mean spirited bloggers out there, many using flames and trolling to attract traffic to their sites. If you don’t want to play the game, don’t. It’s your choice.
  12. Don’t blog about it unless you can prove it: Question your sources. Don’t blog about it unless you can prove it or stand by your claim, or be willing to ask forgiveness when proven wrong. Blogs are becoming sources for news, but not all blogs are reliable news sources. In fact, not all news sources are reliable. Check your sources before you make a claim to make sure what you claim on your blog is true. Don’t spread rumors and don’t tell lies. Verify when you can, and when you can’t, tell your audience of your doubts, or don’t share the information at all.
  13. Stop blogging when there is no return on your investment: Just as with your investments, stop blogging when your investment in blogging gets little or no return. If it doesn’t “feel good”, you’ve run out of things to write, or it is consuming your time and energy away from “better” or more important things, stop blogging. If you are blogging to make money and expending more time and energy than the income you get from blogging, stop blogging. Find another way to make money. When what you put into blogging exceeds what you get out of it, stop.
  14. Don’t risk your safety when blogging: Don’t steal other’s works. Don’t let others steal your work. Don’t spam or comment spam, and don’t encourage comment spam to exist. Do not blog about something that could get you arrested or worse, unless you are blogging to save the many and fully understand the risks. Take care when blogging against your employer or any other associates. Blogging can be dangerous as words can be used as weapons. Maintain your privacy, but also take care with your words.
  15. Bored with blogging, stop blogging: If you are bored with blogging, or bored with what you are blogging about, or your blog writing bores you, it bores your readers. Stop blogging and find something else to do.

Remember, blogging is for everyone, but not everyone should be blogging.

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23 Comments

  1. Posted January 27, 2007 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I hope this isn’t a hint you’re giving us about your future as a blogger!

  2. Posted January 27, 2007 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I have a question about your suggestion #2. I’ve started blogging recently, and do enjoy it a lot, but I don’t always have time to write for my blog. Most of the other articles on blogging recommend to stick to the same schedule for making a post: daily, every other day, weekly, etc. But what if sometimes I have time to post daily, and other times I don’t, wouldn’t it annoy my readers/subscribers if they got used to daily posts and then I skip a day or two?
    Thank you.

  3. Posted January 27, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    All this talk of how many posts is enough to post within a specific time schedule is only for those who are spending more time turning their blog into a business than blogging for the joy of it.

    Post when you want, how you want, and at your schedule, if you want to continue blogging. If you are blogging with a blog host that says “you must post X number of posts within X time period of the blog will be shut down”, I’d say that’s a good schedule to follow.

    Other than that, do it when you want and let the rest take care of itself.

    Unless, you are blogging for business. Then, depending on the type and style of business, and your audience demands, one to five times a week is generally good.

  4. Posted January 27, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Great post, especially #6. I see folks destroy their reputation online every day by flaming others. This is a permanent record of your thoughts… keep the thoughts out that you don’t want people to read forever.

  5. Posted January 27, 2007 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a great article.

    It’s interesting how blogs devolve to del.icio.us links and memes after a while, and I think that’s because of #4.

    #7 is very important as well, blogging your way through issues in your personal relationships can help you work through them yourself, but can totally backfire when the other person reads them.

  6. Posted January 27, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    These are very sound points. Such good reminders. Some of them not even reminders, more, “Hey, Have You Thought About This?!”

    I really appreciated reading them.

  7. Posted January 27, 2007 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Even I dont like “Your blog is great!” comments on my blog (ussualy I delete it :)), this time I have to say – Your blog is excellent! :)) I read it for last few hours, lots of helpful things and constructive comments. Btw., I stop to blog frequently when I realize that I spend more time on (voluntary) bloging that on business, I start to blog because I want to improve my organization, communication and writig skills, but its easy to get addiction to blogging. (ps. sorry for english grammar :))

  8. Posted January 27, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Interesting.

    I’ve taken time out in the past as well, which can help trigger some greater focus on the when, what, how and why of blogging. Nicely written.

  9. Becca White
    Posted January 27, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised no one has pointed out that you’ve contradicted yourself.

    The first sentence reads:

    Blogging isn’t for everyone, and everyone doesn’t need to blog.

    Then you last sentence reads:

    Remember, blogging is for everyone, but not everyone should be blogging.

    Thanks for writing this article Lorelle, it made some good points, especially #6.

    B. White

  10. Posted January 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Some of my best blog posts are written because I was emotional. I guess it depends on what your blog is about. To quote some a friend told me once about the way I blog is that I tend to overedit my own words until it becomes unnatural. When I stopped waiting to post and just post instead, I found out that it sounded better, aside from the grammatical and on occasion spelling mistakes.

    So my rule to add to the list is “Don’t blog when you can’t find the words to say.”

  11. Posted January 27, 2007 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    re: comment #2 – If you can post a lot one day and none for a week later… learn how to use the future publishing feature…

    I found the contradiction funny as well… but I think I see what was trying to be said…. blogs are for everybody (as readers), but being a blogger isn’t.

    Good suggestions overall. Feel free to insert any other “extra activity” in place of blogging.

  12. Posted January 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    One thing I would add, is that if someone decides to end a blog, don’t just let it fade away – consider selling it. There is an increasing market for buying websites, especially if good content and readership has been built up. Your blog may be worth more than you think.

  13. Posted January 29, 2007 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    this is a really great article…keep up the great work ;)

  14. Posted January 29, 2007 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    there is much wisdom in your advice. thanks.

  15. iagreewithme
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I am glad you blogged about blogging. I actually do not agree with a lot of your points, but hey, that’s what blogging is about — your own opinion about interesting topics. I personally feel that a blog is like a journal only it is in cyberspace so except for that fact that millions of people could read it (if you are Dooce) it is a personal expression of your life, thoughts ideas etc… If your blog is boring, then it won’t be read so it will die its own death anyway and if you blog for yourself and with the hope that maybe someone somewhere might read it, then who cares if it’s boring because it is just your own thoughts. Nobody makes anybody read a blog. Therefore blog away bloggers!

  16. Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    This is a great article, and I hope that it reaches a wide and receptive audience. Often times I’ve seen some great blogs degenerate for some of the very reasons mentioned here.

  17. Eric
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t worry that much about post frequency. I prefer to concentrate on quality, and only get two or three posts up a month. In an ideal world I would like get one medium length post (around 500 words) up per week. Any more than that I think would hurt the quality of my writing. My philosophy is, if people enjoy your blog they will come back regardless of your posting schedule, although some kind of consistency is much less confusing for them.

  18. risa
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I blog about the many culinaries on the city where I live now: Bandung, Indonesia.
    I also blog about some Geological stuffs.
    Its been fun! I hope THAT is the purpose of my blogging =)
    Nice post, Lorelle! And a cute name (Lorelle), too, I say =)

  19. Posted February 19, 2011 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I know this is an older post, but I found it valuable, Lorelle! I feel a lot of pressure, with more than one blog, and like commenter #2, I worry about readers getting disappointed when I don’t blog for a while – no matter how many readers I have, or don’t have.

    I thought #13 was excellent – getting a return, any return on your investment. I want to consider that one further.

  20. Max Chau
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes. You are very right. This post is really helpful.
    It doesn’t like the others talking about why you shouldn’t stop blogging, but point out many that why and how should you stop blogging. Excellent.
    My purpose of blogging is to make some money and get experience of ‘professional blogging’. However, due to my studying, I really can’t find good time to write posts. I also have to spend a day or two trying to come up with a single post. Blogging is not for me!!
    I might think of putting the blog into my own domain, cut the loss and stop the domain name. Just left myself a backdoor to reopen it :)

    • Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      You’ve just listed a ton of good reasons why you should “stop” blogging, at least seriously. If you are going to school, then put all your energy in that direction and make your blog be either personal or very professional, a virtual resume whichever path you choose. As for making money professionally, this is NEVER a reason to start blogging. All the experts in the bloggy world will tell you to blog your passion first, then, after a year or three, consider monetizing it, but don’t go into it for the money alone. As you have experienced, it’s a full time job and without the passion behind it, it’s a dead end. Get yourself a parking spot on the web to preserve the domain and leave it, or integrate it with your social web stuff and just let it auto populate. Glad to know that you have given this some thought and realized that not everyone should be blogging, at least at every moment of their lives. There are times to blog, and times to do other things.

  21. Posted May 19, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I don’t agree with most of the above.

    I blogged when I didn’t have a purpsoe, I blogged when I was out of money, I blogged because others were blogging…

    I blog even more when I’m emotional. This makes the blog more surreal. It is like writing. Without emotions blogs are like words churned out by some software.

    I blog even tough there is no ROI. Blog is not for making money, blog is for self expression as well.

    I blog more when I’m bored ;) There is no such thing as bored with blogging. When you are bored, blog on “How to get bored”…

    “Don’t blog about it unless you can prove it” – I agree with this. I normally avoid commenting on others, personally or professionally. Even if I’ve to do I always make sure that I’ve got myself covered.

    If someone follows all of above points suggested by you then he will be blog-dead.

    Keep blogging folks!!!

    • Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m thrilled you kept blogging through all of this, but let’s not discredit any of these excuses for others. These excuses might seem insignificant to you, and for me, they aren’t enough, but it takes one straw to break someone’s creative back, which is why this is such an important topic to talk about. If we acknowledge these things, it helps us to make the decision to quit or keep on blogging.


80 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  57. [...] recommend How to Survive the Loss of a Love for bloggers dealing with the decision to stop blogging or to sell their [...]

  58. [...] to Ask Yourself; 29 reasons you need to stop blogging right now; Why Bloggers Stop Blogging; How to Know When to Stop Blogging; Stop Blogging and Get to Work; etc. The tract “What Everyone Should Know About Blog [...]

  59. [...] Marcia’s post about the deleterious effects of blogging, I found an article entitled “How to Know When to Stop Blogging,”  So all of us new to the blogging experience just need to find some balance.  If that [...]

  60. [...] opinions. If you can do better, ask yourself why you aren’t. Your answer might be that it is time to stop blogging. Or a kick in the blogging butt to do [...]

  61. [...] on WordPress has a post about How to Know When to Stop Blogging. Blogging isn’t for everyone, and everyone doesn’t need to blog. There are times when you [...]

  62. [...] Lorelle on WordPress: How to Know When to Stop Blogging [...]

  63. [...] I think that everyone should have a blog. But as Lorelle mentions in her article "How to Know When to Stop Blogging", "Remember, blogging is for everyone, but not everyone should be blogging." [...]

  64. [...] site you link to now or in the past could be abandoned at any time. How would you know? And what impact does that have on your readership and [...]

  65. [...] quit. Not forever, just long enough to walk away and find your bloggy spirit again. Then come back, recharged and [...]

  66. [...] time ago, Lorelle did a post on when to stop blogging (by the way – if you don’t know who Lorelle is, shame on you.  She has forgotten more [...]

  67. [...] How to Know When to Stop Blogging (Lorelle on WordPress) [...]

  68. [...] There are many reasons and signs for when it is time to quit blogging. Here are the ones I can think of: when it is no longer fun (or profitable) when it’s getting boring when you don’t have time when you can’t think of anymore original content no one reads your posts any more [...]

  69. [...] How to Know When to Stop Blogging [...]

  70. [...] is a fantastic, absolutely phenomenal article about blogging, and it’s main theme is: have a purpose. That’s the main reason [...]

  71. [...] is a fantastic, absolutely phenomenal article about blogging, and it’s main theme is: have a purpose. That’s the main reason [...]

  72. [...] discipline, organization skills, communication skills, and research and writing skills”, writes Lorelle on WordPress. Time and energy are important to get a blog going and many would say that they stopped blogging [...]

  73. [...] How to know when to stop blogging [...]

  74. [...] How to Know When to Stop Blogging [...]

  75. [...] How to Know When to Stop Blogging [...]

  76. [...] Wo aber sind sie nun hin, die Autoren ohne Blogs? Die Frage ist leicht beantwortet: Man zieht um zu wordpress.com, Blogger, Tumblr oder – im allerübelsten Fall – Twitter. Ist man allerdings bei letzterem angelangt, kann man’s eigentlich gleich sein lassen. Vielleicht aber nimmt man sich unter Bloggern doch zu Herzen, was Lorelle Van Fossen in einem ihrer letzten Artikel gefragt hat: „Warum bloggt man überhaupt“? Die Referenz auf einen Vorgängerartikel könnte nicht passender sein: Wann weiß man, dass man mit dem Bloggen aufhören soll? [...]

  77. […] How to Know When to Stop Blogging and When the Burden of Support is Too Great: I’ve been so deeply saddened over the years of watching great bloggers and program developers decide to stop their work and do something else. I’ve seen brilliant writers and coders get burned out and up for so many reasons, often at the drop of a nasty-placed comment or blog post. Others, just overworked, losing their enthusiasm and interest. […]

  78. […] “How to Know When to Stop Blogging,” I wrote 15 things to consider when deciding whether or not it is time to stop blogging. […]

  79. […] How to Know When to Stop Blogging « Lorelle on WordPress […]

  80. […] 7. Know When to Say Good-Bye. Nothing lasts forever as this includes your blog. Here is a great blog about ending a blog, How to Know When to Stop Blogging. […]

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