Thursday, June 12, 2014

Should you kill Bill (when Bill is your blog)?

 When is it time to pull the plug on your blog? 

In the words of a Lenny Kravitz song, "It Ain't Over Till It's Over."  But, how do you know when it's over?
Perhaps you've followed all the tips out there from expert bloggers, such as researching your content, carefully crafting your posts, using bold visuals, studying Google Analytics and more. You've carefully studied the most popular blogs in your area and even purchased books on the subject.  But all of this effort has been to no avail. 

So, when is it time to bid a fond (or not so fond) farewell?  Below are four signs of the apocalypse...of your blog.

Reason #1: No one cares.  


Your time is precious. There's no reason to spend several hours, or more, per day or even per week on a blog that is getting few views despite your repeated marketing efforts. According to Shanna Mallon, if you've been blogging consistently for "six months or a year and still don't have readers, something's wrong."

  Reason #2: Your passion is gone.
creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by renwest
 You, or your team, used to love blogging about your area of interest.  The ideas came fast and furious.  Now you struggle to come up with a post on a topic that hasn't been done to death. Your main goal is to finish the post and get it online--all of the joy has been sucked from the process. New blog posts are few and far between.

Reason #3: You can't remember why you blog.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by Flооd

Why did you begin your blog?
Do you remember? What were your goals (if any)?
For example: "I want to create a blog that addresses topic X and specifically helps Audience Y with related issues.  I will know my blog is successful when I hit 1,000 subscribers or 500 views daily, on average....OR when at least 10% of my customer referrals come from my blog.." are good, specific goals. Nicole Leigh Shaw, aka Ninja Mom, specifically advises would-be bloggers against seeking profits: "
Don’t do it for the money. So very few bloggers actually make a lot of money from blogging." Whatever your goals are, having some, period, is better than throwing a blog online hastily because "everyone else I know has one."

Reason #4:  It's time to start over.

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dirigentens
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dirigentens

"What, you want me to start ANOTHER blog?!" you ask. 
Well, yes and no.  It depends on your blog.
  Maybe the niche your old blog covered has cooled down considerably. 
Perhaps you've found a new passion.  
Or, you could take the bittersweet lessons from your previous blog and apply them to your new one.  Jeff Goins has an excellent post on problogger about how he traded one blog in for another, with great success. Maybe you want a break from all things blog-like.  That's OK, too. 

So have you decided to "Kill Bill"?  If so, don't give yourself a hard time about it--that is a waste of energy.  Note your mistakes for next time so that you don't repeat them. Then move on.

On the other hand, maybe you've decided to resuscitate your blog by changing the layout, arranging for guest posts, or cross-promoting it through other social networks.

Feel free to link to your (non-spammy) blog below, and cheers.

is a cross-collaborative initiative where Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff organize an annual social media conference and produce a peer-reviewed social media research journal. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. for the latest social media news, research, and more.

Yvonne is a TSMRI co-director and librarian
who likes old movies and new media.

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