By Jennifer Chait
This has been a terrible week for me. My life got in the way about ten times over and as a result I’ve been a pretty poor excuse for a blogger. For instance:
- I haven’t come close to posting regularly nor did I even bother to contact anyone and tell them why.
- I didn’t surf new blogs or visit any of my usual blog haunts.
- I’ve sworn off social networking for the week.
- Plus I have no clue what’s going on in the world because I didn’t even read my feeds this week.
The kind of damage that I’ve likely experienced this week may include losing readers, losing feed subscribers, and missing news stories. Other damage a blogger can run into could be things like losing a blogging gig, having an editor become highly frustrated with you, and hitting a major blogging slump. None of the above is good news. However, there are some basic damage control techniques you can use when life gets in the way and you check out for a few days to a week.
- Be a reliable blogger almost all of the time: This is a tricky damage control method because this isn’t something you can implement on the fly. If you were a reliable blogger with plenty of readers before your life crisis, than you’ll bounce back quicker than a blogger who is flaky even when there’s no crisis.
- Plan ahead: Before you ever have a crisis make some emergency posts that you can use during times like this. I luckily had a back supply of posts for one blog I write which saved my butt this week.
- During your bad week check in with your editors and readers: I know, above I said that I did not check in, but no one said to be like me. Technically if you have an issue you should check in with your boss if you have a boss or editor and also leave a message at your blog or blogs for your readers that you’ll be back in a few days.
- Enlist the help of blogging friends: If possible ask some friends to help you out with a guest post or two. I’m bad at asking people for posting help because I’m ultra possessive of my blogs and my blog content. However, a smart blogger might be less anal and just ask for help. Chances are; that cool blogger you like, will do a stellar job guest posting at your blog.
- Go blog surfing: Once you do come back you’ll likely feel behind and want to make a lot of posts to make up for your absence. A better plan for damage control is to write one amazing post and then go visiting. Visit all the blogs you normally visit during a good week and leave comments. This lets people know you’re back. If they don’t know you’re back they won’t come visiting you. You could argue that people will know you’re back based on your feed but I wouldn’t rely on that. Many people still don’t subscribe to feeds and also it’s just nice to go visit your blog friends.
- Make your first few days back amazing: Try to write killer posts. This also may be a good time to pull out all the stops and hold a blog contest.
- Let people know you’re back for good: Barring a chain of insane events occurring hopefully you are back so let people know. The best way to do this is to say what’s coming up at the end of your post. Such as, “Later this week look for a great post on such and such” or “Stay tuned because…”
- Hit up your social networking haunts: Go by Digg or other like minded social sites and see what’s new. Visit some of your forums. Basically get back in the swing of web life.
- Catch up with the world: If you write a news related blog you should back read your feeds; at least a couple of days. You may have missed an ongoing story that your blog can still jump on.
Am I worried about my own bad week? Not too much. I love my blogs a lot and I’m normally a reliable blogger; I’m counting on this along with some heavy damage control to pull me through the next week and then the rest of December will be chill.
We all get sick or have bad weeks from time to time but it doesn’t mean we have to lose what we’ve worked so hard for at our blogs. What are some of your ideas for blog damage control when life gets out of control?