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Should You Update Your Readers on Your Life Status?

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Right now, I’m in the process of moving from northeastern Pennsylvania to Virginia. The move could definitely be much worse – it’s about a 4 1/2 hour drive (I don’t know how those of you who have moved across the country did it). Still, I have a whole house of junk to tote from one state to another and the packing/driving/unpacking process takes more than a few days. Today is my “load the truck” day, so I’m about at the half-way point.

Because of my move, my blog work has suffered. I don’t have time for the super-long, thoughtful posts that I’m used to writing for my clients and on After Graduation (my personal blog), I haven’t posted on my normal schedule. It makes me wonder – should I update my readers as to why the blog is dormant at the moment?

I see posts like this all the time – “Sorry for not posting!” Usually they are laden with promises to start posting regularly again and more often than not they’re the most recent post on the site…and dated three months ago. I don’t like to see that kind of thing. On the other hand, I have a specific event in my life causing me to neglect my blog. I know when I’ll be back; it isn’t like I just have been pursuing other passions or whatnot.

I do think that if you post every single day (or multiple times per day), it makes sense to warn your readers when you’ll be away lest they think you gave up on the whole blogging thing. On After Graduation, I don’t post every day – I average one or two posts a week. On the other hand again (are we up to four hands now?), After Graduation is a very conversational blog. I talk to readers, make jokes, etc. so it wouldn’t be an out-of-place post to update my readers. If you run a corporate blog or a less conversational blog, that kind of post might be strange.

There are other options I guess. I could email my subscribers – they’re the ones that most care about my blog anyway, right? Maybe – but there are a lot of RSS subscribers who haven’t signed up for my mailing list. Or I could just continuously mention my move on social media sites (this is something I actually have been doing). My most loyal fans will know what’s going on, right? Maybe – but you know as well as I do that the stream passes by really quickly, so my tweets and status updates might get missed.

Right now, I think the best decision for me is to update people via social media, rather than on my blog. It just feels like the best decision. My blog is still young, and I don’t want to clog the archives with “sorry for being away” posts – once you do it the first time, I think it’s only fair to update your readers every time you’ll be away for a week or two. I regret not making time to schedule posts – I usually do, but my move date got pushed up (twice), so I just didn’t have the time. Can’t win ’em all.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic – should bloggers update readers on their lives? Have you done this kind of post on your own blog?

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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  • Anonymous

    Alli, It is a dilemma. I have found my self in this position more than once and I know I haven’t always handled it well. My blog is a personal blog and I don’t post every day, or every week for that matter. I recently had several deaths in the family and I too am preparing for a move and somehow my time is not my own for writing. I like how you addressed the difficulty and hopefully I can follow your example.

  • Kristi Hines

    Sometimes it might be a good idea. If people are used to you regularly replying to comments or coming to their sites, then having a quick update (maybe at the end of a scheduled post) let’s them know you’ll be away and may not get back to them immediately.

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