Done With Blogging? How to Let Your Blog “Die” Gracefully

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Our lives change, and we move on, but what accountability do we have to our readers when we decide to stop blogging? Should our abandoned blogs be a frozen in time, a bit of a referenced graveyard for our blogging past, or should they just completely go down?

Tommy Ton, the popular street style photographer, recently ended his Jak & Jil blog this past September, which now redirects to TommyTon.com, a simplified portfolio site for a small capsule of his work, leaving it quite ambiguous as to whether he will blog again, or even continue to do this kind of photography. Stylebytes, a popular personal style/lifestyle blog by a gal in Norway named Agathe had ceased being updated in 2007 (it's now no longer live), without nary an explanation to readers as to it happening, or why. This invoked readers to seek her out and try to find an explanation, as Sally from Queenie and the Dew writes, readers posted such comments on her site such as “I check out her site twice a day to see whether she is back,” “I got so crazy over her whereabouts that I even thought about a Facebook group on finding her,” and “She seemed like a genuinely caring person and it seems so out of character that she would leave her readers hanging like this.”

Court + Hudson, a personal style/DIY/fashion/lifestyle blog by Christine White, decided to keep her blog live while signing off with an eloquent final post, explaining her feelings and decision to cease writing to the site, as well as leaving links to find her on social media and email.  An outpouring of comments came from readers,expressing sadness that White will not continue on, however overall understanding and completely respecting her decision.  One reader, Clara, writes, “”To start living my life with no other intention than simply being present.” Wow- could not have said it better myself. This is such a beautiful and honest post, Christine and I truly admire your decision. Bravo girl.”

There are various ways to end your blog, and a myriad of reasons, both personal and professional, to do so. Some of my favorite sites that I've discovered through IFB have “died,” which has certainly left me sad by the loss of them in this space, but also leaves my pondering as to how I would do it, if this is a decision that I would eventually make.

I find it hard to take down a site in which you've literally shed so much time, energy, and creativity into, however I can also understand the concept of making a completely fresh start for yourself by removing the blog completely from reach.
I couldn't help but ask some of my respected peers in the blogging community for their input when it comes to closing down a blog; here's what they had to say:

Ashley Robison, Dramatis Personae

“I'm on what I call a “long sabbatical” from my site. While I've posted occasionally this year, it's certainly not a priority. I'd been feeling burned out for years, and my enthusiasm had waned a lot, so for those close to me, I don't think this break came as a surprise.  There are times I think it'd be easier to cancel my domain & hosting package and keep the $11 a month, but I realize it's also seven years of work; it's a testament to carrying on a regular project, serves as a portfolio of work, and honestly – still earns me a little income from affiliate links! I spoke with all of my networks about my break, to allow them the opportunity to end our partnership if they felt it was best. All of them agreed to stay on for the time being.Over the years though, I've also started and ended blogs entirely! Letting go of the domain, deleting all of the content, etc. I think it was always the pressure of keeping up multiple blogs, and realizing that I don't always need to separate blogs in order to share a certain niche of content.”

Lee-Ann Hodgekins, The Perfume Expert

“If I ever were to stop writing articles for ThePerfumeExpert.com I would definitely never delete it completely. Instead I would add a short side note on the homepage, or a short post at the top, explaining that this blog is no longer active just as to not mislead the readers. However, I would also add that readers should feel encouraged to sift through the material and get out of it all they can. I would then recommend some other resources or active blogs that they can go to for more current information.”

Dina Fierro, eye4Style

“Over the past few years, I’ve seen countless bloggers (some loved, some less so!) come and go – some have handled it thoughtfully and gracefully in a final, goodbye post, while others have quietly exited, leaving me wondering if they would ever publish again. As both a reader and also marketer, I appreciate the former – it feels appropriately respectful to the relationship that I as a reader have with that blogger.”

Bryce Gruber, The Luxury Spot

“I remember when BettyConfidential sort of just stopped existing for a minute; they fell off, died, and even when they were reborn, I think most of the Internet forgot about them. Too bad; they used to have fun content! Meanwhile, Betty should've told people something like, “we are redesigning” or “gathering our thoughts” so people weren't just left in the dark of the Internet.”

What do you think? What would you do?

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

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15 Responses

  1. Rachel

    I’ve blogged at my food and travel blog solidly for 5 and a half years and it is my business, so I can’t see it ever ending. Evolving, yes, but I don’t think I’d ever stop posting.

    However, for about 2 years I did write a beauty blog called The Glossy Guide and I’ve kept the page up without an explanation. Honestly, I just did not have enough time to post, and I’d not know a reason if I wanted to write an explanation. And I have thought about reviving it, so I don’t want to do anything too permanent.

    Reply
  2. Steff

    I don’t think bloggers necessarily have ‘accountability’ to their readers when they decide to jump ship, but it doesn’t take much to leave a final post. As to whether you eventually delete the blog totally or not, I think it depends on the content. I blog about designers, not my outfits, so I’m happy to leave up my first blog so people can still find out about those designers. If it was all about me, I’d likely delete it completely (after saving a copy, of course). I didn’t stop blogging completely but changed platforms, so it’s a different situation, but I wrote a final post on that first blog to indicate that I had moved. It’s interesting to see how much traffic that first blog still gets (and sends over to my new site) after more than a year. Knowing that, I’m happy I wrote a final post. Otherwise that first blog would definitely seem like a bit of a graveyard.

    Reply
  3. MonicaP

    I’d write a good bye page. I think bloggers owe it too their followers to explain their departure ( if you are a respectable person ).

    I’ve seen youtubers leave and cancel their account, then resurface as bloggers .. no explanation .. just a ‘hey, I write a blog now’.

    Monica, http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    Reply
  4. Jessica

    I wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye in a final post. I’m not sure if I would keep my blog online after that. Maybe if I created some really helpful posts that people could still use when stumbling upon my blog.

    Reply
  5. Raivyn dK

    I’ve had MANY blogs come and go over the years… some I deleted [remember Livejournal?], others are still floating around in cyberspace.

    When I moved INFEKTED [ http://inf3kted.com ], my style blog, from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, I blogged at the new URL as I normally would, and left a couple notices on my old blog informing readers of the move..

    I feel that if you had spent all this time writing and tending to your readers, you owe it to them [after all, they ARE taking time out of their day to read your stuff..] to let them know that you have decided to quit blogging, and explain what you will do next. If the situation is too personal to you to share the details with others, you don’t have to tell them everything- a simple ‘goodbye’ will do.. people just want closure.

    http://inf3kted.com

    Reply
  6. Molly Farrell-Savage

    Very interesting. Even as a brand new blogger, I don’t see myself blogging forever or even for more than a few years. Right now, it’s all about gaining a little exposure in the fashion world and meeting people who share similar interests. It’s a fun and productive way to pass time but it is time consuming and I may not have time for it when I go to college.

    http://life15juicy.wordpress.com

    Reply
  7. Brittany Ann

    I like Lee-Ann’s response – add a small side note to the homepage, but keep the blog online. It takes very little time and is courteous to readers. If you leave the blogsophere for personal reasons there’s no obligation to tell the world what they are – just let people know you won’t be updating. And for the most part, I believe they should stay online. We don’t remove an author’s books from the library just because they’ve stopped writing. It seems strange to me, and possibly inconsiderate if you had a decent-sized readership who might feel they’ve lost a “friend” and would enjoy your archives.

    However, just like TV shows that run a few seasons past their prime…knowing when to call it a day is important. It’s better for everyone to leave on a positive note than simply go through the motions. You can witness this on certain popular blogs that have been chugging along for years. They’ve lost their passion and thus their online charisma, the thing that pulled us to them in the first place.

    http://www.fineryandmadness.com

    Reply
  8. Bike Pretty

    If you post enough evergreen content, then you never have to say goodbye. Your work will continue to be helpful and new people will encounter it.

    It’s understandable why a blogger would lose track of time and forget to write a final post. Perhaps she is still hoping to publish something new, right up until the bitter end.

    My pet peeve is when bloggers return after a break and start off saying, “sorry I haven’t posted for a while!” For some reason that feels too presumptuous.

    Reply
  9. Kali

    I definitely think writing a quick goodbye post is important. One of the very first blogs I feel in love with was Closet Therapy. As her life changed (marriage, babies, moving) she switched it to more of a lifestyle blog called Sheenn, but then stopped blogging over a year ago with no goodbye/hiatus post. I still check it everyday in the hopes that she’ll come back.

    Like Brittany Ann said above, we don’t remove authors books from the library just because they stop writing. As a fan, I definitely still want access to my favorite blogger’s material. Otherwise, it does kind of feel like losing a friend without any “memories” to look back on.

    Reply
  10. Anastasia

    I wouldn’t hurry with this decision. What is you delete a blog and after a while will feel differently, with new energy and ideas but would have to start from scratch? What if it’s just a burnout you can overcome soon? I guess you can see the difference between a burnout and a well-calculated desicion only with a “cold head”, so I would give myself some time before pushing “delete”.

    http://fashionpeekaboo.com

    Reply
  11. Jennifer

    I’m glad I came across this article. Even though I’m a relatively new blogger, I’ve wondered how I would stop, when(not if) I do. Thanks

    Reply