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]