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How to Restart a Dead or Dormant Blog

Got an old dead blog that you want to restart? In this guest post David Peralty of College Crunch shares some tips on how to get it going again!

Over the course of time, you might have left one of your blogs, or maybe your only blog to die off. You stopped posting, thought you would come back to it and never did. Days, weeks, months and maybe even years have since passed with no new content added to the site. It still gets a little bit of traffic, one or two visitors here or there, and might even have a few RSS subscribers.

You have recently decided to start posting once again, but do you restart the blog you let lay dormant for so long, or start new and fresh, either on the same domain or a new one? There are many questions, problems and issues to be worked out before re-launching, or restarting writing about your passion. Some people just charge in without planning, only to realize later on that they’ve done things the wrong way, and end up leaving the blog dormant once again.

Keep the Domain

My first word of advice would be to keep the domain you started writing on. If your topic is going to be the same, then you have many advantages here. Firstly is domain age, as a domain gets older it is inherently more trusted by search engines. This isn’t always the case though as massive additions of new content quickly can lead to a site getting a temporary negative effect on its search engine results.

The second advantage is back links. Previously, if people linked to your site, those links would still be relevant, could lead to traffic, and are also great for search engine rankings. Getting new links on a new domain might be more difficult, and so being able to keep the ones you’ve already secured is always advantageous.

The last reason, I’ll put forth is branding. No doubt there will be people that will recognize the brand, and have a more instant attachment to you, your site and what you are doing. Branding online is only getting more difficult as the number of blogs online increases and everyone competes for attention.

Note: If there is too much baggage related to the domain, and you just don’t feel motivated to revamp and refocus on an old site, then sometimes moving as far away from the “failed” project as possible is the best solution. I wouldn’t recommend leaving the domain behind unless you come to this point emotionally though.

Start Fresh But…

As for content concerns, I have always been one to start fresh as I feel the baggage of the past weighing down on my current pursuits. I also think it looks odd when a blog has an archive with a big blank period where there was no posting. This might not matter to you, and if not, then carry on as normal, ignore the break, and get back into the swing of things as quickly as possible.

For those of you that don’t want to show off a huge break in content, export your old content, archive your favourite posts, or those posts that were most commented on and repost them on the refreshed blog as new content. If you keep the same permalink structure, or know how to edit htaccess files like a ninja, you can make sure that anyone that had linked to specific articles can still find them.

This method also brings content to the attention of your new audience that you are building up, as people rarely dig through the archives of blogs, unless they are truly interested and invested in what the author had to say.

Find the Joy and Consistency

Usually people quit blogging on a site because they stop enjoying it or because they fall out of the habit. Set a publishing schedule that isn’t too taxing, and find ways to enjoy writing on your re-launched blog.

Take some small comfort in knowing that we have all been there, and that life can get in the way of building a successful blog. Remember that you can always re-launch, restart, and refocus your efforts as time allows.

Restarting a blog can seem daunting, difficult or frustrating, but the excitement in doing it successfully and watching it blossom is exhilarating.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Yes, keeping the domain for age will help and also keeping the backlinks. If you use WP, then a redirection plugin will remove the need to play with the htaccess. ;)

    You might explain that personal stuff did not allow you to post to explain the large break.

    For example, when I’m about to update AuctionSiteWriter, I have less time for my blog(s). So, it’s normal that I don’t post for 1-2 weeks. When I’m ready, I post about the update and explain that it was the reason for the small break. It’s the same when I update my ebook.

  2. Tess says:

    I think your point near the end about setting a publishing schedule which isn’t too taxing is important, too. Probably the most important thing is consistency. My posting schedule has been patchy recently and I’ve noticed much more drop-off than if I just publish less frequently, but predictably.

  3. Melvin says:

    Yeah I completely feel the same way like you do.. I used to have a basketball blog which I completely feel I enjoy posting at. The site grew slowly but steadily and I think I have monetized it at its highest potential. Then I kinda stopped touching it until I have almost completely stopped in it. Of course I continued keeping the domain. Still posting twice a month. Right now I have seen the traffic nosedived. But still I think I will enjoy promoting it again and having it back to where it used to be.

  4. Farrhad says:

    This will really help me, as i have one such project :)

  5. Frugal Dad says:

    I have two such projects that I am looking to revive in the New Year. Thanks for this advice. I am looking forward to reposting some of the more popular articles as new content to start afresh, rather than have the long lag period in the middle of my archives.

  6. Shevonne says:

    Great article. It’s a good idea to keep your old sites. This is the first blog entry I have read to discuss the why.

  7. Velvet Blues says:

    Oh yes, I always hold onto old domains. They definitely are very valuable. And when you do redevelop an old domain, you have a nice little head start. (ie. no sandbox effect)

  8. Blog Expert says:

    I really like some of the ideas there. However, I think it would be better just to take some of the ideas from your better contents at the beginning of your blog and just build off of them. I wouldn’t want content to be too similar.

  9. Andrea Hill says:

    Very timely post! I didn’t “stop” blogging, but I’ve decided to refocus and rebrand. I’ve been trying to decide if I should stick with my existing URL (a /blog off my primary domain), change to a new subdomain (closer to my targeted branding), or buy a new domain altogether. You comments on age of domain and whatever few links that may be floating out there have helped me make my decision!

    thanks!

  10. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to keep a posting schedule that isn’t too taxing on my life. Since my posts incorporate snippets and stories of my life, my schedule gives me time to actually experience it.

  11. redwall_hp says:

    I would recommend not trashing your archives if you can help it. I’ve subscribed to a few blogs that did that. Needless to say I wish they hadn’t, as great content is now gone.

  12. LaMystique says:

    This is exactly what happened to me. Life got in the way, my interests changed, blah blah blah. I have since started to try to revive my old blog. What is cool about trying o do this is you have all the experiences from before but many time with a better understanding than you may have had before.

    It’s nice to know that it is doable, and I now have a more positive attitude that what I’m wanting to do can be achieved. Now I need to work on the scheduled posting thing. Thanks.

  13. DJ says:

    Going to get back in life my dormant blogs.

  14. Jenny Wells says:

    I’m still not clear from this article whether I can build on an existing successful url and blog if I want to change the content focus. My url, teapartygirl.com definitely communicates a certain brand I feel “done” with, but wonder if I can capitalize on its success to move on to my next venture. Any thoughts?

  15. Tim Bowden says:

    It would be interesting to know whether you would redesign the blog at all? A sort of out with the old and in with the new mentality. Could this be used as a way of making old site visitors thinking they are visiting a new blog?

    After reading the comments on this post I think I can safely say I need to post more regularly. Once or twice a week is not enough.

    Hope you all had a good xmas, happy new year!!!

  16. Melissa says:

    I have another blog that I pay no attention to but still gets some visitors (like you said…here and there), makes a tiny bit of Google Adsense revenue, and gathers names for a list that I keep. However, I feel that I have a good domain name and that it’s niche enough to get more traffic if I start posting regularly instead of relying on RSS feeds. Thanks for the “kick in the butt” post; I may have to start posting again to it!

  17. Takumi86 says:

    Nice to see this post coming . Sure a lot of people has lost their interest in blogging because their blog doesn’t get enough traffic and comment which is obvious. I feel really encouraged to change my domain after reading this.

  18. Graham says:

    Great information, and very timely, as I consider what to do with another blog I started some time ago.

  19. Klikrnet says:

    I leave quite a trail of neglected domains as a go along and this article shed new lights as to what I am going to do with those.

    Darren & David, thank you.

  20. Linda says:

    I agree with a fresh approach to the blog. If it didn’t work with the old formula why would it next time!

  21. Scott Mahler says:

    I have a blog on real estate and real estate appraisals that I haven’t posted on in about six months. It’s still a hot topic, and probably will be for a while, so I was considering going back to it. The problem is that I recently launced a blog to be a companion to my website for my website development business. That is my real passion, so do you suggest just focusing on that?

    http://www.datexmedia.wordpress.com

  22. J.D. Meier says:

    There’s nothing like a fresh start.

    It always seems like the key to a great blog is passion. The pattern I see is when people blog about their passion, they tend to stick with it. When they blog what they think they *should*, they stop.

    Sometimes, rather than swap the blog or domain, it’s possible to rehydrate the passion, just by tuning the tag line or purpose. A few words can be miles apart.

  23. Zsolt Balla says:

    I think finding the reason why you stopped blogging is a key element. If you can’t find the reason or you can find it but can’t make it go away, there’s a huge chance that you’ll stop your blog again, once your renewal-enthusiasm fades away…

  24. Dan Briffa says:

    I think a good way to get your dormant blog is going on again is to actively promote it, do soem article marketing and also come to interesting blogs like this and post and leave your link so that pople can check it out.

    Dan

    http://www.DanBriffa.com

  25. Finding your blogging rhythm seems to be really important when it comes to blogging. You can have different rhythms for different blogs and it can even change over time.

    When you get a feel for how often you like to post and how long your posts feel good being then you can start to stick to it. This provides great motivation to keep you running. That’s what I’ve found.

  26. alwayslovely says:

    right post at the right time for me. lately i have been thinking of what to do with the first domain i bought. (http://www.GetStartedWithInternet.com) it has been dormant for quite sometime.
    insightful and beneficial for me.
    Thanks!

  27. ethan says:

    Truth be told this post could not have come at a better time! I just relaunched an old blog of mine today, and plan to do the same with another one in a week. Thanks for the tips!

  28. mangatoread says:

    Nice tips..
    I have 3 dead blog..
    The tips will help me to restart it..

  29. ihateher says:

    agree. Keep that domain. I love my all old domain. When i restart again, i get better PR and alexa rank. With that, i can make money easily.

  30. Ben Tortora says:

    Agree with a few points on here, especially about not just throwing up masses of content over night. Every client that I have that does this always gets burnt.

    I think times like this helps to have some kind of email newsletter list of regular readers. If you get about 25% of your original readership back it is a great start.

  31. reviews says:

    Man, what a well set-up website!

  32. Puspanjali says:

    Hey David……… I had stopped posting in my new blog of 6 months for quite a few weeks due to various reasons.In the coming new year I want to do exactly what you have pointed in your post and get back
    to some serious blogging.
    I think we each go through such periods occasionally.
    But it is always good to be back doing what we really enjoy.
    Thanks for the wonderfully informative article.

  33. Mike Power says:

    Believe me, nobody cares whether you had a period when you didn’t post. If your posts are worth keeping then just keep them! If for no other reason than for your own sake.
    Very few of them will ever get read by anyone else anyway, so don’t fret too much. :)

  34. Barb D. says:

    The reason I stopped blogging was because I found out later that we are not allowed to monetize wordpress.com sites. I didn’t know that at first. Someone told me it would be very difficult to export my material to another location that I could monetize, so I thought I’d better hold off on posting until I’m ready to move things. Is this difficulty really true? And can I keep the first part of my domain name (the part before “wordpress.com”) if I move the site?

  35. CK says:

    What a timely article !!! I was writing consistently and suddenly tapered off….

    I’m now sufficiently charged up after reading your post , especially those memorable words ‘but the excitement in doing it successfully and watching it blossom is exhilarating.”

    thanks again Darren ! Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year ! May your tribe increase !

  36. Barb D., I think you can export the database to your own domain. If you domain was not taken(first part), get it and import the database back into it.

    For those that have dead wp blogs(but not a flagship blog), you can use a service that will let you add third party content. Just click on my name of this comment to read about my review.

  37. I enjoyed your information…I`m fairly new and I`m afraid if I don`t post daily, I will lose the habit. It`s so easy not to post!

    Thanks for your advice!

  38. yes a great post

    its def true, consistent blogging is the key!

    my blog gets a consistent flow of around 100 people a day and its still very new, ive got this by using a few great resources including twitter, youtube, and article marketing

    above all make sure u are an active blogger and your interacting after all this is the purpose of a blog!!

    to your success

    paul

  39. Kat says:

    Thanks for a very timely post .. my blog is only 3 months old and the feedback so far is good so it’s definitely not dead. However, I am planning to re-brand just a little in terms of the way I write my content and connect to my readers.

    I’ve been writing on how to get into great shape but think I have not been making it personal enough, so I plan to weave more of my own experiences and those of my clients in.

    This is a big shift in direction so I almost considered starting fresh, but you’ve made me think twice, so thankyou!

  40. Jack says:

    I have this exact issue and have been mulling it over for months, with many aborted attempts. However, I think this could be the kick in the pants I need to really make something of that blog!

  41. ZuDfunck says:

    My advice shut ‘em all down!

    Too many damn blogs as it is…

    The artistic flow stops for a reason, time to move on.

  42. Kay Rennie says:

    Thanks for this. My site has morphed many times and I’m just about to move the current content to a new blog and reinvent the old one. I now think of it as a staging site. Just can’t let it go. Good to have the points you make to consider.

  43. uwak says:

    nice articles in the last month of this year 2008……thanks

  44. Clive says:

    My New Year resolution is to revamp, and sell off, my old dormant blogs so I can better concentrate on the money earners. Some auto-posting mixed with fresh content will help do that I hope.

    I think using a great new theme will also help 1) sell off the old and 2) generate fresh interest in those I’m choosing to hang on to.

    ‘Too many blogs, too little time’ can no longer be an excuse :-)

  45. Vesa says:

    Even if the topics and blogging in general are enjoyable, it’s sometimes temptingly easy not to pick up writing after a quieter period…But one just has to do it, if not for any other reason, then for the sake of consistency :)

    I guess this makes for a good New Year’s resolution; let’s go out and get the old blog(s) back on track!

  46. Timon Weller says:

    I think it is fine to just start posting again, I would not worry too much about if it has been dormant for years.. The question key now is why did you stop? And is it going to happen again, if no motivation then well…? Motivation is the key… If you are motivated now then yeah go for it…

  47. Preet says:

    yes a great post

    its def true, consistent blogging is the key!

    my blog gets a consistent flow of around 100 people a day and its still very new, ive got this by using a few great resources including twitter, youtube, and article marketing

    above all make sure u are an active blogger and your interacting after all this is the purpose of a blog!!

    to your success

    http://incomebyads.com
    http://www.merafaridkot.com

  48. Blogger V says:

    Keeping the domain surely helps.
    For me I started off this blog again I had many a things on this domain, tested a few things to learn many things, and finally ended up making this a tech blog.

    This is blog post is definitely motivating me to get things started again.
    Thanks.

  49. Great article and the first one discussing why one should keep the old dormant blogs. I myself had wondered in the past the sense of keeping such blogs but now I see better reasons to do so.

    Thanks

  50. Georjina says:

    This article was exactly what I needed. I have my blog on Blogger, since 2005 and for the past year just posted ‘if and when’ because it had been there so long.

    But this article has helped me decide to move it on it’s own doman (never did get around to pointing it to Blogger).

    New Year and a fresh start. Thanks much:)