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When Should You Quit a Blog and Move On?

Over on Twitter last week @ChrisGuthrie asked me – ‘At what point should you quit a blog and move onto the next project?’

It is a good question and one that I’m not sure that there is any single answer for – however I can certainly talk about what has led me to quit some of my previous blogs. There have been a variety of reasons – in fact in most cases it was more than one reason that led me to quit a blog. The reasons included:

  1. Lack of Passion/Interest in the Topic – I went through a phase where I decided to choose topics to blog about that I thought would be profitable – rather than choosing things I had an actual interest in. After a few months of blogging on these topics I soon realize that I simply could not sustain them.
  2. Lack of Traffic – there have been a few instances where I started blogging on certain topics that I did have some interest in – but which didn’t attract traffic. In one case I think it was because the niche was too narrow and people just were not searching for the topic, in another instance there was so much competition in the niche it was difficult to break into but in other instances I think it was probably more to do with my lack of passion for the topic shining through (people can tell if your heart isn’t really in it.
  3. Lack of Profit – this one tends to flow out of a lack of traffic (which can flow out of a lack of passion….. see how they’re all linked?) but at times I’ve quit a blog simply because I couldn’t justify keeping it running for the amount of time I was putting into it.
  4. Lack of Engagement/Lack of Personal Satisfaction – one of the blogs that I quit a couple of years ago actually got quite good traffic (mainly from search engines) and actually was quite profitable – however I found the idea of developing a blog purely for search traffic to be quite un-stimulating and unsatisfying. The lack of reader engagement and the fleeting visits from visitors didn’t really leave me feeling I was doing much that was worthwhile – I so I let the blog die to create blogs that were not only profitable but also hopefully more engaging.
  5. Running out of Things to Say – this one relates to a few of the other reasons however is worth saying. I can recall one blog which I started which I simply couldn’t think of more than a handful of posts to write about. The niche was too narrow to really sustain it over the long haul.
  6. The life of the Niche Ends – one of the first profitable blogs that I developed (in partnership with another blogger) was one on the Athens Olympic games. While it was an amazing experience to blog about it and it was a very profitable time in the lead up to and during the games – the niche simply ended. We could have possibly extended it with blogs on future Olympics but in the end we felt we could do better by concentrating on different niches.

I’m certain that other bloggers will have quit blogs for other reasons (please share yours below).

Two Extra Thoughts

There’s two more things I want to throw into this discussion:

Don’t Quit Too Early – One thing I do want to emphasize is that I think many bloggers quit blogs too quickly. Not every blog will be hugely profitably or get loads of traffic – however those that do often take quite a few months (if not a year or two) to start reaching their potential.

In having talked to thousands of bloggers over the last 6 or so years I’ve found that most bloggers who quit blogs tend to do it in the first 2-3 months. While you can get a bit of an indication on some factors in this time (factors like your own passion for the topic, whether there’s much to say about the topic etc) it is certainly not long enough time to expect your blog to have reached its traffic potential.

It takes time to build a profile, to get ranked by search engines and to develop an archive of useful content. In my experience 3 months is just the tip of the iceberg of a blogs potential. My own blogs have not really ‘taken off’ for at least a year to 18 months after launch.

It is OK to Quit – The other balancing factor that I’d throw into the mix is that it is ok to quit a blog. I’ve talked to a number of bloggers over the years who ended up feeling trapped by their blogs. They realized early on that the blog wasn’t getting traction and that they might not have had a real passion in their topic – but because they’d been writing content every day for it for a period of time they felt guilty in giving up on it. As a result they continued to blog for years to come despite knowing that it probably wasn’t worth doing.

Hanging in there an giving a blog time to grow is one thing – but continuing to blog on a blog that you know deep down isn’t really going anywhere it probably not a wise thing. In this case I’d be encouraging a blogger to consider either ending their blog, hiring or partnering with someone to help them blog or even selling their blog – all of these things will enable you to move onto something else that perhaps is a better fit for where you are.

Tomorrow: How to Quit Your Blog

In my next post I’m going to continue this train of thought and share a few options from my experience on HOW to quit a blog.

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. dan says:

    When you don’t have anything to say, I guess it’s time to move on.

  2. Krista says:

    Great post. I did #4 successfully about 6 mo. ago. It took a few months to get Google page rank back up & traffic is still climbing, but it can be done. I found that my blog & interests were taking a specific direction, so wanted a domain name that would provide a better fit.

  3. Krista says:

    I apologize. My response is to your follow-up about ways to end a blog. #4 was Relaunch.

  4. George says:

    I don’t know I just can’t quit a blog, not my personal one anyway, no matter how much I know I should. It’s my pet and even when I have nothing to say, I just leave it at that and eventually my writing mood returns, and then I’m back in the game. Dunno, maybe it’s just me.

  5. Ms. Freeman says:

    Very good point-sometimes walking away from blogging sounds soooo welcoming, but has become a very addictive habit.

  6. D says:

    Great post. I’ve been guilty of that before; starting a blog and then quitting it too early.

    I always worry I’m going to run out of something to say, so every time I’m at work I keep a small notebook with me and when someone does something or makes me think of something, I write it down. In one shift at work I can think of at least 15 topics to write about for my blog.

  7. Pam says:

    To quit, or not to quit: that is the question.
    I think the most important thing is your passion about blogging or writing . Why should i quit if i am enjoying it!!! Money will always come eventually. Yes, sometimes i do not want to write any thing after 8 hrs of work, but my passion will always bring me back to the front of my computer, it is fun after all.
    I think many people fall into the trap of getting rich quick from blogging. It is possible but rarely.

    Patient and passion are the keys…..

  8. Modica says:

    Good job on this post! It’s nice to see somebody who knows what they’re writing about. I’ve quit several blogs. They can be quite time sinks.

  9. cylon says:

    I wonder the same thing sometimes, i will keep moving forward with my blog though ;). Thanks for the post.
    http://cylongaming.blogspot.com/

  10. KS Chen says:

    Yes, you are right! Don’t quit easily! We should give ourselves sometimes on blogging. We need to learn from others for blogging. If we really do not have any passion on blogging anymore, try to ask ourselves why we want to start blogging before this. Sometimes, we really need to refresh our passion on blogging.

  11. After quitting couple of websites, I’ve learned that I need to plan and prepare well before I start a project. These are the questions I will ask my self:

    1)Do I have that kind of passion and patience to do this?
    2)How much time am I willing to give in on this?

    I also set my self a goal to reach certain visits a day, for instance, I need to have 100 visitors everyday after 3 months.

  12. Hi guys,

    Running out of things to say would definitely be one of the reasons I would quit a blog and of course if you get bored.

    Kind regards,

    Sam
    X

  13. Alex says:

    I have been bloging for about two months now and I just seem to be having trouble coming up with content.
    It´s not that I don´t like the subject I chose it´s just that my ideas are all over the place and I struggle to find my unique voice when I feel like everything has been done before but ill keep trying until i find my style.

  14. Additional : When you’re reading too much blogging tips but not practicing one of them.

  15. Debbie says:

    Thank you for the encouraging support. I am a brand new blogger. I do not have any traffic yet but am working on building up some content. If you have any tips on how to get some initial traffic I would certainly appreciate it.

  16. Aebe says:

    Hi there,

    I think that everyone needs to decide by themselves if the want to stop or not with a blog. I just keep a blog to update my customers on what I am doing, but also to keep my fellow photographers up to date with information I have, or found.

    And most of all, I like to do it. Even if I am not a English speaking person normally(I am Dutch), I just like to tell my story.

    Sorry, I just have to tell ….

    Aebe

  17. Very interesting – I never felt anyone could blog something like this on. Darren you did it again – For me losing passion on something would kill it the very moment. If I feel something is getting boring I will never want to continue.

  18. Aglolink says:

    Very interesting … I realize that as fan of blogs is becoming obsolete and lose Flavor, perhaps one reason for burying the blog.

  19. wiseinvestor says:

    I guess that we don’t really have to quit blogging for a blog if you have only one blog since one can always move on to another project concurrently.

    Like I have the intention to start another project to develop Facebook or Iphone applications but that doesn’t I have to quit blogging on the only blog that I have as I feel that since all the technical stuffs are done, all that is left is simply reading and writing. In addition, it is not that expensive to pay for a domain name registration and web hosting fees when you only have one blog.

    For my case is, I felt that the domain name chosen perfectly matches the theme or topic of my blog and it is a pretty good name that I felt that will appreciate in value over time, especially with a dot com.

    And can always move on to other projects at the same time, just need to allocate only like 2 hours every two days to write a blog post. And if the topic chosen got some interests, all the more it should be continue.

  20. I think ultimately, passion is the KEY. Not everyone is interested in making money from their blogs (nor can they without the traffic). While traffic is nice, of course, it may not be everything. If you have the passion, but make no money or get little traffic, well at least you are enjoying yourself. (I fall into this category.. :-) )

    On the other hand, if you are making money, but do not enjoy it, you may as well go work a 9-5 job that requires a lot less work than maintaining a profitable blog. Because if you do not enjoy it, it WILL seem like work!

  21. How to blog says:

    I think Lack of Passion will be the number one reason why so many bloggers quit,they did it for the money instead.

  22. Lack of traffic would be the best reason for me. I mean, I blog online because I want other people to read my thoughts put into writing. If no one is interested anymore, then it means that no one really cares about my posts, therefore I should stop. Simple as that.

  23. For me, losing your passion is not a valid reason for quitting your blog and moving on.

    This is because if you’ve lost your passion, it may only be temporary and will come back when you least expect it. This has happened to me with my music blog. It’s as if I lost the passion because I systemised the whole blogging process and felt compelled to write when I didn’t really want to.

    And even if you’ve completely lost your passion, you can always outsource the task of writing content. You can find people on Elance who can do it for you for a small fee.