You’re done. You’ve become bored, suffered too much criticism at the hands of trolls or the snark army, your parameters for online privacy have changed or you’re just not that into your blog anymore.
You could let it go and commit online hari kiri (or at least dump it by text) but there are some other things you could consider first.
1. Get some breathing space
Just like a clingy boyfriend/girlfriend, sometimes it pays to get a little space—a modicum of distance.
Sit down. Do some yoga. Alternatively, yell “DUDE, I NEED SOME MOTHERF.L.I.P.P.I.N’ SPACE!” into your computer until your neighbours call the cops. Taking a break can give you perspective on your blog and some clarity around whether it’s time to quit. Just don’t stalk your analytics every day wondering if a reader has called. That’s not cool.
2. Reinvent yourself.
Just because you’re not deriving inspiration from a particular blog, doesn’t mean the end of you as a blogger.
I retired my last blog, 35degrees because I’d left Japan, gotten married and had a kid—it wasn’t fitting my “new” life as a Melbourne-based mum anymore. I let the old blog go but when you visit 35degrees.com it defaults to Melbourne Mum. Readers of my old blog have found me this way, which is cool, as they were there from my beginnings as a starry-eyed ex-pat in a very, very strange country.
I’ve changed a lot and yet I haven’t. It didn’t make sense to keep 35 Degrees running but it also didn’t make sense to let blogging go. Blogging is my addiction.
3. Sell it the “mercenary” way.
If you have a decent domain name you might get good(ish) money if you sell it, but probably not enough to fund a trip to Florida.
A guy in the UK started a company “35 Degrees” and hit me up to sell my domain. Husbando played hardball and he didn’t go for whatever it was “we” were proposing so we didn’t sell it in the end. People who sell their blogs/sites the mercenary way usually do so because they’ve happened upon a winning domain name—there’s usually not a lot of content to get attached to. Personal bloggers tend to choose a domain name out of love rather than strategy, so selling it this way can be an incidental windfall rather than a specific plan.
4. Sell it the “good-will” way.
You may have a crappy domain name but a brilliant blog “business” with a bucketload of traffic. You can sell it warts and all and put a premium on the goodwill that you’ve generated over years (or, if you’re really good, months).
This gets tricky if you’re a personal blogger, as your audience will have bought into you as your brand. Taking over a personal blog, even one that is very popular, may not be attractive to someone who is not you, given your audience has been built around your story. If you run more of a magazine/editorial/collaborative site or blog where there is not a singular personal story arc, you’ll probably have more luck selling it this way.
5. Outsource it.
Get a couple of newbie (or similarly bored) bloggers to contribute to the running of your blog. This is generally more difficult for personal bloggers as they can be protective of their “story” but other bloggers can breathe new life into a blog/site that needs an inhaler. Co-running a website can have all the pitfalls of working in any team, so you have to work out whether you are prepared to do it.
6. Buh-bye blog. Smell ya later.
Like sands through the hourglass, so too blogging documents the days of our lives. If you are seriously in the “I just don’t give a Sh*t anymore” mode then you can let it go. Your blog can always sit as an archive, like Delphine LaLaurie, treading water for all eternity. After all, this is the Internet we are talking about—it’s forever, baby.
But if you’re going to do it, do it well. Say goodbye to your readers. Don’t put your blog into its grave only to regenerate it a few months later like a fickle Phoenix from the Flames. Reinvent yourself by all means, but the “Will I? Won’t I?” approach to blogging can get pretty damn old, pretty damn fast.
Have you ever broken up with your blog?