We’ve been talking this week about why blogs die and factors to consider when deciding whether to end them or not.
If you get to the point where you think it’s best that you end a blog there are a number of options before you as how to do it. Here’s a few that come to mind:
Just Stop Writing
This is perhaps the most common approach that bloggers take when ending their blogs. It can happen quite gradually over time as posts become less frequent or it can happen very suddenly as a blogger just decides it’s over. In most cases these blogs remain online in the state that they were in the day they were last posted to and in a sense they become something of an archive. The beauty of this approach if you have a commercial blog is that it will continue to make money for you into the future. Even if it’s not performing brilliantly – over time it adds up.
The other good thing about this approach is that if you’re stopping your blog because it’s not performing well it could do a turn around in the weeks or months after you stop writing. I had a blog once that I stopped writing because it wasn’t doing well with traffic but a few weeks later Google updated and my traffic increased 10-fold. I’m glad I didn’t kill that blog off completely because it came back to life by itself and when I started blogging to it again it found a second wind.
If you’re going to take this approach I would highly recommend considering two things:
- 1. Communicate with your Readers – tell your readers that the blog is over, give a reason (if appropriate) and say good-bye. It’s amazing how attached readers can become to a blog and to give it a definite end not only gives them a little closure but it also gives you some also.
- 2. Consider Comment Spam Strategy – inactive and unmaintained blogs tend to be a target for comment spammers. I’ve come across a few inactive blogs lately that have sadly become overrun by the underbelly of the web with all manner of filth. Remember that if you leave your blog online that your name and reputation continues to be associated with it and what is on it. If you’re not willing to continue maintaining your comments sections either consider switching them off or putting some sort of spam killer in place.
This is another strategy that some bloggers use, especially those who have their own domain and hosting but who don’t want to continue to pay for that into the future. Sometimes it happens quickly after a blog dies – but other times it happens at the end of a hosting contract or when a domain comes up for renewal.
Once again – I think it can be a good strategy to communicate what you’re intending to do with this. I know of one blogger who deleted his blog at one point and who in doing so disillusioned a lot of people who used the archives of the blog daily as a resource for their businesses. If he’d communicated his plan to delete his blog he might have given his readers a chance to get the information they needed off his blog or would probably have found a buyer for it. Instead the information on his blog was virtually lost (except to those who knew how to access archival sites).
Also if you’re considering the ‘delete it’ option – really think ahead. Don’t do it on the spur of the moment, don’t do it in anger, don’t do it if there is any chance of you wanting to start up again later and consider what useful information there might be on the blog that you might want to back up first.
Another option for bloggers making the decision to end a blog is to consider reinventing it. Many bloggers who end blogs go on to create other ones, sometimes on very very similar topics to the first. Instead of running out and buying a new domain it might well be worth simply re-launching your new blog in the same place as the old one. The benefits of this is that you’ll find any traffic, search engine ranking etc that you already have will be easier to leverage in your new re-launched blog. This is not an option for everyone of course – sometimes a completely fresh start can be just what you and your blogging needs.
Find Another Blogger
Instead of letting your blog die completely you might find that you can let it live under the authorship of another person or group of people. I’ve seen this happen on a number of blogs where on announcing that a blog was going to end that a blogger had readers volunteer to take if over.
In doing this you continue to provide a space for people to come and interact around a niche, you continue to get any income that it might have brought in and you keep your options open for reengaging with the blog later on.
Of course this approach will depend upon a number of factors including how central you are to the success of your blog (some blogs are more reliant upon the personality of their blogger than others) as well as the quality of the blogger/s who take over.
You’ll also need to work out a fair way of compensating the bloggers who take over if your blog is a commercial blog. You might want to offer them anything from a share of the revenue on the posts that they write, to a flat fee per post, to some sort of incentive for building traffic/revenue.
Another increasingly popular way of ending a blog is to put it on the market and see what people are willing to pay for it. This won’t work for everyone and will depend upon the popularity of your blog and it’s earning potential but you might be surprised what an established could be sold for.
Keep in mind that in selling your blog you’re selling a lot of content that you will lose control of (unless you build conditions into the sale). So if you want to use some of the content later you’ll want to avoid this approach, take if off the blog before selling it or build it into the sale agreement.