Have you ever let a blog “slip” before — where you stopped posting for an extended time, maybe a planned break or maybe not? Do you want to bring that dormant blog back? If you’re ready to resume blogging, and you’re sure you’re prepared to stick with it this time, you’ll want to bring that blog back with a bang! After all, a simple update after a lot of lapsed time won’t necessarily get much attention. And you want people to take notice.
One of the best ways to bring back a dormant blog and build a bit of excitement in the process is to treat it as a sort of re-launch event. Here are some tips to help you re-launch your blog, get back your old readers, and attract some new ones.
1. Don’t apologize.
Don’t waste your first post back by apologizing for the lack of recent posts. Kicking things off that way puts the emphasis on the fact that you were gone. You want the emphasis on the fact that you’re back.
2. Consider a redesign.
To make your re-launch more attention-grabbing, consider a new or updated blog design. This makes it look like there was more of a reason for the time away, and it gives you something to talk about (site-wise) when you re-launch, in addition to jumping right back into your typical style of content. Not up for a full redesign? Then consider adding a new feature or two or making just a few minor updates to improve upon the old design. Think of it as the new and improved version of your site — the one that’s here to stay.
3. Line up some content.
The last thing you want is to re-launch your blog and then run out of blog post ideas, leading to another lapse. Pre-write a few posts so you can get at least one up every week (more if you want, or have one pre-scheduled post intermingling with your on-the-fly ideas). This way you’re guaranteed to have fresh blog content for your readers, and you’ll keep them coming back for more. You want them to get used to seeing you around again after all.
4. Improve your SEO.
Did you pretty much ignore search engine optimization the last time around? Take the opportunity to optimize your posts better now — have keyword-rich permalinks, add meta titles to each post, tag them, etc. It might not help with the initial re-launch, but it might get you ranking a bit higher in search engines on a regular basis, driving even more traffic to the blog. If you change your permalink structure, just remember to set up redirects so you don’t lose traffic from existing links.
5. Get the conversation started.
End your new blog posts with a call to action. Just make it a quick line or two to encourage people to comment. For example, ask if they have additional tips or ideas to share (like at the end of this blog post), or ask them to share their own stories, reviews, or whatever else is relevant to the posts. The idea is to get more people interacting with you and your content rather than just treating the blog as a simple publishing platform. Engaged readers might be more interested in coming back to see what else you have to say. Besides, people love to know you’re listening to them and that you value their input. This is especially important if your original blog lacked a lot of comments.
6. Tell people about it!
What’s the point of re-launching your blog if no one knows about it? Announce it in your Twitter account, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile, or whatever other social media tools you use. If you have email subscribers, send out a message to let them know about the re-launch and any changes. You could even give them advanced notice of a day or two just for subscribing. If you’ve launched something major tied to the blog (a new product, significant tool, etc.) consider putting out a news release. Write a few guest posts on others’ blogs with a link back to the re-launched blog. Comment on other related blogs and leave your link (usually allowed with your name — don’t spam it in the body of your comments). Give people multiple ways to find out about and visit your re-launched blog. Then worry more about giving your blog readers a reason to stay.
What about you? Do you have any other tips for re-launching a dormant blog? Would you create some other kind of event around it (like a contest)? Would you opt to re-brand the blog entirely? Leave a comment below to share your own tips and stories.