Vacation, Twitter, and a Blog's Death: Seeing Your Market Position Anew

by Jill Foster on July 29, 2009

What’s the fastest way to kill your blog?

Go on a vacation!

Are you planning any kind of getaway these next few weeks of summer? If so, beware.

Too much joy, peace and reflection during your vacation may result in blog death.

Some background
Earlier this June, I took a brief working vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was able to sneak in pockets of family time whenever possible. Who knew that these snippets of non-work time would have unexpectedly resulted in the death of my digital marketing blog upon my return home?

A blogger’s scenario
For quite some time prior to my working vacation, I had been blogging multiple times a week; usually no less than three times a week … and usually more than that. Each blog post requires insight, time and some creative or visual aspect.

Many times I would start thinking small but before I knew it, five paragraphs later, I was knee deep in a lengthy post — much lengthier than I had initially expected to author.

A rewarding yet confusing chore (and the Twitter issue)
While I found blogging about social media and digital marking to be fun and rewarding in many ways, in the last few months blogging regularly and avidly was becoming quite the confusing chore.

Confusing because…
The lines between being resourceful, timely, and redundant were becoming very blurred for me. Timely or time-sensitive information these days is usually shared on Twitter because of its immediacy and reach. If I shared the information on Twitter and expanded on the topic via a blog post, was it overkill? Was it duplicative?

Some times, I wasn’t sure.

Chore because…
Folks reading a “real” blog post (“real” meaning authentic insight and commentary often including research and relevant references) don’t always realize how much time was invested in creating an original thought. There are way too many blog posts out there that are all saying the exact same thing and, therefore, saying something different and unique isn’t usually a 3-minute writing gig. Thought-provoking posts require some expenditure of time, period.

Too niche, too much, helpful enough?!
Actually, I have a far more extensive, detailed laundry list of more confusing thoughts and chore-like findings beyond what I’ve shared above. But for the sake of brevity, let’s just say that before long, I began to question the usefulness of the information I was sharing. Was it helpful? Was it targeted enough? Was it too niche? Was it too much or too little?

You get the idea … I clearly got “lost” in a myriad of thoughts that I just couldn’t seem to answer for myself.

Then the vacation happened
The working vacation couldn’t have happened at a better time. It forced me to get away from the blog for a few days. During the time away, I realized I needed more time to sort through my confusion and concerns regarding not just the blog but my overall brand and market position.

Symptom to a larger concern
I think the blog was a symptom of a much bigger problem. While sipping a wonderful piña colada and chilling out on a comfy lounge chair which faced the ocean shore, I realized that I had grown professionally and personally since I launched the blog over a year or so ago. In my time away from the blog, I learned I needed to shift my entire approach and marketing direction to better align the blog with where I am at today.

So what’s next?
The answer: a lot.

I am happy to report that I’ve sorted through my marketing closet and have gotten rid of various skeletons since my taste buds happily wallowed in piña colada glory. I’m excited about where I’m headed but I know I still have a ways to go to launch it all. Still, it feels great to have retreated from the blog to refresh my perspective.

And is my blog dead?
Well, the answer to this is “yes” but only metaphorically speaking. In whatever way I may choose to blog again in the very near future, it will be different because my approach, my mindset and my direction are different. Therefore, technically, what once was will be gone…but something new and fresh will take its place.

Conclusions for blogging business owners
Vacationers! If you actively blog about any topic, then don’t say I didn’t warn you! Seriously, who knew a working vacation would result in my blog’s death yet breathe new energy into my marketing life? Hmm..more to come.

Question to you
What’s been your experience with blogging and maintaining fresh perspectives as your business emerged, changed, and grew? Please share in the comments.

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Guest post from Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, regular guest contributor to Women Grow Business. Mayra works as an independent marketing strategist and social media enthusiast. With over 14 years of marketing and communications experience, Mayra helps businesses and non-profits with all aspects of their brand identity, outreach communications, and competitive positioning. She produces the blog Marketing Misfit and can be reached at www.twitter.com/marketingMisfit.

(image New Directions by Light Knight, Creative Commons)

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