I’m officially titling this post “How to Take a Break from Your Blog (without Ruining Your Business).” However, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I like to keep it very real here. This post should probably be titled: Advice from Someone Who Has Tried to Take a Blogging Break (a.k.a maternity leave) and Partially Succeeded. However, I thought that title was a bit long and confusing.
The bottom line is that I want you to know that I don’t have all the answers and I haven’t done everything “right,” but I just really want to share with you what I’ve actually done to prep for my maternity leave and what it really looks like in real life. While I’ll be sharing how I’ve handled taking some time off for the birth of each of my two babies, the same principles would apply no matter the reason you want to take step back from your blog or online business for a season. I know a lot of people like to take to take summers off (or drastically reduce work hours) to spend extra time with their school aged kiddos.
When I started I Heart Planners I didn’t have kids yet. I had Savannah about a year and a half after starting the business and I just had Timothy five weeks ago (so almost 3.5 years after starting the business). I was at very different places in the business when I had each of them, so my leaves and the way I prepped for each was somewhat different.
In the video I’m sharing what I did to prep for each leave and how the leaves went. I gauge “success” both in terms of how I met my goals of actually not working too much during the leave AND on whether the leaves slowed my business growth down significantly. I have briefly recapped some of my best advice for taking a leave in the video below, but I highly encourage you to watch it because I go into a lot more depth in the video.
My top 3 tips for taking a leave:
- Prep as much as possible beforehand. The more you can have done ahead of time, the better. Write posts ahead of time. Release products ahead of time. I had a very focused season of business for a few months before each baby. I was so grateful to have put in all the work ahead of time by the time the baby arrived.
- Accept the fact that you will have to say no to a lot of opportunities and that the business may slow down in some areas. That is okay. My goal in life (especially in this season of life with two small children) is definitely not to grow my business as fast as humanly possible. The business is important to me and I do give it a lot of attention, but I have accepted the fact that I won’t be focusing on it as much I did before I had kids.
- Don’t feel guilty if you do work during your leave. I was surprised after the birth of my first child at how much I wanted to continue working. I had set things up so that if I wanted to, I would only need to work a couple hours a week during the first six weeks. However, I found myself really wanting to get back to working more than that right away. I think that’s okay. There’s no rule book that says you can’t open your laptop on a leave. Sometimes I actually think work becomes more fun when there’s no pressure.
- Have a comeback plan! Make sure you have a plan to really get back into your work again when your leave is over. In most cases, a planned few weeks off isn’t going to do much damage to your blog, but if you allow those weeks to turn into months, it will.
Here is the video from my recent scope on this topic. Click play to hear more details about my personal experience and please comment to share your thoughts and what you've done when needing to take a break from your blog and business.
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