Do Not Apologize for the Lack of Posts

dukeo.com

Nothing irritates me more than to visit a blog and see one of those “Hey! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I was busy with my blah, blah, blah…” Now you may have a perfectly good reason for your lack of posts but I really don’t care. I don’t know you personally. I know you as a blogger. I read your blog because I like the information you share. But that doesn’t mean I’m interested in your personal life.

apology

Here’s what happens when you apologize for the lack of posts on your blog:

You sound whiny: Imagine you walked into a new car lot and, after waiting around for an hour, a salesman finally approaches you and says, “Sorry I left you standing here. My boss has me doing all this extra paper work and I just can’t seem to keep up and my wife called and wants me to …” Do you care? No! In your mind, this guy is now just a whiny little salesman.

What could he have done instead? “Sorry I left you standing here folks. C’mon in and let’s relax over some free coffee and doughnuts and I promise my complete and undivided attention while you tell me how I can help you.” Now you’re lovin’ this guy, right?

Nobody wants to read it: You have to understand that readers come to your blog for their own benefit, not yours. Unless you’re running a personal blog, your readers are coming there to learn something from you. Most people have enough drama in their lives and that’s not what they’re looking for when they come to your blog.

If you haven’t posted for a while that’s your problem, not theirs. They don’t want to read about your problems and they certainly aren’t there to help you relieve your guilt. But if that’s what they see when they hit your blog, they’re just going to leave – and probably never come back.

You’re wasting time: You’re wasting your time writing up that apology because nobody wants to read it. You’re wasting your readers time because that’s not why they came to your blog.

What should you do instead? Forget it, get over yourself, and go eat a chocolate doughnut to make yourself feel better but don’t try to assuage your guilt at the expense of your readers. They really just do not care. If you’ve been gone for a while, carry on as if nothing ever happened and write one of the best blog posts you’ve ever written.

Plan ahead by creating some emergency blog posts to have as back up. If you know in advance you’re going to be away from your blog, schedule these for automatic publishing so you don’t even have to think about it. But never, never ever apologize for the lack of posts. It just makes you look bad all the way around.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
If you enjoyed this article, Get email updates
JOIN FOR FREE

24 Comments (Add one)

  1. Wendy Flynn
    Wendy Flynn

    I could not agree with you more! This is a definite annoyance to me as a blog reader. I vowed to myself to never do this on my own blog.

    I sign up for a blog for the content. When the blog deviates for the stated content, it loses credibility to me as a reader. If I signed up to read about running, I don’t want to read about how the writer traveled to Virginia to see her sister who had a baby, and oh isn’t this baby so adorable.

    I believe that some bloggers fall into an ego trap of just writing a diary account of their life, and they don’t stay true to their original content mission of the blog. This leads to blog behaviors such as ” sorry, I haven’t written for so long.” That’s what you write in a letter to your elderly aunt who you haven’t called for a year.

    My advice to bloggers is – write for your readers, not for your ego. Stay true to your content mission!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Hello Wendy, I agree with you that it’s important for bloggers to stay on track. However, if it’s their personal blog and they post some updates about what’s happening in their life on a regular basis, the situation is different.

  2. Shanti
    Shanti

    I think you have a valid point. Unless the apology ties in to the story/point the blogger is trying to make, it’s not necessary.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      I agree with you Shanti. The blogger can talk about his personal life if it makes sense blog-wise, but the apology is not needed.

  3. Bohemian Babushka

    You sound harsh and too to the point, but you mentioned chocolate doughnuts- so all is forgiven. ; )

    BB2U

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Sometimes things need to be said in a cold voice… Sorry if it sounds harsh

  4. Jack
    Jack

    It depends on the type of blog and the relationship people have with the blogger.

    There is something to be said for having a more personal relationship with your readers and sometimes people are interested in learning more about who you are and what you are about.

    Perspective and perception vary from person to person.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Hey Jack, you’re right when you say that the relationship varies from one blog to another. But, even if the blogger wants to write about his personal life, there is absolutely no need for an apology.

  5. esta

    ‘Giving women a reason not to apologize… priceless.” ;)

    Great post! :))

    esta

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Glad you liked the post, Esta

  6. MattLMorrison
    MattLMorrison

    So true, I know that I shy/run away from anyone who posts stuff like this. Thanks for the post.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      I tend to react the same way…

  7. Beth

    I don’t agree. Most bloggers don’t make any money off their blog, so it’s not a business, and while lots of blogs offer valuable information part of what drives return visits is the writer. Meaning as a reader, I care about what you say, but I also care about you. If I don’t think I like someone I won’t follow them! So if you’ve been away for a while it’s okay to acknowledge it. I think the apologies are for people who have checked your blogs several times to find the same post, and I don’t mind knowing what’s going on in your life.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      As I replied to earlier comments, talking about your personal life *might* be ok in some situations, but the apology is not needed. You can just make a post about what happened in your life without apologizing for not posting in a while.

  8. Amanda

    Crap, I’ve done this a couple of times in the past. Mine is a personal blog, but youre right, readers come for what they get out of it. Thank you for making me see this even more clearly. Happy New Year!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Hey you’re welcome! Thanks for your comment, Amanda

  9. Bonnie Gean

    I used to feel the same way, but getting to know the person behind the blog (their good days and bad), I prefer to know what kept them from posting.

    If I have a sharing and caring nature – and truly want to help – how will I know someone needs my input unless they relate why they were gone in the first place?

    If the reason is overwhelm, I can help them with that. So tell me if that was the case.

    I think it’s also important to relate that women care more about this stuff than a man does, IMHO. So that too, can determine whether it’s befitting to mention why you were gone.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      As said in previous comment, I understand the need to create a relationship between the blogger and the audience. However, I prefer a post starting with: “I’m super excited to write this blog post because here is what happened in my life… and here is how it’s useful for you…” rather than: “Oh, I’m so sorry I didn’t write a blog post, but a lot of things happened to me such as…”

  10. Scott & Sandy
    Scott & Sandy

    We live in a world where people don’t apologize enough, and if someone wants to apologize, why criticize them for the way they choose to live their values? Your assertion that people only care about what you give them in a blog, and not the person themselves, sends a few shivers down the spine. Twitter (and the world) is not as selfish as you might make it out to be. There are so many people here who have friendships and care if a person has been away, especially if it is due to tech problems, illness, etc. It is also considered to be a professional courtesy, when you have loyal readers, who may wonder what happened. Our hope for you is that you connect more with people, show more understanding, and find more worthwhile things to be irritated by. “Sorry”.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      If you read a blog about MMA, and the author makes a full blog post about (and only about) the fact that his car broke down so he couldn’t blog for a while because he had to fix it himself, does it make sense blog-wise?

      I don’t think so…

      It has nothing to do with building relationships or not, it’s about staying on topic.

      A skilled blogger will make a blog post explaining that having to fix his car himself for a week gave him a lesson that he can apply to his blog’s subject, and then everyone can truly relate (and at the same time it explains why he was not blogging).

      Do you see Rand Fishkin posting on the SEOMoz blog about his personal issues? Do you see Oli Gardner posting on Unbounce about his personal life?

  11. James
    James

    What I like the most about the blogs I read is that the author forms a relationship, and is willing to listen to what his or her readers are telling them. You seem a little close minded and unwilling to really listen to others opinions when they don’t mesh with your own. If I only read biased blogs, yours would be my first choice. Yes, what you describe is skill, but just one of the skills a good blogger should have.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Since when expressing an opinion is being based? So I should be entertaining the same opinion as everyone else just to please you? I don’t think so!

  12. Wolf Halton

    I agree. If the purpose of your blog is to have a blog, then all is good. On facebook I post pictures of cats far too often, but I don’t post my breakfast unless it is quite remarkable.
    If you come to a blog where you want to learn something, an apology for lack of performance is pretty information-sparse. If you really have nothing to say in your topic area, don’t worry about it. Maybe your interests have changed and it is time to start writing a different blog on a different topic area where you do have something to say.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      You’re totally right Wolf! Blogging is about relevancy and sharing knowledge with others.