David Merkel Blog | What Can Happen When You Take A Large Break From Blogging | TalkMarkets
Founder, Aleph Blog
Contributor's Links: The Aleph Blog Aleph Investments, LLC
David J. Merkel, CFA — 2010-present, I run my own equity asset management shop, called Aleph Investments. I manage separately managed stock and bond accounts for upper middle class individuals and small institutions. My minimum is $100,000. From 2008-2010, I was the more

What Can Happen When You Take A Large Break From Blogging

Date: Sunday, October 27, 2019 4:46 AM EDT

Photo Credit: Ron Frazier || No, it wasn’t a vacation — perhaps a pause…

When I returned from my break from blogging, I realized my traffic was down by 2/3s over what it was when I left publishing. I wasn’t too surprised at that. I remember the early days when I started blogging. My readership grew rapidly over the first six months, partly fueled by people reading me who remembered me from RealMoney. After that it leveled out. I expect the same will happen this time.

As an aside, now that we are more than 11 years past the onset of the crisis, if a new crisis should come, readership of financial blogs will explode again, as investors search for answers amid chaos. Just remember that many readers will fade away as the crisis ebbs. It will be even more true if you bang the crisis drum too long. Though I covered the crisis well, I never wanted to be a “crisis blogger.” A balance between crisis and opportunity is best. After all, periods of crisis occupy less than 25% of the time.

Now email is the reverse. I found it funny to watch email subscriptions grow week after week while I was on hiatus, and then shrink when I returned. Must have seemed to be a good idea at the time when they subscribed, but less so when they actually received the emails.

There were a bunch of quasi-legal sites republishing me. They never asked my permission, but I rarely ask them to desist. Most disappeared during the hiatus and did not return. The legal republishers who had my permission were slow to restart, but they are back in force.

Commenters are slow to return, but that is no surprise. People are emailing me again, but not at the level from before the hiatus. Most are glad to have me back.

What really made me happy were bloggers who were happy to see my return. Chief among them was Tadas at Abnormal Returns. I also appreciated Jeff Miller at A Dash of Insight.

Last, I felt refreshed by the break, but I also feel refreshed by restarting. The break gave me more ideas, and hopefully I am expressing them better.

One thing that was unaffected was the spam that bloggers receive. I got it before the hiatus, during and after the hiatus. These people are desperate, don’t do their homework, and just scattergun in an effort to gain some market for their writing, services, etc.

I will simply close with this: it is nice to be back. There’s a lot more to come.

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