How to Write Your Last Blog Post (and Why Blogs Shut Down) [Guest Post]
This is a guest post from Karol K.
What?! How to write your last blog post?
You’ve probably read plenty about writing your first blog post or your first guest post, but not that much on writing your last one.
There are hundreds of new blogs being launched every day … and an almost equal number of blogs being shut down as well.
This is just the nature of blogging.
There are many reasons why you might want to shut down your blog, and only a handful of them equal failure. We’ll go through them briefly, and then we’ll focus on what would make a great last post for a blog that is no longer going to be continued.
Why Bloggers Shut Blogs Down
#1: Blog Relaunch Under a New Brand
A once very popular blog, Think Traffic, is no longer with us. Some of its content – the top posts with the most impact – have been re-purposed for a new creation – the Sparkline blog – but the main blog is, by all means, nonexistent.
This was a simple relaunch to strengthen the new primary product of Corbett Barr’s – Fizzle. Although I have not much insider knowledge here, as far as I can tell, nothing negative caused the move.
#2: A New Business Model
One of the more popular career shifts for bloggers is freelancing. You might well enjoy writing for someone else’s blog on a freelance basis just as much (or even more!) than having your own blog.
Since many bloggers struggle to monetize their blogs, taking more and more freelance work is a very attractive concept.
Some “A list” bloggers do this too. For example, in an interview at the Bidsketch blog, Kristi Hines of Kikolani reveals that most of her work time is devoted to freelancing for clients. She still posts on Kikolani, but usually only once or twice a month.
#3: A Change of Direction
Another reason for waving your blog goodbye is taking an entirely different direction with your offering. This happens a lot with company blogs, and there’s no reason to be hush hush about it.
For example, if you go to wibiya.conduit.com – which was one of the more popular marketing blogs by Conduit – you can see that the only thing that’s left is a cool graphic celebrating their former blog.
The blog itself, however, not only doesn’t exist anymore under the old brand, but from the looks of things, the content hasn’t been repurposed anywhere (like with Think Traffic / Sparkline). This is an example of a company taking an entirely different direction with their content marketing and blogging efforts.
#4: The Blog Isn’t Getting Results
Of course, sometimes a blog gets shut down because the results it brings are not that great. Hopefully you’re not in this situation … and to prevent it from happening, make sure to check this list of 33 ways to instant blogging failure.
Now, let’s get back to your last post.
Of course, you can simply leave your blog like it is now – abandon it, like panda moms sometimes abandon their cubs – but that’s not a great solution. It could confuse or even worry your readers (they might think something terrible’s happened to you), and it doesn’t help you pave the way for future projects.
Say What’s Going On
This is the most intuitive thing to do. Essentially, people love stories, so sharing your own is a good idea. Tell your supportive readers what has led you to shutting down the blog.
Get as deep into this (or not) as you want. Make it comfortable for you. And even more importantly, make it comfortable to read.
The best idea would be to start with a strong headline that indicates what’s happening. There are many possibilities, for instance:
Thank You, Goodbye!
My Last Blog Post
It’s Been a Hell of a Ride
Final Post at Domain.com
We’re Shutting This Joint Down!
Changing Directions, Here’s What’s Coming
Say Thank You
Since your readers have been with you for some time, it’s a nice gesture to thank them for sticking with your blog.
If there are some people in particular you’d like to point out, this is a good moment to do it. They might be guest bloggers, regular commenters, or fellow bloggers who’ve helped you alogn the way.
Say What’s Next
There are many ways to shut down a blog. Some bloggers simply delete the domain, others like to keep it live for a while and others keep it live permanently.
Another thing you’ll probably consider is selling the blog on Flippa or trying to pass it on to someone who can get it going and advancing, while you still remain the actual owner.
No matter what you’re planning to do, you should explain this to your audience.
Also, say a word or two on what you’re going to be doing in the near future. This is the perfect moment to promote any new projects of yours. Unless you’re leaving the blogging world completely and for good, there’s always something you can share.
Say How to Reach You
Some people will naturally want to remain in contact with you. Link to your social media profiles, new website(s), or give them an email address where they can reach you.
Placing a custom contact form right inside the post isn’t a bad idea either.
Summarize Your Blog’s Life Cycle
If you feel like it, you can talk about the history of your blog and point out some significant events from the past months or years.
You can list the most important projects you’ve worked on, mention the times when some major site featured your blog as a case study, or even list your top guest posts (the ones that gave you the most recognition).
This is about talking about all the awesome things that have happened to you and your blog throughout the years, and ending on a positive note.
List Your Best Content
Every blog has its top content. This is a good moment to list it so people can still benefit from it.
You can use whatever benchmark you find suitable. You can look at the traffic the posts have received, the number of comments, or simply pick your favourites.
Listing 10 pieces of content is about right; 20 or 30 is overkill.
Point to Relevant Information Elsewhere
Since your blog is not going to be updated anymore, it’s a good idea to point your audience towards other blogs in your niche. This could, of course, include pointing to your own new blog or website if it’s going to be on a similar topic.
You can link to your partners, competitors and even relevant YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, etc. This is generous to them and very useful for your readers.
Share One Final Giveaway
This is an interesting thing to do. The goal is to leave people with a good impression of you. And there’s no better way of achieving this than by sharing a gift.
It can be anything that makes sense. For instance: coupon codes, your own products, PDF versions of some of your top content, big list of resources in your niche, discounts on your competitors’ products (if they agree to provide you with some) and so on.
If you do this right, you’ll also get some additional social media publicity. Your readers will naturally share this with their followers … which could provide a great springboard for your next project.
Over to You
The most important takeaway here is that vanishing overnight is not a good way to shut down a blog. You want to quit in style, and end on a high note.
What’s your take on this? Be honest, have you ever abandoned a blog just like that overnight? If you close your current blog, what would you do differently? Share your thoughts in the comments…
Bio: Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a blogger, writer, published author, and a team member at Bidsketch. If you do any work as a freelancer (freelance blogger, for example), you can use Bidsketch to send your clients some great looking proposals, which they can review, sign, and send back to you in minutes. Check us out.
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5 Responses to “How to Write Your Last Blog Post (and Why Blogs Shut Down) [Guest Post]”
@Arun Let’s all hope that we never have to shut any of our blogs down.
@Charming Sure, redirecting people to another blog is always a good solution, provided that the topic is somewhat related.
I have started my blog with love and I do care for my blog. I,m not gonna shutting it down till it is in worst condition. If I would shut it down. I would redirect it to my next blog. Because I would never wish to waste my energies. Is it interesting?
Well, the title is what got me intrigued! After reading it, I was like- ‘Writing last post? What’s this all about?’ 🙂
As said in the article, sometimes it becomes necessary to shut down a blog. And to make sure that the process is a memorable one, the last blog post has to be special! 🙂
The various scenarios associated and the different styles of blog posts to make use of are attractive! I don’t plan to shut any of my blogs down.
But in future, if I happen to have any such plans, I know the place to look for ideas regarding the last post! 🙂
I found the link to this article on Kingged.
Yes, you are right. “Lasts posts” are sadly not the standard for blogs that change directions. This can be a big problem especially if the blog in question has an actual audience. Leaving them hanging just like that doesn’t seem right.
Also, selling and transferring the site to someone else doesn’t always turn out well either. I’ve seen a lot of cases where blogs under new owners just slapped a bunch of adsense everywhere and eventually angered their readers.
Karol, I think all the points you have listed out above are valid. I guess most people really abandon their blog, they don’t “officially” write their last post. After all, even though there is a change in direction, the content that has been built up over the years are still valuable.
Another way not to lose equity is probably to “sell” or “transfer” the domain to another person, and do the last post as a handover. After all, by just NOT renewing a domain will just leave it open to the domain aftermarket.
That way, there will be somewhat of a continuation, especially to the loyal blog followers.
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