A couple of posts back, we discussed the scenarios that compel a blogger to take a break or even calls it quits from the blogging routine. It is always better that such a situation does not arise, but if it is unavoidable there are a number of things that you could do to make the exit as smooth as possible.
Taking care of the existing content
If you decide to stop blogging, it is always better not to delete the blog itself or remove it from your hosting account. If you had written some good timeless content in the past, there could be still some visitors that are coming from hard references or via search engines. Hence as much as possible, keep the content intact.
Write a summary post: I should thank Alan Johnson for this tip as it came from his last post. It is always good to write a last post mentioning the reasons why you are quitting and also provide links to some of your super hit posts.
Disable commenting or discussions feature: If you have a self-hosted blog, you have a chance to disable your comment modules by modifying the theme. Otherwise, you might want to disable the comments of the last few posts and set the moderated mode for future comments. You must also make sure that any queries from your readers are answered before closing down.
Syndicated content/RSS subscriptions: Since you do not plan to write any longer, it does not make sense to show any RSS subscription links on your blog. Hence you may disable the same and also any feed statistics widgets. However, if you had offered any eBooks in the past, you might want to keep those links active.
Once you decide to close down your blog, there is no opportunity for any ad slot sales for you. Hence you may take out ‘Advertise here’ links or pages as well. You may also take out any PPC ads on your site so that you don’t face ban from the respective networks.
However, one category of passive moneymakers that you can always keep is the referral ads. Even though you are not really creating new content, the referral ads can fetch you recurring income for some more time. Also, you need to keep any ads that are still not expired their contract period at the time of closing down.
If you are running any campaigns for your site and if you are convinced that the campaign does not make any sense any longer, you may cancel the same.
Unless you want to get spammed by condolence messages, you need to remove all your email or phone contact information from your blog. You may also want to update any public profile (social media/networks etc) to take out your visible contact information after sending goodbye messages to your patrons and any related groups.
Closure of accounts
As I mentioned in the beginning, as much as possible, you must keep your blog still hosted. But if the hosting and maintaining becomes a more expensive affair and the number of readers decreases drastically, you may even think of taking out the blog completely! This, however, should be last step!