What Will Happen To Your Blog When You Die

I know, that’s a, uh, GRAVE topic, but it’s something worth thinking about, especially if your blog is important to you, and even more so if it’s your source of income.

For me, my intentions for my blog were very clear from the beginning. It wasn’t to make money out of it or to be the next internet sensation. In my very first post in this blog, I wrote:

“It’s a life project. I want to grow with it and I want it to grow with me.”

I also wrote that I wanted to write posts that: “…will entertain, educate, empathize, energize, and encourage, even months or years after they have been written.”

A lot of my life events are documented in my blog. But the question is: what happens to these documented life events when I am no longer alive? Another question is: What do I want to happen to my online diary, my happy place in cyberspace?

Mike and I were discussing this this afternoon, and he asked me: “Why should you care what happens to it after you die? You’re dead!”

Good point. But I like to look at my blog as a repository of my life and thoughts, and particularly, my life and thoughts that have to do with loved ones. This is where I tell stories of my travels and adventures with my husband, or the time when my friends and family made me feel loved on my birthday(s). This is where I open up and somehow inspire other people too, even people who I’ve never met. So maybe that’s why I care NOW about what happens to it LATER.

Why I Would Want My Blog To Outlive Me

Is pondering on my digital afterlife an ego thing? Is it about leaving a legacy? It sounds like that, but it’s not. I’m not famous or anything, and I don’t have thousands of followers who will miss reading my blogs when I’m gone. BUT… here are three reasons why I would want my blog to outlive me:

  1. I could help people.

Once in a while, there would be some people who tell me that – unbeknownst to me – actually read what I write and find them informative or helpful. Someone I know who was devastated after a breakup read one of my posts and said “After I read that, I felt lighter. It really helped me a lot. I don’t even cry anymore. Whenever I feel sad, I just read that post and I feel better.” She then passed it on to another friend who was feeling down, and that person also found solace in my post. So, like I said, I’m not famous or anything, and I don’t have thousands of followers, but if my posts could even help just ONE person, then that’s more than enough for me. Sometimes, when I’m confused, sad, or lost, I also find comfort in reading other people’s blog posts. It makes me feel like I’m not alone and I’m not the only one in the world who feels that way.

  1. I want to “live” forever for my children… and if I’m lucky, for my grandchildren and great grandchildren too.

One day, I’ll kick the bucket, but I hope that I will still be “around” for the loved ones I’ll leave behind. Sometimes, I happen to see my departed grandmother’s photos and Facebook account (yes, she had one. She was cool!) and even though she’s gone, having a small part of her that still lives on reminds me of how wonderful she was when she was still on earth. When I am gone, I would (ideally) want my family to read my posts whenever they want to connect with me or remember me. I’d want them to sort of “hear” my voice and “listen” to my stories. My very first blog in 2004, which was with Livejournal (this reveals a lot about my age. Haha!) was entitled “Lola Mo” (“Your Grandmother”) because even back then, I was already thinking of the stories I wanted to tell my grandchildren!

  1. I worked hard on this.

This is the least important reason, but still a valid one. When I’m six feet under, this won’t matter. But now, knowing that I really invested a lot of time, money, and energy into this, it’s only natural for me to want it to live on.

I chatted with a Customer Service Representative from my website host and asked the exact same question I asked here: “What happens to my blog after I die?” I couldn’t see her, but I could tell from her responses and the long pauses in between her responses that there was a lot of awkwardness there. She probably even thought that I was about to commit suicide. Haha! She said that if I want my site to be up even after I’m gone, someone has to pay the annual hosting fees. Otherwise, it would be taken down. She also apologized and said “I don’t often get asked this question.” I bet! And I bet that not a lot of bloggers think about this too. After all, who wants to think about death… especially if it’s their own death?!

Options for my blog:

So now that I have thought about it, as morbid as it sounds, I have considered the following options:

  1. Let it live

My current blog is a self-hosted one, that is, every year, I pay for the domain name and website hosting where all my data are stored. If I really want to make it immortal (at least for a number of years after I’m gone), I need to set aside some money to make sure that the web hosting fees and maintenance costs are covered, and I also need to appoint someone who will take care of this for me.

P.S. This one blogger named Mac Tonnies is a lucky guy. He died at the young age of 34. As a memorial, someone (a very dedicated reader) loved him enough to kept his blog alive for him: http://posthumanblues.com/postposthuman.html.

  1. Switch to a free platform

I used to blog on free platforms, namely Blogger / Blogspot and WordPress.com, until I felt that it was a little too limiting. I wanted more creative freedom, hence, I switched to a self-hosted blog. Now, I am considering moving back. There are many pros and cons of using free platforms, but for me, these are the most important things to think about:

Pros:

  • Free! I can save money!
  • There is a chance that my blog could live forever.

Cons:

  • There’s also a chance that it won’t live forever. Blogger / Blogspot or WordPress can delete your blog anytime without even warning you or explaining why they deleted it. They don’t owe you an explanation. Technically, you don’t own any of your content. They do. And they can do whatever they want with it. It has happened to other people before, and that is a scary thing… to wake up one day and find that the blog you worked so hard for just vanished!
  • As mentioned, it’s too limiting in terms of storage, design, etc.
  • They could shut down anytime. (e.g. What happened to Orkut and Google Reader?)
  1. Turn it into something else

Some people had their blogs made into books, while some just stored copies as Word files in their computer for their family members to read later.

  1. Kill it

Probably the easiest option of all is letting my blog die with me! When the universe pulls the plug on my life, my digital executor could just pull the plug on my blog too. Maybe I will stop caring. Like what Mike said: “The only thing I’ll care about when I die is my family, and if they will be okay.”

At this point, I still don’t know what I want to do about my blog should I (knock on wood) cross the great divide. I just know that I wouldn’t want to burden my loved ones too much with it. Maybe one day, I’ll know what fate I would want for my blog. Or maybe, if I’m fortunate enough to live until I’m 90, I wouldn’t even have to think about it because the technology then would be so advanced… or maybe by that time, blogging will be dead too that it won’t even matter what happens to my blog!

For now… remember this:

Photo from quotesberry.com

Do you own a blog? Have you thought about what you want to happen to it when you’re gone?

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25 Comment

  1. This is a really interesting post and has made me think a a lot about my own blog and what I would like to happen to it. I’d definitely want my children and family to read it – perhaps they could take it on in their own way and develop it for generations to come!

  2. Okay so I think about this ALL the time! It might be super morbid but I did write a post once – just in case something happened to me while travelling, as I sometimes go to some less than desirable places – which I always have scheduled for a month or 2 ahead and just keep postponing if I’m still alive haha. I think I’d like my blog to outlive me, at least for a year or two.

  3. This blog post hit the nail on the head. I have been thinking about that same question recently and I think the best option is to make something of your blog. You should definitely choose your best posts and publish a book!

  4. Never thought about this! My blog is for my daughter, documenting her travels. Hopefully when she’s old enough, she can take over and write from her perspective.

  5. Wow! I’d never thought about what will happen to my blog after I die. You really do think ahead. I hope I find a fan like Mac Tonnies too. Otherwise, I will maybe keep it alive at least till the grandkids see it, if there are any 😉
    Abby recently posted…Puy Pariou, Le Puy D’AuvergneMy Profile

  6. Oddly enough I had never thought about this. I think I’d just let my blog die a natural death with me. Not sure anyone else could replicate my sassyness.

  7. Now this is definitely not a topic that we’ve even considered at all. We really don’t have any plans for that sad eventuality. But having a legacy that lives on would be very nice.
    The Travel Ninjas recently posted…The Burning Monk Memorial in SaigonMy Profile

  8. I never thought about my blog and what could happen after I pass away. It’s not a pleasant topic to think about but it’s important. When my mom passed away unexpectedly, I had to deal with shutting down all of her accounts, emails, etc and I wasn’t sure what exactly she wanted me to do with them. I know it’s not the same as a blog but she had years worth of emails in her account.

  9. I’ve been blogging since Livejournal days (hopefully I’ve already managed to wipe out everything there — haha!), but I’ve never really thought about it. I guess I’ll just let it die a natural death like all the other written pieces of me scattered in cyberspace. 😉 I think I should add my blog to my inactive account manager setup – it will send out an email with details to (email accounts) they can access and leave a note with your “last will and testament” for your all your other digital accounts to family members/friends you trust. Glad you’re not evasive about this topic. A lot of my friends are and think I’m morbid whenever I bring it up. lol 🙂

  10. I often scroll through my Facebook Friends list and come across people that I know have passed on while their account lives on. I click on it and see their final post. I look at our conversation string in messenger with the last bit of news we’d shared. I look at all the comments the get left after news of the death spreads. At first disbelief then well wishes in the after life. And then recollections of happy memories. So your BLOG could go on to serve as a memorial. When all said and done though, it doesn’t matter. Not to you. Only those that want to look back on you.

  11. You’re right, it was a grave topic but a realistic one to point out. I’ve actually thought about the same thing. Just even realizing what would happen if I stopped blogging didn’t sit well with me. It’s interesting to know that your blog has the possibility to outlive yourself.
    Global Girl Travels recently posted…I Dream of AshevilleMy Profile

  12. wow I never even thought about that, thats for sharing this, made me think about a lot of things.

  13. WOW thanks for sharing this, I never even thought of it, it also made me think about a lot of other things too, great post.

  14. Interesting to think about! Especially if it’s a source of income, I guess there should be some sort of back up plan. I do like the idea of having my future generations continue reading.

  15. This is 100% one of my favorite blog posts I think I have ever read. It really got me thinking for and I was the same about my starting my blog, it was never for anything more than me! Great post.

  16. OMG never thought about it….
    Need to think about it…such a thought provoking post my friend
    Sushmita recently posted…Feeding your Mind with the Right ContentMy Profile

  17. Very interesting post. And also it made me ask questions to my self. My blog is also for me is expressing my ideas and sharing my stories but not to make money. I would love the future generations to keep reading it .

  18. A friend of mine said that the reason he doesn’t want to buy his domain is so that his blog could live forever. I see his point because when we die, who else would pay for our blog’s domain? It’s not like our loved ones would even bother to do that. I did think about your question before and the answer really is, nothing. My blog will die just like me and I am okay with it. We are mere passersby in this world, we cannot live forever, and I have already accepted this. What’s important is, while I am here, my blog is my partner in sharing my story, and in helping me remember the things that I did and learn in my life.

  19. Hello Nadine!

    To be honest, I never thought about it, it depends on many things! We can die soon with no notice( will not happen 😉 ) Maybe the best thing is to let the blog to your children (if you have) and tell them how important it is for you! If not to some friends or to some reader and pray that He/She really loves you like the Mac 🙂

    If you don’t want take risk you can invest a lot of money and buy your domain for 100 or more years!!

    Love the last quote 😉

  20. It would be nice if my blog stays eternal 😇 But maybe after 5 decades many info would be obsolete… maybe my poetry blog should stay eternal instead 😉

  21. Well, you set me thinking! True! What will happen to all these info I have stored in my blog?
    There should be concept of free hosting, and one can schedule posts too so that they keep posting automatically even after you are long gone. 🙂
    Indrani recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – 418 #CaptionThisMy Profile

  22. Although I never thought about it myself (I also have a blog) , but you made me to. I guess I will do some preparations to let my blog live for much longer after I am gone. I will teach my children about how to grow it (they also love travel after all) and ultimately, just like any other inheritance, let them do whatever they want with it after I am gone

  23. This is such a different and interesting read and just imagine what your words did. Many of us are thinking on the same platform what we have not thought until the day. Even I want my blog to stay longer than me. It should help out someone and it should be the mere representation of us. My children and grandchildren should feel proud after going through it and should remember our journey.

  24. Interesting post! I haven’t thought of that Nadine. Thanks for bringing it up with the potential solutions too 🙂

  25. I haven’t thought or considered anything like this about my blog, but it sure is somethin I treasure now I’m still alive. Blogging is passion for us and we value it a lot and hopefully our children or great grandchildren will inherit this passion we love the most.

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