Blogging (especially in the early years) doesn’t have any regular office hours. We write when we have time, often squeezing in blogging around other jobs and family life. It can become almost constant, with the feeling we need to be active online every day. So, what happens when you need to be away for some time? How can you thrive through a blogging break?
Summer’s starting soon and I hope you have some time off planned. What will you do with your blog over the summer, especially while you’re on vacation? How can you keep up your blog while the kids are home from school, while you’re on vacation, or just while you slow down your pace for a season?
Decide what is most critical to your blog’s health – maintaining engagement with your email list, driving more traffic to your site, or staying active on social media. Then, consider how much time you will be off and how that might affect your priority area. Plan ahead and choose a strategy that works for you. Most of all, though, don’t stress about taking a break. You can manage it – and even thrive through it.
6 Strategies to Thrive Through a Blogging Break
1) If you aren’t already sending emails to your readers, now’s the time to start.
Writing emails to your list take far less time than writing new blog posts. Pre-schedule emails to your list during the time you’ll be out. Refresh an older post and share that in your email. Share valuable content you’ve found elsewhere on the internet. Encourage your readers or provide tips. Focus on driving engagement through email and nurture your subscriber list.
2) Post half as frequently, but email twice as often.
How many of your readers visit your site directly to see if you have a new post published? Or, do they mostly come because you’ve sent an email or posted something on social media? Likely they’re not visiting your site every day looking for a new post. Instead, they’re clicking on a link you’ve promoted somewhere. Posting less frequently may not make an impact on your blog, especially if you’re emailing your list consistently and continuing to promote your existing posts on social media.
Sarah Mueller of EarlyBirdMom.com wrote in a recent email that she used email as a way to maintain (and grow) her blog during a season of her life when she just couldn’t maintain her old blogging schedule. She cut her blog posts in half and doubled her emails (which were much faster to write and kept her readers engaged). She recently released an ebook, Inbox Invitation: How and Why to Email for Income, outlining her email strategy and it’s full of great tips and strategies. (Not an affiliate link, but I did just purchase this one for myself and thought it was full of value.)
3) Line up guest posts.
Guest posts are a great way to source content when you don’t have time to write as often as you’d like. Be selective. Ask bloggers you know and respect. Provide guidelines on content areas, length, and key messaging to fit your blog. Plan in advance so you have time to gather posts and then edit and prepare them on your site. You’ll probably also want to make the graphics so they match the rest of your site.
4) Write ahead and schedule posts while you’re away.
If you have time, write a number of posts in advance and schedule them while you’re away. This may not be practical, especially if you’re already pressed for time to write, but maybe you can block off some focused time to prepare. These posts still need to be high-quality, high-value, so don’t rush them.
5) Refresh older posts.
Go through your archives and refresh some older posts. Update and edit the content to sharpen and improve the post. Then, create fresh graphics. You can either just promote it through email and social media or update the posting date to republish it. (I usually just promote the updated post, but this article on Vacations and Your Blog: What do Do with Your Blog While You’re Away explains how to republish.)
6) Take time off and don’t sweat it!
Seriously. Just consider taking time away from your blog. A week or two without a new post or email isn’t the end of the world – and may do you a world of good!
I hope you have some time off planned this summer to rest and have fun. Unplugging for a few days, a week, or even longer will refresh you and bring you back with renewed inspiration and passion. Your business can thrive through a blogging break if you plan ahead!
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