Guest post: How to keep your blog banging when you need a break

Annabel CandyLife 21 Comments

Do you need a blogging break? Much as I love blogging we all need to put our hands in the air and step away from the computer at times. Yes, and the mobile phone, the iPad or whatever other gadgets you may have become over-attached to.

I’m not suggesting you stop blogging forever, don’t do that. Just take a blogging holiday for a few days or a few weeks if you can manage it. You’ll feel better for it, your blog will look better and your readers will still love you when you come back. Really. They will.

No one ever unsubscribed from a blog because no new posts were published. Blog readers unsubscribe or lose interest in your blog when what you post is old hat or fails to spin their wheels, not because they haven’t got an email from you for a few weeks.

need a break?

Photo: Pinterest

Technology is fantastic. The internet’s incredible. Blogging is brilliant. But if we blog non-stop then it can get too much. We lose enthusiasm for blogging and inspiration for creative blog posts ebbs. Our writing starts to get stale and we begin to lose track of our blogging goals.

But what are the options for bloggers who need a holiday? Let’s say you’ve got a vacation booked but you’re worried about what’s going to happen to your blog while you’re relaxing in that hammock, sipping a mojito and watching your kids building sandcastles.

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Three options for holidaying bloggers

1. Do nothing

Just leave your blog as is. If you do this feel no shame. I did it once and told my readers I’d be away for a few weeks. Afterwards I wished I hadn’t mentioned that I was going to be away as I’m sure my traffic dropped because of that.

But you probably should just tell them you’re taking a few weeks off so won’t be around the blog or your other social media hang outs as much but will be back soon.
If you need an emergency holiday or don’t have time to plan posts while you’re away don’t worry about it.

But when you get back write a blog post about your holiday. Share a photo or write a relevant blog post about it such as:

3 Things I Learnt About Time Management While in Fiji

How to Look Hot With Only 20 Kilos of Clothes

10 Reasons You Write Better on a Ship

2. Blog intervention

I haven’t tried this but it sounds appealing. I heard Pip from Meet Me at Mikes mention it at the Problogger Conference 2010 and have been wanting to try it ever since.

To organise a blog intervention just ask your blogging friends to help you with your blog. Give them a day when they’ll post, give them your log-in details and let them at it.

Sounds scary? Make sure they’re trusted friends and preferably blog readers who will know what content your readers like.

The beauty of this is that you can look forward to reading your own blog when you get home, as well as having a much needed holiday, and keeping your readers happy while you’re away.

You can return the favour when your blogging friends need a break.

3. Plan and schedule blog posts in advance

Nikki recommended the WordPress Editorial Calendar here . If you haven’t got it yet now’s the time. The editorial calendar allows you to drag and drop blog posts to different dates, quickly change the publication date and see at a glance which posts are scheduled and which are draft posts.

The drawback is you’ll have to write the blog posts in advance so the run up to your holiday will be even busier than ever. You can reduce the stress by posting less over your holiday. Even mega blogs like Copyblogger do that.

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Ideas for planning speedy blog posts your readers will love

1. Don’t leave it until the last week.

Write your guest posts in advance and get in the habit of creating blog posts that grow slowly as draft posts each month. For example, round up posts with great relevant content you’ve found on other blogs. Make sure it’s quick and easy for you to add them to the draft post as you come across them and that the links are useful for your readers. As a bonus it should be good networking and might earn you a few brownie points from your blogging buddies and peers.

2. Be inspired by another blog post.

Choose just one post you love on another blog, summarise and link to it. Most bloggers will be delighted with the free publicity and many bloggers (like me and Leo Babauta at Zen Habits) have uncopyrighted their work so you can use the entire article. Crediting the source is recommended.

3. Post a photo.

That’s it. Photos are powerful, especially if your blogging niche is visual such as food, fashion or travel. Choose one stunning photo and let it do the talking.

4. Post a question.

The aim here is to craftily get your readers to write the post for you. It should also be fun for them, get them feeling involved in your blog and build your community. Tailor the question to your niche and target audience. Here are some examples:

  • Fashion blog – I love red! What’s your favourite colour? What colour flatters you most? What colour instantly brightens your day?
  • Internet marketing blog – I love Hootsuite for my social media management. What tools, apps or software do you rely on?
  • Travel blog – What’s the best country purely for the food. I vote for Thailand. How about you?

Tip: Make sure the question is quick to answer.

5. Put out a call for guest posts

Email or tweet a few treasured readers whose blogs you love, otherwise you may get so many guest posts you can’t use them all.

If you need a blogging break take it. Choose whichever of the three options will work best for you and run with it

Whatever you decide to do relax and enjoy your holiday. You’ll come back to your blog refreshed, rejuvenated and raring to go and your readers will welcome you with open arms when you come back again.

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annabel candyAnnabel Candy’s two favourite activities are blogging and holidays. But not at the same time. She lives with her husband and their three children in Queensland, Australia where she writes the popular travel blog Get In the Hot Spot and shares blogging tips at Successful Blogging. Annabel’s ebook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps will help you get your blog off to a flying start of make it bigger and better than ever. Guaranteed. Click here to read the full contents and use the discount code “stylingyou” to get 35% off. Check it out now.

 

 

Comments 21

  1. I am taking a middle ground – I asked for guest posts fro each Thursday in december which is my parenting topic so wide open – that cleared 5 days for me, in the last 2 weeks of the month I see things have quieted down (including 2 linky’s I participate in closing shop for the holidays) so I am going to reduce from 6 days of posting to 3 and call it done! I hate the thought of putting out great content no one is reading but don’t want to simply vanish or recycle posts.

  2. I choose option 1: do nothing. The trouble with scheduling other posts is that you’re tempted to log in to see if anyone has anything to say about them. Not much of a holiday! I’m lucky in that my traffic means bugger all to me and noone else cares either. I’m doing nothing on my blog for 3 solid weeks and I am very happy for now!

    Merry merries, Annabel. x

  3. Very timely post for many, I assume, but definitely for me. Ive been considering scheduling some low key posts of images or videos but not quite sure what yet. I may even find I run out of time to do that but we’ll see. Thanks for compiling these ideas.

  4. Timely post. I’m going on a holiday right now for 3 weeks and have scheduled quite a few posts ahead. I may also post while on holiday, but if I’m getting too relaxed then I will not. Let’s see how it goes!

  5. I put out an email To some of my non blogging friends throughout the year and let them know if they ever had a post they wanted published to send it through, a few have, I didn’t save them for my blogging breaks but might next time.

    I also like the question idea, and photos are always great too.

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