One of the challenges of operating a blog is worrying about how it will function when you leave for an extended period of time, such as on a vacation. While some bloggers stress out over the idea of not producing enough fresh content in their absence, it doesn’t have to be an issue if you prepare for it.
Whenever I go on vacation, I make sure I prepare my blog well in advance for my time away. That doesn’t mean I won’t be checking in and writing the odd post, but for the most part, if I’m on vacation, I don’t want to think about it. That’s why I follow the same method each time I go away to make sure things flow as smoothly as possible.
There are a couple steps you can do to ensure your blog continues on and doesn’t end up sitting dormant:
- Write posts in advance — Depending on how long you’re going away, make sure there are new posts waiting to go live sitting in your dashboard. If you’re using WordPress, this is as simple as scheduling the date/time for your content to be published. If your posting frequency is everyday and you’re going away for a week, write 7 posts in advance before you leave. If your posting frequency is every second day like me, write your content accordingly.
- Make advertisers aware of your absence — If an advertiser is paying you to promote their business on your blog, make sure they know you’ll be away if they need to get in contact with you. Sometimes ad code becomes improperly formatted the odd time, especially if you’re using an unreliable plugin to host it. Check to make sure your ads are running properly and everything else is in place before you go.
- Set an e-mail autoresponder — To help take some of the pressure off of you when responding to e-mails promptly, set an autoresponder to make those who contact you aware that you may not reply as soon as you normally would. Sometimes it also helps to forward your e-mail to your BlackBerry or mobile device if you need to stay in touch while away from the computer.
- Write more posts in advance of your return — This relates to point #1 in the sense you need to store a number of posts while you’re gone, but you should also write a few for when you get back. The last thing you want to do after coming back from a relaxing vacation is having to worry about getting a post up the next day. Write content to hold you over for at least 3 days after your vacation is over. This will give you time to unpack, check e-mail, and unwind a bit before getting back into your normal routine.
- Minimize the time you spend online when away — If you’re on vacation, chances are you deserve it. Get well rested and limit the amount of times you check your sites/e-mail, etc. It can be hard to tune everything out the first day or two you’re away, but after that, your mind will be at ease and you’ll be able to relax without thinking too much about your obligations back home.
But most importantly, enjoy your time off. As spring is now here, many people like to get away to tropical destinations and unwind. You should be one of those people. Getting away for a while and then coming back fully charged will not only help your peace of mind, but can ultimately affect how well you run your business.
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