With summer starting in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m sure many Campfire Chic readers are starting to plan a handful of staycations, long weekends, and maybe even extended vacations away from home. But what about your blog? Will you let your blog sit untouched for a few weeks while you’re off, or do you hope to plan ahead so your readers won’t know you’re out of town until after you return? Today’s post focuses on a few tips on how to prepare your blog for a blog break, vacation, or an extended leave of absence.
Take it from somebody who has a few things on her plate and manages to have posts go up five days a week…planning ahead is essential if you feel like you want your blog to be “live” while you are away from your computer. Today’s tips can be used for a long weekend away from home or even as you prepare to for a hiatus from the blogging world (Think: a long backpacking trip or maternity leave)
Write everything down
Like what? First off, start with writing down when you plan to leave for your trip! At least that way you can actually see your deadline. Next: write down all the “stuff” you need to do before you leave…the guest posts you promised, the affiliate payments that are due, the newsletter you have tentatively planned, the blog posts you want to write…all of it! Get it down and take a step back…does everything need to be done? Can the blog re-design wait? Can you get an extension on that guest blog post? Take inventory and see what you can outsource…like, I’ll sometimes recruit Alex to help me get links for my Essential Reading posts! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you may find it is exactly what you need.
Even if your trip isn’t for a few months from now, start stockpiling on blog posts now. Scary? Maybe. Starting now on a few drafts (or maybe even a few fully worked out posts!) will make the time leading up to your trick less stressful. Take a look at your current blogging schedule: are you posting three times a week? Aim to have enough posts ready to roll that you can even have a few go up during the days leading up to your departure as well as the few days upon your return. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you have a blog post scheduled when you are running through an airport terminal in a desperate attempt to catch your flight home.
Another thing to start stockpiling? Social media updates! Now, some purists will scoff at the idea, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with planning a few tweets/updates to go up while you are out of town…what if badguys are watching your Twitter feed and notice that you went from 10 updates a day to 0 over a long weekend? Yeah, BADGUYS. So don’t let the badguys win and schedule some updates! I like to use Hootsuite to schedule updates for Twitter and Facebook since those are my most used social media platforms.
Pro tip: You can schedule updates for blog posts that haven’t gone up yet if you use the permalink to the post. That way, if you don’t have a plugin on your site that automatically sends out updates with new content! Another option? Set up an IFTTT channel to automatically send updates to different platforms. Automatically pushing the new content to your social media accounts will ease your mind and help to continue to drive traffic to your site while you are off enjoying yourself.
This seems a little overwhelming, I know. Especially the part about creating content in advance. For that, I’m going to (not-so-humbly) suggest picking up a copy of Three Sixty-Five: Ideas for Blog Posts, Scrapbook Pages, and Art Journal Entries. For $5, you get 365 blog post ideas, which should hold you over for a while, right? The best part of the eresource is that I set it up to act as a springboard for you to come up with even more ideas! Get started.
Here are some additional resources:
- 5 Quick Tips for Preparing Your Online Shop for the Holidays
- More Tips for Preparing Your Online Shop for the Holidays
- My Blogging Calendar — How I plan ahead and get shit done
- How to Maintain Your Editorial Calendar
- Blog Wise: Become a Productive & Prolific Blogger ebook
How do you prepare your blog/shop for a vacation?
Do you have any other suggestions?