It’s getting toward the end of summer (at least in the northern hemisphere) and many people are either just coming back from their vacation or are looking to take one before the weather starts to cool off.
However, time away from work also means time away from blogging, at least ideally, and that can mean an idle blog for a few days, a few weeks or even longer.
Once we get into a blogging routine, it’s hard for most to break it. But it is also hard on the readers, who will likely be expecting new posts, especially if the time away is to be longer than a week or two. This can have a negative impact on your subscribers, who may remove a seemingly dead feed and even your search engine rankings.
Fortunately though, there are ways around this. With a little pre-planning, you can go on a vacation, enjoy your time away and not have your site miss a beat. Here’s how.
Step 1: Post in Advance
The easiest, albeit most time-consuming, way to handle a blogging vacation is to write entries for it and set your blogging platform up to post them while you’re gone. This is pretty easy to do and ensures, better than anything, your site will not miss a beat.
However, creating these posts is no easy matter. First, you have to make sure that they are not timely, otherwise they’ll be out of date before they go live. Second, you probably won’t have time to create full posts so you’ll either need to use a limited posting schedule, maybe three days a week instead of five, or making the posts shorter.
All in all, this may be a good time to write out those ideas you’ve had but never had the time or reason to write. Many of us get so caught up in our day-to-day blogging that we pass over good ideas that aren’t timely. This is a good chance to fix that.
Step 2: Use Guest Writers
If you can attract guest bloggers, this is a very good time to recruit some to write a few posts for you while you are gone. If you can receive their submissions and forward post them before you leave, it can be a real win-win situation where you get free content and they get some publicity.
It’s important though to not let your quality slide. You may have to reject some posts, politely of course, and do some minor editing and formatting. Still, it should take much less time than writing new posts and can help bring some variety to your site.
Step 3: License Content
In addition to your work and content written just for your site, you can also license content from other sources. The best source, for most bloggers, will be Creative Commons Licensed material, which you can search for using either Google’s Advance Search (click the dropdown) or Yahoo’s CC Search.
If you do this, you’ll be able to find content that you can use legally on your site and for free. Just be sure to both link to the license, a requirement of use, provide attribution and, if your site is commercial in any way, use works licensed accordingly.
All in all, this can be a great, quick way to get content on your topic for you to use. Even though it has been posted elsewhere, there’s a good chance many of your readers will not have seen it before.
Step 4: Do Nothing
If you have to leave suddenly or otherwise can’t set up any content to go live while you are gone, try not to worry about it too much. Yes, you may take a hit in the search engines and, yes, you may even lose some subscribers if the hiatus is lengthy, but you can get both back quickly when you return to your regular schedule.
Traffic will be down, but not gone, and your site will miss you. But a break, even for two or more weeks, does not spell a death sentence by any stretch.
Though it’s better to set up posts if you can, even if they are smaller and less frequent, there are worse things you can do to your site than post nothing.
For example, you can post garbage.
Just because you take a vacation from your blog doesn’t mean your blog should take the same time off. There are many simple ways to keep the ball rolling while you’re gone. All that it requires is a little bit of pre-planning and forethought to make it like you were never gone.