What should you do with your blog when you take time off for travel?
While blogging seems like the type of job you could continue while you’re jet-setting around the globe, it’s not actually that easy.
On top of the fact that most of my travel time is spent sightseeing, I just flew from Fiji to Mexico (my worst flight ever) and wasn’t able to access the internet for 3 straight days.
But we can’t just leave our blogs sitting there idle while we travel, right? Readers will assume we’ve disappeared off the face of the planet, and discard us for other new and exciting content somewhere else in the blogosphere.
So how do we take a break without damaging our reputation? The simplest way to do this, is preparation.
Here’s a list of tips for taking a travel break, to ensure your blog doesn’t take a hit while you’re away!
Aim for a relaxing trip!
A few months before:
Get out your calendar and look at the time that you’ll be away. How many blog posts would you normally publish in that amount of time? Do you want to continue publishing your posts at the same rate or at a slower pace?
Make a plan for some post topics once you’ve made a decision on your post schedule. Think about how much time you’ll need to write those extra posts before you leave, and schedule some time to put them together.
I started writing this post over three weeks ago (it feels weird writing that knowing that this won’t go live for a while). I’ll be compiling posts while I travel as well, but planning a few posts ahead takes the pressure off and allows me to relax a little.
Start planning as far in advance as possible. There’s no way you’re going to be able to put everything together in only a week. Yes, this means you’ll have to work harder in the lead up to your trip, but you’ll have time off to relax afterwards!
Plan a short blogging break. If you don’t want to go down the path of writing a bunch of posts in advance, you could announce to your readers that you’ll be travelling for a little while and trust that they’ll await your return. This should be fine for short-term trips of 1-2 weeks, but if you’re planning on being away for a month or more, this might leave your readers feeling abandoned.
Looking forward to some beach time?
A few weeks before:
Start thinking about your social media platforms, and how you’ll manage them while you’re away. Will you have steady access to the internet? And will you want to continue actively posting on certain platforms?
It’s a good idea to stay alive on social media even if you’re not posting on your blog so that they’re not filled with tumbleweed while you’re away.
I schedule posts for my Facebook page a few days in advance. I also use the Publicize setting in the Jetpack by WordPress.com plugin for scheduling some of my social media posts, and Evergreen Post Tweeter for scheduling daily archive posts to on my Twitter feed.
Enjoying my time off in Fiji
A few days before:
Make an announcement. Inform readers and social media followers that you might be a bit quiet for a while. This way, they won’t mind if you’re not as active as normal and will await your return.
Inform any clients that you’ll be taking some time off. I do this with my Etsy shop so that my clients aren’t wondering where I’ve disappeared to, and they know exactly what to expect with a turnaround time for responding to their emails.
Set up a bounce back / out of office on your email informing people of the dates you’ll be away. You could also put a message in your bio or page description.
Things to avoid:
Posting mediocre content on your blog. This will do you more harm than good! Content is king, and if you sacrifice quality for the sake of posting something on your blog, your readers will get bored.
Ignoring comments/emails/questions. It can be hard to keep updated on these things while you travel, but make sure you don’t completely ignore everyone who is trying to contact you. You’ll come across as an arse. At the very least, acknowledge them and say you’ll get back to them after your trip.
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