I know that a lot of my readers have either already made the switch to blogging full time, or are in the process of it, and a few diehards are even blogging full time while working full time with the end goal of leaving their jobs to work solely for themselves online.
But what are we supposed to do when it comes to taking time off? Holidays, sick time, offline commitments, travel? All these things can mean time away from the keyboard and it’s a good idea to have a game plan in place beforehand so you can still manage your blog business while you’re away.
Hiring a writer
If your income is stable enough, or your savings can support it you might consider hiring a writer while you’re away to keep things running for you. You can choose to have him or her write as themselves and as a member of your staff which will show the level of success your blog is at, or you can choose to find someone who has a similar writing style and have them ghostwrite for you while you’re away. The choice is yours.
Scheduling ahead of time
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the scheduling feature that WordPress has built into its interface, and likely use it from time to time. By setting up your posts to go out for the next couple of weeks it can almost appear to your visitors like you never left. Even better if you’re able to log in every couple of days and make an appearance in your comments section which, in this day of smart phones, isn’t too difficult for many of you.
What about content
Scheduling ahead of time is all well and good, but where exactly are these extra posts going to be coming from? It’s always a good plan to write much more than you need. If you need a post for tomorrow, write two. If you start an article and then run out of steam, save it in an incomplete folder for later use. Having an extra twenty or thirty posts at your disposal will ensure that you are ready for almost any situation including holidays, or simply having nothing to write about. Just make sure you replenish your pool rather than depleting it when you’re feeling too lazy to write!
What’s a blogging buddy? Well just like it sounds it’s an online friend who also runs a blog (preferably in the same niche so he or she is comfortable writing on your topics) and who can take over your blogging duties while you’re away. The benefit for them is that they too have someone to look after their site while they take some time off at some point. While there are some bloggers who bite, most are a pretty generous and friendly bunch.
Open the guest blogging doors
Guest blogging can be great for everyone involved. The guest blogger gets a free link and some added exposure, the blog owner gets some fresh content written by someone other than himself, and the readers get to hear what a new voice has to offer. We all have our own unique style of writing and even if one isn’t better than the other, it’s often nice to experience a fresh outlook or perspective.
By stockpiling your guest post reserve you can have a “guest post week” where you use nothing but posts that your readers, or colleagues have submitted. Most won’t mind waiting a week or two, or even longer if they know why you’re doing it (never just hold on to the post without explaining why) and that you intend to publish, and when.
Pause all publishing
Now this one isn’t usually an option, but I wanted to list it to show you why it might not be a good idea. Your readers have become accustomed to your posting schedule even if you don’t realize it. If you post at 6:00 am every day then people will know that they can incorporate it into their morning routines. I have certain blogs I’ll stop in and visit before starting my own day and if they all of a sudden just stop I’ll notice for sure.
You’ve likely developed a routine for posting which includes both times of day, and days of the week (some of you post daily, while others post every three days, etc.) It’s not usually a good idea to disappoint your readers. The newer readers you have who haven’t developed any loyalty toward your blog may just look elsewhere for their morning blogger fix.
We are all entitled to time off and with a little bit of planning you can make sure the experience is enjoyable for both you, and your readers.