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Blogging when you’re not around

Even small business owners are allowed to take a holiday or some sick leave 🙂 Obviously that can leave a lot of tasks to be prepared for or done in your absence, but I’m just looking at your blog – what happens to your blog when you take some time off work?Relaxing on a beach, away from business

Running a blog and developing a readership takes time and effort; ignoring your blog for a while can undo much of that effort. So how can you manage take away from your business without letting your blogging efforts weaken or even waste away?

The following list gives some suggestions – the best approach will depend on your blog of course, and on how long you are taking off, and the best approach may be quite different next time you take a  break.

  1. do nothing 🙂 Just let your last blog post sit on the front page until you return.
    Very quick and easy solution but not so good for your search engine rankings and keeping any regular readers happy (unless your break is shorter than the gap between normal posts anyway)
  2. announce your intentions and leave your blog to sit for the duration
    Again, very quick and easy to do, but letting people know offers some customer service and keeps people informed. You may still loose some readers and search engines points, depending on how long you leave the blog. Letting your blog sit could give everyone a break or it could mean a lot of catching up posts when you return (especially if you rely non news and events as topics)
  3. Schedule posts so the blog keeps having new content without you physically being present.
    This requires preparation time in writing multiple posts in advance but is great for maintaining a blog presence, search engine rankings and regular followers. You may have a lot of comments to moderate when you return. Of course, this is less effective if your blog is based on breaking stories and current events as they are harder to write in advance and will need some catching up on when you get back.
    My tip if you like this method is to have some spare blog posts written throughout the year – these can then be scheduled during your break without having to write heaps of posts just before you go.
  4. Invite a guest blogger or two to post on your blog.
    Obviously this keeps your blog full and current while you’re away with less preparation time than scheduling many posts. The greatest time saving for you is if they have access to post directly to your blog but you get more control if they provide the posts for you to schedule before you leave. Giving a guest blogger access also means they could moderate and respond to comments, too.
    Guest blogging may add some new ideas to your blog which readers may like but it is a different voice which some readers may not like – if you know your readers and choose an appropriate guest blogger you can better gauge the likely response.
    While multiple guest bloggers adds variety to your blog and avoids issues around readers disliking one guest, it does involve more work on your part – finding and choosing guest bloggers, then discussing topics and setting up access/scheduling posts
  5. Maintain your blog from a distance – that is, write posts while you are away.
    The beauty of a blog is that you can access it from anywhere that has internet access so you can write posts away form the office.
    Writing posts while away solves all the issues of keeping your blog momentum going and comments moderated, with little preparation needed. However, it is not going to do much towards you relaxing on a holiday, building relationships with family while on holidays or allow you to recover if you are on sick leave. Taking a break is generally about giving yourself a change in routine to refresh your mind and body which isn’t going to happen if you keep working on your break.
    On the other hand, if you are away from your blog because you are travelling for work or doing something not about relaxing, this is a viable option to consider – and something to do in a hotel room each night is not always a bad thing either!
  6. Request readers to give their idea on a certain topic while you are away. For example, write a post asking a question and let it sit as your recent post for a few days. As readers answer, your blog is getting content and readers may get inspired in new ways.
    Very quick and easy to set up and it could be effective for a short break if you have readers who comment willingly. However, this will look out of place if left for very long and runs the risk of unmoderated comments – to work, you will have to allow all comments to be approved automatically which means all sorts of things may be posted…
  7. Use a RSS feed to fill your blog with external content.
    Once it is set up, this will take care of itself so it is a low effort option and could work if you choose the feed source carefully. However, you will still have comments to moderate when you return but you need to trust the feed source – of course, you could just use a news site and provide commentary later. The disadvantage is that your content will not be unique– in fact, duplicate copy can be a negative for search engines.

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