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Entertain Your Readers When You’re Not There

It’s hard balancing a blog with your small business. Even though you know the importance of having fresh content, sometimes life gets in the way. Things get busy at work, you go away to a conference, you have a new baby in the house, or the unimaginable happens and you actually take a vacation. What happens to your blog when you don’t have time to update it? How do you take a blog vacation without it ruining all the momentum you’ve created?
Here are a few suggestions.

Schedule posts in advance: One way to get around going quiet during busy times is to write post ahead of time and schedule them to go live while you’re away. This allows you to continue to publish new content and not give off to customers or readers that you may be away from your computer or busily working away in your store. And because you’re the one writing the content, you don’t have to worry about any changes in voice or bringing in a guest blogger that may take more liberties than you’re comfortable with. The downside to this method, of course, is that you have to make time to pre-write content. Not always the easiest thing to do. 🙂

Schedule a Series: Some bloggers use times when they’re away to create a series of posts to unleash to readers. They’ll take a meaty topic, break it down into parts, and then release them throughout the week so readers have something to snack on while they’re going on with their day. Series pieces tend to be magnets for links and comments, but of course, they also bear the burden of having to be written beforehand.

Guest Posts: If you’re going away, why not bring in some guest authors to keep things alive and going while you’re gone? That may mean inviting people from your staff to take turns blogging, inviting colleagues or other industry experts, or opening your blog to frequent commenters or social media friends. Taking on guest posts allows you to spice up your blog with new voices and also takes the responsibility off of you to create content before you leave. If you’re going to allow new people to post on your blog make sure you leave them with some guidelines to help them craft their posts and point them in the right direction.

Highlight your best posts: If there’s no time to write new content then spending a week reposting some of your most well-received or high trafficked posts is another good way to keep fresh content on your blog. Highlighting some of your top posts helps new readers discover them and serves as a showcase of your best stuff. And because it’s content you’re already written, you can spend your time enjoying your vacation or working on something new instead of producing blog content.

Go Quiet: Another tactic some SMBs choose to take it to simply announce they’ll be away from the office for a few days and then let the blog stay quiet during that time. I’m not really a fan of this method, but sometimes (like in the case of personal emergencies), it’s the only viable option. Do this too often, however, and people are going to start losing trust in your blog. Constant updates are a big factor in why people subscribe to a blog. If it’s possible to avoid going silent, take it.

Even the best bloggers find themselves needing to take ‘blog holidays’ at some point. Whether work piles up, conferences happen or you’re on the road, creating a strategy to keep the blog going in your absence can help you retain and even gain readers.

How do you deal with blog vacations?