How To Prepare Your Blog For Vacation

With summer vacation just around the corner, the beach is calling our names. And while working from the beach sounds infinitely more fun than working at a desk, the reality is that you’d still be working while everyone around you revels in the sea, sand, and sun. We’ll take a guilty pleasure book over a laptop as our beach companion any day!

But how do you take a break from your blog and still maintain the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build? Today we’re sharing our favorite methods for preparing your blog for vacation.

1. Double up.

If you don’t want to worry about your blog while you’re on vacation but still want to maintain a regular posting schedule, then you’ll need to work ahead of time. The easiest way to do this is to add a bit of extra blogging time into your normal schedule just before you leave, and produce two posts when you’d normally produce one, scheduling the second to go live during your vacation. This works particularly well if you tend to post similar types of content on the same days each week, for example, an outfit post on Mondays and a link post on Fridays. In this case, you’ve already been through your typical process for that type of post once, which will help you complete the second post faster.

2. Schedule a batch day.

If you have time in advance, try blocking off a few hours to produce all of your vacation content at one time. To make this process easier, consider creating a series of related posts to go live during your vacation, so you don’t have to switch gears in the middle of your batch day. For example, make it a week of vacation related content, and document what you’re packing, what you wish you were packing, what you plan to do on vacation, and even what you’ve done there before, if you’ve been. Bonus points: This will actually help you get ready for your trip!

3. Update or share a round-up of posts from your archives.

Once we publish content, we tend to forget about it. But your archives are a really valuable resource! It takes much less time to update and republish an old post than it does to write a new one from scratch. Look at your stats for evergreen posts that still get decent amounts of traffic. You likely have new insights now that can improve the post content, and you also have new readers who haven’t fully explored your archives. You can even make new connections between your old content with a round-up of posts from your archives.

4. Schedule guest posts.

If you’re open to hosting other voices on your blog, why not ask friends to take over while you’re gone? While coordinating guest posts still requires planning in advance, it helps you reduce the amount of content you need to produce before you leave. We find the easiest way to coordinate guest posts is to give bloggers a prompt, and set the due date at least a few weeks before you leave so you aren’t scrambling to schedule content for those who wait until the last minute.

5. Take a break!

Ultimately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from posting so you can enjoy your vacation. We find that the total relaxation of vacation renews our creativity and excitement for blogging. And, sometimes your readers need a break, too! If you decide to take a blogging break, consider giving your readers a heads up so they know what to expect. If you have privacy concerns, you don’t have to share details — simply state that you’re taking some time away from your blog and let readers know when they can expect you to resume posting. You may also consider giving yourself a few days after your vacation to get back into your routines.

Whatever you decide, remember that there is no one right answer. Do whatever works best for you and your blogging goals at the time! If you’re feeling extra creative, go with it and work ahead. If you’re feeling behind, give yourself a break and come back refreshed from vacation.

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How do you manage your blog on vacation? Let us know in the comments!

xx,

Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

Ask Us Anything!

Recently, we put out a call for Ask Us Anything questions over our newsletter and social media channels. Today, we’re excited to share all the responses to your burning questions! Most of your inquiries focused on blogging and blog design, and we’re excited to dive right in… Click on through to read the questions and all our answers!

Keep reading “Ask Us Anything!”

Link Up! 3 Good Goals for Your Blog

It’s that time again — we’re excited to share our monthly <em>press Link Up! To recap, each month we release a blog post prompt, and anyone who wants to participate can write a post answering it. If you’re curious and missed out on the last one, you can read up on the details here, and check out last month’s Link Up here. This month’s prompt is:

What are your goals over the next few months?

As we head into the spring and summer months, we’ve naturally forgotten some of the goals we set for ourselves this year. For some of you, winter has held on so long that maybe you find yourself in a bit of a funk. Or maybe, like us, you’ve been so busy lately that your larger goals have been forgotten in the daily grind.

One of the first things to get pushed to the back burner when we’re in a funk or things get busy is our blogs. So for our take on this month’s Link Up prompt, we thought we’d share a little spark of inspiration for your own blog! Here are a few good goals to help you get excited about blogging again:

1. Commit to a blogging schedule.

If there’s anything we’ve learned over our combined 18 years of blogging, it’s that the magic is in the practice. We believe that blogging is whatever you want or need it to be, and for some that will mean you need to throw your schedule out the window. And that’s totally okay! But if you’re feeling stuck, uninspired, or overwhelmed, the best thing to do is start and just keep going. And the best way to do that is to commit to a blogging schedule, whether that’s twice a week or once a month — whatever works for you.

Blogging on a schedule can be a great first step to help you gain momentum. It might seem counterintuitive at first — after all, shouldn’t you blog when you actually feel like it? But we’ve found that sometimes inspiration requires action. Sit down at a scheduled time, start a new draft, and you may be surprised at how easily the words come to you.

2. Start a new series!

If actually sitting down to blog is the first step, coming up with an idea is the second step. And that’s the really hard part, right?! So, give yourself a framework to get started! A blog post series is a way to provide yourself with prompts, so you’re not starting with a totally blank screen. The beauty of a blog post series is that you can keep the theme totally simple, and there are endless ways to approach it. Just look at our Link Up, for example — we’re all responding to the same prompt, but we each have our own unique spin.

We love how Erica from Luv in the Bubble structures her Weekend Roundups with the same prompts each week: a high point, low point, and find of the week. It provides a go-to framework, but keeps the content fresh as her answers depend on what she did during the week. Similarly, Sasha’s Monday-Roundup on The Sasha Nicole gives her a starting point with the type of content to post, and then she can get creative with the themes of each roundup.

Also, keep in mind that a blog series doesn’t have to be a forever thing, or even follow a particular schedule. Our co-founder Victoria is currently writing a blog series based on personal experiences as they unfold, or as compelling anecdotes come up in everyday life. Think about something in your life you’ve been wanting to share on your blog, and how you may be able to structure it as a series to help you process or break up the writing into more manageable chunks.

3. Update your design.

We’ll cop to it, as a theme shop this advice is a bit self-serving. But one thing we’ve heard time and time again from our customers is that a new theme was just what they needed to get excited about blogging again (we love hearing that!). And it makes total sense — you know how when you take a few minutes to straighten up your desk, you get a little more excited about your work? It’s the same idea here.

You don’t have to load up your cart just yet (but if you’d like to go that route, may we recommend our newly launched theme, Presidio?). All it takes is a few minutes and a few simple tweaks to show your site a little bit of love. If you’re like us, we’re sure you have a list of tweaks you’d like to make to your site just sitting around, waiting for you to find the time. Maybe you’ve been meaning to update your About page image, or add an image to your sidebar linking to that post you’re super proud of. Maybe you’ve been wanting to figure out a little CSS to make that one tweak that’s been bothering you. Or maybe you’re not even sure where to start — try going through our list to spring clean your blog. Whatever you need to do to feel proud of your site again, make a list and make it a goal to get it done. Just like straightening up your desk, it’s amazing what a few small tweaks can do!

What helps you get excited about blogging? Share in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out these posts from participating bloggers:

Fonderlove
Not for Wallflowers
Monica Dutia
The Good Living Blog
Victoria McGinley
VICILOVES
Sincerely, Dani Rose
Luv in the Bubble
Elembee
EmDash

xx,