5 Ways to Prepare for a Blogging Vacation – It’s Okay to Take a Break

October 4, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

Next week, from Monday to Friday, I’m taking my first real vacation in a while – a 5 day cruise to the beautiful Bahamas with my family. I’ve been working pretty hard this year so it’s a much needed break from Internet marketing and SEO. I don’t think the cruise ships have reasonable Internet access so it’ll be a great time to just play in the sun, eat good food, relax, and recharge my batteries. Enjoy the cold weather, everyone! :P

Now, you may be wondering how I can do this and leave behind all of my SEO clients and blogs without being concerned. The reason is that I have measures in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly while I’m away. In this post, I want to go over with you the options that you have when taking a break from your own blog. Some of them are better than others so read through them and determine which of them might be right for you.

1. Ignore your readers
You can always just take extended breaks from your blog without telling your audience about what’s going on. I definitely do not recommend this, but a lot of bloggers tend to do it anyway, even if they’re not really on vacation. Blogging is essentially a relationship with your audience and any miscommunication, lack of dialogue, or neglect will quickly break the bonds of trust that you built with your readers. Don’t leave unless you have a plan of action! That’s like walking away from your significant other for a week without telling them where you’re going and without calling or messaging. I’m sure you know that that can lead to trouble.

2. Call for guest posters
Finding guest posters is probably the most popular method that bloggers use when going away. Not only do you receive free content (in exchange for exposure and links) but you also get your readers involved by allowing them to take ownership. Ideally, it’s their blog as much as it is yours so it’s okay to let go of the reigns once in a while. When Rae Hoffman aka Sugarrae was gone for a week, I managed to get a guest post on her blog – which worked well for the both of us. Same thing with Shoemoney and BlogStorm. Darren Rowse from Problogger also frequently calls out for guest bloggers and he always gets a ton of responses. Requesting guest posts works best for bigger blogs so it might not be an option if you’re just getting started.

3. Hire a blogger
Guest blogging is a bit unpredictable because you don’t really know what you’re going to get in terms of post quality. Although not likely, you could potentially be stuck with a bunch of low-quality articles you wouldn’t normally publish on your blog. If you’re a control freak, it might be a better route for you to hire a trustworthy friend or a proven blogger to take over the duties while you’re gone. For example, Darren at Problogger often features Skellie from Skelliewag whenever he’s away. As you may know, Skellie does an amazing job with great articles related to blogging and Internet business.

4. Blog from vacation
Unless you properly manage your time, you could end up in a sticky situation where you have to either ignore your readers completely for a period of time or blog from your vacation. Obviously, neither of those situations is ideal, so it’s important to be prepared with some sort of strategy.

5. Post date your articles before you leave
Another popular method to prepare for a blogging vacation is to write articles beforehand and post-date them for the days you’re gone. For example, if you know you’re going to be away next week, you can write a few articles this weekend and post-date them in WordPress so that they are published during your off-days. It works like a charm and your readers may not even know that you’re gone (although you should probably tell them anyways).

Which of these 5 strategies do you employ when you go on blogging vacation? The option that you choose will actually say a lot about how you run your blog.

As for me, I’ve post-dated a few articles that you should see published next week. Ideally, I’d want to call for guest bloggers but I know that’s a lot to ask on short notice. That being said, if you want to do a guest post on Winning the Web next week, send it to me via email by Sunday night. :)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time I work on my tan. :) Enjoy, everyone!

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Comments

28 Responses to “5 Ways to Prepare for a Blogging Vacation – It’s Okay to Take a Break”

Chetan on October 4th, 2008

Nice post..

Btw i schedule my posts for the days when am out for vacation! So my blog and visitors don’t feel any absence :)

Gyutae Park on October 5th, 2008

Thanks Chetan. That’s what I do as well. I have a few post scheduled for the week but I’m trying to get together some more useful material for you all while I’m gone. Your visitors don’t feel your absence, but do you still announce that you’re leaving?

 
 
Tom - StandOutBlogger.com on October 5th, 2008

Great tips! I am heading away in a couple of weeks and will definately be putting these into motion.

Gyutae Park on October 5th, 2008

Thanks Tom, I’m glad you find them useful. Which of the tips are you planning on using for your own trip?

 
 
Kim at Best of Hawaii Directory on October 5th, 2008

Excellent Posting! I also feel the need to recharge batteries, but always have that nagging feeling that someone needs to reach me. It’s five days … go, enjoy, rest …

Gyutae Park on October 5th, 2008

Haha, I totally understand what you’re talking about… The Internet is great at connecting people but sometimes we get rather dependent on it. Hope you’re able to take a vacation soon as well.

 
 
wisdom on October 5th, 2008

Hah, that is a short deadline for guest posts. Good advice in here about taking a vacation. Blogging from vacation is probably not ideal. The easiest way seems to be post dating articles although guest posts are always a plus.

Gyutae Park on October 5th, 2008

I know… I was late in getting everything organized so I didn’t really expect any guest posts to come through. Some people enjoy blogging from vacation to share their experiences, but I personally would rather just drop everything and get away for a bit. :)

 
 
Flashlights Web on October 6th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Maybe you can hire me as a blogger :)

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

What’s your rate? :P

 
 
Pushkar Gaikwad on October 6th, 2008

Gyutae, Nice Blog and Where are the vacation pics ? :)

As far as guest blogging is concerned, its a double edges sword, if you have a very high quality blog then its better to not to post for a week (and then come back with a super post!) then to pay someone to make below par posts.

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

Thanks Pushkar, you can find a few vacation pics here: http://www.winningtheweb.com/back-from-vacation.php

I agree with your comment and guest posting. You should never sacrifice quality just to meet the post quota. Sub par posts will do a lot more harm than good.

 
 
Bruno Auger on October 6th, 2008

Ya
I usualy schedule my posts when I’m away. I never had a guest blogger yet but I will be looking into it soon.

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

Guest bloggers usually tend to flock to the bigger sites mainly because there’s more in it for them. That doesn’t mean you can’t get guest bloggers, but it’ll probably be a lot harder unless you offer more of an incentive.

 
 
zncustombuilding on October 6th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

well i also do the scheduling when i am out of the vactiosn it helps my reader to don’t get feel the absence..

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

Scheduling posts in advance works like a charm. Readers get their daily dose and you can relax knowing that WordPress is working its magic.

 
 
Ann Arbor Web Design on October 7th, 2008

Good points there except from the one about blog from vacation; defeats the very purpose now wouldn’t you say?

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

Yep, like I said it’s the absolute last resort. However, some people do enjoy blogging on vacation because they can share their experiences and make everyone jealous of their travel.

 
 
mini christmas tree on October 7th, 2008

i generally do the scheduling of my articles in before. Bcoz, i don’t want disappoint my visitors.

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

That’s pretty much the consensus here. Everyone like to schedule posts in advance so that readers get a steady influx of good content while you’re away.

 
 
Stockpreacher on October 7th, 2008

right now my blog is still developing. I hope i can hire a blog write one day. however, my blog is include a good stock market analysis like me.

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

Well technically your blog will always be developing but it might actually be beneficial for you to hire an additional blog writer so you can focus your attention on marketing.

 
 
ChiQ Montes on October 8th, 2008

well i should probably take these advice in consideration the next time i go for vacation. im too lazy to find guest posters.. so id probably just have to schedule posts on dates that i will be away..

Gyutae Park on October 13th, 2008

It’s funny you say that. I would think that finding guest posters is the lazy way out, and not the other way around. It’s takes more effort to write and schedule posts than to have someone else do it for you.

 
 
Eva White on October 14th, 2008

So which or all of the points did you do when on vacation? I personally would schedule posts while i’m away. Hiring another blogger is too much effort and the writing style would not match either.

 
Make Money Blogging on October 15th, 2008

Absense makes the heart grow fonder! Perhaps you can write a post asking you readers what they hope to read in the next post after you come back from your vacation. Should be able to keep your blog active for awhile..

 
Rajaie AlKorani on October 16th, 2008

Hahaha! The last line was so predictable!

I would recommend using the last idea from your list, that way you wouldn’t need to worry about post quality/quantity.

 
Downloadic on October 18th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I also do the scheduling when i am out of the vacation…

 
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