You’ve made the airline reservations, rented a beach house, or tuned up the car for a road trip, but what is your poor little blog doing this summer?
Genealogy Bloggers work hard all year – researching, writing, and managing the technology side of their site. Bloggers deserve a vacation, but taking a break doesn’t mean their blog has to languish without food or water while mom or dad reads the latest thriller on the beach.
Here are a few tried and true strategies for keeping the blog-wheels alive while the blogger takes a break.
Use a Blog Calendar to schedule your vacation/s. Print out a standard monthly calendar and fill it in with the family vacation events. If you don’t have plans yet, now is the time to think seriously about taking a break. Write it down: July 1-5 Blog Vacation.
Consider Mini-Vacations to give you a change of pace. Give yourself the weekends off and post only on weekdays, or visa versa. Or, schedule regular Furlough Fridays, just like the local courthouse. Hey, spend that day doing research, or something you really want to do!
Decide if you want to “stay alive” by scheduling articles to post while you are out of the Blog-office, or if you will just go on a “hiatus.”
Pre-Posting is an easy to schedule posts ahead of time. This has the advantage of keeping the content fresh and active, but the disadvantage that if something BIG happens in the blogosphere, your blog can appear either uninformed or disinterested. Of course, this may not be much of an issue if you don’t regularly comment on current news or events.
Take a Break, or a hiatus, which is essentially what every blogger needs and deserves once in a while. Sometimes, as when illness or family emergencies strike, this is the only option, but it also works for taking a bit of R&R. Let your regular readers know that you are still alive and well by posting a brief notice of your absence. Then go off and enjoy yourself.
Invite Guests to Write for your blog, or ask if you can publish an “extract” of an article from their blog with a link back to their site. This is an attractive win-win for both of you. Good content for you, and a link back with new readers for them. Use this technique sparingly and with care; be conscientious in including links and appropriate thanks. Pre-post the article to appear while you are on your break.
footnoteMaven regularly hosts guest columnists at Shades of the Departed and maintains links to past articles in a sidebar column. There’s always something to read at Shades.
Try Mobile Posting while you are away from home. It’s actually great fun to snap a photo on your mobile phone and send it to your blog; just be careful what you snap if you have set automatic posting. Most blog platforms allow this feature; search for cellphone or mobile in the Help Menu.
Summer is fleeting. Catch it while you can.