. TIPS FOR BLOGGING WHILST YOU’RE AWAY .
I think it’s fair to say that the two biggest challenges to overcome when blogging, at least for me, are firstly juggling my blog whilst working full time, but secondly keeping my blog running whilst i’m taking a break on holiday or having some well needed time out (and with many bloggers currently jetting around the world for various fashion weeks, I imagine this is something a lot of you can relate to right now).
It’s a tricky old thing ‘taking a break’, clearly the whole point of a holiday, a weekend off, or a week away is to rest, have fun and relax, but theres also the desire to keep my blog active and your newsfeeds topped up. When I go away on holiday I really am looking for a break from everything, blog included, but I still want to keep my blog running.
This is absolutely fine, and there’s no issue in putting a blog and job on hold while you take a little time off, but if you’re blog like mine is daily and you’re as obsessive as I am about keeping your blog live on a daily basis, this throws a little challenge into the mix. How to keep your blog running whilst you’re off enjoying some time out?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this, but given I like to holiday, and i’ll be jetting off to Abu Dhabi for 10 days at the end of October I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tricks, tips and general advice on the topic, and of course hear your advice too!
I’ve been having a think about all the options, and I think there are 6 key pointers:
. TAKE YOUR KIT .
The first real option is to keep things running as usual, but instead of blogging at home, up route your little HQ to wherever in the world you may be. Of course this isn’t always feasible, but if you’re away on a business trip with work, or having a long family holiday and know that internet access and time is going to be available, then why not just take your laptop and camera with you and set up base from your sunbed or hotel room. If you’re with kids that are trying to distract you, show them some fun videos to keep them busy while you get to work.
I’ve done this on a couple of holidays where blogging won’t actually interrupt my trip, my experience or my overall holiday. Every year I take a ski trip and we’ll always stay in a lovely chalet, given the facilities and type of holiday, I often find it nice to sit in front of a fire after a day skiing with a martini in hand and type out a few blog posts if only for an hour before the apres ski & dinner plans kick in. Equally this summer I visited France for a long weekend and stayed in a beautiful house which had wifi available, and given the type of trip it was easy for me to keep up blog whilst I was away. If anything the new locations provide some beautiful settings for outfit pictures or lifestyle posts on your blog, I love to do a little holiday round up feature at the end of my trips, but there’s no reason you couldn’t turn it into a daily diary if you had time!
There are of course other trips where blogging and laptops are totally out of bounds, city breaks or mine and Jase’s trip to Crete earlier this summer. On these trips I really just want to wind down & spend time enjoying my holiday, so for these I have a couple of other tactics to keep my blog running while i’m away …
. SCHEDULE POSTS .
If possible I actually think it’s good to try and shut down when you’re taking time off, and this would include leaving your blog at home, giving you 100% capacity to just unwind and focus on living life and having fun. In situations like this, I find pre- writing and scheduling features an absolute saviour.
It may be bloody hard work in the run up to your holiday to schedule 5, 7 or 14 posts in advance, but knowing that your blog is still running and that you don’t have to work on it or worry about it is a great satisfaction. For those trips where I can’t blog when i’m away, this is my preferred option.
I tend to dedicate the week prior (evenings of course, once I’ve finished work) & time at the weekend (to take all my pictures) to writing up my future features and preparing posts to go live daily whilst I’m away. It’s a really difficult thing to manage, as it involves a lot of work, a lot of preparation and some serious organisation skills, but for me I feel happy knowing my blog is still plodding along whilst i’m away having fun!
I may do a separate feature on how to schedule features in the future as i’ve had a lot of comments on this point specifically in all of my ‘how to’ features, but you can read my post on how to keep organised & how to up your productivity to get some tips on getting your blog features organised!
. PRE PREPARE HALF YOUR FEATURE .
Being realistic though, sometimes there simply isn’t time to pre-schedule all your posts, especially if you’re going away for a couple of weeks or have a super busy schedule before you leave. In these instances you can only do as much as you can, and the rest leave up to fate or pick up whilst you’re away when time allows.
For me the biggest part of preparing a blog post is coming up with the content ideas and then getting the pictures taken. As long as these two elements are done prior to taking a break or going on holiday, the rest is easy to do remotely via an ipad or hotel computer.
The writing and setting live requires simply an internet connection, so as long as you have images loaded into a draft blog feature, you can grab 5 minutes in an internet cafe, the hotel lobby or even via an ipad when you catch some wifi (this is what I do) to quickly write your editorial and set the feature live.
When I simply don’t have time to pre-schedule all my features, i’ll revert to this tactic as a last resort & finish my features whilst i’m away (it’s worth checking in advance if you’re hotel has wifi so you’re not left stranded).
. ROPE IN OTHER BLOGGERS .
An option i’ve never explored (because i’m a total control freak) but one that many bloggers tend to use to help out, is to invite other bloggers to write guest posts on your site whilst you’re away. Whether this is pre planned features which you schedule before you leave or features they manage and set live on your behalf whilst you’re away, the idea is that you have a new editor each day writing up a feature for you.
Often these features will be about the guest bloggers own interests, but it’s a great idea for diversifying your content and also ensuring you have live features without any pre-stress of having to write them all yourselves!
. FOCUS ON YOUR OTHER SOCIAL CHANNELS .
But you may not fancy any of these options, you might be happy to actually write a post telling your readers your jetting off for a week and that if they want to keep up to date with your travels, experiences or outfits that they should follow your Instagram / Twitter / Facebook!
This is absolutely great if you don’t want the stress of writing posts whilst away or trying to be organised and write them all before you go. Often when away you get bursts of WiFi as you’re in restaurants, cafes, the hotel lobby etc, so you could use these moments to share a quick pic of what you’re up to or try out the old #lategram hashtag and share pics from days prior.
This is a good middle ground if you don’t want to lose absolute contact with the digital world (heaven forbid) but still want to take some proper time out! It’s also a great way to introduce your other social channels to your blog readers!
. TAKE SOME TIME OFF .
And of course, the final option which sometimes is the absolute best option, is just to press pause on all things digital, and press play on reality. This can of course feel utterly scary (I mean, no social media, WHAT?) but actually sometimes it’s a really good thing to do, especially if you’re really in need of some time out and a good rest. Let yourself have it.
As I mentioned in my ‘how to up your productivity‘ feature and of course my ‘Wellness‘ feature, taking a break is absolutely necessary to your health and also your ability to work productively. It’s not always possible, but if you can, actually give yourself a proper break, don’t worry about the blog, social media or the pressures of keeping your blog running, shut off for a bit. You never know you might come back with even more force, passion and determination!
It’s not something i’m yet to be able to do even after nearly 3 years blogging (wow), but one day maybe!
So there you have it, 6 tips for keeping your blog running whilst you’re taking some (deserved) time out! I’d love to hear what you do whilst you’re away or if you have any other tips which i’ve not covered?