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5 Tips for Preparing your Blog for Vacation – How to Prepare your Blog for a Trip

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Ah, vacation. A time to relax and unwind – or, in our case, do lots of yard work and learn about electrical wiring.

When you live on a tropical island, your vacations don’t always look “normal!” I’ve taken at least a month mostly away from blogging each summer for the past four years, but if you look through my blog archives you won’t find any major gaps. Depending on your personal reasons for blogging, you may be perfectly okay with taking 4-6 weeks completely off each summer, but it’s not my style.

Over the past few years, I’ve developed strategies for keeping my blog at least somewhat active while I’m gone without taking myself away from vacation to post. Today I’m sharing my top 5 tips for preparing your blog for vacation to help you keep your blog on track while you’re away without giving up precious vacation minutes!

5 top tips for preparing your blog for vacation

Before we get into the hows, lets look at the whys. Why bother? Why worry about preparing your blog for vacation, anyway?

If you’re trying to get eyeballs on your posts and want to grow your online presence, maintaining some sort of posting schedule while you’re away is important. Every algorithm I’ve heard about, from Google to Instagram and Facebook, rewards consistency. Proverbially dropping off the face of the internet for an period of time is likely to loose you both some followers and ranking. I am thankful for all of my followers, particularly the group of folks who aren’t fellow bloggers but subscribe to my newsletter and consistently stop by to see what’s new. You guys are awesome! It’s amazing and humbling to know there are folks who enjoy seeing my latest projects and tutorials and want to hear what I have to say. Some of my desire to have posts lined up while I’m away is to say thank you to the fine folks who follow me.

Even if you don’t care at all about SEO, reach, and ranking, you may still want to keep up some online activity while you’re away. For many of us, blogging is an important creative outlet. If I don’t get to create something for a few days in a row, I get downright twitchy! Creativity begets creativity, and not creating for an extended period of time can make it more difficult to get back in the groove. In the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, author and artist Betty Edwards explains that looking at a blank page can be intimidating. She suggests lightly shading a page with graphite to remove some of the anxiety from sitting down to draw. By the same token, it can be easier to get back to blogging if it doesn’t feel like there’s a huge gulf between now and the last time you posted. Planning for a after-vacation recap post and making notes/taking pictures can also help you stay creatively stimulated, even if you don’t sit down at the computer while you’re away.

Finally, planning ahead and preparing your blog for vacation helps you enjoy your trip! If you know you want to keep up a blogging schedule while you’re away, wouldn’t you rather know it’s taken care of ahead of time instead of feeling like you need to sequester yourself in the hotel room while everyone else is at the pool? On many trips, I don’t have consistent internet access. Isn’t it way better to enjoy time with your friends, family, or just the local scenery than to worry about where to find some free wifi?

Alright, now that we’ve covered some whys, lets look at my top 5 tips for preparing your blog for vacation!

5 tips for preparing your blog for vacation

Plan ahead of time. Like, way ahead of time. I’ve always loved lists and planning – I start jotting down post ideas about two months in advance. Using a calendar, like my printable calendar, really helps because you can easily see how many posts you have planned for each week and can tell at a glance if you’re completely missing a particular block of time. By starting your planning early, you can spread the work load out and don’t have to panic at the last minute.

When I plan ahead, I also plan for posts I can work on while I’m away. Many people like to do a post-vacation wrap-up post; make sure to get a few good shots you can use if this is in your plan. I know a couple of tutorials I’m planning to share later in the year would really benefit from some pictures taken while we’re in West Virginia, so I’ll be doing a couple of “shoots” with my creations while we’re gone. This helps keep my creativity juices flowing and makes it easier to get back into things once we return. I also bring a small notebook along for jotting down post ideas.

Schedule. Because I live in one of the “last” time zones in the world, I schedule virtually every post so it will make itself available a couple of hours before I get up. When I’m planning a trip, I schedule every single post ahead of time, typically several weeks ahead of time! I pull out my calendar to make sure I have the date correct, set my time, and hit “schedule.” It’s simple and it takes a lot of stress away because you don’t have to worry about remembering to hit “publish” on any given day.

Additionally, I highly recommend using social media scheduling services. Last year I paid for an Instagram scheduler to post at least a couple of times a week while I was away. I currently use Tailwind, which now covers both Pinterest and Instagram. I use Tailwind for the majority of my Pinning, so all I have to do is start adding a few extra Pins a day over the previous weeks to bulk up my reservoir. Last year I managed to not run out of Pins in my queue all month! Facebook has a built in schedule feature now, which is awesome. I’ve heard speculation that FB prefers when you use their native scheduler instead of a scheduling service, so it’s worth giving a try, even if you already have something else that can schedule FB posts for you.

Cut yourself some slack. Your posts do not have to be as frequent as usual while you’re away. It’s okay to give yourself a bit of a break – just try to keep up some presence online. I gradually start removing a couple of time slots a day from my Tailwind queue as trips approach so I don’t have to schedule as many Pins. I also post less frequently on IG and FB. Yes, it would be fantastic to keep up the same number of posts on each platform while I’m away, but who has time for that?! A smaller number of high-quality posts is better than a larger number of posts that exist just to put something out there.

Don’t procrastinate! Start planning now! Okay, maybe not literally right now if your trip isn’t until next year, but don’t put off planning and certainly don’t put off actually putting in the work! It’s one thing to write a post idea on a calendar, and something else to actually write the post and have it ready to go. It is so much easier to write a bit extra each week and have everything ready to go than it is to cram it all into the last day before vacation (or have to devote your trip time to finishing up posts!). If you’ve decided two posts a week while you’re gone is great and you start a month early, you only have to write and schedule one extra post each week.

Plan for the week after vacation, too. Have you ever felt like you needed a vacation just to recover from vacation? It’s a pretty common feeling! Even if you aren’t jet lagged (which, by virtue of living in Hawaii, I virtually always am after a trip), getting back into the routine of regular life can be difficult. Experience has taught me that it’s very valuable to schedule your posts for the week following vacation, too. If you have more time and energy that expected and feel ready to post about your trip, you can always save these ready to go posts for a later date!

Preparing for our current trip has me completely addicted to planning and scheduling ahead. For a couple of weeks prior to vacation, I had basically everything ready to go on its own and was just working on posts for later in the month. It is so refreshing to not stress about what I’m going to post tomorrow or even next week! As soon as we get back, I’m going to jump right into writing and scheduling because I anticipate more time away from the computer later this year. I haven’t mentioned it on the blog yet, but, as personal acquaintances know, I’m pregnant. {{Yes, I set out on a month long trip without electricity while 20 weeks pregnant. No, I’m not crazy…I don’t think. I’ll let you know the we get home!}} After my experience with preparing my blog for this year’s trip, I’m feeling a lot more confident about planning for this fall!

How do you prepare your blog for vacation? Do you schedule ahead? Or just let things relax until you return?

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