Currently I’ve been operating at a high posting level for a number of weeks and due to an increased requirement to be part of a group project for my commitment to my degree I’ve had to step off the blogging bus in order to be able to move forward.
There may be times when real life has other plans for your world domination efforts and in those cases you have to prepare for the results of being out of the limelight.
There may also be times where you need a break, plain and simple. You might not be going on vacation but your brain is over capacity. Blogging requires a lot of thought and upkeep so it is okay to relax occasionally.
How should you prepare for down time when blogging?
Keeping up appearances
Time may be a factor but there are small things you can do to keep the blog in the mind of others. Such activities include writing comments on articles where you can spare time. Ideally if you have your favourite writers you should keep them warm with a comment or two. It doesn’t take long (it shouldn’t take long!) and you can keep a little bit of interest up.
Say that you don’t have time to actively use Twitter or Google+, you can at least respond to anything directly sent to you. Just be disciplined in not getting too deep into the whole shooting match like you normally do. You are having this down week to pull back from the onslaught you are used to so don’t commit!
If you can see that you need a break to gather your thoughts or have some competing responsibilities then planning ahead is important. At this stage a posting schedule can be helpful where you’ve pre-planned posts for the period. I’ve had to do this for September because it will be my biggest revision month before my final exam for the module. I’ve plotted everything for a month and need to produce that content in order to keep the boot pressed to the neck.
This does mean you might be a bit busier than you were hoping so you’ve got more to fit in but it also means you will avoid the potential of losing out. Keeping up the momentum is important in blogging because people can soon lose trace of you if you are not consistent.
Make some time to monitor
With your down time, you might want to holster your guns, step back off the gas pedal, and put on your comfy pants. You may still need to view your stats but you don’t have to do this as often.
Why? Because although you are away, you want to make sure that your site is operating as intended. Hopefully if you’ve built up some steam, people are coming to your site regardless of whether you’ve posted in a while or not and they are coming either through old forged links on sites, social media or through the search engine wormhole. You want to make sure that your host is providing you with the best service and that you can get on top of a show stopper quickly.
Shorten the length of time spent writing
You may find that you’ll have to throttle back from in depth articles but you can quite easily step over to some shorter punchier articles to push out in the meantime. Whilst in depth articles are generally viewed considerably more, short articles can also do well.
You may also opt to gap out your work a little where you might have been producing something daily now you only have time for every other day or every 3 days. Be expected to lose some of your viewing figures but do know that people will still come.
Keep some draft articles back for the rainy days
This is a good general piece of advice but one that fits this requirement very well. Often it is useful to keep a draft or two in the bank for that time when you will be robbed of a chance to react. Keeping a general article in the draft list, ready to go, will give you some flexibility. Even if you’ve only written 70% of your article it won’t take long to crank it out just to show that you are still alive.
Hire a caretaker
There may be a point where you need someone to step in and keep your article numbers up. You might have used this person in the past for guest posts of ghost writing and you know that you can trust them to produce content that works. Better still, you can decide the outlay required for that period and simply let them run their assigned course. You might even be able to get a bit of a discount if you pay them a deposit up front. It is important to make sure you’ve got a quality writer who is reliable.
My only side note is that if you rely on your persona to push things forwards, it may be better to employ someone to ghost write in your absence rather than have the post attributable to them. I would also recommend reviewing their work and keeping an eye on what the audience is saying. You may need to step in if the numbers suggest viewing is going south of the border. You might have to factor a little bit of loss during this period.
Use your time away as a case in point for a story
If your competing demand was interesting enough and is okay to share, why not write about it? Pat Flynn wrote about his air trip to a conference whilst on the aircraft! If it is personal and you’d rather not go into it, don’t mention it. If you don’t want sympathy, simply move on when you return.
There is always a possibility of putting something interesting together. People like stories about overcoming adversity because it can often spark a similar memory in others about a complex situation they had to overcome.
How do you handle your down-time?