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How to Improve Your Blog When You Have No Internet Access

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of June 2009 General 0 Comments

internetdown.jpgHere I am – sitting in my local cafe where I’d come to spend the morning working on my blog using my mobile broadband modem…. which today decides not to work.


I spent 15 minutes trying to connect…. 5 minutes complaining about it on Twitter…. another 10 minutes trying to get it working…. 3 minutes grumbling to the waitress….

And then I decided that I had better do something productive.

But what can you do to improve your blog when you don’t have internet access? Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Brainstorm Post Ideas – one of the things I enjoy doing in these moments is coming up with ideas for new posts. I usually do it with a little mind mapping on a notebook that I usually have with me.
  2. Design an Editorial Calendar – Once you have your list of possible ideas to write posts about – slot some of the best ones into a calendar for your next week (or month) of posting. Add to it some other tasks that you want to achieve in the coming days and weeks (promotional activities etc).
  3. Write Posts – while it can be handy to have access to the web while writing posts to help you with research writing posts while offline forces you to have more original thoughts and not rely upon things you’ve previously written or the ideas of others. I particularly find setting myself the challenge to start writing a ‘series’ of posts a good idea in times where I know I’ll be without internet for an extended period of time.
  4. Strategic Thinking and Review – spend some time doing a little strategic thinking about your blog. How has it been going? Who’s been reading it lately? What types of reactions are you getting from readers? How are your energy levels as a blogger? What opportunities are their in your niche at present? Don’t just ‘review’ and ‘reflect’ – as part of this construct a ‘to do list’ of things you need to achieve once you get back online.
  5. Write a Guest Post – guest posting on someone else’s blog in your niche is a great way to grow your profile and find new readers. So take some time out while you’re offline to write a post for someone else’s blog. Alternatively write a helpful tutorial or opinion piece for a forum in your niche so you can post it when you’re back online.
  6. Clear your Inbox – depending upon your email system you may be able to spend some time clearing up your inbox. I use Gmail and can work in offline mode get a lot done in that mode.
  7. Write a ‘Report’ for your Readers – why not take a little time to write some kind of a free report or bonus article for your readers. One great way to incentivize people to signup for your RSS feed or newsletter is to give them something for free for doing so. Choose a topic that you get a lot of questions about or that is a good beginner topic in your niche and write an extended and helpful article on the topic. Put it into a pdf so when you can get back online you can add it to your blog.
  8. Record a Podcast or Video – one of the main reasons that people resist creating video or podcasts for their blogs is a lack of time. Recording or editing these kinds of media can take time and effort. So now that you’ve got some time on your hands get going, video and audio can add new depth to your blog and add a personal touch.
  9. Come Up with Poll Topics – coming up with new polls are another thing that I find myself putting off on my blog. I’m not sure why but it’s a task that often slips my mind or that I struggle with coming up with questions for. Put aside 15 minutes and come up with as many questions for future polls as you can. Save them somewhere so you’ll have a ready supply over the coming weeks and months.
  10. Design a Competition – Competitions are a great way of creating buzz on and around your blog. They can deepen reader engagement and help find new readers for your blog – but they take time to come up with. Take some time to plan one for your blog. It need not be a big one with a massive prize, even a simple competition with a cheap prize and a low requirement for entry (like leaving a comment on a post) can work well.
  11. Write up some Interview Questions – interviewing someone in your niche is something that takes a fair bit of work – spend some time identifying someone that you’d like to interview on your blog and construct a list of questions that you’d ask them.
  12. Take a Break – perhaps the universe is trying to tell you something by conspiring to bring your internet down. Why not go with the offline thing and go for a walk, play with your kids, take your better half out for a coffee, have a sleep, read a book….. your blog will still be there when your internet is working again.

Of course the above activities can all be done whether you have internet access or not – however many of them are things we put off for ‘one day’ and never get around to.

While having your internet go down can be frustrating – the key is to snap yourself out of the frustration and to do something productive and worthwhile with the time. Don’t just sit there trying to connect for hour after hour – get something done.

What activities do you do when you don’t have access to the internet?

PS: My internet is still down but I’ve managed to be productive. I’ve written 3 posts (including this one), planned 4 more, edited a post from one of my writers on DPS, answered 30 or so emails and am now going for a walk.

PS2: Spookily, just as I was about to shutdown my computer…. the internet came back!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I have WordPress installed on localhost.

    This lets me write posts, fiddle with design, etc., all without the distraction of the internet! Later, I can upload the changes.

    Installing locally really rocks.

  2. I think that the internet connection being unavailable was really a sign to help you focus on other things. You certainly got a lot done in the time it was down. Maybe we should all pretend our connection is down from time to time. I am sure I would get a lot more accomplished in that time frame. :)

  3. Great and insightful post!

    A couple of days ago I discovered that I was nearing my site’s bandwidth limit but I just forget to renew immediately. By the time I tried to login the next morning the limit had been exceeded and access was denied. Instead of fretting or renewing immediately I simply decided to take off a few hours to re-evaluate the blog.

    And what more within those hours I did not only write two articles but also put together some email lessons I’m planning for a new promotion.

    We can always turn unpleasant moments to some good!

  4. Darren, I can’t add more to what is already there except to say that I too hate it when I think I am wasting time because some system or other isn’t working. Fabulous creative post, as usual. There is always something we can do and as you demonstrate in this list, maybe when something isn’t working, something else emerges that would not have. As the saying goes, “It’s all good.”

  5. Great post.I usually take the #12

  6. Some good points there. I’m one of those people that are lost for things to do when there is no internet connection.

  7. Darren, I don’t find it easy to write posts when offline because a little bit of research is needed about the articles, words to be used and stuff. So best is to take a day out or just write points to write about in word and save them.

  8. It’s frustrated when there’s no connection while I have lot of tasks to do.

    Yeah, we can spare the time doing the offline task or backup plans. I think it’s a great idea to draw the mind map of plan something. Maybe you got a special idea at that time.

    Thanks Darren, I’ll apply this this when there’s suddenly no connection to the net (although I hope it’ll not!)

    p.s: There’s always a time for spooky things =)

  9. time is very valuable, can not be purchased, and can not return, I agree with using the time as possible, do something useful, your tips are very useful

  10. That’s a great idea – using the downtime to write a post without the aid of research. Makes the likelihood of coming up with a highly original post possible. Of course, one can spruce it up later with solid research. But the core ideas still retain their originality and this makes for more compelling copy.

    I love too the idea of using the time to do some mind-mapping and and making the editorial calendar. Very useful ideas, these. :)

  11. Hi Darren,

    Very good article.

    I must admit that there has been times when i have not been able to get online but have never thought about jotting down ideas.

    Once i have got back online i have usually forgot what i was originally going to do sothank you for the advice.

  12. Hi Darren!! this is why you are definitely the ProBlogger.. allways good stuff and ideas coming from you, instead of the BS that I’m tired of finding out as “I’m making millions, blablabla… I found something awesome, go get it and pay for it so I can win some cash.. blablabla” lol Congratulations mate! you’re not like that. About this post, what you say in number 7.. what do you recommend for doing that? Keep up the good work!

  13. wow is very very wonderfull, thanks for ur info

  14. I have recently got a Blackberry Curve 8900 on a contract package with Internet for the purpose of working on my blog on the move hopefully it wont me that slow here lol

    I also do a lot of work offline taking ideas down on paper or putting them on excell files as spreadsheets

  15. Thanks Darren You are really good inspiration for new bloggers. In this post you have suggested a real post and fantastic idea for utilize time properly. All serious bloggers should read it and follow it.

  16. This exact same thing happened to me the other day and I did the same thing – fought with it, complained, etc.

    Later that day I realized that the wireless button had gotten turned to off when I put my laptop in my bag!

    But great advice as always Darren. You don’t have to be online to get work done!

  17. Thanks for this post. Coming from a country where most things do not work, internet connection is not always available. Even energy to power the computer is also often not available leading to frustration especially if you have scheduled what to do online or on the computer.

    I have decided to have a pad to write on in the event that I am not connected when I want to instead of whining about it and doing nothing else.

    I am the ultimate loser when I do not make good use of every hour of the 24 hours I have every day and whining is no good use even if another person is responsible for it.

  18. Unlike internet failures, here in India sometimes we have undergo power cuts so these tips will be really useful.

    As far as I am concerned I groom my dog, play and train him, we go for a walk , read technology news, watch TV (mostly Animal planet or sports channels coz there I can find people n animals that inspire me with their dedicated effort), Meditate, Imaging me as a professional blogger like you , yaro starak etc., and plan all the useful charity work I will be doing after being a millionaire ( Yeah…I love helping others), do some yogic asanas, feeding ants ( I love ants coz they are cute and so disciplined unlike humans and I always wonder how they can spot the sweet items) etc.,

    Many thanks for making me involve with this post of yours. You have done a gr8 job in you off time.


  19. Using smartphone to post blog and connect every friend.

  20. We would usually follow point# 1, 3, 4, 6, 11 and 12. The first thing we do is to think about an idea to write our next post. Alternately we would write an interview of a blogger and his blogging ambitions.

  21. A very productive information,especially for beginners like us. Will definitely look into this.

  22. My prepaid Globe broadband internet connection is very slow. Date download averages 56 kbps at most. That’s why I’ll go to Internet cafe to post articles and others to improve my blog.

  23. hi darren,
    thanks for ur wonderful post. when i am offline most of the time i will do some thing sporty. but u gave me wonderful idea which makes me so impress.

    this is my blog – http://www.techinfocus.blogspot.com

    i will follow you for a long time. i am proud to be your student.


  24. Perfect Darren. The last one take a break is better :) We tend to remain too much glued to our pc and this greatly reduce creativity.

  25. Woooww…this article has lots of replies….

    Good work problogger!

    Lair360 – Globalnews Administrator

  26. In todays internet I think your number 12 is very good. It is difficult to step away, when I am eating out I am going over and over my blog and site in my head. Your number 1 is also very good usually my best ideas come to me when I am off line.

  27. Taking a break really helps. I find I come up with new ideas after I get away from blogging for a short time.

  28. Such a gr8 post . Yes as humans do complain a lot about what is not in present instead of working some nice ideas at that point . Interesting article… Darren .

  29. Great article! I hate slow or no internet connection at all. But your post opened my eyes to the positive side of it.

  30. Funny, I read this article assuming that it was written from Africa, where are internet is notoriously flaky/low-speed/non-existent.

    Funny also that I have lived in Uganda for a couple years now, should be quite used to this daily occurrence, yet still find myself wasting a lot of time bemoaning the current state of the Internet to whomever will listen (usually the waitress who has never used a computer) or texting my friends asking if anywhere in town has Internet (which I know the moment I start isn’t likely).

    Reading this article made me realize that although I have long left America, that mindset of not accepting that I can’t get what I want RIGHT NOW is still with me. Refreshing article.

  31. I hope you went for the walk regardless.

  32. When i have no internet access this means time to take break, unless this gonna last for few hours then i usually spend time writing more posts

  33. i hope you did take the break, although blogging is fun to do, playing with your kid (and the rest of social life too) is rather important, :)

    because comments are closed on the subjects of 10 techniques, i’ll say here; good job :)

  34. Funny, I read this article assuming that it was written from Africa, where are internet is notoriously flaky/low-speed/non-existent.

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