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7 Things to Do with your Blog when you take a Vacation

Posted By Darren Rowse 28th of December 2005 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

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What should I Do with my Blog when I go take a Vacation?

This is a question I ask myself in the lead up to every break and one that I seem to answer differently each time. I thought it a relevant topic to write about as I’m currently on holidays (or at least will be by the time you read this).

Here’s a few of the approaches I’ve taken over the last few years:

1. Give your Blog and Readers a Vacation

This is probably the most common approach that bloggers take – they simply stop blogging for the time they are away and resume on their return.

Advantages
– it’s low maintenance in the lead up to and during your time away.

Disadvantages
– your blog stops and you risk losing momentum
– you might end up with a lot of catching up when you return in terms of any news that breaks while you’re away
– traffic will probably fall due to lack of RSS updates

2. Advance Posts

Blogging software like WordPress has the ability for bloggers to write posts in advance of them being published. You simply set the date and time you want the post to go live and it will happen later while you’re sitting on a beach somewhere. This very post is an example of this. I’m currently lounging beside a pool reading a book in wonderful Queensland (or at least I hope I am). If I’m going to do advance posts I generally make them fairly generic, or a tips post or something that is not time specific.

Advantages
– this can give your blog the appearance of you actually being at your blog
– it keeps content ticking over on your blog which has advantages in SEO, maintaining readership levels
– you retain complete control over what is written on your blog while away

Disadvantages
– your posts will not be time relevant and you’ll still need to catch up when you get home on any newsy type posts
– you can run into formatting issues if you’re not careful – make sure you test your posts before you go
– moderation of comments is difficult with this. If a flame war blows up in comments you’re not there to moderate
– increases your work load

3. Retrospective Series

This is really a variation on ‘advance posts’ but instead of writing a whole new series of posts you run some older posts.

Advantages
– Lightens the load in the lead up to your vacation (not completely)
– Shows newer readers some of the older posts from your archives that they will never have seen before
– Still gives you control over what content goes up on your blog while gone

Disadvantages
– Can run the risk of messing up your URLs if you repost an old post on a new date (if your URLs are date specific).
– Still some work before you leave
– Could frustrate some of your older readers who have seen your old work
– Again you can run into comment moderation issues

4. Guest Blogger/s

Last time I went on an extended vacation this was the approach I took. Each of my blogs had a guest blogger or two (ProBlogger had 20 or so) who were given posting rights. They were asked to write a few times a week (more if they could) and were given links back to their own blogs in return.

Advantages
– Involves your readers and other bloggers in your field which increases the sense of participation on your blog
– Guest Bloggers can moderate comments on their own threads
– Gives your readers fresh perspectives on your topic that you’d never have considered yourself.

Disadvantages
– You lose some control over what appears on your blog (at least until you return)
– Can be considerable work involved in setting this up if you have multiple blogs
– Some readers might become frustrated by your guest bloggers style/voice if they are loyal to your own.

5. Guest Posts/Series

This is the approach I’m talking here at ProBlogger over the next two weeks with the majority of the posts you’ll read here. I’ve got at least one guest post per day from a different ProBlogger reader. They’ll get a link or two back to their own blogs in return for the post. Rather than giving each blogger posting rights I tend to do this as a variation on the ‘advance posts’.

Advantages
– in addition to the advantages of guest bloggers (see above) this gives you the advantage of variety. ie instead of your readers getting frustrated with one guest blogger they get a new blogger every day.

Disadvantages
– can bring problems of inconsistency. ie some readers might become frustrated with the lack of consistent voice.
– there is quite a bit of work involved in setting up the advance posts from a variety of different bloggers.

6. Blog from the Road

I’ve done this on a couple of shorter business trips where I’ve arranged for net connections along the way to post from. Generally at these times I post at a lighter frequency than normal.

Advantages
– This means you’re in complete control over content
– There is no set up time required before you leave
– You can keep up with any breaking news (less catching up to do afterwards)
– You can moderate all comments

Disadvantages
– not good for a holiday or you’ll never rest

7. Open Mike posts

Another variation on the advance posts option is to leave a few ‘open mike’ type posts where you invite readers to submit their comments on a particular topic. In a sense then it is readers who provide content for you while you’re gone (although the action all happens within your comments).

Advantages
– gives your readers a sense of ownership
– keep visitor levels up

Disadvantages
– comment moderation challenges
– need to catch up on newsy posts when you return
– some work needed in setting this up (but only really to think of good topics/questions)

I’m sure there are other options which I’d encourage you to leave in comments below.

The choice will depend upon many factors including the topic you’re writing about, traffic levels, the interactivity of your readers, whether you have a high loyal reader factor, the length of your vacation, whether your readers play well together or not etc.

This holiday I’m going for a real combination of the above points on my blogs. Many of them will be going on holidays with me, ProBlogger will have a combination of Advance posts and guest posts (and maybe an open mike or two) and a couple of my blogs have other bloggers looking after them for me.

What do you do with your blog/s when you go on holidays?

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I didn’t post much of anything over Christmas Day and Boxing Day (or whatever you call the day after Christmas). I had one future-dated post that ran very early Christmas day morning, and future-dated posts on some other blogs. Unfortunately, I still don’t feel like I had much of a holiday, for some reason…

  2. I posted as usual, except for Christmas Day, and then I posted Holiday Greetings. I think I’m too new at this to risk losing what few readers I do have to take a Holiday.
    Maybe Next Year…

  3. I advance post, generally.

  4. […] Problogger Darren Rowse offers advice on what to do with your blog when you take a break: […]

  5. johnny says: 12/28/2005 at 5:57 am

    I posted as usual, except for Christmas Day, and then I posted Holiday Greetings. I took a week for celebrating Christmas. Toshiba notebook review blog

  6. I go with a mix of advancing posting and light blogging from the road. With advance posting, sometimes it’s on something new or of the retrospective type, bringing a post back from the archives that I think wasn’t received very well and rewriting it.

  7. I posted as normal even on Christmas day. Though the subject matter has been light I still posted.

  8. If it’s just a couple of days over the holidays, I just let it go, figuring that people aren’t going to be reading it anyway (mine’s a b2b blog). When I go on a vacation, I advance post some evergreen tips and links, and beg my colleagues to moderate comments for me. Sure, there’s lots to catch up on when I get back, but it seems to work ok for me. I’m thinking about doing some Q&As with industry leaders to advance post for my upcoming January vacation, just to vary it a bit.

  9. And I thought, ProBloggers never take vacation ;-)

  10. Some great tips here. I’m going to be offline for nearly a month in May as I’m getting married and we’ll be going on a 3 week honeymoon (In Australia, Darren!) and I’m already trying to figure out how to keep 10 blogs afloat during that time period.

  11. Good advice, but when go vacation i’ll bring my laptop on my backpack and always, so i can update my blog daily with my dialup modem

  12. HAPPY CHRISMAS

    AND A PROSPEROUD NEW YEAR

  13. This week I’m starting to pre-post for a vacation to Hawaii in March…I figure if I can write an extra post each day until then I should be covered across my main blogs.

    I hope ;D

  14. Advance posting is nice, I use it on Monday mornings so I can get up at 8:30 instead of 7:00. Aside from that, I run a new site(s) and advance posting isn’t much use. :(

  15. I did a combo.

    I preposted lots of stuff, since I wasn’t sure I would be able to post during the holidays as I was away, and then I’m posting on the road, as I get free time.¸¸

  16. I’ve done both the “Blog from the Road” and “Give your Blog and Readers a Vacation”.

    Road blogging can really be a pain, so I’m more opt for the vacation approach… with the last post stating that I’m on vacation…

    The readership might drop, but my blog should be seasonal away, so I’m not to worried.

  17. When I am on vacation, I’ll do “Special Theme Week” Advance Posting. For instance, an all-Superman week or a “Flashback Week” looking at classic comics from the sixties. This way I can turn advance posting into a special event rather than a liability (I do warn readers in advance about my vacation and how that may affect comment moderation).

  18. A few advance posts and then back into, perhaps a little slower than normal, but posting a few things here and there. The only way to guarantee a complete break is to either turn of the electricity supply or be away from a computer completely.

  19. I write my posts in advance and save them as a draft, but I don’t publish until the day I want to see them on the blog. This way I get somewhat of a break, (I only need to log on to publish) and I am free to change or postpone my post if there is any breaking news.

  20. I tend to post in advance and have at least 5-10 new posts saved up so I can just publish them one at a time as needed. This will be harder to do for the blogs that are news related, but generally it works very well for me right now. Of course I don’t take vacations that often even on holidays so it’s not something I do very often.

  21. As a marketing babe, I advance post.
    Why?
    Because I’m trying to create a habit.
    I want my viewers checking my blog at the same time everyday.

    • Jafred Boatwright says: 01/04/2018 at 9:04 am

      Your exactly the kinda person i want on my team, I’m a travel consultant who made $1000 last week and can take a vacation at no cost sounds good right? Want to get started?

  22. Thanks. I’ve had a time with using guest bloggers this year. I think its wise to use bloggers who have a little advanced knowledge on blogging.
    I plan to cut back posting to set up my own site(finally leaving blogger), so I think over some of the other methods this week.
    Thanks.

  23. To begin with, this is my 1st post on any blog and I am doing this as to weigh the pros and cons about adding a blog to my own web site. The pros being that I would have fresh updates and maybe get new visitors to the site but the cons are that I do not want to destroy the ‘clean look’ of my website. Nor do I want to store a bunch of archives. I don’t want all the non nessarry ads and screen contents along the edges of the site. I want the visitor of the site to enjoy the site as it is. A fine arts gallery. Maybe some of your visitors and blogger could give me a hint or 2 about what they think. If you care to post this for them to check the web site feel free to do so. http://www.robertbenjamin.com
    Thank you for your time and comments in advance
    ps: if I do put up a blog then I will need to figure out how at that time.

  24. Use post drafts.. over christmas though I personally blogged all my blogs.. havent a clue why .. I could have set them up to do it automatically.. eitherway If I miss a day I dont fret..

  25. 7 Things to do with your Blog when you are on vacation

    What should I do with my Blog when I go take a vacation? That is a question I always find myself asking whenever I’m about to leave on a break, and up to now, the only way I’ve answered it is by telling myself I’d do my best to get online as often a…

  26. I always use the number 2 point – Advanced Post when i went for vacation. It is the best reason for me to use wordpress.

  27. Might I add….Hire a Professional Blogger for the period of your abscence. Yes, that might have been a bit of self promotion.

  28. In my country we have a thing called Wi-Fi and it enables me to blog from just about anywhere. I’ve blogged on a bus, an aircraft carrier, airports, hotels, cafes, at conferences, outside of conferences, in my backyard and on a beach in Mexico.

  29. I prefer to pre-post…to me, blogging while on vacation would just negate the reason I went on vacation in the first place ;)

  30. […] In poor form, I must say, I vanished from the keyboard and computer these past couple of days to take some time off and recuperate away from a blinking cursor. It’s nice to come back feeling as refreshed as I feel, though the pre-holidays mess I left at home is enough to drive me to drinking. Having said that, I could have used WordPress’ timed/future-dated posts feature to help manage keeping readers interested, but I was lazy I decided you needed a vacation as much as I did (see #1). The guest blogger idea is intriguing and I want to look into it more. If you’re interested drop me a line via email (denis [at] secretweaponlabs [dot] com). […]

  31. Great read – I prefer to pre-publish, even when I’m in town. My new publishing schedule looks like this: I publish a “substance” piece on Mondays (usually), and a smaller piece that I call “Mornin’ Cup” on Wednesdays. Anything that gets published outside of those two I consider a timely value-add.

    Cheers.
    Scott

  32. Its “open mic” not open mike you turd! lol

  33. guess it depends what part of the world you’re in BS

  34. […] Darren at ProBlogger has posted some great information in his post “7 Things to Do with your Blog when you take a Vacation“. Ultimately he did not settle on one particular thing, but instead a combination. My strategy has been a combination of (a) guest bloggers, (b) advance posts, and (c) sparse blogging from the road. Read Darren’s article for more details. […]

  35. […] It seems that every time I go on holiday or take time off I do something different with my blog (here’s 7 things I’ve done with my blogs while on a vacation) and this time will see me try something a little different again. […]

  36. How did it work out Bruce Allen? I’d be interested to know how your blogs that depend on new news went without you there.

  37. […] Ask the problogger Darren Rowse and he will give you some excellent tips on 7 Things to Do with your Blog when you take a Vacation. Liked this article? Then grab our feed and get new posts instantly in your news reader, or get updates via email in your inbox or track with Technorati […]

  38. Go on vacation, but make your blog keep working…

    The next time you go on vacation, don’t just leave your blog some extra kibble and water and hope it will be okay. Instead, take some advice from Darren “ProBlogger” Rowse and make that blog earn its keep while……

  39. This is exactly what I’m doing right now! I’m making piles of posts ahead of time so I can just remotely trigger them to post. They’re mostly timeless posts but I think I still did them justice.

  40. […] Via Lifehacker, I came across this useful list of 7 possibilities for what to do with your blog during vacation. I can’t even claim vacation, however, for my spotty posting this week. Bear with me. […]

  41. […] Problogger.net nos trae este artículo con 7 consejos que podemos tener en cuenta para cuando nos vayamos de vacaciones y que nuestro blog siga funcionando. En lo que se puede resumir en… […]

  42. Editor says: 06/23/2006 at 5:36 am

    To the “open mic” or “open mike” people, while it’s true that we’re dealing with an abbreviation for “microphone” and therefore the technically correct answer would appear to be “open mic,” the correct spelling is indeed “open mike” (most likely to avoid pronunciation issues with “mick” vs. “mike”). It’s listed this way in Mirriam-Webster and used by most if not all audio magazines.

  43. […] In fact, recaps also work for what Darren Rowse calls dead patches – times during the day where you creative juices run dry. And they work as well when you need to keep up the posting when on vacation. […]

  44. Curious podcast RSS icon sighting on internet addiction recovery site…

    Of the many different ways to express RSS and podcasts tonight I came across the image above at netaddiction.com. A pair of headphones surrounding the new style RSS icon. Simple, yet effective. I like.
    As for the website, they treat the following &#821…

  45. […] Page Summary: The blog has developed good relationships to date, but needs someone willing to see it through the rest of the season. Each of my blogs had a guest blogger or two (ProBlogger had 20 or so) who were given posting rights. Though the subject matter has been light I still posted. When I go on a vacation, I advance post some evergreen tips and links, and beg my colleagues to moderate comments for me.read more | digg story              […]

  46. […] at vacation time – sounds obvious that you’d take vacations – but I know some bloggers who blog while they’re away on holidays from net cafes. Periodic longer periods away from blogging are good for you, your family/relationships and believe it or not they can also be good for your blog and blog readers (here are 7 things to do with your blog while you’re on vacation). […]

  47. I may be on vacation right now, but I wouldn’t know it for sure since I’m on the computer. But a flunky wireless connection at your hotel may restrict your ability to continue posting or moderating if that’s what you plan to do. And then you may spend even more time than expected getting things to work, making item 1 a very realistic option if you expect to enjoy some of your time away as well.

    • Jafred Boatwright says: 01/04/2018 at 9:02 am

      Larzini have you ever made $1000 in one week and took a cancun vacation for free?? No huh? Well i have……………..wanna know how???

  48. […] Imagine calling someone and going straight to voicemail. Now imagine this voicemail saying, “I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone. In fact, I’m too busy right now to even call anybody. If you leave a voicemail, I might get back to you if I’m not busy enough. I’ll try to keep this to a minimum. Thanks! Bye.” By the time you’ve reached the end of the voicemail, you’re probably thinking, “Why not just say, ‘Leave a message’?” There’s no real point to those “I can’t blog ’cause I’m too busy” posts other than giving a cop-out for not keeping up with your blog. People come to your blog to read your content, not your excuses for not producing your content. There are millions of other blogs out there. If yours goes straight to voicemail, the reader will just call someone else. If you’re too busy to blog, do something about it. ProBlogger has some great advise on what to do if you foresee yourself being too busy. […]

  49. […] Imagine calling someone and going straight to voicemail. Now imagine this voicemail saying, “I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone. In fact, I’m too busy right now to even call anybody. If you leave a voicemail, I might get back to you if I’m not busy enough. I’ll try to keep this to a minimum. Thanks! Bye.” By the time you’ve reached the end of the voicemail, you’re probably thinking, “Why not just say, ‘Leave a message’?” There’s no real point to those “I can’t blog ’cause I’m too busy” posts other than giving a cop-out for not keeping up with your blog. People come to your blog to read your content, not your excuses for not producing your content. There are millions of other blogs out there. If yours goes straight to voicemail, the reader will just call someone else. If you’re too busy to blog, do something about it. ProBlogger has some great advise on what to do if you foresee yourself being too busy. […]