Blogging

What If You Really, Really Need a Summer Blogging Vacation?

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If you’ve blogged for any length of time, you’ve surely hit points where taking a blogging vacation sounds like just what you need.

I started this blog 16 years ago, way back in February 2004. In 16 years, you can bet I’ve felt the need to take a short blogging vacation.

I spent several years posting every single day. Believe me: that takes a toll.

Bloggers, after all, don’t wake up every single day with a great idea. We do our best to keep track of ideas we do come up with. But sometimes, the well looks pretty dry.

When newbie bloggers have asked me my secret to consistent publishing, I’m happy to tell them.

It’s an editorial calendar.

As I get a new idea, I drop a few notes (and usually a possible headline) into my calendar for a future date. That way, I can see it at a glance and know what posts I should be thinking about while I work on the next one. Once in a while, I struggle to write the next post. But I may find writing a post scheduled a few days later seems easier to complete. So yes, I sometimes write posts out of order.

I use an editorial calendar to keep track of what I need to write ahead of when I intend to publish it.

Since you can schedule posts in advance, you should be able to stock up on posts for a rainy day. Sooner or later, we’ll all reach the point where we feel “Blogger’s Block.” That’s where those “rainy day” posts can save your sanity!

Earlier this year, I tried an experiment. I picked a week months ahead — the week that included May 5 since 5/5 is easy to remember. As I wrote “evergreen” posts, posts that didn’t have to be published right away, I scheduled them that week. So that gave me posts I could grab and schedule sooner if an idea didn’t come.

It worked pretty well. By the time that week came, I used all but one of the posts.

I’m working on a new fill-in week for later this year, too. I’ll probably set it for the week that contains October 10, since 10/10 is also easy to remember.

But what about just doing ‘dark’ for a week?

It may seem like too much trouble to write extra posts ahead just to keep your regular posting schedule alive. You get stressed out. Life happens. You run out of ideas. You run out of time.

So, yes, you think it’d just be easier to suspend your schedule for a week or so.

Consider this article from WP-Newsify: “7 Bad Blog Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs.”

The second item in their list is “Don’t neglect your publishing schedule.”

Why? Because if your readers have come to expect new content on your website on a regular schedule — which is a good thing — you may disappoint them if you suddenly stop publishing.

Even with a post explaining that you’re taking a week off, some won’t see that one post. But if they come looking for something new, they’ll be let down.

You need to create a schedule you can live with and that your readers can count on.

If you absolutely can’t come up with something new, maybe that problem in itself could provide a new post. Maybe there’s something you can share about your experience at that moment that’s causing you to have a problem with your blog. Maybe you can even ask your readers for suggestions about what they do when they hit a snag.

Their responses may surprise you!

I’d suggest you start a new project this week: jot down some topics for evergreen posts and start writing them on the side. Schedule them for a week some time in the future where you can slide them up if you need them.

(Bonus: If you end up not needing them, then that week you’ve scheduled becomes a week you can take a vacation!)

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.