The Bloggers Holiday: How To Manage Your Blog While You Are On Vacation

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blogging-holiday

My wife and I on holiday last year

One of the beauties about blogging is that it works for you even while you sleep.

You know that when you go to bed at night, your loyal blog will stay awake, attracting potential customers and dancing its way through the search engines introducing itself to people.

This is great for obvious reasons, but we also know that a blog won’t look after itself.

The best blogs are tended to full-time by passionate people who understand that there is no such thing as a free ride. Creating a blog and then walking away from it is pointless.

Which brings me to an issue about blogging. What do we do while we’re on vacation, and our blog is left for a while to fend for itself?

Blogs are sociable creatures, and they like attention. Like any offspring, they also require sustenance and nourishment to make them thrive.

The fattest, most well-adjusted blogs get a healthy dose of maintenance and upkeep every day, in addition to new posts and trackbacks.

Making the harrowing decision to go away for a while

If you’ve been a blogger for a while, you may have experienced the nervous tension which comes from the prospect of leaving your beloved blog in order to go on vacation.

While on the one hand the fact that you are getting a holiday at all suggests you are doing well as a business owner, on the other hand walking away can feel as if you are abandoning a needy and defenceless child.

However, holidaying is important to us, and we need to be brave about it!

Ways around neglecting your blog

With technology making us ever more mobile, it is of course possible to go abroad on vacation and still work every day. You can use your cell phone to check in every day, monitor comments and upload posts.

If you are even more dedicated, you can take your laptop with you and pretend you haven’t gone away at all.

While this is great from a business perspective, it’s not ideal for people around you who are expecting you to be eating ice cream, sleeping in all morning and trekking off to see historical monuments and do a bit of diving.

If you’re at risk of neglecting your family or spouse because of your blog attachment, then it could really be time to walk away from it for a while.

One of the most up-and-coming business services at the moment is that of the Virtual Personal Assistant. The Virtual PA is just like a real PA, and can be hired for relatively little cost to keep your business in order while you jet off to sunnier climes.

Here’s how it works…

You brief your PA beforehand

A good Virtual PA company will give you a single point of contact who will get in touch before you hand over your business, and get to know every detail about you and your company.

They’ll learn how you work, how you deal with queries and requests, and how to pick up the reins for you in your absence. They’ll understand what to do in an emergency, and what needs doing every day to keep your business ticking over while you are gone.

You walk away, leaving your business behind

You go on vacation, and your Virtual PA logs on for you every day and stays ahead of all your queries and comments. If you are savvy, you will have uploaded your posts in draft to WordPress, and all your PA has to do is pop them live for you or you could schedule them to go live at certain dates/times.

You have the time of your life on vacation

You do some scuba diving, put weight on, drink too much and get lots of sleep, while your PA baby-sits your blog for you. You come home refreshed, and no-one even figured out you were away.

Job done!

This may not work for everyone, but I wanted to let you know that there are other options out there than being chained to your desk day after day.

Remember why you wanted to work for yourself in the first place? I’m betting vacations featured in the list of benefits!

How do you maintain your blog while away on vacation? Please share your views in the comments below.

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38 Responses to The Bloggers Holiday: How To Manage Your Blog While You Are On Vacation

  1. James - Better Start Blogging June 30, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    I am going on holiday tommorrow and just have one post that will be published automatically, its better than nothing. It is important to have blog posts running whilst you’re away. When I was running one of my older blogs, it is best to continue generating content, and never have a gap in content, otherwise, you will lose your drive. Traffic is easier to keep consistant. But once you’ve lost readers it is difficult to get them back.

    A successful blogger needs a balance, enjoy your holiday Andrew.

    • Gary David July 4, 2010 at 10:40 am #

      You’re right James. It’s best to continue generating traffic with a good content, and it’s really hard to get back your lost readers. Enjoy your holiday!

      Regards,

      Gary

      • Andrew
        Twitter:
        July 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

        James,

        When away will you be adding more posts? One seems quite a low number to automatically post.

        Andrew

        Btw, I’m not on holiday – it’s just a post about going on holiday!
        .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Is The Internet Making Us Less Sociable =-.

  2. Michelle June 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I queue some posts for trickle publishing before I go away for any length of time. Obviously these need to be non-time sensitive in nature, but can keep a blog ticking over for a while. I also take my Blackberry everywhere, which will do for any essential tasks in a pinch 🙂
    .-= Michelle @ Sleep Sound Machines´s last blog ..Baby Sound Machines =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

      Michelle

      How do you get on with your BlackBerry.

      I used to have one (when I worked for the corporate world) and never replaced it.

      Wonder if I should?

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Is The Internet Making Us Less Sociable =-.

      • Michelle July 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

        @Andrew
        I always thought Blackberry’s were for corporate types, but I just don’t get on with touch screen phones – the qwerty pad on a Blackberry lets me bash out emails and short blog posts without too many typos, and because they’re designed primarily for business there’s now bells and whistles to get in the way. For me it’s function before form, every time 😛

  3. Rakesh Solanki July 1, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    few months ago, i sold my one domain because of matter of time, i mean that i didn’t time to write articles because i was busy with my office work. But after read this article i can go for official tour. thanks
    .-= Rakesh Solanki´s last blog ..Top 15 WordPress Plugins For Managing Ads =-.

  4. Dean Saliba July 1, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I don’t know about anyone else but I always take a laptop with me or seek out an internet shop to keep my blogs updated. If I don’t then I lose money.
    .-= Dean Saliba´s last blog ..Keep Away From RichPTC =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

      Dean,

      Last year I must admit I did visit the hotel’s internet pc – but only twice in 2 weeks.

      The year before in Thailand, I also visited internet cafes a few times.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Is The Internet Making Us Less Sociable =-.

  5. Dennis Edell July 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Sorry to disagree a bit. I used to fret, I no longer do.

    I can say from 1st hand experience, absolutely nothing will be lost that you can’t get back.

    While it is good to keep things running at 100% (or close) while away, it is NOT catastrophic if you do not.

    I spent two consecutive summers in the hospital/physical rehab due to injuries; both times things happened spur of the moment wherein i had no time to set anything up.

    I got hurt – went to the hospital – 6-8 weeks later I was home.

    The first time, oh I was freaking out…until I got home. I did have a BUNCH of catching up to do, but lost very little.

    Granted there was very little cash being made from said blogs, things may have been a little different if their was.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Organization is a MUST I’m Taking Time Off…Line =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

      Dennis,

      if things happen that are unplanned then there is certainly not a lot you can do – especially in your case i.e. hospital.

      And you are right – nothing catastrophic is going to happen.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Is The Internet Making Us Less Sociable =-.

  6. Colleen July 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    A good Virtual PA company will give you a single point of contact who will get in touch before you hand over your business, and get to know every detail about you and your company.

    Do you have a few recommendations for VA companies?
    .-= Colleen@Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog ..Tri Cities Washington Independence Day and 4th of July Festivities =-.

  7. Chris July 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    I got back home from express vacation tour yesterday and the only way to manage my blog during this two weeks trip was commenting.

  8. Gary David July 4, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks for the tip Andrew. It’s really hard to get back your lost readers. I would like to also add this. Be honest and tell your readers that you will be away for a while, so that they can expect it. If you don’t tell them that you will be away for a while, they might think that you are not updating your blog anymore and will leave you.

    Regards,

    Gary

  9. Gerlaine Talk July 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I have had to be away from my blog for a long while and I find that when I return my audience takes a bit of time to come back around.

    I think the PA thing is an awesome idea. I’ll have to use this advice on my next vacation. 🙂
    .-= Gerlaine Talk´s last blog ..After Show Notes The First Radio Show =-.

  10. Jason July 5, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    if that were to happen to me, I’ll probably bring the job along with me and do it when chances of getting idle on vacations are to occur, like while waiting for the diving instructor, flight or something 🙂 it doesn’t really take a lot of time just to update it with love and passion, though the sad part is that you can’t go 100% with the vacation experience.

  11. Julius July 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I agree with your point about having a virtual PA. However, I think we should carefully choose who to hire and get to know that person first before actually leaving your work to that PA
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..A Day of a Person With Quadriplegia =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

      Julius

      I couldn’t agree more. You never know who you are going to get assigned. You have to test them out and built up that relationship before you would leave them ‘in charge’.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Is The Internet Making Us Less Sociable =-.

  12. Vipin July 5, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Virtual PA seems to be a good way to be attached with your blog virtually, honestly i never heard this type of service before. Of course we more mobile oriented these days and can do everything on the go but it doesn’t works all the time.
    .-= Vipin@Romantic SMS´s last blog ..Romantic SMS 29-6-2010 =-.

  13. ThatsBlog.com July 5, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks for your submission to the Eighty Second edition of the Blog Carnival: Blogging. Your post has been accepted and its live:

    http://thatsblog.com/blog-carnival-blogging/blog-carnival-blogging-eighty-second-edition

    -ThatsBlog.com

  14. Ed July 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Much to the chagrin of my family, my laptop goes everywhere I do! So I typically am able to blog even on vacation. But it’s still not the same as working in the office.

  15. Luqman July 6, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    First, I will make sure that I have lots of articles ready to be post on a schedule time with the power of wordpress schedule. Secondly, if I write any post during my vacation, I just post it from my iPhone or send it home to my brother to post it for me.

  16. Patrick July 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    With Blogger blog it is not a problem.I have been in similar situations before,so the only thing you do is just write some posts beforehand and schedule it to be posted on certain dates and Blogger takes care of it all.This is a great way and will not effect your blog even if you are on holiday.I think with Word press as well there are similar provisions available.
    .-= Patrick@Reverse Phone Lookup´s last blog ..How to Trace Mobile Phone number in USA Canada and Caribbean Islands =-.

  17. Harsh Agrawal July 7, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    When I’m on a holiday I start with post scheduling. I schedule atleast 1 posts for everyday..I usually carry my iPhone and I have WordPress for iPhone installed which usually take care of comment moderation and comment reply… I don’t stress myself in holidays..but I make sure that my hosting is strong enough to handle my traffic…coz if site goes down when I’m on vacation..I believe it will be very sad vacation.. 😛
    .-= Harsh Agrawal´s last blog ..10 Useful Facebook Tools and Tips for Bloggers =-.

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