I’ve said it so many times, but one thing I love about being in business for myself is the freedom it gives me NOT to work. That said, it’s far too easy to find yourself chained to your computer. This is why I try to take regular holidays away from my business, and here’s how I do it without losing all my momentum!
Posting Blog Updates While You’re Away
Since most bloggers regularly post fresh content, this may be one of your main worries for taking a vacation. But don’t let it stop you! Here are some solutions (and what I personally do):
1) Batch & Schedule Content in Advance
In a perfect world, I’d always batch and schedule my content in advance whether I’m taking a vacation or not. It just makes good sense. Batching content is often more productive for me, since I’m focusing on similar tasks all at once and will often find myself on a roll. It’s also useful for those unplanned breaks, for example when you get ill or something comes up last minute.
The number one thing that helps me batch a lot of content is to set myself a challenge. I regularly dedicate months to writing 1,000 words a day – click here to read about how I go about doing it (and you can also read about my results and experiences of doing this for the first time too). I never, ever regret taking the time to challenge myself to write lots of content. It feels great having a large stock to work from!
Once your content is written, take a day to batch create the post graphics, and batch schedule them to your blog (WordPress makes it super-easy to schedule blog posts for a future date). You can either keep up your regular posting schedule or publish a bit less than you usually do while you’re away. As long as you’re still posting you’re still doing a good job.
However, we all know we do not live in a perfect world! So if you haven’t factored in the time to do this, don’t worry, you still have plenty of other options.
2) Use Guest Bloggers
Depending on the type of blog you run, drafting in guest bloggers might be the way to go for you. But this option still takes a bit of work (unless you already regularly receive lots of requests for publishing guest posts).
You’ll need to put the call out for suitable writers, perhaps in a blog post, social update or email newsletter, then you’ll need to go through all the posts you receive to make sure they’re suitable before scheduling them. This may work best if you have some trusted blogging friends you can easily call on.
3) Repurpose Older Content
This is one of my favourite tips, not just for vacations but just generally when I feel like lightening my load a little. Just repurpose some content you’ve written in the past!
None of your blog readers will have managed to read everything you’ve ever written, and many will have forgotten what they've read. So why not make the most of some awesome posts you wrote a couple of years back, give them a little update and post them with a newer date at the top of your blog?
If you’re sceptical, make sure to head on over to the separate blog post I wrote all about this for more reasons why this works and is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.Click here to sign up to my free library of biz-building worksheets, guides and tools
4) Or Just Stop Posting (Really, It'll Be OK!)
If none of the above sounds good, or you haven’t got enough time to figure it out, then there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from posting. Honestly!
I do generally emphasise the fact that consistency is important for bloggers, and it is. But the truth is that the sky won’t fall down just because you stop posting for a week or two. Give yourself a break. Of course, if you’re going away for longer then should try to at least schedule a few things to stay in the mind of your subscribers.
Staying in Your Followers’ Minds
Posting content isn’t the only way to keep yourself in the minds of your followers. There’s also social media and email. So, if you do decide just to take a break from posting, you can schedule some posts there.
Scheduling social media is pretty easy. Use a tool like Buffer and load it with enough content to cover your vacation (and more). You can easily do this in an hour. The great thing about Buffer is that you can go back and re-schedule posts you’ve already used, too, saving even more time.
What should you schedule? Links to your own blog posts (don’t be afraid to dig into the archives), useful tips or personal anecdotes, and links to other people’s posts you found useful.
Avoiding the Temptation to Work
If you have an internet connection wherever you’re going then it can be really tempting to work while you’re away. I’m a workaholic myself, and somewhat addicted to my phone and laptop, so I do understand!
I really urge you to avoid the temptation to work if you can, at least for the majority of your vacation. You might want to post updates on social media, but each time you go to post it’ll take you out of truly enjoying the moment.
I find it hard not to bring my laptop with me when I’m away, but I do force myself to do it for some breaks and it feels good! Due to my workaholic tendencies, it does usually take me a couple of days to get into relaxation mode, but once I’m there it feels great. Even better, once I come back I’m often full of fresh ideas!
The Importance of Planning
Taking vacations from your business does take planning – probably more planning than you’d need to do to take a vacation away from a regular job.
For me, that means:
- Scheduling in my vacations days as early as possible (though I do enjoy taking last minute mini-breaks!)
- Having a good calendar/ planner system so I know exactly what needs doing by when
- Getting ahead of my work a few weeks before I am due to go
- Trusting that everything is taken care of once I do finish work!
And remember, even the best of us take unexpected breaks sometimes and don’t get everything done that we would have wanted. It really is OK to cut yourself some slack and enjoy some time off!Click here to sign up to my free library of biz-building worksheets, guides and tools