How to take a break from blogging without losing your audience

Techniques to keep your blog updated so you can take a break.

We talk a lot at Maine on the Blogs about why it is important to be engaged with your readers, how to offer high quality content, and how to get that content in front of as many people as possible. But what do you do if you need a break from blogging? How do you step away from your computer for a few days without losing the traction you spent so much time building up?

This week we dive into strategies on how to keep your blog running with new content even while you are away.

Scheduling

By investing some time into organizing blog posts and their corresponding social media platforms you can easily schedule days or weeks in advance. Here are some basic instructions for WordPress, and Facebook.

Schedule a post on WordPress:

Go to your posts and open up the post that you wish to schedule. Inside the Publish box on the right side of the screen select the edit button next to the words “publish immediately”. From there, select the dates and times and then select “OK”. You will notice that the big publish button will change to the word “Schedule”, select that and your post will be scheduled for the future date and time you gave.

Schedule a post on Facebook:

Since you must have already published a story in order to schedule it in Facebook the strategy here is slightly different. You can ask a trusted friend to post your scheduled blog posts as they appear. Or you can go through your favorite old posts, ideally posts that had decent reach and engagement, and schedule those.

social-media-803649_1280To do this, you simply past the URL into a status update on your Facebook Page, type in something interesting to get the attention of your readers, make sure to delete the URL once you see the preview pop up, and then instead of hitting publish, you select the word “schedule” under publishing options, which is what those three vertical dots are on the bottom right side of the status update box. When you select the option to schedule you can determine the date and time, then select “set time” then select “publish” and your post is scheduled!

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Guest Blogger

A second option is to invite a guest blogger to take over your social media for a few days. Be sure to choose someone you trust and who, ideally, has a blog and social media following similar enough to yours that crossing audiences will help drive up your engagement and potentially land you some new loyal readers.

Here are a few tips to consider if you choose this option:

1) Choose someone who understands your blog, theme, and audience. This person should be familiar with your writing voice and be aware of the kinds of material that you are comfortable and uncomfortable posting. This person should also be comfortable posting to social media without help.

2) Make sure you give clear instructions on what you want and need. Let the person know things like when and what to post. For example, some audiences respond strongly to memes while others do not. Be sure to make this expressly clear to your guest blogger so that you don’t lose readership while your social media is the hands of someone else.

3) It helps to have a file of pre-chosen memes, blog posts, lists of sites that you share from, and instructions about tagging so that your friend understands exactly how you like things to run on your social media channels.

4) Be sure to give your readers an introduction to your guest. You can do this by posting a quick note, include a link to your friends’ blog, and tell a brief story to give your readers a chance to feel like they are meeting a person.

5) To help boost each other’s social media reach ask your guest to share some of your blog links on their channels and to tell their followers that their favorite blogger will be YOUR guest for a few days.

6) To return the favor of sharing yours links you should be sure to schedule some blog posts from your friend. You could also tell your friend to be sure to share a certain number of their links on your social media channels as well.

7) When you are finished with your vacation – or break – be sure to give a public thank you to your friend for helping, no matter how smooth or bumpy the experience went.

Taking a break from social media and blogging is sometimes necessary to recharge your creative batteries and to take care of personal obligations. Leaving the helm of your blog and corresponding social media channels does not have to mean losing readers. If you plan ahead with a little bit of strategy you can turn your time off into an opportunity to grow your readership.

92cb1a4bb465488d33c68dd59c66d1e4_400x400Do you have different strategies for taking a break form blogging without losing your readers? Tell us on our Facebook Page! We’d love to hear form you!

 

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Scary Mommy, Disney’s Babble, and Momtastic. Sarah runs a popular Facebook page, @Housewifeplus where readers laugh and share stories from the parenting trenches. She is a co-author in several books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine and National Public Radio.