It’s again the time of year when people start planning their vacations. But not everyone: most bloggers can’t even dream of taking a break.
In many ways, bloggers are like entrepreneurs, and the most serious ones actually consider their blogs as businesses. And unfortunately, most entrepreneurs have one tricky problem: they don’t know how to take a break and relax.
Sure, blogging is your passion. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be doing it. But quite often, getting some distance to the thing you do from day to day will help you improve.
When you are relaxing and don’t have to keep pushing out content to your blogs, your mind does its own work, looking at your business from a distance. It starts to see things that you could improve, it notices your strengths and weaknesses.
And most importantly, the time away refuels your passion. After a few week’s break you are filled with new energy to pursue your goals with new determination and power.
Maintaining a consistent posting schedule is my number one advice for bloggers, but still, even bloggers need to take a break every now and then to keep themselves running until the end of times.
But bloggers can’t leave their blogs!
You’re right, it’s not easy.
But it’s not that much because of a lack of options – the real reason lies inside our heads: just like the self-employed entrepreneur we’re afraid of what might happen while we’re surfing at the Caribbean.
What if I don’t have a blog to return to after my two weeks offline?
What if my subscriber count drops dramatically?
What if I don’t want to return to my blog after I have taken some distance to it?
I’m sure these questions, and many more go through your mind when are planning your vacation. But let’s leave them aside for a while and look at the options.
The secret is that once you start planning, these questions will most likely become deprecated.
Find yourself some good guest bloggers
Not so long ago, a blogger from Australia decided that he wanted to travel. He wanted to go all the way to California and participate in the SxSW event, but just like any pro blogger, he didn’t want to lose his blog during his time away.
His solution? Guest blogging.
Luckily this guy was so popular that people were fighting to get their posts accepted to the blog. He asked for blogging tips and in just a few hours had over 100 to choose from (he was looking for 13) and could safely leave his blog attended for a few days.
You all know this blogger. His name is Darren Rowse.
Pay someone to post for you
On April first, the most famous outsourcer on the Internet today shared his secret: he revealed that he had not written a single post to his blog during the past year.
The most intriguing part of the story was that his blog is a personal blog bearing his name – and the writers were pretending to be him throughout the year.
A few hours later, Tim Ferris had to come out and tell his furious readers that this was just an April’s fools prank. But even so, there is no reason to think that this would be impossible.
Tim’s original post gives good food for thought on how to outsource your blog during your break.
Maybe a bit too sneaky for a personal blog, but then again for a niche blog like FreelanceSwitch a similar approach has proven to be quite a liberating option.
Most of the pots at FreelanceSwitch are written by freelancers who get paid by post – and even the editing task has been given away from the original bloggers.
This way the blog has been transformed from a self-employment job into a real business that can thrive without the owner’s participation – who is now free to take the vacation (unless he’s busy working on something else).
If your blog is generating enough money to pay the writers, this might well be the way to go. But if you can’t afford paying $50-100 per post, keep reading.
Save your posts
A good practice often suggested to bloggers is to write your posts in advance. A buffer of a few days helps you keep up the consistent posting schedule even in a case of an emergency like you or a family member getting sick that will distract you from your blogging.
But the benefits of writing your posts in advantage don’t end here.
It’s a bit like saving. If you write one post to your savings account every now and then, and start saving early enough, you can collect enough posts to finance your two weeks away from the blog next summer. And your readers might not even notice that you are gone!
Let’s do some math:
If you post to your blog once per day, you’ll need 14 posts for a two week vacation. Assuming that you want to take your vacation in July, if you start saving today, you have ten weeks to get your finances together.
14 posts divided by ten weeks means you need to write 1.4 extra posts per week. By dropping your post frequency a bit, you can get away by saving just one post every week. Sure it’ll be hard to resist pressing the publish button when you have just completed a great post. But believe me, you’ll thank yourself in July!
Pick your perfect mix
This was the free option. It’s also the one that takes the most of your time, one of your most valuable possessions. That’s why, I suggest a mixture of all the different approaches: pay for a few posts, get some guest posts from your readers and blogging friends, and then write the rest of your posts in advance.
This way you can keep your blog alive while waiting for the summer – and during the summer when you are relaxing on the beach and thinking about your blogging strategy for the next year.
Bloggers (just like entrepreneurs) can take a few weeks or more off, if they really want to. The next question is: are you ready to do it?