Blogging is the sort of thing many, many people try, but very few do for a long time. There are a lot of reasons people stop doing it. It becomes time-consuming. They run out of material, or interest. They get busy doing other things. But maybe you're one of the few who has decided to do this for the long haul. This week, we're going to address some of the issues that arise over time, to make long-term blogging possible.
First of all, no one can do this non-stop for years and years on end. Whether you blog daily, weekly, or whatever, there will come a time that you'll need a break. Maybe you need to go on vacation (away from the computer). Maybe you're dealing with personal or family illness, or maybe you're just dealing with a little burn-out. Here are some things to consider when planning your vacation.
Just as you would not post a notice in the newspaper that you are going to be away from home for a two-week vacation, do not do this on your blog. It doesn't matter if you're blogging under a pseudonym, criminals are smart, and a motivated criminal can figure out where you live, so don't set yourself up for a robbery by letting them know ahead of time when you're going to be out of town. If you want to post vacation pics when you get back, that's up to you.
Unless you're dealing with an emergency, you may have time to plan ahead and post-date some of your posts to be published while you are gone. In most blogging software, this is simply done by selecting a future date for posting. This will allow you to have at least some fresh content posted while you're gone, keeping your blog, and auto-feeds active. If you're part of a group blog, your partners may be able to take up some of the slack for you while you're out, as well.
If you're not part of a group blog, this is a great time to partner-up with someone, who can keep an eye on your blog while your gone (in exchange for your returning the favor later), and handle approving comments, and dealing with any virus or hacker emergencies while you're away from your computer. This person may also wish to function as a guest blogger, to expand his or her own readership, by either writing a piece or two for your blog, or cross-posting relevant content from another blog to yours.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.