Stop Vacationing From Your Blog

On top of Monument Mountain in the Berkshires - my 2011 vacation highlight

No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.  ~Elbert Hubbard

It had been a long time since I posted on my blog. It wasn’t just because I had one really long vacation – but in ways it was like I was taking a vacation from my blog. It has taken me a long time to get back to it and now I regret that I’ve been so lax in coming back to this blog. There are absolutely pitfalls for not posting to your blog, most importantly how quickly anyone who is reading your blog disappear – and they may not come back.

So, I’ve gathered the things that helped me to come back to this blog, and hopefully, crossing my fingers, I still have some people out there reading this blog. Maybe this will get you back to your own blog, or your work’s blog, or you will see that you can even start blogging (either for yourself or for your work).

  1. Identify why you blog – Some of us are required by work to blog. Some of us aren’t. For those of us who are not required to blog, it’s a hobby or something we do for ourselves, its easy to stay away from the task of blogging for longer. There is no perceived penalty for not getting a post up. I found it important to really think about why I started this blog, what I wanted to do, and how I could go back to it. In the end, I know how vital it has been for me to hear other stories from other nonprofit techies on how they handle things, that I want to share just as they have done for me. This is not part of my job, but I know that it makes me better at my job. Once you have that focus again, it’s easier to open up the blog and start writing.
  2. Clean house – I don’t mean pick up the broom and start literally sweeping. But I did find that I had to do this to all of my social networking sites – particularly Twitter. I took a week and really looked at all the Tweets that I got and found a whole group of people I was following that were just retweeting the same thing – and not offering anything new to the initial Tweet. I’m all for sharing information – but I don’t need to get 50 copies of the initial Tweet, which I also got. I didn’t stop following these people, but I have filtered them out in various methods. Turning off the noise has helped. I’ve also done this to LinkedIn and RSS Feeds.
  3. Split the task up – I was trying to research, write and post all in the morning in my free time before I started to work. That free time was getting sucked up by other things that were much more important (such as rebooting servers). I started this post last night while at home and I’ve tweaked it, added the formatting, and inserted the picture. Not having to spend the whole chunk of time all together at one time is helping out.
  4. Be like an extreme couponer – stockpile – I don’t advocate this as the best way to handle things, but it can take some of the stress off if you are under a time crunch. Take some time and gather things that can be posted. Some of us may only need to have a list of ideas. Some of us need to go beyond that list of ideas and  even start the blog post. If you start a post and keep it in drafts until you are ready to go live with it, there is less work to be done. That way if you have one of those weeks that every single device is working against you, you can still find a way to get a current post up without all the time into it. But I would warn against writing all of the content and not reviewing it again before posting. If you write ten posts at one time, they might all sound fine when the initial creation is happening, but it might be stale or dated by the time you post. Give the post a review and breathe some fresh air into it before hitting that publish button. That way, none of your stockpile posts will go past their expiration date.
  5. Admit to the vacation and start off fresh as if you just started your blog – Pretending that you haven’t posted a blog in six months is not going to work in this day and age. Just face the facts, admit the truth, and move on. This might mean you have to start all over again and do all the work that you did when you first started your blog. You may have to refresh your automatic links to your social media because passwords might have expired. In fact, it’s best to check those settings out in case something has changed or a new feature as come along during your vacation. There is nothing wrong with starting over. Start to advertise your blog and get the word out of what you are doing.If you had loyal readers in the past, they’ll understand and come back. You can even get new readers now as you start to get the word out about your blog.

I know that I still have a busy summer in front of me. I already had a nice long vacation (I climbed Monument Mountain the one day while in the Berkshires in Massachusetts) and I know that I always feel better when I get a post up. Writing this blog post, is also a step to help me to spend the time that is needed here.  

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Idle Hands: Patience Is A Virtue (or Why This Site Is So Quiet Lately) « Doug Newman: Global Strategic Analyst

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