Is it safe to say that the festive season is officially here? I think so. There’s not long left until a brand new year, which means a lot of us are making grand plans for what we want to achieve in 2016.
But for a couple of weeks, most of us take a break from everything to spend time with our family and loved ones. So what does that mean for our blogs?
Whenever someone takes a break from managing their online presence, they worry about a lot. For instance:
- My traffic will go down
- No one will read my posts
- My readers will disappear
- Everyone will forget about me
But I'm a true believer that we need to take breaks in all aspects of our lives to grow stronger.
Personally, I tend to take a break over Christmas – but some of this time will be a “working” break. I get two weeks off at Christmas from my day job. That’s a huge chunk of extra time that I can use to work on all my projects for ABOH. So yes, most of my time will be spent with family. But I'll definitely be taking advantage of the extra time I've got too.
It’s absolutely fine if you’re taking a break during the festive season. Your readers are slowing down and spending less time online, so you can do the same.
But today, we’re here to talk about crafting a plan for those of you who want to keep up with your blog over Christmas. We’re here to talk about ten simple ways you can stay up to date, whilst still having the break you deserve…
I like to approach breaks strategically. Sometimes, I’ll completely step away from my presence – I did that in June this year when I went on holiday to France. I’ll do exactly the same at Christmas too. But I also know that two weeks off don’t come around all the time. This is the perfect chance for me to get a head start on my blogging plans for 2016.
If you’re like me and planning to work on your blog over Christmas, I want to share with you the ways I'm going to be keeping up to date and getting a head start. I hope these ideas will inspire you to come up with your own way of keeping up.
#1 | Get up to date with everything
Something I love about having extra time off is getting the chance to do things that I wouldn't normally get time to do. So things like sorting through all my emails and organising all the papers I've printed off. This is a great time to get up to date with everything to do with your blog.
If you’re feeling behind on the way you manage your systems or how you organise yourself, this is the perfect time to make some changes.
#2 | Make a plan
If you really want to use some of your time wisely over Christmas, definitely make a plan. Don’t just plan what tasks you want to get done – plan when you’re going to get them done.
Decide how many days you want to have off completely. Then on those other days, plan how much work you want to do. Just don’t burn yourself out! Don’t block time for 9-5 days. A few hours is all you need. That way, you can fit in your tasks based around how much time you’ve got.
#3 | Modify your schedule
Planning on posting content over Christmas? Go for it! But you don’t have to post as often.
If you normally post most days, you can cut it down to three times a week. Or if you post four times a week, you can cut this down to once or twice. Keep to your consistent publishing days, but just slow down your schedule. Your readers won’t be reading blogs every day, so it makes sense to modify your schedule to match their habits.
#4 | Schedule everything
Schedule the draft posts you write. Schedule some social media updates. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. But there’s always the fear that our feeds might look empty. You can prevent that with scheduling!
And remember, you might have people in your community from all over the world – some of them might not celebrate Christmas. Social media is all about community – it can be a lovely place to spend some time in the run up to Christmas.
#5 | Give older posts more attention
So you won't be publishing as much new content around this time of year, right? That gives you the perfect chance to pay attention to some of your older posts.
A lot of your readers that you’ve gained over the past year might be new. It would be great to let them see some of your archives. This is also a great way to introduce them to other important content they might’ve missed out on.
#6 | Ask for guest posts
Lots of bloggers do this every year and it works really well. This is good if you go away at Christmas.
I wrote a guest post for a blogger last year who was in a different country during the festive season. She provided a date for all the posts to be completed by, scheduled them, and they all rolled out while she was away. If you’ve always been interested in having guest posts on your blog, this might be the perfect time to try them out.
#7 | Write everything in advance
If guest posts aren't your thing, but you still want to post consistently over Christmas, there’s only one thing for it.
Write in advance.
If you work hard now, you can take even more of a break. You can schedule all your posts, schedule your social media updates and forget all about them. That’s called working smarter, not harder.
#8 | If you're taking a break then let people know
Whether you’re leaving the World Wide Web completely, or you’re changing your posting schedule, let people know.
Do a quick post either saying when you’re taking a break from and till. Or, tell your readers about your slowed down schedule. It lets your readers know that you’re still thinking about them and appreciate them at this time of year. It’s like customer service, right? It’s so beneficial to keep your community in the loop.
#9 | Set up an out of office email
The thought of going back to your emails after a holiday is scary, isn't it? To make it easier on yourself, always set up an out of office email. Let people know that you won’t be responding to emails during X amount of time. This will help people understand why they might not be getting a reply from you.
Tell them when you’re taking your break from and when you’ll be returning. This way, you won’t feel guilty about not checking your emails. You'll be able to enjoy the festive season in peace.
#10 | Take a break
It’s so easy to get caught up in everything as a blogger these days.
Everyone always seems to be launching something new, upping their content game or doubling their followers in a week. Quick fixes aren’t the way to go. Taking a break from this world that we’re a part of will do you good.
It’ll put things into perspective, help you remember your why and let you decide what you want to do in the new year.
Let your body and mind rest. Give yourself time off – you deserve it! Don’t be tempted to check social media every half an hour. Turn off notifications. Be intentional with this time.
I doubt that any of my family will be on our phones on Christmas Day. It’s a really important one for us this year – the first one without my Grandma and Granddad for 20+ years. We know that this is our time and that’s how it’ll stay.
A Final Note…
There we have it. My top ten ways for keeping up with your blog over Christmas. I do believe in the power of taking breaks so I just want to leave you with one final thought.
Blogging is amazing. But family will always be more important. Remember that at this time of year. Keep up with your blog – but give yourself a break too. You deserve it.
What are your plans for your blog over Christmas? Are you taking a break? How are you planning on keeping up with it? Let's chat in the comments!