Guesting, guesting, one, two, three

A question that comes up regularly when I do trainings is what to do about your blog when you go on holiday. Should you write extra ones and schedule them to go out while you’re away, get someone to write a guest blog, have a couple of weeks blank, or what?Holiday luggage

I think the answer is, “it depends”. If you’re taking a Christmas break, for example, most other folk will be on holiday too, and they won’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to read your musings. I know that this past Christmas I didn’t open any of the newsletters I normally read.

No doubt they were as well-crafted and interesting as usual, but I had other things on my mind and, quite frankly, I wanted a holiday from work. So all that effort was wasted on me. There may, of course, have been other people who lapped them up because they finally had time to read them in peace.

If it’s a summer holiday the answer’s less clear cut. It used to be that certain industries shut down for the same period every year, but that doesn’t happen any more, and anyway, you’re probably writing for a wider audience than just your industry colleagues. So most of your readers will still be panting to read your words of wisdom.

If you have time to write some extra posts and schedule them, that’s ideal. If you’re rushed off your feet trying to tick everything off your list before going on holiday, as most people are, the best answer is to say so in your last blog before your break. “This will be my last blog for a couple of weeks, as I’m off to sunny Benidorm/the Maldives/the Arctic for my hols” will remove any confusion from your regular readers’ minds. Just make sure your home address hasn’t appeared anywhere where nasty people can make the connection between your post and your empty house.

[Maybe you haven’t yet scheduled a post and aren’t quite sure how to do it. I don’t know about all sites, but on my WordPress site above the Publish button it says “Publish immediately” and next to that there’s an Edit option. Click on Edit and you can set the date and time when you want the post to be published. Mailchimp has a similar set-up. Whatever programme you use, there’ll be a schedule option.]

Possibly the best idea is to get someone else to write the posts for you while you’re away. If you have someone at work who could do it, that’s easy. If not, ask a guest. Someone from inside your industry but a different part of it will give a different angle on what you normally write about. A good customer could write about how they use your product, or what your service does for them: an extended testimonial, if you like.  (Nice trick, huh?!?)

Guest posts are good publicity for the writer, as it spreads their name out to all your readers and you’ll include a link to their website, which is good for SEO. They make you look good too: you know all those industry insiders, and you have all these clients who love you! Most guest posters will ask you to write a post for them in return, which also helps to spread your name a bit more widely and get back-links to your site too. So getting someone to guest for you is not just an easy way out of a dilemma, it’s a Good Thing to do.

All this is partly by way of alerting you to the fact that I have a guest post coming soon, so watch this space…

P.S. If you’d like to do a guest blog for me, to tell all my readers a bit about what you do (as long as you make it marketing-, writing- or language-related in some way), please get in touch. I’m particularly looking for someone to write a post towards the end of May, when I’ve got an Open University exam.

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