How To Keep Your Blog Going While You’re On Vacation

If I have to attribute one main key to my blogging success it would have to be consistency. I am one of the most consistent bloggers in the world. Over the past five years, I have maintained an average of two blog posts per day and there has never been a single day where there was no new blog post. It is this level of consistency that has allowed my blog to make that income that it makes.

I place an extremely high importance on making sure I have new blog posts for my readers to read everyday. This includes during vacation time. Just because I go on vacation does not mean my blog goes on vacation as well. I treat my blog like a real business and as such it never takes a vacation and is always open. The worst thing you can do is put your blog in “vacation mode.” That just screams amateur blogger.

I am vacationing in California with my family right now but as you can see, new blog posts are going up everyday. The posting frequency has not changed. Here’s how you can keep your blog going when you go on vacation.

Use The WordPress Timestamp

If you know you’re not going to be able to blog for an extended period of time, then you should pre-write a bunch of blog posts and drip feed them live with the WordPress timestamp. If you’ve been wondering why my blog posts always seem to go live 12 hours apart from each other, it’s because they’ve been timestamped to do so.

To use the timestamp, just click the Edit link next to “Publish immediately” in your blog post edit screen. From there you’ll be able to set the time you want the post to go live.

I rarely write my blog posts live. I like to do concentrated periods where I would write a few days worth of posts and then timestamp them. I got into this habit because I do travel a lot. By getting into the habit of timestamping posts, it means I don’t have to change my routine that much when going on vacation. It can be very difficult to think up a week worth of blog posts when you’ve never done it before so start getting into the habit of writing an extra post or two and timestamping them. Then you won’t have to make a huge shift when vacation time comes.

Turn The Blog Over To Guest Bloggers

Guest bloggers can help fill the posting void while you’re on vacation. However, depending on the niche your blog is in, you may not want to completely turn your blog over. Because this blog bears my name, readers expect most of the blog posts to come from me. While I did timestamp a few guest posts during this California trip, I mixed them in with my own timestamped posts.

Blog While On Vacation

Thanks to the wonderful power of technology and Internet that is available from pretty much anywhere, you can now blog while you’re on vacation! While some may question blogging while on vacation, there are many advantages to doing it. For one, you get to share the experience with your readership. This helps build the blog relationship with the readers and lets them share in the fun you’re having.

The second reason to blog while on vacation is taxes. Because I’m blogging about my California adventure, pretty much the entire cost of the trip can be written off as a business expense. Now please see your tax advisor before attempting to write off your vacation. Every situation is different. For example, just because Alpine Electronics can write off a Lamborghini to advertising expense doesn’t mean we can do the same!

Like most things, the key is preparation. Start getting into the habit of timestamping posts and forming relationships with other bloggers who might be able to guest blog for you. Look into technologies, like the Virgin MiFi, that will allows you to blog no matter where you are. The more prepared you are, the better off your blog will be.

We’re On Vacation, The Blog Is Not

San Diego

Sally and I cruising San Diego harbor. Sally kept asking if the boat can go underwater. She was wondering if it was like the Nemo ride in Disneyland.

49 thoughts on “How To Keep Your Blog Going While You’re On Vacation”

  1. Dino says:

    Great idea!! I do that for a few niches that Im in and i’m done for the whole month!!

    1. d3so says:

      That’s John Chow for ya. Living the good life and keeping it consistent.
      I rarely use timestamps and mostly write posts live. I should focus on pre-writing content.

      1. elie palima says:

        the two guys behind are polite enough to turn around while you were taking a photo. 🙂

        1. rebecca says:

          Cool photo john

      2. dotCOMreport says:

        Pre-writing really helps especially if you have a full life offline.

        1. PPC Ian says:

          This is truly great advice. I have had so much trouble keeping my blog consistent during this holiday season – it’s now been one week since my last post! I can relate to this post quite a bit and look forward to blogging more and being more consistent in 2011 as one of my goals!

          1. Hey John,

            Great advice. I do use a time stamp once in a while. Writing 2 blog posts a day is currently nearly impossible for me.

            I’ll first focus on being more consistent. One post per week would be great to start with.

          2. Yes these kind of options are quite useful for like us.

            Because pre planning is quite important and as you guys know I always believe in consistency.

    2. I am also using the scheduled posting option to be on the regular basis.

  2. pinoyblognet says:

    I really like this post it will be happen to me soon.

      1. rebecca says:

        you can say that again

  3. Abhik says:

    I though about scheduled postings, but never done it.
    The idea is truly awesome and I am surely gonna adopt it on my next vacation.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I couldn’t agree more! On my last vacation, I brought my iPad and ended up blogging from my iPad. Next time, I want to use timestamps in WordPress to schedule posts.

      1. Perhaps you can do both like John.

        To me a vacation should have at least some days with no work and posting is work according to John.

        I find a bit of a contradiction in John’s approach. I understand that he loves what he’s doing but at the same time if he calls it work a vacation that is not at least partly free of work is a business trip.

        In that case it should be called that and not a vacation.

        1. Sole purpose of it is vacation and with that if they are getting contents for his blog than this is simply superb.

          After all blogging is all about that.

          1. Kirk Taylor says:

            I love working vacations. You get to amazing things that other people won’t do and even more importantly, you can take longer vacations because you can afford to do so.

            Great idea…

  4. Alex Neill says:

    Great idea John I never thought about scheduling posts before DOH!

    I will test it out over the new year period as I plan to spend some time away from making money marketing online and have a pc free few days, enjoy your vacations, Alex

    1. rebecca says:

      schedualing post would deffinetly make things alot easier

      1. really a great deal if you don’t say about your immediate plannings.

  5. Simon Dodd says:

    Thanks for this John, another great post! I really need to get into timestamping future posts. I am still in the mindset of writing my posts when I need to post them! This does however mean that when I publish the posts I immediately go round and submit the new post to directories.

    I do often find myself not writing a post because I have just posted one and don’t want to post too many at once, then when I come to write a new post I have forgotten the idea I had before!

    Thanks again


    1. John Chow says:

      That’s one of the reason I timestamp posts. I find my creativity in writing is off and on. When it’s on, I want to get as many post in the que as possible because I know it’s really hard trying to think up post ideas when it’s off.

      1. Hey John,

        This is the best reason for time stamping posts. When the creative juices are flowing they should be milked to the last drop.

        If you have more juice at one sitting than just for one post, which is usually my case, then you have a good case for writing several posts at a time.

  6. I also thinks to schedule the articles if going to pass some short of time that not looks like casual for your blog and the readers of the value you gives out on the regular basis.

  7. fas says:

    Sally is looking so cute in the pic. So did the boat go underwater?

    1. John Chow says:

      Luckily, it stayed above the water. 🙂

  8. Donny Gamble says:

    I usually have about 5 pending post on my blog at all times just in case something comes up and I don’t have time to write for that week.

    1. Hey Donny,

      That’s a very smart insurance policy that costs nothing.

      I’ll implement this within the next 4 months. I’ll create an extra post once every 24 days and I’ll be there.

      1. Kirk Taylor says:

        I’ve got work to do here. This is where self-control would do me a favor. I’ve got in the habit of pumping information out, rather than holding it and timing it.

        Not a big deal, all comes down to discipline!

  9. Yeah, scheduling one’s blog posts is very useful feature of WordPress. I find your Tax Saving tip, showing travel expenses as business expenses, very useful. Thanks!

  10. brian says:

    I find that the WordPress Time Machine plugin is extremely effective for vacation blogging as well. It allows me to travel into the future, publish my posts, and then travel back in time and enjoy my vacation all over again. Rinse and repeat. Profit!

  11. Kirk Taylor says:

    Point well taken. I’ve missed a couple of days over Christmas for no good reason and it shows. You’re right, a blog is open every day of the year twenty four hours a day and the fresher the post the more likely to get visitors to keep coming consistently.

    In fact, I’m going to get busy and write another post right now even though I have today’s posts done. Plus, I’m going to make the commitment to never have another day without at least two posts to my site.

    Thank you John!

    1. Kirk Taylor says:

      Ok, this is an update. This article really put it into perspective, I’m drawing out an editorial map and even updating my sections on my site.

      I’m totally committed to posting as many as four new posts a day, but will for sure do at lest two of them.

  12. Cute kid!

    I always forget to setup auto posts. I think in 2011 I will start using it more often because it can be very useful.

    After all, just using something else automatic like an autoresponder can really make a huge difference in your business. I don’t see why posts couldn’t be scheduled out for months and my blog could run on auto pilot while I market it.

    Thanks for the ideas John

    1. Kirk Taylor says:

      How do you make a personal conection with people if your posts are writen so far ahead?

  13. Jimmy says:

    First of all Happy new year to all Fans Of JohnCow……thanks John for sharing that……thats really an amazing idea…….if a blog does not update on regular basis…then there might be decreased in that will be helpful

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Happy new year to you too! I agree. I have seen this happen first hand. Traffic goes down if you don’t post frequently and consistently!

      1. rebecca says:

        ya need to post lots,it definitely helps

        1. Happy New Year to Jimmy, PPC Ian, D3so and Everybody else who visits and leaves good comments here.

  14. I am doing a bookmarking strategy and to include some interesting content in my bookmarks I included your rss feed. Hope you do not mind. I then noticed how consistent your were with your posts. Wow. Every day non stop! I realized this is where I really have fallen short. Thanks for the great article and tip! I like the idea of writing lots of posts at once then putting them on autopilot.

  15. ikki says:

    nice tips john

  16. I am going to follow all the discussed options for better time management for blogging and that’s to timely .

  17. I use this when I outsource content writing for affiliate sites. They give me like 10 articles, and instead of posting them all at once I use this trick so I can set them up and they will post at intervals. It helps with getting new pages indexed faster too.

  18. Tree Lover says:

    I have to hand it to you, you have real dedication to blogging! What an inspiration. I’ve got to work on my consistency!

  19. I like the idea of stockpiling John, I just don’t know how you can write that many articles in one day. If you are going on vacation for a week that means you have to write an additional 14 articles in the weeks before vacation. My fingers hurt already.

  20. Yup, you have to give the readers some new content everyday (and the search engines for that matter) so loading them into the pipe before you take off for vacation is an inevitable reality of being a blogger. Great post.

  21. That’s one of the most used feature by people. They schedule the posts for future and leave the blog to work by itself when they are not around.

  22. ibnujusup says:

    timestamp feature is surely very usefull.. 🙂 kind a soft cheat

  23. I also thinks to schedule the articles if going to pass some short of time that not looks like casual for your blog and the readers of the value you gives out on the regular basis.

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