Sooner or later, if you decide to blog for some or all of your expat income, you’ll have to maintain and update your blog while you’re traveling.
It can be done, but it requires a much higher level of organization and planning than you might be used to.
Do It Ahead
Do everything you possibly can before you leave. Think about all the elements that go into keeping your blog updated. Your list may be different from mine. For Future Expats, I do the following:
- Plan upcoming posts. Before you can write a post you need to plan. Always keep a list of at least 20 possible blog topics for those times when you might need a mental nudge to come up with a topic. If you know you’ll be away from your home base for two weeks, as I am currently, figure out how many posts you normally publish during that time. Then add one or two to give yourself a cushion once you return.
- Can you use some guest posts while you’re away? Make all the arrangements well in advance. Once you receive a guest post, sit down and do any necessary editing right away. Schedule it from within WordPress to publish at the appropriate time.
- Write your posts. If it’s not time sensitive, get a post written, edited and uploaded, and schedule its publication from within WordPress. They’ll publish automatically and you won’t have to give them another thought.For posts that have a time-sensitive aspect, write as much as you get ahead of time. Then you’ll only have to polish and add relevant details while you’re on the road.
- Update social media. Respond to blog comments, and to questions and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
On the Road
Plan your trip so you have some blocks of time when you know you’ll be able to access a computer and the internet. Even if you’ve been able to pre-schedule all your posts, there are still some tasks you’ll have to accomplish to keep your blog up to date.
I like to schedule in an entire day here and there to catch up with my blog and any other writing I have on my schedule. You may function just fine with a couple of hours here and there, everyone’s style is different. Just make sure you schedule it and then stick to that schedule.
While you’re on the road, you need to do the following — at a minimum — to stay current with your blog.
- Write, edit and/or upload any posts necessary
- Review the comments readers have left on previous posts and respond to them, where appropriate
- If your travels are related to your blog’s subject, take lots of pictures to use now and later
- Stay current, as much as possible, with your readers, followers and fans. Plan a few minutes every day if you can to check in with Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and your other social networks.If it’s appropriate, let your readers know what’s going on. I’ve been posting updates on the Future Expats Facebook page to let readers know I’m on the road. Because this is a US trip I’m not being specific, but when I was in Panama last spring I posted on the blog and on social media where I was in the country.
Last, don’t get obsessive. Life happens, and your readers will understand that. If a post goes out a few hours, or even a day late, it’s not the end of the world. Enjoy your trip.
Do you have any tips or tricks for getting work done while you’re traveling? I’d love to hear them!
photo by guiguis on flickr