This week is BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas and a fair number of bloggers will be in attendance, myself included. Whether you are attending a conference, visiting clients or taking vacation, if you have a well-read B2B blog, you need to develop a plan for the time away. This is much easier to handle if it is just a couple days, but the following tips can be easily scaled if you are going to be away longer. It is possible to announce a vacation, and take some time off from the blog, but if you are writing a business blog for your B2B company, this is less of an option. Your readers and Google are expecting you to publish on your normal schedule, so you should try to keep to it.
1. Write Ahead
This one is the easiest to plan, the most obvious to do and the hardest to accomplish. If you plan to be away for the time that you would publish one or two posts, spend some time one or two weeks before and write an extra post. If your posts are based on current trends and need to be more timely, this would be a good chance to provide an industry overview and put the issues in context. Unless you will be completely off-line, if you write and schedule posts before you go, make sure you can check for and respond to comments.
2. Set Aside Work Time
If you normally blog at a certain time in a certain place (other than sitting at your desk), try to steal that same time away from your trip. If you always write in the morning, get up a half hour early and write at that same time. Since travel is already so disruptive, keeping some of the structure of your normal day helps on its own. If you can get some blog posts out it, all the better.
3. Guest Posts
If you can plan far in advance, solicit guest posts from colleagues or others in your industry. This is easier if it someone who already blogs, as they will better understand the time involved to write a post for you, but anyone with thoughts and opinions on your blog subject matter can create at least one post. While it is always good to have a few guest posts (or posters) lined up for a rainy day, the perfect time to publish these posts is when you are away.
4. Pull Out an Old Draft
A limited amount of time, whether preparing extra posts before you go, or trying find a bit of time while on the road, is the ideal opportunity to look back at your draft file for ideas and half-written posts. You might find some things that didn’t work at the time, but with a fresh eye and a compelling need for content quickly, can easily be turned into a worthwhile post. If you don’t have any posts lying around, either from ideas that you didn’t write or extra things that just didn’t get posted, you need to add some idea time to your process. While many business blogs are driven by an editorial calendar, you will be a more successful blogger if you have more ideas than you can use and can be more selective about which posts get written.
5. Video Posts
Whether you have a pocket video camera, like a Flip Cam or a Kodak ZI-8, or the latest smartphone, you are armed with great video-on-the go device. Capture your thoughts about an industry issue in a quick 2-3 minute video. If you are at a conference, conduct a few short video interviews with industry leaders. It is easier if you plan these ahead of time if there are certain people you want to talk to, but impromptu ones are fine too. Client testimonials work, but the quality of these needs to be a little better, even for a blog. Consider bringing a tabletop tripod, which greatly improves the shot. Make sure you test drive shooting video, uploading it and posting it to the blog. The point of this is to be able to do this from the road, and not wait until you return.
Please share other suggestions for how you have continued to post to your B2B blog while traveling.