This is a guest post by Ken Myers of longhornleads.
When you are sick it is no time to think about your blog, but how can you forget? You know, as I do, that updating your blog regularly is the only way to keep it alive. However you are feeling too sick to write up to your usual standards. So what are you to do? Here are some tips to keep your blog going even when you are under the weather:
- Stay ahead of the game – Well, if you are a blogger who is on top of things hopefully you are already ahead of the game. This means that you have several posts written in advance and have them scheduled to be posted automatically in the even that something should happen to you and you can’t get to a computer. Many bloggers try to stay at least two ahead on their posts so that they have a couple of catch up days should they get sick or have an emergency. If this is you then hurray! You are doing great. If not, continue reading please.
- Have a backup – Every blogger should have at least one evergreen back up post ready to go in case of emergency. Evergreen posts are ones that are not time sensitive and will work at any time of the year. These posts should be looked at periodically and not left to rot for years, but they can work well to fill in a gap during an illness. By having a backup you can catch up on your blog and none will be the wiser. More than one back up is preferred, but at least one should be created just for this purpose.
- Use guest posts –Guest posts are another great way to get content without actually having to write when you are sick. Guest posts work because you are exchanging something. You get free content and the guest poster gets a link to their site and exposure to your audience. This is a win-win for everyone involved. However you should make sure you form strong relationships with other blogger who would be willing to do this for you and also make sure you check over the quality and topic of the blog post before allowing it to be put on your blog. This will prevent a lot of possible trouble!
- Use multimedia – Another way to create a blog post without actually writing is to use multimedia. Videos, photos and infographics all make for great blog posts without much writing. You can even create a video using just the web cam and microphone that came with your laptop if you want. Or you can use screenshots and narration for a great how to guide. There are many ways to use blogging other than just writing. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you are under the weather a thousand words is a godsend.
- Ask for help – we all get sick. Everyone knows that. That is why there is no shame in asking for help. If you have a trusted friend or fellow blogger you can ask them to write something and post it for you. You can also ask your readers to suggest blog topics and write their own response to a simple question for others to read. This is a great way to get out of writing while still involving your readers and letting them know what is going on with you.
- Share a post – If that does not sound like something you can or would want to do, you can always share a post. Most bloggers love to have their posts shared with new audiences. Create a summary of a post you like or just take a snippet from it and post it to your blog with a link to the original. As long as you do not copy the entire contents or say you wrote it then the other blogger will usually be happy for the attention. If you are worried about it shoot them an email and ask before you share their post.
- Repost something –Another way to get content on your blog without writing it is to repost something you had posted long ago. This can be a popular reader favorite, one you think was overlooked, or just one that suits your mood at the moment. Clearly note that this is a repost and add a little blurb about why you felt it needed to be seen again. That is all there is to it for great content that you wrote, even if it has been a while.
- Keep it short – Now we come to actually writing something. I know that when you are sick it is hard to think about writing anything, but keep in mind that your blog post does not have to be long. In fact, shorter is usually better. Most readers do not want to use their time and energy to read pages and pages of text. Instead they like to read something they can scan or look over quickly. That is why short blog posts work so well. Anyone would be happy to read a short blog and get the same information they would get from a longer one. Summarizing your thoughts is a great way to provide good content without working too hard. You should strive for around five hundred words. Any less and you will lose search engines, any more and you start to lose readers. Even under the weather you can manage five hundred words, right?
- Break it up – Speaking of keeping it short another thing you should do with longer posts is to break them up. You can use headers to make them easier for people to scan or you can break them up into multiple posts. This is a great way to stay ahead. Write a long post and then break it up into parts one, two and three to make it look like you have more content than you actually do. Your readers will like it better too because it is nice and short for them to read.
- Write a list –A list is another way of breaking up your blog posts. However a list is a favorite of mine for many reasons. One, readers like lists because they can scan it quickly and because they can see immediately how long the post will be from the title. For example a post titled “5 Things to Eat in China” will be shorter than one titled “25 Things to Eat in India”. Another reason list posts are great is because you can’t lose track of what you are writing. Unlike normal posts you do not have to make list posts flow. In fact, list posts are supposed to be choppy. That means that once you have the points down you can take a break in between and no one is the wiser. Even someone very sick can write a hundred words at a time, which is all it takes.
- Listen to music – When you are not feeling well it can make you unmotivated and lethargic. Energize yourself and get back in the mood to write with a favorite song or inspiring music. I love to listen to fast piano music as I type. Lyrics have a way of distracting us, so instrumental music or nature sounds are usually better. Even ocean waves can be quick and inspire you to write when you are feeling down.
These are just a few ideas that can help you through this difficult time. Being prepared is the easiest thing to do when it comes to keeping up your blog. If you can try to have a backup or two ready to go just in case something should come up. Happy blogging and feel better soon!
Ken Myers is the founder of longhornleads.com & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.
Image by jeffeaton