How to give yourself time off

There are so many positives of blogging, but with them comes a few negatives — including the challenge of taking time away.

With the holidays here, now's an ideal time to plan some time away. But how?

A few months before my daughter turned 1, I left my full-time job to freelance full time. It was 2008, and I could no longer afford the cost of gas to commute to my beloved publishing job — along with the cost of daycare for two kids and myriad other bills. My freelancing income grew steadily. By the time the holidays rolled around, a friend and I had launched a new site that was booming, I had multiple deadlines every day... it was crazy.

I don't remember much from the holiday season that year except for intense stress. Just thinking about it makes the muscles in my shoulders tense up. That year, I learned the immense importance of building holiday time and a break from work into my busy freelancing schedule.

You can too. And you should.

Can it really work?

"As a work-at-home mom and blogger, I not only need to take time off to care for my daughter while she's on holiday vacation, but I need time to relax and unwind myself," says Holly Reisem Hanna, founder and publisher of The Work at Home Woman.

Hanna plans weeks in advance for her time away. "I send out a call for guest bloggers and start filling in my editorial calendar with guest blog posts. WordPress allows me to schedule my blog posts in advance, and third-party applications like Hootsuite, allow me to schedule updates and automatically run my RSS feed to the various social networks," says Hanna. "By putting my blog on auto-drive during the holidays, I'm able to enjoy some quality time with my family as well as some much needed rest and relaxation."

It matters

New mom Mridu Khullar Relph has always taken time away from blogging when she needed it, but this holiday it's more important than ever to her. "I feel the need to go on my son's first holiday without being constantly at technology's (including my blog, Twitter and of course, FB) beck and call. So I'm putting in the effort now to make sure I can have a fun, relaxing holiday without worrying about losing readers, not updating, etc., while I'm gone," says Relph.

She's working ahead to make the time away seamless. "My plan is to write up a few posts in advance and schedule them to automatically publish while I'm away. (I'll let my readers know I'm away though, so they don't expect immediate responses to comments, etc.)," says Relph.

Make it work for you

Guest bloggers

Keeping the new content coming can be as easy as getting a little help. Draw on your social networks and other resources to bring in quality guest bloggers to contribute to your site while you are away.

Write ahead

If it's not too much to fit in, you can also prepare some posts ahead. As you have time, write and format a few extra posts that you can schedule during your time away. Choose evergreen topics or just keep them simple.

Leverage

Use what you have! Your site is already filled with great content, so take advantage during the holidays by promoting favorite old posts to run again or creating top 10 lists of your favorite posts, recipes, etc. of the year.

More from Chasing the Dream

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Managing your priorities

Why you need a mentor — and how to find one

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Comments

Comments on "Chasing the Dream: Holiday vacation for mom bloggers"

Jessica December 05, 2012 | 11:52 AM

This is SO true. I'm work from home and blog, and have kids, and there are days I think I'm going to pull my hair out from so much stress. With working from home comes the need to feel like you should always be working, but you need to learn to relax and set aside time for fun, too. The work will always get done, so try to enjoy yourself.

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