Wednesday, September 25, 2013

blogging on vacation

Last month Tyler & I took a trip up to Oregon to visit his friends & family & see his beautiful sister joined in wedded bliss. Living so far away, we only get to visit the great Northwest 1 maybe 2 times a year, & I don't like to waste any time with my nose buried in a laptop while we are there, so I take a blogging vacation. But because the idea of letting my screen go blank for a week or more makes me twitchy, I enlisted the following 5 tools to keep the content coming on my regular schedule.... without opening up my computer for more than 30 minutes a day!
1. Guest Posters
That's right, use your friends! This blogging world is great for many reasons, but one of my favorites is the network of friends around the world that I have made. Why not introduce your readers to the style of some of your blogging buddies?! Charge the guest posters with a topic (i.e. What to wear to a wedding while you are off attending a wedding), have them carry on one of your regular post series (i.e. 1 piece, 3 ways) or let them loose to showcase their style however they wish! Everyone wins.
2. Scheduled Posts
If you use Blogger (not sure about the specifics of this for other hosting sites), either prepare your posts the week prior, or ask those darling friends of yours to send you their posts a couple of days before you leave. Then schedule your posts to go live through your vacation. Blogger is already set up to pre-schedule posts! In the right sidebar you can pick the date & time for the post to auto-publish & not think about it again. Tip: when the post goes live, it is worth checking the links, content layout just in case... but that might just be my personal compulsions kicking in!
3. HootSuite
Now that we have covered scheduled posts, lets talk about scheduled tweets. If you write a post & don't tweet about it, does the post exist? Maybe, but better to send out that little chirp just in case! HootSuite is a dashboard that organizes your Twitter streams, multiple Twitter handles if you have 'em (I have three... why!!!!), Twitter mentions & yes, scheduled Tweets. My lovely guest posters sent me their content, I created a little permalink (right sidebar of Blogger when you are creating a post), drafted a Tweet to coincide when the post was to be going live, & a few other mentions throughout the week, then closed my computer & let HootSuite do all the work. Oh & the free app keeps me scheduling on the go too!
A much better view than my computer screen!
4. Disqus
Only the best commenting platform ever! (Ok, so I can't really claim that, as it is the only comment platform I have tried besides the built in Blogger option, but I do think it ROCKS!) What about Disqus makes it so great? First off, the spam filter is top notch so I don't have to have one of those word verification thing-a-ma-doogies, but as far as vacation blogging goes, you can respond to comments via email, & completely moderate on the go, outside of Blogger. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! 
Because who really wouldn't rather be hugging giant trees than tweeting!
5. Evernote
Without lists, & lists of my lists, I'm pretty sure I would leave the house naked everyday. Scary right!? Evernote is a free app that I have on my laptop, work computer & iPhone that syncs my lists together & keeps them all at my finger tips, every second of everyday. When traveling it was great to have a list of my upcoming guest posters/blog schedule & new post ideas that bubbled up while I was doing all that resting & relaxing.


So that is how I GSD (get sh*t done) while on vacation. Do you use any of these tools? What vacation blogging tips do you have to share?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the J.Crew giftcard giveaway {here}

7 comments:

  1. These are great tips! I often do scheduled posts, even when I'm not on vacation...just makes my life so much easier!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Sept. Group Giveaway!

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  2. I used all these tips when I was on vacation this summer and found them SO helpful -- having guest bloggers is such a fun way to mix up your content all the time, too!

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  3. You are so good to blog on vacation! I'm so bad about it!

    P.S. I love Disqus too!

    Simply Sabrina

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  4. Great tips! I schedule my posts and use Hootsuite regularly, my only issue is getting my shit together to write my posts a week in advance! lol. But I think using prompts for guest posters is a fabulous idea and one I will definitely be using in the future. It's such a turn off for me to see guest post after guest post with nothing substantial actually being said, just a little introduction and that's it. Thanks for sharing Jess!
    the-lifestyle-project.com

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  5. Seattle is one of the cities I would really love to visit soon, love the pictures,

    Yamileth,

    www.lovemakeuplivefashion.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for the post, I will definitely be checking ALL of these out.

    XO Melissa
    Sale Rack

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