Today’s the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend here in the US, and in my neck of the woods, that means summer’s finally here.
Given that we Wisconsinites spend 8.5 months of the year being pelted by snow and ice and bundling ourselves up in our winter caves, summer is a massively big deal around here.
As a matter of fact, summer is such a big deal that I’ve spent the last few weeks testing and tweaking a plan that lets me feel like I’m on vacation every day even though I’m tending to all my most important blogging activities.
Something tells me I’m not the only one who likes to scamper out the door the minute the weather turns nice, so I’m sharing my plan with you on this holiday weekend.
You’ll need to structure things for your own circumstances, but here are the basics:
Set up a Summer Blogging Schedule. Okay, I know this is already sounding like a drag, but trust me on this. Setting up and honoring a summer schedule is going to make everyone, especially you, a whole lot happier. Families and friends like it because they know what to expect, and you’ll like it too once you see how much more productive you are and how much more fun you have.
Strip down to the Essentials. Hey, put your clothes back on! What I’m talking about here is streamlining or eliminating bulky blogging tasks until all that’s left is a lean, mean, beach-worthy blogging routine. Summer is the time to focus on basics like writing great content, and finding ways to streamline those basics, like cutting back post length a bit or dropping to four posts a week if you normally post five times. It’s also time to get rid of flabby blogging habits like compulsive email and stat checking (oh, I know you do it, so don’t pretend you don’t) and messing around with ads when what you should be doing is building traffic. And speaking of traffic, pick one or two of the most effective methods such as guest posting or blog commenting, and then get super-strategic about where and how you do it for maximum impact.
Automate. Half the fun of summer is feeling free, and nothing spells freedom like a spontaneous road trip. Get ready now by writing up a few simple posts in advance and saving them as drafts in WordPress. That way, when you decide you want a few days away, you can schedule those drafts to run while you’re gone. If you’re
a Twitter user and not opposed to scheduled tweets, you might also want to keep a list of tweet-worthy links handy to schedule in your absence.
Make a Rainy Day List. Sometimes we get a string of rainy or scorching hot days here, which equals unexpected blogging time. To make the most of these moments, I’m keeping a prioritized list of projects to work on like adding plug-ins, creating pages to organize content better, redoing categories, etc.
Go to Summer School. I don’t know about you, but I have about 550 ebooks and at least that many podcasts sitting on my computer. Recently, I made a list of the ones I want to read or listen to the most and ranked them by their appropriateness to my current level of blogging. This way, when I’m the mood for a long walk or feel like lounging around on the backyard swing, I can print or download the first thing on the list and get a little learning in while I enjoy the weather. I’m feeling smarter already
Take Notes. If you follow this plan, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time away from your blog and the internet in general. And that’s when it will happen. You’ll be out on the lake with your fishing pole or strolling around at a festival and suddenly, ideas for posts, products, and all sorts of magical things will start popping into your brain. Better keep a little notebook handy because these ideas come quickly and fade fast if they’re not captured right away.
And that’s it. The rest is up to you.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get the door. Summer’s knocking!
Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy summer!
Your Turn: Do you plan to work differently over the summer months? What do you do in your neck of the woods for summer fun?