In the world of blogging, a traditional maternity leave isn’t going to happen. An extended absence from your blog can mean a decrease in visitors, views, and income. Read on to find out some ways to prepare your blog for a baby (or an extended leave!)
When I became pregnant with baby number 2, I was not prepared. Yes, we were prepared – to welcome another child into the world, but I was not prepared to continue to grow my blog while enduring exhaustion and morning sickness and hormones. (lots and lots of hormones) I was so sick during my first trimester with this babe, and I couldn’t find the energy to put the needed effort into my slowly growing blog. I had my biggest month right before finding out I was pregnant and then slowly, as I became more pregnant, the page views and visitors started to fall.
Once I was out of the woods I began picking up the pace and I’m glad to tell you that I’ve far exceeded my previous top month, but experience has taught me that I need to be more prepared when it comes to this blog if I would like it to continue to grow, flourish, and hit my goals.
I have a big hurdle coming – obviously once the baby is here everything is going to once again change and I’ll have to learn how to be a mom of two as well as a blogger, which is a challenge I welcome with open arms. But since I know that a busy hectic time is coming, I have the ability to kind of pad the blog from any ups and downs I may have.
As bloggers, we don’t get maternity leave or disability. (Or maybe you do if you make a bajillion dollars or something, I don’t know. Clearly, that is not an issue for me ;)) So if we’re fortunate enough to be able to see an obstacle coming, it’s wise to prepare for it. I’ve done some digging and to be totally honest, I haven’t really found much of a resource for how to prepare your blog for a baby, or for any kind of absence for that matter, be it health, family, pregnancy, whatever. So I figured I would document what I am doing before the baby comes to help anyone else in this predicament. I hope to do a few more posts after about how it all worked, what I’d do differently etc, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Be sure to check out my other blogging tips for more great information!
Prepare Your Blog for a Baby
–Get organized. Make a plan. Personally, I want to make sure that all of my “evergreen” posts (posts that I can write ahead of time because they aren’t time sensitive, like tips, recipes or tutorials) are written, have any necessary accompanying photos, edited, SEO-ed, scheduled. I hopefully will also have social media scheduled at that point as well. My main goal is to have every post 100% taken care of for the month of April since I’m due April 3. After that I’ll work back to about mid-March and forward through May, if possible.
–Begin writing more. I committed myself to writing one and a half posts a day. Sounds weird, right? It is. But it works! This way, I can ensure that I am writing a post for the next day, and starting one (or finishing one!) for either the day after or for ‘maternity leave.’ I think the key (for me) is to hustle. When I first wake up, I get Ryan set up, start breakfast and start doing my daily blog tasks, like commenting and social media. During his nap I continue this and start fleshing out or editing any post that needs to be done for the following day(s) and then after he’s asleep and the house is clean (tidy) I hustle, researching, writing, planning out.
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–Get a calendar. As I write this, I have a post ‘scheduled’ for every day I plan on posting through May. Never have I done this before, but I find it kind of nice to not have to think about what I’ll be writing for the next week. I have notes at the bottom of each page to remind myself of other time sensitive posts I may want to write (for example, in April I have: Birth Story, 1/2 Week/1 Month Updates, since I assume those will be posted in that month.) which allows me for a bit of wiggle room. I also have a Google Sheets file to help me see what posts have to be written (I have columns for: date, title, scheduled, outlined, written, photos complete, SEO, social media. I highlight the line green when it’s completely ready to publish so I can see quickly what posts need to be worked on.)
–Consider guest posts. I personally haven’t done too much research or reaching out in this regard, mostly because I’m kind of shy and feel weird (if you’ve got a good post you want to share and think it would fit with the blog though, let me know!) but if you’re not a big fat weirdo like me, this is a great idea. It takes some of the actual writing work off your plate and you have someone who is (probably) willing to assist in the promotion of the post. It’s a win for everyone – your readers get to hear a new voice and get content, and your guest gets exposure to a new audience!
–Be willing to cut back. Although I’m hoping to maintain my schedule, I’m pretty sure it’s wishful thinking. I’ll probably be dropping WIAW for a month or so until I can get my act together and I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do Friday Favorites (major bummers since I love both of those posts) since they’re both pretty time-restrictive and take a decent amount of time. I think that accepting this asap is very important for me since I’m definitely a “try to do it all, and then crash and burn” type of person. I’d rather get out a few, well thought and important posts rather than stressing and doing a bunch of poopy ones.
–Most importantly, remember what’s important. As much as I love it, this blog is not everything in the world. As much as I would love to continue to grow this blog through the newborn and postpartum period, my children(!!), my family and my health are the most important things. I know that this blog would be here when I come back if I had to take a break. Yes, I may have to work harder and my goals will take longer to reach, but that’s okay. Always remember what’s important, remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, and remember to weigh the value of things.
While a traditional blogging maternity leave may not be 100% possible, with a little preparation you can definitely prepare your blog for a baby. I plan on writing a follow-up post after the baby is born and I’ve put all of this into effect, so definitely stay tuned for that. And remember, all of these tips would also be perfect for any other extended leave that you may be able to foresee, such as surgery or even something as simple as a vacation.
Thank you to Amanda for letting me think out loud about how to prepare your blog for a baby!
Have you ever taken a leave of absence from your blog? How did you prepare your blog for a baby? Or another extended leave? Let me know in the comments, I would appreciate any advice or tips!
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