The following question on a blogging social group popped up the other day:
How do you blog during the summer?
Its overall gist was this: If you’re on vacation and can’t blog, should you get others to blog for you, or should you regurgitate past posts?
Well, like others, I thought I knew the answer because it was so obvious. You simply:
Write posts in advance and set your auto-schedule feature to post them while you’re away. Right?
Sounds pretty logical. But then it hit me: Is that what blogging has come to these days—just putting stuff out there like a robot? And I realized:
There’s a huge difference in spirit between a blog and a bona fide website.
Given the proliferation of WordPress as a platform for so many business websites today, it’s easy to understand why the owners of pure blogs might see blogging at the same level as web administration. They’re both mainly used as marketing vehicles.
You load both up with content, you advertise your wares, and you click “post” hoping for a stampede of new business because you’re the expert of all experts in your field—and you’ve “built it so they will come”.
From this we find the in absentia posting theory: that we don’t even need to be behind the keyboard when our words hit the ether. People are panting to soak it all up, when and whatever we choose.
But is this blogging?
Look up “blog” in a dictionary (you can do that now, only a decade ago the word didn’t exist) and you’ll receive a definition along the following lines*:
A website created by a particular individual to record their opinions, interests, etc., often allowing comment from visitors.
A true blog or a weblog is in reality a notebook of feelings and thoughts, of creativity and ideas. And most importantly, in the case of a public blog, it’s directed at an audience. This audience seeks to share in, learn from, and participate with you in your posts. How will they do that via an automated schedule?
In retrospect, the answer to the original question is very different to what I presupposed. If you’re away from your blog or business, then:
1. Let your blog rest and post a “back in the saddle” message on your return.
2. Find the time to post regardless.
Anything else treats its readership abstractly. Not to mention that a vacation is a fantastic opportunity for blogging verve. And if you’re running a blog for your business, well, there’s that old adage too huh?
The market never sleeps.
It all boils down to an honest formula: Why are you blogging? If it’s not to regularly share, entertain, and inform then maybe look at running a “feature website”—or post a monthly newsletter. Both are extremely effective communication tools. Sharing though, is interactive.
Sure there’ll be the day when comments may need to be turned off due to the size of a blog. The most successful bloggers I’ve seen, however, pick up their interactions on easier platforms to manage such as Twitter. The blog then becomes their one-way street to showcase ideas and thought. But the conversation still continues.
To you my 25 followers as of writing, you’re my blogging heart. So this blog is a chat about the way of writing. I’ve a whole other online place for doing business. It’s a “feature website”.
* Blog definition: Macquarie Dictionary 6th ed. (2013) Sydney, Macquarie Dictionary Publishers.