I'm sitting here writing a post for Wednesday on a Tuesday night because we're anticipating power outages tomorrow ("today" I suppose if you're reading this).
I can't control ice storms or the fact that they rolled in at least eight hours earlier than forecasters expected. I can't control the woods around our house and whether or not the ice will bring down branches on the power lines (which we're at the end of).
I certainly can't control how long it takes the power company to get out here and restore power. The worst incident left us without power for four days (and I know some of you have probably had it far worse).
But I can control my blog. And so can you.
Blog Management During Bad Weather
Here are a few quick tips that can help you keep your blog and community up and running even if you're sidelined by some expected storms.
- Pre-plan posts. -- In an ideal situation I like to have a few pre-written posts in draft form that I can publish when I'm not able to write something fresh. If you don't have drafts ready to schedule ahead of time, consider writing something as soon as you realize you might lose access to your blog. You could also re-highlight an older post if you can't cram in a new one ahead of schedule.
- Go mobile. -- If you have a smartphone, use the WordPress app (or an app tied to whatever blogging platform you use), to stay on top of comments. You should be able to approve them, eliminate spam, and respond as long as you have cell service.
- Get help. -- When it looks like you'll be kept away from your blog for a day or more, reach out to a friend or colleague not affected by the nasty weather in your area. Grant them access to moderate comments in your absence. Or, if you trust them completely, you could give them free reign to post fresh content while you're off. You can always offer to return the favor when they need it.
- Just relax. -- The truth is, most of your readers won't miss you if you disappear for a day. If you have more important things to worry about, focus on those things. Your blog will be there when you get back.
Are you expecting any problems with the string of snow storms in the Northeast this week? Has it affected your work so far, or do you expect it to? How do you manage your blog and community if you have to go without power for a while?
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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