Caroline's Corner: Blogging during summer

I don’t know what the weather is like where you’re from, but we’re currently in the middle of a so-called heat wave. With temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (or 86 degrees Fahrenheit), more people are found in pools and at their summer destinations. You might have the feeling that no one is online to read your blog post. Or perhaps you’re rather hanging out at the pool yourself. So why would you spend your summer blogging? And should you even be spending your time typing away? I don’t have the definite answer for you, but there are various things you could do this summer to still maintain a growing blog!

Keep posting as if the entire country isn’t at the beach

This is my plan for the summer: just keep posting as if it’s winter when everyone’s inside with their laptop or tablet surfing around. If your biggest competitors are currently on a summer blogging break, that means it’s easier for you to get the public’s attention. And if they do not read it now, they might read it later. So you can focus on writing evergreen posts, so you will rank higher in Google.

I’ll give you a quick peek into my planning. I’ve looked at my Google Search Console and found that a blog post I’ve written in March is getting a lot of clicks through Google since the summer began. How come? The blog post is about precision waxing. The blog post focuses on waxing your eyebrows, and I guess a lot of people apparently need this for summer. What does this mean? I’m going to write more summer related blog posts.

Optimize old posts

If you don’t want to spend your time writing blog posts, might not have the inspiration, or don’t want to market everything like crazy during the summer, you might want to spend time optimizing your older blog posts. Revisit them, look at your orphaned blog posts, or try to see what your competitors rank for. Create small challenges in your mind and decide what you want to focus on. Do you want to have a more solid website? Perhaps a structured navigation or a faster website? Or do you want your posts to rank on the first page of Google? Whatever your goal is, you can spend time on it now! You can do it much more in chunks than you can do blog writing.

Write in advance

You might not want to publish this summer, or perhaps you just want to publish less. This doesn’t mean you should stop writing altogether. Now might be the best time to work on your Halloween or Christmas DIYs, so you don’t feel the pressure of competing at the beginning of the season. Just don’t expect to find any Halloween decorations or pumpkins in store just yet. Meal prepping might be a task you can acquire, but the same goes for blog prepping. Nothing is better than to enjoy the nice weather knowing you’ve written (and planned) enough blogs in advance.

Take a break

I’m in a few blogger groups on Facebook and I’ve seen the discussion multiple times: a summer break. Bloggers ask each other whether they should take a break or post less and how they should address that. Because let’s face it: keeping up a blog is hard work. It might be your full-time job, or it might be a project that you take on next to your paid job. You might need a break from it. But preferably without losing all your followers and visitors.

If you want to take a (partial) break, you do want to keep your social media profiles active. You could schedule older posts, funny quotes or questions to your audience. But if you want to republish old content, how do you go about that? First, make sure that the content you share, is still relevant. Next, write a compelling text to go on social media and then schedule your post.

Should you write that it’s a repost? I would advise against it. Would you click on a link if the company or blogger wrote that it’s an old post? Probably not. Your best bet is to just post it. Unless you’re reposting blog posts you’ve just put up last week.

Communicate about your summer schedule?

Do you communicate about your summer schedule? I’ve seen bloggers ask this question as well. The real question is: ‘Do my followers want to know that I’m not posting as frequently as before?’ and to answer this, you have to know your audience. Perhaps your audience is very loyal and might think something terrible has happened to you if you’re offline for a bit and will start an online – or worse: an offline – search for you. Before you know it, there’ll be tweets claiming they found you with an adjoining picture of you running screaming after your toddler, or downing three ice creams and some french fries while you have the perfect image online of a healthy calm mom blogger. There goes your reputation.

I know my following doesn’t care if I blog daily, blog once a month, or blog twice a year. Why? Because I am nowhere big enough for them to even notice. The only people who might notice, are my close friends.

Know your audience

I’m just a small fish in a big pond. They’ll just go to another blogger. So I could write a lengthy blog post about how I’m going to enjoy my summer, because I deserve it, because I work hard, because yadda yadda ya, but the truth is: my audience doesn’t care. Neither does your audience, most likely. Your audience wants a laugh, perhaps a DIY, or information about a certain lipstick, or a Lego project. No one will look on Google for: ‘Will [blog name] be blogging less this summer?’ And if you, for any reason, do decide that your followers need to know that you won’t be blogging today, but will send out an update on Saturday instead and you need to write a blog post for it, then please set it to noindex. Unless you can explain the value of letting this get indexed by Google to me. I, for one, do not want anyone to Google my blog name and have the first result be one where I’m announcing a temporary hiatus.

Whatever your plan is, keep yourself – and your audience – in mind. I’m hoping to jump in on the fact that my biggest competitors will have a summer schedule, perhaps that’ll bring me more visitors. And if not, I might just write a post next year about my summer plans and then close off my blog for an entire month ;)

I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on this matter and if you’ve noticed a certain trend on blogs? Let me know how you combine the summer heat and blogging!

Read more: Blogging: the ultimate guide »

Coming up next!

16 Responses to Blogging during summer

  1. Paul Francis
    Paul Francis  • 6 years ago

    Some very good information and tips here. I know I will re-think a number of things based on your suggestion about keeping your audience at the top of your mind. Thank you.

  2. Daniele Benedetti
    Daniele Benedetti  • 6 years ago

    Thank you for this post Caroline. I hope during this holidays I’ll be able to write more blog posts than usual ;)

    • Caroline Geven

      You’re welcome! I’m hoping the same. I actually am bringing my laptop to the beach with me during my holiday so I can prep some. What we do for our hobbies, right?

  3. Pam
    Pam  • 6 years ago

    Thank you for this post. As a fairly new blogger, I thought my traffic being down was just me. But I’ve actually been doing what you said and have just kept at it day after day….even the week-ends. So I know now that I’ve been doing the right things. Gonna’ keep plugging…

    • Caroline Geven

      Good luck! Summer is always hard and we face dips every time. Just keep checking your Google Search Console if you can optimize.

  4. Cherrye Vasquez
    Cherrye Vasquez  • 6 years ago

    Thank you for this blog post. I blog to parents and educators, but mainly to parents about Bullying and Diversity issues. I just began a new ‘Dear Dr. Cherrye’ which is a Q&A session where I answer ‘hard’ questions about these two very important topics.
    I’ve noticed that my google analytics numbers are down this summer and a friend of mine mentioned that it’s because it’s summer. Your post reaffirmed what she said to me. You both are correct, and it isn’t fair to those in my audience who did not go on a vacation and may be looking forward to reading my blog. So, thank you for this awesone reminder.

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes, exactly. Your blog especially targets parents and teachers and this is probably relevant during the school year or during late summer, when it’s back to school again. I’m curious if you’ll see your numbers rise again in September! If you focus on optimizing your blog posts now, you might benefit from that coming the new school year.

  5. H
    H  • 6 years ago

    Good thoughts here about whether to announce why you’re taking a break or not posting as often. Your no index tip was good too.

    Many blogs are written by parents whose kids are home for the summer, and that means their attention is taken away from the computer to take kids to activities, provide meals, break up arguments, etc. So it’s not just the heat or being on vacation — sometimes there are practical reasons for these interruptions.

    • Rajeev D
      Rajeev D  • 6 years ago

      Hello Caroline
      Thanks for sharing valuable information for blogger.

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes, you’re right. I haven’t even thought about that aspect. I have a 1 year old at home, so there’s no school for him. Our weeks are always the same, except that it’s summer now and there’s a heat wave.

  6. Stephie
    Stephie  • 6 years ago

    Thanks Caroline for those advices ?
    I wasn’t sure what best to do. I know what to focus on now!

    • Caroline Geven

      You’re most welcome. Good luck!

  7. Catherine Rochereul-Portier
    Catherine Rochereul-Portier  • 6 years ago

    After years of personal fights between job, blog, 5 kids, and 11 weeks of summer break, I decided in June to take a break from blogging during summer 2018. Instead I took 4 weeks off of everything job related (I’m self-employed). Since I’m back to work, I’ve focused on new features for the blog in order to finally make money of it.
    Traffic was constant for a while, but now is up by 30% because one post, summer and news related, is scoring high in search results.
    I informed my subscribers, the opening and clicking rate were in line with other newsletters. Very few comments came back, but that’s not unusual.
    Personally I think it was the right thing to do, but as you said, it all depends on yr audience.

    • Caroline Geven

      Wow, that sounds amazing! Sounds like you made the right choice that traffic went up by 30% after a break.

  8. Bob Dunn
    Bob Dunn  • 6 years ago

    I love this post as I was pondering this and my thought is exactly what you said in the beginning…. not everyone is laying out drinking Mai Tai’s … in fact you might get that competitive edge. So true. And the other pieces fell right into place as what I’ve been doing so far this summer and will carry through August. Working on other pieces of my site, buffing up old content and SEO. And taking an occasional break. I also have found the time to do some really mundane tasks that I have been putting off. Always something to keep my busy between the rest and relaxation.

    Also, the last two are significant as I don’t talk much about my summer activities on my blog, for the very reason that I know my audience. They don’t give a damn about that ;)

    Thanks for the post!

    • Caroline Geven

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear this post helped you out. I’ve seen lots of bloggers working on the technical aspects of their blog. I’m glad you can finally get to some much needed but boring tasks.