In the United States, today is Memorial Day, a holiday in honor the veterans who fought for our country over the course of our history. It is a holiday for most and a chance to spend at least some of the day reflecting.
As such, many will not be blogging today, but that does not mean it is always a full day off. Most, myself included, will be spending at least some time working on our sites, just not necessarily writing new content for it.
If that describes you, here are five things that you can do, other than actual blogging, to help your site and keep it going strong. Best of all, these are all, for the most part, short-term tasks you can pick up and drop off between other activities on a holiday.
Here’s 5 suggestions on how to spend your blogging holiday if you plan to spend at least a little bit of in front of your computer.
5. Catch up on Email
It happens to call of us. We intend to do a good job keeping up on our email but we inevitably get behind. Sometimes the best approach is to just take a holiday, when fewer people are online to read whatever you might post, and spend some of it answering email. This works out great because it is less likely the people you are replying to will be online, meaning they are less likely to respond instantly and that lets you get further ahead.
Email isn’t that much fun and can seem archaic in the era of Twitter, but it still is very important as not all ideas can be shared in 140 characters.
4. Work on Long-Term Projects
Everyone has a project or two that they are very excited about but don’t quite have the time to work on most days. Whether it is a series of posts requiring a lot of research, a new template or an altogether new site, it can be difficult finding even just an hour or two to contribute to an ongoing project.
A day off from blogging is an excellent time to do just this. It gives you a chance to play with an idea, do some research or even try out some new tools. Exploration and working on long-term projects can greatly help your site down the road.
3. Analyze Your Stats
Though most bloggers seem to at least glance at their stats from time to time, most don’t routinely dig deep and analyze what is going on. Now is a great chance to open up Google Analytics, take look at the search terms that are bringing the most traffic, see which posts are having the greatest impact and understand how your visitors are using your site.
This is an opportunity to spend a few minutes going past the “page views” and “visitor” tallies and read more about how and why people are visiting your site. This can be very helpful in determining future posts.
2. Work on Your Design
Everyone has things that they would like to change with their layout, but making design changes takes time. Even if it is just fixing a few broken links, any change beyond just reordering a few widgets, needs to be done with care, precision and testing. That takes planning, skill and, most importantly, time.
Off days and holidays are a great chance to do this, not only is the time more available, but with fewer people visiting your site you can turn of all of your caching programs and worry less about people seeing your mistakes. Limited server load, fewer eyeballs and some free time all combine to make these days the perfect time to make tweaks on your site or even try out a whole new template.
1. Take an Actual Day Off
This last one is something of a radical concept for many, myself included, but you can actually just take the day off. Spend the time recharging, brainstorming idly a bit or just enjoying life. Everyone needs to take a day off once in a while and sometimes a blogging holiday should be just that, a day away from the blog and even the Web altogether.
We all need time off to keep the creativity flowing and avoid burnout. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your site is to just step away for a little bit.
A day off may not be a vacation in Maui, but it can help all the same.
In the end, days off can be just as productive as days where you are actively blogging. Whether you’re tackling a long-term project, working on a new design or even just doing nothing at all, it can help your site grow and become stronger.
We’re all human, so a little down time is needed to keep us all going. However, it’s easy to forget that as we plow through the day-to-day struggles of keeping up our sites.
When we lift that burden off of ourselves, even for just a day, we open up new possibilities and give ourselves a chance to both rest and to take care of items we’ve allowed to slide.
It’s a powerful opportunity and one that should not be overlooked.