What I Learned From My Ten Days Unwanted Holiday

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I was on the break for last ten days, though it was not a planned one. My internet line got disconnected and my service provider took ten days to restore it.

It was really a long time but the most annoying thing, I didn’t plan anything for it.

When we go for a planned vacation we do a lot of planning like scheduling posts in advance, making sure comments are getting approved on time and some other things.

But a unplanned vacation like this can leave a blog without a new post or a proper attention. I was not able to do anything on this blog for last 10 days, though there was one post scheduled which has helped a bit.

These 10 days taught me few lessons in a hard way (though I always learn things in a hard way, look at What You Can Take From Your Blog’s Worst Day)

Learning from Bad TimesImage: dan

Editorial Calendar

We should always have a editorial calendar for our blog. We should not be writing post for present, we should be writing posts for future.

What I do now is I try to schedule posts for next 2 weeks in advance, which means that whatever I am writing now, will be scheduled later than that.

This helps in increasing creativity as there is no pressure of publishing the post right at that moment, it also gives time to review the posts before publishing.

I am using Editorial Calendar to do all my scheduling. This plugin gives a drag and drop functionality to schedule the post, you can create a new post, or edit any post from the calendar itself. It is really easy to do all the editorial work from the plugin.

After using this, I have checked the pattern of publishing the post and I was really shocked to see that it was quite irregular. Sometime for 10 days there was no update or a new post or sometime there posts on regular days. It’s not that I was not working for those days but I was busy promoting the blog or writing the guest posts.

This tool actually helps correcting these things and making a more streamline publishing process.

Backup Ways to Manage Blog

One important thing is that you need to have multiple ways to manage your blog. I am using my smartphone to connect to wordpress and manage the blog, because of that I was able to approve and reply comments, do some small things on my blog.

It doesn’t give complete flexibility but its still better than not able to do anything. WordPress is available on every smartphone platform and if you are using wordpress for CMS than you should be using it.

Blog Backup

What will happen if you are away from your computer and you have issues on your blog. Sometime we might need our backup right at that moment.

(We do need to have a backup of our blog and we can’t reply on hosting provides to do that. I do use Backup buddy to create my backups.)

I do keep my blog backup at multiple places, just because of the days like these. Backup Buddy comes with an integration with Dropbox, so it can be one place to load the backup.

I also use Cloud Experience to keep my backup on a cloud storage, they give 10GB of space with their free account. I think it is one of the best which you can get in the market (FREE is better that anything else).

Offline writing tools

I always use Windows Live Writer to write my posts. This helped, as in these unwanted holidays I was not able to publish, but I was still able to write.

I didn’t wait for my internet line to come up, I scheduled the post in Windows Live Writer and once internet line got restored, with a single click I moved this posts to the blog.

If you are not using Windows Live Writer, I highly recommend it. It is 5 minute job to set up Windows Live Writer for WordPress.

These are few good things which I was able to find from my 10 days unwanted holiday.

About Sanjeev Mohindra

Welcome to MakeWebWorld! I am Sanjeev, a blogger and Technical Consultant in Software Industry. This blog will provide help and tutorials for creating your web space, Wordpress tutorials, social media management, video marketing or SEO tips. You can connect with me or subscribe to MakeWebWorld free tips.

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Sanjeev, I am sorry that has happened to you. That must suck so much.

    It is really hard to sit around and not know what is going on with your blog.

    Thank you for some suggestions that can minimize the damage when this happens.

  2. says

    I just had the same problem 2 days ago. Our ISP went down and we lost our internet connection. I have so many pending works that I was about to panic as I couldn’t think of any alternative. Glad I’ve found your tips, so I’ll know what to do next time.

  3. says

    When ever I have to travel..One thing which I focus the most is reading and planning…I usually use readitlater service and save the long pages..which I want to read in leisure…works the best for me

  4. says

    I admit that I’m not as conscientious about backing everything up as I should be. I’m going to take your story to heart and pay more attention to this vital task from now on.

  5. says

    Hi Sanjeev, it sometimes gives your imaginations a freedom from confinements of the world of Internet. I think the pen and paper thing is still adorable in this techie world.

  6. says

    I experienced same thing. What I just did is to spend my time with family since I’m too much focused on my work. That’s precisely my problem whenever I have my internet connection.

  7. says

    Very wise words. What you laid out here was a disaster recovery plan and being offline for 10 days definitely counts as a disaster :-) Live writer I don’t care for much since its windows based. Dont really know of a mac alternative

    • says

      Ya, it does count as a disaster..:)
      I don’t think that there is any tool for Mac user which is as good as windows live writer. It does make life simpler.

  8. says

    Hi Sanjeev. So sorry to hear about this unplanned vacation.. You are right, when things like this happen and catches us off guard, things can get really messy and while learning the hard way is part of the “learning curve”, it would have obviously been better, if all the things you pointed out avoided this. Anyway, glad to see that you are back up. 10 days offline is a long time and its impact culd be devastating.

    • says

      Hi DiTesco, Yes 10 days is really long time and It does feel much more when we can’t be online. I really love offline writing tools as they helped a lot. We always need to have a backup plan for something like this.

  9. says

    I can’t imagine myself not being online for 10 days. There are a lot of works to do. Anyway it was nice that you had a scheduled article which helped. I also do this on some of the sites we manage, we schedule the postings. Sometimes I also anti date some posts, if for example I wasn’t able to post this particular day, then I put something on it. I learned a lot on what you shared. Gonna do some blog backups too.

    • says

      Blog Backup is really important, it doesn’t look important till we require it but it can be a great money saver if the issue arises.

  10. Srinivas Reddy says

    Thanks for the tips, Sanjeev. I really appreciate your concept of “writing for the future.” I’ve just started doing that. I can certainly use Editorial Calendar on my blog, thanks. It’ll help me develop a writing/posting rhythm. I’m going to be traveling in India for the next few months (working on the road). So your tips are very timely. Namaste!

    • says

      I have just started writing for future and really liking it. It does gives so much time and make sure that we have a proper publishing schedule for the blog. Welcome to India, enjoy your trip.

  11. says

    Hi Sanjeev,

    Computer issues are always a challenge! I had very limited computer access over the summer and it was challenging to say the least. But it’s amazing how much we can learn from those trying times!

    I keep hearing about the editorial calendar plugin, I have never tried it but your description does make it sound very useful!

    Stacy

    • says

      Hi Stacy,

      Editorial Calendar does help and make is easy to schedule and edit the posts.

      By the way best of luck for your nomination in Top 50 best development Blogs. I have already voted for you.

  12. says

    Ahh – 10 days!! That’s way too long to be offline for me; I’d be sitting in a coffee shop a LOT. lol

    I do use both Editorial Calendar and BackupBuddy on my blog, Sanjeev – both are great tools!

    PS Adding your blog to my CommentLuv enabled blog list.

    • says

      Thanks Ana for stopping by and adding Makewebworld to the CommentLuv enabled blog list.

      Editorial calender is really great, now I am using it for posting schedule and trying to stick to it..but it does take lot of stress out.

  13. says

    Wow, I would hate to have an unplanned Internet outage for 10 days. I write daily, so I don’t have a lot of posts scheduled in advance, but your experience definitely gets me thinking to have several posts written in advance for emergencies.

    • says

      Till now I was doing the same, but this unplanned vacation has changed it. And it is a relief as I can take time to finalize a post.

  14. says

    I also experienced losing my internet connection before and that took me around 3 days I guess. Since then on, whenever I have trouble with my connection, I make use of my mobile connection provider as an alternative. Though its more expensive than having my dsl connection at least I wouldn’t need to wait for centuries to resume all of my works online.

    • says

      Ya, that is an alternative and with the tethering option in smartphones, it is easy to use it. The only issue is limited and expensive data plans. But it is still better than nothing. Thanks for stopping by Christina.

      • says

        Yup! It’s pretty expensive, but we have some providers who started to offer great unli connection plans at a lower price than before (so not really that cheap compared to my monthly dsl connection lol) that I can make use of to maximize within the day. But still, back up plans are the best solution.

  15. says

    I really feel what you have mentioned here, eventhough you can manage your blog from anywhere in the world (given the fact that there is an internet connection) you should have backup plans in case something happens to your pc.

    To tell the truth right now I cannot be confident with my current backup plans but I will certainly use most of the tips you mentioned here…

    • says

      Backup is really important and I also like to put them on many places. You can’t be sure your computer will be working when you need it.

  16. says

    Hi Sanjeev,

    I smiled when I saw Warren’s comment. And that’s what alot of us think but the truth is that if that ever happens we would survive :)

    It’s a great lesson to know that everything will not go our way everytime and to plan for emergencies.

    Your tips to getting productive even at those times are timely.

    Thanks

    TTosin

    • says

      Thanks Tosin, Everything can’t go as planned.

      Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

      So if anything can go wrong than we need to plan for it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Catarina says

    You have my sympathies.

    But let’s look on the bright side. At least you didn’t, like a lot of people do, go abroad with their iPhone and surf the web just as they do back home. When they come back they get a bill for $7, 000 or more. :-)

  18. Viviana says

    Hi Sanjeev, this is timely post for people who want to plan holidays for this Christmas. Thanks for the super tips!

  19. says

    Sanjeev you have my sympathies! I’ve experienced problems with my internet (but have had to go out and spend a fortune on dongles). It really makes you think how do we manage without it?

    Your tips are great, I use the editorial calender too which is so useful. I haven’t used the Windows Live Writer so will definitely check that out. I must admit I write my blogs the old fashioned way! in Word and then upload it to my blog and use Scribe to SEO it.

    • says

      Thanks Lilach, Windows live writer is a great tool, it has one click publish and post as draft button which makes very easy to send post to blog. No copy paste and formatting needed on the blog. And it also give same offline flexibility as word, so would highly recommend it. (It s also a free tool which makes it even more great…)

  20. says

    I’d be lost with ten days offline! :) I think I’d be driving into town (hour away) to work.
    I like the idea of an editorial calender and it’s something I probably should have been using a long time ago. I’m one of those “wake up early to write today’s post” guys! I’m going to commit to scheduling a bit in advance I think.

    Sanjeev, another idea that works great is having a blogging buddy. Just someone you trust who writes on the same topic (or at least has the ability to write on your topic) and you each commit to looking after the other person’s blog in case of an emergency, or even simply trading blogs for the holidays.
    You look after his while he’s away, and he/she looks after yours when you’re away.

    Thanks Sanjeev

    • says

      Nice Idea Warren, about a buddy, Yes it would be helpful to have somebody look at you blog in case of emergency or holiday.

      I like the editorial calender, till now I was also writing for each day, but this takes extra pressure as you know you have to put something out. Now I can skip some days as sometime I get extra time and write multiple things to schedule on my blog. And there is no pressure of time to complete and publish right away.