Right now, I’m planning a pretty significant move from northeastern Pennsylvania to Virginia (around the DC area). If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already notice how excited I am about it, and I don’t move for another month. Since blogging for myself and others is my primary source of income, I need to plan just how to carry out this life change, since it will likely take a few days to get packed up, move, and get settled. Here are some of the concerns I have, along with how I’m planning to handle them…and at the end of April, I’ll write a second part, post-move, because I’m sure some issues will arise.
Oh, and if you’re a blogger or other freelancer who has moved, I welcome any advice you have!
Concern #1: Content
On any given day, I write an average of three blog posts across various blogs. Some days, I write up to ten and I’ve even done 15 once or twice. (And then I sleep. A lot.) Usually, I write posts in advance and schedule them to go up while I’m gone, but in the weeks leading up to my move I don’t know that I’ll have time for that like I would before a vacation. Guest posts aren’t really an option for me when it comes to most of my blogging duties either, since I’m freelancing for others’ blogs (like here at BlogWorld) – they already secure guest posts, I’m hired to write my own. Even on my own blog, I’m not a super fan of guest posts, since I’m trying to build a brand.
- Solution Plans: Interviews
Unlike guest posts, interviews still allow you to have a voice as a blogger, and my clients welcome them. However, I’ve found that because your main tasks are just coming up with questions and formatting, they take less time than traditional blog posts. Bonus points: doing interviews is awesome for traffic and networking. If your move will take longer (like a cross-country move or a move to a different country) you can even do an interview series where a few people all answer the same questions, which takes even less time.
Concern #2: Social Networking
It happens from time to time, but I hate when my social networking accounts are dead for a few days. Normally, I try to check in with my phone, but I’m not sure I’ll even have much time for that, since I’ll be loading, driving, and unloading as quickly as possible, and then entertaining my family for the evening, showing them the new town where I’ll be living.
- Solution Plans: Auto-Tweets
Before you get up in arms about the word “auto” in relation to social media, let me assure you that it isn’t something I think everyone should do all of the time. And, when you do auto-tweet anything, I think you have to have some tact about it. I plan to schedule some tweets that say something like, “I’m moving today! I’ll be away from Twitter, but in the meantime, here’s a post I think you should check out.” I want to include both oldies-but-goodies from my own site and from other blogs I love. I also plan to schedule some tweets without links that simply tell people I’m moving and will be back in a day or two.
Concern #3: Email
Like with social networking, I’m concerned about not having time to check my email. There are some days when I get over 100, and I usually average about 25 a day that require responses (i.e., not just newsletters, spam, notifications, etc.). While some emails can sit in my inbox for a few days with no problem, others require a response ASAP. Also, my clients are all pretty used to me answering emails within a few hours, so they might get nervous to not hear from me for a few days. In addition to not having time, because I’m moving, it might take a day or two to get Internet access at my new house, and when you’re a wordy writer like me, emailing via phone is annoying.
- Solution Plans: Vacation Responses and Communication
Before leaving, I plan to email my top clients to let them know about my move and give them my cell phone number just in case they need it. I’ve done this in the past and it’s much better than giving out my number in a vacation response, since that auto-message goes to everyone who emails you, including spammers. Not that I don’t think a vacation message is a good idea; it is. That way, readers and others who email me will get a notice that I’m out of town, along with a date when I’ll be back and they can expect a response.
No matter what I do or how prepared I am, whenever I go on vacation, there are always a few people who don’t know what’s going on, so I’m sure that some apologies will be in order when that happens. Hopefully, though, this move won’t be too bad for business. At least I’m moving myself so I don’t have to worry about other people damaging or losing any of my computers or other office stuff!
Your turn – any advice for bloggers who are moving?
Hm…now where the heck am I going to put all this stuff in my new (smaller) place…