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8 Things to do on your Blog when you’re Sick

SickI’ve been asked numerous times blog bloggers what to do with a blog on a day that they’re sick. As I woke up with a pounding head and numerous other flu ailments I thought today might be a relevant day to answer the question:

  • Ask a Question – one of the simplest types of posts to write is the ‘reader question’ post.
  • Run a Poll – a variation on the ‘question post’.
  • Update and Repost an Old Post - there’s gold in those archives. Updating and/or reposting your archives is not only a good way to get a new post up but it can help readers who are new to your blog to find useful content.
  • Point back to something in your archives – similarly, a post that points back to your archives to ‘classic posts’ can be useful to readers. I see a lot of blogs that do this by posting links to what was on their blog 1 year ago. The key is to point back to useful/timeless posts. Alternatively write a compilation post of posts you’ve written all on a similar theme.
  • Guest Posts – if you have a friend or fellow blogger who is able to quickly stand in for you a guest post can be worth doing. This is particularly useful if you are sick for an extended period of time.
  • Raid your ‘reserve posts’ – many bloggers have a little stash of posts that they write in advance for those occasions when blogging isn’t possible (when you’re sick, away or have other priorities). Think ahead and have a few posts that you can quickly hit publish on and your blog will continue to tick over.
  • Write a ‘what do do with your blog when you’re sick’ post - I guess that’s what this post is…. (cough… sneeze…. sniffle). But seriously – sometimes a quick ‘list post’ on a topic that is relevant to your blog can actually be a worthwhile thing to do.
  • Take a Day off Posting – don’t just throw up something for the sake of it. If you’re sick, your body is telling you to have a break so if you don’t have the energy to do one of the above – take the day off. There’s not really any reason for telling your readers about it. As bloggers we tend to think of ourselves as more important and central in the lives of our readers than we really are. Most won’t even notice if you don’t post for a day or two. Make your priority getting well and you’ll do your blog more good in the long run than posting something off topic or of a low quality.

I’m off to bed. Lucky I’ve got another post or two written from yesterday to put up over the next 24 hours! (see #6)

PS: What do you do with your blog on sick days? (#1)

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Darren you obviously don’t read my blog or you wouldn’t get sick! haha.

    When I’m sick usually look for something on youtube and write a small passage about it. Funny enough, some of those posts rank well on Google.

    RT

  2. Gary Rae says:

    ‘Take a day off posting’. Although I really ought to start writing up a stock pile of ‘reserve posts’. Eep.

  3. Pedro says:

    I don’t mind blogging when I’m sick. Blogging is not a energy intensive activity for me so being sick or not does not change much.

    To answer your question I’ll assume I have a broken finger and I can’t type ;-) I would use one of my reserve posts, take a day off and try to find a guest post. (In any order)

  4. Wow, that is weird. I am actually sick today. and then this popped up. FrEaKy

    Anyways, I will still usually do a post. Most of my stuff is prewritten, so it is a matter of pushing publish.

  5. Sara says:

    I like that last point! Readers don’t need a constant status update – unless you’re going on vacation or have missed several days in a row for a particular reason. Shocking but we’re not the center of their lives ;) …and this actually helps from time to time. Better to regain your strength and come back with an excellent post the next day. :)

  6. Syiru says:

    normally i will check my reader’s comment or email because there’s a lot of idea that you could get from there. some reader may ask you a question then take that question as a topic to write about..

    or check your other niche blog because maybe they have something new that u might want to talk and add some more idea to their post..

    syiru,
    http://onlinejob.motime.com

  7. Debo Hobo says:

    I have a series running every week and they are already pre-written so I would only make that one post on a sick day and go back to bed.

    Hope you get to feeling better. Don’t go getting the rest of the family sick.

  8. jhay says:

    Hope you start feel better. Getting sick rarely gets me off blogging, it’s a way for me to regain positive outlooks, drilling in my mind that I’ll be well soon enough. Amazingly, it works.

  9. pearl says:

    This IS weird! I have a severe migraine as I write this… had a guest post done since I’ve been sick for some days now!

    I do need to work on writing enough stuff for the reserve!

    #1.. still browse the net and read what others are writing although I should really be doing #8

  10. Bachelorium says:

    Some great points Darren. At times, its a good idea to just take a day off and recharge.

  11. Veronique says:

    Well… today i posted that I was sick… cough… sneaze… sniffle…

  12. Moksh Juneja says:

    During the sick days, I generally avoid writing.. since everything would turn out to be unhappy and depressing… and I want to my blog to be “happy blog”. Even if i read it after 2 to 3 years from now… Wow! I had so much fun!! Rather than syaing,” Shit, I faced a lot of challeneges in life, dont know what else is in store for me.”

    http://mokshjuneja.blogspot.com

  13. Dan Cole says:

    I was once sick, I had the chicken pocks… 6 pocks to be precious.

  14. Carolyn says:

    I post lots of pictures on my blog to highlight the articles. So if I’m not feeling well, I will usually delve into my photo folders and find some cute pictures that I haven’t yet posted and just create a photo post.

  15. zool says:

    When I’m sick.. I’m sleep and do not touch blog..
    that’s all

  16. betshopboy says:

    #8 is the best answer. Your body is “telling” you it needs rest. It’s best to shut out everything, rest, recharge, and come back fresher, stronger and more focus.

  17. Rich Minx says:

    Get well soon :)

    I haven’t had a sick day yet (touch wood) but I would probably raid a reserve post, as you suggested.

  18. Bush Mackel says:

    I haven’t been sick yet since I’ve started blogging. Goes to show you it does a body good!

  19. DB Ferguson says:

    This is the beauty of doing a fandom blog. :) I just say, “I feel like crap, there’s no news, so here’s a video.” Then I embed a video. Voila, instant post.

    One time, when I knew I was going to have a nine-day computerless vacation, I did a Series of videos, in the case of my blog an Even Stephven series, and just posted a video a day for a week. It worked just fine.

    I imagine you could always put on a viral video, though, or a video relating to your blog subject. Even if it doesn’t relate, you can always put, “Ok, I know this has nothing to do with my blog subject, but this makes me laugh. And I feel like crap so I need a good smile. Enjoy!”

  20. Seth says:

    Some great tips and ideas! A nice way to keep your blog up and rolling even when you aren’t feeling well.

    Thanks!

  21. David Mackey says:

    Hope you feel better soon. Good thoughts, I like the last one best. :-)

  22. I blog when I’m sick… doesn’t matter much to me, since blogging isn’t so physical. Good Advice though!

  23. Helen says:

    I blog when I’m sick too, I had that virus going around but somehow managed to pull myself together to do a post or two between naps. My dilemma now is what to do with posting while I’m away on holiday for a week… esp since my blog focuses on fashion news with the odd clothing/poll/guess the…? post stuffed in. And the friend who could fill in for me is coming on holiday’s with me!

    Ah the fun of blogging multiple times daily…

  24. Asako says:

    It is funny that I was really sick today, and I also found many commenting here are sick.

    You write so well even on a sick day, I can not tell if you are really sick. Many people say they write articles in advance. Do you also do so for problogger? Or you actually think and decide what to write every day?

    I hope you will feel well soon.

  25. Blogging doesn’t take a lot of physical activity. Being sick however seems to zap both my physical and mental energy. It is difficult to make a great blog post without any mental energy. I think it is important to post as often as possible. If you can muster the energy to write a blog post, I recommend a short and/or easy post. Hope ya feel better Darren.

  26. Hilton says:

    hello!
    great tips and keep going on.
    I appreciated your suggestions.I think Blogging does not need energy.You can do blogging at any time.it requires only little bit time and interest.
    Thank you very much and get well soon:)

  27. Does it count if you are getting really sick of Writer’s Block? That is a major thing I have had to deal with lately. However, I am taking your advice and pre-planning most (if not all) of my articles from now on. That should alleviate most of the strain and give me some wiggle room when I can’t blog because I am studying for a test.

  28. Mama BoK says:

    Get well soon..!

  29. Rhys says:

    Get well soon :)

    I’d love to know what’d happen to this blog if there was a day without posts. Maybe you’d generate a bit of a buzz ;)

  30. Michael says:

    I reckon if you are ill its best to treat yourself to a day off.

  31. Andrew Boyd says:

    Darren,

    I had a post like this scheduled only yours is way better – I’ve been sick for the last couple of weeks and I can relate :)

    No hard feelings, well done – because…this is just the sort of post that is needed at the moment when it seems like 1/3 of the country is coughing and sneezing – and that includes the bloggers too.

    This is a good example of blogging done for the readers instead of to them. Some other blogging gurus (I’m thinking John Chow) would have written “you’re sick, deal with it, or a well person will be taking your readers tomorrow!” whereas you are humane and caring.

    Get better soon.

    Best regards, Andrew

  32. Darren Rowse says:

    Rhys – actually a year or so back I didn’t post for a week because I had a serious problem with one of my eyes. A rumor went around that I’d gone blind and was giving up blogging…. not sure where tha t one came from but it was interesting to read about afterward.

  33. Jason says:

    By the looks of things, seems I am sick most days then :-) thanks for the post

  34. Ben Evert says:

    Haven’t been sick for a long time but I had to deal with a spouse dying, house being sold and moving during the past 2 months. Very sparse posting during this time. I did learn that you didn’t need to post on a regular basis, so if I do happen to get sick, I won’t be posting. I also learned that a blogger should have a stash of posts when needed and I’m working on my stash before getting back to publishing.

  35. Paul B says:

    For sick I read lazy. Having a lazy day today so I think a Poll could be in order.

  36. For me it depends on how sick I am. If I can get to the PC and type I will keep blogging. If on the other hand I need a rest, then I don’t mind in taking a break. I will normally post a pic of a tissue box or something like that and say I will be back in a few days.

    I hope your head is feeling better Darren ! I had a headache this morning too but it was from drinking the night before for my birthday !

  37. Mike Panic says:

    If you use the timestamp function in WP and you write ahead, you can avoid situations like this, sort of. I’m also not a fan of making a post just for the sake of posting.

    I think it may have been on here that the topic was covered as to the number one reason people leave an RSS feed, too many articles.

  38. side-line says:

    I’m usually 2 days ahead, so I can afford being sick for two days :)

  39. jeremy says:

    Excellent ideas. As long as nobody tries to do a video post when they’re sick we’ll all be ok. For the love of god, don’t post from the vomit cam. That is not what is meant by viral video.

  40. Genesis says:

    Well, since I have kids, I can´t stay in bed when I´m sick, so I usually work anyway. However, I also try to get ahead in my posts and use the timestamp function to set everything up for the week. That way I don´t actually need to blog unless it is on my personal blog which is more up-to-date. My main blog is great for working ahead since the majority of the information is not time-sensitive.

  41. Chase Roper says:

    I’m a “take the day off” kind of person. Sometimes I might have something pre-written. But not likely.

  42. Anne-Marie says:

    One thing you didn’t mention Darren is what to do when you’re under contract to blog for someone else, like a client or a network. In that case, email your editor as soon as possible. Most likely they’ll understand the need for down time, short posts, or going to blogging a few times a week instead of daily.

    Has anyone ever back posted to cover up a period when they weren’t blogging due to illness, travel, etc. just so it looks like they’re consistent and keeping up content?

  43. Crafty Witch says:

    For some reason your list of things to do was in much smaller type than the rest of your post. It was small enough, in fact, that I had to increase the text zoom to read it on my monitor. I looked at the page source, no explanation there.

    This is with Seamonkey 1.1.3 on XP Pro if that helps any.

  44. Thanks for the tips! This article is so appropriate for me and my site!

  45. Mandy says:

    This is a problem I have faced with 2 kids that get sick and then kindly pass it on to me!

    So there can be 3 people who get sick that disrupt my blogging, and I have to say it has been hard to deal with I haven’t got it right yet. But thanks for this post, because in the mad panic of ‘I can’t believe another one’s sick’ I don’t always think of these solutions. I’m too busy with other things and the blog is left to suffer!

  46. Undiagnosed says:

    arrrr it’s so hard to sit infront of the pc when you’re in pain
    I find getting outside helps more.
    But some great tips, thankyou