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How to Step Away and Still Maintain Your Web Presence

by Laura Spencer

on May 24, 2012

in Freelance Tips

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There are many times when you may want to step away from your web design business.

You may be taking a vacation. You may need to schedule some medical procedures. Or, you may just need to take a break.

Stepping away from your freelancing web design business doesn’t mean that your online web presence that you’ve worked so hard to build up also needs to take a hit. In this post, I’ll share four simple tips for maintaining your web presence while getting your much-needed break. If you enjoy this post, you may also like the post, What Freelancers Really Do About Vacation.

Tip #1 Schedule Blog Posts

If you maintain a blog for your freelancing business, taking a break doesn’t mean that your blog has to go without being updated. (If you don’t have a freelancing blog, you really should…)

WordPress, for example, allows you to schedule posts for a future date and time. Prescheduling posts is a fairly simple procedure. You can learn how at the WordPress Support Site. (The instructions that work best for your blog may vary slightly depending on the version of WordPress you are using.)

Other blogging tools also allow you to schedule posts. Blogger, for example, also provides instructions for prescheduling posts in their question and answers section.

If you use another blogging tool, check in that tool’s support area to see if the tools supports scheduling posts.

Now that we’ve talked about scheduling posts, it’s time to talk about scheduling social media.

Tip #2 Schedule Social Media Participation

Active social media participation is a large part of maintaining a visible web presence for your freelance design business. However, you certainly don’t want to be chained to social media tools while you are taking a break.

Fortunately, there are many tools that will allow you preschedule your social media shares. Here are four good options:

  • Do Share. This plug-in for Google Chrome lets you preschedule your Google+ posts. You can get it through the Chrome store.
  • TweetDeck. TweetDeck is now owned by Twitter. You can schedule your Tweets in advance. TweetDeck also functions as a real-time Twitter browser.
  • Hootsuite. This is a social media dashboard favored by many large corporations. It allows you to schedule Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates.
  • Buffer. Buffer is another popular tool that allows you to preschedule posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Next, let’s take a look at how to handle your email while you are taking a break.

Tip #3. Forward Emails to your SmartPhone

One of my biggest worries about taking time off has always been–what if a potential client contacts me during my break?

Fortunately, you don’t have to miss important emails while you are away from your home office. You can use your smart phone to check for important emails.

Remember not to check your email too often, or what you intended for a break may wind up being just another work day offsite. Usually, checking your email twice a day (once at noon and once at the close of your business day) is enough.

Of course, WiFi is also a terrific tool for freelancers who are away from their main office.

Tip #4. Take Advantage of Free WiFi

So, what if you do need to do a little work while you are out of the office?

Don’t worry. Free WiFi is widely available if you don’t have a smartphone. Plus, many hotels and restaurants now offer WiFi as a benefit to their customers. If you’re not sure if WiFi is available where you happen to be, just ask.

You can also use free WiFi to answer comments on your posts and statuses, keep up with breaking design or freelance news, and even to answer an email.

Just don’t overuse WiFi. After all, the idea of stepping away from work is to stop working.

A Final Word of Warning

If you are scheduling posts and status updates in advance, be sure to focus on evergreen content. Today’s hot topic may be quite stale tomorrow. Yesterday’s news is today’s yawn.

Evergreen content is something that remains helpful and relevant over time. Usually, the information changes very little. This is the safest type of content to preschedule.

Your Turn

It’s healthy to step away from work from time to time.

How do you maintain a web presence when you take a break?

Image by anmuell

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About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Laura’s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.