Summer can be a challenging time for bloggers and online entrepreneurs. People are off on holiday, traffic on the blog tends to take a dip, and engagement on social media always reduces.
Then there’s the summer holiday itself, juggling children and maybe childcare, a social life, and trying to write and optimise content for your website.
There’s also that guilty feeling you should be working, as you know September is going to be busy, but you also need to have some time off.
Summer is particularly difficult for bloggers and online entrepreneurs, who earn money through their websites, and don’t get annual leave. It’s a challenge setting it up so you can enjoy your precious down time, whilst the business keeps ticking over.
If this resonates with you, read on. Here are lots of different tips to help you make the most of the summer, enjoy some down time, explore your creative side, get organised for September, and regain your verve.
- How to enjoy your summer holiday and have some down time
- Enjoying your creative side during the summer months
- 15 topic ideas for new summer 2023 blog posts for UK bloggers
- Show your blog some summer love with 5 great SEO jobs
- Getting organised for September
- Final thoughts
Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you buy something after clicking through.
How to enjoy your summer holiday and have some down time
We all need time off, and that can be very hard when you’re a blogger or running an online business. It’s so easy to pull out the laptop to make a few tweaks, and before you know it, an hour has gone!
Here are some tips to help you enjoy your summer holiday.
Get organised before you go
It’s really easy to prepare content to go live when you’re away. That way your subscribers are still receiving their newsletters, and new content is coming onto the blog, while you enjoy your break.
Here are easy step by step instructions to help you schedule new content to appear on your website in advance:
Another option is to take a proper break, and let your subscribers know in the newsletter before you leave that you’ll be on annual leave. For instance “[Name of Newsletter] is on annual leave for 2 weeks and will be back from the sun lounger on [date]. That way you’re not having to do double the work before you go on holiday, and your subscribers won’t wonder why they’ve not had their usual newsletters.
Either approach is great, as it will give you the space to switch off and relax…
Switch off and relax
I find it takes me a while to switch off and relax when I’m on holiday. It’s so tempting to have a tweak on one of my blog posts, or even to start a new one. But it’s worthwhile, as you’ll return from holiday re-energised and ready for action.
As bloggers spend a lot of time on devices, from laptops to mobile phones and tablets, it’s easy to associate these devices with work. I try to have a digital detox and literally switch off when I’m on holiday, and leave my devices alone as much as possible.
I know it’s easier said than done, but here are a few tips to help bloggers switch off when they’re on holiday:
- Have a break from all electronic devices
- Have a break from social media. It’ll all be there when you get back. At the very least, turn off social media notifications.
- Read real books and magazines for pleasure, not digital ones. Then there’s no temptation to have a quick look at your blog while you’re reading.
- If you want to capture ideas, take a proper note book with you.
- Learning a new skill can be a great way to switch off (surfing, diving, photography) as you’ve got something else to think about and concentrate on.
- Be present, and enjoy what’s going on around you. Let your mind wander as you take in everything that you see. Just don’t let it wander back to your blog!
Enjoying your creative side during the summer months
If you want to use the down time of the summer months productively, you can spend time nurturing your creative side. You might not think you have a creative side (I didn’t think so, when I was a lawyer). But it will be there. It just needs a bit of encouragement.
Here are some ideas to nurture your creative side over the summer:
- Carry a small note book with you, and jot down ideas. Doodling is great, especially if you’re not confident at drawing.
- Having a small sketchbook and some nice pencils to hand can encourage you to draw what you see. It’s a fantastic way of switching off and encourage you to notice your surroundings.
- Take lots of photos, and think about unusual angles that show the world from a different perspective. If you don’t have a digital camera. you can put your iPhone onto manual to control the aperture (the F stop, which controls how blurry the background is) or the exposure (how dark or light the photo is). Here’s a great guide to the iPhone camera.
- Buy some water colours and start painting!
- Collect fun things like sea glass or unusual pebbles. That can connect you with the environment. (Obviously don’t take anything if it’s illegal).
- Travel to new places, and walk around with just a camera and a notebook. (And maybe a map!) Chat to people. Feel the atmosphere and think about how and why the perspective of the people who live there differs from yours.
- Visit museums and art galleries. Often they’re free and can stimulate lots of new content ideas for your blog.
15 topic ideas for new summer 2023 blog posts for UK bloggers
People might not be spending as much time online over the summer, but they’re still searching on Google for information about summer topics.
Also, as people are really feeling the pinch in 2023, because of the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates, tips that will save them money are popular.
Are you struggling to think of fresh ideas for your blog posts this summer, that have a UK twist? Here are 15 great topic ideas for a UK target market to help get your creative juices following:
- Hot topic for the summer of 2023: Why Threads is my summer guilty pleasure.
- Great days out with the kids that don’t break the bank. For instance, you could suggest a National Trust family membership (not an affiliate link!) and take picnics to keep the cost down. As well as over 500 stately homes, there are lots of carparks in beauty spots that are free for National Trust members.
- Fun things to do with your children for free over the summer holidays.
- How to find peace and quiet during the summer holidays.
- Create a summer bucket list with the kids of things to do in the local area.
- The perfect books to read in the summer. (Great if you’re an Amazon Associate).
- The perfect audio books to listen to in the summer. (Great if you’re an Amazon Associate).
- The best free podcasts to help you relax this summer.
- 10 great ways to volunteer this summer. For instance, how about volunteering with the Woodland Trust.
- Fun things to do with your kids in the garden or a local park this summer.
- 10 tips to eating healthier food this summer, by cooking from scratch.
- What to take on a day out to the beach with children.
- The best beaches for a day trip with the children.
- Picnic ideas for a trip to the beach.
- 10 amazing ice lolly ideas you can make yourself at home
>> Related post: Great blog post ideas for UK bloggers for August 2023
Show your blog some summer love with 5 great SEO jobs
If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, here are some fairly low effort things to do that will give your SEO a boost.
1. How to upgrade last year’s best blog posts
There’s no point reinventing the wheel. A great idea is to look back at the traffic to your blog last summer on Google Search Console, and see what the search queries were. Use those search queries to update your blog posts so that you answer the questions better.
How to insert new FAQs to old blog posts to improve SEO
A great way of doing this is by inserting a set of FAQs using an FAQ schema, like the simple one below, which I created using Spectra, a free plug-in, which enhances the WordPress block editor.
What to do after you revamp an old blog post
When you save the changes to your improved blog post, don’t just click Update, as that will probably keep the original date of the post or blog page.
Instead, make sure you do the following to republish it with today’s date, or whatever date you choose: Settings > Post > Publish > Immediately > change the date, and then click on the Schedule button on the tool bar at the top of the page.
The final stage is to put your updated page into Google Search Console and ask for the page to be reindexed.
2. Optimise your the images in your Media Library
We don’t always have time to curate the perfect Alt Text for our images, that includes keywords, whilst not over-doing it. If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, go back to the start of your image library, and improve the Alt Text for your images.
The great thing is that if you’ve used the image on more than one page, the Alt Text will automatically be updated for every time you use the image, if you make the changes in the Media Library.
3. Revamp your images
A really great way to refresh your website is to change some of your images. It’s important to remember also to include Alt Text for each image. If you’re bored of the same old images from Canva, you could take out a membership to have access to beautiful and unusual images.
If you’re wondering where I get most of my images from, I have memberships with both Ivory Mix and Styled Stock Society. Both of them regularly publish new collections, and also lots of Pinterest templates to customise. Most of my Pinterest pins started out as templates from either Ivory Mix and Styled Stock Society.
While you’re changing the photos, you could create some new pins for each page using their templates, and post the new pins to Pinterest. That way you not only have lovely new images, with Alt Text containing the keywords, but you’ll get an uplift from Pinterest. This is all the more so if the images and the Pinterest templates are new, as not only does the algorithm favours the new, you’re more likely to stand out if you’ve created something a bit different.
>> Related post: How to get the best from your blog images
4. Revise your Meta Descriptions
Another useful task is to improve the meta descriptions of posts and pages that don’t get much traffic from Google.
Again, use the insights from Google Search Console to pinpoint which search queries get you impressions, but not click throughs.
If you republish the post or page at the same time, add “in 2023” in the meta description to show it’s up to date.
5. Link your blog posts and pages to each other
Having internal links between your posts and pages is really important for SEO. Why? It helps search engines like Google to crawl your website and discover new content to index and rank.
It’s also something that can may people linger on your website for longer. This is, in turn, good for SEO as it shows Google that your content is valuable.
Your most important pages, ie your cornerstone content, should have the most amount of links pointing to it. This signals to Google that you consider it to be important content.
A good tip is to link new content to older content and vice versa. Often we add links to posts when we write them, but don’t go back to add links for newer content.
Some SEO Plugins like Yoast SEO Premium will actually suggest internal links for you. It can be a bit hit and miss, but it’s a good place to start. It can also help you refresh content, and bring it up to date.
For instance, an old blog post about Instagram could be updated to mention Threads, with a link to a new post about Threads. As the content on the old post will have been updated, republish it with a recent date,. Don’t forget to add the URL to Google Search Console for re-indexing. A few new images, and the whole blog post will feel up to date, without having to start from scratch.
Getting organised for September
When you’re not working on your SEO, you can use any spare time to get ahead for “back to school” in September, and the long slog to Christmas.
Here are some ideas to help you get ready for what always feels like a new year in business, after the summer holiday period. Summer is a good time to plan your approach until Christmas, and how best to engage your subscribers and website visitors.
1. Create a new content plan that starts in September
Content plans are a bit like marmite. Either you love them and find them useful, or you hate them and think they’re part of procrastination.
Whereas I do not like marmite, I’m a bit ambivalent about content plans. When I’m on a roll, I feel (rightly or wrongly) that don’t need them. But they’re incredibly useful for new bloggers. They’re also great when you’re at the start of a new season and want to be strategic about organising your ideas into a coherent plan.
Content plans are also really valuable in helping bloggers plan social media posts to send traffic to the website. With Threads reminding us of the importance of spontaneity and fun, maybe now is a good time for us all to go back to the drawing board and create a new content plan.
You can read my in depth but practical guide on creating your next content plan here: How to Create a Content Plan for your Blog in 2023. Once you’ve done that, come back here for the next stage in getting organised for September.
2. Start outlining blog posts
Now you have your content plan and list of blog posts, you can start outlining blog posts. I tend to outline mine in batches of a few at a time.
What do I mean by outline? I do it in WordPress itself, and insert the H2 titles into the draft blog post. Sometimes I draft a short introduction as well. Once I have the H2 titles, I see how it looks by inserting the Table of Contents from Spectra . You can see a Table of Contents at the top of this blog post.
Sometimes I look at the images at this stage, and insert the feature image and probably a few others. I tend to have one image per H2 title. Click here for tips on how to find great images for your blog.
Once I have the structure in place, I think about how and where I might link it to other blog posts and pages, and vice versa.
Finally, I either move onto writing the whole blog post, or if I’m batching, onto outlining the next blog post.
3. Newsletter preparation
As well as outlining blog posts, you can also start outlining the newsletters that will let your subscribers know about your new content.
I tend to have a section or two on my new content, and then have a general update that’s not on the blog. I write the update just before I send the newsletter, as it makes the newsletter fresh, and relevant. However, I often prepare the section on my new content for that week in advance.
4. Start collecting autumn images
Sometime towards the end of September, images that were perfect in high summer, seem a bit bright for the season. Probably about the same time as you start to wear more autumnal clothes.
A nice little job to do in the summer months is to start collecting new autumn images, so you’ve got them ready to in your image library, with the alt texts already added.
You’ll be aware of the changing seasons if your blog is connected to an online business selling seasonal products, but it’s good to start thinking of adapting the website to more autumnal hues.
I really recommend Ivory Mix and Styled Stock Society for blogs aimed at women. RawPixel works well for blogs that aren’t solely for women. That said, my blog The Independent Landlord is read by people of all genders, but I mostly use photos of women as the pictures of men feel a bit corporate. This makes me stand out from the typical images used in other landlord blogs.
>> Related post: How to get the best from your blog images
The summer always seems as if it will go on forever, perhaps because of our memories of long summers as children. But, before you know it, the August Bank Holiday is upon us, and it’s back to school and the work place gets into 5th and 6th gear in the run up to Christmas.
I never manage to achieve everything I plan over the summer, as things always take longer than I think. Or maybe I get distracted onto other things (like playing on Threads).
However, this blog post will hopefully have given you some practical tips on how to make the most of the summer to recharge your batteries and get ready for the rest of the year.