Natural disasters have been plaguing large portions of the U.S. over the past week. They have led to power outages, physical devastation, evacuations, and even deaths. In these situations, meeting a blogging deadline is probably pretty low on the priority list. But once the dust is settled, how should you handle content plan interruptions?
Life happens, to everyone, in all kinds of ways. You could be injured, your child could get sick, or a Category 5 hurricane could essentially shut down your state. These crises understandably take priority over your work, and especially over your marketing efforts. But business owners are wise to always keep one eye on the future. When an interruption happens, they need to be prepared and know how to respond.
Preparing for Content Plan Interruptions
Since we know that eventually we will all get sick, or go on a vacation, or have severe weather shut down our office, we can be prepared. Take some time when business is slow to write up 4-5 general purpose blog posts. These could be FAQs, how-to guides, or hypothetical cases — anything that isn’t tied to a particular season or event.
Think of this like the water and canned food that emergency preppers store in their basements. As the recent hurricanes came in, there were runs on gas stations and grocery stores as everyone rushed to get what they needed before Mother Nature’s deadline. But the preppers had done their work ahead of time. When an emergency did happen, they had a reserve they could use to fill the gap.
Your general purpose blogs work the same way. When something comes up and you aren’t able to write a new post on a particular day, you can go to your store of prepared posts instead. Take two minutes to set the publication date and schedule the social media push posts, and you’re all set. Your preparation has avoided a content plan interruption.
You Missed a Post, Now What?
Some emergencies happen so suddenly there is no time to even make those most basic preparations. Or maybe they take long enough that you have burned through your prepared posts. Now what? How do you handle the gap in your content plan?
Option 1: Fly Casual
Perhaps the most straight-forward option if you miss a post because of an emergency is to just continue on as if nothing has happened. For many service professionals using a blog as an online marketing technique, this works just fine. In the interim, you can always use links to previous posts (that are not time sensitive) to fill your social media content calendar.
Option 2: Make Up the Post Later
Some people may benefit from adding an extra post later on to make up for the content plan interruption. This can be particularly helpful to new companies or businesses just getting started with their blogs. Remember that the more frequently your website is updated the more attractive it is to search engines, so if your emergency has caused your website to go silent for a week or two, it may be a good idea to play a little catch up.
Option 3: Acknowledge the Gap
For larger emergencies, especially natural disasters and other crises that affect more than just your business, it may make sense for your first post to acknowledge what has happened. For example, if a storm closed your business for a week and knocked out power in a large area, your first returning blog post could be on how a loss of electricity can affect your customers. Notice, you do not have to apologize for not posting. By writing about the cause of the gap, you acknowledge that something significant has happened without a direct “mia culpa” that will live on in your blog archives for a very long time.
Emergencies happen, and blog posts get missed. While maintaining a consistent blogging schedule is important, it pales in comparison to natural disasters or long-term illness. Don’t let a content plan interruption put you off from posting. Get back on your feet, then handle the interruption professionally. Colloquially speaking, Keep Calm and Blog On.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. If you need help creating consistent blogs or web content for your online marketing, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.