Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How to Take a Vacation—But Not Abandon Social Media by Michelle Ule

We all need a break now and then, but it can be hard to leave the "office" behind. Author Michelle Ule provides some tips on enjoying free time while keeping up with social media. -- Sandy

Michelle: I’ve recently returned from vacation and a friend shook her head. “I couldn’t believe all the writing you did while traveling. You tweeted, Facebooked and wrote three blog posts! How did you have time to sightsee?

I laughed. “I did it all ahead of time.”

That’s the secret to really going on vacation when you have social media to tend.

Here are the four tools I use to really take a break from social media (you don’t even have to go on vacation to use them!)

1. WordPress scheduling.

I love the schedule feature on WordPress.

For those who've never used it before, after you write your post, go over to the box on the right to "Publish Immediately." Don't let that scare you. Click EDIT.

A date box opens up. Put in the date, the time, click OK.

The blue box that says "PUBLISH," now will read "SCHEDULE."


You're done.

If you need to make a change, feel free to do so and then click "UPDATE."

I use this feature even when I’m not going on vacation—it’s wonderfully freeing to not have to “feed” the blog for a week because I’ve written the posts ahead of time.

2. Facebook scheduling

In addition to my personal page, I maintain a Michelle Ule, writer page and I'm part of the 12 Brides Collection page.

You can't and you really want to, schedule posts on your personal page, but on "business" pages, it can be helpful.

Write the status and click on the blue POST.

A drop-down box appears and you can schedule a specific date and/or time.



3. Hootsuite

I have to pay for Hootsuite, but it’s a business expense I can write off my taxes.

It’s worth the money to me.
Hootsuite has two options for scheduling: one done right on the Hootsuite page, and the other through "bulk scheduling."

I use it to “mine” old blog posts—I’ve written nearly 600 of them in the last five years at

Since I always include three “tweetables,” on each post, I copy them into an Excel spread sheet as I write the posts. Each month I schedule the batch into Hootsuite and they tweet themselves.

There’s a learning curve and it takes time, but I followed a tutorial done by Hootsuite and that's what I suggest you do. Try this link.

Hootsuite bulk loading will not allow you to use the same tweet twice, so that took creativity, but it’s a wonderful relief to load them and watch them tweet.

4. The true gift: Friends

Two days before I flew to Europe last year, my galleys for The Sunbonnet Bride arrived.

I was able to get them done, but I wondered what I would have done had they come while I was gone.

The answer?
I would have asked a friend.

But I’m glad it didn’t come to that!

What tools help make your fun time fun when it comes to keeping up with social media responsibilities?


A now “retired” Navy wife, Michelle Ule is the bestselling author of six inspirational works, including a novella collection that appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Now living in northern California, Michelle trained as a newspaper reporter and is currently writing a biography, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, that will be published by Baker Books in fall 2017.

Her most recent novella is The Sunbonnet Bride part of The 12 Brides of Summer Collection, released in June 2016. The 12 Brides of Summer includes a dozen inspirational romance stories set during the 1800s in the US, sequels to the stories told in The 12 Brides of Christmas.

The Sunbonnet Bride features a tornado, a helpful town, a young seamstress and two talented men. But which one deserves her heart? A clever banker ready to lend funds, or a hardworking teamster who offers his hands to do the dirty work?
You can learn more about Michelle at, or find her on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. She is the editorial assistant at Books & Such Literary Agency.