Aug 232012
 

This guest post is by Kat Griffin of Corporette.

How do full-time bloggers take maternity leave? How do you schedule posts and get help, when you’re not sure when you’re going to go into labor, and when you have no idea what to expect when the baby first comes?

This is my account of how I not only maintained my traffic but grew it, all while taking ten weeks of maternity leave.

By Summer 2011, I had two very happy things going on in my life: I was pregnant with my first child, and my fashion and career advice blog (Corporette) was doing so well that I had quit my job as a lawyer to focus on it.

But this created an unfortunate problem—how could I have the baby, be a good mother, and keep my blog at the level my readers expected? My number goals: maintain 15 posts a week, and keep as much of my hard-won traffic as possible (which at that point was about 57K uniques and almost 500K pageviews a month).

It would be nice, I thought, if my blogging income stayed where it was, but I prepared myself for a dip. I had read that a newborn’s crying peaked around weeks six to eight, so I picked ten weeks as the optimal time for myself to take off.

Why I didn’t hire anyone

For some people, the answer would have been obvious—hire an assistant or an intern to take over content. But my site has always been a bit difficult in that regard—in fact, I think I owe a lot of my success to the fact that I actually had a conservative job for many years, so my workwear and career advice comes from a very realistic place. (I started my blog while working as a litigator for a Wall Street firm.) So your typical 22-year-old hire just would not do.

My answer? Some scheduled posts from me, but a lot of highly curated guest posts. To be clear: I also did not hire a baby nurse or nanny, although looking back I suppose that was an option also. I was very concerned that the mixture of sleepless nights and postpartum hormones would make me unfit to give career and fashion advice, even if someone else was looking after the baby.

Dividing my content

I looked at my regular content and asked:

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