Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Managing Your Blogging Time

It's the A-Z Challenge and I'm talking about blogging tips. I'm super excited about the topic today. It's probably becasue this is the 1st question non-bloggers ask me when I tell them I blog.

When I first started blogging I went a little crazy. I knew I need to visit other blogs and I spent 3-4 hours everyday searching out new bloggers and leaving comments and generally trying to build my meager platform.

That got old really fast. Some people are so awesome *cough* Alex *cough* that they can visit tons of blogs and never have an issue, but the rest of us might struggle to maintain that kind of awesomeness.

Here's what's worked for me.

1. Set aside time to visit other blogs. When I'm not doing the A-Z challenge I only blog on the days my son is in preschool and I use one of those two hours to visit people who haven't visited me. Throughout the day I also visit back anyone who leaves me a comment wherever I can find a moment.

2. Write your posts in advance. If you didn't see my post about how to schedule your posts, look here. I usually get up at 5 am to write. It so happened that I was taking a break before editing my novel and I used that 5 am writing time to do all of my A-Z posts in advance. That way I can concentrate on my readers.

Whenever an idea for a post comes to me, I'll get on blogger and write the title of the post and let it be until I get a spare moment to write it. That way if I'm behind on blogging, I at least have ideas ready to go.

3. If you're overdoing it, back off. Life happens. Sometimes you can't blog. Sometimes you can't visit back. We've all been there. I've been working really hard on edits, so hard in fact that the last two weeks of Feb and I ended up not blogging at all. That break was exactly what I needed. I could come back and care for my readers the way I should.

Most importantly, you have to make time for it. I've had a lot of people ask me if it's worth it and I always respond with an enthusiastic YES! It is a time suck, you can get lost in it, but I've found that the benefits far outweigh the negative. Find your balance and run with it.

What do you do yo manage your time?

23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And if all else fails, clone yourself.
It is possible to do it if you make the time to do it. Helps to find other tasks you can do while blogging. Multi-tasking is one of my secrets, and believe me, it didn't come natural.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

So that's Alex's secret!!!!

I cut my blogging back to two days a week because every time I post, I'm looking at 3-4 hours spent blogging. This includes writing the post, which I do on the weekend. I love blogging, so I consider it time well spent.

John Wiswell said...

I try to schedule blogging time either first thing in the morning, or over lunch. There are several bloggers I want to encourage to keep going, and conversations to keep up with.

For creating my own content, though? I'm all over the place.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Yeah, I definitely overdid it when I first started blogging. I'm still working to find that balance but for now I'm trying to enjoy it rather than think of it as a job.

Sylvia Ney said...

Good tips! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

Sylvia
http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Annalisa Crawford said...

I know how to manage my time in theory, but in reality it's much harder - I employ the 'just one more' mentality when I'm reading blogs, when really I should set an hour and stick to it.

Blue Skies said...

I think that life is really a balancing act and any time you add something new from a child to blogging, it takes time for things to shake out.

Julie Luek said...

I set out a morning and an afternoon time to read blogs-- schedule it. I've been keeping my posts short these days, both to save my time and also because I know others don't have a load of time to read either. Keep it quick and easy to read and your name and writing before their eyes-- that's my guiding principle. And ironically, this was my last blog in my allotted time this morning! Glad I had time to stop by.

Erin Shakespear said...

Yes, I like the cloning idea, too. That's way better than having to actually manage your time, right? :)

I'm actually really horrible at managing my time. I think it's one of my biggest flaws....along with my need for waaaaaay too much sugar!

But I find using a timer helps me. With all sorts of things. I don't want to clean the kitchen. I'll set the timer for ten minutes and whatever I get done, I get done.

Sometimes I do that for writing, especially when I just don't want to do it. I'll set the timer for 10-15 minutes and most times I want to keep going. Other times, I just want to put it away when the timer dings. And that's okay, too.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Excellent points. You have to make time for your blog and definitely comment back to those who do the same for you.

Rena said...

Yeah, I think everyone overdoes it for a while, but that's part of the learning process. I like your tips, and I've finally found something that works for me, so that's what I'm going with.

Another Clean Slate said...

I like the idea of saving the title of the post. So many times I have had an idea come to me only to forget it hours later. Thanks for the tip!

Robin said...

I do a bit of saving the title to come back to later, that helps a lot. I only did the first 10 posts of A to Z before the challenge started and I wish I'd done them all. If I do it next year, that's what I want to do, so that A to Z is more fun and about meeting new people than figuring out what I'm going to post about tomorrow!

Carrie-Anne said...

I schedule most of my posts well in advance. Some of the posts in my scheduled folder have been waiting around there for possibly a year or more, and there are also posts in my drafts folder that have been waiting for the scheduled folder for very long too. The only A-Z post remaining to be written now is X.

Donna K. Weaver said...

You've got a reasonable plan there. When I first started blogging, I used to do three days a week. Now I normally only do one--though there are exceptions. If people comment on my blog I visit their blogs and comment back. One reason to only do it once a week. lol

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I'm still trying to learn the balance of it all. I go like crazy for awhile, then back way off for awhile. Not a good plan. :)

ilima said...

What do I do to manage my time? Absolutely nothing. I'm a chicken with my head cut off sometimes. Still figuring it out. :)

Mark Noce said...

Great tips:) I'd say I'm pretty much the same as you, but Alex works at a level of perfection I occasionally try to emulate:)

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, J.A.! These are fantastic tips. A blogging burnout can happen fast. It's important for me to make time for it, to set aside an hour here or there to respond to comments and prepare posts. I think some people have super blogging powers, though!!

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

prerna pickett said...

these are great tips. I need to remember to write out posts ahead of time so I don't blank on posting day.

michelle said...

I don't manage my blogging time well. Not at all. I LOVE the interaction with other bloggers/writers and can spend lots of time visiting blogs. Yes, it's a major time suck but a good investment!
However, I need to cut back (don't know how on earth that's going to happen...) because there's writing and reading that also need attention. It's a delicate balancing act. I don't know how some people manage it.

Writer In Transit

Jean said...

I write most of my blogs in the early morning and try to visit in the evening. This leaves me the regular part of the day to reflect on things and do work. I usually fall asleep deciding what I will write about in the morning. Sometimes I will surprise myself in the early morning and write about something totally different, which refreshes my brain. :)

jean

Krista McLaughlin said...

Great advice! I've had to work at finding the time to visit other blogs. I haven't done it in a few days, yep comments are down. We have to be supportive, the one "rule" of the writing community. I still don't know how Alex does it! He's everywhere at the same time and very impressive. :)