Time Management for Bloggers – Blogchat Recap – 060610

This weeks #Blogchat was all about time management for bloggers.

Topics included:

  • How much time do you spend writing your blog, reading other blogs, and commenting on other blogs.
  • How often do you post to your blog.
  • How much time do you spend writing individual blog posts.
  • Whether or not you should freestyle or have some sort of schedule / editorial calendar.
  • Do you spend time responding to comments on your site and is that important?
  • How do you encourage comments on your site?
  • Is guest blogging important and are you adding that to your schedule?
  • Tools that bloggers use to help with time management

There were lots of first time people joining blogchat and we were also joined by some top bloggers like @chrisbrogan, @unmarketing, @conversationage, @ariherzog, @djwaldow, @brandbuilder and others

How are bloggers spending their time:

  • @skooloflife: I would say 50% Writing, 50% Commenting Reading #blogchat
  • @maddiegrant: priority: writing, linking to other good stuff, regular weekly guest posts. #blogchat
  • @SocialMktg_AM: 40%Writing 40%Promoting and Commenting 20% Reasearch #blogchat
  • @jesseluna: Right now it’s 25% writing 15% commenting 60% creating products. #blogchat
  • @vedo: For me, it’s about 60-40: 60% of my time concept and writing followed by the 40% editing #blogchat
  • @contrapuntist: I spend most of the time I have writing posts or figuring out what to write about. #blogchat
  • @salamicat: my priority is writing, but as a writer, I only post once weekly. I don’t want to overwhelmmyreaders #blogchat
  • @mbrewer: Commenting is always first priority – writing second and linking up third #blogchat
  • @shortformernie: Main priority for me: Writing posts. I have to post every day. Second: Networking. Third: Freelance. Fourth: Development. #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: My priority is definitely writing posts, but commenting on others and reading others’ blogs is important too! #blogchat
  • @kelly__clay: priority is writing content for three blogs – but I spend 1-2 hours a day reading & commenting on relevant posts #blogchat
  • @riyaznet: writing is priority…commenting is equally important IMO #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: I prioritize posting, personally. Research not always necessary – commenting, sadly, a distant third lately. #blogchat
  • @gallaghermeg: Ideally, I’d like writing to be the priority and commenting to follow once I’ve gained a following #blogchat
  • @salamicat: I spend two hours daily commenting on blogs, promoting, and tweeting #blogchat
  • @JohnChaya: I think for me as a new blogger, I put twitter 1st and then blog commenting 2nd. But now I’m leaning back to commenting 1st. #blogchat
  • @alisonlaw: I’m just in the beginning phases of blogging, so most of my time is spent reading others. Has been for 2 years or so. #blogchat
  • @MackCollier: No, but I suspect you are right, I am linking much more and commenting less #blogchat
  • @sherrylowry: Being novice, maybe for me commenting will initially be at least twice the priority over posting – the 2 ears/1 month approach? 😉 #blogchat
  • @juleszunich: Writing is priority / have written for others for years & needed to find my voice…it’s like puberty: I get squeaky #Blogchat
  • @vedo: commenting and networking high priorities followed by consistent writing. (I need to work on my consistency though) #blogchat
  • @Sue_Anne: I find I sometimes get caught up on RTing good stuff and making sure that I comment on stuff that I also RT. #blogchat
  • @sharonmostyn: Hard find time to write with a full-time job, so priority is writing, but I comment when I see something of interest. #blogchat
  • @kellyadelekan: I am focusing on generating content for 2 blogs, 1 business, 1 fun. New to blogging, so content is my sole focus at the moment #blogchat
  • @GrassrootsWeb: My time management is also figuring how to get followers #blogchat
  • @Sue_Anne: I try to comment on at least 1 in 10 things that I RT. Otherwise, am I really providing value? #blogchat
  • @kurmanstaff: #blogchat #1 Writing posts that inform & inspire; responding to comments equally imp. Cares enough to respond, you should be acknowledged.
  • @ConversationAge: I’m here. I spend most of my weekend researching background info for post ideas. #blogchat

How often do bloggers blog?

Those participating in blogchat varied on the amount of times they blogged. High on the priority list was consistency. If you blog once a week, make sure you post something once a week. If you blog daily, make sure you have new content daily. The average seemed to be trying to have new content a 2-3 times a week.

  • @grt2studios: I write 3x a week & comment as relevant articles in my GReader. Articles for audience Comment for links and SEO #blogchat
  • @tracibrowne: I never write just to write – no 3x per week/month only if I have something valuable to share #blogchat
  • @BillBoorman: My priority is to be constant. my blog is an equal part of my social strategy not the MIT #blogchat
  • @skooloflife: I write 3 times a week and do 3 podcasts a week but on separate blogs #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: I post about once a week and sometimes twice a week. I don’t want to post too much! #blogchat
  • @BillBoorman: i know people who post daily and another once a month. both are great blogs #blogchat
  • @smallbizlady: i post twice a week. works well for me #blogchat
  • @shortformernie: I post 15-20 times a day, so I’d like to think time management is my thang. 😀 #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: In November, I posted daily to replace NaNoWriMo – hit 50k words on blog. Carried that til January. Now 1-2/week. #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: Daily has its benefits. I’m working back that direction. It’s just a matter of time 🙂 #blogchat
  • @LiteraryNobody: I try to blog daily but have yet to succeed at it #blogchat
  • @BillBoorman: I do 3 podcasts, between 10 and 15 community or guest posts and then my own blog each week #blogchat
  • @grt2studios: For some clients 3x a week for others weekly. Depends on objective (I recommend at least twice a wk) #blogchat
  • @vedo: if possible I try to keep a once a week posting schedule. What about you? #blogchat
  • @maddiegrant: I’m a daily blogger myself 😉 #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: I think twice a week is a good balance for posting #blogchat
  • @prosperitygal: I would say create consistent content 1-3x wk and comment & tweet #blogchat
  • @ahynes1: I post to my blog daily. Some post take a lot of time, others come quickly. For me content is what matters. #blogchat
  • @shortformernie: I post about news, so my schedule is the news cycle. 8-10 posts before lunch. #blogchat
  • @juleszunich: I blog 1x per week, then spend the other days commenting, finding links & waiting for inspiration. #blogchat
  • @kelliawise: I work full time and blog 5x/week. is that too much blogging? #blogchat
  • @tinkhanson: My goal is to write one post per week, but don’t ask how that’s working out for me… 🙁 #blogchat
  • @salamicat: I only post once a week. Don’t worry, just do what you can! #blogchat

How long do you spend writing each blog post?

As varied as how often people blogged were answers to how long bloggers spent writing individual blog posts.

  • @SocialMktg_AM: I heard that a blog post should take an hour. 40minutes of that should be writing the title? #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: Really? 40 min. writing a title? I don’t think there’s any time limit to writing a blog. Feel free! #blogchat
  • @SuzanneVara: 40 min to write a title? There is no right amount of time a post should take. write, proofread and post #blogchat
  • @conniereece: One of best voices in blogging, @conversationage, takes 2-4 hrs. to write post. She is consistent and often quoted. #blogchat
  • @goldasich: Some blog posts take 2 hours. Others take 10. Sometimes I don’t know how long it will take until I start. #blogchat
  • @skooloflife: One of the most useful things to do is use a stopwatch to manage time spent writing, commenting, etc #blogchat

Do bloggers schedule their posts and/or follow an editorial calendar?

Many bloggers recognized the usefulness of an editorial calendar, especially those that either do blogging for clients or work with multiple people on their blog. Others mentioned how having scheduled blogs, especially those that were pre-written, allowed for greater flexibility on days when they were busy or dealing with a lack of inspiration to write.

  • @grt2studios: I schedule posts out w/ WP. Or else it would be more difficult to stick to a calendar #blogchat
  • @goldasich: I’ve added “LOE” (Level of Effort) to my client’s planning worksheets… to ensure they don’t overextend themselves! #blogchat
  • @grt2studios: I stick to a strict editorial calendar for my clients. Would you watch a TV show – if you didn’t know when to find it #blogchat
  • @icebluebanana: scheduling saves me time and unhappiness more often than not. Give it a shot – it may help u 2. #blogchat
  • @TeeRiddle: I like to write many posts in chunks. Have all my posts for week done so I can spend time on other items (product dev, SM etc) #blogchat
  • @skooloflife: I will usually write all of my posts for a week in one 2 hour sitting. Take Advantage of Your Flow states #blogchat
  • @BillBoorman: the problem with a schedule is i never know when i will be in the “Zone” #blogchat
  • @grt2studios: That’s why when I’m in the zone I cerate multiple posts and schedule them out #blogchat
  • @skooloflife: the pre-scheduling feature is an awesome wordpress feature for time management #blogchat
  • @sandysidhu: I agree, I use a calendar & try hard to stick to it-our blog has several writers. I find it helps set expectation. #blogchat
  • @BabsSegal: Agree important sponsors like as well. RT @jonl: @BabsSegal I’m setting up an editorial calendar, and recommend in my consulting. #blogchat
  • @goldasich: I have an editorial calendar as my “best case” — but I veer from it every month. On purpose. Calendar is backup. #blogchat
  • @taxtweet: my blog topic – taxes – has built-in editorial calendar; issue is how to parse info in “off” season! #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: I used to use a single day to write five or ten posts, schedule them. Makes it easier to keep a schedule, as well as react to news #blogchat
  • @kellyadelekan: I like the ‘batching’ ideas going on. Focus efforts and then spend majority of time on other things. #blogchat
  • @ConversationAge: except for opportunistic/timely posts, usually you can follow a thread on my blog each week #blogchat
  • @arikhanson: Same here. I spend 2-3 hours each weekend banging out all my posts for the week ahead (not as many as you tho) #blogchat
  • @arikhanson: I usually have 7-10 posts in draft form at any given time. Reguarly refer back and resurrect 1 per week. #blogchat
  • @smallbizlady: I post to my blog every Monday and Thursday morning. Timing and consistency is really important #blogchat

Another question that came up was whether or not there was a “best time” to post new content.

  • @SusieKline: I’ve started scheduling posts for 8am then try to announce them via Twitter and fb three times per day. #blogchat
  • @Sue_Anne: I’ve seen more response from morning posts, but evening posts can be effective if you publicize in the morning #blogchat
  • @ashtynevans: I try to publish late morning/early afternoon. I get a lot of at work traffic or late at night, so I time to that #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: Absolutely agree with that. I’ve started making sure I bump the post at publish, 12 hrs after and 18 hours after. Works! #blogchat

Responding to comments / encouraging comments:

  • @thebrandbuilder: #blogchat Steer the post towards opinions or questions/advice. Being neutral on an issue invites little participation.
  • @unmarketing: the best way to get comments on your post is to write a great freakin post. Evoke emotion #blogchat

A couple people mentioned that the posts that get the most comments are often the unexpected happy accidents.

  • ashtynevans: That’s so true. It’s always something I think will be passed over that ends up getting a ton of comments #blogchat

Promoting your blog is an important factor in driving traffic to your site and getting more comments.

  • @laurenkgray: If you post consistently, people know you post. it’s not good to go long w/o posting bc people will forget about you. #blogchat
  • @ianmrountree: Judging by the responses, it seems like people are spending a decent amount of time promoting their blogs. Maybe I should start. #blogchat
  • @grt2studios: Great content is the promotion! Create great content and an audience will develop #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: I always tweet when I have new blog posts, it is my biggest audience on Twitter. Facebook is a diff. audience for me. #blogchat
  • @sharonmostyn: RTs are impt too-they help to drive traffic to write more comments 😉 #blogchat

Commenting on other people’s blogs:

People seemed to agree that responding to comments on other people’s blogs was an important part of building community and driving traffic back to your site.

I was surprised at how many people were actually concerned in one way or the other with being the first comment on people’s blogs.

  • @grtaylor2: For me – writing happens every other day but I comment daily. I want to be first or second to comment on a post #blogchat
  • @mbrewer: Just a thought – don’t try to be first comment – try to add value instead. No value then just soak the post in and move on #blogchat
  • @salamicat: I try to be the first commenter; it is the most important comment, I feel #blogchat
  • @laurenkgray: @SusieKline I think it’s great to be the first comment because your comment will be the one repeated probably! #blogchat
  • @tinkhanson: I don’t really care to be the first to post a comment on a blog where I’m not already comfortable or know the writer #blogchat
  • @CarteBlancheFre: i provide VA services for someone and commenting on blogs is one of the tasks. They prefer to be first to comment… #blogchat

Guest blogging:

The topic of guest blogging comes up frequently – both whether or not you should ask people to guest post on your blog or whether you should guest post on other people’s blogs. This added to the time management discussion.

  • @salamicat: Guest posting is also a good way to gain exposure #blogchat
  • @rockinrobync: Guest posting has definitely helped me #blogchat
  • @salamicat: I am lucky, I have always been asked. The thing is , I don’t reciprocate, due to the nature of my blog! #blogchat
  • @grt2studios: Guest Posts are also a great way to lessen the writing burden if you feel stuck #blogchat

Tools of the trade

  • New post ideas: Many people mentioned Evernote as a way to keep ideas straight for potential new blog posts. Others mentioned making sure to have a pen and notebook handy to record ideas.
  • Blog reading: There were also several mentions of Google Reader and bookmarks to keep track of blogs that you want to read on a regular basis.
  • Writing tools: Another suggestion was to turn off Tweetdeck and other distractions while writing. @skooloflife recommends using tools like writeroom and macjournal for distraction-free writing.

Some first time #Blogchat-ers: