Blogging Life: How do People do it?

How do people do it? How do they maintain a reliable blog with interesting information and loyal followers?

I know bloggers who blog almost every day and I’m constantly amazed by this. Over the years, I have struggled to maintain regular blog posts. So many things pull me away. Sometimes it’s just not a priority.

I know at least two things necessary to maintain a successful blog. One is that you have to post regularly. The rule of thumb seems to be 3 times per week, but I think 2 will suffice if you are consistent.

The other is to be part of the blogging community. I think you have to become part of a conversation. I’ve heard people complain that they’ve created a blog, but no one visits it. I think that unless you are already famous, if you build a blog, it doesn’t necessarily mean people will come. You have to participate, and the best way to do that is to find bloggers who share your interests, who interest and excite you, so that you don’t see it as a chore.

What is the point of blogging as an author? It can’t be solely for marketing and tooting your own horn. You must give to the community of bloggers something special, something original, some part of yourselves that they can relate to and have a conversation around.

The biggest things that get in my way are time and perfectionism. There never seems to be enough time in my schedule to post three times per week AND participate in the blogging community. As well, I tend to edit my posts several times. This can turn what should be a 20 minute post into an hour long exercise.

What are your secrets? Or what secrets have you been given by other bloggers? I would love to hear tips and advice on maintaining a successful blog.

Do you plan what you write in advance? Do you edit or keep the posts rough?

Do you have themes on certain days? Do you participate in themed communities (i.e. like Middle Grade Mondays)

Do you write first thing in the morning, getting up early on blog days? Do you put blogging tine in your regular schedule?

Do you think there are particular days of the week or times of the day that are better times to post? I’ve heard weekdays are better than weekends.

How do you maintain relationships within the blogging community? Do you have a plan, list, or schedule for visiting other blogs? Do you build that into your blogging time as well?

Do you write your posts in advance and “time release” them?

What value do you find in the blogs you visit? What do you think keeps readers coming back for more?

And on a more personal note:

What about my blog keeps you coming back? What are the things that I offer that you value? Is there anything in particular you’d like to see more of?

I enjoy blogging and reading other writer’s blogs. I would really like to be a more consistent, reliable, active blogger. Is it simply a matter of being committed and making it a priority?

I’m all ears!

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8 Comments

Filed under blogroll, writing life

8 responses to “Blogging Life: How do People do it?

  1. I too have trouble thinking of interesting topics in order to blog consistently. I try to participate in themed bloghops and such as much as possible because they help with things to write about. For example, right now I’m doing OctPoWriMo (31 poems in 31 days for October).

    As for visiting other blogs, I use Google Reader to keep track of the blogs I follow. It tells me when there’s new posts and it syncs from my computer to my tablet.

    It’s hard to put into words why I come back to blogs. Put simply, I read what interests me.

    • Thanks, Esther. I’ve participated in a few blog hops, and you’re right, they definitely make a blog more active. I like your OctPoWriMo hop. For some reason I thought “hops” were all about giveaways. Maybe because GoodReads was the first place I heard about them.

      I’ve subscribed through Google Reader, which is great for organizing the posts, but I got overwhelmed b/c I was subscribed to too many and I had to stop receiving notifications. Maybe I can pick my top 10 and get rid of the rest.

  2. I like blogging, but it is very time consuming. I’ve come to enjoy blogs that don’t post more than twice a week, because it’s hard for me to keep up with lots of blogs when they post more than that. I’m like you–where I edit a post to death before I finally publish it–which makes it take forever. Yet, I find it a nice way to sharpen my writing and push myself in different directions than my novels push me. I love getting to know other bloggers along the way, but get overwhelmed trying to be an interactive blogger consistently and get my writing done as well on my books. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes I deserve a standing ovation for how I balance on that tightwire…and other times I fall into the bucket of water with the clown standing by to taunt me.

    • yes, I’m sure it’s because i’m a writer that I edit the posts so much, seeing them not only as writing practice, but a reflection of myself professionally. it is a balancing act, I just haven’t found that balance yet.

  3. Let’s admit it, blogging is a major time suck. That said, there are great benefits that an author can’t afford not to be part of. Number one is being part of the conversation. I’m still struggling with that. I’ve posted everyday, three times a week and once a week. My goal is to do at least twice a week.
    Balance is what every author or writer stuggles with. I don’t think that ever changes because life changes. I’ve tried to get ahead on my posting and I’ve done it a few times. The problem is when I do that, I take advantage and use that week to write my brains out, but then the following week I’m right back where I started. It just doesn’t seem to make a difference in the long run. So here are some things that I try, the important word there is try, to do to balance my time.
    Make the blogposts short. No one really has the time to spend reading a huge diatribe about anything. Choose at least one day that you will consistently post, mine is Monday. I like it because it’s out of the way for the rest of the week. Figure out which subjects or old posts people keep visiting and create more like them. The number of friends is irrelevant, what’s important is the number of visitors your content pulls in. Write about what you care about. I’ve heard it said that you have to be focused in what your content is. If all I ever wrote about was one subject I would get bored. I write about what interests me, my writing is more passionate and meaningful that way.
    That’s a few of my suggestions. Think of your blog as a fluid thing, it evolves as you do as a blogger.

    • Thanks, Pamela, all good suggestions. It’s definitely a fluid thing and I’ve found what I blog about and the conversations i’ve participated in have changed over the years. I have heard as well about staying focused, and I do think that’s important. People want to know what they’re getting when they subscribe to a blog. Which I suppose is how people end up with mulitiple blogs for each area of life interest.

  4. I cannot keep up with anyone if they post more than 2x a week. And if I may be so bold, anyone who posts more than 2x a week, their quality seems to be lower than those who only post once or twice a week. I don’t have a lot to offer my readers in terms of knowledge or advice. But I do seem to be able to generate lively conversations when I get inspirational or talk about my struggles as a writer.

    I absolutely believe that the best way to get people to come back to read your blog (if we’re not famous) is if we visit and comment on other blogs. I don’t think it’s enough if our content is amazing. To get, we must give first.

    I would love to do a theme day (I love your theme days because I know what to expect from week to week). I have ideas brewing but haven’t gotten around to actually putting anything together. This time of year is far too busy anyway.

    Horrifyingly, I was at one time spending about 30 hours a week on blogging duties–this included composing my posts, editing my posts, replying to comments, visiting other blogs and commenting on them. Way too much. I cut down to about 15 hours a week doing all of that. I don’t get to visit as many posts anymore, so I pick and choose the ones that speak to me the most or make sure I’m visiting bloggers who are consistently visiting me. I won’t comment on posts that don’t really resonate with me–I simply don’t have the time. I feel awful about it, but it’s something I have to do if I want to maintain my sanity.

    • I’ve noticed that about your blog, Kate, that there tends to be a lot of conversation. Creating that is in itself a skill.

      30 hours a week! yikes. but I often wonder if people like Miss Snark’s First Victim spend that much on blogging? She not only writes posts about 5 times per week, she organizes all those contests and critiques. Must take up so much time. I love her site, though, and she has tons of followers. And I have no idea who she is. lol.

      Let me know if you start a theme day! 🙂

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