Monday, November 14, 2016

6 Ways to Manage the Demands of Blogging






As you know, blogging is a wonderful way to meet people, sharpen writing skills, make connections, and market services and books. There's no getting around it, though, blogs require attention and care. Writing content, posting, general site upkeep, responding to comments, visiting others' blogs, etc., it can get overwhelming at times. How can we keep stress to a minimum? Here are 6 tips that have helped and inspired me.

1) Keep posts short.

Long posts are great, but short ones can offer good info and interaction too. It doesn't hurt to take the pressure off sometimes, sharing brief thoughts, a quote, or simply asking your readers one question. A high word count doesn't guarantee quality content or reader engagement.

2) Schedule posts in advance.

This is probably the best thing since the invention of the blog. Whether you're going away, looking ahead to a super busy month, or have an idea for a July post strike you in February, scheduling ahead can be a lifesaver.

3) Offer regular features.

Author Susan J. Reinhardt's Friday blog posts share interesting links and info. Ask the Expert, a staple at veteran freelance writer Jennifer Brown Banks' site, offers great interviews. Regular features here include Meet the Blogger and Miscellaneous Monday. These types of posts provide good content and can be scheduled in advance.

4) Post less often.

There are no blogging laws dictating post frequency. Sure, you want to be consistent so that readers know when to expect good content, but that doesn't mean you must post every day. When I began blogging, I posted twice a week. I'm down to once a week now with an occasional extra post as necessary. This better suits my schedule, as I suspect you prefer a sane Karen over an overworked, scattered one. 

5) Find a good time management balance.

This is an ongoing challenge, with family, work, social media, and other demands. But we need to find and maintain our right balance. It's tricky, but it can and must be done to be healthy and productive. Allow yourself space and grace, too, when things don't go as planned. In ten years, it won't matter if you miss a post or forget to tweet. 

6) Take a break.

A little time to regroup, refresh, and catch up on other things is therapeutic. Plus it gives you time to stock up on chocolate or other necessities. I hate to say it, but the blogging world will manage in our absence. And that's okay. They'll miss us, of course, but they'll soldier on until we get back.


Basic tips? Yes. But ones worth revisiting when feeling uninspired or overwhelmed. At least for me, anyway. :)

How do you manage blogging's demands?

Happy writing, 

Karen 



 Photo credit: F. Turco

27 comments :

  1. Hi Karen - my posts are usually long - but then I only post about once a week. I'm trying to catch my tail and fill in the gaps up to the A-Z next year, which because I missed this year's ... I can then have time to do a few other things.

    We have some wonderfully interesting bloggers, who share some amazing information and are so supportive ... cheers Hilary

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  2. I really agree with everything you say, although my interviews break the short post rule. I always hope by bolding the questions that people can pick and choose what to read. I plan out my interview schedule 6-9 months in advance because it takes so long to do and I want authors to save an ARC. I've also cut back to mostly one day of blogging. I still enjoy blogging but don't want it to be such a time suck and that seemed like a good solution.

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  3. Great tips here, Karen. I especially like the last one. I can go through long periods of having a nice full schedule of prewritten posts and wonderful guests, then just hit a wall and need a break. And sometimes life gets in the way of making blogging a priority. You're right that readers will get along just fine without a post for a week when I have the flu--like last week!

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  4. Hilary,
    Your posts are a treat to read, packed with info and personality. Hope I didn't sound as though I hate long posts. I don't. I just like short ones as a break sometimes. Plus too, things can be brief and pack a punch as well. Take care! :)

    Natalie,
    Well, your interviews are different too, as they have a great purpose and are informative. You provide a great service for readers and authors. It's a matter of what we can do, for like you said, blogging can easily turn into that time suck.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  5. Laurel,
    Thanks so much. Ah, I do the same, my schedule is packed with posts and then suddenly the well is dry. The blogging wall - that's a good way to put it! lol Appreciate your thoughts here. :) Hope you're feeling better!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  6. Posting once a week has saved my sanity.
    My posts look long, but there are a lot of images. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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  7. Extending yourself grace is one point I need so I don't get so hard on myself that I give up. And not getting caught in the FOMO trap of Social Media! All great points today, Karen!

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  8. Excellent tips, Karen. I remember when I first started in 2008 that the rule was to blog every day. A few years of that and most everyone was exhausted. Today, my favourites blog less frequent, but I find their blogs much more enriching. Or maybe it's because I'm now able to keep up with their posts.

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  9. I do all that too! My regular feature post this year are about flower lore and stuff. I wrote them all last December and scheduled them. :) I knew this month would be crazy so I prepared all the posts in advance too. It has been really helpful.

    I do like the idea of varying post sizes. Breaking in with a short one now and then is great for us reader too. ;)

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  10. Alex,
    LOL - well, long posts are great, but sometimes short ones are just as good. Your posts are a happy mix of info and graphics, and always entertaining! :)

    Lynn,
    Yes, I need to major on that grace part too. :) FOMO, I fall into that sometimes as well. And life goes on here in the blogosphere no matter what. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.

    Joylene,
    Every day - can you imagine trying to keep up with that today? Oh my. Although with your blog tour, it's almost like you're posting every day lately, right? lol :) Cheering you on to the finish line!

    Holly,
    Love those flower posts. Never would have guessed they were scheduled in advance. Good show! lol :) I think you're right, readers often appreciate the variety, especially when short on time.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  11. Great tips! Short posts are fun to do and I think people appreciate them too.

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  12. I try to have rather short posts. Sometimes, I find myself going longer with one. I noticed that our friend, Susan J Reinhardt was on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. I tried that; it worked for me. When I was released from the nursing home late last year, I went to a schedule of two times a week, until I got through in-home therapy. I am unsure of which way I will go for 2017. I am waiting to receive direction.

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  13. I adore the short and informative posts. There are some bloggers that have mastered the long post and pull me in, but they are few. As to breaks. . . yes. I've got one coming up. I keep promising myself time off, but now it's becoming essential. Thanks, Karen.

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  14. Great insights, Karen. I always wished I could schedule posts ahead of time, but never quite got to that point. I'm also down to about two posts a month, more manageable at the moment since a number of other things have picked up recently. The blogging pace is a little slower, but enough to keep the fun going without too much pressure :-)

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  15. Hi Karen - Thanks for the shout out. :) Scheduling posts is a lifesaver for me. When I broke my wrist, I was able to have blog posts for several weeks during my recovery before taking a blogging vacation. My biggest challenge - limiting social media.

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  16. Lynda,
    Thank you! I agree. Some of my favorite shorter posts are Tyrean's 5 Reasons series. Good stuff. :)

    Cecelia,
    I think it's a matter of finding what works for each of us, you know? I'm sure you'll do what's best for you and your schedule. :)

    Lee,
    I hear you. I don't always have time for the really long posts, so I do appreciate brevity when I visit. Have a great break! :)

    Kenda,
    Thanks so much. :) I like that, fun without too much pressure. Sounds like you've found a good balance.

    Susan,
    You're welcome! I like your regular features, so it was share worthy. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  17. Jennifer Brown BanksTuesday, November 15, 2016

    Thanks so much for the mention, Karen. And thanks for these useful tips. I especially agree with the one about scheduling posts.
    Have a great day!

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  18. Excellent advice, Karen! I too only post once a week--a change from three times a few years ago--and schedule my posts in advance. I also try to keep my posts short. People don't have time to read long posts!

    One other thing I do that helps: I don't take it so seriously. That's helps with all of life, not just blogging.

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  19. Jennifer,
    You are welcome! It's a good feature.:) Scheduling is a great help, isn't it?

    Jeanette,
    This is good advice. I think sometimes we're all tempted to take ourselves too seriously. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  20. All awesome bits of advice. I think I employ all of them, but especially important is figuring out how to make blogging work around your schedule, rather than letting it overwhelm you.

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  21. Hi Karen! Yes, I have to remember to run out and grab some chocolate..soon!
    I have cut back to blogging once a week myself, although I started out writing three times a week. I still don't really know how I did that. Scheduling time to write and edit is so hard these days, and like you, I have discovered the power of a good blog-break.
    Having posts 'in the queue' is a great tip too. If I am inspired to write on a few different topics, it's great because I'll have material when the well becomes dry.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  22. Crystal,
    Thank you! :) Appreciate your thoughts here. :) Avoiding being overwhelmed - yes, that's a big key to success.

    Ceil,
    Chocolate, yes! :D We love that. Lol You know, I don't know how I maintained even my twice a week posts either. We're busy enough, right?

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  23. Good advice, all. I used to post three times a week and it was killing me. I dropped back to one and restored my sanity. Sometimes we are our own worst bosses, aren't we? lol

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  24. It's not my own posts that kill me, it's making the rounds to everyone else. I know I can't expect people to visit and comment on my blog if I'm not reciprocating and that takes a lot of time. How do you manage it?

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  25. Lisa,
    Thank you! Yes, I think you're right, sometimes we are our own worst bosses.:)

    LD,
    Making those rounds is hard sometimes, I agree. I don't always manage it well, and am often running behind in that department! :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  26. These tips are amazing. The one I really want to get better at or do more is to schedule posts in advance. I have had it as my goal for a while and haven't gotten a start on it. I feel like it would make blogging that much easier for me. So- I hope soon I can get a couple posts scheduled in advance and work from there. :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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  27. Jess,
    Thank you! I'm glad you liked the post. Just sharing what helps me. Hope you can get something going with the scheduled posts! :)
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!