Managing the Stress of Blogging

This past weekend, the New York Times ran a semi-sensational article about the stressful – possibly life-threatening – nature of blogging. The headline read: “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop“.

The article highlights the pressure to relentlessly post day after day, poor health habits from sitting before a computer screen, and bad separation between home and work – tricky since blogging is usually done at home. Without limits, there is the temptation to forgo sleep to blog.

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People Are Commenting On Your Blog Posts – On Other Websites

Imagine this scenario:

  1. You write a post on your blog.
  2. Someone submits your blog post to a link-sharing site like Digg, StumbleUpon, or FriendFeed.
  3. Tons of people comment on that link on Digg, Mixx, or FriendFeed, and an interesting conversation ensues independent of your blog.
  4. Meanwhile, your blog proper has: 0 comments.

Does this bother you as a blogger? How about as a user?

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Tech Bloggers Are Joining FriendFeed: Give It A Try

It seems this year the technology blogosphere is latching onto “lifestreaming” or “social network aggregation” as a new web service to explore. In plain English, this means pulling in your activity on selected social sites into one website or feed. So instead of checking in on ten different websites to see what people are up to, you can visit just one.

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The Shock Of Revisiting Old Posts

Now on my second year of blogging, with well over a thousand posts published, I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t remember the majority of what I’ve written about.

Normally, the only time I revisit an old post is when I receive a comment on it. But even then, I don’t normally re-read said post. I merely skim it to jog my memory as to what it was about, so that I can respond to the commenter. I then reply to the reader’s comment – and that old post leaves my consciousness.

I very rarely take the time to “re-read” old posts.

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When Not To Post

The more time I spend blogging, the different angles I find to stay motivated. Lately, I’ve been having no trouble coming up with blog ideas, and have a list of subjects that will last me many months. So I’ve actually spent some thought into when not to post – when an idea isn’t worth writing about.

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25 Blog Improvement Tips For The New Year

Now that 2007 is behind us, I offer a quick inspirational list of things any blogger can do to “jump start” their blog in the new year.

1. Figure out what you’re really an expert in. Maybe it’s time to write about that instead of chasing what’s popular.

Blog Herald: Don’t Blog About That Which You Understand Not

2. Put your readers first. Ultimately, the point of any blog is to be read by readers, and putting content first. Sounds obvious, but with all the crazy blogging details like traffic, SEO, etc., many seem to may forget this simple concept. Do a mental reboot and look at your blog as if you were a reader who just happened upon your blog. Would you read the article you found, or click the back button, never to return?

3. Subscribe to other blogs. Find some new, unfamiliar blogs and subscribe to their feeds. One place to look is your Twitter or MyBlogLog followers (you are signed up for those services, aren’t you?)

4. Comment on other blogs. When was the last time you visited all the blogs on your blog roll and left a comment?

Lorelle: Blogging Challenge: Comment on 10 Blogs

5. Link to other blogs. The Internet is all about sharing information and links are one way to make this plain for all to see.

iBlog You Blog: The Importance Of Outgoing Links

6. Have a reader survey to find out what your readers really think about your blog. Here’s a plugin you can use:

SurveyFly

7. Change your ads around. It’s a good idea to change placement of your ads periodically into new configurations.

Problogger: Positioning Your Adsense Ads

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How To Blog Smarter While On Vacation

There’s a general feeling that we bloggers can write from any location, anywhere world wide. Portable computers and WiFi suggest that physical location is irrelevant. You could blog about stocks from a beach in Thailand, new Apple gear from a snow bank in Maine, or culinary adventures from a carpeted airport floor.

But after a vacation in a more rural environment, my opinion of “blog anywhere” has changed. I brought my laptop, but my access to the internet was limited, as was my interest in writing due to a flurry of holiday activity.

Some thoughts:

Internet access is not ubiquitous. Blogging by definition requires internet access – even with a WordPress blog set up to publish via email, you still have to send that email.

My experience: Some places I stayed at lacked Internet access (don’t ask) while others didn’t have WiFi. At one point I resorted to transferring files to another computer via burned CD.

Solutions: Reliable computer, USB flash drive, personal Wi-Fi router, internet enabled cellphone, Ethernet cable.

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