Finding your blogging balance
The practice of blogging does not only consist of writing but it usually also involves reading other blogs, commenting and networking. Most of us are not fulltime professional bloggers so how do you divide your (spare) time between all these different blogging aspects?
While writing new blog posts seems like the primary function of the blog at first it is not the only thing that counts. On top of that it depends on what kind of blog you run. Is it a personal blog, a professional blog or a news blog? The type of blog will determine your daily blogging schedule of either publishing several posts a day or just once a week.
The feedreader is a blogger’s best friend and worst enemy. The pitfall of keeping up with too many other blogs is that you don’t get into the act of writing anymore. Are you suffering from being overwhelmed by the amount of unread blog posts in your feedreader? I notice that I have a tendency of being sucked into my feedreader, unable to get out of it to actually write a new post. Try to unsubscribe from some blogs you hardly read or make a schedule with strict reading and writing hours.
Engaging in conversations by commenting is often considered an important aspect of blogging. Not only replying to your own readers’ comments but also on other blog posts. Lorelle VanFossen recently realized that she needed to comment more as “I haven’t been commenting as much as I’d like to on other blogs. I’m so wrapped up in my own little bloggy world, I forget to open the door and see what others are doing out there and give my feedback out there.” I find that I often try to keep up with all my feeds leaving me no time to leave a comment. Instead of trying to read tons of blog posts a day I am going to aim on trying to comment more.
I have a Technorati profile, a MyBlogLog profile and probably many more profiles on different blog networks yet I don’t ever do anything with these profiles. These services either exist to gather stats on your blog or to manage your blog community. I plan to visit my services and communities more often in order to socialize and network.
I am addicted to statistics. Technorati, Feedburner stats, I don’t care as long as it contains numbers. I spend a lot of time just staring at my blog’s statistics instead of focusing on the content or upgrading my plugins.
I think how you divide your time between different blogging activities determines what kind of blogger you are. Can we categorize bloggers by the time they spend on each aspect? Can we distinguish the reflective blogger, who mainly reads other blogs and writes a few long contemplative posts a month? Does it make sense to speak of the social blogger who writes regular posts with a fair amount of links and spends a great deal of time engaging in conversations and networking on blog networks.
I wish it was that easy. It is hard to put people in restricted categories and in the case of blogging bloggers it may be even more different because all these activities are part of the blogging experience. The key lies in dividing your (precious) time between all the aspects so that you feel happy about your blogging time. I am currently in the process of rethinking my blogging practices and how to spend my time.
Have you found your blogging balance yet?
Anne is a New Media Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. She participates as a blog researcher in the newly found Digital Methods Initiative of the University of Amsterdam. Anne also writes about blogging and academics on her personal blog and the collaborative Masters of Media blog.
I have not found blogging balance yet. It is mostly because I try very hard to write valuable content for my blog and that takes away a lot of time form me.
The talk of balance is great, one can get so wrapped up in his or hers own blog that they forget the rest of the blogging world. I will admit, by my own doing, encouraging questions on my own, blog I get caught up helping others and coming up with new content that I forget the rest of the blogging community.
Reading my feeds is always a good source of ideas for new content, I can elaborate on a point from one of the blogs or come up with a guide to write about, but yes I can get sucked in reading and not enough time writing.
I’m trying to find my balance, and I don’t even have that many statistics. I’m a little technically challenged (alright more than a little) and so I don’t have much in that regard. So much to learn!! :)
I am a new blogger of about 2 months and am pondering these very issues.
In the beginning I thought I’d narrowed it down and at the same time get used to all of it. That it would be a little less overwhelming.
In part, that has been what has happened but it’s still too early for me to tell completely, if ever.
I do appreciate your input and to know I’m not alone in these concerns for happy blogging.
Thank you for this post – especially the concept of blogging balance. I am a long term writer and novelist who leaped into starting a blog last week. Your post has made me realise I need to step back, draw a breath, work out more clearly what I want my blog to do and how I am going to do it.
Yikes! I need a plan!
Otherwise I can see that this blogging world could chew you up and leave you with RSI and IDS (Incessant Dissatisfaction Syndrome).
This talk of blogging balance is great. :)
I really do wish I would find my blogging balance. The idea was to write two posts a week. Now I barely manage one a month. I find it is really hard work to come up with a good topic and find the time to write a good piece on it. Sometimes I wonder, if the focus of my blog isn’t tight enough. Anyway, I tried to keep up the motivation and let go of the pressure by posting once a month. Once I post a new blog, several new ideas pop into my head. So, I suppose you just have to keep going.
I really do wish I improve my blogging balance. I started as a news blogger, but for the last couple of months I have turned into a fully personal blogger, which I find really satisfying… what I need to work upon now is on finding good topics….which takes a lot of time….
I am not sure if I’ll be achieving blogging balance anytime soon. My blog is not only my blog, but a professional portfolio and a personal website as well. Being a new blog and that the content is mostly of a technical nature my targeted audience is obviously narrowed to the point where it will most likely take much longer for me to gain even a few interested readers. This leaves me with a lot of time to do other things.
If you find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands while you wait for a readership to begin is it best to continue writing articles with your space time or is it better to work on things such as commenting that help you “advertise” to build the readership? This is the the hurdle I’m working to overcome right now.
I try to read as much as I write. It gives me ideas on what I may be able to write about in my own blog which might interest my readers. Oh, and then other people at the blog reading my comments (which I ofcourse make :D), will see my site, and probably read that one too. Haha. :D
Before writing a post for my blog I tend to have a good idea what I want to write about, but I just spend a bit of time having a look around to see what other people are posting, which helps me think about what I can write about next time. I try and write informative posts which readers will find of interest, but this takes me a while to do.
I interest to write with picture.