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Blogging, Content Creation and Time Management

winged clockI think that Chris Brogan nailed this in his articles.   We bloggers have sovereign power or authority over the construct of and content in our blogs. Without us there is no blog content to optimized and indexed; to promote; to attract readers; to  provide a base for interactive discussion; and to form a foundation for blog centered relationship building.

Content is what readers come to our blogs to read and discuss. In order to create an effective and successful blog the blogger must become a prolific writer of quality content that calls readers to action. Chris writes in the context of being an independent blogger and provides tips on “cranking out content” more consistently.

It’s easy to get distracted as a blogger – but one thing you can’t ignore is creating content for your blog.  — Darren Rowse — Blogging: Focus on Content Creation

Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni reminds us:  We live in the age of information overload and there is going to be an increased emphasis – and value – placed upon great content. Great content cuts through the clutter, helps you think through your challenges and provides you with insights as to what you need to do next.

4 Timely Tips

  • Provide the information people want
  • Speak with authority to build credibility
  • Get to the point
  • Present yourself with confidence

The Content

I look for common sense, researched information and true feelings expressed. — What do you look for in a blog?

  • an attention grabbing title that accurately reflects the content
  • original and unique
  • focused
  • is free of typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors
  • post length preferences vary from reader to reader – some prefer brevity  and simplicity- content presented in bullet points –  structured in  short paragraphs with space between them, others prefer longer more comprehensive posts
  • has substance
  • is updated regularly
  • informs or teaches me something
  • entertains  me
  • contains humor (clean)
  • inspires me
  • challenges me
  • contains an invitation to participate in discussion and helps readers  add to the content of the post, so everyone benefits
  • has a graphic or photo to add some visual interest

Interaction with readers

Readers have real lives to live. Time of the essence and they want to make the best possible use of  it.    After reading content and leaving a comment they expect a human response that leads to connection with other people — connection to the person, who produced the content and to others discussing it.

The Blogger

The character of the blogger is the most important thing to me. I like to feel there’s a real person behind the words reaching out to me, to move and touch me with their own unique experience and vision of life. — What do you look for in a blog?

  • is an authentic person who is both passionate and knowledgeable about their topic without being condescending
  • is original with a feisty spirit of can do
  • provides a profile and a statement of purpose for the blog
  • states how frequently new content is usually published
  • provides links to sites with high quality resources in posts and in blogroll
  • provides contact information
  • responds to readers’ comments

Bloggers have real lives to live. Time of the essence and they want to make the best possible use of  it.  An organized approach is what it takes but content creation and relationship building take time. And it appears that “tweets” and “likes” may not exactly be replacing backlinks butCreating a social media time strategy to insure the time you spend on social networking is effectively spent grows more challenging every day.

Time Management

This brings me to effective time management.  Scheduling enough time for creating original content, promoting it through social media and social networks, answering comments, locating similar blogs, reading and leaving comments on other blogs, link building and relationship building — OMG! it’s mission impossible.

Discussion

Where to you draw the lines? I’m still figuring that out myself.

What about the rest of you? How do you allocate your blogging time?

Related posts found in this blog:
How to be an organized blogger: Remember the Milk
Get organized with Toodledo

38 thoughts on “Blogging, Content Creation and Time Management

  1. I appreciate if the blogger gave some basic clue of who they were. Even just 1 sentence.

    We have to remember that it’s our personal choice of having a blog (if it’s personal) and then, what we want to do about it for the near future. But it can be a challenge since life can throw some major unexpected curveballs, where virtual acquaintances are less of a priority compared to in-person folks in life.

    One thing that has helped me include all sorts of photos..is that both he and I have large personal digital photo collections that we have taken photos for past few years, before blogs existed. So that solves 85% of need shoot a photo specifically for a blog post.

    I do advance post some blog articles but writing and editing text/photos takes time. Does anyone blog by sending emails into their blog or comment on the blogs via iPhone? I’ve only email once into my blog because Internet web access was slow at a hotel in Europe.

    Not sure if people are interested in my online personality to return to my blogs, but more what my writing style /tone seems to be or the content itself.

  2. Great article. I have found that spending less time on the Stats page and concentrating more on posting has, in itself, resulted in more traffic. With each new post comes the opportunity to promote the blogs afresh and with more relevance.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I have observed that many new bloggers spend and extraordinary amount of time fretting over stats and asking others how their compare. Well, time spent comparing apples to oranges will not result in an increase in targeted readers. Learning and applying basic SEO to the content we create, forming relationships with other bloggers in the same niche by commenting on their blogs, and effective blog promotion in social media is what leads to increasing targeted readers.

  3. As a blogger when I started, I would try and post one or two posts a day and soon I hit the writer’s block :)

    Later, I managed to restrict myself to 3-4 posts a week and devote more time for reading other people’s blog. Reading other blog in different niches make you aware of all the happenings and you are never short of ideas. It then become a matter of prioritizing what to write next.

    To create good content, I guess one needs to read as many blogs in different subjects. It definitely helps in writing a balanced post.

  4. When you are wearing many hats, it can be difficult to assign a time to put on your blogging cap and create the content your site needs and your readers deserve.

    In preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving break, our team decided we needed to get a few steps ahead on our email promotions. As we build our fall and winter line, I also needed to write additional product descriptions. Meanwhile, we’re preparing to launch a new iPhone app (our first) which required additional marketing research.

    All of this altered my original plan to dedicate a few hours on alternate days to create content. I do check comments daily but sometimes get so lost in the swirl of other daily demands that the blog suffers.

    Last night, I used a few evening items to finally get a fresh post up.

    Looking over the other comments, I can see am not the only one having trouble with this juggling act.

    Thanks for the post! I’m eager to see how others are handling these time management issues.

    1. No, you are not alone. Additional technology designed to present our content to a wider audience was supposed to make things easier. It doesn’t. Social networking is time consumptive.

  5. I shift from writing posts to reading friend’s stuff on FB to writing poetry to taking photos and then back again in a different order depending on the mood. Finding time is not a problem because I’m retired. But turning away from social media (FB in my case) is not in the cards. Because it’s such a great place to communicate with others. Blog comments on the other hand have always been a problem for one reason or another. There have been a few wonderful bloggers who do comment like yourself or Robin or RecycleCindy but on the other hand there are so many irritating comments. Spam is disguise of one sort or another. That’s just not an issue for me on FB.
    I would say that putting all social media in the same category is not something I would do. Twitter is not much help in terms of slowly growing relationships.

  6. @time hey, i do believe you know what you are talking about. and i also do believe that i can’t wait til you get your pc fixed, because i have a million questions for you. if you have the TIME and willingness, i’d love for you to help guide me to the initial most important steps of getting things working with the search engines, and then progress up to the next most important and so on. even if you just start pointing me in the direction of a blog. i have no doubt that you know much more than i about getting content noticed, and i am all too eager to take the right steps, i just need someone to hold my hand and guide me

  7. I love your link and the discussion about creating interesting posts. There is a conflict(in me) between writing trivia and putting something personal about what i write for my blog. And your post about reader’s preference may vary-some like it short. You create something to talk about in your post. You are a person who likes to talk about ideas and this is what makes you original. What I also like about you is that you are sincere with your posts not only in your blog but to the blogs you visit. You do take time to really read-as well as read between the lines-and this is rare these days in a generation when people have such low attention span. Thanks for trying to put everything in the right place.

    1. @celticmusicfan
      I’m bowled over by the compliments you have paid me. Thank you so much. I like your blog a lot. We share a love of celtic music but I have so little time to visit, read, listen and comment. That, in part, is what prompted this post. I’m over stretched and need to make some adjustments so I can focus more on reading and commenting on other blogs like yours. Best wishes to you and thanks so much for your kindness.

  8. TT – Very interesting post and found it very timely for me. Lately I haven’t had the time to craft and blog about it as much as I usually have done in the past. I have found myself deciding between quality blog posts and having longer periods between posts. In my case, I have justified the longer breaks between posts because I do have so much content on my site which people can use by reviewing the archived patterns and craft projects.

    Thanks for the statement about blogger’s having real lives and yes, it is an impossible mission at times to keep up on all that goes with having a quality blog.

    1. @Cindy,
      Like you I made the choice some time ago now to publish only high quality posts and to do so less frequently. I find if I publish one post on Tuesday or Wednesday and another closer to the weekend I achieve the best I can re:visitors, page views ans comments. I also have a large archive of 500 posts that provide much useful information and my stats do reflect that visitors are reading it. :) Thanks for contributing to this post. :)

  9. Thank you for a great post, which led me to Editorial Calendar plugin, which I installed, and now my blogging life looks much more organized now. Hopefully it will remain organized.

    Over my three years of blogging I’ve experimented with several publishing schedules:daily, weekly, monthly, 3x weekly, 2x weekly, 5x weekly, but I’m not sure which one that has generated the best content. Usually I’ll get up early (as in very early) while the rest of the family is still sleeping to write my posts.As my blog is for reviewing scientific papers and books mostly I have no problem finding topics (i.e. books and articles); I have stacks of them on my desk. The problem is finding the time to write about them all, and sometimes I really have to restrain myself and tell myself that my readers can wait for that particular posts another day or two. What they don’t know, they won’t miss.

    Interestingly, my publishing schedule has had very little to say for my visitor stats. Frequent posting does not immediately translate into more visitors. That said, it has been a steady (but slow) growth with the stats doubling every year. Years ago I would be happy to see 50/day now I’m sad if it’s not 500/day.

    Besides, writing too much too often leaves not enough time for interacting with other bloggers, commenting on other blogs, promoting my post on social media etc., so I think I’ll go back to posting less often, more thought-out posts and spend more time socializing in the blogosphere, because that is what draws in traffic anyway, as it creates more visibility than simply churning out post after post.

    1. @Jan,
      Like you I have no problem finding topics to blog on. I have tried the whole range when it comes to frequency of publishing and varying the length of posts. I have also found that my publishing schedule shows little change in my stats. I have settled on publishing 2 -3 times weekly on both blogs and I only publish what I consider to be quality content. I believe I need to decrease the time I spend on social networking and increase the time I spend on commenting. Thanks for sharing your approach and future plans as well. I appreciate it.

  10. Oof. What a topic. When I started blogging, I worried it would eat up more of my time than I originally intended. Sadly, I was right! Yet I enjoy it very much. Not just the blogging, but the blogging community, as well. With that in mind, I have to say that if I stuck to just the writing part, things wouldn’t be so bad. What I find myself doing, though, is spending more time than needed on forums and commenting on othe posts, etc. Why do I do it? Because I enjoy it. Still, there are times when I know I have to reign it in a little. The line for me is still blurry. I need to work on time allocation. Hopefully, one day I’ll have the time to do it! ;)

  11. hey timethief. nice piece. and i do mean the blog :) i am very new to this game, but i still struggle with the time management. i can’t spend my whole life blogging and on the pc to promote it. the problem is, i am laid off right now, and i’d like to get it established before i go back, so that i can do less of the promoting, and more of the writing when i have less time available. i’ve always liked writing, not sure why i didn’t do this before, but here i am. anyway, i find writing generally doesn’t take too much time. maybe an hour a day or so to write a blog. but i can only write when i’m motivated, when something strikes me, when i find my muse. but i do my best to update 5 times a week.

    the social networking doesn’t take too long, but i had that established before i started blogging. and i’m kind of counting on other methods to get traffic to my site. the problem is, it seems difficult. i have children, and tho i would like to read blogs all day long, i just can’t. so i’ve found it difficult to connect with other bloggers thus far. even tho i do believe that is probably the most likely way to get regular readers. but i have a limited amount of time, whether it be from not being at the house, or just having to wait for the children’s naptime, or bedtime, to really be able to focus on writing and promoting. and i can get caught up trying to do everything at once, which actually gets not much done.

    i find that i am focusing on quality (at least what i think of as quality) content. like in fieid of dreams “if you build it, they will come.” i’m counting on the content to bring people back. so beyond writing, i just am focused on getting any traffic to my site that i can, because i believe that it can draw readers, if i can get them there.

    i actually bought a smart phone, which will be here tomorrow, and i’m hoping it will help me connect and promote. it gives me the ability to social network when away from home, and stay tapped in without spending hours, but a few minutes here and there checking and responding. might be a valuable tool in a networkers hand. we shall see.

    1. Thanks so much for weighing in on this discussion. I hear you when you say you can only write when you are motivated, and I’m impressed you can make the time to create content and publish 5 times weekly. That’s no small feat when you have kids to parent too.

      I don’t buy into the “if you build it they will come” scenario because it completely misses a step. One can have the best content in the world but if it isn’t found then where will traffic come from?

      A healthy blog with a growing readership gets a significant amount of traffic from search engines. You can’t “draw” readers unless or until your posts are appearing in good positioning in the SERPs (search engine page results). So focusing on creating quality content and optimizing it is even more important if you haven’t much time to social network. In fact most traffic to most blogs comes to them as a result of people using search engines to find specific content.

      Best wishes with your smartphone promotion plan and thanks so much for taking the time to share your blogging experience. :)

  12. I’m still figuring out how often I will end up blogging. Over the past few weeks, several life-changing events have happened, including a death of a family member. So in terms of drawing the “line”, for myself, is providing oneself lots of breathing space and head space to take a break from blogging for awhile and reconsider how to approach certain topics.

    Before even considering the audience, the blogger must take good care of themselves mentally in order to write well and to engage the reader without overstepping boundaries of their own personal face-to-face relationships with loved ones.

    1. Dear Jean,
      When read this I wept because it’s so true:

      Before even considering the audience, the blogger must take good care of themselves mentally in order to write well and to engage the reader without overstepping boundaries of their own personal face-to-face relationships with loved ones.

      I’m so sad to hear about the death in your family. Unresolved grief does not dissipate, Jean – we need to experience it. So so not follow that nonsense about just getting back to work and distracting yourself form dealing with the emotions that arise. Experience the grieving process fully because if you don’t the next death will bring it all back again. I joined a grief group and I’m so glad I did that. Perhaps you ought to consider joining one too.

      With much love,
      TiTi

  13. What a great topic. The comments and the post are wonderful.

    I struggle with this too- well, I say I struggle, but I think I’ve decided to try going with the flow. If I feel like writing, I do. If I don’t have it in me to write something worth reading, I don’t. Well, I take that back- I’ve been sick lately, and have posted a few reruns. I’ve written hundreds of stories, essays, etc., and a lot of new readers haven’t read my old stuff (because my blog’s not that well organized). So instead of feeling guilty for now writing, I’m just rehashing a bit until I’m well.

    I try to remember my reasons for starting a blog in the first place– having fun, and staying in the habit of writing. I knew nothing about stats or readership or Technorati rankings. It was great. So…I’m kind of going back to my old happy place (but wow- my heart still went pitty pat when I was on FP a few weeks ago).

    Okay, I’m rambllng. Back to bed. Thank you for another wonderful post.

    1. @Moonbeam
      I’m sorry you aren’t well right now and as we both suffer from long term health conditions and chronic pain my heart goes out to you.

      When I noticed I was reminding myself of the reasons I began to blog I realized I needed to go back to that “happy place” too. Now I’m trying to chart a new course so I experience that beginner blogger’s joy each and every day.

      With much love,
      TiTi

  14. One more masterpiece from you! Thanks, I know I can always expect great quality posts from you!

    Ok, now I know, I know I probably don’t have a solution to the issue because I am very much a novice blogger ;), but I have tried to keep this issue from becoming a problem to me, by being realistic and practical in my approach.. :)

    Because I want to do justice to all the areas of my blog and to show my readers that I care:

    I separate and handle my time management challenges delicately keeping in mind my limitations (read job, family, kids, house – aka personal life) and the below is why I probably have a very small readership pool :)

    Creating original content: I post something once in 10 days. That way, I have a couple of solid one-one-time days for my readers and posting back replies.

    Locating similar new writers: I read around 1 or 2 days in a week and post comments.

    Getting back to my old favorite writers and Relationship building: “Staying in touch with what I like to read”: 2 days in a week

    Unfortunately, I haven’t gone through your material about promoting my site. Twitter etc. At least cannot until a little while longer, mainly because I realize it is a commitment that I will not be able to do justice to now. !

    Thanks TT, always engaging content :)

    1. Dear Heart,
      I’m enjoying getting to know you and I do intend to make the time to get to know your blog as well. I have made so few visits and have yet to really hunker down and read your content closely.

      I appreciate you sharing how you allocate your time. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was seeking. Blogging and maintaining a healthy and happy off-line life is a delicate balancing act. I don’t feel I am a success unless all aspects of my life are in balance and currently they aren’t. That means I need to rethink, reorganize and then act and adjust to make corrections that lead to me feeling better about how I am conducting my life.

      Thanks so much for commenting and being patient waiting for an answer. :)

      1. Thanks Titi for being so honest in your responses.. Your articles are getting more and more personable, and so I am just bigger fan now!! And one of the most thrilling words that I have read in my blogging life has come out of your response now, that have checked out my blog.. Thanks!! An honor!

        Hope you can sort out and de-clutter your brain soon (that’s what I like to call it and struggle with everyday.. :) )

        Good luck and hope your van issues also get resolved asap!!
        Rach

  15. Timethief, i swear you are psychic… I am struggling exactly with this right now (like today’s to-do!). For the commercial blog I have proposed – and been told to go ahead with – a campaign of engagement with other targeted sites and blogs in an effort to subtly promote ours within new and different audiences. I know it will be a big commitment of time – and my contract terms will have to reflect that – and I have to get bang for the buck out of it for us too – wrap into this stream of thought all your posts and conversations about building readership and commenting communities on one’s own blog.

    I also am having a big think about the content of that blog, and how to subtly shift content and or style, at least in part, to appeal to a different and broader audience than we are aware of following us now.

    Meanwhile, back at my OWN blog… I cannot let that languish, and need to structure time and energy for that too, as I consider it to be my professional calling card. My commercial engagement is theoretically part time, and I want to build my own profile as a writer independently of what I do for them, in hopes of drawing other engagements. yoikes!

    So no answers yet on how I allocate my time, but I have to come up with a plan in the next few days, track how life really happens thereafter, and maybe by end of year or in a few months I’ll know if it was a good plan or not… As always, profound thanks for all the guidance along the way.

    1. @Cynthia,
      It’s always good to hear from you. I’m not psychic but I do believe that many bloggers may be facing the same struggles.

      When one has an offline life, a business to run, contracted work to do, relationships to maintain with spouses, family and friends, non-profit work, and hobbies – blogging can become a burden rather than a joy.

      I have long been passionate about blogging and remain so, but something has to “give” here because I want to spend more time on my reader’s blogs and less on non-productive hours spent in social networking.

      I don’t want any aspect of my blogging to become a burden so I am willing to make changes to preserve my joy. I’m seeking readers’ feedback because I value my reader’s loyalty and comments very highly.

      Thanks so much for being a regular reader of onecoolsitebloggingtips.com. I appreciate it very much.

  16. HI TiTi,
    This is really one topic that all us blogger have been challenged with. When i started out, I was in mad rush for comments…but now the complacency has set it. I don’t mind if I don’t get comments cause I know the subscribers are increasing irrespective. I prefer to think of regular subscribers&commenters as my family. I give them time. Hence having a mailing list especially for the email subscribers has helped me develop a great bond with each of them.

    The other thing I love is facebook and twitter. I might not spend all that much time on there…but I try to write what I know a reader wants. Believe me the last topic i.e the Know your true self series on the blog was a result of so many readers asking the same question.

    My personal strategy after almost 2 years in blogging is give quality time to whatever you do. Online or offline. I think of my readers. I don’t post too often…I don’t want to bombard their inboxes with “too much”…they have lives too. I write twice a week. Comment and social media just for an hour a day, which includes email etc. Ok I might not be all over the internet promoting myself…but it doesn’t matter. Once you have developed that bond with a reader – the readers themselves help you promote your stuff. But yes the initial not knowing where to start can be daunting.

    Today I cherish my time online and offline so much. I appreciate every tweet every comment every facebook interaction….and I show that appreciation. That creates bonds. Show your appreciation.

    I’m still not a blogger par excellence..and probably never will be…..but I know i am good human being and I know that attracts the right readers.
    I always believe “slow and steady”….not “fast and furious” :)

    You know TiTi it also helps when you don’t have any ulterior motives behind the blog itself…i mean when you do it out of love and passion like you do….the genuineness shows. This world is full of hoaxes…and finding genuine people is like finding a diamond in the rubble. Good bloggers without ulterior motives are like that.

    Thank you fro broaching this topic dear heart. I look forward to learning more about time management online. Maybe i can get more done in less time and still have a life ;)
    Lots of love,
    Z~

    1. @zeenat
      Thanks so much for your contribution. I appreciate your focus on focusing on whatever we are doing. I prioritize that too. My primary focus has always been spending most of my time on content creation.

      In hind-site I believe I have spent far too much time on promoting my posts in social networks with very poor return for doing so.

      I am unhappy that the majority of my Twitter followers do not retweet my posts. Twitter has never brought significant traffic to either of my blogs. I find the claims of relationship building with strangers by use of Twitter to be unsubstantiated. I dislike the character limit set on Twitter and by far prefer friedeggs.com where that limitation is not found. Also note that friedeggs,com pushes out our posts to twitter and to 3 other social networks for us.

      Most of all, what I have lost by spending so much time on social networking is the time to comment on my readers’ blogs and that simply won’t do. I need to rethink and reorganize and that’s why I published this post.

      I’m seeking reader feedback so I can learn from what my readers are doing visa vis their time management strategies. I want to obtain as much information as I can about how my reader’s allocate their time in order to come up with a better approach.

      Love and peace,
      TiTi

  17. TT

    Creating quality, engaging, and original content is the greatest challenge for any blogger, new and seasoned alike. It takes time. Becoming a prolific writer takes time, the exception being those who are trained writers, or those born with a way with words. As you said creating content is time consuming. Finding ideas, researching, drafting, editing, publishing, promoting. It’s all very demanding.

    Time certainly is of the essence for the blogger and reader. Time management? Well, time is like money, you have to make it. For me I will try to write early in the morning before the distractions of the day demand more of my time. I find myself now in the habit of networking on Twitter for a couple of hours in the evening, tweeting other peoples content and information as well as my own.

    We all struggle for the most from creation to promotion, but it’s just something we have to do.
    And yes for some of us it certainly is ‘mission impossible’

    1. Hi Jaco,
      It’s good to hear from you. I have become overstretched and stressed out. Like the bloggers who have contacted me I also need to adjust my time management strategy and refocus on content creation and on creating a list of favorite blogs and commenting on them more frequently.

      Juggling my time spent in our business, on contracted work, on homelife and friendships off-line with finding the time to blog is not working well for me. The long and short of it is — I need a new strategy.

  18. timethief – This is a very compelling topic and I’m so curious to see what others say. I see bloggers dropping left and right. It’s helped me to limit the number of hours I spend on blog writing each week or to also keep an eye on article word count. I need to extend that to social media now, which can really eat up time. In terms of twitter, I find having good lists help and taking short, quick dips a few times a day instead of any single longer period. It’s challenging though and I’m looking forward to hearing insights from others. Thanks for raising the question!

    1. I am also witnessing bloggers dropping out and those who have had so little traffic despite their social media and social networking blog promotion efforts that they are no longer motivated to post.

      Without doubt social media has changed the blogging landscape. Although it’s broadcast range has increased our potential audience the amount of time we invest is not producing results for many bloggers I know.

      Several bloggers I know are now pulling back from spending much time on twitter and in social networks. It’s not productive for them and they don’t find they are actually forming relationships.

      They want to create a workable time management strategy that does result in increased readership and relationships and reciprocal commenting. So they are reverting to using Twitter only for 1/2 hour 4 – 5 days weekly and focusing on creating a list of favorite blogs and commenting on them just as was done before the advent of Twitter.

      I’m considering doing the same once I have a computer of my own again that works. I’m currently “bummimg” bits of time here and there on friend’s computers so I can keep up while I wait for Monday to arrive so I can call for the computer repair shop.

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