Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keeping Up with Blogging

Ever since I started this ole bloggy, people have asked me how I have time to do it.  And I used to tell them that it really doesn't take up much of my time, but that is kinda sorta a lie now because writing and reading and commenting feels more like a part-time job some days.  And on those days, I sometimes want to delete the whole thing and hibernate in the real world for a change.

Kidding.  Mostly.

I would miss you guys too much.  Seriously, you all are my source of news, fashion inspiration, Catholic teachings, child rearing tips and belly laughs.  Without you my life is incomplete.

But, how to get it all done in a reasonable time frame without too much angst?  Here are some tried and true tricks that work for me:

1) Get a smart phone.  We were really late in the game getting Internet on our phones, but once we made the switch, it was much easier to read blogs and comment during all those times when I'm stuck waiting for kids (practices, games, pickups from school, appointments).  

2) Put a list of your favorite blogs on your own blog's sidebar.  Make sure it is only blogs that you actually read every post, and do not list them in alphabetical order.  List them by newest blog post so that the new posts you want to read are always right up at the top and you don't have to click around to every blog you follow wondering if they've written something new.  

3) I love me some comments, and I know others do to, so I like to leave them as often as possible.  Comments are conversation starters and my favorite bloggers usually email a reply to me or reply to my comment on their blog.  I am so bad at this, and need to get better.  

4) Write your posts in advance and schedule their publishing times.  That way when all the kiddos are in bed and your husband wants to watch some scary show with dead people, you can write multiple posts very easily.

5) Take lots of pictures.  Pictures can tell a story when you've got nothing else to write about.  
Mardi Gras Breakfast
6) Make a blog book through Blog2Print.  I make one yearly, and voila! no scrapbooking or ordering pictures is necessary.  All our family memories for the year are in one place.  Plus, knowing I need to record everything on my blog keeps me motivated to keep writing from day to day.

7) Do linkups with better bloggers.  They are fun, inspirational, and a great way to meet new peeps.

8) Highlight other bloggers in your posts.  It still thrills me to no end when one of my favorite and popular bloggers links to one of my posts and sends some of their traffic my way.  So I like to return the favor and mention my must-reads to the rest of you.

9) Be real in your writing.  Jen wrote about this here and it is spot on.  I leave the crafting to the talented bloggers, the funnies to the comic bloggers, the religious stories to the holy bloggers, etc.  My niche is being mediocre at a bunch of things and excelling at none.  That's what I do best :)

10) Finally, make sure that it's more fun than it is work.  Once blogging is only a chore, then that will probably come across negatively in your writing.  Blogging is the platonic-introverts version of match.com, amiright?  SO make friends, have fun, and don't fret about the numbers of followers and comments you have.  It took me a loooooong time (4 yearsish) to get a decent number of followers but that's not the reason I wrote so I just kept plugging away.  

35 comments:

  1. This was good. And really good tips for people like me who are kind of amateurs at this stuff. I am glad you put the link for 'blog to print' I remember reading this on your blog SO....long ago (actually, it might have been one of the main reasons I started to blog) but I never went back to get the link! Now I have it!!! Woot woot!

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    1. Bloggers helping bloggers out! Boom!

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  2. Oh and you forgot...don't waste your time on facebook because then you'll never get that post out!

    Seriously, I love this! I'm going to get a book done....this year! It's really why I do this in the first place.

    You've kind of inspired me to write about this!

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    1. Yes! say no to Facebook and twitter and you'll have lots more time for blogging :-)

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  3. Thank you for the book link!! That was one of my justifications for blogging but I have yet to actually do it! And it's more affordable than I was thinking!
    Great tips. I try my best to leave comments on blogs I read now. I never realized that it was a great thing to do until I had my own.
    Now I need some tips on how to avoid making every occasion or thought in my head a potential blog post :)

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    1. My blogs book cost just over 100 dollars each year because I write about 250 posts, but I justify the cost because I don't buy pictures or photo albums or arts and craft supplies to scrapbook :-)

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  4. Colleen, thank you for this. I appreciate every tip you gave. Being new to this wonderful world of blogging, I sometimes feel self conscious and unsure about things. I really appreciate you encouraging fellow bloggers to be real while writing. I often write about my family and our daily lives. I think then who wants to read about our little family and what we had for dinner? I know my pictures are not as good as some...my recipes are quite simple...my topics often simple, but then I think that this is what I know best...being a wife and mother, and that is what I can share. So thank you for validating that belief.

    Thank you also for welcoming me into this world where I have made so many new and wonderful friends! : )

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    1. Sometimes blogs get too "big" and I get a little lost...your blog is like a cozy spot on a cold day.

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  5. Whew, I was so afraid you were going to write you couldn't keep it going anymore. How sad I would be! Great tips!

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    1. I talk myself out of quitting multiple times a year! And thank you.

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  6. "My niche is being mediocre at a bunch of things and excelling at none. "
    Ok, other than that being patently untrue, it's also hilarious, and I'm still cracking up at it.

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  7. One of the superest "blogging tips" posts I have read! Thanks for the info!

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  8. I have the same niche! We should start a club!:)
    Michelle

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  9. Oh geez... I need to enter a new line item on the budget: "Yearly Blog Book". You don't know how much I want to print my blog so my kids will have it in the future and it won't get lost on the interwebs!

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    1. Stacy, it's money well spent - maybe you can make it a birthday or Christmas present?

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  10. Wonderful list of tips and encouragement, thanks!

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  11. Wow! Thank you, O-Wise-One! I am not joking. What great tips and tricks! Like Cari, died laughing over the "my niche is being mediocreat a bunch of things and excelling at none." Totally untrue for you, but I could most certainly identify. I feel like my 'infertility blog' turned into 'it looks like she's maybe trying her hand at photography, but really sucks at it' blog. I really do have real things going on in my head, but not much time to post them.
    Honestly, most of my posts are done/written on the weekends when I have the most time and a few more moments to get away from the kids.
    Every time I feel like it's becoming a 'job' and less of a hobby, I take a step back and miss it dearly. I truly do enjoy it, even if I don't always measure up to Blogger Awesome-ness like some people I know. *clearing throat*

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    1. Sarah, your blog is the first one I check!!!!

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  12. Thank you for this. While my current blog was actually started back in 2008, it's basically been dead since 2009, and I just revived it on a whim this past Christmas. I was thinking about our annual email Christmas letter I send out because I am way too cheap and lazy to actually address and send Christmas cards and decided my blog would be the perfect place to host it. Then I kinda got bit by the blogging bug and decided to just keep on blogging. I also have 2 other blogs I have started and then stopped (I guess I'm like a serial blogger or something LOL), but I think they had too narrow a focus, and I got bored with them. Now, I just write about whatever the heck I want to, and it's a lot of fun. Anyway, thanks for these tips...I'm still really new, but it's a lot of fun.

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    1. It is fun, and I'm glad you're back with a renewed interest!

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  13. You are made of awesome sauce. :) Love this.
    I don't seem to have issues with getting posts out, it's the reading/commenting on others that I can't always get to. Then I feel guilty, so I don't post if I can't read/comment.
    make sense? Nah.....
    Have you used google reader for your blogs? Since I found that a few years ago I don't list the blogs I read on my sidebar. If you use the reader, it archives everything since you've last read it...no losing anything from anyone.
    XO
    Suz

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    1. Commenting is so hard to do sometimes. I read and read and read, and then realize people don't even know that I'm enjoying their writing and feel very guilty. So I hear ya!

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  14. AHhh, this is something I need to work on right now. I'm missing reading some of my favorite blogs and have like 10 half posts I need to finish... I need to start using my phone more often, like you suggest.

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    1. And then your kids will say "Mommy, why you always looking at your phone?" Oh wait, that's just mine ;)

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  15. This is awesome! I can't imagine how long it took you to write all that! haha Thank you! Even though I've only been doing this for 3 weeks, I keep thinking, I have to enjoy it or I won't keep it up.
    You are awesome!

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    1. No you are awesome, no take backs.

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  16. I have such a love/hate relationship with blogging. Sometimes I put so much work into a post and get zippo comments. Then other times I throw a post together and the blog godess Jen Fulwiler comments and I faint. I don't have a lot of time to blog anymore because of school. (In fact I should be studying right now.)

    I have yet to get a smart phone... I'm holding off. I have a blog post planned as to why that is.

    I keep wanting to make a blog book. Just no moola to do that right now!

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    1. I'm sure your reasons are why we waited so long too, can't wait to hear them!

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  17. I love what you call your mediocrity but I don't think you are mediocre at all...you are wonderful and courageous and are raising a beautiful family. And I love that little Mardi Gras table..I love that with the exception of baby the kids all look about the same age! :)

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    1. Thank you Sarah for your nice comment. I'm just trying to write half as wonderfully as you!

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  18. Thanks for posting how you get your blog printed. Have always wanted to do this and have never figured how - thanks!

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