The task for 31DBBB today is to solve a problem for your readers. I chose to help you all find time to blog! I'm not totally great at this yet, but I'm getting better & I'm finding it is easier if I follow these strategies. Not all of these are possible for everyone & I'd love for you to add to the list!
Content comes first. This is something I'm still learning. Yes, commenting is so important, but unless you're writing great content, there's really not much use in networking because people will come to your blog & never come back. So prioritize your tasks. I try to focus on posting, then commenting or networking, then design or other maintenance things. This doesn't mean that I spend more time posting than I do commenting, but it does mean that I try to make sure I've got posts scheduled before I take the time to comment. Also, by prioritizing, you know that if you only have 10 minutes, you do the most important task first.
Specific Tasks on Specific Days
I usually write posts on Saturdays & Sundays because I have more time. I usually read everything in my Google Reader on the weekends (remember my folders make this much less overwhelming for me), then every other day throughout the week. I usually take extra time to comment on other blogs on the days that I don't read my Google Reader, although I comment as I go through the Google Reader as well. It's more that I take time on the other days to find new blogs to network with. Some weeks I do blog hops on Tuesdays or Fridays. The general idea is that knowing that on a certain day each week you're going to comment on other blogs, while another day you're going to write posts allows you to streamline & not feel so overwhelmed. If you know you've got 30 minutes a day to do blog stuff, then this can help you get everything done.
Make Notes of Ideas
I find blog posting ideas everywhere. I keep a running list of ideas in a note on my iPhone. If you don't have an iPhone, keep a list in a notepad in your purse or anything like that so that if you have a great idea while you're sitting in the waiting room at the dentist or something, you can come back to that idea when you do have time to blog. Sometimes I even make notes of the different specifics. For example: I came up with this post idea a few weeks ago & I jotted down the specific points I wanted to make. So now I'm just filling in the main info.
Keep a Spreadsheet
This helps with prioritizing & keeping track of what needs to be done. I actually have several spreadsheets. One has post ideas, one has maintenance things that need to be done on my blog, one has my elevator pitch & other important blog info, etc. Keeping spreadsheets can help keep you organized. If you're working with just a little bit of time here & there to blog, you'll benefit from organization so that you know how best to manage the time that you have.
Don't Try To Do It All At Once
For me, I blog during nap times & after my daughter is in bed. You may only have a few minutes on your break at work or an hour when your kids are at practice or something before you have to make dinner. No matter what our situations, we are each dealing with short periods during the days when we have time to actually sit down at the computer in the midst of kids, jobs, responsibilities around the house, cleaning, cooking, spending time with friends & family, etc. The list really goes on & on. So do what you can when you can, then save & come back to it. I use Google Docs a lot to write posts. I can write as much as I think of at the time, then save & return to it later. I sometimes read posts on my Google Reader on my phone & then star items I want to come back & comment on from my computer. Even 10 minutes can make a big difference in the blogosphere!!
What things would you add to this list?
When do you have time to blog?