Ask The Readers: How Do You Make Blogging Easier For Yourself?

  • June 3, 2010 by Corbett Barr
  • 9 Comments

making blogging easyIn this week’s “ask the readers” segment, let’s discuss ways to make blogging easier for yourself. Maintaining a high-quality blog can be a challenge, and anything you can do to reduce that burden will improve your chances of longevity and success.

My Favorite Answer from Our Previous Question

In our last ask the readers question, I asked “how much time do you spend on content vs. promotion?” Your answers varied wildly, from 0% promotion to 70% promotion. It looks like the most common split was 30% content / 70% promotion.

My favorite answer was from Everett Bogue of Far Beyond the Stars, and it’s not because I necessarily agree with it (more on that in a moment). Here’s what Everett said:

100% content.

If you create work that matters, it promotes itself. I just hit the publish button, retweet my post, and let it take flight. I’ve done this since day one.

The best way to get your stuff noticed is to spend all of your time promoting other people’s work. Generosity is the best marketing.

And of course, creating work that matters.

What I love about Everett’s comment is how bold and confident he is about his writing, and because it shows that there is no one recipe for success, even among the rising stars of the blogging world.

Chris Guillebeau, another fantastic blogger who grew really quickly (like Everett’s blog), has said he spends about 50% of his time on content and 50% on promotion. That may have changed now that he’s so well known, but that’s where he started.

Personally, I prefer a split close to 50/50, or maybe even 70% (content) / 30% (promotion), but it’s obvious the 100% content strategy works for Everett. And that’s what it’s all about. Experiment with different approaches until you find one that works for you. Don’t just copy what works for someone else, because you and your blog are unique.

Making Blogging Easier

We talked earlier in the week about the danger of blogger burnout. In that spirit, I’d like to ask you how you make blogging easier for yourself. What tips and tricks do you have for saving time when blogging? For coming up with post ideas? For making the most of your promotional efforts?

We could all use a little help in making our jobs as bloggers easier. Here’s your chance to share your favorite tips. I can’t wait to hear your answers.

How do you make blogging easier for yourself?

photo by xiaming

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Srinivas Rao June 4, 2010 at 6:06 am

On Saving Time: One of the most valuable ways to save time is to do all of you writing in one session. Most people hit a flow state when they are the peak of their creativity. I tend to do all of my writing when I”m in that flow state so I can hammer out 5 blog posts in 2 hours.

Coming up With Ideas: I think most people have more ideas than they realize. One simple way to make sure you always have ideas is to keep a list of blog post ideas handy at all times. Even if you don’t write the idea when you think of it, you should still add it to your list. I have 25 or so ideas for blog posts at all times. Oddly enough, I often don’t refer to that list but knowing it is there is reassuring.

Promotion: This one is the most tricky one in my mind because you have to find a balance between being self promotional and being community oriented. For a while I wasn’t sure it was cool to tweet links to your posts multiple times per day until I saw that Mack Collier was doing this, but spacing it out about 5 hours a part, but he was still tweeting other people’s posts far more than his own. I decided to experiment with it this week and it definitely has resulted in more tweets and traffic. So that’s my promotional tip.

Pascal June 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

Improving quality of content & building authority through the quality content. If we give the best then no need to go for plenty of hours to promote ourself……
Because promoting blog is the main thing every blogger spend more time.

IF we provide best content then authority, network, money everything comes with us.

This is the best method I do to save my time on anything.

Betsy Talbot June 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

Srinivas and I have the same method – I keep a small notebook with me all the time and write my blog post ideas in it. These come from everyday life, and you have to have something handy to write on or the idea will fade away before you get back to your computer.

We’ve become pretty transparent on our blog, so my mind has become trained to think of everything in terms of how I would share that thought/feeling/experience with others. It makes it much easier to come up with blog post ideas.

One last point is that writing those blog post ideas down must activate a subconscious writer’s gene, because by the time I sit down to write the post (sometimes weeks later) I find most of the content has already formed in my mind and it is fairly easy to write.

Corbett Barr June 4, 2010 at 10:15 am

Srinivas, Pascal and Betsy, thanks so much for the awesome insights. I realized after putting this question together that it’s not an easy one to answer. I’ll have to follow-up with a post of make-blogging-easier ideas, and hopefully will get some more ideas in the comments here in addition to yours. Thanks!

Everett Bogue June 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

Wow, thanks for the mention Corbett!

Here are a few ways that I hope can help your readers have an easier time blogging.

1. Write less often with more quality.

A lot of bloggers feel they need to publish every single day (or 12 times a day) to get significant traffic. I’ve found that posting less with more quality is always a better way to generate interest in my posts.

2. Make blogging friends.

Create relationships with bloggers who have larger followings. The best way to do this is to help them promote their content (many people think that creating relationships means emailing the blogger asking them to promote your blog post, this seldom works.) Promote their content by retweeting their work regularly, and linking to their posts in your own blog. Focus on a few people with similar interests to your own, and promote their content multiple times to build a lasting relationship.

3. Keep writing.

Blogging gets easier the longer you do it. I’ve always found that the first few months of any blog is the hardest. This is because you’re not making much income, you aren’t getting much attention, and you’re also just getting started with the ideas that your blog is based around. Keep going! The work gets easier the longer you do it.

Anyway, I hope that helps your readers.

Best,
Everett

Gary Arndt June 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I really do not believe in the “build it and they will come” school of thought.

There are too many examples across all media of bad content (Transformers 2) which can become popular due to marketing, and great content (think of indie films and bands) which never become popular.

On the internet you have to compete with thousands if not millions of people all fighting for a finite amount of attention. While it is possible to garner an audience, it is also possible to get rich winning the lottery.

Once you’ve reached a certain threshold you can certainly back off on the marketing, but to rely solely on content creation seems like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Mars Dorian June 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

That’s awesome, and I can seriously agree with Ev, blogging less but with higher quality is really a kick-ass way to go – I have experienced it myself ;)

The day will come where I’ll write in a way that blows people aaaawayy.

Ryan June 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Hi Corbett,

I follow my intuition. I usually post at least once a day and spend the majority of the time marketing. Other days I’ll write 5 posts and do less marketing. I can understand Everett’s strategy though, especially when he mentions networking with fellow bloggers with larger followings.

I’ve built relationships with some influential guys and it’s amazing how much more popular I’ve become since meeting these folks ;) It never hurts to have friends in high places. Of course I promote the heck out of their stuff and mine too.

Thanks for posing a great question :)

Ryan

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