A writer I know is thinking of starting a blog and asked me how I fit blogging into my regular work day. Good question, and one that’s relevant to anyone who writes full time but wants to improve how they’re marketing their business either by blogging or joining a social network like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, which are worthwhile but take time. Here’s my answer, which I’ve edited slightly for clarity:
I’ve committed to posting on my blog Monday through Friday, an activity that takes 15 minutes to an hour a day depending on how ambitious I am about writing the post. Days like today I cobble together a post based on interesting posts I’d read on a topic elsewhere. Original writing takes longer, but sometimes I’m inspired and then the writing goes quickly.
I’m an early riser and I work on my blog first before starting the rest of what I have to do that day. I’m eight months into it and it’s become part of my work routine. But I’d have to say that some weeks I’m more into it than others. This week I have some major deadlines so the blog will get a minimum of my attention.
If you’re going to blog the most important thing is to pick a schedule and stick to it, whether that’s once a week, twice a week, etc. If people subscribe to the blog through a reader they’re going to expect posts on whatever schedule you’ve determined and if you don’t stick to it it’s easy to lose them. I know this because I subscribe to a couple blogs and when old posts sit in my reader after I expect to see new stuff I’m disappointed. It’s like seeing headlines from last week’s newspaper: boring.
As for social networks, I’m most active on Freelance Success, then LinkedIn, then Facebook, which I just joined and haven’t really spent much time on.
I’ve become a big fan of the LinkedIn’s status report, which is LinkedIn’s answer to Twitter. The status report is that little box on the Home page that lets you answer the question: What are you working on? The number of characters you can use is finite so you can’t ramble. But it is enough to say “I’ve just updated my profile, check it out!”
More about time spent blogging: In a 2006 study, the University of Massachusetts found that 65 percent of bloggers spent an hour or less while the rest spent up to four hours. Read more results from the study here.
For Tim Ferriss, less is more. The blogger and author of the best seller The 4-Hour Work Week, advocates in this post, The top 5 uncommon timesavers for bloggers for blogging only a couple times a week so your posts have time to percolate and get picked up around the blogosphere – definitely food for thought.
Time spent on this post: 30 minutes. How much time do you spend blogging?