Blogging and Time

One of the many complaints I hear from new bloggers is concerning time. Blogging takes a lot of time. This is true and time is a very precious thing. How we spend our time is a big deal. What you spend time on today can directly influence your day tomorrow or weeks and months ahead. These days, I don’t have a lot of time to blog and I am not mad about it. I have shifted my perspective on a lot of things, one of them being better managing my time. The PBS Blog is still growing and there are new subscribers daily even if I don‘t blog daily and engagement is decent. My posts are shared daily. All of this from not blogging. I am wasting time just talking about it, actually. I am sitting here writing a blog post when I should be doing laundry.

Define Your Purpose

What are you using your blog for? Do you plan to monetize your blog? In other words, get paid for blogging? Do you intend to keep your content free? Are you using your blog to reach more readers? Build an audience? Are you an author blogger or business blogger? Authors use blogging a bit differently than business bloggers. (I recommend Anne R. Allen’s book The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors) How are you using your blog to your advantage? This question is important because it will determine how you spend your time. Define your purpose for blogging. Don’t just say because you like to write or something vague like that. Be specific. Why did you start a blog and where do you want it to go? One thing I love about Dr. Boyce Watkin’s emails is that he has a clear purpose and everything goes back to that. His thing is Financial Literacy and by the end of every email you know that.

Your Purpose Can Change

Your purpose may also change as you grow and that’s not a bad thing. I didn’t know what I was blogging for when I first started. It took a couple years for me to figure that out and to narrow it down. I am here to connect with readers, black history buffs, to coach new bloggers of the WordPress platform, and to build with Independent Authors. Everything I do on this blog will ultimately go back to one or all of those points. I will either be writing, offering information on black history, giving out blog and writing tips or supporting Indie Authors. Everything I do must be consistent with these things. You may say, “but you didn’t say poetry and certainly you write poetry on this blog!” Truth. I also host a yearly poetry contest and I also didn’t mention inspiration though I am always offering words of encouragement. But this all falls under one of my core points.

Connecting with Readers

Poetry, Short Stories, Creative Writing pieces, Music, Testimony, e.g.

Black History Buffs

Black history articles and little known historical facts

Blog Coaching for New Bloggers of WP Platform

Blog Tips

Supporting Indie Authors

Book Reviews, Promoting / Supporting other Authors, Writing Tips

Build a Schedule

I cannot speak enough about being consistent and having some kind of schedule can help with that. If you think this is unnecessary, then you should probably reevaluate why you’re blogging. Personally, I don’t want to do anything that does not provide some kind of value. If I am incorporating anything in my life whether it’s a blog or a new diet it had better give me a return in some way. For this to happen consistency is necessary and having a schedule can help.

Consistency doesn’t mean every day. Consistency just means regularly. This can be once a week or once a month. (I wouldn’t recommend once a month. I’d try for at least once a week) You don’t have to blog every day but you do have to know what you intend to get out of it. Again, what’s your purpose? Everything will go back to your reason for blogging in the first place. How you blog, your blog schedule, and your content will all come from why you are here. Once you know that, you will be able to build a schedule around this purpose and decide how much time you want to spend blogging. Consistency builds trust, trust builds value and value builds support.

Decide Exactly How Much Time You Want to Spend Blogging

If you are reading this post it probably means you are short on time to blog. You may be too busy to blog regularly but you do want to keep connection with your readers. Once you know why you want to blog and you have created a schedule for your blog, decide how much time you want to actually spend blogging (which should be a part of your schedule). If you only want to spend two hours on your blog just spend two hours on your blog! If it takes longer than two hours to draft a post, save it for another day. We will still be here.

Choose a Time to Offer Support Only

Schedule some time toward supporting other blogs. This is good because if you support others, others will support you even when you are not blogging. Supporting others can take 2 minutes or 30 minutes depending on the kind of support you’re offering but it doesn’t have to be grandiose. Supporting other bloggers can be as simple as liking their new post or sharing it on social media. It can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Since we are talking about managing time, you may be thinking:

“But EC, I don’t have time to spend on my own blog and now you’re saying I have to spend time on someone else??”

Firstly, you don’t have to do anything and secondly, I know and I get it. I must also admit that I need to spend more time on other blogs too. I don’t have as much time as I used to for blogging but supporting others, even if it’s just to retweet them, is something I squeeze in. Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” Likewise, if you don’t have time to be supportive of someone else blogs, why should anyone support yours? Choose a time (even if it’s a few minutes) simply to offer your support to someone else’s blog. Don’t mention your own blog and please don’t leave your blog link in their comments. That’s spammy and disingenuous. Make this time specifically about others and not you.

I read something once on Instagram the other day that applies nicely to this: “You don’t build a business. You build people and the people build the business.” I don’t know who said it but I’d like to apply the same to blogging: You don’t build a blog. You serve the people and the people build the blog. This blog is made up of people. I didn’t build this, the people did. YOU did.


Have you grabbed your copy of Even Salt Looks Like Sugar yet? Have you reviewed Even Salt Looks Like Sugar yet? What are you waiting for?? Grab your copy now and leave an honest review when you’ve finished reading! CLICK HERE.
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Blogger Tip 01 – How to Resize Images inside your WordPress Media and SAVE STORAGE SPACE..

Very good post from Chris on resizing your images to save storage space in WordPress so you don’t have to upgrade. No use spending money we don’t have to spend. I’ll be doing this tonight. #Winning

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Have you been using images that are VERY LARGE, and/or, PNG Format?

Have you been reblogging and noticed how LARGE, some folks make their images?

Result

Running out of space in your WordPress Media Storage and thinking about paying for more?

Unless you are displaying your own images / photos, and WANT to have them full size

Before you spend any money, go through your Media Storage images and reduce their sizes

You might be shocked at how much longer you can work with the storage space you save.

Step 1:

Select an image and click on it to see it’s size (width x height in pixels)

and

how much it ‘weighs’ (i.e., how many KB or MB it is):

Step 2

My example has already been adjusted, but you can see it’s size and weight

To reduce them, click on the Edit Image button shown under the image:

Step…

View original post 127 more words

13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips: Week 1 – The Search Bar

Blog tips from Hugh. Does your blog have a search bar?

Hugh's Views & News  

Welcome to another new feature for 2017 here on Hugh’s Views And News.

13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips

The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include some links to some blog posts I had read on other blogs. However, try as I might, I wasn’t able to find one of the posts I wanted to link to and there was no search bar on the blog concerned. It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for the blog post.

Something most bloggers crave is that their blog posts are shared. You can make it very easy for readers to find what they may be looking for on your blog by including a search bar. WordPress have a ‘search’ widget, and here’s where to find it and how to install it on your WordPress blog.

Click on My Sites (located in the top left hand corner of your blog).

Click…

View original post 175 more words

The First 300: How I Reached 300 Blog Followers in 3 Months

blogging

I don’t know what it is this week but I’ve been in a blog subject type of mood. Every article post idea has been about blogging. Could be the excitement still emanating from my radio show feature with Annette earlier this week –listen here- or it could be the excitement over reaching the 1,000 subscriber mark (and the crowd goes wild…. or not), but I thought I’d share my first experiences as a new blogger two years ago.

I started this blog in 2014 so to just be making it to the thousands may not be all that significant to some but this is huge for me. The conception of this post was thinking back to the early days where I praised reaching three hundred and four hundred followers. Why did I stop doing that? It was fun! I even monitored the international support I received and I was really excited about it. Yes, life gets busy but I’d hate to become proud as if I’ve made it somewhere when I’ve not. That is when I thought, “Well, share your experience with starting the PBS blog.”

I remember my excitement over my first one hundred! In fact, my first blogging experience on this blog got off to a pretty good start far as subscribers are concerned. I managed to reach 300 followers in my first three months. Here’s some of what I did. Will it work for you? Possibly. I caution however that blogging is a funny thing. Everyone has to find their own way. Here’s what I did:

1. Resurrect Old Writings

When I started this blog I was actually still blogging on WordPress under a different account. The name of that blog was A House of Poetry (you can find my silly post about cheating on that blog with The PBS Blog here) and it was a blog dedicated completely to poetry. Thing is, it didn’t really go anywhere and I wasn’t dedicated to it. When I started this blog I began by transferring a lot of my published poetry to this blog. I also tore into some old poetry books and rewrote some older poems and added them to this blog. My goal was to introduce myself to the blogosphere by showcasing something I knew was a strength: poetry. Every day I published a new poem and the faucet was on.

  1. Get Organized

I knew I couldn’t go on much longer with just poetry. I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work. So, I got organized and a tad bit crazy but I’ll speak on that in the next point. I decided to incorporate some features into this blog so I decided I’d publish three posts a day all covering three separate things: One poem, one article or creative writing piece, and one quote. Every day I published these to attract more than one kind of reader. Some people liked the poetry most, others the quotes and others the written piece. I was on the road to creating variety with my blog which is what I wanted. Since my poetry blog, focusing on a niche has never been my thing. Yes, I know, many people say to have a niche. Truth is, I don’t think you need one to be successful at blogging. What you need is quality content and interaction with others, but I digress.

  1. Consistency

Probably by far the most influential, I got a little crazy. I was publishing three posts every day, six days a week. I know, but that’s the kind of person I am. Dedicated. Loyal.  All or nothing. I knew I couldn’t keep up this momentum for long but I felt it was important to establishing a presence in the beginning. At the end of the day, what I was trying to achieve was consistency. Beginnings are difficult and challenging but when it comes to blogging, consistency is important. Even if you just post once a day (or even once a month) it can make a big difference. Again, I think it’s important to remember that my first experience with blogging was not this blog. I’ve had two blogs before this. I’ve tried preaching to the choir. I’ve tried the staunch “staying true to my art”. Been there and done that. With this blog, I’ve come to learn how to stay true to myself WHILE incorporate my passion into something  relatable to other people. Preach art all you want, but people need to be able to feel and relate to what you’re saying to truly understand it (people will never give ear to what they do not understand). Otherwise, your  blog is not going to attract new faces. Oh? You don’t care? So what are we here for? Personally, I am not here to smile and look “deep”. It’s time for new levels.  How powerful is my message if it never reaches anyone? Exactly.

  1. Persistence

Just because I was posting a lot does not mean that I was getting feedback. All of these beginner posts got anywhere between zero to five likes and no comments. I wasn’t sure how to engage or what it meant to produce quality content and all that. I just knew that I had something to say and that as a beginner I needed to get a good foundation under me. What it helped me to do was to be humble. I learned to always respond to comments and to rejoice at whatever little growth I got. Ten likes were golden and because of this experience, it still is. I still take the time to open every email notification of a new like or comment. It’s to the point now where I know which of you will like what based on your like habits! Yes, I’ve gotten to know you better too.

  1. Networking

Probably the most effective was networking or as I like to call it, the bonding process. The posting was not and is not enough. My first time seeing real feedback was when I started to follow other blogs, comment on other blogs, share content from other blogs and interact in challenges. This is when I really started to see blog growth. In fact, I noticed one hundred followers in one month, then another hundred, and then another. I noticed that I was getting one hundred followers a month and by the end of my first three months, I had a nice three hundred under me.

  1. Building

I’m not sure if there’s a standard with blogging, but three hundred followers was mine. For a long time, I considered ending this blog. Over time, however, I decided that it may be worth it to keep it. As I made this decision I also had to consider building. This meant paying attention to a lot of the technical things I hadn’t paid attention to before, tags, content, images, social media sharing, networking. No longer was it sufficient to just post anything, now I had to take into consideration a lot of background work that may help contribute to building a greater blog. In the beginning, it was posting, the equivalent to getting myself out there but now, if I was to continue to grow then I had to continue to do more than just post. I had to consider how important blogging was to me, and how much time I was willing to dedicate to it (not trying to spend a lifetime here or anything but by time I just mean at least a post a day). Now it was about more than just posting, it was about doing the work.

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Here’s to another one thousand. Maybe someday all of this work will pay off and I’ll be writing AND blogging full time. Here’s to endless possibilities. Cheers.