Following up my post on January 31, I received some thoughtful commentary and helplful suggestions about blogging efficiently, including one from a group blog for which posting duties are shared. And as promised, here are the results of my unscientific "survey".
First, the consensus seems to be the obvious: If you get to the bus stop early so you don't have to run to catch a bus that is pulling away, you will likely have a more enjoyable (shall we say more efficient) bus riding experience. Staying ahead of your posts by drafting them---perhaps several of them---in advance makes blogging life much easier. And it also offer the opportunity to be somewhat more reflective about a particular topic instead of being in a rush to write something, anything, just to fill space.
Here are three examples of the stay ahead of the game approach to blogging. If you have a few minutes, be sure to drop by their blogs for a look.
Myra Garces-Bacsal over at the Gathering Books blog. Myra points out that drafting blogs in advance is the only way she and her partners can keep up. "I suppose it helps that there are three of us running Gathering Books.... It's great that we have a lovely system going and that we never run out of creative ideas to try out on the blog." Having an otherwise hectic work schedule demands finding efficient solutions to something as time intensive as blogging or writing of almost any kind can be.
Myra and her partners (Fats and Iphegene) have been blogging for over 18 months. They rotate the blog posting duties, selecting from a stockpile of drafted posts. "...what (has) worked best for me is to draft, write and schedule my posts during the weekend (as much as four or five blogposts) - and kind of spread them out over the next few days (so we have something like 10-14 days of blog posts in advance)." On the commenting side, Myra does her blog visiting during the week and only spends a dedicated amount of time--no more than an hour in one sitting--to read and leave comments.
Likewise, for Blessy Mathew at Reflecting Runes, following a blogging schedule is important. "Since I started my blog 9 months ago, I've strived for consistency...posting and blogging on Mon, Wed, and Fri. This allows me enough days to work on my own writing projects." Blessy says for anyone who leaves a comment on her blog, she feels it's important to respond in kind. "My motto: if someone takes the time to visit and comment on my blog, then I should do the same. It does take time out of my day, but that's the goal of building an audience/readership."
Sylvia Liu at Sylvia Liu Land blog. Sylvia says she struggles with balancing writing and posting on the one hand and commenting on the blogs she visits on the hand. Although somewhat less systematic than Myra's team approach, Sylvia tries to stick to a set schedule. "On the blogging side, I start a lot of drafts of blog posts that are half-finished. I don't have a strict schedule but I like to post twice a week. So when it feels like it's time to post something, I'll go through my drafts and find one that seems right and I'll finish it up."
On the commenting side, Sylvia concedes that the only way she can keep from spending too much time in the blogosphere is to watch the clock. "Now I try to limit the times I'm just surfing and reading other blogs to specific times." So, time saved is essentially time not spent--a common theme among many efficient bloggers.
As for me, I have found myself increasingly sucked into the vortex of the blogosphere, wandering from one blog to the next until I've lost all feeling from the waist down. That can't be good. So, my three-part, take-away lesson is to
(1) celebrate drafts--capturing ideas to be polished later is often enough,
(2) limit the amount of "butt in seat" time in front of my own blog and
(3) spend no more than 30 minutes a day reading and commenting on other blog posts.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But I suppose with a little practice, I could get the hang of it. Whoe knows? Efficient blogging could be the result. With that in mind, I bid you farewell for today. I have a Klondike Derby winter camping event to get ready for.