Friday, September 16, 2011

BBAW: No guilt blogging

It's the end of BBAW for this year and we all made it to the end!  I always tend to feel a bit tired at the end of these kinds of events!

Today's prompt is:

The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.
I am not really 100% sure what I want to say today that hasn't already been said! A bit of reiteration never hurt though so here goes.

Probably the most important practice is commenting. Yes, I know it takes time, and I know that it is often easy to feel overwhelmed by being 'behind' but the truth is that commenting is probably the best way to connect with new to you bloggers.

I do think that commenting is a bit of a habit, and like all habits it is easy to make a new bad habit and hard to break it but not so easy to create a new good habit and easy to lose it.

Over the years I  have developed a few strategies to help with commenting so I thought that I would share a couple of them here. It is however important to decide what suits you and what works for you! These helped me when I felt like I should be commenting more than I was.

  • Sort your feed reader (Bloglines/Googlereader etc) into various categories. I have them sorted into Aussie Bloggers, Historical Fiction Bloggers, Must Read, Book Reviewers and others. If I can get through my Aussie blogger folders and the must reads then I am happy with my blogging day. On a really good day I get through everything!
  • If you need to hit "Mark all as read" in your feed reader, then do it! (I feel guilty about this one sometimes but it will relieve unnecessary pressure)
  • If you have limited time, set yourself a target. For example, if you only have half an hour to spend blog hopping, say that you need to leave 5 comments in that time.
  • Make it easy as possible for other people to comment on your blog, and then return the favour when they do so.

What if the dreaded blogger's block happens? Again, a couple of strategies that have worked for me in the past.

  • Most of the time I spend time blog hopping and then decide to write my own post with the left over time. Sometimes you need to put your own blog first!
  • Try something new! This year for example I started participating in the Weekend Cooking meme hosted by Bethfish Reads. You might think that is because I have a passion for cooking, but I don't really. I am a functional cook at best. What I enjoy is looking for another post that may or may not be book related!
  • Read some of your own old posts. I sometimes take half an hour to have a look through my archives and it gives me a lot of enjoyment when I do it. Often I get a little surprised at what I have posted about, or what I haven't posted about!
  • It's okay for your blog to change and evolve. If my blog was exactly the same as it was when I first started I am pretty sure I would have quit ages ago.
  • Preschedule posts. If you are feeling inspired, write a few posts and have them sitting there ready to go on days when you aren't feeling quite so inspired
  • You don't have to post every day, or a certain number of times per week etc!

I relieved a lot of the pressure that I was feeling by realising that I didn't have to review every single book that I read. Oh, sweet freedom. It does come back to haunt me when I realise that I would like to read a review of a book that I read a couple of years ago, but that is a small price to pay for the lack of blogging stress.

Decide what you can and can't do and don't feel guilty if you can't do more! There are always lots of new and shiny things coming along that can be distracting. Some examples are Google+, Klout, Pinterest, Tumblr and more! Personally, I have a pretty full schedule with my blogging, Facebook and Twitter and for the most part I am happy to keep it to that. I know that I am missing out on things by not being on some of these other sites, but like everyone else I have other responsibilities that need to be a priority for me. I am all for no guilt blogging!

At the end of the day blogging is meant to be fun. If it is becoming a chore that you dread having to do, then it is clearly not working for you and you might need to think about making some changes!


  1. I'm for no-guilt blogging too -- we have to just make the best of the time we have.

    Good advice to write and schedule multiple posts when the creative and writing juices are flowing.

    I'm so happy you're participating in Weekend Cooking -- no need to be a cook to have something to add.

  2. oh dear. i feel epic guilt.. even though I shouldn't for not blogging.. :S

    i've not blogged/read properly in awhile... oh dear :( sadness

    i likes your blog though! :)

  3. I have my Google Reader broken into categories, too. If I get through the must reads for the day, I consider it a success. Sometimes I get through all of them, but if I don't it is not the end of the world!

  4. Hooray for no-guilt blogging! I think I need a banner with that on it, or something :-)

    I really like that you took common themes and elaborated, giving us practical strategies to implement them. It's easy to say "comment more!" but sometimes hard to figure out how to do that. So, thank you!

  5. I've allocated less time to Facebook. I mostly use it for personal stuff and it wasn't working for me. I'm trying to use Twitter more and visit more blogs with my "found" time.

  6. Great article, Marg. My blog has absolutely evolved over the years since I started, too. I started out almost exclusively as a book blog, now I think my blog is a personal one. Oh well. I go with what makes me happy and gives me the least bit of guilt! LOL Speaking of which...

    I am definitely a no guilt blogger--except I do harbor a lot of guilt for blog hopping. I sometimes get so busy that I don't visit my favorite blogs in a week or two or three! I feel so badly when that happens because there are always a handful who visit me all the time even when I haven't visited them in so long.

    But the good news is that you have given me some GREAT advice, so I think I can improve that.

    I love the idea of sorting my feed reader into categories. I sort of do that between reader blogs and cooking blogs, but I really need to do it *within* reader blogs. Good idea! Thanks!

  7. more great tips for google reader.
    many thanks


  8. yes definitely no to guilty blogging.

  9. I have my Google Reader broken out, but I don't think I stick to it very well. I should probably re-organize but have no desire to do so :-) And I agree about no-guilt blogging! I have drastically cut down my posting and most certainly my commenting with school, but hope to get back on top of things after I graduate...

  10. Great tips! I love the idea of sorting your google reader into different categories - I need to go do that as I think it would help a lot!

  11. Great article, Marg. As I am new to blogging I found this very, very helpful.

  12. Some really great advice, I am working on feeling less guilty LOL

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  13. Great tips! Blogging is supposed to be fun. No one should feel overwhelmed about writing posts or commenting; they should just do what they can when they can.

  14. Great advice! I'm actually playing catch up right now myself, but I already have implemented the mark as read feature because it's just too hard to catch up if you don't. Right now, I'm in the process of categorizing blogs. Don't know why I didn't think of doing it before!

    So true have to let go of the guilt or you can never move on.