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!
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!