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May 17, 2006

Back to blogging

Cat_in_yard Many apologies to my readers for my absence from the blogging front over the past two weeks -- I've been a bit busy between work, travel, and heavy equipment (see the photo) that's been sitting in the front yard of my house. As you may know, we recently bought a house and are in the midst of a teardown/rebuild. (If you have any interest in following our construction adventures, my husband has started a blog (his first!) about the project at my-new-house.blogspot.com.)

As I catch up on several fronts, I'm planning to post frequently to make up for my absence. I'll be at the Yahoo analyst day on Wednesday and have several posts in the works.

This brings up an interesting point -- I recently did an interview with Shel Israel for his new book on "Web 2.0" (you can read the interviews, part 1 and part 2) and he described me as a "binge blogger" which I found very appropriate. I don't have the bandwidth nor the discipline to maintain a daily blogging habit. My personality type also tends toward procrastination and keeping options open (I'm an ENFP).

So my question to you bloggers out there is what processes, tools, and tricks of the trade you employ that keep you a happy and *regular* blogger? I'm looking for any best practices you've found helpful, from offline authoring tools to scheduling time in your calendar to write. Feel free to add your thoughts below or email them to me -- I and many others will certainly benefit!

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Comments

rick

I think the main part is to blog because you want to, not because you have to. That is my point of view: if readers would like to read my blog it is fine, if they don't want to read it, it is fine also, if I don't feel like writing on a day, I simply don't write. No hard feelings towards my readers, they could you use the RSS feed to keep in track as soon as the next item appears on my blog.

An other great help (which I am currently building into my software) is the scheduling of items. Sometimes I have more time to write or more things on my mind to write about. Currently I am saving them in text files en than post them at days I am not really feeling like blogging. If you have the possibility to schedule non-actual items you could make it seems like you blog regular although you may be typing only a few hours on one day once a week.

Serge Lescouarnec

Charlene

I have been writing 'Serge the Concierge' since March 2005.

I usually write one post a day, 5 to 6 days a week (sunday off) and try to do it (during the week) before noon.

I try to keep the posts relatively short (I do not really like to scroll down long pieces.

I get ideas from other blogs, real life, financial times, inbubblewrap.

I usually have a few things I want to write about noted down.

I guess the blog writing has become part of my day.

I think it would be hard for anyone to keep their 'readership' if there is not new content posted regularly.

My 2 cents

Serge
Biz:
http://www.njconcierges.com
Blog:
http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

Jeff Clavier

Join the club of the Busy Bloggers! I have not found any magic solution but trying to push a post when there is something I really find interesting, and limit myself to a few lines if this is the only thing I can produce.
Long authoritative analysis is just not something I have time to produce these days.

Micki

Charlene,

For me there are two things that work:

a)Set aside a regular time each time to post and

b)When you get inspired, write it down (or write the post if you are near your computer).

I set aside 30 minutes in every morning over my cup of tea to work on the blog. The regular routine, I find, helps.

Also, whenever I think of a topic, I write it down in a little notebook or, if I'm near the computer, I write is as a draft post and save it. I usually have 3 or 4 drafts. If I get writers block during my 30 minutes in the morning, I can publish one that I've already written.

Jordan Mitchell

When does blogging become an obligation rather than a choice? And an absence of posts an apology *before* an explanation? As for me, if I feel it I write it, and I usually let ideas pass the test of time -- in business and in blogging. I, like everyone, get wrapped up in things that stifle my blogging; it just happens right?

As for you Charlene, neither frequency nor quantity matters to me, as long as I get quality. Just post when you have something interesting on your mind that you wish to share.

David McClelland

Yahoo Notepad is a handy place to keep an outline and ideas for a blog. An outline helps maintain a parallel contruction in posts, if you have recurring themes.

I use photos and sometimes scans to inspire a topic to expand on from the outline. No posts without pictures!

A theme could have something recurring about it that prods updates. For example, my theme is chickens and I update with how many eggs they have laid (total) since I got them.

I have a professional blog that is more of a portfolio than a blog. I carefully prepare everything in advance for that one, but I only upload maybe once a week, and only when I am actively looking.

Jim Cahill

Charlene, For our www.EmersonProcessXperts.com blog I wanted to do 2-3 posts a week, which I've managed to do over the past several months. Some weeks are easy, and some are really tough. It does give me a chance to learn about all the various things our experts are doing so I enjoy the challenge of it.

We're also building a house, and I like use the home blog, AustinCahills.com to keep family and friends aware of the progress. It'll also help me remember where all the wires, plumbing and other stuff are located once the sheet rock is put in place!

t2ed

Keep a little electronic file that you can keep ideas for posts.

Like Micki, I do it in the morning as I'm warming up for the rest of the day.

Start some posts and keep them as drafts. Then you can refine ideas (from a bunch of unfinished stuff usually) when you're out of ideas.

Shel Israel

On the many days that I have nothing to say, I use my ears. I post quick paragraphs to other people's posts. Theres always something useful or interesting to people who visit my blog, even when I am not the source and add no personal value to the conversation.

Colin

I try to make blogging part of my work processes. So the blog becomes a mix of relevant things to my work, as well as just plain interesting stuff, that might be of interest later.
But I agree with the first comment - it has to be something you want to do, and that you see and feel a benefit from.

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