5 Ways You Can Save Time When Blogging

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Do you ever find yourself running out of time when blogging?

It’s something that used to happen to me a lot. Shortly after getting out of bed, I’d sit down in front of the computer and, before I knew it, the time had flown past! With the sun setting, I’d feel as if I hadn’t really achieved anything.

Make no mistake about it, blogging can be very time-consuming. Your work-in-progress will look as if it’s never going to get finished, your laundry basket is overflowing, the house is a mess, and family and friends will start wondering who you are because you seldom join in anymore.

Here are five tips that I implemented to save me time when blogging (and which stopped blogging from taking over my entire life).

Stop Beating Yourself Up

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I wanted to be everywhere in both the worlds of blogging and social media.

Every time I followed a blog or got a new follower on Twitter, I felt it my duty to read, like and comment on every single blog post and tweet of every blog I followed. At first, that wasn’t so much of a problem (when I only followed a handful of blogs) but I found myself often reading and commenting on posts just for the sake of it.

I found myself acting like one of those hamsters running around on one of those wheels you often see inside its cage, as I tried to get to the top of my WordPress Reader list. My whole days were spent reading and commenting, leaving me little time to do anything else, such as writing!

While some of the bloggers I’d left comments for came back and left me comments on some of my blog posts, my posts were suffering because I’d rushed them and not put any serious thought into them. I was producing poor quality posts.

Nobody can read and comment on every single blog post of all the blogs they follow, especially when the number of those blogs being followed go beyond single digits. Don’t feel that you have to read and comment on every single blog post. A loyal, friendly blogger won’t mind if you miss or don’t comment on some of their posts. If they do care, or take offence, then maybe it’s time to unfollow them?

Find Out What Your ‘High’ Peak Blogging Times Are

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As soon as you have been blogging for a while, you should start to see when your ‘high’ peak blogging times are. What I mean by ‘high’ peak blogging times are the times of the day and the days of the week when you feel that the blogging world is at its busiest. This, in turn, could be the best times for you to publish blog posts, as they are more likely to receive more hits, likes and comments during these times.

My high ‘peak’ blogging times are  –

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00 – 17:00 (UK time).

These are the days and times when I feel the blogging world is at its busiest with readers. I seem to have more interaction with and from other bloggers during these times. I’ve certainly noticed a rise in the number of posts being published on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and on a Friday morning.

You may be surprised that I haven’t included Saturdays or Sundays, when many people may not be working. Why is that?

When I first started to blog, Saturdays and Sundays were always busy. In fact, six of my most read posts were published on a Saturday morning. However, recently, that seems to have changed. I’ve looked at posts of some bloggers who publish posts every day and have seen a decline in the number of likes and comments those posts are getting, especially over the weekend.

I’ve also seen a decline in the visits, likes and comments I get on my posts, especially any posts published on the weekend. Of course, if you only publish posts on the weekend then you probably won’t see much of a difference, but have a look back and compare the numbers of visits, comments and likes your posts used to get, and compare them to what your blog is now getting. Like me, you may be surprised.

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Obviously, if you work during the week, you and others may only be able to publish posts and read and comment on other posts during the weekend. Therefore, your ‘high’ peak blogging times will always be Saturdays and/or Sundays.

I class the following times and days as my ‘moderate’ peak blogging times.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 09:00 – 12:00

Saturday 09:00 – 13:00

Sunday 09:00 – 17:00

Other times and days outside of my ‘high and ‘moderate’ peak blogging times are my ‘low’ peaking blogging times.

It took me a while to find my peak blogging times, especially as they can change but, from August 1st 2018, I decided to stop publishing new blog posts outside of my ‘high’ peak blogging times.

At ‘low’ peak blogging times, I’m less likely to be blogging at all, including reading and commenting on posts. Instead, I now use the time to get on with the rest of my life, although will come back to read and comment on posts if I find myself with some spare time during those times.

Get Yourself A Blogging Routine

Once you know what your peak blogging times and days are, plan a blogging routine around them. For me, I always begin the morning by responding to comments left on my own posts and those posts I’ve left comments on.

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Depending on the number of comments your blog gets, this can take up a lot of time. As I’m in my most creative mood in the mornings, if there are too many comments to respond to, then I’ll write first and come back later to respond to comments.

From 14:00 I tend to read and leave comments on other blogs. Sometimes, I may not have the time to do this, but I always try and read and comment on at least one blog post a day.

What blog posts do I read? Click here to find out the answer.

If I find myself with any spare time after reading and commenting, then I will respond to any further comments.

Between 17:00 and 18:00 is when I shut up shop and go and spend time with my partner. Occasionally, I will respond to comments during the evening, but I am now doing this less and less. I look at this as my current ‘blog diet.’

Weekends are now when I am unlikely to be blogging, but that’s because those days are when it’s best for me. They may not be best for you because of work or other commitments during the week.

WordPress Reader or Email Notifications?

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Because I compared myself, earlier, to a hamster running on a wheel, I seldom use the WordPress Reader anymore. Instead, I receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

I have created a folder in my email box and named it ‘Must Read.’ I move all the posts with eye-catching titles, and which I want to read, to that folder. This stops my email box looking like it’s been on a bodybuilding course which, in turn, stops me from stressing out about there being too many unopened emails in my inbox.

However, I don’t subscribe to all the blogs I follow anymore. Why? Because I was beginning to find I was reading posts that I either had little interest in and/or where I felt I could not add a comment which had any value. Instead, I now rely on other bloggers reblogging or sharing those posts. If they’ve given a good enough reason as to why they are sharing the post, then I may read it.

I do like leaving comments (and by comments I mean helpful and useful comments that don’t come over as spammy), but I no longer allow myself to waste time by trying to think of something useful to say. If I can’t think of a comment that adds value straight away, then I may leave a ‘like’ before moving on to the next post.

Follow For A Follow

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Don’t fall into the trap of following every single blogger who follows you, especially those that follow you without leaving a comment.

Unfortunately, not only will some of these bloggers unfollow you as soon you follow them, but there’s no simple way (as far as I’m aware) of finding out whether they have unfollowed you or not. All they are interested in are getting as many followers as possible, often without visiting and interacting with any of the blogs they follow. Stats drive them more than content does.

By all means do check out some of the blogs of the bloggers who have followed you, but never feel obliged to follow them back. Only follow them if their content is of interest to you, there is evidence that they do respond to all comments, and their posts are likely to have you wanting to leave helpful comments on.

What do you do to save time when blogging? Please share your blogging time-saving tips with us in the comments section.

If you enjoyed reading this post, then you may also like 7 Ways To Get More Readers To Your Blog.

Click here to follow my Blogging Tips magazine on Flipboard.

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139 comments

  1. Hi Hugh, thanks for this post. I want and I need to blog. I love all the connection and creativity shared in this online world. I’m so discouraged to keep blogging, like you said, it’s too time-consuming, I feel in the obligation to answer and visit everybody comments and blogs, and at the end, I’m exhausted to write my own posts. I like the idea of having a routine for it. I can have few days to write posts and other days to answer the comments and visit blogs. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, it’s something I believe most bloggers go through. Visiting and commenting on all of the posts of the blogs we follow because we feel it polite or believe that if we don’t do it then we will lose all of our own followers. Once you get over those thoughts then blogging becomes very much less overwhelming. Most bloggers know that it’s impossible to visit and comment on every blog they follow. However, visiting and commenting on a few blogs every day is the best way to go. In my post from last week I shared which posts I read and comment on and why. Now, that’s all I do, and I don’t feel the least bit bad for changing the way I was blogging. It’s helped me so much.

      Good luck with whatever new blogging routine you put in place.

  2. Lots of great advice, tips for all to find something we hadn’t tried or had missed. The separate folder is it seems a must. I pin this so I can return, peruse at my pleasure. Thank you from the senior salon.

        1. Probably because I am currently only publishing twice a week. Posts soon get knocked down the WordPress Reader list. It’s one of the reasons why I prefer to receive posts via email. Then, I don’t miss as much.

  3. This is good advice, Hugh. I post more on weekends because I have the time to write the posts. Sometimes I schedule them for during the week. I am a bit of a haphazard blogger as I tend to write and post when I feel like it. I must try and get a schedule but I think it may go against my nature.

    1. Haphazard is the way to start, Robbie. When we blog that way, we’ll soon see a pattern emerge of when the best times and days to post are. At the moment I seem to be publishing posts on Mondays & Tuesdays. However, Wednesdays and Thursdays are also excellent posting days for me. I guess I can vary them each week. What I have witnessed, though, (and so have others) is a slow down in blogging at the weekends. If that is true and we publish posts during the weekend, then not as many readers will see them on the WordPress Reader. It’s certainly something to think about.

  4. Thanks for this, Hugh. I’m feeling like a hamster right now – trying desperately to read and comment on other blogs leaving no time to actually write new posts for my own blog and feeling guilty about all of it. I have a temporary – but 5 days a week – job this summer and I know it’s crazy to think I can do everything else I did before I was working. I like your idea of having a separate folder for blog posts you want to read and will try that. Most of all I like the advice not to beat myself up about it. Thank you.

    1. Oh dear, Mary. I do hope this post will help you in not beating yourself up over not being able to blog the way you used to. Circumstances have changed, and I’m sure that most people will fully understand. I’ve seen far too many people going down this road (me included) and it’s not a nice place. I realised that I had to either change the way I blogged or give up blogging altogether because it was really making feel low. Most bloggers will understand your absence. Those that don’t, then unfollow them. It will be their loss.

      I hope having that extra folder does help. Make sure you mark all that goes in there as ‘opened’ so as not to feel guilty about how much is in there.

      Thanks, too, for reblogging and sharing this post. I really appreciate it.

      Take care.

  5. What an informative, down-to-earth post about blogging, Hugh’ With the sun setting, I’d feel as if I hadn’t really achieved anything. I laughed out loud whe I read this line. It was so me when I was blogging up until a couple of years ago, and when I found all I did in my spare time was blogging, it was taking over my life.

    Like you, I blog to a schedule. I put up a blog post once a month, and around the days this post goes up I set aside some time to visit blogs and catch up with everyone who has posted – and that might take up a few nights after work. I do catch up with blogs a few times a week too, but probably spend about half an hour all up.

    Also like you, I don’t follow for a follow or like for a like. To me, blogging isn’t a popularity contest but more about engagement and learning something from bloggers who take time with their blogs. At first it was hard not visiting everyone who leaves a comment on my blog right away – and I learnt that there is no need to rush into reading and commenting on other blogs. Taking time to read and reflect on what other’s blogs is one way to earn loyalty, and a reader for a long time.

    1. I’m so pleased you’ve had that feeling of blogging taking over your life, Mabel. I think most bloggers go through that stage at some point during their blogging journey. Thankfully, most of us get ourselves out of that pitfall.

      You’re so right about blogging not being a popularity contest. I saw far too much of that when I was on Facebook! The same goes for writing posts and rushing to publish them. When we take our time drafting posts, readers can pick up on it. Likewise, I can always pick up on when a post has been written and published too quickly. The quality often suffers.

      Thank you so much for your comments on this subject.

      1. I think when you get that feeling of blogging taking over your life, it means you are serious about it and blogging means quite a lot to you and even quite personal – especially for the passion of it.

        You are so right. If we take our time and effort, we will find our audience and niche. I enjoy reading a blog post not only for it reading grammar-error free but also for the thought that goes into it.

  6. It can be hard to find the balance, so glad you have Hugh. I just like to be erratic, and sporadic, with no plan. It seems to work for me, and since I’m not in it to gain followers, it doesn’t matter so much if I don’t publish regularly. I do like to peruse my reader from the limited blogs I follow every day, but do not always comment unless I have something reasonably intelligent to say.

    1. You’re right, Claudette. That balance that can be hard to find. What works for me may not work for somebody else, but sharing our thoughts on subjects like this can hopefully go on to help others. I only found my right balance for blogging because of reading a post another blogger had published, although not everything that worked for her, worked for me.

      And I’m so glad to hear what you say about leaving comments. I only wish more people would do the same as you do.

    1. Thank you. I hate seeing my email inbox so full, so creating that folder was the best thing I did. Now, I feel as if I don’t have to rush when it comes to reading and commenting on posts. As I mentioned to another reader earlier, ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint.’

  7. I follow more than 100 blogs. Some hardly ever post; others post multiple times a day. I have no problem skipping posts I don’t find interesting. Just the same, the bloggers I read with most enthusiasm are those whose posts are relatively short (fewer than 1,000 words). And once a week (or even less often) is fine with me. Better a drip than a fire hose.

    1. Thank you for your input, Audrey. I think many of the bloggers who publish multiple posts over a short period of time, do so because they think it’s the only way they will get their posts noticed. Unfortunately, some of these posts are often rushed and are of poor quality which, in itself, can put readers off. However, some of these bloggers also help promote other bloggers and their work and run various features. I’d become very stressed out by doing that, but it’s all about finding the right balance and what works best for us.

    1. It’s still very early days for ‘Mix,’ Matt. However, I do like the way it’s been set up. I never really knew how StumbleUpon worked, even though I got lots of traffic from it to my blog. I’ll certainly give ‘Mix’ a chance before deciding whether to continue to use it.

  8. It’s a learning thing, managing blogging. I have come to the same conclusions as you, Hugh. In the beginning it was exciting to see the stats and follower numbers climbing. Followed by disappointment at the paucity of comments. For me, that is the delight and ‘meat’ of blogging – often more fun and informative than the post itself. And a vehicle for forming relationships. I too have noticed the drop in weekends. I think I will have to go and do some housekeeping on my email notifications. Thank you – as always your posts are full of practical and useful advice.

    1. Comments are so useful, aren’t they? Not only do they give the blogger, who has written the post, a lift that somebody has left a comment which clearly shows that they have read the post, but they can also spark ideas and give information not included in the post. And you are so right that learning to manage a blog is something every blogger has to do.

      I’m glad that you have also seen a decline in the blogging world at weekends. You’re the second reader to have mentioned it, so I now know that it’s not only me.

      Thank you so much for your comments and input into this subject.

  9. Thank you for the valuable tips, Hugh. I started my WordPress account six years ago but was not seriously blogging until July 2016. For one whole year, I followed everyone who followed me, hopped over to visit, like, and comment. Of course, their posts came to my Reader and kept me busy. But I noticed that not all the bloggers returned the favors. Just for curiosity’s sake, I kept a folder of the emails that comment and like my posts and compare that to the posts came to my Reader. After doing it for a while, I unfollowed many who followed and disappeared, as you said in this post. I like the idea of keeping a schedule.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you for sharing your tips with us, Miriam.

      I would say to be careful about taking into account who ‘likes’ any of your posts. I recently wrote a post about ‘likes’ on blog posts and was shocked to discover that some bloggers and readers left ‘likes’ even though they did not read the post. I don’t know about you, but I am also always shocked when I get ‘likes’ on a post that I have only just published and know that it would have been impossible for someone to have read the whole post before pressing the ‘like’ button. It seems that the ‘like’ button is often seen as a way of some bloggers getting some free publicity, especially as they click on the ‘like’ button in the WordPress Reader without even opening a post.

      You do right by unfollowing blogs, especially if the content is of no interest to you anymore. I regularly check which blogs I am following and do some housekeeping by unfollowing any that no longer publish posts or which no longer interest me. It helps me keep my blogging balance in the correct position.

      1. I totally agree with you. Some bloggers click “like” the same minute I post. It shocks me as if they set the automatic “like” to the posts come to their Reader. I know that WordPress doesn’t have that function. So I’m still wondering.
        Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I appreciate it very much.

  10. Hugh I just love your blogging tips posts. Do you realize you probably have enough posts to put together a good book? Just sayin’ 🙂
    With that said, I admit, I’m not a big technical person busy looking at stats. I’ve learned over time to gauge my traiffic by following the emerging pattern. I know my high traffic days – especially Wednesdays, the day after my posts go out to subscribers as well as a few other higher days during the week. And as far as spending too much time creating blogs, I have my own system. As you know, I write everything in longhand. After the basic rough draft, I enter it into blog draft and as I’m typing I’m already doing first round edits. I like to pre-draft posts and when I’m nearing the day I want to post I do my final edits (and there are always changes and typos I find) as well as add anything else that comes to mind about the post I may have previously forgotten to add. ❤

    1. Thanks for the idea of a book, Debby. Yes, the thought of publishing everything into a book has flown past me many a time, but I do wonder how much of this information is evergreen. For now, I seem happy at sharing all this information on my blog, for free. 😀

      You do right by taking time writing your blog posts. I spent five days on putting this post (and last weeks) together. I see evidence of too many posts that have been rushed to publication. They suffer on the quality front and, as a result, do make it less likely that I will check out other posts from the same blogger. Like you, I pick up many errors when going through the drafts, although I know that some can still get through. Grr! I also take out images that I thought were suitable and replace them with something more appropriate.

      Thank you for sharing your writing your strategy with us.
      xx

      1. My pleasure Hugh. You know you and I have always been on the same wavelength when it comes to blogging etiquette 🙂 We only learn from experience and hopefully our experiences shared will help others. ❤

  11. You are such a successful blogger, Hugh, so we all know the value of these tips. I’ve had great success with my Friday and now Sunday early morning posts (7am Pacific time), largely due to the wordpress weekly photo challenge and now Sunday Stills. With my teaching schedule, these days still work best for me for engagement. It’s great to see the stats and how we can leverage the information. I was all over the place right after I retired but I was building my blog and had nothing better to do, LOL! So much conflicting advice out there; everyone has to find their best blogging times. A quick time-saver tip that I’ve been using for Sunday Stills is I share the posts on my facebook page and it auto-tweets the post! Love that because I share every post. Now I also throw them into the “mix!” Haven’t seen much engagement with flipboard though.

    1. Thank you, Terri. I’m still learning a lot about blogging, but am loving every moment. If I didn’t have anything else to learn, I think I could become fed-up quite quickly and probably move on.

      It’s only recently occurred to me as to when my peak blogging times are. When you look deeply into the patterns that you see emerge from blogging, the results can be quite startling. For example, I always thought that publishing posts on a Saturday morning would always get me the most views, likes and comments. Now, though, the pattern seems to have changed and, for me, Saturdays have become a really quiet day in the blogging world. No doubt my blogging patterns will change again, but change is good. You’re so right that the best blogging times will be different for most of us, especially as we have to take into account what else goes on in our lives.

      Thanks for your time-saving tip. I use the ‘Publicise Your Posts’ feature that WordPress offers so that my posts get posted on Twitter and Google+ as soon as they go live. It’s a shame that WordPress doesn’t offer this feature for all the social media platforms, but I guess they too have their limits.

      I had huge success with Flipboard last year. This year hasn’t been so good, but I think that’s down to me not having spent as much time on it. The jury is still out on Mix, but it’s early days.

  12. Hamster on a wheel – that’s a good way of putting it. I think you have to blog mostly as a writing exercise and not with the expectation that followers will check out every one of your posts.

  13. You are always so helpful Hugh and sensible with it! I have been on a blogging break due to sadness mainly, and refuse to apologise for not blogging. I will get back into it and at my own pace once I feel better. I love reading your thoughts as they really help crystallise my own thinking on the subject. I particularly like the saying that blogging is a marathon and not a sprint! Thanks again for being a sensible voice in the blogging world 😊😊

    1. I’m so glad to hear you say that you refuse to apologise for not blogging, Debbie. Life outside of blogging can often throw something at us that we were not expecting. Nobody should have to appoliogise for being ill or having to deal with an emergency. I’m glad you see it like that. Our health is far more important than the feeling we have to write and publish blog posts and have a constant presence online. You do right by taking some time out.

      It’s always wonderful when somebody tells me that what I have written has made them think more about the subject. I hope this post goes a long way in helping you.

      I’m so sorry to hear that events have not been good, Debbie. I do hope you are well and that life gets back on the right track for you soon.

      Take good care of yourself.

      1. Thanks for your kind comments Hugh, it’s nice to make a start to get back into blogging again and you are always so supportive! Things will improve soon, they always do 🙂

        I think it was you who actually taught me not to apologise for anything blogging related in the first place, and it’s a lesson a lot of people could learn.
        Thanks again for always being generous and sensible with your blogging advice, you are a real star and one of my absolute favourites. xx

  14. I read this with much interest, Hugh, as I’ve experience many of the same feelings. I like to visit other blogs and of course have favorites. I haven’t looked any new blogs recently because I’m just keeping up with those I already follow.

    I work part time and usually Friday-Sunday, on which days I simply can’t get to all the blogs. I do feel bad about that, but I’m also trying to have a life (what?????) and I’m online quite a lot already. I blog every day, but have started thinking about limiting which days I post and seeing how that works.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking, thoughtful post.

    janet

    1. Hello Janet. Thanks so much for your comments.

      It’s good to see that you are not looking at and following new blogs because the ones you already follow are keeping you busy. I occasionally have a look at the list of blogs I follow and unfollow some. Mainly those that haven’t posted for more than six months, or some that no longer interest me because they have changed direction. I’m now very strict with myself about following any new blogs and will only follow if I know I’m going to be interested in the content and will comment.

      Try not to feel bad about not visiting blogs on days when you are not online. Most bloggers really won’t mind. If they do, then unfollow them.

  15. With my writing schedule I have to compartmentalize my time so I use my mornings for my blog and reading/commenting on those I follow. Afternoon’s are spent catching up emails and promoting on social media. Night time is set aside for writing, no more internet! Or, that’s the plan, anyway 🙂

  16. Good post, Hugh, that’ll help a lot of new bloggers, I’m sure. 🙂

    I rarely look at my stats anymore so don’t tend to see when my peak times and days are. I do look in my draft post area and find that I don’t feel like posting what I’ve put there… I think this says more about me than the content of my posts, though.

    Routines never work for me, but are great for people who can cope with them. Blogging can be incredibly stressful if overdone. I take fairly regular blogging breaks which help.

    I keep wanting to schedule posts but I am always so busy with my photo work that I don’t get around to it.

    I’m completely with you on not reading or commenting on ALL the blogs I follow. Yikes, I think I’d expire! As it is, I unfollow some blogs to give myself a breather sometimes. And I never follow people just because they follow me.

    1. My draft folder also has many posts that I’ve never published, Val. Occasionally, I will housekeep there and delete many of them, but something stops me from deleting all of them. I think it stems back to a post I published earlier this year which had been in my draft folder for over a year. It ended up becoming one of most viewed and commented on posts so far this year.

      I agree about blogging becoming incredibly stressful if overdone. I’ve been on that boat and had to decide whether to change the way I blogged or stop altogether.

      I still come across so many bloggers who feel guilty because they’re not able to read and comment on all the blogs they follow. It can become a slippery slope that is difficult to get off before hitting the bottom.

      Thank you for sharing your comments with us on this post.

  17. Thanks for the tips, Hugh. I find that I am looking at my email and others’ blogs well into the evening every day. I can’t get caught up. I have many new followers that I don’t have enough time to respond to or even look at their posts. Sigh. I put an all call out for interviews and I have received more than I thought possible. Now I am behind in trying to do them all and find time to write. A deep sigh!!
    I will try what you said and not do any on the weekend. I used to do 1-2 posts a week, now I find I need to do one a day to keep up with all the requests. A shuttering sigh! I don’t want to appear insensitive to others by not following their blogs, but I can’t do it! Phew!
    Thanks for lending an ear. Ahh – feel better already. You should charge for lending your shoulder. I will try not to lean too heavily on you. Hugs xxx

    1. Hi Janice. I’m sorry to hear that blogging is overwhelming you. The first thing I would recommend is that you cut your author interviews to once a week. Even if that means you’ll be publishing the posts for another year, I am sure all those that have already contacted you will understand.

      Don’t worry about not reading and commenting on other blogs. Again, most bloggers will often find themselves in the same position at some stage (just like I did). Try and structure your days so you write first before reading and commenting. I found that by doing that, I often found myself with more time to then read and comment. Most importantly of all, though, make sure you take some time out away from blogging. Pick at least one day a week when you won’t blog and use the time doing other stuff that life sometimes asks of us. I’ve read many posts by bloggers who take blogging breaks and how wonderful and helpful they were. I took one myself in the summer of 2016. It was one of the best things I did.

      I’m glad you feel better by sharing your concerns with us, Janice. Please feel free to contact me via email if I can help any further. I’m always happy to help.

      Take care of yourself.
      xx

      1. Thank you, Hugh! You are so kind! I took a break back in May and will take another one in the fall. Hanging in there and will do fine. Thanks for your support and friendship. Hugs xx

  18. I ‘chased’ followers when I started in 2014 – I had over 1500, though very few ever read or commented on my posts, but when I learned how to manage them I deleted the majority of followers (many of them were businesses and from other countries) – it was very liberating.
    Even now I regularly housekeep the sites I follow – if someone hasn’t posted for six months or more (and hasn’t posted to say they’re not going to), or their values do not accord with mine – then I unfollow. I also change my settings so I do not receive emails telling me they have posted or commented.
    I don’t check my stats anymore.
    I like to have a clear day for writing – so if I’ve been out or had people here and can’t get on, then I write posts for my blog(s) and schedule them, so when I have a clear day, I can get on and not put pressure on myself for produce posts.
    REMEMBER – WORK/LIFE BALANCE

    1. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us, Eileen. It sounds like you’ve been through everything that blogging can throw at us. Many bloggers don’t realise that only about 20% of their followers will ever interact with them. Most never come back.

      I’ve never been somebody who has celebrated milestones in my stats because they are not worth concerning ourselves with or worrying about. In fact, many of the stats send out false signals. The only one I ever take seriously is the one that tells me which of my posts have been the most popular although, more often or not, I know the answer to that by the number of comments a post gets.

      Thanks again for your comments.

  19. Thanks for this post. I’m new and have been overwhelmed. I’m not here to s ll anything, I just need a place to write and find my voice.

    I started following the folks that like a blog post whether they follow me or not. Some people post so many times in one day that I set them up in reader. All others I set for one email a day or no notifications.
    Thanks again

    1. You’re welcome.

      WordPress now compress the posts of bloggers who publish multiple times in a short space of time. It helps the Reader to not look cluttered and allows posts of bloggers who don’t publish as much to have their posts show up on the Reader. There’s no harm in checking out the blogs of those who ‘like’ your posts but never feel obliged to follow them just because they liked a post. Give yourself valid reasons as to why you should follow a blog. Being overwhelmed is one of the reasons why many bloggers give up blogging within the first 12 months.

      Good luck.

  20. I would prefer reading in the Reader, but I follow several people who post multiple times per day and their posts dominate the Reader. In email, I can sort them, pick the one with the most interesting title, read it and delete the rest – sorry, that’s how it goes.

    1. It’s another reason why I stopped using the Reader, although I am glad that WordPress now compress the posts of those who publish multiple times within a short space of time. It does come over as ‘spammy’, though.
      No need to apologise. I always say ‘do what works best for you.’ These tips worked for me, but they won’t work for everyone.

  21. Such sensible advice as usual, Hugh. I am letting go of my guilt over not reading all the blogs I follow all the time. It is impossible! And I’ve also become more selective. I was reading several blogs that didn’t interest me much out of duty. I haven’t figured out the best time to post, but need to do some research based on your interesting findings. I am most creative in the morning, so I need to preserve that time for writing as much as possible. It is so easy to go down the rabbit hole of reading and commenting on blogs, that my own writing gets pushed aside. I also need to beware of staying balanced with personal life, relationships, and other enriching experiences that I ignore while my face is glued to a computer screen.

    1. All very good and important points in your comments, Molly. I come across so many bloggers who are feeling stressed or guilty because they can’t keep up with blogging. I was there once and had to change the way I blogged or give it up altogether. I’m glad I made the right choice.

      The same goes for the bloggers who keep apologising because they haven’t been visiting blogs and commenting recently. We should never get into a position of apologising for not reading and commenting. I’d much rather a blogger be in good health and know that they are taking action to get whatever life has thrown at them rather than trying to please people by reading and commenting on blog posts.

      Now I never feel guilty about not reading and commenting on all the posts of the blogs I follow. In fact, I’ve even gone further and unfollowed a lot of blogs that no longer interest me or don’t reply to their readers. It’s gone a long way in saving me heaps of time, rather than using it to collecting followers instead of concentrating on my content.

      It’s great to see you are already taking action.

      1. These seem to be common conditions of blogging, Hugh. But in order to survive as a blogger and not quit, one must learn to take care of oneself. And if we are open, we can learn from experienced bloggers like you, to avoid the pitfalls. I am much more interested in concentrating on my content than collecting followers. I’d rather produce a quality column that no one reads, than produce dribble for tons of followers.

  22. I suffer from this dilemma daily! I used to publish posts at 5 AM to catch US readers before work. Lately, I’ve been publishing later to catch the UK crowd but its a small percentage of my total readers. I really should experiment.

    I like your idea of a folder. I have so many email notifications, my gmail is almost full! I wish there were a way to stop “like” notifications on comments.

    1. It took me a while to experiment before I found out which times and days were best to post on and, of course, things can change. Once upon a time, Saturday morning was always an excellent time for me to publish posts. Now, Saturdays have become quiet and posts are not getting as many hits likes and/or comments as they used to. I see Sundays going the same way.

      There is a way to stop ‘like’ notifications. On your dashboard, go to WP Admin – Settings – Discussion, and towards the bottom of the page (under ‘Like Notifications’) untick the box that says ‘Somebody likes one of my posts’ next to ‘Email Whenever.’ That should help your Gmail Inbox a little.

  23. 🙂 Hugh, I am happy to know, that you discovered the best times for you to publish blog posts.

    I have also experimented with times. 12:00 GMT seems to work well for me (But, I have not published anything around that time in ages).

    I also discovered, that I do get more interaction the day after my blog post is published (So, I stopped worrying so much about the time that my blog posts are published).

    Hugh, I usually follow people via Feedly, because I get a notification as soon as the person’s blog post is published and I can take my time going through those notifications (I would prefer to use this method instead of following people on WordPress, but once you do not follow WordPress bloggers via WordPress, they tend to think that you are not interested in their blog).

    By the way, I am following you on WordPress and not via Feedly.

    I genuinely believe that the WordPress Reader gets a bit of confusing; especially when one is following a large number of people; it gets ridiculously cluttered.

    And, I do not follow ever single blogger who follows me, because it is not feasible to visit all of those blogs in a reasonable time-frame.

    Do have yourself a wonderful week and keep blogging, my friend!

    1. What great comments, thank you, Renard.

      We should never think that a post we have published isn’t going to be read very much. Some of the posts I published two years ago still get comments left on them. I leave the work to the search engines or people sharing my posts for me. It’s surprising how older posts can still attract comments years after they’ve been published. It’s one of the reasons why I choose not to turn comments off a post after a certain period. I’ve occasionally been disappointed that I’ve not been able to leave a comment on a post because the author decided to turn comments off 14 days after publication of a post. Sometimes, it can take me weeks, even months, before I am able to read a post.

      I’m not sure there is a way of knowing if somebody has unfollowed your blog. I’ve never been notified that somebody has unfollowed me. Other than somebody not commenting or liking posts anymore, I don’t think there are any other ways of knowing. I’ve across some bloggers who are terrified of unfollowing blogs they are no longer interested in. Most think that the blogger they are unfollowing will get an email telling them of the unfollow. I know it happens when somebody unsubscribes from a mailing list, but it doesn’t happen when unfollowing a blog.

      I don’t know ‘Feedly, but I have heard of people using it. If it saves you time using time, then that’s a great tip to share. Thank you.

  24. Lots of sensible tips here Hugh!
    Ive also cut back a lot (not that you can tell lol) and spend specific times on my blog. My good times are early morning so if I’m scheduling, that’s when I’ll put my post out there.

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