Reblog: Why My Ears Work Better Than My Eyes When It Comes To Advice About Writing

I’m delighted to have been asked back by Charli Mills to contribute guest posts over at the Carrot Ranch blog.

If you have dyslexia or struggle with reading and writing, not all the advice you are given and read will work.

My post outlines two pieces of advice that don’t work for me. It also offers four tips that do work for me when it comes to writing and reading. Click the following link to be taken to the post.

Why My Ears Work Better Than My Eyes When It Comes To Advice About Writing « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Why My Ears Work Better Than My Eyes When It Comes To Advice About Writing « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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Looking To Save Time When Blogging? Here Are 5 Things That Worked For Me

In my recent post, ‘Why Are Some Bloggers Killing Off Comments Being left On Their Blogs?‘ the most popular reason was – ‘they didn’t have the time to respond to them.’

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

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Looking To Save Time When Blogging?

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

Many bloggers say that 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.

1. Save time by stopping feeling guilty or stressed out about blogging.

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 blog post and tweet of every blog I followed. I felt guilty if I didn’t leave a comment. Can you imagine how much time I was spending reading and leaving comments on those blogs?

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. Even if the content didn’t interest me, I still felt I had a duty to read and comment. 

I acted like one of those hamsters running around on its wheel as I tried to get to the top of my WordPress Reader list. I’d spent my days 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 commented on some of my blog posts, my posts were suffering because I’d rushed them, not put any serious thought into them and published them on the same day I’d written them. Big mistake! I was producing poor quality content.

Unless they’re only following a handful of blogs, nobody can read and comment on every blog post of all the blogs they follow. Don’t feel that you have to read and comment on every single newly published 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, maybe it’s time to think about unfollowing them?

Save yourself time by only reading and following blogs that interest you. 

2. Save time by finding out what your ‘high peak’ blogging times are.

What do I mean by ‘high peak’ blogging times? They are the times of the day and the days of the week when you feel that the blogging world is at its busiest for you.

As soon as you have been blogging for a few months, you should start to see when your ‘high peak’ blogging times are. 

If, like me, you start by publishing on different days and times, you’ll soon get a feel for when your ‘high peak’ blogging times are.   

My ‘high peak’ blogging times are –

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

These are the days and times when I feel the blogging world is at its busiest. I have more interaction with other bloggers during these times. 

However, let’s say that you only publish blog posts on a Saturday at midday. As your audience grows, they’ll soon get used to when you publish posts, so they’ll expect to see new content from you on that day and time. That will be your ‘high peak’ blogging time. 

If you work during the week, you and others may only publish posts and read and comment on other posts during the weekends. Therefore, your ‘high peak’ blogging times will be Saturdays and Sundays.

It took me a while to find my ‘high peak’ blogging times, and they can change.

Now, during ‘low peak’ blogging times, I’m not likely to be blogging very much, although I will respond to any outstanding comments. I use most of the time to get on with other things.

I may also use the time to write blogging posts.

Finding out my ‘high peak’ blogging times helped me cut down my online presence and helped me save time.  

3. 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 mornings by responding to comments left on my posts and those posts where I’ve commented.

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 and respond.

When responding to comments, I’ve implemented the following time-saving rules.

  • I take conversations offline if anyone leaves a comment that has nothing to do with the post’s subject. 
  • If a blog post attracts lots of comments, I delay the publication of my next post (as I did with this post) until comments are at a level at which I can respond to them comfortably without feeling overwhelmed. However, if you run a weekly or monthly challenge, this may not be possible to do. 

My previous blogging tips post, ‘Why Are Some Bloggers Killing Off Comments Being left On Their Blogs?‘ produced lots of comments, so delaying the publishing date of this post helped me save time by not getting overwhelmed with more comments.   

  • I stopped publishing new blog posts just before going offline for a few days (such as going away on holiday). I also stopped publishing blog posts while on holiday. It means I don’t come back to an overflowing comments box that needs my urgent attention.
  • I close off comments on any reblogs I do, requesting that readers leave new comments on the original post. 
  • I close comments off on my Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday posts, requesting that readers leave any new comments on the original post. 
  • Rather than respond to ‘lazy’ comments, I acknowledge them with a ‘like,’     

All have helped me save time when responding to comments.  

I give myself blogging breaks during the day but always stop blogging after 17:00. Occasionally, I will respond to comments during the evenings, but this is very rare. 

I recently decided to stop blogging at weekends because that’s when the blogging world seems to be much quieter for me.

Set yourself a ‘switch-off blogging’ time, and stick to it. 

4. WordPress Reader or Email Notifications?

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. The rest get deleted. It stops my email box from looking like it’s been on a bodybuilding course which, in turn, prevents me from stressing out about there being too many unopened emails in my inbox.

I no longer feel guilty about deleting emails of blog posts I’ve not read or those that have unappealing titles.  

I do like leaving comments, but I no longer allow myself to waste time thinking of something valuable to say. If I can’t think of something that adds value straight away, I may leave a ‘like’ before moving on to the next post. It helps take away the guilt and stress feelings that spoilt blogging for me. Plus, it ‘s saving me time. 

5. Follow For A Follow

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 those bloggers want are 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 the blogs that publish content of interest to you, especially if they are likely to get you leaving helpful valuable comments.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Stressing out or feeling guilty about blogging won’t save you time. All it will do is make blogging less appealing.
  • Save time by not following and reading blogs that do not interest you.
  • Never think that you have to read and leave a comment on every newly published blog post.
  • Find out what your ‘high peak’ blogging times are.
  • ‘High Peak’ blogging times are the times you feel are the busiest for you and often when you interact the most with other bloggers and readers.
  • Use ‘low peak’ blogging times to write or do other stuff.
  • Get yourself a blogging routine and stick to it.
  • Think and implement ways of saving yourself time when answering comments.
  • Set yourself a ‘switch-off blogging’ time, and stick to it.
  • If you’re spending too much time trying to get to the top of your WordPress Reader, consider getting new blog post notifications via email.
  • Move the new post notifications that have appealing blog post titles to a ‘Must Read’ folder.
  • Delete the new post notifications that have unappealing blog posts titles. Never feel guilty about deleting them.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of following every single blogger who follows you.
  • Some bloggers will unfollow you as soon as you follow them back.
  • By all means, check out some of the blogs that follow you, but only follow those that publish interesting content you know will make you want to join in with the conversations by leaving comments.

What do you do to save time when blogging? Share your blogging time-saving tips in the comments section and help those bloggers who are always finding themselves running out of time when blogging.

Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these posts.

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Help An Author #AmWriting

Help An Author

For those who missed the post, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ is a novel that I started writing in 2012. For 8 years, it has remained in the archives of my computer. I decided to publish the first 539 words of it on my blog and asked for feedback.

As a result, 539 words got reduced to 437 words. Thanks to feedback from Geoff Le Pard, it also has a new and (in my opinion) better opening. I hope it will hook in even more readers.

I’ve created a Page on my blog where you can read rewritten parts of the story. To access them, click on ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ on the menu bar.

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to work and live in London. You can find out more about Danny in the first part of the published story.

Each week I’ll be introducing new characters. This week, readers will be introduced to Dougie Marsh, a coach driver who plays an important part in Danny’s life.

Everyone is welcome to leave feedback on each new part.

A new part of the story will be published every week. Each one will be no more than 550 words, so it shouldn’t take up more than 10-15 minutes of your time to read and leave feedback. I will rewrite the part from the feedback and publish the new version on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ page.

If you’d like to know more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment.

Thank you for your continued support and for joining me on this journey. I hope you will stay with me and find out what and who awaits Danny Johnson in London.

Tales From Under The Rainbow

Click here to read the first completed part of ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’

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