How I Plan to Keep Blog Time in Check
Image by DeclanTM
Based on my recent announcement that I’m going to be scaling back a little on my blogging efforts, and the absolutely enormous (and incredibly encouraging) response that I received, I thought I would just share a few thoughts on how I am working to keep blog work minimal while I continue to keep up my blog:
- Write shorter posts– If I notice that I post is getting too long and I can’t finish it as I’d like to within the time that I have available, I will either just ditch part of the post OR turn it into a multiple part series. Either way, I can finish up more quickly and call it done.
- Write more stream-of-consciousness posts– Posts that are very information/research/link heavy tend to take several hours to write, edit and format. I will be doing these posts less frequently and will work on them a little at a time. Instead, I will be writing more posts that are just from my life and personal experience. These tend to be faster and easier to write, and still allow me to focus on subjects that I am really passionate about!
- Give myself more strict time guidelines– I am setting a time each afternoon when I will be finished with blog work, whether the kids are up or not. Even if they’re not up, I will stop work so that I can focus on other things that need to be done for my family or home. I think that I will start using a timer to accomplish this, because I need that tangible signal that my time is done! Anyone know of a good, online timer?
- Try the Moms’ 30 Minute Blog Challenge– I saw this at Steady Mom a while back and thought what a great idea… how on earth would I write and publish a post in 30 minutes??? I still sort of wonder, but I’m going to try. If I can write posts in 30 minutes that would be a great help in allowing me to continue blogging!
- Worry less about including lots of images– I will still include images in my posts, but I won’t worry so much if a post only has 1 image and doesn’t look quite as “professional”
- Try some different types of posts– I was inspired by Kimi’s video post. What a fun idea and a great way to answer some questions or talk about a subject without taking a long time to write up a thorough post. I will also try doing some posts that are more image based and have less words. It’s editing the writing that usually takes the most time, but images are a bit easier. (It’s when I try to include both a lot of writing AND images that I get really bogged down!)
- Stay strict on my “no blogging on the weekends” rule– And I think I will try to add that rule to the evenings as well. It really, really helps me to keep things more simple and manageable when I keep my blog time restricted to only certain times or the day or week.
For all those who agreed that they need to cut back on blogging and focus more on their families and other primary responsibilities, what are some of the ways that you will achieve this?
Guess what? I completed this post in 30 minutes for the Moms’ Blog Challenge! Well, maybe it took about 34 minutes, but not bad for a first try!
Good for you! I am glad you are actually setting some goals towards this, without goals, I don’t think it would be easy to do. Your goals sound great!!!!! Remember its not about perfectionism. I know it is very hard for me to work around in my life, even though I do not blog. (By the way, this post reads great even though you said you wrote it in 34 minutes! No one will miss the “fancy” looking posts!
I don’t have a blog as you know, but I have been at such a place of discouragement lately that I have allowed my computer time to be too often- not necessarily to a degree where it hurts my family, but at the degree where I could be doing other things too….its hard to have discipline when I don’t seem to have much encouragement around me….maybe I should spend more time instead praying for more solid relationships around me here and pray even more through the issues and also re-set goals about when I can use the computer. I plan on turning it off for the day now.
Hi Stephanie! These ideas sound great, and thanks for mentioning the 30 minute blog challenge (it can be tricky at first, but I’ve found it gets easier and is SO liberating!).
I wrote a post a while back called Moms Unplugged: Don’t Waste Time Online, and it mentions an online timer:
Have a great day!
.-= steadymom´s last blog ..Steady Thought for the Day =-.
The timer idea is a great one. I use timers for everything! My days are pretty busy balancing housework, homeschooling 3 boys (1 of which is in high-school.) and everything else that has to be done. So, definitely take advantage of setting timers. (I use my microwave or oven timer.) Pray and ask the Lord to show you where you could improve on your time management. This is always an eye-opener for me. A good book to check out is “Managers of Their Homes” by Steve and Teri Maxwell. They also have a website… Titus2.com
Have you thought about posting less often as well…like only on T/TH or M/W/F and only if that works for you and the fam? Just a thought.
I read your “announcement” the other day. Good for you! I am assuming you started blogging for the enjoyment and fulfillment it can bring – and that it can. But, there is that “dark side” where you can get sucked in deeper than you had planned. Its so easy to do 🙂 Your new plans for your blog sound great! It is so important to not let the good stuff(blogging, writing, corresponding) in life get in the way of the best stuff (family, friends, God).
.-= Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last blog ..Things Not Going As Planned? =-.
I know that I can totally spend hours writing my blog, reading & commenting on others. I only blog when my daughter is in school or bed & I also have a no blogging (reading or posting) on weekends rule. I like the 30 min challenge and will give it a try.
.-= Debra´s last blog ..Retail… =-.
I think you have some great ideas for your blog.
Even if you can’t include all the research information, just saying “garlic is great” and suggesting that we do our own research is helpful. Sometimes just knowing what to google up is 90% of it. It’s great when you include links but sometimes it can’t get done. Just putting a few ideas or suggestions out there is more than enough.
I’m with you. Spending time over the holidays to relax, refresh and readjust the blogging/homeschooling/family balance.
Did laugh though when I popped back since you’re “announcement” and saw three more posts. It’s such an adjustment, isn’t it? I’m there with you. 🙂
.-= Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam´s last blog ..Free Photo Calendar and flipbook today only =-.
@Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Yes, it’s still an adjustment! Hard to get out of the mentality I’ve been so used to and really let myself just take a rest from it. That said, what I’ve put up lately has taken less of my time than what I usually put up, so I’ve felt okay about doing it. If that wasn’t the case, those posts wouldn’t be there! 🙂 Hope your holidays are truly refreshing for you!
I read your blog occasionally and appreciate all the effort you put into it. It’s GREAT that you’ve decided to put your family before the blog! As a reader I find that I have to put my family before my “blog reading” – sometimes there’s just TOO MUCH information out there. Honestly, it can be a great service to your readers to keep entries shorter. I know I personally like to read an entry that is bite-sized – if I have to scroll and scroll, or if there are too many links, I will sometimes just pass on reading it because I just don’t have the time to get into it. Just something to keep in mind! When you prioritize your family (by keeping the entries short), we follow suit…
You have blessed many by being so real. Thank you Stephanie. Even though I don’t blog, I need to be held just as accountable for the time I spend reading blogs- as much as they might be helping and encouraging me. I have a rule that I allow myself to read 10 blogs regularly. It is probably good that they don’t all blog daily. Then I am kept even more in check. As I reflect on the blogs I’ve chosen to read regularly, I think they are all “heart” blogs–written from the heart–including yours. Eight of them are not “professional” and have no advertising. I am not at all against ads on blogs. In fact, I think a blogger deserves to be paid for the writing. And ads don’t distract me from the writing. But I think it says something about these blogs. They are kept going without the pressure or intensity which may come with being a pro. And I think the “heart” may eventually disappear if they did become pro and eventually the blog itself might disapper. I don’t know what the answer is in being reimbursed but not pro. In essence, I’m saying keep following God’s leading, his touching your heart. I hope this means your blog will continue to flourish whatever that may look like. Your heart is very evident in your writing and it looks like your ensuring that continues. I am very grateful for all I have learned from you but mostly, the spirit of this blog often lifts my day and keeps me coming back for more.
That’s a great idea! I like to keep a list of all my blog ideas and have them all scheduled (of course I change it a lot… 🙂 ). Some posts are just my ranting on a topic, so I can finish them quickly. Some are recipes so I just write them in whenever I have a minute and they’ll auto-post if I don’t have time that day. I do this with MANY of my posts, and I often don’t include images, so that I’m not doing too much work on most posts. Then there are more involved ones (like the one on home birth I’m currently working on). There are LOTS of ways to get your blog done and still have plenty of time for your family! (and by the way…my kids are sleeping now and my husband is ready to play when they wake! lol.) Oh yeah…and I came here to borrow your home birth story for my post, just so you know!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..Health News Tuesday: Health Care Plan Update, BPA Ban, Tamiflu Scandal =-.
@Kate, Great blogging ideas, Kate! And yes, feel free to take my home birth story! 🙂
That sounds good! I came to similar conclusions about a month ago (though my blog is not nearly as big as yours!) – I like taking pictures of every day stuff and posting that (I don’t mind my kids watching me take pictures, I do mind them watching me be on the computer), and then plan a few super-linky posts every once in a while, but mostly just quick thoughts with book recommendations. No need for me to re-write Nourishing Traditions or the GAPS book, you know? I can just talk about what we’re doing a little bit, and give resources if people want more information. I’m a fan of reading from books vs the computer anyway.
.-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Standard American Diet to Real Food- What I did =-.
One thing I use to do is to keep a note pad aroumd the house and in my purse, so that when an idea for an article or post came up i would jot down the idea and some details about it, and then when it was time to write a post i would refer to my handy notes. Another thing i use to do was when i read things, like “My Daily Bread” i would relate that topic to my website topic and blog about what I had learned in my own reading. It was a great way for me to reflect on my spiritual readings while at the same time applying them to my own life and sharing how my readers could apply what I had learned to their lives.
Good luck to you. I love your blog!
What a great idea to post how you are planning to manage your blog time. God is so gracious with us, isn’t He? I find that it is SO IMPORTANT to keep it to a restricted time limit too…that is what I am doing and it is so beneficial. May God bless you as you seek to put Him and your family FIRST…after all…THAT is what it’s all about…right? 😉
.-= Camille´s last blog ..Gratitude… =-.
I’ve been striving toward this very thing. Here’s what I am doing (and I’m going to take some of your suggestions as well).
No blogging in the morning (just totally wrecks the rest of my day)
No Twitter while blogging (too distracting)
Continue w/ no blog posts on weekends unless there is something that is time sensitive (started this several months back)
Meet needs before blogging (is the kitchen clean? are the kids fed? is the house tidy? is the next meal in the oven? This way when I am finished blogging I do not have a house that has fallen apart with hungry children and no meal prepared.)
Keep a notebook with blog post ideas that have been brainstormed and/or outlined handy (I started doing this about a month ago and it has really helped streamline the blogging process. So much of what I want to say is already written down and simply needs to be copied. I like to take the notebook with me on trips so when I have down time, I can jot down ideas.)
I’m really proud of what you are doing and having the courage to say it too!
.-= Amy´s last blog ..I Am the Proud Owner of My Very Own Domain! =-.
I’ve simply not been posting – and not apologizing for not posting.
I also set up Twitter so it can updated from my cell phone – that way I don’t even have to sit down at the computer, and I only have 140 characters to use. I’m going to call Twitter my “mini-blog” – I actually have more followers on it because of that! 🙂
I’m not going to worry about building traffic – I was considering doing that and was daunted by what needed to be done. I’m going to do what’s fun for me, and when I have time.
I plan to teach my children to edit and size photos that I put in a blog folder. This counts as homeschooling and once I teach them, they can get things done quickly!
I try to only be on the computer when children are sleeping and my work is done.
That’s what I’ve thought of so far!
.-= Kimarie @ Cardamom’s Pod´s last blog ..Wooden Toys Giveaway =-.
Actually, a friend and I invented an online time that is easy to use for basically the same type of purpose you need. We wanted to have several timers that sounded an alarm at certain times of day, or after a certain period of time has expired.
To make it easy, all you have to do is type the URL and then the time you want after that:
• thetinytimer.com/12m or thetinytimer.com/12min or thetinytimer.com/12minutes
You can do the same thing with a particular time/date:
• http://thetinytimer.com/3:14pm or thetinytimer.com/Dec20 3:14pm
Hope this helps 🙂
@Josh Gibbs, That is such a neat timer! Thank you for sharing it! 🙂
Just wanted to let you know that I support your decision to cut down on time spent with blogging. Less often is great and we will all still read 🙂 Plus, shorter is better for all of us! Also, maybe it is just me, but I could care less for “unpersonal” pictures, but I don’t blog so I don’t know what is expected.
I am still working out the kinks in my new plan, so thank you for these ideas.
I find that writing isn’t what takes up so much of my time, its the behind the scenes stuff, like learning SEO, keeping my site looking good, answering emails, working with giveaways, processing ads, networking etc. I know giveaways are great for traffic, but I find them time consuming too. Does anyone else?
I finally had to cut down on my blogging and that has really helped. I don’t usually blog on Saturdays. I do my Monday meme post on Sunday night usually, which means I don’t post on Monday as it’s a Monday meme. I have another blog that I share with four other people so I have to post on Tuesday for that one. Then maybe I’ll post on a Wed., Thur. or Friday.
I usually 3 or 4 times a week, although one of those posts is just a post directing my readers to the other blog.
It was either cut down or give it up, so I thought I’d try cutting down. I could probably really cut my blog posts down too and split them into two posts. Much easier for a reader to read!
These are great ideas. Thank you for sharing them. My post just included a quote “A goal without a plan is just a wish” and since you have the goal and a plan – you’re good to go!
PS. I love Steady Mom’s challenge!
.-= Jenn @ Beautiful Calling´s last blog ..The New Year is Coming: Set Your 2010 Goals! =-.
I had a wonderful chat with Abbie at choir this past week! She is a very sweet little girl and a lot like her Mom!
@Abby W., Thanks, Abby! She came home talking about “big Abby” and had such a good time talking with you, too. I’m so glad she has such wonderful young women like you to look up to! 🙂