7 Reasons for not Blogging.

I got a bit razzed about not offering a serious list of reasons not to blog, so here it is…

1. No content
2. No time
3. Disorganisation
4. It’s not ‘you’
5. You can’t see the value
6. You’d rather Tweet or FB
7. It takes over your life

NO CONTENT:
This seems to be the outright favourite in a tight line-up. Most bloggers seem to be eager, but that constant expectation to come up with interesting can be paralysing. I admit it’s the single thing – above lack of time – that stops me from being on my own *blogs more often. ( *I run two, one for each entity – so that’s twice the stress.) So what can we do?

I tackled this problem myself just last week, and I made a schedule of blogs for the next three months. It was quite an amazing experience. And fun! So what did I do that was different?

 First I actually put in the ‘time’. This might seem obvious, but it made a difference to me. Usually, I’m doing a trillion things and while fluttering through them all, I’m stressing about what I should ‘also’ write on my blogs. The result is that I write none. So, last week, I set side a whole day. And that day was purely for blog focus.

 Then I looked at my life and who I blog for; my audience. I have a few exciting things coming up in my writer life, so I allocated a separate blog for each. Yes, it’s called stretching – but hey – my life isn’t ‘that’ exiting!

 Everyone likes to see photos of themselves on the internet. (Except if you’re a photo-phobe like me!). I’ve been to a few professional events recently and ‘this’ time I put the old camera to work. So, I know I can get a couple of blog entries out of that.

 I asked myself what there is about my physical environment that might interest others. That was an easy one: I live in a truly beautiful part of the world – minutes from both beach and lake. If I get low on content, I can share some of my physical world.

 I made a list of professional topics that I could tackle – and I even did some preliminary research to add to those notes to make life easier when I write them.

 I made a list of authors I’d like to interview. And will contact them in due time.

 Golden rule: Try to keep it relevant and interesting. As your readership grows, don’t forget those fans will want to pick up little tid-bits about ‘who’ you are – and your life. Debbie Macomber is the absolute queen of the teeny tid-bit.

NO TIME
This is a tricky one and one only you can tackle. If you really and truly have no time, then it’s probably better if you simply spend the limited time you DO have on your books. Don’t beat yourself up over this. Because in the end, the blog will never replace a book in you reader’s hands. Nothing beats having brilliant product and it should always come first.

DISORGANISATION
Sometimes we DO have time but we’re so disorganised that we can’t seem to make that time work for us. I’m guilty of this more often that I care to admit. Don’t confuse this with laziness. It’s a syndrome I call the Crazy Head Syndrome or CHS –basically because that’s how my head feels when there’s so much to do and I don’t know what to tackle first.

With regard to the general issue of dealing with CHS there is only one word that makes any sense: PRIORTISE.

 Make daily ‘to-do’ lists.

 Start with the priorities – those most important. For all of us writers, that should be to get your daily words done.

 Don’t stick your head in the oven if you don’t get everything on the list accomplished.

 Start the next day’s list (after the daily words which should appear on EVERY day’s list) with the things you didn’t quite get done the day before.

 Be realistic. You’re human. Stuff will happen.

 Don’t make superhuman lists because that’s self-defeating. For you’re sanity it’s better to underestimate what you can achieve, and then add something extra. Trust me, you’re going to feel amazing!

 Write your blogs ahead – when you find yourself with a few spare minutes – and use the automatic schedule facility. It can relieve heaps of stress especially if you’re facing a huge, or extra busy, week to know that those blogs will appear like clockwork.

IT’S NOT ‘YOU’
So don’t do it. Seriously, if maintaining a blog stresses you, then don’t do it. It’s not the end of the world, and the cost will never be worth the effort if the stress is high enough. Life is hard enough, don’t add unnecessary crazy-head stuff to the mix.

The thing is: Not everyone feels comfortable sharing so much of themselves – and no one should try to convince you otherwise. I love blogging – even though I’ve been very bad at it, so I have no excuse. Shocking isn’t it…

YOU CAN’T SEE THE VALUE
You’re putting in the work but not seeing any results? You’re not getting hits? Not getting comments?

Research might help – or take the advice above. Quantifying the value of blogging is tricky. Some have had enormous successes, some struggle on day in and day out without seeing the results they’re desperate – and deserve – to achieve.

I’m not an expert but this is what I’ve learned:

 Keep track of those of your blogs that attract the biggest hits. For some it’s interviews; or giveaways – others it’s professional development.

 Watch your stats. How can you turn those silent hits into comments?

 ‘To have friend, first you must be a friend.’ This applies to blogging as much as it does to the outside world. If you want to get people to comment or mention your blog, then you have to comment on other people’s blogs. It’s not foolproof and doesn’t come with guarantees, but it will eventually work. So, in your daily ‘to-do’ list, factor in some blog cruising time.

 Research other blogs to see the sorts of things/topics that attract the big hits.

YOU’D RATHER TWEET or FB?
So, again, do it. There are no rules. But don’t forget you can link your blogs back to FB & Twitter – so it halves – or thirds the job. Remember though that readers get a bit peeved if every Tweet or FB asks them to jump onto your blog, or is self promoting.

Whatever social media you choose, make sure it’s entertaining or informative; that you’re ‘giving’. The most important thing is to simply choose the one that works the best for you.

IT TAKES OVER YOUR LIFE
This was a biggy for me. On days I blogged, I seemed to achieve nothing else. On this issue I have three pieces of advice that I found most helpful.

Set a schedule: The thing that helped me most was to downgrade my own expectations. I wanted to blog every weekday. But I have two separate blogs. That meant coming up with content for about 520 blog entries a year. No wonder my head was imploding…

Once I downgraded that to twice a week for each, it was like load was lifted.

Be consistent: This one of the biggest problems facing eratic bloggers – there’s no consistency. It’s very hard to keep followers or readers coming back if they see the same sad, tired, old blog they saw two months ago – still sitting in pride of place as your latest offering. Would you keep going back?

Keep it short: Though I failed miserably here… (And it’s something I still struggle with.) But despite that, this was the second thing that helped me get my head around more regular blogging. Every blog doesn’t have to be a novel. In fact, stats prove that shorter blogs might work better because they support the general time-poor affliction that most of our readers suffer from. If it’s short & succinct – ergo, offers something interesting but not a massive time investment to read, then you’re more likely to have people stop by and stay. (Okay – so this blog is a total fail!!!)

So that’s my list and it didn’t involve dogs – sick or not… And it’s long… But once I got into it, I realised just how serious this topic is – and how many people stress over it every day.

Now, hit me with what I left out. I’m sure there are things I’ve overlooked? Important things? How do you cope? And what do you enjoy most about blogs? Your fave blogs? Or simply the things you like to see most in a blog…

Don’t forget, every comment goes into the draw for the pressies. This is such fun!

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30 Responses

  1. I totally get what you are saying, Kez. Blogging is another thing on the to-do list, and it can be fun, but when you are busy it can seem like a chore. I try and schedule blogs for my weekend posts once a month, that way I get in a flow of things and it doesn’t seem to take as long as stopping and starting.

    Good luck with the blogging. See you around x

    • Thanks Eleni! I love your advice and your process. As with most things in my life, I always think I can do way more than I can physically achieve. I was way too ambitious and it was actually crippling. By breaking it down to two a week – which is still four blogs – I’m finding it less stressful. (Fingers crossed that I can stay with the program )
      And yes! Scheduling! I really think – in my meagre experience – that this is the key. That said, I’ve slipped in a kids day (extra – sigh…) on Fridays on the Kerri blog – but that’s just plain fun. Connundrums and riddles. I have some little people in my life who adore connundrums, and we’re always searchng for new ones to ‘confabulate’ each other so I figured I’d share those.

      BTW though people, if you’re looking for a blog that is fascinating and always has different stuff to make you ponder – visit Eleni’s blog – elenikonstantine.com
      What can I say? I bow to your greatness, xx

    • Thanks, Eleni, for directing me here via your blog.

      Great advice, Kaz, esp about the risk of blogging (and all social media) taking over life — or at least, writing time 🙂

  2. Kaz, what a great post! Long, but worth the time to read.

    For someone who loves being organised and list orientated, it hit all the right buttons for me! 🙂

    I’ll be passing this on to my e-loops as a link for those who need tips about blogging – you’ve given blog-a-phobes some great points to consider and a place to start! 😀

    • Kylie, I’m humbled by your comments because you are the absolute mistress of blog organisation. I learned so much from listening to you and watching you.

      I think (from observation) that the right mix of personal and professional seems to work best – but of course finding that right balance is an exercise in trial and error.

      I love and admire how your blogs manage that balance. Thank you for dropping by and congratulations.

      • Ohhh, a MOBO (mistress of blog organisation) – how cool! 😛

        Don’t you just wish that there was an easy answer to finding the right balance? LOL As if we don’t have enough work on our author plates!

      • MOBO? Or perhaps in Aussie vernacular it ‘could’ mean someone who hangs around with the Mob. “Aww she’s just one of those MOBO chicks…” Could be v.e.r.y intersting…

        And as for having enough on our author plates?? Oh baby… Looking at my overflowing author plate at the moment conjures just one word: DIET!! I seriously need to go on an author diet. OR eat faster…

        Here’s to finding balance! I’d offer a salute but I need two hands to hold my plate…

  3. Hi Kez!
    I do love blogs but yes they are time consuming. I’m in the habit of scanning my blog post list every morning for any new and interesting posts, will click on two-three links and respond. It’s part of my morning ritual (along with checking emails – and FB/Twitter when I think of it).

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Mel – I really think cruising blogs regularly and setting time aside daily to do that, is brilliant. Thank you for your contribution.

      I also think you’ve raised one of the main benefits of blogging. If we see something great on someone’s blog, we should mention it on one of our own blogs. Sharing those blog addies, and hopefully being shared, helps everyone. It’s win/win.

      I love your response – thank you.

  4. Hi Kaz

    Thanks for much for this. I’ve been trying to work out what to do with my own blogging, particularly in finding content. You’ve NAILED so many things for me – I’m enthusiastic now to plan and work out what I’m going to do.

    Thanks

    • Nicole, your response really thrilled me. Thank you! It’s the most amazing feeling to think you’ve actually helped someone have a lightbulb moment – no matter how quick or brief the flash.

      Another thing I should have mentioned, in the content section, was triggered by what Mel Tescho said – and that is to mention other blogs you’ve found to be interesting or helpful.

      It’s a two sided gift. If you add your reasons for the mention and link – as well as perhaps a few thoughts of your own about the topic, you not only have a blog that’s offering good content, but you get to help someone else along the way.

      Thank you again for dropping by and good luck with your blog. I’ll drop by to check it out!

  5. Hi Kez,
    Great post. Although I read heaps of blogs (decor and cooking as well as writing) I’m a long way from starting one myself but who knows? Mya happen one day. So thanks for the advice – there’s a lot of good sense there.

    • Thanks Lou! You know, your comment offered yet another idea, one I really appreciate. I admit I tend to hover aound author or writing blogs, but doing as you do – i.e. cruising around other types of blog would offer a much broader perspective. AND must be a mine of possible topics.

      Clever girl! Good luck for when you begin your own blog, but I’m sure you’ll handle it with your usual efficiency. It will be wonderful. Thankou again for dropping by.

  6. Nicole – I came, I saw and I admired! And commented. LOL. It’s a brilliant blog site – and I wish you loads of success.

    Still wondering what Conflux is… So, it’s Sci Fi, right?

    Thanks for hangin’ out with me. Us short peeps have to stick together!

  7. Fab post! Found myself nodding lots. And I really should learn to schedule posts like Eleni does 🙂

    • Eleni (www.elenikonstantine.com) is a goddess, Rachael. I honestly don’t know how she does it all. I just sit back in awe. But we’llget there! I know we will! LOL. Maybe…

      Thanks for dropping by – I really appreciate it!

  8. Kaz, I had started a few weeks back to do blogging tips, and for my most recent post, I couldn’t think of anything better than your very informative post.
    http://eleni-konstantine.blogspot.com/2011/10/blogging-tips.html
    🙂

  9. Thank you Eleni! What an honour! I’m returning the fave soon when YOU guest on my blog!!! You’re on my wish list!

  10. Hi Kaz,

    As a writer I find that my blogs also can be rather long, so that piece of advice rings true for me. I like the idea of writing your blogs ahead of schedule. Unfortunately I don’t have a schedule, but recently I’ve started writing partial blogs and saving the drafts to finish and publish later. This way if I have a great idea for a blog topic, I get it down quickly and it is there waiting for me to complete when I have more time. Congrats on your new release, the cover is gorgeous!

    • Thanks Angela! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. My own problem was trying to be too ambitious – once I accepted that I simply can’t do what I’d planned AND write – then it kind of fell into place for me. That said, I’m still driving off the road a lot – but I hope soon to be on track and stay there.

      I love your idea of preparing even part blogs ahead. That’s a great ‘time tip’ – and it must be fabulous when you’re time stretched, to have something partially prepped and thought out. I’m going to take that on board. That will help enormously. Thank you so much, Angela.

  11. Angela, your daughter has just zoomed to the top of my ‘awesome people pile’. My friend Eleni Konstantine manages several as well and it just made my brain spin. I so admire those who can manage their time to the best advantage. It’s one of my challaneges but one I’m contantly working on. Hugs to your daughter from me.

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