Hugh Roberts posts some very helpful tips about blogging. This post is no exception. Read about how to reblog correctly.
Tag Archives: blog
My Blogging Strategy – Part 3
This is the third installment in my series on my blogging strategy. As I relay the things that I’ve learned and that seem to work for me over the past five years that I’ve been blogging, it’s important to note that I’m not an expert and that my blogging process is a continuing series of trial and error.
My first post on this topic talked about how I’ve evolved my usage of blogging statistics over time. If you want to check it out, you can find it HERE. My second post talked about how I select posts from other blogs to share. You can find it HERE.
In this post, I’m going to talk about my posting schedule which has evolved over the years to fit with my day job and writing schedules.
To start off this post, let’s take a look at my weekly schedule day by day:
Mondays are the day that I feature news articles from the world of indie publishing and books in general. I try to find stories that help authors or that you might find interesting as you navigate the many twists and turns of the indie publishing world.
I generally pull the stories on Friday and schedule the post. Monday is usually a travel day for me so i try to schedule this post before the weekend so I don’t have to worry about it on Monday itself.
Tuesday is usually the day that I try to post some type of advice or tips. I’ve been running this blogging series on Tuesdays along with other original posts that I think might be helpful to new and experienced authors and bloggers. Sometimes, if I have promotional activities going on, I’ll use Tuesday to post that information and preempt my help content for that week. I did this last week, for instance, to promote my new audio book.
These posts are written whenever I have the inspiration to create content of this type and they are scheduled as far in advance as possible because they are the most difficult to put together.
I’ve been having fun using Wednesdays for my Stock Photo Challenge series. I joined a stock photo site about a year ago to use for book cover images and blog photos. I thought it might be fun to pick a random photo each week and ask fellow bloggers to write some flash fiction based on the picture. This has been a gamble as other bloggers post similar challenges, but, thus far, it has received a fairly healthy response. I will keep it going as long as there is interest. I try to include the previous week’s entries in the challenge with links in each week’s new post. That means that this post has to often be adjusted up to the last minute.
Thursdays are flexible. Right now, with audio books and a new book coming out, I’m using Thursdays for promotion. It will usually contain excerpts from my book or some other relevant information. When I have nothing to promote, Thursdays may become a second day for either author or blogger help. I may also reach back into my archives and update some past useful posts that were popular.
Fridays are reserved for introducing new authors. I’ve been doing this every year for the past four years. I haven’t always done it on Fridays. Some years I’ve used Mondays for this feature and, interestingly enough, Friday seems to be the lowest traffic day for these author interview posts. They performed much better on Mondays. I don’t think I’ll be changing the schedule as I have many interviews already formatted and scheduled in advance.
Saturday is my day for posting original creative content. I’ve really enjoyed writing short stories and serials in the past. Several of my serials have turned into full blown books or novellas. This is a way for me to self-impose a deadline. These posts are also difficult to put together so I try to write content well in advance.
Even God rested on Sunday. I’ve decided that Sundays will be a day to take off from reviewing and posting. It’s my day to grab a cup of coffee and veg out in front of the TV turned to HGTV with my wife. It’s a day to recharge and relax.
One of the things that’s great about WordPress is that I can build and schedule these posts ahead of time. I’ve done this when I know I have a busy work week or a vacation coming up so I can still be an active blogger even when my schedule gets in the way.
So, what about you? Do you have a schedule or do you fly by the seat of your pants? How does your strategy work for you?
Nine Ways to Stay Inspired and Avoid Blogger Burnout – From the ProBlogger Blog
Most bloggers start off with a huge burst of energy and excitement. But then at some point (often in their first year or two of blogging) they come up against their first bout of “blogger burnout”.
And it can stop them in their tracks.
If you’ve been blogging for a long time then you’ve probably suffered blogger burnout a number of times. I’ve experienced it several times myself during my 16 years as a blogger.
So today I want to share nine ways to stay fresh and inspired with your blogging. They’ll help you spot burnout coming, and head it off before it hits you with full force.
But before we get into them let’s look at some causes of blogger burnout.
Why Does Blogger Burnout Happen?
Blogger burnout can materialise in different forms and for different reasons.
- You may have run out of topic ideas, and feel you’ve said everything there is to say.
- You may have become disillusioned with your topic, your niche, or blogging in general.
Read the rest of this post HERE.
My Blogging Strategy – Part 2
This is a second installment in my series on my blogging strategy. As I relay the things that I’ve learned and that seem to work for me over the past five years that I’ve been blogging, it’s important to note that I’m not an expert and that my blogging process is a continuing series of trial and error.
My first post on this topic talked about how I’ve evolved my usage of blogging statistics over time. If you want to check it out, you can find it HERE.
In this post, I’m going to dig into my reading schedule and how I select posts from other bloggers to be shared.
Daily Review of Posts:
I currently follow 120 blogging sites. (118 if I remove my own two sites). This sounds like a lot but, as I review posts daily, not every site posts every day. This results in about 35-40 blogging sites that I check out every morning on Monday through Saturday.
Initially, I had my notifications set up to email me any time a new post appeared on one of these blogs. That made review very difficult and sporadic. I learned to receive a daily email summarizing the posts from the previous day for each blog. For those of you that haven’t done this and want to manage your blog post reading in this way, it’s easy.
From your reader tab in WordPress, select the Manage button and you’ll see a list of the blogs you follow. Just click on the settings link for the blog you want to adjust and select ‘Daily’ under ‘Email me new posts’ as shown below:
This will result in you receiving a summarized email for each blog that you follow early each morning.
Every day I look forward to grabbing a cup of coffee and settling in to read what my fellow bloggers have to say.
I change up my schedule when I’m home vs. being on the road for work. When I’m on the road, I review every blog that is summarized in my inbox. Posts, at a minimum, get a like. Some posts, if they fall into three categories, might get a reblog from me on one of my two sites.
When I’m home, I review about half of the summarized blog posts when I first get to my home office in the morning. Then, about 3-4 hours later, I review the rest. This breaks up the reading for me and also prevents my followers from getting bombarded by a bunch of my reblogged posts all at once. I don’t have the luxury to do this when I’m working at a client site for 12-14 hours each day when I’m on the road.
Posts that have useful information for fellow authors or bloggers will get a reblog on my author site (www.donmassenzio.com). Posts with announcements on upcoming work, excerpts from new books, author interviews and things like short stories also are reblogged on my author site.
Book reviews and featured books are posted on my Publishing Company site (www.dsm-publications.com).
There are a few sites that I follow that are either outside of WordPress or don’t have a reblog link that consistently provide valuable information. For these sites, I will create a new post and credit them in the heading of the post with a partial copy and paste of the post with a link to the original blog. An example is shown blow:
I hope you’re finding this series useful. My next post will talk about my posting schedule which has evolved, and continues to evolve, a great deal over the past five years.
Please share some of your best practices in reading and posting so that we can all learn to be better bloggers.
My Blogging Strategy – Part 1
Over the past five years, I have enjoyed having my blog on WordPress. I have varied in activity level over these years. I’ve since settled into a comfortable, fairly productive routine.
I looked back over my stats for the past five years to see how I’ve evolved in my blogging schedule. Here are some highlights:
- I started blogging in September of 2014. That first month, I had 99 views, 80 visitors and 4 likes and 3 comments. For the entire year I had 14 posts and about 1,400 visitors. It was a slow start, but I knew it was something I would continue.
- In 2015, a full year of blogging brought just over 6,000 views and about 3,600 visitors.
- 2016 saw substantial growth with 46,000 views and over 13,400 visitors.
- I went nuts in 2017 and found myself obsessed with the blog. During this year, I hit over 80,000 views with almost 30,000 visitors. It was a banner year for the blog.
- 2018 was a slower year. I changed jobs mid-year and my blogging activity showed it. My views dropped to 38,700+ and my visitors were down to just over 15,000. About half on both counts from the previous year. I actually took a bit of a break during 2018 to find my way in my new job and concentrate on what puts food on the table.
- I am in a great place in 2019. I have, what I feel, is a good routine for blogging. It keeps me active with a post almost every day of the week. I’m also writing about things that are important to me and, hopefully, helpful to other authors. Through two months, I’m at about 10,000 views with about 3,600 visitors. That’s above last years pace but still behind the madness of 2017.
The value of statistics
Are stats important? Well, it depends on what you’re using them for. When I first started blogging, I used them as a scoreboard. I tried to outdo myself each day, week and month. I didn’t really pay attention to the quality of comments or the material I posted as much as I should have. It was all about the numbers.
I’ve since become smarter about how I use these statistics. I periodically look at the most popular categories and see what kinds of posts are being read and responded to. The most enjoyable part of blogging is the interaction with the community.
In a future post, I’m going to talk about my latest daily routine for creating posts, reading others posts and sharing and reblogging information.
This isn’t meant to be a ‘how to’ series as much as it is a ‘how I do’ series. I’d love to hear your take. There are bloggers with a great deal of success that post incredibly high-quality features each day. It would be great to hear how some of you reached that point.
2018 – A New Year and a New Blogging Approach
2017 was a year where I really focused on building up my blog. I discovered that, although I nearly doubled my followers, it chewed into my writing time. Between interviewing other authors, writing help articles for authors, and promoting the work of others, my own work took a back burner. I’ve published an average of 2-3 books int he past five years and did not publish a single book in 2017. I’m going to shift the balance on this in 2018 so that I can write more (and make the voices in my head calm down).
I faced some health issues that required attention at the end of this year. This gave me time to reflect on where I am and where I want to be with regard to my writing and assistance of other authors.
Here are some of the changes for my blog that I will be implementing in 2018:
- I will not be focused on daily stats. I was obsessed with each day and each month outdoing the previous one and this caused me to overextend myself in providing original content, reblogs, author interviews and passing on book announcements and reviews.
- I will be cutting back on reblogs. I will pick five posts each day that I think are the most useful to share with my followers and will reblog them. I feel like I was spending a great deal of time (hours) each day looking at each post and reblogging so many that it was clogging your inboxes.
- I will not be reblogging posts about books or book reviews. If, however, you have a book coming out and wish to create a guest post for my blog, I will gladly host it.
- I will cut back on the number of blogs that I follow just so that I can better manage the time spent daily reading blog posts. I will only follow those that I will spend time reading.
Enough of the bad news. Now here are some of the positive changes or continuations for my blog in 2018.
- I will continue offering author interview opportunities in some form. I will be discontinuing the Perfect 10 template, but will start some new type of author interview format that will hopefully be engaging.
- I will be creating a new page called the Author Directory. This page will contain an index with links to the nearly 200 authors I have interviewed in the past two years. Look for an announcement as I roll this out soon. If you see your name included and with to not be included, please let me know. Any new authors interviewed in 2018 will be included. If I’ve interviewed you more than once in the past two years, I will provide links to both interviews.
- I will still post some original content related to author tips. I tried to do this 1-2 times per week in 2017. This will become more of a monthly feature.
- I will continue to post original writing in the form of weekly short stories or serial installments. This has been fun and has kept me writing.
- I will occasionally promote my own work as new releases are published. Your tolerance of this is appreciated.
- Eventually, as I gradually approach retirement from my day job in the next several years, I will be expanding my writing life to include helping other authors with professional services. I have already started to do this informally by helping with editing and formatting tasks for authors that are starting out or that need assistance. As this expands, I will offer high-quality services at a very reasonable price including editing, formatting, etc.
I still believe that my blog is an important component of my author platform. As I look to balance my work, personal and writing lives, these changes are necessary. I hope you understand.
Turn Your Blog into a Book Production Machine with Nina Amir
July 10, 2017 By
I recently interviewed Inspiration to Creation Coach Nina Amir as part of my Conversations with Frances series. We talked about blogging, how to blog a book, and what blogging has done for Nina’s life and career. Be sure to listen to the webinar. I’m certain you’ll learn a lot.
Here are a few notes from this webinar with Nina Amir:
What did blogging do for Nina Amir’s life?
Blogging gave Nina her platform and helped her to fulfill her potential.
Blogging also gave Nina the satisfaction of reaching more people than she could with her books.
Read the rest of this post HERE.
Nomination for the Blogger Recognition Award
Phenomenal author and blogger, Aurora Jean Alexander from The Writer’s Treasure Chest has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. This came on the day I reached 1,000 followers, so the timing was fantastic. Thank you so much, Aurora. I enjoy following your blog and reading all of your helpful posts.
Blogger Recognition Award Rules
- Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
- Write a post about the Blogger Recognition Award
- Briefly tell how your blog started
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
- Select 15 bloggers to give this award to
How I started
I published my first book in April of 2014. I didn’t really know what blogging was or how it could help me as an author. I started a blog on WordPress and basically just spent 2014 and 2015 promoting my books and posting occasionally. I kept reading posts from other authors that extolled the benefits of blogging, not just for promotion, but to learn from others and be part of a community.
In February of 2016, with just 10 followers, I decided to get serious about my blog. I did this by following the examples of successful bloggers and interacting with others in the community. Within a year, I reached 1,000 followers and was nominated for the “Hidden Gem” award at the 2016 Blogger’s Bash.
My mission is to seek out those hidden gems, blogs that have a small following, but also have great content to share, and help them grow.
Two Pieces of Advice
- Post consistently. If you want to share things like writing tips, have a designated day each week to do so. Your followers will start to anticipate those things each week.
- Vary your content. You can use your blog to share what you do, but also tell your followers about yourself. Vacation pictures, favorite books and movies, and other life events are a great way to help your followers get to know you as a person.
- aopinionatedman.com – by Jason Cushman
- bookshelfbattle.com – by BQB
- dennstedt.wordpress.com – by Stephen Dennstedt
- annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com – by Annette Rochelle Aben
- blondewritemore.com – by Lucy Mitchell
- thestoryreadingapeblog.com – by Chris Graham
- legendsofwindemere.com – by Charles Yallowitz
- teagansbooks.com – by Teagan Geneviene
- writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com – by Christoph Fischer
- scvincent.com – by Sue Vincent
- thepbsblog.com – by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
- coldhandboyack.wordpress.com – by Craig Boyack
- johnwhowell.com – by John Howell
- amdobritt.blog – by Anna Dobritt
- danalatorre.com – by Author Dan Alatorre
There are so many more that I could have listed.
A New Blogging Schedule – More Quality, Less Quantity
I want to start of this post by thanking the experienced bloggers in this community for offering advice.
I’ve been facing a bit of a dilemma. Since February of this year, I have aggressively sought to beef up my blog. I’ve scheduled at least three posts per day and have reblogged many of the valuable posts that come into my inbox every day from so many of you.
This has resulted in significant growth of the blog and I have met a number of wonderful people. In addition, I believe I’ve been able to help a number of talented authors gain some exposure through interviews. I’ve also tried to share what I’ve learned along this writing journey and my ability to publish seven books in the past 2 1/2 years.
You’ve heard me lament about having a day job (that pays the bills) and how limited my time is. While I’ve been building up this blog and attempting to be super responsive, two things have happened, my writing has suffered as I use up some of the allocated time. Also, I have found myself inundating my followers with many blogged and reblogged posts each day.
With that being said, I am not abandoning this blog at all. Instead, I’m going to be focusing on quality and reducing quantity. To do this (and because I’m a geek) I’m setting up a schedule. That way, if you enjoy certain features of my blog, you can look forward to them on certain days. I’m going to begin this new schedule on Monday, but, beginning tomorrow (Saturday) I will begin posting one quality post per day instead of my normal three.
Other changes that I am making is cutting back on pushing my own work. You won’t see promotional posts from me unless I’m running a giveaway, a new release is coming out, or something special is happening with regard to my writing.
Further, instead of going through all of the blogs that I follow first thing in the morning and reblogging posts in a fury of activity, I’m going to be spreading them out throughout the day.
I’m going to see what these changes do to the metrics of my blog. I suspect that I may even pick up more followers if the quality is there. Here is the schedule that I hope to maintain:
- Monday – Author Interview (20 Questions)
- Tuesday – Book Review (More in-depth than the ones I’ve been posting)
- Wednesday – Author Interview
- Thursday – Writing Tip
- Friday – Author Interview
- Saturday – Serial posting (I already have another one ready to go after Road Kill and I enjoy doing this even though the readership is somewhat low)
- Sunday – Indie Author/Publisher News
I may stick in some jokes here and there, but that is the revised blog posting schedule.
Again, I appreciate your feedback and, based on how this goes, I may adjust the schedule again in the future. The 20 Questions author interviews are currently lined up at a pace of three per week until October. After that, I’ll be coming up with a new way to help my fellow authors.
Thanks again for your help and guidance.
Time Management and Blogging – My Strategy
I have had a blog on WordPress for the past two years or so. I started the blog to coincide with the first published writing that I produced. That first year, I didn’t take the blog very seriously. I just used it as a place for announcements about my work with very little other meaningful content. I followed a few others that followed me.
Last year, I was a bit more active. I began sharing information about my experiences with independent publishing in some formalized tips. The participation was sporadic and my efforts resulted in minimal followers.
Beginning in February, I really started to put in some effort on the blog. The results have been good.
Even though I would consider myself a novice at blogging, I am a project manager by trade so organizing tasks is something I’m very familiar with. Those of you that follow me may have noticed that I try to post three blogs today at about 8AM, 12 Noon and 2PM Eastern US time. I have been doing this even though I have a day job that requires travel just about every week and about 50-60 hours of time.
So, even though I’m a newbie, I’ve been able to apply some project management and time management principles to my blogging that just might help you out. I also look forwrd to your suggestions on what you do to manage the time involved in having a happy, healthy blog.
1. Reading, liking, and commenting on the blogs of others
I follow about 230 blogs. I quickly found out that this was overloading my inbox. The reason for this was because I had every blog post set to update me instantly. I went through all of them and made sure that I selected the daily notification option so that I started receiving one digest of each bloggers post each day. To do this, you simply go into the WP reader and select Manage.
You can then select each blog and choose the Daily option:
This results in a daily email for each blogger that you follow that you can work through in your email inbox.
It helps that I am a morning person. I’m usually up at 5:30 AM each morning. After that first cup of coffee, I start working through each daily digest and I view every single blog post.
Luckily, not all 230 blogs that I follow posts every day. There are usually about 100 digests waiting for me and I enjoy going through them. I comment on many. I reblog about 5-10%. and I try to like every single one.
A word about reblogs; I do see a lot of repeat posts in the form of reblogs. I usually try to comment on the original blog and like the reblog. When a blogger reblogs a post from a blogger I don’t follow, I will look at the original blogger’s posting history and may or may not follow them as well. I’ve become more selective because of the sheer number and my desire to devote attention to each one.
Going through my emails takes about 90 minutes each day.
2. Posting blogs regularly with organized, useful content
I promised myself that if I was going to actively use my blog as a platform to supplement my writing, I wanted to accomplish a few things. First, I wanted to help other authors. Second, I wanted to promote my own work, but not in a blatant, spammy way. Finally, I want to engage with other bloggers through discussion.
For the first objective, I’ve been trying to regularly post tips and tricks that I’ve used to navigate independent publishing. Everything from mechanics, quality, promotion, etc. are discussed in my posts. I’ve also started posting author interviews. I am currently on a pace to post three author interviews per week.
In order to promote my own work, I’m doing the usual things and some things that are slightly different. I tell people about my books. I’m trying to limit this and do it indirectly by relaying behind the scenes information or excerpts. I’m also putting content in my blogs. I had the idea in the shower one day to write some serialized fiction on my blog in the tradition of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I launched my story Road Kill which has new installments each week.
Finally, I’m using things like book reviews, social commentary (rarely) and humor for pure enjoyment and discussion.
This is a lot of content and requires organization so that it doesn’t get stale and repetitive. To accomplish this, like a good geeky project manager, I’ve set up a schedule to make sure that I can plan out my content for each day. Here is a sample of what it looks like.
You can see, that some of the content is fairly definitive, like the interviews, but others are yet to be determined. You’ll also notice that many of them have placeholders for things like reviews and tips that will be filled in later. Finally, You’ll notice that I have a status of pending, scheduled, and posted. The ability to schedule in advance on WP has made this all possible for me. I’m sure that many of you are already aware of how to do this, but just in case, I’ll put up a screen shot:
Once you select a date and time, the ‘Publish’ button will become a ‘Schedule’ button. You simply schedule it and your post will be published on the day and time you selected.
I hope this has been helpful. Some of the more experienced bloggers that read this might feel the urge to pat me on the head and say that they’ve been there and done that.
That’s fine. I’m doing the best that I can based on my experience and what I know. Hopefully this will start a sharing conversation where we can all benefit from the vast experience that is out there.