Making Time to Blog

05 Jan

“I don’t have time to blog.” That is the reason for not blogging or not blogging consistently that I hear more than any other excuse. I’ve heard my friend Scott McLeod say in response to that, “do you have time to think?” Scott makes a good point. To expand on that thought, think about the act of writing a blog entry as an exercise in thinking. Use the time you set aside to blog (you do have a blogging schedule, don’t you?) as time to think about your favorite topic, reflect on things you’ve done, or propose a new idea to your audience.

As a practical matter when it comes to finding time to blog, like finding time for anything else, if it truly is important to you, you will find the time to do it. Before Free Technology for Teachers became a full-time occupation I wrote all of my blog posts either early in the morning or in the evening while watching television. I was writing four or five posts per day in addition to all of the responsibilities of my full-time teaching job. Did I give up other hobbies and pursuits to write that much? Yes, I did. Was it worth it? Yes, it was.

If my schedule of publishing four or five times per day is intimidating or the idea of trying to publish every day is intimidating, take heart in the fact that you don’t have to publish that frequently in order to have a successful blog. In fact, some of my favorite bloggers, Chris Brogan and Chris Guillebeau, who are also very successful bloggers only publish a couple of times per week.

In the end, finding the time to blog is just like finding the time to exercise or finding the time to do anything else in your life, if it blogging is truly important to you, you will make the time to do it. A little less Netflix and a little more writing will go a long way toward developing content for your blog.

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  • richardbyrne

    Hi Charlie,
    That’s a great point. I find that even though I have clearly defined niches, I still have days when it’s hard to get started. But once I start things go on a roll, usually.

    There’s a niche and audience for everything, it’s a matter of finding it. A friend of mine writes about scented sachets and eye pillows, I never thought there would be a big audience for that, but there is. She found her niche by connecting with online sewing groups and craft groups (a lot them she found via Pinterest).

    The other thing stumbling block I hear people put out a lot is “everything has been written about this.” So what? Put your own spin on it. Audiences change over time. Someone will stop following and a new person will start following. That new person might not have read what you’ve written in the past. It’s okay to bring that material back to the top again (with a little updating of course).

    • Charlie Gerancher

      Agreed. Finding a different way to package something that is already out there is a great idea. I think there is also a cart/horse conundrum. Do you have to be an established expert to blog and be accepted? Or, do you become an expert as a result of blogging and the associated research you do. Must you already be an established presenter in the field or do others seek you out to present as a result of your blogging?

      • richardbyrne

        I don’t think you have to be an established expert in order to blog and be accepted. The web has democratized the process of becoming an expert. Assuming that what you’re posting is valid, if you put in the work to do the research and share it then you can become an expert by virtue of an audience naming you as such. However, I think you need to be careful in claiming to be an expert on the web because claiming that title without community support is a recipe for disaster.

        In terms of becoming a presenter, in my case that came as a result of the blogging. People think that if you can write, you can speak (a falsehood that I saw painfully proven during a keynote given by a very respected and established writer). Fortunately, in my case for the most part, people have liked what I’ve presented live which has in turn resulted in more speaking engagements.