Friday, January 6, 2012

Busting the Big Blogger Blues

Ruby at Ruby's Reads is co-hosting Small Review's Busting the Blogger Blues event. Ruby asked a few questions  on her blog for experienced bloggers, and I started to comment... and comment... and comment. Finally, I realized this really needs a whole post of it's own! Do check out the comments on her blog though... lots of good discussion there.

1. How in the heck do people find time to comment? Commenting is a constant struggle for me. Does anyone have any techniques to share?

Here are my commenting tips:

I open up a window with my blog, and then open up new tabs with everyone who left ME a comment the past week. I check out their blogs and see if I have anything to say. If I didn't get many comments that week, I'll take a look at my followers.

The other thing I'll do is when I'm looking at a meme with a listy, rather than going from the top down, (the first participants always get more comments) I'll open new tabs for the blogs at the end of the list - I usually aim for about 5, sometimes I'll go for 10.

The final thing that I do is go to the blog of someone I admire - and look at who commented there... then I check out their blogs and comment, because I assume that they've already proven they're the sort of blogger who leaves comments - so maybe they'll visit me and say something next time!

When I'm reading new blogs, I just kind of let my mind drift and see if their post reminds me of anything, or makes me think. Then I post it! I hate the copy and paste poste - it just shows you that someone didn't even read your blog.

Basically what I'm doing here is commenting on: 
people I already know and appreciate, commenting on blogs where I already know we'll have something in common (aka, the meme we both just did) and then going out and discovering completely new, but already proven to be friendly people.

2. What are the best ways of networking with other bloggers, authors and publishers? Twitter? Facebook? Please don't tell me it's Facebook.

Twittering and commenting on blogs. I limit myself to friending ONLY people that I have met in Real Life for Facebook, so I don't use it for blog networking.

3. How do you snap out of "reading feels like work" ennui?

I read an adult book. Or I watch TV or play a video game to give my brain a break. I hate it when my inner "reviewer voice" starts to kick in for EVERYTHING that I read no matter what. I think of it as just one of the ways that working with books has changed me as a reader.

4. Tell me more about this thing you call "scheduling."

Last year I did post everyday, and it was awesome, but I began to feel a bit weary towards the end, so I'm going back to the system I used to use.

Basically it involves using the 1st through the 15th of the month to get caught up, and the 16th through the 31st of the month to look ahead. Here's what I do - You can really picture this like an "if... then" diagram.

If it's the 1st through the 15th of the month, and I do not have posts ready to go, I work on getting 3 posts a week written for Sunday, Wednesday and Friday of the current month.

If it's the 1st through the 15th of the month, and all my minimum number of posts are ready to go, I start infilling and creating posts for Tuesdays and Thursdays. I may shuffle dates around, so I get a good balance of reviews vs. other stuff, or so that more time-sensitive news items get posted first.

If it's the 1st through the 15th of the month, and all my posts are DONE for the month, I start working on next month. (This doesn't happen that often.)

If it's the 16th through the 31st of the month, and I don't have 3 posts a week scheduled, I work on those (because that means I'm behind!)

If it's the 1st through the 15th of the month, and I DO have my 3 posts a week for the current month covered, I start working on the NEXT month's posts. No more infilling on the current month! And then if those are done, the next month, and so on.

It sounds a little OCD, I know, but I've gotten as much as two and a half months ahead using this system.


  1. Did you really post every day last year? WOW! You are clearly an amazing scheduler. I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-pants poster, just writing up a post after finishing a book or when I stumble across something particularly interesting to share. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Yes, I just like to plan ahead, I guess. It's the worst feeling, when you just have to "wing it" and come up with stuff to post about last minute. Fortunately, I was able to get nice and caught up during my holiday break. I'd like to get a nice buffer again!

  3. I can't believe that you posted everyday! I'm terrible at planning so I'll probably try your method during the summer to see if I can get ahead with my reviews. With school starting in two days, I know I won't have much time for reading again.

  4. Aha, now you sound like an accomplished scheduler. I think I do pretty well with commenting, given any time constraints that I have, but scheduling is something I struggle with a lot more. I am in awe that you could even think of looking ahead to next month's posting schedule if you already have the current month's done. I think my main problem is that because I largely post book reviews only, and I'm not a fast reader, I don't have a lot of future reviews to write. I'll finish a book, write the review, and post it the next day. I guess scheduling isn't as much of a problem for me because my posting is much more infrequent compared to most blogs.

  5. I really surprise myself... when I started this blog, I thought I might be lucky to post a review a week.

  6. Your answer to the last question brought a tear of joy to my eye! I love love scheduling and hearing about other people's scheduling systems. The more posts I have scheduled to go, the more relaxed I feel. I don't like "winging it" at all. I like to have the entire month's posts schedule a month in advance. Unfortunately I didn't get as much done as I was hoping this December, so I still have a few January posts to write.

  7. I can't remember if you've ever done a post on how you do your scheduling. Care to share with the group?

  8. Sure thing! I haven't done one yet, but I can :) (although I'd feel like a liar if I did it right now because I am SO behind in my scheduling this month :P)



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