Friday, September 16, 2011

BBAW Friday Topic - Best practices

Today's topic asks that we share with you our best blogging practices, as well as any new trends or tools that make blogging easier, or more effective.


First, I'd like to just be straight with you.  By talking about my best practices, it makes me sound like I know something, or I'm some sort of expert, which I AM NOT.  I could sit here and tell you ten things I'm not doing to promote my blog that I should be doing, but I'm just not interested.  This is not a business, it is a fun thing.  Once I start treating it like a business, the fun is over for me.

So what are some habits or tips that I have found that work for me?

1.  Limit your time in blog-hopping.  All of us have lives and jobs.  To prevent my obsessive compulsive side from taking over, I allow myself to visit you all in the mornings, usually before 10:00am.  85% to 90% of all posts are published in the mornings, so I have a good chance of hitting most of you.  Unless I get a windfall of time for some strange reason, there is a good chance I will not get on Blogger in the afternoons or in the evenings.  That is family time.  If you post in the evenings, I may miss you.  I'm sorry about that but something's gotta give.

2.  Pre-schedule your posts, and plan them to publish in the morning.  I could be wrong, I've not done any scientific studies, but it seems that most traffic comes through in the morning. And like I said, I often personally miss anything published in the evening. 

Also, pre-publishing in general is the best way to manage my schedule.  I try to get out ahead of myself at least by two weeks, so if I have a busy day or two, I'm not compelled to stay up until the wee hours to get a post finished.  For my three-week vacation to Poland, all of my posts were done, so I could let my blog go on automatic pilot.  It's a beautiful thing.

3.  Just because you are a book blogger, don't feel like it has to be all books, all the time.  I love reading everyone's book reviews, but I do admit I also like hearing about movies, seeing pictures from vacations, and getting a peek at the person behind the blog.  For the last couple of years, I have found a groove I'm comfortable with.  Mondays are for movies (the official Monday Movie Meme temporarily on hold while the Bumbles enjoy their new baby), Wednesdays are set aside to feature my photos, and I blab (and often whine) about what is going on in my life, bookish and otherwise, on Sundays.  Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are reserved for books.  Everyone has a different rhythm, so experiment and see what works.

Trends and tools:  I erupted in laughter when I saw this prompt.  I'm not a trends and tools person.  I do have a Twitter account, where I generally lurk, to see what is going on, and occasionally I will butt into a conversation when I'm waiting to pick up my kids from school.  But I am wary of something that appears to be a time-sucker.  I recognize alot happens on Twitter, but it remains a secondary source of entertainment and promotion for me.

I use Facebook for my personal life, but rarely feature my blog posts.  Call it a separation of church and state, I don't know.  I figure if my friends really want to read what I have to say, they'll come on over to my blog, or they will get an e-mail feed.  (See, this is exactly what I was referring to when I walked about the ten things I could do but don't.)

Who knows, maybe with all of your posts and ideas today, I'll learn something! 
  
  

17 comments:

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Sandy, I'm guilty of blog hopping and then realizing 2 hours later that I'm still blog hopping!! :(

I still haven't worked out my posting groove yet...when I pin myself in too much, my brain revolts although I do better with somewhat of a schedule...go figure.

I'm loving today's topic!

Alice Teh said...

Great stuff, Sandy! All of which I agree. I'm a book blogger that blogs just about anything and I love posting photos, books, and other stuff that I come across just for variety. We book bloggers are fun people!

I used to pre-published a lot but these day work and social life takes over. Like you've said, something's gotta give...

Julie P. said...

You are such a wonderful blogger and I love your advice!

Amy said...

All great points. I don't blog-hop a ton anymore... but only because I spend all day trying to keep the Google Reader posts read! Sigh. Pre-scheduling is definitely my life saver though.

bermudaonion said...

I think you are quite the pro. I like to publish in the morning so the post can be viewed all day.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Before TEN? I swear, when I check blogs at 5:30 or 6 PST, you have already been everywhere, commenting away!!!

gautami tripathy said...

I schedule posts for the morning. My morning!!

:D

As our blogs are reflect our personality, we all look out for different blogging tools. One should go for that wchich suits her/his blog. One should always keep the reasder in mind. Afterall, we all want readers on our blog. And comments!

Here is my post:

BBAW 2011: Readers

Alyce said...

Those all sound good to me! I blog hop when I have time - five minutes here or there in between other things like chores. Sometimes it does get out of hand though (as is evident from the huge clean clothes pile waiting to be folded in my bedroom right now).

I wish I could get so far ahead with scheduled posts, but usually I only have a day or two in the queue unless I'm going on vacation.

Harvee said...

I have to begin timing myself when I get on the computer - between blogging on a SLOW computer, reading email and answering, checking facebook, reading other blogs and commenting, I find the entire morning gone!

heidenkind said...

I have a mental block when it comes to prepublishing posts. Honestly, I'm a little superstitious about it. I may write them ahead of time, but I never schedule them.

Jenners said...

You are the voice of sanity in how to keep a happy and balanced blogging life. Now I wish I could just get a bunch of posts written so I don't run out of stuff. I have zero backlog of posts ready to go and that always puts me on the knife's edge of not having any material if I run out of time. I think I need to build up a backlog somehow.

Jo-Jo said...

I swear I have such problems finding time to bloghop at all lately! So when I do get a chance I usually spend more time than I should! I like the idea of scheduling posts, but it doesn't work properly for me every time. Thanks for the great tips!

Florinda said...

Limiting the blog-hopping - as tempting as it is to spend all day on it - really is good advice. It's one reason I use a feed reader and relates to why I don't always comment all over the place like I have this week, but it's a survival skill.

(And I set my posts to go up at 5 AM Pacific, so you East Coast types can see them by 8 AM :-D!)

Marie said...

Pre-scheduling posts is the only reason I can have a blog! These are all great, great tips! I'll admit I keep my blog only about books, but maybe that needs to change. as I get to doing more crafts I should do a Crafturday post every week, maybe.

caite said...
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Melody said...

Great advice, Sandy!
I love reading blogs that talk not only about books but also a glimpse of the blogger's life.

Pre-scheduling posts are great!! I always do that when I know I'll be away from the computer at times.

C.B. James said...

I don't know, at this point I think you are something of an expert. :)