When blogging is NOT your full time job?!

Summary: So you love to blog, but can’t find time to do it or you have a day job! — 10 5 easy ways to make your blogging experience better when you’ve very little time to do it — becoming more efficient at blogging

Ogilvy’s Rohit Bhargava (on the left) outlines 5 easy ways to maximize blog writing efficiency (Photo by Hyku)

I know what you’re thinking, all this blogging is very easy and a lot of fun (which is true), but then once you get into it, you realize, gosh darn, I have a real day job where I’m getting paid to do stuff and where do I find time to BLOG. E.g. some of my essay posts have taken anywhere between 1 – 3 hours! Fear Not! Rohit Bhargava (Ogilvy | Influential Interactive Blog) outlines ten five easy ways to maximize your blog writing efficiency in the midst of your day job:

1. Set a REALISTIC target & LET GO of your blogging guilt:
Bloggers guilt! I totally agree w/ Rohit on this one. As a matter of fact, one of the key blogger manifesto rules, written by my friend Chris Pirillo is:

  1. I will post whenever I feel like posting.
  2. I don’t have to blog every meme.
  3. I won’t post for the sake of posting.
  4. When blogging becomes a chore, I’ll quit doing it.

Exactly! Never ever feel forced to blog, but it should rather be an uncontrollable passion. Lucky are those whose blogging is their job, because in that case you’re paid to indulge in your passion. In my case, one of my goals as community evangelist at LinkedIn is to craft the blog strategy for LinkedIn’s corporate blog and to drive blogging adoption by my colleagues as well… (and blog there as well, as well as on an internal blog as well as contribute to MarketingProfs, which I rarely do). So, I also have to deal with a fair amount of blogging fatigue on Marketing Nirvana that I try to combat with a focus on my areas of interest or the processes I follow to enable blogging where I work. I really need to work on reducing that bloggers guilt for my personal blog.

What’s your ideal # of posts / week?
I’m trying to stick to 4 – 5 / week (for Marketing Nirvana) but sometimes it just doesn’t work

2. Figure out CONSISTENCY:
This is tremendously helpful when you’re driving a blog schedule, whether it’s for a personal blog as well as for a corporate blog (actually moreso for a corporate blog). Try to figure out a source(s) for a regular blog post. As Rohit suggests it could be something as simple as your delicious or Google Reader shared items. For a corporate blog, it could be a post based on press and media articles that involves your company’s field of expertise OR it could also be a list of features that your company launches. See, it’s pretty easy. Also, I’d recommend creating a collaborative calendar (Google calendar), which allows you to plug in certain regular feature posts that you can then be reminded of. Trust me; it helps.

3. Collate, collate, COLLATE:
A bloggers’ mind is constantly thinking about and working on themes that he’s obsessed with. In Jeremiah’s case, it may be web strategy, I’m thinking about social networking, community marketing, etc… Since most bloggers constantly browse articles that feed that obsession, I’m sure you’ll stumble upon articles that may seem blog-worthy. Start collating those articles in a repository. Rohit suggests a simple notepad; I’d say go with a Google Notebook, which is effective (yet could be better). It allows you to add different folders (think of them as different tags) and start clipping items/articles/blog posts that you encounter, into appropriate buckets of data.

4. Master the art of HALF-WRITING, Add the EXTRA STUFF later, Start the dialog, don’t always finish it:
Many times, I’ve felt daunted by the task of crafting, yet another, Top 10 post. However, blogs are about conversations and Rohit suggests starting them even if you don’t have a conclusion. Agreed. All I’d add is, try to be controversial, since that’ll definitely attract a commentary from other bloggers who’re opposed to your viewpoint. Take a contrarian view. I’ve always tried that but have not been very adept at implementing it. Let me know how it works for you?!

5. Compose the post in your head or Use the 25 STYLES OF BLOGGING and Write FAST:

I don’t know about composing the post in your head, but I’d agree with having a certain structure for your blog writing in general as well as sub categories. In Marketing Nirvana’s case, you’ll notice I’m adhering to a basic structure (Summary, Picture, 3-part post). The 3-part post is generally an intro, the argument and a conclusion — you know, basic essay writing. I prefer (and would recommend, bulleted versions more since it is easier to read). This way, I feel comfortable starting a post since it allows me to follow a convenient path. Also, I haven’t gotten used to writing FAST. I always take at least an hour to craft a post. Also, check out the 25 styles of blogging recommended by Rohit and pick one.

If you’ve any additional tips to ease blogging fatigue, feel free to share in the comments section

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  1. whyguy

    Thanks for the tips. I just started my blog and these tips will be invaluable to me.


  2. Can Live » Blog Archive » Buzz Marketing highlights from this week …

    […] When blogging is NOT your full time job?! « Marketing Nirvana by Mario Sundar Mario is back with a focus on some great content – this post relates to those of us who do this as a passion as well as our previously unspoken blogger credo Tags: Blogs, Blogging, Buzz Marketing […]

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    […] from another blog, Mario Saunder wrote about ways to maximize blogging efficiency. Two of the highlighted points I have adopted […]

  4. deeptrance

    Good strategies all around. In general, I like the half-writing idea the most. I’ve been jotting down the ideas rather than the entire contents as and when they germinate. This really helps tackling blogger’s block. Saving some for a ‘dry’ week.

  5. Mario Sundar

    Hey Mario,

    Glad to hear from you… Keep up the good work (w/ originality) in Germany. Are there data aggregation sites like Techmeme in germany? If so, what are they?

    Thanks for the comment, man.

  6. kalpesh

    nice posts. Definately a help on maintaing a blog and balancing a career with blogging.

  7. mario KND

    Yeah, Damon got it. I guess some “inspiration” by other websites/blogs/etc. is okay, but it is getting boring if everyone is going TO THE SAME website.

    And thats where we need artistry or as my namesake has put it originality.

    But well, I would say I am on techmeme quite often as well. Though in Germany its only a minority of the bloggers getting their inspiration there, hence techmeme-mania is not a problem of the whole community there…

  8. Mario Sundar

    I’m addicted to TechMeme, myself, but I find that scouring the web for topics just related to your areas of interest and then discussing that would be very helpful for my audience.

    Think of it as a techmeme on “community evangelism” and “community marketing”.

    Originality is definitely the holy grail for any artist or blogger and it’s that pursuit that keeps most of us blogging 🙂

  9. damon billian

    Hi Mario,

    I had to laugh at the meme item. After all, it seems too many bloggers these days go over to techmeme, see what is hot & then write about it.

    Perhaps bloggers should be like artists? Ya know, blog whenever inspiration of some sort hits them…it can be hard coming up with something original, don’t ya think?

  10. Mario Sundar

    Hey Chris, anytime.

    I’m truly impressed with your grasshopper initiative. Look forward to seeing how it evolves into something bigger.

  11. chrisbrogan

    Very good stuff, Mario. I like the point that our minds are always collating and coming up with new stuff. Your blog always has me thinking. Thank you!

    Oh! And thanks for your help in your “community guy” capacity earlier today. I really appreciated it immensely.

  12. Mario Sundar

    Hey Patrick,

    That’s a neat idea. Writing a bunch of posts may work, but the nature of blogging is that people like the most current info and news. That’s one of the reasons I try to respond to recent posts rather than a week old posts. Have you ever felt that the latest news on your blog gets a better reception from your audience?

  13. Mario Sundar

    Hey Rohit!

    Yes, blogging on LinkedIn’s corporate blog is my day job, but not on Marketing Nirvana. I also write an internal blog within LinkedIn and try to force myself to contribute on MarketingProfs as well!

    So this post was specifically about blogging fatigue on Marketing Nirvana 🙂 he he.

  14. Rohit

    Mario – thanks for keeping this going, and reducing to five tips … that’s something I wish I did as sometimes I think ten tips gets a bit too long! Your additional thoughts are spot on … though I have to ask: isn’t blogging technically part of your day job? 🙂

  15. Patrick Fitzgerald

    I’m something of a bi-polar blogger: I’ll be manic for a while and post a lot, then ease off when I get burned out and not post anything.

    To combat this behavior, I sometimes use the WordPress timestamp feature to space out my posts. So I can write a bunch of posts and have them appear (for example) every Monday for the next few weeks.

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