Friday, September 06, 2013

Don't Get Blogged Down

by Edie Melson

This may seem like a odd topic, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how some of you are following so many blogs you don’t have time to write. Of course I’m also hearing from some who haven’t committed to following any blogs because of a fear that there won’t be any time to write.

Either extreme will blog…er…bog down your career.

All kidding aside, as a writer it’s vitally important to continue your education. And blogs can be an extremely efficient way to do this. I can hear the chorus of complaints now.
  • There are millions of blogs out there—how do I find one that’s worthwhile?
  • How do I narrow down my choices—do I have to read hundreds to find one that fits what I need?
  • Where do I start looking—it’s gonna be like finding a needle in a haystack!

Enough already.

Finding high quality blogs, that pertain to your situation are just not that hard to find. You find a good blog the same way you find a good book. Think about it, we’ve been shopping for books for years, choosing from millions of titles, and finding success. 
  • First, look for recommendations from people you trust.
  • Second, most blogs have blog lists as a part of their layout. If you like blogger A and he likes blogger D, chances are you ought to give it a try.
  • Third, look for blogs from familiar people. Now days, most bloggers have or are at least affiliated with more than one blog. 

So how do you manage following blogs and keep from eating into valuable writing time?

I have a plan for that too. I like to use a three-tiered approach.
  • I start with three to five blogs that I follow regularly. These are blogs I almost always read.
  • Then I have a second level of six to eight blogs that I watch closely. I read these about one half of the time and I decide when by paying close attention to the subject lines and titles of the posts.
  • Finally I have a third level of about twelve to fifteen blogs that I watch the subject lines and titles and read when they sound interesting.  

This is the method that works for me. I’d love to hear how you manage your blog life.

Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

I have a list of blogs that I read "somewhat regularly." Most of them are run by people that I'm acquainted with through a professional writers' organization. I will randomly pick blogs that might come across my path (through twitter or Facebook). I might place them on my list later, depending on if I feel I want to visit them frequently.

Iola Goulton said...

I've got dozens of blogs on my Blogger dashboard, and tend to read only those particular posts that interest me (which, incidentally, includes quite a few Novel Rocket posts).

I notice over time that there are some blogs I read almost every day, and others I don't read for weeks. What I read depends on the headline and first line, as shown in the dashboard - I suppose that tells me I need to get a little more creative in my post titles and first lines.

cjoy said...

I like this approach. Though I hadn't broken it down so specifically, I take a similar approach, always reading a few that help or encourage me, scanning others and keeping tabs on the rest for something of interest. This applies to writing, homeschooling and personal blogs as well...which keeps that list crazy. Managing it has become essential.