Blogging can be very time consuming, between the research, writing, editing, formatting and re-syndicating. But it’s all part of your job as a blogger. You are, in fact, a single person wearing many hats. And the necessity to take on so many roles is an oversight that many newcomers are unable to anticipate, despite warnings from weathered veterans. While several tools aim to streamline various aspects of the blogging profession, anyone looking to make a name for themselves as a blogger should be aware of the tasks they are undertaking so that they can be better prepared.
The unfortunate side of online publishing is the ease through which so much can be accomplished, making the profession of blogging seem simplier than it actually is. Such is the case with many professions–the operations taking place behind the scenes are far more complicated than the public-facing product. This disconnect is somewhat intentional, but is also an ongoing and still-improving part of the blogging process.
This disconnect also leads to several common misconceptions about the act and profession of blogging. I posted an article addressing several of the misconceptions of blogging earlier this year, outlining various aspects of the profession that one should be aware of when determining when and how they will enter the profession for themselves. I want to follow up on that and further discuss the time factors that should also be addressed by anyone considering blogging.
As I mentioned, research, editing, formatting and re-syndicating are some of the biggest actions that go towards the creation of a successful blog article. While one of any of these actions could be easy and quick to accomplish, the other aspects of the publishing process can drag out the time spent on a single blog post. For me personally, the writing portion of the publishing process takes up the least amount of time. It’s the rest of the publishing process that takes up the rest of my day.
The primary reason why the writing portion is quickest for me is because of the time I put into researching a given article. Depending on the topic, researching an article could take hours, days or weeks. An interview may be necessary, or some deep digging may get me the information I need to get the job done. In other cases personal experience gives me all the data I need, but cataloging and accessing notes I’ve taken from my personal experiences can be quite a chore.
Once the article is written, you still have to edit it. Check your spelling and your article flow. Ensure that the article fits the theme of the blog, and adheres to the basics of what your blog needs for things like SEO optimization. From there, the formatting of the article needs to also align with the blog motif, ensuring that images are properly placed, your article is adeptly tagged and the URL is determined for easy search engine crawling. The re-syndication process can also amount to quite a lot of work, with profiles established across the social web and a receptive audience willing and ready to further spread your content on the Internet.
All of these factors are parts of the recipe to a successful blog, and that’s just the work that goes into a single blog. As you can see, these are all jobs that typically are taken on by several team members within a traditional publishing environment. For some blogs, this may still be the case. But for many newcomers, they will need to be every working part of the whole.
Having done all of this myself, I would recommend first determining which part of the publishing process will take the most and least amount of time. Work on improving the skill set needed for the portion of the publishing process that is the most time-consuming, and seek out tools that can aid in streamlining that portion as well. Next, recognize how all of these working parts join together for the creation of a single blog article, and find additional tools that can streamline the process in its entirety.
Organization and reminder apps such as Remember the Milk, Google Reader and Docs are great places to start. BloggingTips is also a terrific resource towards developing all the aspects of your blogging career, as the authors that contribute to this publication are experts in all the areas of successful blogging.