In a few recent posts, I’ve mentioned a Bloggers’ Meet Up that was planned with Janis from Retirementally Challenged, Kathy from Smart Living 365 and me. This group also met last year and included Liesbet and Terri (who were unfortunately not able to join us this year).
I promised that I would share any blogging tidbits that we discussed. To be honest, it was sometimes difficult for us to stay on task — there were so many different things that we wanted to chat about!
Here’s a quick summary of my take on our discussion. Some points were unique to just one of us, while other points were shared by all. And of course, Janis and Kathy’s notes might look quite different from mine!
Why We Blog:
• Love of writing.
• Record gratitude.
• Awaken possibilities.
• Organize thoughts.
• Commit to lifelong learning.
• Promote deeper thinking (for ourselves and others).
• Share personal reflections/history.
• Build rapport and engagement.
• Inspire and be inspired, challenge and be challenged, influence and be influenced.
• Balancing all the things that we wish to be doing at this point in our lives.
• Self-imposed blogging rules.
• Consistently coming up with new and meaningful topics.
• Struggling to write when the words are not flowing.
• Technical aspects of blogging can be a HUGE time and energy drain.
• Blogging can easily consume eight days a week.
• Our time is precious – how do we make the most of it?
Time Management Suggestions:
• Be specific about blogging goals.
• Learn to say ‘no.’
• Consider Guest Bloggers (and use them wisely).
• Find a way to ensure that blogging does not overtake your inbox.
• Let go of the ‘shoulds.’
• Allow yourself to take a Blogging Break (you’ll know when it’s right for you).
• Use the ‘Batching’ Technique. (This was suggested by Min from Write of the Middle) Allocate chunks of time to do a batch of one type of blogging tasks: e.g., brainstorming blog ideas, writing your blog posts, editing photo’s, posting to social media.
• Don’t go it alone. Ask others (Happiness Engineers, fellow bloggers, Meet Up Groups, etc.) for their advice.
Other Thoughts on Blogging:
• Making money blogging is not easy. Be sure you are doing it because you love it.
• Have a reason beyond numbers that you are blogging.
• If you do love it, you’ll figure out what works for you.
• Blogging is like learning a foreign language that is continually changing. Every time you turn around there is something new to master!
Advantages of a Blogging Break:
• Allows time away to reflect, reevaluate and reprioritize.
• Helps to examine and change habits that no longer serve us.
• Can keep us fresh and renew our energy.
• Allows us to fully enjoy, and participate in, holidays and family gatherings (etc.) without the constant juggling act!
• This is Stephen Covey’s principle of ‘sharpening the saw.’
What We Would Do Differently If Beginning a New Blog for the First Time:
• Have a more precise idea of what a blog is (and what it can be).
• Do more research ahead of time, including chatting with other bloggers, to find the best hosting plan and blogging tools to suit individual needs.
• Based on the above, make a blogging budget of predicted yearly blogging costs.
• Give more thought to blogging niche.
• Choose a topic that is not limiting.
• Select blog name wisely.
• Give more thought to the About Page (and keep it updated regularly).
• Would not start with self-hosting. (Donna)
Unfortunately, I only managed to capture some of our discussion in my notes. These ideas are not new and are not absolutes. Still, the debating was incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking. This time together also allowed Janis and me to each firm up some decisions that we had been considering. You can read about Janis’s decision here. You can read mine in my next post!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions that you would add to the above lists. We are hoping to have another Meet Up on Vancouver Island sometime next summer. Watch this space for more about that.