Friday, 4 July 2014

Blogs for authors - How do you find the time?

I have been blogging for years, the oldest post I still have is from 2008, though I was blogging earlier than that. Over the years I have had blogs on a number of different themes - business, parenting, writing, fiction, non-fiction.

Most recently, I am focusing on two different blogs. The first is Melissa Writes, a blog I started in 2011 when I started writing fiction again as a way to share my journey and keep motivated. On this blog I share my writing progress, calls for help with different stories (such as a call out for help with a name for a gadget), writing tips, and anything else to do with my writing. The audience for this blog has turned out to be mostly other writers.

My second blog is Melissa Gijsbers, my author site. As I write it has a coming soon page as it's undergoing a face-lift, there are scheduled posts ready to go once it's live. This blog is aimed more at readers of my books. There are posts about me based on questions readers posted on my Facebook page, information about events I've presented at, details of books that have been published and anything else that may be of interest to my readers. The audience for this blog will be readers of my books.

There will be some crossover in the audience, but they have two different goals, they also take different amounts of time to maintain. How do I find the time to post on two different blogs both related to my writing and books?



I try not to spend too much time on my blogs, otherwise I wouldn't have much time for anything else. Here are some of the things I do to keep my blogs humming:

  • Post regularly - I like to make sure I have at least one post on each blog every week. Sometimes I'm able to blog every day, and other weeks not so much, but I like to have something regularly.
  • Keep posts short - most of my posts are short, generally around 300 words. This means they are quick to write, and quick for people to read.
  • Schedule posts - I use Wordpress for my blogging platform and can schedule posts in advance. This way I can write them when I have a bit of time and they will be published in advance.
  • Keep the process simple - most of my posts I just write and publish. I do a quick read to make sure they make sense and there are no obvious typos, however I don't spend hours editing them as I would a manuscript. This saves a lot of time when adding blog posts.
  • Automatic publishing to social media - using a mixture of tools, I have an auto feed from my blogs to my Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, my author page on Amazon and GoodReads, and a number of other places. This also saves time letting fans know when my latest post has been published.
  • Limit my blogging time - because life is busy, I try to limit how much time I spend on my blogging. Generally I can write a couple of blog posts in half an hour, including finding an image to go with my post.
Whenever I write a post, I think about the audience. There are times when it's obvious which blog a post should be on, and other times when it's not so clear. For example, a post about writing tips goes on my writing blog, however announcing that a story has been published can go on either blog. When this happens, I try and write something slightly different for each post rather than a copy and paste, but not so different that I spend ages on the post.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how I find the time to maintain two different yet similar blogs.

Melissa Gijsbers lives in Melbourne and writes in between working as a bookkeeper and being the mother of two active boys. She is a blogger and author of flash fiction and children's books. Follow her writing journey at www.melissawrites.com.au

3 comments:

  1. Well done to you, Melissa, for all the thought and effort you put into your blogs, in the midst of everything else you have to do. I have a Wordpress blog and schedule a post for each Tuesday and that's enough for me! My blogs are each about 500-600 words though so take a little while to think about and write, but I always like to say something worthwhile that might encourage or challenge others.

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  2. Thanks Melissa for this 'pattern' for keeping one motivated, focussed and directed. I've been a bit overwhelmed lately and - as a techno-phobe - I've resorted to head-in-sand behaviour!

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  3. Melissa, great post! Thanks for sharing your helpful tips :) I schedule blog post writing time, and I sometimes write blog posts when I need 'thinking time' for my current book. I prefer to write blog posts in advance and proof read them later before scheduling them.

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