I rarely work with the television on and I never have music playing in the background. I’m not a phone person, I don’t text, I’m not a gamer and I don’t like to socialize on Twitter or Facebook. Yet, despite all the peace and solitude around here, I still have days where I’m completely distracted and I don’t get anything done. What’s distracting me? Blogging tasks!
It seems like every day there’s some new SEO technique everybody’s talking about. While it’s worth it to take care of these little tweaks, it’s also time consuming. The best thing you can do to optimize your site for the search engines is just publish lots of high-quality content.
2. Starting a new blog
While it’s important to diversify and create multiple streams of income, it takes more time than you think to start another blog. Plan for it. When you do it on a whim you’re taking yourself away from the things you really should be doing.
3. Social messaging
Interacting with followers in the social networks so you can get your links out there is an important blogging task. However, it’s also easily distracting. Remember your reason for being there in the first place. Promote your blog and get back to work.
4. Social bookmarking
I think social bookmarking sites are my real Achilles Heel. It’s so easy to sit there and click on links! Before you know it, the entire day is shot. Again, remember why you’re there. Take care of business and get back to work.
5. Blog design
At least once a month I’ll see some element of blog design I really like while I’m reading other blogs and I’ll drop everything I’m working on to implement those elements on my own blog. Stop tweaking. If you really want to overhaul your design, plan ahead and set aside time for it.
6. Reading other blogs
I have hundreds of new posts hit my feed reader every day. I follow these blogs because I like the blogger and I like what he has to say, so it’s easy to get sucked into a Time Warp and spend an afternoon reading when I should be doing something else. Set a timer and force yourself to scan the titles, looking for the gold – just like your readers do.
7. Commenting on other blogs
A few years ago I caught myself spending a few hours each day commenting on other blogs. And then it occurred to me that I was leaving an awful lot of free content – on other blogs. Keep your comments short, but valuable, and save the sermon for your own blog.
8. Reading about how to blog
There comes a time when you just have to stop reading about blogging and just do it. Go ahead. Dive right in.
9. Interacting with readers
Obviously, you don’t want to ignore reader emails and comments but they can also turn into a huge time-suck, especially when your blog starts generating a lot of repeat traffic. Create processes to keep this under control like setting up files and folders within your email server, creating response templates, and creating a FAQ page on your blog.
10. Guest posting
I think some bloggers put too much time and effort into this. You have to remember what you’re getting in return for that post. It’s a link. And sometimes it’s not even a very good link.
It only makes good business sense to track your results but changing from ad network to ad network and constantly looking for different products takes up a lot of time. If you’re not seeing conversions, it might be your content, not the products you’re promoting.
12. Analyzing stats
I’ll admit, I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching traffic come in and I’ve been known to refresh my stats page every five minutes when a post is going viral. But you won’t have any stats to watch if you don’t take care of business.
13. Moderating comments
Moderating comments isn’t so bad, it’s when you get into arguments with trolls and flamers that it gets distracting. They want to get a rise out of you and they’re not going to back down, so don’t even waste the time. Just delete their comments and move on.
14. Protecting my copyrights
When you have five posts on your blog you have time to put them each through copyscape every day to see if anyone’s stolen your content. But when you have two or three thousand? Forget it. It’s going to happen. Just keep publishing fresh new content regularly and you’ll be fine.
15. Special projects
Every now and then I wake up and think, “Wow! This would be a great day to write that ebook I’ve been thinking about.” And I’ve done it, too, that’s what’s surprising. And then I kicked myself for the next two weeks because I have to catch up on all my blogging tasks I ignored while I just “whipped up an ebook.”
16. Networking with other bloggers
Honestly, I’m not a chatty person, and I’ve learned the hard way that a lot of bloggers are chatty persons. We don’t get along. I find their chatter about what they did over the holiday and how their kids are doing in school and all that other personal stuff too distracting – and you should, too. A little bit of bonding is fine. But not when it distracts your from your blogging tasks.