I find myself blogging lesser and wasting more time engaged in several time wasting habits that take away my blogging time. I analyzed my time spent and found some common time wasters for bloggers that needed blogging time management.
Stop Wasting Time
1. Unsubscribe feeds – This is my major time waster. Last time I checked, I was reading over 200 feeds and my Google Reader would always show 100+ items no matter how much I followed my powerful ways to use Google Reader. I started unsubscribing from feeds and have brought the number down to under 100 feeds. I removed feeds which overwhelmed my reader by the large number of daily posts and which shared common news. I shifted many feeds to live bookmarks and iGoogle. Now I find my feeds more manageable and get the right content to blog about.
2. Leave the Template Alone – Would a link color of #0033cc look better, or maybe #0066cc would seem more blended. Maybe the sidebar could be wider, or footer look better in gray. Making your blog look better and SEO is a never ending process, so I convinced myself to not waste blogging time daily. Instead I decided to set aside a particular time slot in the weekend.
3. Test Ads Longer – Constant tweaking ad unit size, colors and A/B testing can help you make more money by optimizing your ad placement. Falling CTR and EPC makes us change the ad formats pretty quickly. At least check the revenue generated by a particular placement for a week and then tweak over the weekend.
4. Beyond Statistics – How many people are on your site right now? Is it really necessary to check stats every minute and see which site referred the last visitor. Now I check the traffic stats only once a day. Not only does it help get a broad idea of your daily traffic, but see how your SEO is working.
5. Turn IM Offline – I do not need to constantly see my online friends. Get a dedicated blogging time period by avoiding distractions. Switch off all instant messengers and concentrate on your blogging. Stay visible online only when checking email to catch the offline messages. Stay connected only when needed.
6. Email twice a day – Do I really want to reply to that email as soon as it hits the inbox? I am not sitting on a customer support 4 hour reply deadline. I have decided to check my email twice a day, spend more time blogging. No procrastination, reply the email instantly and prevent pile up in the “to reply” folder.
7. Forget Akismet Spam Comments – Far too much time is wasted searching for rare ‘not-spam’ comments among thousands of daily spam comments effectively blocked by Akismet. If the comment is so important, the comment poster usually keeps track and contacts you, then you can go searching the queue.
8. Turn Off Adsense Notifier – this is a cool firefox plugin which sits in the Firefox status bar and refreshes the adsense stats every 15 minutes. While a good revenue start boosts your morale, a weak earning day slows you down. So I turn it off and now check revenue earned once a day only. It gives more peace to your mind and helps to concentrate on blogging. Turn off all other real time revenue reporting tools.
9. Reduce Keyword Alerts – It is very easy to set up alerts notifying you of breaking news and who is blogging about your keywords. But overtime as these alerts grow in number, a lot of time is wasted in checking all of them. Delete alerts which are no longer relevant to your blogging interest.
10. Stop Thinking. Start blogging – Bring your blogging ideas on paper or e-text. It is surprising how fast the great idea evaporates from your memory, and you spend precious time worried wondering what it was. Start collecting your thoughts and ideas on a notepad. Stop merely thinking and get the action done. Prepare draft posts and future posts to keep your blog running…
Are you stuck with these top time wasters for bloggers? What wastes your time and how do you get out of the blogging time wasting trap. Share it.