10 Important but Potentially Distracting Blogging Tasks

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 in Blogging
Some days ago I wrote a post on how a blog post template helps you save time writing content. Hendrik wrote an interesting comment how this also effects having your mind on what you are writing, and how easy it is to wander off and do something else. Did you ever experience that day when you sat down in front of your computer and actually nothing came to mind? Or when you set time aside to blog while you are actually wasting that time doing other stuff rather than blogging? Well, to be honest, your not the only one. I think I can safely say that almost every blogger has experienced this at least once. I actually had this when Hendrik and I merged our Blogs together. My blog pattern was kind off messed up, and so I had to came up with different ideas. As I looked back over my day and the things that I’d done it struck me that there are a lot of tasks that bloggers do that are important – but that can at times become distracting from… well… writing posts… the core task of any blogger. 10 Important but Potentially Distracting Blogging TasksFollowing are 10 potentially distracting tasks for bloggers (note, I’m not saying that any of these are not important or worthwhile, just that they can actually become a distraction if we allow ourselves to become sidetracked by them).
  1. Social Messaging – Twitter, Stumble, Msn, Skype, IM, Mybloglog…. (add your favorite blogging/social service here). Each can suck up your time if you don’t get focused and put some limit around them.
  2. Social Bookmarking – many bloggers become somewhat obsessed with writing posts for and then gathering votes on social media sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Yahoo Buzz etc.
  3. Social Networking - building profiles and interacting upon Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace etc – all useful in building a brand and profile as a blogger, but potentially a distraction.
  4. Blog Design – blog design is important at creating a first impression but when you find yourself tweaking it, reworking it (especially widgets/plugins), planning your next one more than actually writing content for your blog you might be in trouble.
  5. SEO – like blog design there always seems to be something you could do a little better when it comes to optimizing a blog for search engines. It can be worth your time to do some of this, but one of the most effective ways of doing SEO is to write content that hits the spot with readers.
  6. Reading other Blogs in Your Niche – yet another great use of time, but many bloggers spend so much time on other people’s blogs connecting, leaving comments and even writing about them that they fail to write anything unique on their own.
  7. Networking with other bloggers – another great way to build brand and traffic to your own blog is to connect with other bloggers in your niche – however there are millions of blogs ‘out there’ and it can be an endless task.
  8. Monetization – finding and testing ad networks and affiliate programs can take a lot of time. Then optimizing them for your blog and tracking the results and extending your earning potential by finding private sponsorships and ad sales can really eat up even more of your time.
  9. Analyzing Stats – one of the biggest potential time suckers, that many bloggers, such as me, become distracted with at different times, is analyzing your stats (see this post on Google analytics from either Hendrik or Mark). Sure, you can learn a great deal from looking at who is coming to your blog, from where they come and what they do when they arrive. or
  10. Personal Life It can always happen some day… Your friend or someone close to you gets a car accident and loses a leg, or worse (this may sound cruel but don’t forget this can happen to anyone on a given day. Visiting him/her takes hours and there goes your time to blog anything that day.

Let me tell you this – there’s nothing wrong with any of these activities…. BUT….

While these are all great activities the danger is in those times when they sidetrack us from other core aspects of our blogging.

In my own blogging I try to guard against becoming distracted by:

  • Having goals (both long term but also daily goals).
  • Being aware how I’m spending time (periodically throughout each day I stop and ask myself if I’m on track.
  • Setting time aside for the most important part.

What distracts you most from blogging? How do you keep yourself on the track?