Blog Development Time {Amanda’s Discussion}

Posted 26 July, 2013 by Amanda / 45 Comments


Do YOU spend time every week working on your blog?

My good friend, Stacey of Hit the Mic Marketing, devotes every Friday afternoon to business development time: time spent solely on the upkeep of her business. I liked the idea enough that I instituted my own business development time.

And it went so well the first week that I knew I needed On a Book Bender development time, too.

What is development time?

Development time means giving time and attention to the little things that slip through the cracks during your everyday blogging routine.

For my business, I spend my time writing blog posts, scheduling newsletters, or working on itty bitty tasks that I ignore during the week when I’m doing work for clients. It keeps me from feeling like I’m floundering. I keep a running to do list and a list of potential ideas to consider. This means that when I remember something I have to do–or something I’d like to do–it goes on my list.

Then each Friday, I work on the list. And it’s increased my productivity. Rather than chasing every idea I have and feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing, I deal with it all in one block of time and it gets DONE. I find that rhythm and roll with it.

For On a Book Bender, development time is a little more complicated. Running a book blog is more time consuming than my business blog, and there are a lot more tasks that have to be addressed–many of which are easy to put off. It’s why events like Bloggiesta are so popular. We all need that little kick in the pants to do what we’ve been avoiding.

But rather than wait for quarterly Bloggiesta events–which, let’s be honest, is too long to avoid maintaining your blog–I decided to institute a weekly development time for On a Book Bender too.

I give it an hour. It’s not a lot of time, and it doesn’t cover the amount of time I spend each day reading blog posts and commenting, or the time I spend every Saturday writing my CR post and weekly digest, OR the time it takes to read and write reviews.

But it is enough time to draft my weekly features, update my archives, create graphics, or write a discussion post.

Whatever I don’t finish in that hour gets rolled into the next week’s time or rolled into the weekend–Kelly’s blog housekeeping posts are a good time for this.

And rather than feeling like I’m neglecting my blog, I feel like I’m giving it the attention it deserves.

Tell me what you think. Would you consider starting development time for your blog? What blogging tasks are you always putting off?

PS. My blog development time is every Thursday at 7pm CST. You’re welcome to join me.

Filed under: Discussion,


45 Responses to “Blog Development Time {Amanda’s Discussion}”

  1. Great post! I think this is a wonderful idea and I’ll defintely try it. It’s just like you said! During the week we always have these little tasks that we put off. Planning is important and I need it desperatly. Thursdays won’t work so well for me, but maybe during the weekend I’ll take one hour or two, to go through the tasks I keep delaying. Thank you for the tip!

  2. I set aside time to work on posts, but not really to work on the blog which I so need to do! Thanks for the reminder – now trying to find a regular time in my schedule.

    • Trying to find the time is so difficult, isn’t it? I realized I had an hour in my weekly schedule that I was constantly wasting on Twitter or other non-productive computer tasks. I figured why not make it productive? And my blog development time was born. :)

  3. I am always writing down lists and I feel like I never get anywhere with them. Mostly because I am an absent minded person. Blog development time sounds like a great idea. I usually only set aside time in the morning to catch up on blog posts, like I am doing right now, and work on publishing blog posts, like I *try* to do in the afternoon, but the internet gets in the way.

    • lol. The Internet always gets in the way! I actually started getting up earlier in the morning, just so I could get my day started without so much Internet distraction. But that’s off topic. o.O

      My to do list is kind of a running one. I keep everything from previous weeks so I can track what I’ve done and keep an eye on what will need to be done. Occasionally I’ll even assign myself tasks a few weeks down the line.

  4. I’m currently spending time doing this daily. Writing/scheduling posts. Doing maintenance. Part of it is so that I can feel productive and part of it is because it’s better than doing nothing. I should, however, find a set time to do these things. That way I don’t have to feel guilty if I miss my daily time – because that time would be extra time.

    • Though I try to read/comment on blogs every day, I don’t always spend time on my blog. I’d be far too likely to burn out that way. I just keep my to do list and work on that on Thursdays–though sometimes I’ll grab an extra 15 minutes here and there to address things.

  5. Holy cow. I don’t even know how much time I spend on blog-related things. Commenting takes time, writing the posts…I’m terrible about maintenance and keeping up with my lists so I usually binge-fix these. *sigh* You’re so organized about it! I’m just a hot mess lately. Oh well!

    • I don’t think I want to know how much time I spend blogging. It’s A LOT. My hour of blog development time only scratches the surface. But it saves me from having an extremely daunting list during Bloggiesta (or whenever I would decide to tackle maintenance).

  6. I try and spend a little bit of time each morning on the blog and maybe in the afternoon, depending on what has to get done — putting reviews in Archives and crossposting, reading blogs, checking out Twitter, replying to comments, etc. Of course, I’ve been a bit of a reading machine and the reviews have been piling up to write, but I don’t mind spending an afternoon doing that so long as everything else has been kept up to date.

    • I don’t consider reading blogs, commenting, or Twitter as part of my blog maintenance (it’s more blog socializing). I usually do those tasks every morning and periodically throughout the day because, much like blog maintenance, it gets out of hand when it piles up.

  7. I SO need to do this. My computer was nice enough to start acting up about three weeks after I started my blog, so since then I’ve been sort of floundering and just using odd snatches of time to get posts done (usually at the last minute, or much closer to it than I’m comfortable with). Now that I have a new laptop I can count on, I need to get organized again.

  8. I do blog development time with yoooooou! I kinda invited myself. Mostly it was because watching you work while I was sitting there like a lump was no fun.

    We should have a GIANT blog development google hangout. (I only suggest this because I have successfully navigated the hangouts a couple of times now and feel confident that I won’t get lost in limbo attempting to log on) (also, you may have suggested this. I forget. Things that you and I do and/or say run together in my head sometimes and I forget where it originated from. Or if I just thought it.) (is that weird?)

    Don’t answer that last question.

  9. I’ve been a bit poo this month with everything going on and so have decreed August Development month (in general) and am going to figure out what time works best to schedule in BookPairing dev time. It’s been a bit of the neglected middle child lately (wop wop).

    I love the idea though. May have to try out Thursday nights and see if your force of energy affects me allllll the way over here. My bet is that it does.

  10. That’s such a great idea!! For me, on Sunday mornings, I usually take an hour or two doing my review posts for next week. Of course, that doesn’t include visiting other blogs and commenting and networking. or the time spent on Twitter hahaha

  11. Thank you for the kick in the pants with this post. I have really let things slide, all things, with the blog. I haven’t been making time for any of it, and I don’t want to blog to fall apart. I’ve seen my visits fall drastically lately since I’m no longer as engaged in the community as I once was. It’s my own fault. I just really need to find the energy to put back into it.

    I love the idea of blocking out the same time every week. I have the same set up with work tasks, and it’s a pretty brilliant way to increase productivity.

    • Honestly? I think the longer you blog and the more responsibility you shift away from yourself (read: getting associate reviewers), the easier it is to disengage from blogging. I’ve been letting things slide too, and blog development time has helped me fix that. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m getting there.

      • I can see how that could happen, though I don’t think my associates have anything to do with it. They submit reviews, and submit a few Top Ten Tuesdays, but that’s it. The real problem is my energy level and distractions with this new stage in my life. I want to do so much more with the blog but when I get home, I want nothing to do with the computer most nights. This is so very different than I have ever been about the internet overall. I also can’t get on Twitter or Facebook from work, and I don’t like using the phone to do bulk social media. It’s a pain in the arse. I also feel very guilty when I do bloggie things at work, like right this second, so I don’t do it often. :P Anywho, it’s all on me, I just need to get my mojo and interest back.

        • That makes sense. Part of the reason why I’ve slacked off is how involved I’ve gotten with my business. And even though I can use the Internet at work (heh), my reading itself tends to suffer.

          Mojo and interest can be hard to recover.

  12. I think this is a great idea! I normally just try to up-keep as I go…but that doesn’t always work out very well. It would be good to set aside at least an hour a week to make sure that my review links are all updated, that my side widgets are updated, that my reviews are posted in Goodreads AND Amazon. The small things that sometimes slip through the cracks as the week goes on. I’ll have to work through this and see if there is a time over the weekend that I can set aside just for Business Development. :-D

  13. I like the idea of setting time aside for your blog, I really should start something like that! I always put off updating my review archive, then have to add a bunch when I do it.
    I’m not sure when I would have it, weekends tend to be busy. Whenever Joe gets back and has his weekly meeting with his unit will probably be when I start. I do have a reminder on my phone that goes off once a month to remind me to backup my blog, so that’s a start!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  14. I remember you mentioning this to me on Twitter but this post reminded me about this. I definitely need to set aside time each week to work on blog development. I’ll probably try to do it Thursday nights with you, since like you said, it’s better with friends. Now to go and make a list of things to do when Thursday rolls around once more.

  15. I started this on Sunday. I spent the majority of my day working on the blog. Once I accomplish my big project to do list, I think an hour a week will be sufficient. I can always add more time later if I need to. I’m going to try and join you on Thursdays too.

    It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you focus on a list. :)

  16. This is something I definitely could benefit from. I’ll have to pick a time and put it in my calendar each week – then maybe I won’t forget so easily! Thanks for the insight, Amanda :)

    • Absolutely! I have my blog development time on my Google calendar (which I use to track everything) and even have a reminder to go off a half hour before so I don’t forget. :D

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