I’ve really been trying to blog more regularly this year, and I seem to be doing better, but part of me’s still not satisfied with my output. As is the way with me, I wanted to try and figure out what’s been stopping me blogging more often and if there was a way to improve things.
The thing is, I know that the writing of the posts isn’t the issue – I type pretty quickly on a PC and my tablet and I spend roughly two hours a day on a train. If I want to write something, I’ve got the time to write it. That’s not the problem, I’ve got about six posts written and ready to go, but there’s always something that stops me posting them.
”Blogging Daily Guru’s” Miss The Point
At least they do for me. I’ve signed up for a couple of these “blog more regularly” email courses and without fail, they all talk about “frameworks” for posts and “ways to find the time to write”, but like I say, for me, getting stuff written isn’t the problem.
I was starting to think it might be WordPress itself.
But You Always Say You Love WordPress!
Yes, I know, and I do love WordPress. It’s brilliant; no other CMS comes close to the level of flexibility or simplicity that WordPress offers, but I’ve started to think that, as the platform and this installation have evolved, it’s gotten slower and there’s just too much in there. I used to post here a couple of times a night if I didn’t have anything else to do, I used to write and post three or four posts a day on various blogs for work while still doing my main job, and I used to be able to get them written and posted inside half an hour.
So what’s changed? A few things I suppose: my current theme’s got a slider on it that I have to edit pictures for, I take ages finding or making pictures to go with my posts, my mailing list template is hacked together (my fault) and, ultimately, posting takes longer than writing, even in the slightly longer-form style I’ve been using for the last couple of years.
I wanted to see if I could optimise that process at all, speed things up anywhere I could and, consequently, post more regularly. In order to do that, I had to find out where the timesinks were. So I put together a task list and timesheet for posting when I did my last post.
The Posting Task List
So that’s the process. How long does it take me under perfect conditions? Let’s find out.
|Write the post||45.15|
|Sync to Dropbox||0.47|
|Make slider image||8.27|
|Add post content||1.49|
|WordPress SEO configuration||2.52|
|Formatting check/ proofread||4.56|
|Submit it to Stumbleupon||1.32|
|Share it on Google+||1.26|
|Share it on Facebook||0.45|
|Share it on LinkedIn||1.29|
|Set up my email update||9.35|
Results And Conclusions
So there you have it – based on my last post, it takes me 108 minutes to post an update here and, out of that 108 minutes, only about 45 of them are spent writing the post. The rest of that time is spent messing around with the theme and promoting the post.
I suppose that’s the conclusion I’ve got from this: it’s not WordPress in and of itself that’s the problem, it’s a combination of the theme choice I’ve made and the promotional channels that I choose to utilise. This exercise has definitely given me some direction on how I can improve things.
As much as I like my current theme, it’s a timesink. That slider takes ages and is pretty frustrating to use, particularly on a slower internet connection. It also makes posting from my phone or tablet absolutely impossible.
There are also some improvements that can be made with my promotional methods. Although I’m happy with the channels I use, I think I could stand to invest a bit of time in making my mailing list template more functional. It looks great, but it’s a bit of a pig for me to use, which is entirely my fault.
With that in mind, my actions are going to be yet another re-theme for the site – something quite minimal this time, no sliders, no shiny things, just content. I might even go back to eleven40 (aff) – and to redo my mailing list template.
So there we have it, that’s the reason I don’t blog more often: it takes ages to post and promote an article. If any of you “blogging guru” types have any suggestions around how to speed that up beyond my current actions, I’d be grateful.
Since I wrote this, I’ve decided to action my changes before posting. I’ve gone back to the eleven40 Theme, with the Pro version for Genesis 2.0 – looks shiny, right? With no slider and a gorgeous minimalist look combined with a couple of CSS and layout changes, this theme is exactly what I needed. I’m wondering why I changed in the first place.
I’m also going spend some time getting my mail template set up properly over the next few evenings, which should help matters.
Hopefully cutting out all these extraneous/ slow areas will help me cut down on the time I spend messing around and focusing on the reason I set this blog up in the first place – writing.
How about you? Do you spend more time posting than you do writing? How do you find the time to blog regularly? Let me know in the comments.