As most of you know, I started a new job this year (after not really working for a while which meant I had TONS of time for reading and blogging) and have had a horrible time trying to balance reading, my blog and well….real life. It really has brought me in a little bit of a blogging funk as I’ve mentioned but I’m a tough cookie and I’ve been trying to adapt and find ways to make it work for me.
I decided to enlist some help from my blogging friends and bloggers who I respect to give me their tips for balancing blogging. This series will cover a variety of topics within blogging with tricks that I’ve picked up as well as some advice from other bloggers! I figure, I can’t be the only one who is struggling with balancing it all!
Today we are talking about finding time to read other blogs & comment. I know this is one thing that is hard for me when I’m busy but it is VITAL. Commenting is a huge part of the blogging community and I’ve mentioned that they are a blogger’s daily boost of affirmation. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger is to sit here on your own blog all the time and never venture out and support other bloggers and let them know you are there. I feel awful when I slack on commenting..and it’s happened a lot recently and I feel the effects in many different ways. I feel like I’m letting down the community.
Here are some tips and tricks from some other bloggers on this topic:
I generally clear out my Google Reader every day – and this is only because I follow blogs I actually want to read. I don’t go crazy adding everyone, because then the ones I truly think are great won’t ever get read by me. For commenting, I try to take a minute to reply to comments left on my blog – and once or twice a week I will pick a meme that has a linky (Top Ten Tuesday or In My Mailbox are good ones) and go down the list and comment on their content. This makes me feel more task oriented since I can see the list and click my way through. — Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit
I have a blog roll on my actual blog of other book blogs I frequent the most. I check those first thing in the morning when I am checking my email. It’s become a habit of mine. I like to check those out first thing & then I’ll eventually get to the rest through out the day. I pay attention who comments on my blog frequently & try to do the same on theirs too. — Ginger from GReads!
Ahhhh yes…reading and commenting. Here’s my philosophy, so please bear with me as I stand on my little soapbox. I have a relatively small following for how long I’ve been blogging, but the followers I do have are extremely active and dedicated. It is my goal to ALWAYS comment on at least 40-50 blogs a day. I will always return a comment if you leave one for me, and I always comment on the specific blogs listed on my front page because they always do the same for me. Furthermore, my reader is massive, and if something catches my eye, I’m going to read and comment. I don’t usually comment on blogs that only feature memes though. I want real, relevant content that lets me know the blog author and their specific voice. I guess the main thing is, if I comment, I’m going to do a legit comment, and if I don’t comment, it doesn’t mean that I’m not reading your blog…my hands just got tired from the 50 other comments I did. My best advice would be to go for the posts that catch your eye and try to comment on those who comment on yours. Reciprocation is key. — Melissa from I Swim For Oceans
This is the tough one. I read A LOT of blogs, but I don’t always comment. I’m a chatterbox (if you couldn’t tell) and so when I leave comments I want to leave thoughtful ones. So, unless I feel like I can add to the conversation or unless I feel really strongly about the topic/person/blog I just read. That may seem odd, but it’s the only way I can squeeze it all in! — Danielle from There’s A Book
I always check my Google Reader in the morning when I am eating my breakfast. It’s part of my morning routine. I also check it again during my lunch break and try to comment on blogs. I wish I had more time to comment! This is one area that I could work on. — Christina from Confessions from a Book Addict
When I’m not being a commenting slacker, I typically start with my blogroll..these are my MUST read blogs. Then I try to reciprocate comments on my blog. After that I’ll try to block out an hour or so to tackle my Google Reader (which rarely ever happens) or I’ll just find links tweeted on Twitter and just blog hop from there so I’m constantly discovering new blogs too. I tend to get complacent commenting on a select group of blogs but I really try to venture out and find new blogs. With my Google Reader, I’ve been trying to weed out blogs that don’t really post too much or that I just don’t find interesting anymore. I wish I could have superhuman powers or more time in the day to comment on everybody’s stuff but such is life..
What about you all? How do you find time to read other blogs and comment? Do you have a system or a schedule that you stick to? Do you find that you struggle with this aspect of blogging?