The Book Blogging Balancing Act: Part 3

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!

Part 1: Finding Time To Read
Part 2: Posting Consist & Quality Content

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?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Amy @ Turn the Page says:

    Interesting post! I'm a new blogger and trying to organise the time to read and comment on other blogs takes a little getting used to! I love reading them but it definitely takes time!

  2. Ria- The Beaucoup Review book blog. says:

    I love commenting on other peoples blogs and try not to be a lurker, but sometimes there's just not time.. Well actually sometimes I can't be bothered.
    I think Shanyn's comments were interesting and a good idea..
    Thanks for the post(:

  3. Eleni @ La Femme Readers says:

    Oh man, I feel your pain babe! Working takes a chunk of our reading time, it really sucks. I also miss commenting on everyone's blog — I try to do it on the weekend though. But, my blog roll is so full it's hard to show love to all these awesome blogs.

  4. Tiny Library says:

    Yeah, it can be tough to balance both. When I'm pushed for time I just scan through my dashboard and only open the posts that interest me or I know I will have something to comment about. I agree with you that commenting is vital though.

  5. I am terrible at commenting most of the time. I always go respond to comments on my blog. But sometimes I just click "keep unread" in google reader to the stuff I want to comment on if I'm pressed for time and don't get back to it for a week.
    But I do only subscribe to the blogs that I really love and want to read. But I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to add to the list.

  6. Meg @ A Bookish Affair says:

    First and foremost, I always try to comment back on people's blogs that comment on mine. If they take the time to leave me a comment, I like to let them know in a way that I appreciate it and then I try to go through my Google Reader.

  7. Callie Kingston says:

    Wow, does this hit home. I'm just venturing into the blog waters and trying to make time for blogging, reading and commenting on other blogs, reading books in my genre, and — oh, yeah — writing! While keeping a very demanding day job and family afloat. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Becky (Page Turners) says:

    I sometimes find time to read and comment on other people's blogs when I first get into work and haven't started being productive yet. Otherwie I do it on the weekend. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is get back on the computer

  9. watching your IMM makes me miss you MORE.

  10. We Heart YA says:

    Our philosophy is pretty similar to yours, actually! Over time we do try to unsubscribe/unfollow blogs that we aren't as connected with, that way there's less in our Google Reader and it doesn't feel as overwhelming… but then, new blogs are created all the time, lol.

  11. Inhale the imagery says:

    I'm terrible with commenting. I have this habit of letting everything pile up and then my pile get's so intimidating that I just start over! I am working on it, and trying to comment on blogs that I read, especially when I find the post really relevant. I figure even if it's as simple as a "great post! I really enjoyed this!" it lets the blogger know that their work is appreciated. I have yet to find a good balance between work, school, and actively blogging though.

  12. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) says:

    I've found if I don't do it first thing in the morning, I kind of let it slide. This past week has been the worst for me in commenting. I also have a folder in my reader that says "Blogs I Love" and I always make sure to check those first and if I don't have tons of time…

  13. I feel like we are blogging twins Jamie…we both have the same issues when it comes to balancing!

    I am just now starting to get back into the commenting I used to do and I'm finding that if I don't do it in the morning, I tend to forget about it and then never do it later in the day.

  14. April (BooksandWine) says:

    I always comment when I shouldn't be…
    DON'T COPY MY HABITS BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD.

    That said, thank heavens for google reader.

    I also do like Shanyn and pick a meme to comment on and try to leave actually comments on blogs new to me, just to be nice and all. Have to balance out the mean somehow.

  15. Jennifer says:

    This is definitely an area that I need to work on. I love reading other blogs — it is what eventually got me interested in blogging in the first place, but it is incredibly time consuming. And it is something I really need to work on because my blog is still incredibly small and I'm trying to get my name out there. The tips that you and fellow bloggers provided were very helpful! Thanks so much.

  16. Heather R. says:

    I have such a hard time with actually reading and commenting on the blogs I follow. It's hard enough for me lately to even find the time to read and review. I've been thinking I need to create some sort of schedule for myself because I really do want to be active in the blogging community. Maybe I need to get better at multi-tasking…

    Anyway, I think you are doing a really awesome job at balancing work and blogging! You still manage to churn out reviews and other great blog content each week. I love these posts- very helpful tips!

  17. Melissa (Avid Reader) says:

    I try to get through all the blogs in my google reader and comment on everything that I find interesting. It's hard to keep up with everything, because the more you blog/comment, the more great blogs you tend to find. It's a vicious cycle.

  18. terri-maree says:

    I have limited time, so even though I visit several blogs, I don't really leave comments, it is definitely something to work on. Thank you for this wondeful series.

  19. I'm very new in the blogging community- no, let me rephrase that, I've very recently become active in it. I'm trying to find a way to make time to read, post and comment, which is obviously hard when there are other things going on in your life. This series of yours is a wonderful way to put things in perspective and work from there. Thanks!

  20. I just started blogging, and I find it difficult to navigate through WordPress and blogs that I subscribe through emails in order to comment and give good feedback. I find it kind of annoying that half the blogging community is on Blogger and the other half is mostly on WordPress. It’s not like Facebook when you get all your notifications on one site. Is there a way to organize all the blogs you follow on one site to keep track of them all?

    I love getting comments from readers on my blog. It definitely boosts my day, and I want to comment back on their blog not just out of courtesy, but out of genuine interest and wanting to communicate a shared passion for books. Anyways, just wanted to say your blog is awesome, love the theme, and you have a great writing style that’s super engaging and wants me to keep reading.