Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Who Has Time For Blog Promotion?!

I don't know about you, but in addition to running two blogs, I have a full time job. I barely find enough time to post consistently, let alone promote my blog. So how do others do it?

Although there is some great advice available about how to promote and drive traffic to your blog, much of it requires tons of time and dedication.

Are there any other alternatives?

Blog promotion tips in second part of post...

I started thinking about this when Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
left a comment about proper comment etiquette. More specifically, how to go about replying to comments when we've got twenty other things to do. Funny enough, I'd been trying a new promotion strategy that incorporates many of these questions so I thought I'd share it.

Promotion Strategy - Start Small

Much of the advice I found centers around community building. Social media like twitter, facebook, stumble upon, etc. can be used to cultivate readers and therefore build traffic. Yet I easily get overwhelmed with the shear amount of options that I don't even know where to begin.

So this is my new plan. I'm not sure that it's going to work out, but I'm giving it a shot and I'll post about how it's going.

Step #1 - Break Down Tasks

Part of the problem with blog promotion is that there are too many options when it comes to ways of promoting your blog. Each option requires dedication and time so I've decided to break it down into three parts:

A. Social Media

Social media incorporates any on-line community like twitter, Facebook, FoodBuzz, Flickr, etc. Social media is usually characterized by making on-line 'friends' and interacting and sharing with them.

B. Forums

Forums vary from topic to topic and there are tons out there. A forum is where you leave a comment, question, recipe on a bulletin board and other users respond.

C. Comments

Comments refers to comments that other readers leave on your blog, but also comments that you yourself leave on other peoples blogs.

Step #2 - Dedicate Time For Each Task

Last week I discovered this great post on Problogger about a similar topic and the post included this amazing calendar that assigned a particular blogging task to a particular day.

That's the idea here.

If you only have an hour day to blog, dedicate 15 minutes to social media on Monday, 15 minutes to forums on Wednesday, and 15 minutes to comments on Friday. If you have extra time through out the week, great! If not, no worries.

Now obviously everyone's schedule is going to be different, so simply break down the tasks and assign the amount of time you are able to afford to each task.

You are placing yourself on a schedule of sorts. You're setting time aside to work on community building and blog promotion. Keep in mind that all three of the above mentioned blog promotion tasks require you to contribute something of VALUE. Do not just leave a link to your latest recipe!

Ultimately,the idea here is to not spread yourself too thin. Pick one social media site and one forum and slowly build your presence. This way, blog promotion is manageable and not overwhelming.

I've been trying this strategy for a week and so far, so good. I'm still doing my other regular blog promotion stuff like submitting recipes to Foodgawker and Flickr, but that's about it.

I'd love to hear how others have tackled this problem. What sort of strategy do you use? How do you promote your blog?

Share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Ha, great question! I think we all deal with this, especially when we are just starting out.

    First, I hope everyone uses Google Reader (or similar news feeder) to organize their RSS feeds. I subscribe to something like 100 blogs so I can get to know the people I interact with on Twitter, etc. At first I had them separated by type, but I was overwhelmed and always just ended up reading my favorites (not a good way to find new material).

    A few weeks ago I reorganized to separate into days of the week. I have about 12-20 blogs for each day, with a few repeaters for frequent posting. I also have about 15 blogs I read daily (e.g. Problogger, TwiTip) and vanity montiors to see who is mentioning me online.

    This set up has changed my life. It takes me about 20 min to get through each day (psst, you're Thursday but I'm ahead!) and it is absolutely worth it. Have made great connections and found opportunities.

    Also I have found it worth it to post regularly on Twitter and Facebook (+ photosites). I'd love to have time for forums, but there is so much fishing involved I haven't figured out how to break in yet.

    Suggestions anyone?

  2. Wow, thanks Darya. That is great advice! I never thought about organizing my rss feeds that way. I'm going to try it. Do you find this has helped build traffic or is it more about building meaningful relationships?

    Forums are really hard to break into. The problem is finding one that is active. I'm doing research about this and will post my findings soon. Any one know of a good, active food related forum?

  3. I feel totally identified with your issues about time because I've the same!

    As Darya of Summertomato said, I've also reorganized my rss reader and concentred all in google, leaving others readers out.

    My organization is different, I've done categories according to frequency per post, "chemistry" with the blogger and feedbacks received in my social sites. Technical stuff is read 1 or 2 per week.

    It's difficult for me to follow bloggers with a frequency per post daily or higher (several per day) I don't know how they do it unless they haven’t a full job.

    Social sites are vital for me and try to use them in burst of 15-20 mins during the day if possible.
    For me blogging is equal to be social.

    Cheers for you!


  4. I'm still pretty new to blogging - I've only been at it for 3 months, and already I'm finding it hard to set aside time for promotion.

    Until recently, I was using bookmarks in Firefox to go through my favorite blogs, but my list just got completely out of hand. Now I use Google, but I haven't categorized my feeds yet.

    I think this calendar system would work well for me because I’m all over the place, trying to remember to submit my photos to the appropriate places, show my face on twitter, comment on as many blogs as possible, and find a way to further increase my traffic (which is slow going).

    All of this, plus finding the time to post after working all day, has definitely been a difficult feat. But, it is so rewarding, because now I feel part of a great community of people who all appreciate good food as much as I do.

  5. Danny, I definitely think it helps because really traffic and meaningful relationships are the same thing. Blog relationships are what get you on blogrolls, guest posts and in post mentions. Links = SEO = traffic.

    One important thing I forgot to mention, I get up early and devote time to writing, do whatever I can while at work, and dedicate nights to comments and social media (and these days NBA ;). Having dedicated time each day helps me feel less overwhelmed. As I mentioned above, this is the first time I have been ahead in these things.

    The main way my RSS organization has helped is by enabling me to keep track of more blogs. Don't get me wrong, my turnover is high. I subscribe to a lot, but if I don't find myself looking forward to the posts in a few weeks I bail on it. Who has time?

  6. Great comments everyone!

    I've just re-organized my rss feeds and can already see that it's going to make a difference. It already feels much more manageable! Thanks Darya.

  7. I love Darya's idea of organizing feeds into smaller, more manageable chunks. I have almost 600 blogs in my Reader organized by topic, most being in the "Food" section. Most of the time, I never even make it to the other topics and miss out on a lot of great posts. I'm going to see if I can find a better system for organizing them all. I still don't see any way to consistently get to all of them, but maybe this will help. (Of course, a full time nanny and housekeeper would probably do the trick!) ;)

  8. Great advice here. I like how you suggest oraganizing tasks and devoting time to them. Great post. Thanks.

  9. I need to reorganize my RSS feeds, they are truly out of control. Regarding forums, I really enjoy, they are fairly active, I would love to see you all over there!

  10. Thanks for the forum tip, Heidi! I'll make sure to check it out.

  11. Great advice! Check out The Citizen Feed
    of Washington DC