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This blog topic may sound hypocritical. After all, every Tuesday I showcase a new blog and ask my readers to pay them a visit.

Today’s Lesson

I believe a good blog starts with a solid foundation. A foundation that is the result of research, a good theme, writing ability, knowledge of your chosen blogging platform, and a little bit of HTML code.

But soon after we start blogging, we want to “be found”.

We read how we should form communities, network, comment on other blogs, add blogs to our RSS feeds, join StumbleUpon and Digg posts.

All of that takes time.

Lots of time.

But we want growth, so we spend countless hours on these activities. Often too many hours.

What happens during this process, is we begin to neglect our own blog.

The rock solid foundation we built, begins to crack.

When visitors do show up, the “cracks” are apparent.

The great blog that was once a favorite of many, is showing signs of deterioration.

Soon our loyal visitors move on. Traffic and RSS reader counts plummet. Comments decline. Stumbles and Diggs soon stop.

We sit there, shaking our head, saying “What happened?”

What happened is that you didn’t set priorities.

For me, my blog comes first, just as yours should.

I answer my comments as soon as time permits, do maintenance behind the scenes, then proceed to work on my next post.

Usually at the end of the day, I have free time to visit other blogs, comment, and do some Stumbling.

With a full time job/home office, my blogging schedule often changes, but I try to follow the same order. If I run out of time by day’s end, visits to and comments on other blogs must wait.

There are exceptions to the rule. I visit my UK bloggers early in the day, due to the time change, and if I see a fellow blogger needs help, support or encouragement, I will change my schedule and pay them a visit.

Today’s Assignment

Do you find yourself spending too much time away from your own blog?

Do you have a blogging schedule you follow?

Do you have “old favorites” (blogs) that are showing signs of deterioration?

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  1. I think about The Crack alot. I worry about my readers if too much time has passed. You’re right, all the social networking takes and insane amount of time. That and the fact that when I visit blogs, I like to leave comments worth reading :) Recently my heart of hearts (my laptop lol) died on me. It’s the longest time I’ve been away from my blog thus far..and the feeling was it was “dying”. I can see that you need to remain consistent in order to breathe life into your blog. I recently noticed that I tend to check the latest post of a blog if I am considering subscribing. I don’t even know when I began doing that.

    I have a favorite blog right now that’s beginning to suffer from deterioration. Thats how you know its a good blog – It’s been some time now and I’m still eagerly checking!

    JEMi @ InMyHeels’s last blog post..Overcoming Self Sabotage

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi JEMi

    We must be visiting each other at the same time, as I just read your new post on self sabotage….great job.

    I’m not certain what your posting schedule is, but with the thoroughness of your posts, they certainly aren’t something you can crank out in a short period of time. And, that is one thing I have learned about your blog…when I see you have a new post, I know I need to set aside ample time for reading as I want to read every word you’ve written.

    I think it’s normal to look at the most recent posts of a blog, however, some blogs have great stuff buried in their archives. It just takes time to dig it up.

    Re: the favorite blog that appears to be deteriorating, have you thought of contacting the author? They could be experiencing a personal setback and may need some encouragement.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Go Home and Cover Your Crack

  3. Do you find yourself spending too much time away from your own blog? No, not my personal blog

    Do you have a blogging schedule you follow? Yes, I post at least 3/4 times a week and I reply to comments in the evening when I get home.

    Do you have “old favorites” (blogs) that are showing signs of deterioration? No and that’s a good thing. I don’t expect too too much from my blog subscriptions, as long as they post once a week, I’m fine to get even that.

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..6 Tips for Writer’s Block

  4. I’m just laughing thinking about JEMi emailing the blogger to say, “Hello there, I’ve noticed that your blog is deteriorating. Do you need any encouragement?” Of course, I’m sure she could phrase it much more tactfully than I could. :)

    I started out blogging on a Tim Ferriss schedule–1 or 2 posts a week. My biggest fear was running out of things to say. Now I have enough ideas saved up that I’m not in immediate danger of running out of things to say. In fact, I have 10 fully completed drafts in my “emergency fund.”

    So I’ve been posting more lately, but I still try not to post too much. If I starting posting every day, people would get used to that. And then if a time came when I couldn’t keep up with it, they’d be disappointed. Right now I really couldn’t post every day even if I wanted to, because it takes me far too long to write a post. Even the short ones sometimes take a long time because they need a lot of editing to make them readable. But I’m getting better at writing posts faster without compromising quality.

    I don’t think I know of any blogs that are deteriorating. I just see ones that are still good, and ones that had deteriorated before I got there.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Learn More, Study Less: Expand Your Mind With Holistic Learning

  5. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Tough question. I don’t have time to read every single post on each blog I like, so I probably wouldn’t notice, as you tend to be drawn to the better posts anyway I suppose.

    A blog I used to visit a long time ago really went downhill. One minute it was quite interesting. Then the posts became less frequent. Then the posts started to be all about the blog author.

    Now, I know it’s nice to add a personal touch, but not when it just becomes like a daily diary of what that person has been doing. I think it was basically a case that the blogger had started doing other things, but didn’t want to lose the money they were earning from their blog.

    I don’t expect people to write consistently excellent posts – especially if they’re blogging every day – as I know how long some of those posts take to write. It’s nice to read a mixture of longer posts and shorter ones too.

    @ Hunter – silly question I suppose. But how did you know that those blogs went downhill before you started visiting them?

    CatherineL’s last blog post..6 Ways To Make More Money With Less Time

  6. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural Woman,

    Another perfect score.

    Hi Hunter,

    You’re funny. If you ever need help writing a tactful email/comment to someone who needs encouragement, let me know. I’ll help you write it. I certainly wouldn’t want to see a comment from you on someones’ blog that says: “BTW, your crack is showing”.

    You do have a point about setting a posting schedule. I started out wanting to post everyday. I couldn’t keep up. I now aim for 20 posts a month (on this blog), and that is very time consuming.

    Hi Catherine,

    Like you, I don’t have the time to read every post in my reader. In fact, I just had to eliminate some, as it was showing I had 202 new entries.

    I hate to see blogs start to deteriorate or become stagnant. Often I know the author has so much to contribute, but I also know how blogging can take time away from other responsibilities. I’ve seen some blogs that only have new entries about every two weeks, but they’re good, so the blog stays active. It’s all about finding a schedule that works for you.

    Re: the question to Hunter, I’m shaking my head on that one too :roll:

    Barbara’s last blog post..Go Home and Cover Your Crack

  7. NatashaNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t realize how busy life would get before I put up my blog, and now I’m lucky if I can post more the twice a week. But I have been making more effort to keep up my blog and respond to comments. I look forward to having more time to do the things I want to do. Cool post. :)

    Natasha’s last blog post..Falling off the Wagon and Letting Go

  8. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – that is a good point. I have started cutting down to only one post at weekends. But I’m wondering whether to eliminate weekend posts totally. I know you and many other bloggers don’t do them. And it is so much extra writing.

    I think before I got a reader, I assumed that everyone just checked out your blog every day and if you hadn’t posted they didn’t come back! Maybe it’s not necessary to post everyday?

    CatherineL’s last blog post..There’s No Business Problem That Can’t Be Solved

  9. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natasha,

    Blogging can be time consuming and when life happens, the blog gets put on the back burner. Keeping up on comments is important, so your readers/commenters know you care.

    Hi Catherine,

    Posting seven days a week, is a huge undertaking. I find posting Monday through Friday works well for me. I notice dips in traffic on weekends, but overall, my traffic continues to grow, so I’m happy.

    If I go on my blog on the weekends it’s to check for comments and do some behind the scenes maintenance.

    I don’t think if you took weekends off from posting it would affect your readership. Anyone who blogs know we all need time off for more important things, like family and friends. Plus, skipping days may help to build anticipation…”what will she post on Monday?”…

    Barbara’s last blog post..Go Home and Cover Your Crack

  10. @ Catherine, in response to “But how did you know that those blogs went downhill before you started visiting them?”

    I should have said that either they went downhill before I started visiting them, or they were never uphill in the first place. In other words, I see good blogs, I see bad blogs, but I don’t see any blogs that were good when I started reading them and then went downhill.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Make The Impossible Possible

  11. Blogging is hard work. There are no free lunches out there or free furniture for that matter. I can’t believe how hard it is to build a successful website and get noticed. I’ve been trying to get my home decor site off the ground for awhile, but it’s been difficult. I think I have a good niche, but selling childrens furniture online has become a bit difficult.

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Judy,

    I totally agree. Blogging is very hard work, and time consuming. Selling children’s furniture online now must be even more difficult with the economy as it is.

    Hang in there, perseverance often pays off.