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This picture reminds me of how bed hair can give us away. You know, you decide to take a quick nap, jump up because someone knocked on the door or you realize you’re now late for an appointment, and forget to comb your hair.

Sometimes it’s not pretty.

Bed hair reminds me of our blogs. From the “front” our blogs may look great. Everything is where it’s suppose to be. We’ve tested our blog in multiple browsers and it passes. We’re gaining popularity in blogosphere, built a community on our blog(s), but behind the scenes, things are disheveled.

Today’s Lesson

I have a confession. You can’t see it, but my blogs are sporting “bed hair”.

I’ve been so busy with all of the other aspects of blogging, including getting ready to unveil a new theme, I’ve neglected what’s going on behind the scenes.

After looking at my blogging to do list and the WordPress dashboards on three blogs I realized I have,

  1. 160+ drafts that need to be gone through – most will be deleted
  2. 7 comments that need to be deleted, approved or marked as spam
  3. 2 plugins that need to be updated – simply done with the click of a button
  4. Add the Automagic Twitter Profile URI plugin to the comment section – done.
  5. An upgrade to WordPress 2.7.1 – Although I use the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin, it’s still time consuming
  6. Rewrite of my “About” page – after two years of blogging, it’s time for a change
  7. Write a “comment policy” – Joanna Young’s post reminded me I should have one
  8. Take a screen shot of my current blog which I’ll use on my first post when I unveil my new theme on Monday (3/30/09) – Thank you Eric Hamm
  9. Go through my three email accounts and try to zero them out – I still question why I need three
  10. Create a “Featured Blogs” page which will list all blogs which have been showcased in my “New Blog Of The Week” series (NBOTW)
  11. Find a photo of myself to include on my “About Me” page – I’m usually the one behind the camera
  12. Review new Followers on Twitter – need to check their tweeter pages and mark them as “follow”, or not.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the list, but whomever says blogging is easy and it’s just a matter of writing and publishing failed to mention additional time is required to do blog maintenance.

Today’s Assignment

What’s on your blogging “to do” list?

How do you keep up with all there is to do? Or do you?

Do you need help with something, but don’t know where to turn? Feel free to leave your question.

I’m guessing someone in the BWAB community will know the answer.


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Photo Credit: David Mezzo Van Couvering

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  1. 1) Finish my ads for my new and old story lines
    2) Add more pictures to my site
    3) Try to get the word out that I’m offering freelancing services
    4) Try to get ahead in my journal entries
    5) Try to get to 100 feed subscribers

    There’s way more, but I’d rather not bore you with the details. This month seems to be very, very productive.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..Who Killed Elizabeth Walker?

  2. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    1) Rewrite my “about” page
    2) Put posts in categories and tag them
    3) Write another three blog posts for this month
    4) Do more commenting

    Blogging is work and fun.

    Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..Arabian Beauty

  3. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara

    I must confess that i am not as organized as you people, you guys know what you need to do, and so you guys do it on time.

    but a lazy couch potato like me have nothing organized. i dont maintain any to do list, but i think i need to make one (i know i have said that before in one of your post), and i think making a to do list will be my 1st priority on my to do list.

    Sunil Pathak´s last blog post..Finally the Duplicate content issue is sorted forever.

  4. Hi Barbara. Well the good news is with WordPress 2.7, you can now ditch the Automatic Upgrade Plugin. WP now has that feature built in. I believe it’s under the Tools menu, or you could just click the upgrade now link up at the top.

    #1 on my blogging to-do list is coming up with a good routine I can stick to. I’ve gotten off my scheduled writing time track and need to get back on.

    BTW – love the bed hair! 😉

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..How To Install Google Analytics On A WordPress Blog Without Using A Plugin

  5. RibbonNo Gravatar says:

    Hello 🙂 a short while ago I wrote a post about lists and the lack of them in my current life. I’m not anti lists, but for a variety of reasons they seem to have become something rarely seen in my life today.
    I very much operate on a need to know basis when it comes to blogging.
    I intend to keep my blog simple as is my lifestyle. Only time will tell if this is possible. Possibly as I gather more knowlege I might complicate things for myself.

    Something that parenting has taught me is to sometimes take a step back before worrying and to decide what is truely important. I think this line of thinking can be used for everything that we do.

    I always enjoy my visits to your blog Barbara and I look forward to what the 30th brings.

    Best wishes Ribbon

    Ribbon´s last blog post..Six Word Saturday

  6. Jamie HarropNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    I think I’m quite lucky, to be honest. Everything on my to-do list are front-of-house things. Mainly writing.

    My current to-do list looks like this:

    1. Write Monday’s post for Blogging Zest
    2. Write a guest post for Problogger
    3. Write a guest post for Write do Done
    4. Read and comment on new blog posts in my reader
    5. Post a progress report in the Authority Blogger course forums

    Fortunately, I don’t have too much to do.

    I think we, as humans, often make tasks seem a far bigger job to complete than they actually are. You said it yourself, several of your tasks take just a few clicks of the mouse, but I bet in your mind they just seem like never-ending, large ugly tasks that get in the way of the important things.

    Well, click those buttons and get them out of the way.

    You don’t have 160 drafts to write. You can pick three each week and write those. Suddenly that 160 drafts all to be written right now is down to three a week.

    7 comments that need to be managed… two minutes work?

    2 plugins to update… three minutes work?

    Upgrade WordPress… 30min work?

    Write about page… Sure, that’s going to take a little time, but it’s a task you can make enjoyable. On Blogging Zest, I told several of my childhood memories on my about page. It was a blast going back to those days and remembering little details, and even better digging out black & white photos of me as a kid. Make it fun!

    Comment policy… Most of these are similar. You could copy/paste a few lines from others to make it easier. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Write your policy, then write a post about it and offer it up as a general policy for all bloggers to use.

    Screenshot… Press a button, reduce size and save? Two minutes

    Email accounts… Not sure how many you have to read, but 5min per email at the most?

    Featured blogs page… Mainly just copy/pasting from previous posts

    Find a photo… 10min work?

    Review new followers… 15min?

    When you break the tasks down like that, it becomes clear that with a little hard work and dedication, you could have that to-do list down to two or three items by the end of the day. 🙂

    Jamie

    Jamie Harrop´s last blog post..7 Reasons Why I Won’t Comment On Your Blog

  7. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    1. Update my flickr account with my photos, especially my first day of spring shots
    2. Write my weather post/page
    3. Learn and practice more with Photoshop
    4. Try to figure out how to get a boarder around my blog frame
    5. Update my twitter followers
    6. Work on my Where to go page

    Wow, I just came up with this list, and I know there is more to be done. Thanks helping with my bad hair day……………:)

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..Macarthur Park is going to The People

  8. Hi Barbara, I had to laugh at your first question. It assumes that I have a blog “to-do list”. I’m laughing because often this behind the scenes stuff gets relegated to somewhere between the side-burner and when I feel like it. Meaning it may not get done at all. So I don’t even kid myself and put it on a list.

    “How do you keep up with all there is to do? Or do you?” Now here’s a wise question that contains a very wise answer.

    Keeping up is all a matter of perspective. If I’m not going to get to something, then I’m sure as hell not going to make myself feel like I’m not keeping up. It feels good to tell the truth about intentions and to do things in the moment, as much as possible without worrying about even putting them on a list. 🙂

    Tell me more about this plugin. I unchecked the box because I’m not sure what it would have done. (Automagic Twitter Profile URI plugin)

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Starting Over

  9. LingNo Gravatar says:

    For my personal blog, I need to switch to more user-friendly stuff, including some comment plug-ins and stuff which will make it easier to continue the conversation with one person while at the same time letting other people continue theirs.

    Ling´s last blog post..Travel Metasearch is done! Long live Travel Metasearch!

  10. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    LOL! My list is pretty close to yours although I am NOT creating a new blog. I agree with you that the list keeps getting longer and I have yet to figure out a way to automate it. Could you imagine if we had an automated process to do the SEO types of things for us?

    Linda´s last blog post..EPA Releases Polluters Report

  11. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I like the lack of perfection … it keeps it human, bed heads and all.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Life Frame

  12. LOL… Barbara! This is awesome… I’m in the exact same boat – only my blog – like me – has very little hair left! 🙂

    Again, your site continues to be a source of levity and inspiration. Thank you!

    Kevin Sandridge´s last blog post..How to Get Top Rankings for Your Real Estate Website

  13. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I now have a long list of to-dos. But there is no set deadline. I just try to complete one item per week.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..How To Organize 300 Pounds Of ‘Stuff’ Easily

  14. I don’t even want to list my blog todo list here because I will feel overwhelmed. I realized last week that sometimes I advise people to do things in articles that I haven’t even done yet because I haven’t had the time. I’ve pulled back on extra projects this week and am hoping to spend some time blog-housekeeping.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..10 WordPress Themes for Video Games

  15. I love this post because any blogger can relate. When we start blogging we have no idea how much work it entails, and much of the work has nothing to do with writing blog posts!

    My blogging to-do list looks fairly decent right now, but that’s only because I scaled back to posting twice a week and am closing comments occasional. Prior to taking these steps, it was completely unmanageable.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Stay At Home Mom? Protect Yourself Financially

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Matthew – I hear you. Our lists can be never ending and can be quite boring to others. Congrats on having a productive month.

    Hi Ulla – Oh yes, tags. Those are something I think I should do, too. Thank you for the reminder.

    Hi Sunil – Haha! Making a to do list will be your first priority on your to do list.

    Hi John- You know, I was wondering about that with 2.7. I didn’t know if that was showing up because I had the plugin installed or not. Thank you for the clarification.

    Hi Ribbon – Thank you. I agree we can at times get too concerned about what all has to be done. What I find works well for me is “must do” and “should do” lists (not necessarily written down). Like you said, it comes down to not worrying about that which is not a top priority.

    Hi Jamie – You are very lucky. And you’re right. For me, it is just a few clicks of the button, a matter of setting time aside to complete the list and getting it done. Your comment reminded me my biggest problem is balancing life, work AND blogging and then “making” the time to eliminate and not procrastinate.

    Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas.

    Hi Lisa – You’re welcome. Isn’t it amazing how when we stop to think about what we want to get done, writing it down helps us to focus it?

    Hi Tom – I hear you. I think we all have stuff we put on that imaginary “when I feel like it” list that may or may not get done.

    Re: The plugin. It adds a link to your Twitter profile so others can follow you if they choose. If you look at this comment of mine, at the very top you’ll see a small Twitter logo with an @BSwafford link, which if clicked will take you to my Twitter page.

    The plugin is just another way of helping bloggers to find each other and gives some Twitter love.

    Hi Ling – There’s a lot of great plugins out there for comments. Good luck on finding the one that works best for your blog.

    Hi Linda – Oh yes, automated SEO would be wonderful. I wonder if there are any plugins that could shave off some time for us.

    Hi J.D. – Yes, not trying to be perfect certainly keeps us human.

    Hi Kevin – You’re welcome. I’m laughing at your comment as I look at your avatar. That’s precious. 🙂

    Hi Avani – Your schedule sounds livable – one item per week.

    Hi Kim – LOL I know what you mean about advising others what to do or not, and we don’t follow our own advice. Best wishes on your blog housekeeping.

    Hi Vered – Thank you. That’s true, isn’t it? New bloggers often don’t realize how we can spend more time behind the scenes than we spend actually writing. It sounds like you’ve found a great balance.

  17. Need more posts and drafts! I have been behind because of a new job and ending school. I am also lacking the proper backlinks, need to submit my blog to directories! Take care!

    All Beer Blog´s last blog post..Beer News @ All Beer Blog

  18. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, you’ve said it right! It’s a never-ending list for me. I can take months just to get to doing a fix. I don’t think I am procrastinating either. I may just have to follow on Vered’s footsteps if I want to keep up!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..5 Wealth Affirmations From Famous Authors

  19. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    I really really really need to upgrade Tumblemoose to WP 2.7, but I’m a-scared.

    I ride a roller coaster of being on top, then being buried.

    Quite a list going there, Barbara. Hang in there! It will go quick

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Using fiction to better your other writing

  20. @Tumblemoose – are you afraid of the new interface or upgrading itself?

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..How To Choose The Best WordPress Blog Hosting Company

  21. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hey John,

    I love the interface – I am using 2.7 on another blog. I’m scared to death of goofing up the install and losing Tumblemoose info. I read the instructions at WP and It just seems too much out of my league. TM is hosted with Hostgator and they have the Fantastico upgrade to 2.7 but I’ve heard muy bad things about using that feature.

    Also, I can’t ever find my WP theme in any lists of ones that are WP 2.7 compatible, and I’m loathe to change themes right now.

    Am I being a big baby?

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Using fiction to better your other writing

  22. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I can relate. I still haven’t upgraded to the new WordPress version. The last time I upgraded I had major problems, so I’m deliberately avoiding that one.

    The elusive goal for me is to have a few drafts stored for those times when I need a break, (like the last 2 and half weeks). I took that time promoting my life coaching business and rewriting the copy for my Writer Sense website… and doing my taxes (yuck!). I have attracted more clients since the blogging break, so it was well worth the time away. Blogging is great, but doesn’t pay the bills (not yet).

    Davina´s last blog post..A Vision of Fulfillment

  23. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, way cool! I just noticed the Twitter link showing up beside my name.

    Davina´s last blog post..A Vision of Fulfillment

  24. I also have many lists to improve. But for me, I even trying to change the look too, not to mention the the other under carpet stuff.
    See how i messed up with things
    1) My blog address is long. (Change can not be made now i suppose)
    2) The blog outlook needs change, but i can not play with html code well and i am feeling less freedom in blogspot.
    3) the boring list of under carpet stuff goes quite long and hesitating to list them here 😀

    The Journey Within´s last blog post..The Zen Sage and Thieves : Way of Master

  25. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    the only thing i can think of it why the name of my blog doesn’t show up in google’s reader when someone subscribes. it comes up as unavailable. been trying to figure out why for the longest.
    works fine in every other reader, but not google.

    other than that, i don’t have much to do on the back end, just to write i guess.

    Natural´s last blog post..E is for Episode

  26. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You have quite a list! Although I think just the fact that you have it written down is a step toward completing them (or many of them).

    Me? On my list: Catch up with new visitors to my blog. Solve a recurring commenting problem that’s been going on. Research new plugins. Write a post.

    I should be off doing some of that, shouldn’t I!!

    Good luck, Barbara, in getting your list shortened up…

    Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  27. @Tumblemoose – you can do a full backup of your blog. That way if something ever does mess up you can do a full restore. Here’s the link to a bunch of WordPress Tutorials we have.

    Look under the WordPress Management area and you’ll see a tutorial for how to fully backup your blog (and another on how to restore).

    There’s also a really nifty program you can use which will automate the process called SyncBackSE. I think this is a tool all bloggers should have and I got an article about it in my blog queue.

    It’s free to try, so you can use it to backup your site before you upgrade.

    I hope Barbara doesn’t mind the small advert here, but upgrading is VERY important. if anyone is afraid of upgrading themselves, our company can do it for you.

    Just remember, old versions of WordPress pose a security risk.

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..How To Choose The Best WordPress Blog Hosting Company

  28. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Noooooo never delete drafts unless it’s outdated content. Complete and save them as an awesome post arsenal for blockage days. 😉

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..3 Secrets to Writing for the Search Engines

  29. Dr. NicoleNo Gravatar says:

    Oh my gosh Barbara…this is so funny and exactly my list too! Esp #1 I have 300 posted blogs and 383 half baked thoughts in “drafts”….but I figure I’ll save them all for a rainy day 😀

    Dr. Nicole´s last blog post..Scientists Urging Obama to End Natural Medicine Research?

  30. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – LOL – My hair almost always seems to look like bed hair.

    I had yet another week off blogging last week because my son was ill. And I do have a lot to do. But it’s tough fitting it all in because I’m also trying to work on my product.

  31. KathleenNo Gravatar says:

    What great advice! Heading over to look at mine closer too. Thanks.

    Kathleen´s last blog post..Therapy dog Tinkerbell to the rescue

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    To think I pay good money to have bed hair all the time…!! hee hee…

    This post truly overwhelms me. I have 4 lists going all the time now, but the learning the IT stuff is now about 4 pages long. I just don’t seem to be able to figure out how to do these things and I wonder if it means I should not be blogging….?

    I am still not making enough money to pay for help and running by the seat of my pants most of the time.

    I like what I am doing and love writing….but it is exhausting trying to figure it out all the time.

    Patricia´s last blog post..Morning Light is Revealing

  33. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Thankfully I don’t have too much…I try to keep my ends tied up and I don’t have nearly as much on plate as you! Whew…you are busy!!!

    Caroline´s last blog post..Music that shaped you

  34. […] When Things Aren’t As They Appear at Blogging Without A Blog […]

  35. Oh Barbara,

    Thanks for making me feel like I’m not the only one! I have been SO busy in Real Time Life that my blogging life has been slammed in the back seat for a short time. My to Do list is HUGE! But…one thing I do know is that I miss it and have no desire to walk away. So, I just plug along as time permits until life lets up. I’m not going to let it be an either/or thing..I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to keep my feet in the game until I can focus on it again!

    Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirationa´s last blog post..A Quarter for your Thoughts

  36. You’ll get it all done, just pace yourself. And take time for yourself to relax.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Technical woes

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All Beer – Sounds like you’re busy too with your new job and the end of school. Happy catching up.

    Hi Evelyn – Isn’t it amazing how the list just keeps going on? But, that’s not a bad thing. And yes, by cutting back, Vered found a good balance.

    Hi George – Yes, the list has gone quick. I now have nearly everything done, but I did get behind on answering comments.

    Good luck with upgrading. I see John Hoff is offering some great advice.

    Hi Davina – It’s good to see you’re back to blogging. Those breaks do us good, don’t they. Congratulations on your new clients.

    Hi Journey Within – You’ve got a good list going, too. If you ever move over to WordPress, you could change your name at that time. I’ve heard it’s pretty easy to move the posts over.

    Hi Natural – That is a strange problem. To me it sounds like there’s something wrong with the feed address. Maybe check with Feedburner and trouble shoot it.

    Hi Lance – Thank you. And yes, writing a list is half the battle. Often when we see it on paper, it makes it easier to deal with. Then like Jamie suggested, break it down into time increments.

    Hi John – No problem promoting your business and blog. You’re awesome at helping others solve their problems.

    Hi Dennis – The drafts were outdated content that doesn’t pertain anymore, or duplicates. I agree, if the draft has any hint of a post, I leave it alone.

    Hi Dr. Nicole – Haha! Those half baked ideas are good to have around, aren’t they?

    Hi Catherine – I hear you about the bed hair. 🙂

    Hopefully your son is feeling better and you can get back to working on your project. I’m looking forward to the unveiling.

    Hi Kathleen – You’re welcome.

    Hi Patricia – Like you, the IT stuff has had me pulling out my hair the most. It’s very time consuming to learn when we haven’t had to learn it previously.

    Hi Caroline – Someday I hope to be like you and be caught up enough so I can concentrate on writing and visiting other blogs. Wish me luck.

    Hi Wendi – How true, “I don’t have to be perfect”. I’ve not doubt you’ll be blogging again soon. Like me, you’re hooked. 🙂

    Hi Jannie – Thank you. Pacing ourselves is great advice. So is taking time to relax. It waits for us, doesn’t it?