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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Multi-Blogging Techniques - How To Manage Several Blogs At Once

You may have found that it's tough coming up with content for one blog on a regular basis. What if you're planning more than one? Currently, I'm actively writing 7 blogs, with 3 more about to launch. It's not easy juggling them. I'm forced to come up with techniques to manage them all. It's a learning process, of course. What works for me may not work for you. (Kudos to those of you that are already maintaining numerous blogs.)

What I've learned from my regular writing over the years, and my blogging, is that if an idea strikes you, write it down. Immediately. You WILL forget otherwise. If you don't have time to write the entire blog entry now, make a note somewhere. Always carry a small notebook or even a voice recorder with you when you leave home. (Or use a handy napkin and transfer your scrawls elsewhere as soon as possible. Though for maximum napkin legibility, use a ballpoint pen.) These are common techniques used by writers who work on multiple stories or articles simultaneously.

In terms of content, you may disagree but I feel that professional blogs should have a narrow topic focus. Though, after you've blogged for a while, you'll find yourself wanting to write about other topics that may not quite fit your current blog(s). Don't fight the feeling. Go with it. Write a few entries; just don't post them quite yet.

After you've accumulated a few entries, consider whether they really constitute the birth of a new blog. If so, can you handle another blog? Can you post frequently (at least once a week) and still maintain a commitment to your existing blog(s)? Have you written down a list of potential sub-topics that will carry this new blog for a while?

In my experience, the latter situation is extremely important for juggling multiple blogs. I like to plot a loose timeline of topics for all of my blogs, but be flexible in the writing order. For example, I may plan to write Blogs A, B, and C on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, respectively, but may end up writing them on other days for numerous reasons. And once I write an entry for Blog A, I try to write an entry for B or C before writing another for A. Yet sometimes you'll write a second entry for the same blog before moving on to another blog. Which is fine, provided you develop the discipline to catch up in the writing you haven't done yet. (When you blog professionally, you have to come up with your own schedules and force yourself to stick to them until you feel comfortable enough to "wing it".)

I've also found that no matter how much I know about a topic, planning ahead allows my mind to write articles in the "background". Provided that I do the necessary research, I sometimes achieve my A-game and reach a very productive state of mind. Some mornings I just wake up with fully-written articles sitting in a mental queue, waiting to flow through my fingers and into my keyboard. The unfortunate part about this, though, is that if I don't type up (or hand-write) the content immediately, it's usually lost. That means, if I reach for my toothbrush instead of firing up my computer, the article content vanishes in my mind, usually lost for good. In fact, sometimes I only have time to grab a pad of paper and pencil. I'm still learning how to control this incredible phenomenon, but I haven't yet. This is the way I've written most of my computer programs, large or small, for the past 28 years: Code would just appear in my mind in the morning. (I know two brothers who programmed this way as well, but they would sometimes envision thousands of lines of code.)

Occasionally, I find that the same phenomenon happens for my writing as well. It's an incredible feeling, especially because writing becomes an enjoyable experience instead of a chore. And let's face it, even professional writers who cannot imagine doing anything else, who live for writing, occasionally, or even always, hate the drudge work of writing the final piece. They'll often procrastinate for this very reason.

Ultimately, you have to do what works best for you. But you determine that in a process of discovery.

(c) Copyright 2005, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.blogspot.com

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>>The unfortunate part about this, though, is that if I don't type up (or hand-write) the content immediately, it's usually lost.

This is a problem I know all too well. A few days ago, I even got an idea for a short story right before falling asleep--I even remember thinking I should get up and write it down, but was way too tired to move. In the morning, no surprise, the idea was gone. I'm still looking for it now!

No kidding. We writers all know that "too tired to bother" feeling, hoping we'll remember later. Do you keep a notepad beside your bed? I surround myself with paper and pens :) You could also keep a voice-activated recorder nearby and use that.


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BlogSpinner-X serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it houses the original version of my Blogspinner blog, and contains the full-text of my older entries. Secondly, the more recent entries are excerpts of the full-text entries posted over on Blogspinner V2.0. In other words, the "X" stands for "eXcerpt".

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I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ web programmer/ consultant/ photographer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. This is one of several blogs that I write.

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