Problogger recently posted an entry describing what a blogger does all day. I’ve amended his list (since he’s into monetization and seo and actually knows what he’s doing) but I thought you might be interested in knowing what goes into keeping this site –Fashion-Incubator– afloat. This is the Pareto Principle at work. 80% of effort goes into making the 20% of what you find here. Writing entries is the least of what I do. And I thought blogging was about writing.
All day long, every day, Monday through Sunday (no days off):
- Deleting spam comments
- Responding to comments
- Writing to people who comment
- Responding to reader emails
- Deleting bogus forum registrations (30+ a day)
- Processing valid forum registrations
- Responding to forum topics
- Approving posts held for moderation (if you include a url, it’s held -even mine are).
- Writing entries and sometimes even posting them. I have written at least 300 entries that I’ve never posted (in case you wonder if I’m running out of material).
- Reading and research. I easily spend half the day reading (including at home).
- Fact checking by web or phone. This goes beyond fact checking my entries, other blog authors entries or guest posts. I also verify services, suppliers and sometimes points made in visitor comments.
- Taking calls from genuinely nice people with a “quick” question -at no pay :)
- Searching DNS records from offending sites.
- Modifying the htaccess file to prevent spam comments sites from being able to load F-I (meaning, they can’t spam and overload the server anymore).
- Banning people who send hateful, threatening or deliberately insulting comments.
Weekly, off and on:
- Checking for updates, plugins and utilities for the blog
- Reading what other bloggers write on my topics of interest
- Keeping up with the field via traditional media (WWD, WSJ, NYT etc)
- Monitoring and posting to other forums
- Posting on related blogs
- Tweaking the site templates, updating links, fixing configuration errors.
- Monitoring site stats to see who’s sending me traffic. I often post on referring blogs.
- Uploading and editing photos, one of my least favorite activities. It also takes time (you wouldn’t think file organization is an issue but it is). This is one reason I’m doing fewer tutorials lately. The rest of the site work eats into my time.
- Following up on visitor complaints directed towards sites, services or people I link to or write about. This means phone calls, talking to both parties, a sort of informal BBB B2B service. If I think a complaint is justified and the complainant doesn’t provide a satisfactory explanation, I delete their link. If in doubt, I delete. My pattern services list has been recently shortened by two.
- Editing guest posts is also time consuming because I have to do fact checking, retrieve URLS, get supporting documents, read, research etc. Also I have to wait for emails (they forget a bio) on edit approvals. I’ll often call someone else for a contrary or oppositional viewpoint.
- Searching for sites reposting my content. This has been keeping me busy all week. You have to file legal complaints against the infringing party, their hosting company, whoever is serving ads on the site (that’s why they copy your content) and if the host doesn’t do anything (my problem with GoDaddy this week), filing complaints against the host with ICANN and the BBB if in the US.
- Modifying widgets, spam blockers, keeping up with reading on the latest MT updates.
- Reading. Good thing I read fast but I’m still way behind. I counted the pile by my bed. There’s 25 books different books I’m in various stages of reading.
Least favorite things I have to do (ongoing, sometimes daily):
- Checking and following up on comments from shills and sycophants. Sycophants are notoriously passive-aggressive so they must be monitored carefully.
- Having to deal with
dumb dumb dumbPR people who send me pitches for things I could not care less about. Minimally, a smart PR person wouldn’t treat me as though I’m stupid, merely needing to be manipulated so I flog their pink pony products for them.
- Writing “homework” posts. This means having to write about things that don’t interest me because you need to know about it. Anything related to thread, needles and fusing machines falls in this category.
- The least favorite of all is email that would require me to rewrite material from my book to answer it or comments posted to the blog asking you instead (I do notice everyone ignores those). If I suggest they buy the book, they nearly never fail to heap abuse, insinuating I’m a money-grubber and only interested in a sale. These emails don’t include a salutation or their name. If I’m the one doing a favor, why don’t I deserve the courtesy of a salutation or a name? Joy killers, I’m sure they spread misery wherever they go.
Then of course, is work that actually pays the bills. Some pattern work (not often, no one writes the colonel) some consulting (ditto) and filling book orders (ibid)*. No surprise that I rarely get to admin work or clean up.
As you can see, running a blog is effortless, fast and easy. Obviously I must enjoy it or I wouldn’t do it. I do enjoy my visitors and consider myself extremely fortunate. Still, quality comments, supportive emails and donations are always welcome :).
*Alison Cummins will get the joke; she misses nothing. Is it too subtle?