A Tale of Two Blogs

two blogsOne sunny day in July, I decided to start a new blog, one for something else than just books (even though there obviously is always space for some bookishness). For around nine months now, I’ve been keeping up with two blogs: Nyx Book Reviews, and this one. In this post I look back on my decision to start Irresponsible Cactus, and how the last nine months have been.

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How Much Time Does Blogging REALLY Cost?

I think on one thing bloggers can all agree – no matter if you blog about books, fashion, writing, or nature – blogging costs a lot of time. More time than you’d expect. Only when real life become busy, we notice just how much time we actually spend on our online outlets. 

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There are so many different facets to having a blog. There is the rather obvious one: writing blog posts. But even this isn’t so simple as it sounds. Many posts need preparations – books have to be read, movies have to be watched, products have to be tested. Other posts need a flash of inspiration and a lot of brainstorming. If you’re getting a bit more serious about blogging, you probably also have to find a way to spread posts, to make sure your blog won’t accidentally go without posts for over a week. This schedule needs to stay up to date.

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Even if you’re a fairly laid back blogger, posts have to be shared. The easiest way to do this is through social media: Twitter, Facebook, Google+… But you can’t just promote on your account, and that’s it. At least, you can, but it won’t work. Social media accounts need interaction to work well. And then there is the bane of my existence: crossposting. If you’re a book blogger, you’re probably posting your reviews on your blog; but also posting them on Goodreads, Booklikes, or Amazon. Or all of those.

On one typical blogging day, I roughly kept track of how much time I spend on my blog. The result was rather baffling, even for me. I spent three hours, just to keep my blog updated. In this time I wrote a review (15 minutes), scheduled a review (10 minutes), updated my schedule and made a to do list (15 minutes), posted a readathon update (10 minutes), responded to comments and tweets (5 minutes), wrote a discussion post (45 minutes), responded to emails (10 minutes), crossposted to Booklikes (10 minutes). And between these chunks of doing actual blog work I found myself checking Twitter over and over again, spending over half an hour interacting with fellow readers.

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And this isn’t an anomaly. Keeping Nyx Book Reviews up to date probably costs me about ten to twelve hours a week. And that’s without reading anything. So on top of those ten hours, I also at least spend six to twelve hours reading. Having a nice book blog is taking me as much time every week as a part-time job would. And I’m not getting paid a dime for it.

So how do you guys cope with this? How much time does your blog upkeep take every week? Do you ever feel like blogging is sucking away all of your free time?