How much time can you spend blogging?

While a fairly straight forward question, the reality is more than you think. The other reality is it is more than I thought I would need to as well. So here is yesterday’s inventory of tasks:

1. Look at other blogs: [tag]Ross Mayfield[/tag], [tag]Seth Godin[/tag], [tag]Lisa Stone[/tag], [tag]Doc Searls[/tag], 3 random blogs and 2 [tag]how to blog[/tag]s – 2.5 hours

A. Actually read them – 1 hour

B. understand the [tag]folksnomy[/tag] they use 1 hour

C. Find out how to differentiate .5 hours (still struggling for [tag]differentiation[/tag])

2. Look at the analytics – 1.5 hours

A. Keywords – 30 mins, nothing staggering no matter how I slice the data from [tag]google[/tag]

B. Inbound referrals – 15 mins – not that many since this is a infant blog, but have to look around.

C. [tag]Bounce Rate[/tag] – 1 hour and 15 mins, I have a fairly good bounce rate ~58%, good for me, maybe not for the industry.

3. Read my own blog – 1 hours, I’m happy that it appears I have fairly consistent tagging and content, but give me time it will get tough to find stuff soon.

4. Look at technorati trends 2 hours – People post on the usual suspects, Britney Spears ([tag]Las Vegas[/tag] goof), Noelia (scandal), [tag]iPhone[/tag] and I don’t understand the google or YouTube listings. Odd. The iPhone piece I did on promotion, pricing and market seeding did ok from a traffic perspective.

5. Thinking – 2 hours. This mainly included pacing around the house thinking and trying to identify new content themes or post ideas. My [tag]OCD[/tag] or [tag]ADD[/tag] based approach to thought could easily consume 10 hours, but I force myself to get out of the recursive loop, as soon as I realize I’m in it.

So the net appears that about 8.5 hours is a minimum Saturday investment, although the elapsed time is ~10 hours. This is the classic business issue on [tag]margin[/tag] and [tag]ROI[/tag] – effort vs. duration. Since I have no revenue only effort, it’s a moot point, but if you are in doubt – USE EFFORT, since effort drives capacity.

My big question is: Will an [tag]analytics[/tag] based approach work? I’m starting to think not, but I could be wrong and [tag]Tom Davenport[/tag] could be right in respect to competing on analytics, just need to identify the right analytics to track. I think I just need more data to see if there are patterns which emerge.

The one pattern I have noticed is that old school bloggers are [tag]Typepad[/tag] users in a hosted [tag]SaaS[/tag] environment, does a hosted blog help readership? Curious, will do more work around this. So I’m out there trying to better understand this blog thing, so it could be of more interest to you – the apparently 30-60 regular readers and 10-20 random folk…

Keep you posted….

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