Some blogging gems from recent weeks that have inspired and supported me:

The 7 essential parts of a blog by Misty Belardo, and on the wonderful Ink Rebels site, discusses the different parts of a blog and their impact on readability and ease of use. The post includes excellent practical tips for the mechanics of your blog writing. Being an adult literacy teacher by background, I appreciated this fresh approach from the perspective of readability. Now to put it into practice…

Another one from the Ink Rebels site, this time by Diana Adams, focuses on ’10 ways to become a more efficient and productive blogger’. I liked the way this article describes the hard work of blogging:

If you manage your own blog, in addition to writing posts, you read and answer your comments, network with other bloggers, do proper research for future posts, use social media to promote your work, subscribe and read useful RSS feeds, engage with your readers, find and size compelling photos for your posts, learn HTML, answer emails related to your blog…

I definitely can relate to the hard work involved in reading by way of background, the RSS management, social media engagement, the coalescing of thoughts to write, the revision, finding just the right photo…and then there is the day job!

As Diana says, it is a labour of love and people like myself, starting out and writing in between a very full-time role elsewhere, can begin to wonder and sometimes falter. But it is a love first and foremost; the labour is not all bad either and these insightful tips help you get more organised, efficient and able to take advantage of the time you do have. I especially like #8 Don’t get overwhelmed and #10 Remember your “why”. Great advice – I need to print this post out and put it where I can see it for encouragement.

I also enjoyed 5 steps to building a great blog from Grow with Stacy which defines 5 critical aspects for blogging development: time, effort, energy, networking and education with some down to earth tips and links for each one. The article is clear and concise with easy to remember advice.

I am letting all these tips and recommendations wash over me and come into play as I work up my skills here. What works for you?

Image, Face_itby Gabriela Camerotti from flickr and used under a Creative Commons license with thanks