Is Blogging a Waste of Time?

Over the past few days, three things happened that made me question: Am I wasting my time blogging?

1. I read an article by the Blog Tyrant titled “Why Blogging is a Waste of Your Time.”

2. One of my newest visitors, Whitt, left a very thought-provoking comment on being addicted to blogging, after reading about my self-imposed, four-day social media ban.

3. I came across the Freshly Pressed post “Revenge of the Ping” by cheerful.egg about the weapons of mass distraction that we need to learn how to say “NO!” to.

Were the Greater Powers That Be staging an intervention?

Just say no.

Why would blogging be a waste of time?

Most people would say it’s because blogging takes time away from doing other things — meaning other, more productive things.

To me, blogging is productive in many ways and fulfills a creative need that I can’t always get elsewhere. But sometimes I’m not entirely sure if I’m starting to cross the line again.

It’s a good thing to check in with yourself on this every so often. And if you do feel like you might be wasting a lot of time on blogging, here’s some ideas on how you can keep up your blog without sacrificing all of your precious time:

1. Post on the bus. I’ve spent many a bus and subway ride typing up blog post drafts in my BlackBerry notes app (if I wasn’t doing that, I’d be passed out in my seat).

Email myself the note, copy and paste it into WordPress, and with some minor edits I have a new blog post ready to go, and don’t have to spend time creating a whole new work of art right there on the spot.

This goes for any other time you might be sitting around killing time — like for a doctor’s appointment or when you’re waiting for that significant other who is always late.

2. Post less often. Some people like to post something new once a day, sometimes multiple times a day. If you have time for it and that’s what you want to do, carry on. But if you’re finding that it’s taking up way too much of your time, schedule a post for every two, three, or even four days.

There’s another plus side to this strategy. Writing less often means there’s a better chance that more of your readers will get to read each newly-published post. As much as I love my blogroll, there’s no way I can keep up anymore with reading every single post that each blogger writes, especially if they post every single day.

3. Recruit a guest blogger. I don’t recommend doing it all the time, because at the end of the day your followers are following YOU and want to read what YOU have to say. But if you know someone who has something interesting to contribute to your blog, and is willing to keep up with replying to comments, it can provide a nice little break for you.

4. Simplify some of your posts. Take a photo of something interesting and just write one compelling paragraph about it. Sometimes people would rather look at intriguing images than take the time to read a whole lot of text.

I’ll try to take my own advice on this and not say so much all the time … after this post ;)

5. Do something just to blog about it. I know it sounds kind of weird, but go out and do something you might not normally do just for the sake of blogging about it. If you can’t pry yourself away from crafting your next post, at least make it a point to get out there and experience something new, interesting, or exciting that you can tell all your readers about.

Make blogging the motivation to do “real” stuff, rather than let it hinder you from experiencing those things. That way, you won’t feel guilty about wasting your time, and you’ll probably have a kick-ass post to blog about as a result!

– Janice (a.k.a. Cafe) <3

Do you feel like blogging is taking up too much of your time? What are your tips for balancing your blog life with real life?


63 thoughts on “Is Blogging a Waste of Time?

  1. To each their own if blogging is their thing. Waste of time? Well, anything can be a waste of time like surfing the web, watching tv, flipping through meaningless magazines, shopping without a purpose etc. I could say that mismanaging time to read lots of blogs when there is work to be done can be a waste of time, tonight is the first night in a long time that I remembered your blog and thought I’d catch up on the world of Ms.Cafe. Time not wasted, I got time tonight. This is fun. Great tips on blogging. Maybe I’ll start one someday.

    • Aww you’re so sweet, thank you beautiful!
      I think many of us get so excited about blogging when we first start that it’s hard not to get really caught up in it. You’ll figure out what works best for balancing blog and the rest of life soon enough! :)

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  3. Awwww…..! Mind blowing post Cafe. Seems I’m also a guy who is highly addicted to blogging on these days. But that doesn’t matters yet on my other activities I guess. The tip I’m using while blogging is just simple though. Will do write as a Word document at 1st when I gets free during night time(not on a daily basis) and the updates will be done later. It would favor you enough time management for doing all your other purposes as well.

    • Hi Rahul!
      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! And it’s great you have a system that works for you. I think time management is so important, especially when you get so into something like blogging. Because there is definitely so many other important things you should focus on as well. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Hi Café. Lots of good ideas, yours’ and your friends. I had no idea you were so popular. I found you just after your move, and couldn’t believe someone with your talent didn’t have more comments. Now I see they were stuck behind the reader. Anyway, Janice, fast enjoyable writing you produce, a pleasure to read. Happy to join in.

    • I have some great friends here in the blogosphere! Thank you, Whitt for your kind words as always! I’m really happy you enjoyed the read :)

  5. I’ve wrestled with this topic often, so I’m glad you brought it up. And great tips, by the way. I especially like No. 2 and No. 5. When I first started, I was way too ambitious when I told myself “a post a day or you have failed!” Yeah, well, reality set in, and posting quality content every single day became quite the challenge. So I toned it down a bit, and I’m glad I did.

    Really, though, blogging is awesome. Pick a topic, any topic, and there is probably a tribe of people chatting about it on various blogs every day. I also like the variety of people you interact with who provide interesting perspectives. You’ve made me think about things differently several times, either here on your blog, or in the comments on my blog. So high five for that!

    Keep up the good work! You have a great thing going here.

    • This comment really made my day, honestly. If I have made you or anyone think about anything differently — or even just think about it, period — then I’m happy and it gives me motivation to keep blogging away.

      Thanks, Eric! You rock! And your blog is definitely one of my faves so I hope you keep it up as well! :)

  6. Blogging can only be a waste of time if your only goal is to make money.

    However, I think blogging can be beneficial because it creates a community that cannot be formed in reality as it provides you with the opportunity to connect with people in a way that you may never be able to do so before. You can learn and share knowledge, experiences, ideas, and thoughts in a whole new and different level that you would not be able to do so with other types of social media. It may also allow you communicate with people on a global scale, and realize the similar interests and opinions you share, despite the cultural differences.

    • Yes, I totally agree with you there, Yin! And I think that’s what I’ve gotten out of this blogging experience so far. Also, my blogging friends are so supportive and I’ve felt inspired many times reading about their own experiences.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

  7. This is a great post! Blogging can be a waste of time if you consume too much time on it. This is the hardest thing of course, but we absolutely need to schedule our life! I also agree that blogging is creatively productive and although I do write on the spot, I make a list of ideas on what to write and already have a picture in my mind on how the post should be. That’s how I do it. For me it’s just all about planning.

  8. For me it’s something I enjoy. It’s fun interaction. I’ve always been to able to balance these kind of things so not to take to much of my time. Do I sound like Mr. InControl? I guess I’m not always that way.

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  10. It depends on your goals. Do you want to be a world class athlete with millions of dollars? Maybe you can skip blogging. Do you want to someday be involved in writing/photography/poetry or something else where blogging can help? You should probably start building up an audience. Do you enjoy blogging? Keep doing it but not to excess.

    A lot of my blogging time is done at work so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my own time much. Continuing to write on new topics keeps me sharp. Gets me thinking about things. We all need some time wasters in our life. I know I do. I went about 8 months without playing any type of computer game which I used as my procrastination tactic. I started playing 3 weeks ago out of boredom, but it has replaced all of my TV watching time. As long as I continue to write, get new ideas, and am not stuck in the same frame of mind I don’t feel guilty about anything. There are so many things I try to work on at once that I usually can find one to entertain myself with. And if I get tired or bored then so be it.

    Cynical as it sounds the biggest time waster on blogging is reading other people’s blogs. Unless you’re a really bad blogger. Rarely do I even bother with new ones. I feel like I’ve found everything good I will. It’s fun to discover new talented people but it takes a lot of time.

    • That’s a great point, and I totally agree — blogging can be a great stepping stone to getting something else out there, like a book you’re writing or whatever.

      Blogging while at work is definitely being time-efficient haha! Umm, not that I do it, ‘cuz I don’t! Lol. But yeah, blogging gets me thinking about things too. Or rather, it makes me focus all of the things I’m thinking into something more concise. And the thing about blogging is that you’re writing it for a specific audience and it’s not just about saying whatever you want to say. It’s saying what you want to say in a way that’s relevant to who you’re writing it for. I think that’s a skill that’s great to learn through blogging.

      As for reading other people’s blogs, it definitely takes up a lot of time. I’m hesitant to add anyone new to my blogroll but sometimes I will. Glad you like what you’ve found so far ;)

  11. Nice post! It’s easy to fall into the habit of spending ‘too much time’ blogging :)

    But as a fellow blogger who just started, I am trying not to fall into that trap ;)

    Although your comment about blogging less is worth a thought for me…. I am trying to blog once a day and it CAN get a little demanding :P

    • Thanks!

      Well, I guess it depends on what you want for your blog, right? There are plenty of people whose blogs are specifically about a 365 day challenge, or they’re part of the Post-A-Day challenge, etc.

      What I personally want for my blog is to have as many people read each post that I write. I like getting as much feedback as possible on a topic. And I know that if I post every day, many of my readers will skip some of the posts b/c their blogrolls are too long to read each one. So usually I post every 3 days as a goal.

      If you’re finding you can keep up with once a day, that’s great! But if it’s starting to feel more like a chore/inconvenience, then you can always rethink your post scheduling!

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  12. Hi Cafe! Being very new to this world of blogs I really enjoyed reading this! Im reading first thing in the morning and your bright and cheerful style has woken me up and made me feel ready for the day and inspired! Look forward to reading more from your blog! :)

    • Hi Peter!
      Wow, thank you! I’m very happy that I could do that for someone =P
      I’ll definitely be by some time soon to check out your new blog!
      Janice (a.k.a. Cafe :)

      • Janice please do! It’s really not hugely interesting just yet – a handful of small posts and I really need to write a little more but….I’m working on it! :)

  13. I’m super-addicted to blogging but haven’t yet felt I could be wasting my time. Anyway, I LOVED your ideas…especially No.4 and No.5! :) Great post.

    • Hi Roshni!

      Thanks so much, glad you got something out of this post :)

      I think as bloggers, most of us probably go through spells where we are super-addicted and then maybe either get into a rut/blogger’s block or start thinking that maybe we’re spending WAY too much time blogging lol. Okay .. maybe that’s just me =P

      But in any case, if you find yourself feeling that way down the road, you know you’re not alone and there are ways to manage your time!

      Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated! :)

  14. Wow. Lots of comments on this post already. I’ll add my two cents.

    Like most htings, blogging is good and bad. You have to find your happy medium.

    I learn from blogging and from reading other blogs. It makes me write. Before blogging, well, I just didn’t bother writing. Now I can’t get enough of it. Plus I can get reinforcement through stats for good pieces, and nothing for crap. Well, that’s fine. That’s my “NYTimes Book review.”

    • LOL I like hearing your two cents :)

      That’s true, anything in excess is not gonna be good for you. And also true, you find out what you’re good at writing and what people will pay attention to. Could totally use that to your advantage (in a good way, of course ;)

  15. What a great post, Cafe!

    I do all EXCEPT #3 – only because my blog is personal to me. Today I wrote about my experience with SOMEONE ELSE, to switch things up. Maybe that could be another “reason” for blogging? :)

    Nothing is a waste of time if you’re enjoying yourself! =D

  16. Hi,
    I don’t think blogging is a waste of time, and yes it does take a bit of time getting through all the blogs, but also very interesting reading as well, and I have learned so much about so many different things it is just amazing. I find that there is still plenty of time to do whatever you have to and blog, it’s just a matter of balance, and time management, every blogger is different some have time to do a post a day or more but others maybe once a week, I don’t think it really matters, but none of it is a waste of time in my book. :D

    • Hey Mags! Glad ya think so! Loving all of this blogging-positive feedback on this post :)

      Btw, I found out what the deal was with my posts not showing up in WP readers. Apparently, for people who subscribed before I changed my domain name, my posts are not showing up in their Readers and I have to ask them to unsubscribe & resubscribe to my blog. I’ve been doing this for at least the past two hours now :S

      Well, you’re still stopping by, so maybe you’re not having this problem or you are subscribing by email. Either way, I’m glad you’re still here, Mags!! :)

    • Thanks, Bailey!

      I think I can say that blogging is probably not a waste of time for you — or maybe for us! ;) Your blog is really a source of inspiration. I know every time I go there, I will feel pumped about something or feel better about myself. So thank you :)

  17. You are a life saver! I may never have blogged again but thanks to your ever-useful advice (number 4), I now have. WordPress should really pay you for all these useful pointers you dish out. Goes a long way to help novices like me:-p

    • Haha thanks! I hope the WordPress gods are listening =P

      It’s great to see you back! I was wondering what happened to ya! We all definitely get into our blogging slumps, but we manage to find inspiration somewhere and pick it back up. Glad you did! :)

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  19. I definitely don’t think blogging is a waste of time. But it’s true about others who blog multiple times a day. It can get tiring ( and boring, too , coz I’m sure the quality will suffer ). I love to blog, My only problem is, I have nothing interesting to talk about, nothing profound, nothing intellectual…. my life is so routine and ordinary, school, work, home , study, almost nothing in between that makes me think, ” hmmmm, I can blog about this. ” So I end up writing whatever comes to mind. ( No, I don;t go as far as writing ” I hate a ham sandwich today. It’s yummy.” )

    • Well, you still get a lot of people commenting on your posts, so you must be doing something right! lol — maybe it’s the fact that you don’t post as often that people come by to find out what you’ve been up to, even if it hasn’t been much! :)

      • Ahahaha ! I know , right ? It’s embarassing. I’m like, guys, why do you even read this ? LOL I guess it’s light reading. Well, I’m a political junkie, but I don’t think it will work on my blog. I think readers just want to see me dancing and writing mundane stuff. ~.~

        • Haha! No, of course people want to read your stuff for their own enjoyment! :)
          Maybe it is that it’s light reading — that’s why people watch certain TV shows or read other people’s blogs, to just not be in their own reality for a few minutes or hours of their day :)

          It’s interesting that there are certain people who others find interesting enough to just read about their everyday life :)

  20. Hi Cafe, This post showed up in my reader, although I’m not trusting the WP Gods yet as it’s messing up my feed to Facebook. I can’t ‘publicize’ properly, so I’m not sure what’s going on.

    Good points about blogging. What are we doing it for? I also love the creative process and I think for me it’s inspiring, not an ‘obligation’. I wrote a post about just this, in fact. ;-)
    Have a great day!

    • So frustrating! I sent WP Help an email and hopefully will get to the bottom of this!

      Great post that you wrote! I totally agree with you and that’s what blogging does for me as well. Sometimes I do have to keep myself in check though, especially when it gets to reading other people’s blogs and commenting (which I see as a really important part of my blogging experience). A lot of time can pass doing that without even realizing it!

      Anyways, hope you have a great day as well :)

      • Yup, I think I may need to send WP Help an email too. :(
        Someone described to me as a bit like falling down the rabbit hole. You (sorta) know where you are, but time does pass!

        • They’re really good at getting back and they’ve always been really helpful with my questions :)

          Haha! Yeah, falling down a rabbit hole sounds about right! =P

  21. It is not a waste of time for me… But of course it depends on how you take it… For me, as if I am in a library or in a voyage… Learning makes me happy and searching makes me excited… Watching the creative world, art makes my soul feeded… In my own life, I mean without blogging, I am still busy one with again my creative world… in writing, in reading… The difference here, I have so beautiful people around the world that I can meet… I am retired one… But if we think of this for a young people, it could be a waste of time, because there are so many things they can find in the real life and also they should find…
    Maybe I am out of this world…. :) who wants to live in a library… I can die for this. :) Thank you, dear, have a nice day, love, nia

    • Hi Nia!

      Thanks for your comment, I know you are very passionate about blogging but to hear you speak about what it means to you is very moving!

      It’s interesting what you said about the age difference. I guess if you are working, you have a lot less time for leisure stuff. So yes, “younger” people have to think about how to divide that time up more carefully. Thing is, I really enjoy blogging as my leisure activity. I feel like doing things like watching TV is a bigger waste of time for me. I guess we all have our own things we like to do :)

      Have a wonderful day, Nia! <3

      • You are welcome dear Janice, you said so nice, we all have our own things we like to do… Of course time is important about blogging… and yes, people have to think about how to divide that time up more carefully. By the way there is not any problem for me about following or, etc. Thank you dear, Have a nice day, love, nia

  22. Blogging is never a waste of time, maybe others who doesn’t have a passion of it might say so. You can earn more learning through blogging, blogging is where I found reality stories and not just some memic fantasy. Experience, and blah blah of others will mind us that somehow, there’s still in life that we haven’t discover yet.

    • I’m glad that you find so much fulfillment in blogging, Shira. You’re right, it can be a place where you can learn a lot of things and be inspired by others to pursue the things you love. Happy blogging! :)

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