September 27, 2011


stopwatchHere’s a question from a recent email:

Thank you for the feedback. It is appreciated and always welcome. I have taken on a colleague, and we are developing a marketing strategy. I looked at both your sites [personal and business], and they are equally impressive. I am curious - how much time in a given week do you spend on social media and your website, blog etc.? Hope to see you again soon.

I've been reluctant to answer the question of time. You may think the commitment is too high and decide against using social media. That’s the wrong conclusion.

What I do won't be ideal for you but may give you ideas. There are no "right" answers. I haven't searched for online benchmarks either. You might be much faster but the the real value comes when you keep going.


I don’t know web basics like HTML, CSS and Java. I made minor modifications to templates. Most of my time when into creating content. When I was happy with the substance, I hired
My goal is to create a strong positive first impression by exceeding what visitors expect to find (quality and quantity). Big businesses have large engines but keep both feet on the brakes by demanding compliance. They prevent their staff from exuding their personalities and using social media effectively. Those restriction create tremendous opportunities for small business.


My websites are static and take no time to maintain. I mainly built in 2006 and in 2010. Each took months of elapsed time but I wanted solid destinations. Since each site is a wiki (like Wikipedia), content went live instantly, even when incomplete.

An incremental approach might scare you since you're continually shipping  before you’re finished. I found this process liberating and didn't mind making refinements afterwards. Even major elements like navigation changed as I proceeded.


In total, I invest a day per week on online marketing. That may seem like a lot but I switched to a low noise life in 2007. Just cutting out TV and other distractions could save you hours and hours.

Curating (Parrot)

Social media takes 10-15 minutes a day. On average, I post at least one link per day on LinkedIn and/or Twitter. Depending on workload and travel, I may be silent for several days. Most weeks I won't visit Facebook. I don't use Google+ much either. On Twitter, I broadcast but rarely read. You’ll likely have a different mix based on your interests and your target market.

Each comment on a blog or in LinkedIn groups take 5-10 minutes. I'll leave 2-5 comments per week (30-60 minutes in total). I'm strategic about when/where.

Creating (Pundit)

Ongoing blogging takes the most time but also gives the most benefits
  • sharpens thinking
  • hones communication skills
  • proves expertise
Here's how I rationalize that investment. I'm not keen to donate money because I worry about how it'll get spent. Instead, I donate time. Blogging is my way of sharing the best of what I know for free. Readers seem to sense that.

A post runs about 500 words and takes about three hours to prepare. Each week, I write two posts: one here and another at Riscario Insider. That’s about six hours in total.

Here’s the breakdown for one post:
  1. Draft: 15-30 minutes using two productivity enhancing tools
  2. Finding and editing the photo (each post has one): 15 minutes
  3. Polishing: the balance
Some posts flow and others are struggles. If I had training in writing, I might be better and faster. I didn’t use lack of experience as an excuse to do nothing. What about you?


PS How do you allocate your social media time?

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