Keeping up with social mediaThe good news: Everyone wants me these days. The bad news: Everyone wants me these days. Ah, the life of a freelance writer!

Between back-to-back deadlines for clients and multiple readings and writings for school, it’s been a struggle to keep up my (never-very-robust) online life. Still, I’m trying to post here at least once a week, and dip into Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook once a day, but not for long. And no following endless online treasure hunts; I’m strictly rationing the number of interesting links I follow!

So when I attended an IABC session on May 17 with author, speaker and management consultant Randall Craig called “Social media without wasting your time or losing your identity,” I was thinking it might have some fresh ideas in relation to fitting blogging and Facebook and Twitter into a busy life. These were some key points that caught my attention, and you may find these interesting too:

  • The idea of anchors and outposts. There are way too many social media sites out there to keep up with them all. Randall suggested we choose a small number of key “anchors” among these outposts, such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. Create a profile, a narrative and other content, then link and point visitors to your main website. These inbound links to your site are great for search engine optimization, too.
  • Is the “noise” in your social media stream too much, and some people are just posting too much and too many things that don’t interest you? Shh, you can “unfriend” on Facebook and LinkedIn without broadcasting it to the other people, although they’ll find out when you don’t show up in their list of friends.
  • If you’re working up to a blog, start by assigning yourself the task of writing three thoughtful paragraphs a week (seems doable, doesn’t it?) and emailing them to yourself. After a month or two, see how you did. If you’ve proven yourself prepared to keep up a blog, go for it! You’ll also have a bank of posts already written to help you out on those weeks when you’re on vacation or just too darn busy to come up with something new.

Update: The ever-helpful Hubspot has a new e-book, “How to Monitor Your Social Media Presence in 10 Minutes a Day,” the equivalent of “Eight-minute abs.” You’ll find where you should be and why, along with how you can scan everything in 10 minutes — IF you are disciplined. It’s free but you must hand over your name, email address and other info.

Do you have any tips for keeping up your online life?

Image credit: Renjith Krishnan and