David Meerman Scott explains why social media is like exercise – and writing a book

Posted December 14th @ 2:05 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Tuesday’s writing tip for authors

Yesterday, David Meerman Scott hit a home run with his perceptive blog post, Why social media is like exercise, which he gave me permission to pass along as a blog post.

I think it’s spectacular! I encourage you to pass it along to your coworkers and friends who are struggling with the challenge of too much to do and not enough time.

In his post, David shares his personal story which provides an important perspective on his string of bestselling books which began with The New Rules of Marketing & PR, and extend to Real Time Marketing and PR.

Why social media is like exercise

The second most common question I get at my talks is: “How do you find the time to do all this social media stuff?” People want to know how to find time to blog, tweet, produce videos, and create valuable online content.

(BTW – the number one question I get during Q&A is: “What is the ROI of social media?” But that’s another story.

I’ve found that: “Finding the time to participate in social media” is just like exercise – you need to make it an important part of your life. If it is important to you, you don’t even think about it anymore. It just is.

You have a choice

You can choose to exercise regularly in order to stay fit. The only effective way is when exercise becomes part of your routine. Some people like fitness clubs. Others enjoy running outdoors or dance or kickboxing. But in all cases, success comes from making it an important part of your life and routine.

I enjoy 45 minutes on an elliptical trainer every morning that I’m home. Sometimes the hotel I’m staying at has a machine and I jump on that too. Been at it for more than a decade.

I get up early, around 4:00 most mornings, and do my training in the family room while watching recordings of the late-night television shows from the evening before. I don’t even think about “finding the time” because it is a very important part of my life.

Same with participating in social networks and creating online content – it becomes part of your life.

In my case, I do about 100 blog posts a year and maybe 30 videos. I comment on thousands of blogs. Most years I write a free ebook. And I’m on forums, chat rooms, Twitter, and Facebook.

Many people are surprised when I say that I probably spend about six hours a week on social media – about the same amount of time I spend exercising. I don’t even think about it. It’s important, so I do it. And I can’t really say how I “fit it in”. It’s mainly in micro-bursts of one or five minutes throughout the day.

I recommend that you don’t even try to “find the time to create content and participate in social media.” You’ll fail. Just like “finding the time to exercise” leads to failure and wasted money on health club memberships.

Instead, make exercise and social media important parts of your life.

Bonus idea

If you still cannot fit exercise and social media into your life, cut out television completely. You will be amazed at how much time you free up.


I want to thank Published & Profitable Editorial Board member David Meerman Scott for permission to reprint this important blog post. David’s words reinforce the importance of habits and commitment in writing and marketing a book, or a series of successful book. Do you share my enthusiasm for David’s words? Let me know what you think, as comments, below.


  1. David Meerman Scott
    December 14, 2010

    Thanks for passing this on, Roger. I appreciate it.

  2. Roger C. Parker
    December 14, 2010

    Dear David:
    Thank you for making it possible. Your success is incontrovertible proof that the “system” works.

    I was impressed by the specific details you included.

  3. Kathy
    December 15, 2010

    Enjoyed the post….but where are the social media buttons for this article??? Wanted to tweet it out. (I’ll bit.ly the link and send it along!)

  4. Roger C. Parker
    December 15, 2010

    Dear Cathy:
    Thank you for your comment.

    Unfortunately, the social media buttons were lost in a recent change of hosting, and the site is in a process of redesign.

    Thank you for the reality check at the bit.ly forwards!

  5. Conor Neill
    December 16, 2010

    Agree with Kathy!!!
    Will do a manual tweet ;-)

  6. Anthony Puttee
    January 6, 2011

    Great post! Yes, consistency is everything.

    I’ve read online and seen on TV, where it’s been proven it takes about 4 weeks, for something that is done or performed consistently every week to become a habit. With exercise so many people fall short of that magic milestone, while others that persist begin to have a mindset change. Really interesting.
    Manual tweet going out.

Leave a comment

OpenID Login

Standard Login