The Blogging Madness
As I slowly move towards independence in my personal life and the beginnings of my own business I’m trying to do a lot of things differently. One if those things is blogging on some kind of semi regular basis.
I happen to believe that blogging is extremely important for small businesses. As a brand is designed and then built, having a method of voicing who you are, what you are about, and how you plan to help people is important.
So I’m blogging more. You may not have noticed, but its true. And as I’m blogging more I’m finding a method is starting to form. It is slowly getting to the point where I believe it is working pretty well.
Today I’d like to share with you how I go from the first bit of a thought to a full-blown blog post. You might pick up something you can use, for blogging, for school, for writing, or just for the anyhow…
The Beginnings of the Blog Post
Here is how it starts. I tend to begin with something I’ve been thinking about or working on. The thought or group of thoughts gets jotted down on my phone and is synced to an online account where I can view and edit either on my phone or computer.
The app I am using for this part of the process right now is Simplenote, an app that was
created purchased by Automattic, the guys behind WordPress. They have an iOS app as well as an Android app. I use the iOS app on my phone and edit notes using the web app as well. (The main complaint I have with the entire thing right now is that there is no spell checker in the online web app.)
The other app that I’m sure most of you have heard of that would do a splendid job at this type of things is Evernote. I’ve tried to use it in the past, but it feels cluttered and overly complicated to me. So I’m at least trying some other stuff… I may end up going back to Evernote.
Your mileage may vary. The point here is that the ability to be able to jot a thought down while I am on the go is very handy. There are countless things that I think of that I don’t remember because I don’t write them down. If I take that part of the problem away it becomes much easier to find things to blog about!
The Middle Ground of the Blog Post
Once I get a single thought or a bunch of thoughts written down in Simplenote I move to the next stage of the blog post. That would be the “fleshing out” or “putting of meat on the bones” of the blog post.
This usually happens on my laptop using the web interface of Simplenote. I can edit, delete, add, or whatever I feel I need to do…
The reason that I work inside of Simplenote is so that when I do go ahead and move the post over to my blog I have an archive copy or something of a backup of my blog posts. (I used to do this by saving a Word document for each of my blog posts in Dropbox. This works too… but the mobile element was/is missing.)
(Possibly of interest to you… I’m looking for a note taking app that is similar to Simplenote in its simplicity… but that syncs to Dropbox. The reason that I need this functionality is that I need a way to be able to access notes and posts offline. One app I am trying out is Write for iPhone… I’ll let you know what I end up using full-time and why.)
The End Game
The end game begins when I take the words that have been written inside of the Simplenote app and move over to the WordPress blog section of my own site.
Once I have pasted the words into my new post (usually simply pasting into the text editor itself) I start to add, cut, reword, check for SEO, etc… Saving the draft a few times as I continue to hone the post closer and closer to the final product.
After things are looking pretty good I write a bit of a description for the post in the SEO section (provided by WordPress SEO by Yoast) of the post (technically just below the post content module.) Add tags. Make sure the post is in the right category, then go ahead and hit publish.
After The Publish Sounds
Once the post is published and I double-check to make sure that the post is showing up correctly I generally read through it on the front end of my website. (It may be OCD that makes me double double check myself… but you wouldn’t believe the mistakes I’ve caught and been able to correct at this point of the game.)
Finally I make the rounds to Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter to make sure that the post is promoted in some sort of fashion.
That’s about it!
All of this sounds like I take days and days to write a blog post. While I do take a couple of days in the initial parts of the post creation, the actual work of moving from a rough draft inside of Simplenote to the final draft that get’s published may take a half hour or 45 minutes, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Have a question, feel free to fire away in the comments.
How do your blog posts or writing evolve?