What’s my blogging process?

by jeffhilimire on December 28, 2011

I get asked from time to time what process I go through when writing blog posts. I wouldn’t say I have a specific process, but I do have some insights that might help people new to blogging.

First off, I’m always thinking of new posts. Once you start blogging and you get into a routine, you start seeing things differently. When I am reading news, in a meeting, struggling with a decision, etc., it’s always top of mind for me whether or not there’s a blog post in there somewhere. Since I want to share my experiences through this blog, I’m very aware of the experiences I go through and whether they’ll be good fodder. And I’ll often rip off an article or blog title and write a post as if I came up with the title to see where I’d land (like this recent post on the #1 quality of successful leaders). This is a great way to push yourself to think and I find it a fun challenge. Note: I always give the original author credit. So far no one has complained ;)

As things occur to me for new post ideas, I want to get the idea down quickly. Most often I email myself a note from my phone, which I admit is very basic and I’ve tried using other tools (quickly adding an Evernote note, using the reminder app on my phone, or even opening up the WordPress app and creating the post title), but its super easy to email myself so I don’t lose the thought.

I write posts all over the place. Sometimes I write it in Word or Pages and then copy/paste it into WordPress. Sometimes I write most if it in the email I send to myself, depending on the time I have (like if I’m sitting at the doctors office as I was the other day, with a ton of time on my hands and only my iPhone with me, I’ll just write it in an email as the WordPress app for the iPhone is still is very bad). Sometimes I use the Blogsy app on the iPad. But most often I pull up my blog admin through a browser and just write it there. I know many bloggers that use a tool or app to write most of their posts, but for some reason I prefer just writing directly in the admin of my blog. Not sure why.

I’ve also heard many bloggers talk about needing absolutely quiet around them when they write and they need to write the entire post in one sitting. I don’t need either of those things. Many of my posts are written with kids running around in the background, or in a coffee shop (I want to do more “coffee shop writing” in 2012…not sure why exactly though ;). And I’m very comfortable writing 75% of a post in one sitting and over the next week tweaking and adding to it in order to get it to a place that feels good. I do the same thing with presentations and speaking gigs.

I think a lot about the title of the post as I continue to learn the importance of it. And I try to include at least some imagery as I personally like a post that has a photo or video. Just kinda breaks up the text. Like this:

They say its good to have a photo in your blog posts.

I try to write at least once a day. It’s important to me not because I’m trying to get more views/clicks, but because that discipline helps push me to “think”. I find that when I write, I have to sit and reflect and have an opinion. Sometimes during the week its the only time that I really reflect on decisions I’ve made or areas I’m interested in. Also in a job position at Engauge where there isn’t a ton of consistency – as president I often don’t know what each day will entail until I get into it – having something like a daily blog post allows me to have some aspect of regularity around my day. Not to say I’m not comfortable in a non-structured environment, I actually think I thrive in it, but its great to have something I can always know is there (other than knocking out email – maybe we should abolish it :).

I also read a lot of other blogs and I pay specific attention to the ones I like the most. What is it about them that I like? What topics resonate the most with me? What about their style is compelling? I’ve long stopped writing posts that I think people want to hear and instead write about things I want to write about. And reading other posts helps me do that.

So that’s my blogging process, as it were. If you’re thinking about blogging in 2012, I highly recommend it. And if you’re on the fence, check the comments from this post for some reasons why you should be blogging.

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  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    My blogging process heavily involves Evernote. I have a special folder for Brain Wads fodder. If I come up with an idea or read an article that could feed an idea for a post, I clip into that folder on Evernote. Sometimes I don’t get to those post ideas for a week or two, but I always have a barrel of topics to pull from when I need to. 

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    DH, I want to use Evernote for the purpose of helping with blog posts but for some reason, each time I try, I end up with a bunch of stuff I never go back to. I don’t know why that is.

    I also want to use Omnifocus for it.  Either would work.  I definitely need a better solution than just emailing myself notes…

  • Kevcsmi

    This was a great post for that cat pic alone! ;)

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  • http://www.MarketingBlogger.com/ David Frey

    I read your comment, “I’ve long stopped writing posts that I think people want to hear and instead write about things I want to write about” with great interest, because just today I was reading Michael Hyatt’s blog and he said that his blog traffic took off once he started writing about what people wanted to hear instead of his own experiences.

    I was also interested to know what you do to promote your blog posts (if you do at all). Nonetheless, great post Jeff. I’m always interested in knowing other bloggers processes.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Interesting about Hyatt’s comment. I usually get the best reaction and readership when I talk about my personal experiences and the things I want to talk about.  I think Hyatt probably uses his blog for business more than I, literally selling his book and securing speaking events through it. Mine is more of a self expression tool. It doesn’t help me with business other than intangibly helping me meet new people.

    I actually don’t promote my blog in any way. Probably should, but never could think of a way to do that without feeling kind of sleazy. Not sure why though.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Interesting about Hyatt’s comment. I usually get the best reaction and readership when I talk about my personal experiences and the things I want to talk about.  I think Hyatt probably uses his blog for business more than I, literally selling his book and securing speaking events through it. Mine is more of a self expression tool. It doesn’t help me with business other than intangibly helping me meet new people.

    I actually don’t promote my blog in any way. Probably should, but never could think of a way to do that without feeling kind of sleazy. Not sure why though.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Interesting about Hyatt’s comment. I usually get the best reaction and readership when I talk about my personal experiences and the things I want to talk about.  I think Hyatt probably uses his blog for business more than I, literally selling his book and securing speaking events through it. Mine is more of a self expression tool. It doesn’t help me with business other than intangibly helping me meet new people.

    I actually don’t promote my blog in any way. Probably should, but never could think of a way to do that without feeling kind of sleazy. Not sure why though.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Interesting about Hyatt’s comment. I usually get the best reaction and readership when I talk about my personal experiences and the things I want to talk about.  I think Hyatt probably uses his blog for business more than I, literally selling his book and securing speaking events through it. Mine is more of a self expression tool. It doesn’t help me with business other than intangibly helping me meet new people.

    I actually don’t promote my blog in any way. Probably should, but never could think of a way to do that without feeling kind of sleazy. Not sure why though.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Interesting about Hyatt’s comment. I usually get the best reaction and readership when I talk about my personal experiences and the things I want to talk about.  I think Hyatt probably uses his blog for business more than I, literally selling his book and securing speaking events through it. Mine is more of a self expression tool. It doesn’t help me with business other than intangibly helping me meet new people.

    I actually don’t promote my blog in any way. Probably should, but never could think of a way to do that without feeling kind of sleazy. Not sure why though.

  • Kelly Berdine

    Maybe your experiences are more interesting or relatable than Hyatt’s :) its great if your posts are for your own exercise, but if you think people will benefit from the info or perspective, put it out there in a tweet or start convoys with other bloggers who have a similar readership. Make it organic and wrap it in a non-selly context. (I’m still figuring out how to do this myself, so open to trading ideas.) from one non-sleaze bag to another.

  • Anonymous

     Jeff, you’re probably right.

    I do the same as you. I write from my experiences. Works for me. That’s why I thought it was odd when I read Michael’s viewpoint.

    By the way, you’re doing just fine with the promotion of your blog. I found you! :-)

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