My goal in 2018 is to blog every weekday of the year. For those that are interested in creating a blog or wondering what my process is, I thought I’d share:
What do I write about
I think one of the keys to blogging is writing about things that you’re interested in. If you’re writing for someone else, for an audience that doesn’t share your common interests, then you’re likely not going to keep up with it. And if you do, it won’t be your best writing.
So I write about what is interesting to me at the time. Currently I’m writing about books I’m reading, about the progress we’re making at Dragon Army and how I’m trying to shape our future, about leadership and entrepreneurship advice, and about doing good in the world. And because I think about those things all the time, the writing comes easy.
My ideas come from anywhere. I can be reading a book, talking with a friend, or listening to a podcast, and an idea for a blog post can pop in. The key is to capture the idea before it goes away.
I do this one of three ways. If possible, I’ll simply create a draft in the WordPress app on my phone. If that’s not handy, I’ll either tell Google Assistant to remind me of the note, or I’ll jot it down in my notebook. Either way, it will end up in my WordPress app as a draft until I’m ready to write it.
Sometimes all I have in the draft is the title, but sometimes I’ll jot a few notes down in the body of the post to remind me later.
The writing process
Most of the time I write my blog posts in the morning. Occasionally (usually on weekend mornings) I might write three or four posts for future posting, so that I have them ready if I’m in a rush or having writers block. But usually every morning I carve out time to write that day’s blog post.
It takes me about 20 minutes to write a blog post. In most cases I already have the idea, and I usually don’t write super long posts (this one is much longer than my typical post,) so its not that hard to crank it out. Plus, I’ve been writing on this blog for 10 years, so the writing comes fairly easy.
I prefer to have images with my posts. I read somewhere that people are more likely to read a post if it has a great image, and since I’m certainly that way, I always try to have a photo at the top.
I use the website, Unsplash, to find free images to use, and I always put a link at the bottom to the person who created it. Once I’ve found my image, I download it and go to the website, Pixlr, to make minor edits. Usually all I do is crop it a little (I prefer wider images vs. square) and change the size down a bit. The key is to keep the quality so the image looks great, but not bog down the load time of the page.
I try to read through the post a few times, once in the WordPress app and once in a live preview, to make sure I didn’t make any obvious errors. I try to be good about making sure I don’t have mispellings or leave any trailing sentences that never
I would guess I write 90% of my blog posts on my laptop, 5% on my phone, and 5% on my iPad (with keyboard.)
Periodically while writing I copy and save what I’ve written, then I hit “save drafts” in WordPress. Just to make sure some random snafu doesn’t happen and what I’ve written doesn’t save. That’s a huge bummer, and its happened to me more than enough times not to be prepared.
I always hope for a day when most of the conversations through this blog happen on the blog itself, but usually the conversations happen in the places I share my posts: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
I desperately want the functionality of clapping that exists on Medium sites, if anyone knows how to put that into a WordPress blog :)
~ photo by @glenncarstenspeters