I would not claim to be a prolific blogger. Nor I would even attempt to label myself plainly as a blogger despite the fact that I manage and write for a few blogs about my personal life, the Red Sox, and here on Red Pill.
Here’s I typically put together a post. Or at least how I should.
It starts with an idea for a post and those often come while I’m driving for some reason. To capture the idea, I’ll leave myself a voicemail. Then when I’m at my desk listening to my voicemails, I’ll stick an item on my to do list in Remember the Milk with the label “Blog post – working title goes here”.
But sometimes it comes while I’m reading something online. In that case I’ll bookmark it in Firefox in bookmark folder called “Blog post research – working title goes here”
(Hopefully you grasp the fact that I’m replacing the term working title goes here with the actual working title)
Then a couple things have to happen. Sometimes in a linear order, sometimes in parallel. I need a quick and dirty rough draft. I open up Windows Live Writer on my netbook or desktop and crank out a quick outline or super fast draft. I then do some web surfing to find reference materials, photos I might want to use, links to go into the post, and more and save into that Blog post research folder I created in Firefox. I use the XMarks synchronization system so if I’m switching from my desktop to my netbook, my reference materials are there.
When I need a photo, I prefer to use some a picture that I’ve taken. But since 85% of the pictures I take these days are of my children, that’s pretty rare. So I use the Flickr photos search tool Compfight to find a photo with a usable Creative Commons license.
I then take my second pass at my post, expanding the outline into a decently constructed piece of writing while also adding in my photos, hyperlinks, and more.
Then I walk away. Or at least I should. Two hours at a minimum. Ideally at least a day. When I return to the post its time for a last iterative read, while also making sure I have good spelling grammar. To be honest, I don’t do this part of the cycle enough. With two kids, I’m always amazed when I get anything done, so when I’m done with that second pass, I like to feel good about myself and hit publish. That is a misatke.
Finally, it’s time to categorize the post, tag it…then hit publish.
Ideally, I perform the “one to four” routine on the post. After publishing a single post, go leave 3 or 4 comments on other blogs. There’s a lot of reasons for this. If you want to know more about that strategy, you should check in with Dave Peck as he’s the one who shared it with me.
There you go. My blog post writing workflow. What’s yours?