Mitch Joel asked me yesterday to take a few moments and add to his “how do you blog” meme, so I thought I’d share what I do. Blogging for me occurs as part of a larger content creation and curation process. Here’s the rough outline.
I use Evernote nearly religiously for collecting bits and pieces of ideas. When I’m driving, when I’m at my desk, whenever, I jot things down, little fragments of ideas, words, phrases, etc. These can stay in Evernote for days or weeks until they start to coalesce and form more than just hooks. On any given day, one or more of these will leap out at me, asking to be written about. Today, for example, this post was top of mind, but there was another post on platforms and a martial arts kata that are going to see the light of day relatively soon.
Once I’ve decided on what that idea is going to be for the day – an analytics post, a concept, a cooking recipe, whatever – I head over to MarsEdit for the Mac, which is my favorite blog editor. Why? It’s dirt simple, the interface is spartan and stays out of my way, and it posts quickly and efficiently.
As I blog, I start thinking about ideas and themes. I typically try to match up the theme with some kind of imagery, either from my own photo catalog or from Flickr. Because I do make money off of this blog, I restrict myself to Creative Commons By Attribution photos that permit commercial use. While I’m not selling other people’s content, I am indirectly using it to earn revenue, so I use the strictest interpretation of that license.
Once the post is done – after many rewrites – I’ll publish it. But that’s not the end of the blogging process for me.
Next, I head over into my feed reader and pull out the remaining articles that will fill out #the5. I assemble this in Evernote as well, creating the list, writing the introductions, writing the article summaries, and formatting for the different social network platforms.
These get shared out in different formats to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. After distribution is done, I respond to comments as I can and move onto the fourth and final stage of blogging.
Much of the material I share during the week is valuable enough to make it into my weekly newsletter. The pieces that were shared get sliced up, categorized, and archived for publication each day after the distribution is done.
So there it is, the relatively short process of blogging for me.
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