Blogging with Andi: The How

Being well aware of why‘ to blog, here is Andi Fisher’s take on ‘how’ to blog. Rarely a day goes by without an interesting and often insightful blog post on Misadventures with Andi. How to remain inspired to write every day? (Or once to twice a week in my case). Other than simply living your life and keeping yourself interested and interesting, it’s a good dose of exercise, discipline, focus…

Blogging with Andi: Part 2: The How

When I met Kasia and several other bloggers in Paris this past October, one common question that everyone asked me was: “How do you write everyday? How do you manage to read so many blogs?”

With the exception of a handful of days over the past few years, Misadventures with Andi has had a post every single day. It’s the whole notion of Blogging with Discipline. This is a concept that I came across in a post in my early blogging days. What it basically comes down to is: I write more good stuff by writing daily than I would by writing less frequently.

One part is exercise.

Many people exercise on a daily basis, they don’t feel as well if they miss a day. Blogging is the same way. I may only write for 30 minutes, but I write everyday. It keeps me loose and keeps the words flowing.

The other part is discipline.

Coming from an internet marketing background, I am quite comfortable with maintaining an editorial calendar. I believe this tool to be essential to mapping and organizing my posts, as well as keeping on task on what I want to accomplish.

Every weekend I plan out my posts for the following week. At times, I plan out further. I currently use Google Calendar which works very well, but I am also considering a new WordPress plug-in that functions in a similar manner.

There is a constant presence of either a spiral notebook or moleskin in my possession and I have about 20-30 drafts of posts in my WordPress panel at any given time. I travel a lot and write notes (either in a notebook or on a laptop) during my trips so that I can just edit and add photos when I return.

I spend about 3-4 hours writing, usually on Sundays covering various topics. I have three weekly recurring posts: (Not quite) Wordless Wednesday; French Friday and Saturday Six. In addition, I have other series that run less frequently: Travel Tip (or Gear) Tuesday; J’adore and Monthly Top Five. The rest of the time I am free to write about whatever travel related content I want.

Which brings to the third and final part of my process: focus.

My blogging pal and guru, Julie Roads of Writing Roads taught me a very key tenet “find your tree.” She wrote about this quite a long time ago. I remember liking the post, but I don’t think I took it all in. Then when Julie and I were speaking on the phone earlier this year, she asked, “what’s your tree?”

The base of your tree is the thing you are most passionate about, it is the topic that all your posts should tie back to. Every post should a be branch that “stems” from the trunk. This will allow you to “root” your blog to a place where people gather and know what to expect when they do.

Since defining my branch [travel] and sticking to it, writing had become even easier for me.

On a final note, content breeds content. On a weekly basis I read about 400 blog posts. The reason is twofold. First, I find great posts that inspire me to write my own posts. Secondly, as a member of the blogging community I am keenly aware of the need to support each other via traffic and comments.

Comments are the currency that makes the blogosphere run and I feel it is important to read and support not only the bloggers that read and support me, but also others who aren’t necessarily part of my own community but who I feel are writing really great content.

That may be more that Kasia was looking for, but I am passionate about sharing and passionate about blogging, so it’s hard to be brief!

Just what I was looking for Andi! I must add that I’m a big fan of Andi’s weekly features, particularly Saturday Six, on which she highlights 6 of 400+ blog posts she reads weekly. I can proudly say my blog has been featured many a time, always an honor!

Fellow bloggers, have you found your tree? Mine too, is travel. And the branches are many.

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27 Comments

  1. Andi February 5, 2011

    Thank you Kasia for allowing me to share some of the passion I feel for this form of creativity that brings me such joy – and friends – in my life!

    Reply
    • Kasia February 5, 2011

      My pleasure Andi! Thank you for all your blogging (and life, travel…) wisdom and insights!

      Reply
  2. Lindsey February 5, 2011

    Her dedication, particularly with such a busy work schedule, is nothing short of admirable! She always finds things to say which is what makes her blog so wonderful and rich. Great tips Andi!

    Reply
  3. Risamay February 6, 2011

    I wish I had the discipline to blog something each and every day. But, alas, my life just isn’t that interesting. Which is why I’m thankful for the interesting lives and insights of others, as shared through their blogs 😉

    Reply
  4. parisbreakfast February 6, 2011

    I found you at David’s…I love this ‘tree’ concept.
    I blog 5X a week because I have to.
    The problem-solving, creative challange of it captures me – especially when I have no idea till the moment I wake up what I will post (or paint) that day.
    I do love my blogging-free weekends though.
    Great post!

    Reply
    • Kasia February 11, 2011

      Yes, the ‘tree’ is a wonderful concept. And I agree with the need in having to blog and write. It releases something from within.

      Nice to see you here and to have met you at Amy’s Croissant Smackdown 🙂 Be well!

      Reply
  5. Melissa February 6, 2011

    OMG this is exactly the thing I needed to read. I have been struggling with the whole writing thing for a month or so, and although I am posting regularly, I feel like the posts are more of a “devoir” rather than a “plaisir”…and I think this explains it for me. I need to decided what my tree is. I am pretty sure it’s : Paris. But that’s quite a broad subject. But then so is travel, or fashion…. so there it is, Paris.
    Thanks Kasia and Andi for this post!!!!

    Reply
    • Kasia February 11, 2011

      Isn’t it wonderful to find what we need, at the exact moment we need it? Happy this shed a little light for you. Andi has a way of doing that. Keep blogging and your branches will grow!

      Reply
  6. Forest February 6, 2011

    andi: great post! you brought up things that I think about often – like supporting the blog community and brought up things that i’ll be thinking on for awhile – like what’s my tree? I write a lot, but my most visible writing is on cocktails. But, i don’t think that’s my tree…now I”m wondering how that does fit into my tree (and I don’t think Paris is my tree either) I”m off to make myself sunday brunch and think on this. Thanks so much for the insightful post!

    Reply
    • Kasia February 11, 2011

      To be discussed over drinks soon! 😉

      Reply
  7. Sion @ paris (im)perfect February 6, 2011

    Wow, this is such a thought-provoking post. Thank you, Andi. To echo Forest above, I really want to think on this. I think my blog’s tree is “quirky Paris,” but I’m not quite sure if that’s quite it, either. Makes total sense that once you define it, the writing becomes much easier. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Opal February 6, 2011

    Nicely put….now I’m putterring over what exactly is my tree? thanks for this little jewel!

    Reply
  9. Ella February 6, 2011

    This was a great article, with lots of good advice. I think I’m going to start writing drafts on my laptop so that I have post ready and waiting for me too.

    This tree idea is interesting, I think my blog’s raison d’etre is to be like a magazine I’ve always wanted to work for but couldn’t.

    Reply
  10. Oneika February 9, 2011

    Very cool! Glad I happened upon your blog (and this particular post) via Opal’s blog! I admire Andi’s blogging discipline- I have a blog, too and struggle to post regular content because work and life always get in the way! I lived in France for two years and regret not regularly blogging during that time because I had such amazing and unique experiences. I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past one and a half years, though, and have been dutifully been documenting my experiences and travels in the region (although, definitely not a daily basis)! Check me out!

    http://oneika-the-traveller.blogspot.com

    By the way, I love that you moved to France for love, Kasia! I’m doing the same (but to London) this fall… 🙂

    Reply
    • Kasia February 11, 2011

      Taking a look at your blog… enjoy the journey (seems like you are :)) And good luck with the move to London, what better reason than love?

      Reply
  11. John in France February 10, 2011

    I was introduced to you from Priscilla at Weekend in Paris. These are great articles thanks. I like the thrill of when you hit the publish button – that keeps me going, and just sharing stories and experiences. Look forward to following you! Cheers.

    Reply
    • Kasia February 11, 2011

      Nice to meet you John! There’s a fascinating blogging world out there… keep reading and publishing!

      Reply
  12. Karin (an alien parisienne) February 16, 2011

    Oh man. I just read this quickly, but realized I have to get ready to go somewhere, and time got away from me! I really needed to see this post, though. What great advice… I shall return tomorrow to re-read and think on how the info here can give me some help. It’s timely advice for my blog!

    A demain.

    Reply
    • Kasia February 20, 2011

      Happy this is helpful to you Karin! Andi is a star for sharing her blogging insights with us.

      Best to you!

      Reply
  13. Xaivier Chia March 1, 2011

    It is a very comprehensive post that highlight almost all important aspects for bloggers.

    However, I find too many trees for my single blog at once. Anyway, I think maybe I can combine them to become a big tree.

    Thanks for your sharing. Cheers.

    Reply
  14. Andi March 3, 2011

    Thanks to everyone who commented here and to Kasia for responding – I love the dialogue it has produced. Blogging is a passionate topic!

    Reply
  15. […] based on conversations we had when I was in Paris last October.  One is on why I blog and other on how. We got to meet in-real-life at the Paris Bloggers Meet-up and I am so happy we did. It is a […]

    Reply
  16. […] a guest-post about the topic on my friend Kasia’s blog, Love in the City of Lights, called  The How. Mainly it comes down to discipline, but I also forgot another very important ingredient, something […]

    Reply
  17. Debbie R July 26, 2012

    You have a terminal constitution regarding blogging and I mean this in the kindest way! I dream to have this passion for anything. You pen the type of post which tells me what to do, like a boss to an employee, but when I am done reading I feel good about what the boss just told me to do!

    Thank you

    Reply
  18. […] You usually see them as a drop down menu. Ideally your blog covers a specific niche (remember that tree analogy I like to use) so the categories are the subtopics related to that niche. They should be fairly […]

    Reply
  19. […] a guest-post about the topic on my friend Kasia’s blog, Love in the City of Lights, called  The How. Mainly it comes down to discipline, but I also forgot another very important ingredient, something […]

    Reply
  20. […] You usually see them as a drop down menu. Ideally your blog covers a specific niche (remember that tree analogy I like to use) so the categories are the subtopics related to that niche. They should be fairly […]

    Reply

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