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.