I was sitting here earlier today on Pinterest right? I need to pin more. I need to create more content is what I was thinking. A common lament bloggers have – content, what’s next, what’s the direction for the blog, the direction for me, numbers, how the blog is doing, maintenance for the blog, what are people thinking, etc.
Mind you, I’m not even a full time blogger. I’m a woman who goes to work, blogs, is a budding author who is working on getting through her days. There’s a lot more to me – I have a personal life, much of which I don’t speak about on the blog in real time. Just know, all of these stories have to come from somewhere. So what’s the big deal? Why are all of the bloggers you know always talking about all of this work they have to do?
I thought I would create a little list of what *this blogger does when no one is looking.
- I drink a lot of coffee as of late. Preferences: iced coffee from Au Bon Pain and McDonald’s and coffee @home. Wine of course may be used (more sparingly these days).
- I read. A LOT. My reading journeys take me anywhere from what’s currently on my Kindle to various blogs I like to read from time to time (regularly). The blogs I come across via other blogs have provided so much knowledge for me.
- I end up on Pinterest. Not just pinning savory dishes and variations of meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting (which are by the way amazing)… I’ve been using it to research things lately – mostly about blogging, SEO and all of that stuff. Pinterest is about more than clothes, etc. The thing is, you have to catch people’s visual in order to be a great pinner. This means graphics, great content. It’s also about not just being a content curator as they say, but a creator. So if I decide to make the mediterranean chicken I love to cook, that’s a great thing to pin.
- While I’m here, I’m teaching myself how to create pretty graphics, etc. You Tube, Pinterest and a knowledgeable Google search can make things happen.
- Swim out of my comfort zone. I just moved the blog a few weeks ago from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I had no idea how much I was going to learn in a very short period of time. When I say short, I mean it. I needed to come up to speed – or at least figure out what I didn’t know (which is a lot) and then make do with what I could learn quickly. What I couldn’t figure out in a reasonable amount of time? I handed it over to someone else. ie – when moving the blog, I gave my patience to Jesus and the moving of the content to Hostgator. I didn’t have the patience or the knowledge at the time
or enough wine to get through it.
- On the flip side, I’ve still been learning how to do various things for the blog – creating graphics as mentioned above, wanting to take more photos, adding other interesting elements and greater and more valuable content.
- I write additional posts. Saved in various places. There are some posts I wrote last year – I still can’t bring myself to hit the publish button. Mind you, I’ve posted some that scared the shit out of me. These? I need Jesus to send me a Ricky Bobby-style shout out and let me know it’s time to publish.
- Blog posts requiring major research and re-writing. I have a few in-depth posts I have been working on for some time. Maybe an hour here, an hour there.
- Along with the blog posts, there are short stories. There are a few of those short stories I would like to turn into a novel or even a series of novels. Reading, researching self-publishing and writing.
- Because I enjoy it, I spend a serious amount of time looking at what other writers are doing. I love to read what inspires them, what they think about the creative process, how they managed to break past their own demons.
- I’ve been hosting my #20withRae on Twitter. This is where I ask 20 questions on Twitter and everyone chimes in with their answer. I host it on Wednesdays about or around the lunch hour.
- I am constantly reaching out to other writers. Reading their blogs, reading their books, reading their Twitter timelines as well as the content they tweet or tweet about.
- I’ve been educating myself about RSS feeds. What it means, what it means for FRWL and being able to keep up with other bloggers. Honestly, before now, I really didn’t use them. I looked at it before I blogged but wasn’t feeling aggregated content. I also initially wasn’t into Twitter, but that’s completely changed.
- I’m on Google Hangouts with my friends in a group blog we have called The StepSisters. I’m also on the Dr. Vibe Show once a month with four other amazing bloggers.
- I have been plotting a DC event. I have the bones of the event. Now to put it in motion – something hopefully before the end of the year. If not then, the first quarter of 2014.
- Research. There is so much good information. I even have a lot of it stored in the annals of my email in various forms – drafts, notes, random slips of paper. Sometimes, I know I’ve saved information and I need to go back and look for it. I saved a lot of amazing posts and content along the way in preparation for a self-hosted blog.
- Educating myself on the business of blogging and the business of writing. This means more reading and sitting down with those who are already where I am and doing what I want to do.
- Checking the blog for errors and bad links. I’ve been going through and re-reading posts lately and checking the blog for bad links or bad video embed codes, etc. If you have a blog and it’s more than a year old, sometimes we need to go back and edit.
- Refreshing a blog post. See above. What this basically means is updating outdated information. Can you make the post relevant for now? Has a better version of something you spoke about been released?
- Making official plans for the next steps of the blog. When I started this blog, the only thing I wanted to know is how people would react to my writing. I also wanted to know if I was brave enough to put it out there. Now that I’ve found a bit of a groove, the question for me is what’s next.
- I take breaks. I’m known to take weeks off from the blog. I can’t recommend that for everyone. But when you work a regular job, have both family and personal commitments and generally need time for yourself, then sometimes a break is needed. I fill these breaks with rest, catching up on shows I love, or cooking.
Whew!! When I wrote this I wasn’t planning on having this much! Of course this is only the blogging list and has absolutely nothing to do with what happens outside of the electronic sphere of this blog.
Can you identify with this list? What kinds of things fill your day when you’re working on your blog/website? How do you find downtime for all the work? If you’ve been a blogger for a while, have you found a sweetspot in terms of the workload?
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