A Look Inside My Blogging Brain
A Look Inside My Blogging Brain
Today’s prompt for #bloglikecrazy asks that I tell my readers how I blog. What is my process or schedule or how do I come up with ideas – how do I blog?
Let me count the ways…..
First – I strongly believe in an editorial calendar but you only want to break this out if you want to be or become a serious blogger. If you want to dedicate a lot of time to blogging, but be organized about it, and have a passion for it, then I suggest working off of an editorial calendar. I first heard about this time-saving tool from Independent Fashion Bloggers. I always tell anyone who is starting off to check out the Independent Fashion Bloggers site because they have a ton of great blogging information and tips over on their site. AND IT IS ALL FREE. Just take away the word “fashion” and you’ll be fine.
So, the editorial calendar is the first thing that I establish because it helps me stay focused, on track, and is an idea generator. I always know at least what topic I will write about on any given day. I am not sitting here at the end of the day, laptop open, staring at a blank screen and wondering what I will write about tonight and “oh my God I have to get it done now before it turns midnight in ten minutes.”
You can tell that mine is a little detailed. I wanted to blog Monday – Friday. This is only one way to set up an editorial calendar. Mine is hyper-focused. You don’t need to be this meticulous with your editorial calendar.
With the editorial calendar, I can stay way ahead of the game too. I can go ahead and write up posts, weeks in advance if I am really good, and have them scheduled to post. That way, if I need be at a work event after hours, or if we are going on vacation, or if I’ve volunteered my time to something else completely, my posts will automatically publish/post without me having to be behind the computer. Normally, I do try to stay at least three posts ahead of schedule. My aim is to stay a week ahead of the game.
Can you tell I am a strong believer in the editorial calendar? I cannot say too much about this tool. I’m sure I’m leaving some other feature and benefit out.
Other than the editorial calendar, I’d say the next thing that happens (for me) is to be hyper-observant. It has become second nature, to be observant. I wasn’t born this way though, that’s for sure. There was a time in my life where I was observant alright but it was only all about Carol. I was so self-absorbed, selfish, and self-centered. Which is probably why I do feel weird about blogging sometimes because it can be viewed as a narcissistic activity. However, I do try to blog about OTHER THINGS and people and not just write about myself and my life. So teaching myself to be observant of OTHER THINGS and PEOPLE has helped me in my blogging endeavor.
Carry a notebook, pen and/or a voice recorder. I also use my iPhone to jot down ideas in the NOTES app. All I have to do is type in a few key words and I’ll remember what it is I wanted to write about later.
To give you an idea and sneak preview into what you may find here on the blog in the future, here is what I have in my NOTES app on the iPhone right now:
While the above notes are short and sweet, I know what they mean.
Photography – this is another thing I take into consideration. However, I don’t make it a high priority. I simply like to have an image to go along with my blog posts. I like to take my own pictures. The photograph is secondary to my blog post. I will write all day long before I worry about putting an image with something. The picture taking comes in later and while it is an important aspect of blogging for me, it really is an after thought. In other words, the topic/idea comes first, then the writing, and then I think, “Oh, what sort of visual do I want to go along with this?” And then I’ll go get it. For instance, I have yet to come up with a visual for this blog post, I’ll get it later, when I am done editing.
You might be surprised to read that I don’t think you need some expensive digital camera in order to take great photos. I do NOT have an expensive digital camera. I use my iPhone for ALL of my blogging. There are all kinds of camera apps out there that can turn an ordinary picture into a fabulous shot! Unless your blog is geared toward the visual, such as fashion, then I wouldn’t think you’d need to go out and purchase a separate camera for blogging. My blog is an opinion blog, therefore I do not need to be all visual about my topics.
I do not take pictures and images from Google. That is illegal. I have purchased images before from places like iStock and Getty Images but I won’t pay more than $10.00 to $15.00 for one and I don’t even do that often. I think I have done it a handful of times. Plus, there are way too many “free” places to get an image if you cannot take your own. Check into Creative Commons if you are looking to use an image or picture that you did not take yourself.
That’s pretty much it for me but I’ve been doing this for a while. My simple advice for anyone who wants to get into blogging would be this, “Just start, everything else will come later.” It certainly is a learning experience and that is what makes it so much fun. Get involved with other local bloggers. You’ll find great support in the community and bloggers love to share their experience and knowledge. We are a helpful group.
The other thing, or one last thing? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun.