Archives for posts with tag: Blog

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that my blog posts are Monday, Wednesday, Friday things, relatively short and designed to be read in a couple of minutes.

I thought it would be useful to let you know how I write them. I use WordPress as my blog engine by the way.

First, the idea. I either come up with a series of posts based around an involved topic or I get a specific thought which prompts a standalone post. Then I pen the title and scribble some notes in the body. Then I click save draft. About 1 per cent of the time, I click publish by mistake, and since the default time is set to publish immediately, this results in a largely blank post being sent through social media and emailed to be subscribers :-(. Then I have to remove it. But let’s stay with the 99%.

My next task is to schedule the publication for a time in the future. I always set my time window between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning Irish time, since for Irish and UK readers that’s a good time for them to be checking their social media. I then set the categories for the blog post and think about the tags that are relevant for this post. Then I click save draft.

Now I’m ready to write the post. I compose the post, staying on topic so I don’t mismanage the expectations of the reader and for SEO purposes, though I don’t use sub-headings since my posts are so short. I click save periodically, especially if I’m on the move and my wifi is flaky. I also insert outside links and links to other posts where I think they enhance the post, never for their own sake.

When I’m finished writing, I save the draft, then re-read the post carefully for spelling mistakes, typos, sentences that don’t make sense or that could be improved. I iterate, clicking save draft which each iteration. Then I click Schedule, before reviewing how the post will look to you the reader. I might further refine the post and then follow the same process.

Then I’m done! For a post that runs smoothly, it’s 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish. For a longer post or one that doesn’t flow as it might, it could be an hour. But that’s not an onerous responsibility for 3 times a week, at least in my view.

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Two years ago today I published my first blog post on ‘Paul Dilger’s blog – Musings on stuff I come into contact with.’ I committed to do 3 posts a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, going out between 7:30 and 8:30 am London/Dublin time, regular as clockwork. It didn’t seem worth the commitment to do one when I felt like it, since that would degenerate into one a month, and pretty soon none a month.

Two years later, and some 300-plus posts later, it’s still going strong, regular as clockwork. I like to think that I’m still true to the values from the early days: mostly sales and marketing stuff, posts that take a maximum of 2-3 minutes to read – rather than 10 seconds or half your morning – and posts that I hope interest and enable people.

It serves as the chief dollop of fresh content for my business web site, but it doesn’t feel like work. I really enjoy writing the posts, and I know the discipline of creating them is good for me.

I hope you enjoy dipping into them as well. Here’s to the next post :-).

As we move towards a world that is, literally, the Internet of things, it’s interesting to see how this lifelogging thing is going to develop. For a good introduction to this phenomenon of using wearable devices to track your entire life for some kind of perverse posterity, see here.

The weblog quickly graduated – and shortened – to the blog, where people could write about what they see going on in the world, much like this blog you’re reading, and build up a following and a web 2.0/2-way interaction with people. It’s now become an important part of an organisation’s or individual’s social media strategy.

At the moment, it’s hard to see how lifelogging will develop into something more commercially relevant – and into a more concise and marketable word. Apart from flogging I suppose, but that’s a couple of bridges too far in the wrong direction methinks.

Perhaps it’s destined to go the way of other wearable tech that runs into privacy issue because of the collateral recording of other people without their permission. On the other hand it could presage some hideous dystopian world 50 years from now where we’re all tracked 24/7. Could go a number of ways :-).

 

Two hundred is a good number. In cricket, a century is considered a very good score by a batsman. A double century is a lot rarer, a lot more prized. ‘Not out’ means the batsman is still ‘at the crease’ and has the potential to score more ‘runs’.

Two hundred of anything is impressive I think. 200 fans or followers is more than the sacred 150, thought of as the maximum size for a ‘tribe’.  200 customers means you’re a serious player. 200 wins, well, you get the picture.

This, dear reader, is my 200th post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. I’ve certainly enjoyed writing them.

Here’s to 200 more – as long as they’re useful!

Where do you stand, dear reader, on blog post length? I won’t tell you how many online column inches have ben devoted to this. The consensus is that it doesn’t matter, it depends. One thing they all seem to agree on, however, is that longer posts get linked to more often.

The conclusion they draw is that longer posts are therefore better. I take issue with this and offer a different explanation. The reason is tl;dr syndrome. Too long; didn’t read. People are busy, too busy to read long posts, so they just scan them.

This is how it goes: “Boy this is a long post. It’s good though, at least what I’ve read of it sounds good, but I can’t read any more, so I’d better share it anyway.”

So you get this kind of social media message: “Very interesting, important article on blah blah blah, worth a read.” Does this create a kind of social media maelstrom of mediocrity?

Better to create a blog post that people have time to get through properly, no?

 

For me, dear reader, the natural cadence of this blog is a post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s what I’ve stuck to since the first post.

My posts are fairly short and take a minute or two to read at most. Three times during the working week feels like the right balance between intrusion into your productive time and making enough of a regular connection. Consistency is one of the my key tenets, and I don’t know about you but I find wading through a monster of a post once a week a bit of an ordeal. Plus, you get the weekend off for good behaviour.

Three posts a week is something that I feel I can continue to commit to as my part of the bargain. I don’t feel I can stretch to the daily dose of epic content that Mr Seth Godin has been bestowing upon us for more than a handful of years. I’m not a full-time writer, nowhere near as brilliant, and I don’t have the resources.

It doesn’t really matter what I think though. It’s your view that counts, since you’re consuming the output. Otherwise I might just as well paint a masterpiece and lock it in my basement.

I’d be delighted to hear how you feel about the frequency of posts, privately or via the blog. And the content of them for that matter.

Thanks for reading :-).