It’s summer time; we all have fun things to do.
Maybe you’ve noticed that your stats are a little lower than normal or that your comments and likes have been cut in half.
The first time I noticed it, I thought it was because I was writing shitty posts (I haven’t ruled this out yet), or because I had mapped my WordPress domain to a .com. I was frantically googling, does domain mapping in WordPress make you lose all your followers?
How’s that for narcissism and paranoia?
People aren’t reading, I must suck. Or my posts are not showing up in their reader. They are getting bored.
I’m sure some of you are, but a more reasonable explanation is that people are out living life, going on vacation, gathering the experiences that are the basis of the stories for any good writer. If you find yourself facing a serious case of writer’s block, that is the first advice I would give. Go out.
Take it in, and forget for a moment about how you might turn every detail of the day into a piece.
I’ve been thinking about reducing my number of blog posts to 2 or 3 a week for a while now. Mostly in the interest of enjoying this summer, showing my daughter all the fun things she was too little to fully enjoy last summer (swimming, parks, splash parks, the zoo, the aquarium, bouncy houses, snow cones/ice cream), capitalizing on the relative coolness of the morning hours, and because I really need to spend more time writing other non-blog things.
I read this article by Michael Hyatt the other day.
I like his blog, and I’m even considering buying his new book, Platform. Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
He’s got 225,998 subscribers. He probably knows what he’s talking about.
This article was about how to write a blog post in 70 minutes or less.
Some days I write mine in less than an hour. Some days it takes way longer, and that is usually the result of not being organized, not knowing what I want to say when I start writing, and getting sucked into Google.
His advice is sound (you should really read his post because it is way better than mine) and here are the high points:
- Start the Night Before: Sometimes I do this. I’ll pick a topic for the next day and let it marinate overnight. Those are usually my best posts.
- Use Downtime To Think: Running, driving, walks, taking a shower. These are great times to mentally run through what you want to say.
- Go Offline: Nooooo! What if I miss something on Facebook or Twitter? Cut it off. These distractions slow you down.
- Turn on Music: I would love to do this, but I’m usually trying to knock out a post during the Sesame Street hour. That’s why you see a lot of comments about Elmo and Mr. Noodle, and it’s honestly not the most inspiring soundtrack for deep thinking (Mr. Noodle’s brother was in The Green Mile by the way, and I just learned that he died in 2003. Sorry Mr. Noodle’s Brother).
- Set Timer: I bought one. I haven’t used it yet. It will probably end up being the time-out timer.
- Use a Template: Wait, there is a blog post cookie cutter? I had no idea. Here is an example of MH’s template in Evernote.
- Create an Outline: Kind of the same thing as a template, but I’ve been trying to do better about scratching out an outline lately. Even for ridiculous posts about T-Rex doing push-ups.
- Write Without Editing: Good advice. Get down your shitty first draft.
- Edit and Format: Go back and weed out what you were really trying to say. Save tangents if they seem like they’ll stand on their own for another post.
- Add Pictures and Links: I usually do this as I go, but I think I will start doing it at the end.
- Publish: The easiest and hardest part.
- Wait Anxiously for People to Like You: Not part of his plan, but a reality most of us face.
So I’m inspired.
To be more organized with my posts, to try to spend less time on them, to cut them back and give you quality over quantity, and to achieve some more balance in my life.
Do you use any of these tips already?
How much time do you spend on a typical post?