We launched this website in 2005 as a homeschool project. The children had developed a photo drama, one that Wendy and I thought was pretty cool, and we figured others would enjoy. I uploaded it to the Internet on a free WordPress blog. You can still read their play Wild West Story here.
But life is busy, and blogging takes time. There had been times this blog would go stagnant for weeks. Even though I’m a publisher, writer and editor, I still found blogging cumbersome.
Not anymore. I think I have this blogging thing figured out, and even a busy dad/businessman/coach can keep up with a daily blog. Here are my top 5 practices I feel really helped me in daily blogging, and I’d love to hear from you what you think.
1. Get into the technology
Embrace the Internet world. It ain’t going away, and the technology is changing at lightning speed. The best bloggers make it a standard practice to read up on Internet developments. They subscribe to technical blogs and read regularly about hot topics. I subscribe to my ecommerce blog, Google blogs, MacRumors, and WordPress, to name a few. I especially enjoy bloggers who combine their personal lives with technology (Michael Hyatt, Randy Elrod).
Go figure: Though this website is not technical, I’m blogging about something that is. This blog is about parenting and family, but I jump into the technical now and then. It’s healthy and real, and it helps keep me on the cutting edge.
2. Treat blogging like journaling, not journalism
I’m a publisher. It’s what I do. Details and perfection are my thing. Jounalism was a profession I sought for several years, but blogging scares journalists; it shakes their world. I struggled with this for several years because I didn’t have an official editor to approve my writing. It was a bit risky.
I had to change my perspective: I had to engage the risk. There are times I post inaccuracies, but that’s okay. The blogosphere is much more forgiving than the print world of journalism. Once I began viewing this blog as journaling rather than the attempt at journalism, everything became less stressful.
I save relentless editing processes for published works. Don’t worry, I’m still a detail person. I edit my own works before hitting the “publish” button, but the ideas flow much more like I’m journaling in a notebook. I’ve grown to enjoy it quite a lot.
3. Drafts are your friends
I’ve got 34 drafts in the hopper right now, soon to be 33 once this one posts. When the time is right, I make final touches and zap, online it goes. Some of my drafts are just a line or two of inspiration, some pages-long that need cutting before going online. This post, for instance, was three weeks in the making before I finally posted it.
The point is this: keep writing. You have good things to say. People want to hear from you. Blogging allows you to develop your ideas at a nice pace, one that works for you.
4. Develop a routine
I rise every morning at 5 a.m. Mountain Time. I have my favorite Google Readers to venture through, and I do a fair amount of retweeting [subscribe to my Twitter account] them or commenting on their blogs. I then go into my drafts folder and touch up one of the more developed drafts. I spend about 5-10 more minutes blasting announcements out through my social networks. By 7:00 a.m., I’m finished. I wake up the boys for a 30 minute quiet time together, often reading the Bible from my iPhone app. We then prepare breakfast for the rest of the family. I’m in the office by 9, sometimes with a couple kids in tow.
This isn’t too bad of a routine! I’ve been doing rising at 5 for years, but now I have a digital routine to accompany me. The world is a networked world, and blogging fits my routine quite nicely. (Or do I fit blogging? Hmmm.)
5. Get Others Involved
Since Post #1, I’ve tried to make blogging a family activity. If you’ve been following this blog for the last month, you’ve noticed a weekly post from my wife, Wendy, and my 18-year-old daughter, Cynthia. They publish about once a week, and I’m encouraging them to do more. Every now and then I’ll assign a homeschool project to one of the children. Wabow! It’s a blog post. Their insights are valuable!
It makes good sense to include family members on this family site, but doing something similar makes sense on personal blogs, too. Having guest writers is fairly common on blogs that I read. Doing this spreads the labor around a bit and makes it easier to blog every day.
I’ve got more to say about blogging, especially for those who have a platform to speak from. I’ve got a few ideas brewing in my drafts folder already. Subscribe to this blog to stay updated.
What do you think? Can you add to this list of ways to make daily blogging a joy?