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Writing a blog – the first 6 months

The first 6 months of me writing a blog!

This subject is a case of practising what I preach, so I thought I would put out some of my thoughts from my writing a blog on website design over the past 6 months.  This is something that I recommend all my website clients try and do, because it has a couple of useful purposes other than being informative.  I won’t go in to those again but see my Business Blogging blog for more details on the Search Engine Optimisation benefits.

My plan of what to write about

I don’t so much have a plan about what to write, but I do make sure that I cover the most important aspects of what I do.  At the moment I’m trying to document things which are highly relevant to what I do.  The blogs articles I create give visitors not only relevant information about website design, but also things which should really make them think about what the need for their own website.

Writing a Blog ArticleWhats my process when writing a blog article?

When I get an idea and I’m near my computer, phone or iPad then I’ll start a new post and fill in some basic notes on the subject then save it as draft.  I may not write the article at that time, but I’ve usually got 3 or 4 draft ideas ready for when I have the time to give it my full attention.

Once I have the time to sit down and give the article my full attention I’ll start in the same way you would plan for an essay at school (and to some extent it feels a bit like doing homework!).  First of all you consider the topic and make sure that it is still worthwhile, and then start preparing by thinking about the keyword phrase that the article is going to be based on.  This is important for search engine optimasation and making sure that search engines like what you have written too.

Then it’s on to the actual writing, and if I’ve chosen my subject wisely then this isn’t quite as much of a grind as I thought.  After writing the tenth blog article then I started to feel more comfortable in expressing my own thoughts and opinions.

What do I do after writing a blog article?

It’s quite satisfying (after several proof reads and amendments) to click the ‘publish’ button and make your blog live.  The system I use automatically pings the major search engines and informs them it’s been created, but that isn’t the end of what I do.  I maintain a social media presence through a Facebook page, Google+ page and a LinkedIN page, so it’s important that I post the information to those too.  I could use an automated system to do this, but through personal preference do this by hand as it seems more satisfying publishing my own articles!

So whats it’s really like practising what you preach and writing a blog?

I’ll be the first to admit that it was initially harder work than I thought it would be.  That was mainly down to building up confidence in my own writing ability to not sound really boring or too technical.  I’m sure I should revisit the first few blogs I wrote and make sure they actually make as much sense as the later ones.

Thinking of what to blog initially was difficult, but now I find myself thinking ‘that would make an interesting article’ as I work. I’ve even thought of a new one whilst writing this which is now saved as a draft article for later. After a while it becomes second nature, and it helps that I’m actually interested in the subject matter.  I would actually like to eventually answer client questions here and then share the answers with all my visitors, that way I know I’m writing a blog which is really relevant!

I try to write at least 2 articles per week, so that I don’t overload myself and make it a chore.  Often I’ll find myself working on them out of office hours if it’s something that’s really got me thinking.  Now I’ve got over the initial grind of writing a blog, I’m actually really impressed how much a part of my working week it’s become!