Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Blogging Process

By: Gini Dietrich | April 16, 2012 | 

Last week, Mitch Joel wrote a blog post called, “Watching Me Blog.”

It was in response to Chris Brogan’s piece, “Watching Mitch Joel Blog,” which he wrote while we were all in Norway and, literally, watching Mitch blog.

In his post, he details how he blogs – from his philosophy all the way through publishing and distribution. But the reason I’m mentioning it here is because, at the end of his blog post, he calls a few of us out and says he’d like to see how we blog.

And, let’s be real, it’s a pretty easy blog post for me to write. One that doesn’t require a lot of research or time.

Blogging Philosophy

The philosophy at Spin Sucks is, “How do we change the perception of the PR and marketing industries?” If we can answer that question through everything we produce, we’re doing what we set out to do.

Last year at BlogWorld Expo, John Falchetto, Marcus Sheridan, and I had a debate about blogging consistency, blog topics, and even the header used on blogs.

Marcus told me twice a day blogging is like having too much sex. I kind of think there’s no such thing, but I got his point. It was then that we really began to dig into what this blog is about, what the vision is, and what we’ll allow and won’t allow.

It’s bigger than me. While it’s still fairly dependent on me, we’re making strides to scale beyond me, which is why my face isn’t in any of the design like you’ll see at other personality-driven blogs.

If we take steps every day, both through my blog post and the guest’s, to educate, inform, and change the perception in the tiniest way, we’re working towards achieving that goal.


It depends on how I’m blogging that answers this question. As most of you know, every Thursday do Facebook question of the week where people can go to our wall, leave a question for me there, and then I answer it via video.

We used to air the vlog by 8 a.m. every Thursday, but began testing a different delivery method. Tony Gnau from T60 Productions now shoots, edits, and produces the pieces so they’re much more professional. The video still goes on the blog, but now in the sidebar. It also goes on the Arment Dietrich home page, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google+, and even on Pinterest.

Tony and I shoot the videos, five or six at a time, and it takes us about 90 minutes. It saves me an inordinate amount of time each week.

But, the regular blog posts are all written. And the prep work for those is different.

I read. A ton.

Right now, I have 843 subscriptions in my Google Reader, which I push to either Reeder or Zite on my iPad.

I also subscribe to, and read, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, New York Times, New Yorker, and Harvard Business Review. I almost always read American Way, the American Airlines in-flight magazine, when I’m on a plane. And I subscribe to seven different SmartBrief daily newsletters.

But that’s where I get all of my ideas. To say I have a lot of original thoughts is being kind. Most of my ideas come from something I’ve read. If you visit Spin Sucks a lot, you know I don’t regurgitate what I’ve read. Rather, I take an idea and explore it, as long as it fits the philosophy.

If I have an idea that hasn’t yet been researched and explored, I throw a link or two in the “Blog Ideas” draft in our WordPress folder. That way, I always have something to write about.

Writing the Blog Post

I don’t do anything fancy like Mitch. He uses Windows Live Writer, but because he’s a Mac guy and this is a PC only program, he runs vmware just for that one program.

Not me. If I have an idea, I write it in a new post in the WordPress admin. I never write in Word or use another software. Even if I’m writing a guest post, I write it all in WordPress so I can link, optimize, and save for later.

Typically I write at 5:30 every morning. I can get my blog post written, the guest post edited and scheduled, and all of my tweets scheduled for the day by 7 a.m. I’ve found if I write later in the day, it takes me longer because I’m not up against a hard deadline (i.e. get to work).

But, cycling training begins a week from today and I’m traveling every week from now until eternity. So I’ll end up writing when I can and then scheduling it for the next day.

Publishing and Distributing

After I optimize the post, make sure I’m giving due credit with back links, add an image, add the “read more” icon, and write a compelling headline (which I always write last), I publish or I schedule it for publish. My blog post runs by 8 a.m. C T every day and the guest post runs by noon. With the exception of Friday, which is Gin and Topics at noon, and I write that.

Then I schedule tweets throughout the day using SocialOomph. I know, I know. Buffer and Hootsuite are better. But this has always worked for me so I can’t break the habit.

I schedule my blog post tweets at 8, 11, 2, and 5. I schedule the guest blog post tweets at 12, 3, and 6. And, at 7, 9, 10, 1, and 4, there are blog posts or articles tweeted that someone else wrote.

Then I post on Google+ and in LinkedIn groups, where I always invite discussion and commentary. If it’s something I know my personal friends will like, I post it to Facebook, but that’s rare. It does, however, go out via Networked Blogs to our fan page.

Then I hand it over to you. I try really hard to respond to every comment and do a fairly good job with it. Sometimes it takes me all day to get there (which drives me crazy), but with speaking and clients and airports and mean TSA reps, it takes me longer than I like.

Now it’s your turn…

P.S. I totally stole the image from Mark Schaefer because it’s funny…and true!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • This is great insight, Gini, and I think I may take a look at my process more closely and blog about it. I’m an advocate of small businesses using blogs as a major component of their online strategy, and quite often they seem rather daunted by the task, even if it’s just one post a week. I try to show them how they can make it manageable. 

    •  @KenMueller it is like processed meat Ken. There is a curing method you must hang the blog post in a smoke house out back and wait until it has the proper consistency of vienna sausage. Then publish it. Just like Gini explained.

    • ginidietrich

       @KenMueller I always tell people it’s the most time intense thing you’ll do, but also the most effective. If we can get clients started on things (email marketing, white papers, podcasts) that seem less daunting, we can eventually graduate them to blogging.

  • Can I massage your ego for once @ginidietrich vs always being the pooper party? You have a community Mitch does not. Meaning his readers don’t interact with each other very much. He is very kind and responds to most comments which must be draining. I haven’t been to his blog as much as I have in the past and really need to go back more. But maybe it is the commenting system not being Livefyre or Disqus but most people comment and leave.
    Then again there is the opposite problem of having people like @jasonkonopinski @kenmueller and @bdorman264 who not only show up here they never leave.
    Your last point is interesting. I just blogged that for Twitter (and Facebook) marketing is dead. Meaning reaching people is ridiculously hard good luck. Because of this I am not shy Tweeting a lot for a client knowing there is no way I can spam anyone on their behalf. But when I blog I tweet ut twice and wonder why my readership isn’t higher. I mean I am on a cutting edge blogging platform you would think it would be like bees to honey, But to make my point we talk on Twitter and I average 29 tweets per day and you are actually in a separate Twitter List of mine that has about 200 accounts I focus on vs my main stream and I almost never see your Blogpost tweets. If you can’t get seen in a 200 account list…..
    Which BTW when I look at the Tweet/Share numbers on the blogs like yours and @dannybrown I am very sure most traffic comes not from Facebook or Twitter but from Google or Direct/RSS.
    Anyway I am working on how you can get @kenmueller to not hang out all day here.

    • ginidietrich

       @HowieSPM  First, thank you. Mitch and I have had this very conversation many times. His goal is to write really interesting, original content seven times a week. My goal is to create community and engage debate and discussion. That’s why our commenting philosophies are so different. Neither one is right – we just both know they’re right for us.
      Secondly, Twitter is the third source of traffic for Spin Sucks, behind organic search and direct. So it works for us…but it’s still too reliant on me.

      •  @ginidietrich Gini – thx for sharing this – I’m always impressed with people who are disciplined about sticking to a process like this.  Riffing off Howie’s point, it would be fun to see a follow-up post similar to this one that explains your commenting philosophy / strategy. 

        • ginidietrich

           @tonia_ries I’m not sure I could get a whole blog post out of it. I believe in debate, discussion, and discourse so I encourage, ask questions, and reply to nearly every comment (unless I have nothing to add to it). There are some people who think the comments here are ridiculous. I say, “Great!” I’d rather have people here who don’t think so and if it means we weed out people who might waste our time, I’m good with that.

        •  @ginidietrich  @tonia_ries well I certainly only show up to say ‘love your post i agree Gini’ as everyone would agree.

      •  @ginidietrich see you just went with Spin! When you say 3rd highest traffic source what percentage comes from Twitter.
        And yes Mitch does write very interesting content and I always like that he often is on my/our side of social media viewpoints. Definitely smarter than the average bear.
        There is a reason though for both your different goals. You can not advise clients on managing their web presence and reacting to public opinion without a community of discussion which resembles exactly what a client will experience. Mitch is more a marketer/traditional ad agency and thus his clients are hiring him to reach people with more of a one way pitch.

        • ginidietrich

           @HowieSPM It’s not spin. It’s true. I don’t know the percentage…I’d have to figure it out.

      •  @ginidietrich Gin – Your comment above about things being “too reliant on me” got me thinking….
        Have you considered supplementing this approach with, say, a weekly column by a set stab,e of writers? I bet with your network and connections you could easily fill an additional 5 clots with “featured writes”, kind of like what you do at Crains?

        •  @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich what would be better is if these writers were named: Ziggy, Garfield, Dilbert, Bill the Cat, and Duke,.

    • @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski @kenmueller @bdorman264 More than 50% of my traffic is organic search. Then its direct referral and then email subscriptions. Twitter is #4 on list, then Facebook. Social is a very small part of my audience and I like it that way, as you never know what networks will come and go.

  • Gini, I always assumed you simply twirled around like Wonder Woman and your blog posts magically appeared because you write so much (and so well) that you are like a superhero!
    All kidding aside, I appreciate that you share your craft with the rest of the blogging community because it shows how it takes real dedication and time to create what you have here. It’s not to say it’s brain surgery but it does take the stamina to keep things moving despite work and real life. And honestly, we get to reap the benefits of your blood, sweat, and blogging, so no complaining here 🙂

    • ginidietrich

       @Krista OK. Fine. You’re right. That’s totally what I do. I just wanted to make it seem more achievable for regular human beings. 
      It DOES take a lot of stamina. You can ask my team. The numbers will be down and it’s directly correlated to my mood or my travel schedule. We all have ups and downs and you can definitely tell my downs through my content. April is a better month than March was. 🙂

  • I think it’s fascinating to see how everyone has their own process. It’s proof there is no RIGHT way. We each have a method that works for us.
    I love how you have a set schedule for writing. That’s something I want to get much better about. I tend to push my writing to the end of the day and do it the night before it goes out on the blog. I’d like to find a better rhythm and start writing in advance. It’s funny – I thought that being out on my own would mean I would have MORE time to blog, but I really have less. Ah, the challenges of being a new entrepreneur!

    • ginidietrich

       @lauraclick Yeah…right. Good luck with having more time. You’ll have to actually set serious boundaries so you don’t work non-stop. I find I’m a much better writer first thing in the morning. If I wait until the end of the day, it doesn’t get done. But, once I made the commitment to publish by 8 a.m. every day, I found the time.
      P.S. The comment that Garth goes to jail on Sundays made me stop and think yesterday. Then I remembered he’s an attorney. LOL!

      •  @ginidietrich Boundaries?! What the heck are those?! I need to figure that out for sure. I’ve been putting in a lot of hours and haven’t had a day off in awhile, which is NOT healthy. Gotta get some more help AND take a break soon before I collapse into a puddle!
        Oh and yes, that was my VERY bad attempt at a joke. I realized that not everyone may remember that Garth is an attorney. Oops! But, I do find it funny that he often decides to go to jail to visit clients on Sunday afternoons!  

    •  @lauraclick I just cut and paste from this blog. That is how I always have lot’s of blog posts 8)

      •  @HowieSPM Nice. Good plan. I’ll have to try that! 😉

  • I remember thesaleslion 

  • Thanks for this!! I totally need something like this to get my butt in line! I am guilty of have no real process or rhyme or reason to my blogging. It is something I know I need to be more disciplined about.  I need to be held accountable for it just like I am with working out.  Ok…who wants to be my blogging coach or nag (since I already have a workout nag in my husband!).

    • ginidietrich

       @sydcon_mktg It wasn’t until two years ago that I got this disciplined. When we hired a community manager resident, he held my feet to the fire. Then it became habit.

      •  @ginidietrich  @sydcon_mktg Jennifer needs to stop watching hockey all night and focus on blogging is my feeling. Of she can blog about watching hockey?

        •  @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich I could probably do a hockey Mom’s blog…I bet I could come up with load of entertaining stuff….although totally inappropriate stuff for a business blog (hockey parents are nuts!).

  • I remember when TheSalesLion came up with this comparaison between sex and blogging.
    I would add that too much bad sex is like bad blogging, but when it’s good, why put a limit on it?
    Now seriously, when it comes to Spinsuck you are doing a great job at building something that goes beyond the great (ego-stroking) author name blogs.
    I don’t agree when you say you don’t have an original thought, there is no such thing as original thought in my book.
    We are all remixing, because we don’t live in a vacuum, our ideas come from what we read, saw or listened to.
    What is original is the way we interpret it and then share it with our community. So although this post was inspired by Mitch Joel it’s really the SS blogging process. Mitch got his idea from Chris Brogan, Chris got his from someone else and the wheel turns.
    Now, I’m shocked the TSA employs people who aren’t nice?

    • ginidietrich

       @John Falchetto  See, I’m with you. 🙂 But I also know not every, single piece of content we put out is great. So there might be some mediocre sex in here once or twice a week.
      The original thought you just explained is what I meant. I never come up with something that hasn’t been inspired somewhere else. My end goal is to eventually write fiction and I use the same process – how can I steal from some of the books I love to read?
      Having just been in Europe, I have to say it’s so much easier to travel there. You don’t even have to take your shoes off to go through security!

      •  @ginidietrich  @John Falchetto I heard Gini ghost wrote JK Rowling’s new novel.

        •  @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich  @John Falchetto I’m hanging tightly onto this phrase – it will come back at some other time…
          “there might be some mediocre sex in here once or twice a week.”

        •  @Sean McGinnis I was thinking the same thing! See ya next week man!

        • ginidietrich

           @HowieSPM  She only had seven great novels in her. Someone else had to write the others.

        •  @JustInTheSouth I’m thinking we should sit together in the front row during Gini;s keynote at Social Slam. We could hold protest signs up that read:
          “I’m just here for the mediocre sex.”

        • ginidietrich

           @Sean McGinnis  @JustInTheSouth I dare you.

        •  @ginidietrich @JustInTheSouth Hmmmmm. Justin, we should talk….

        •  @Sean McGinnis  When is Social Slam? I will bring the banners @JustInTheSouth 

  • ryancox

    I loved this. Nothing really elaborate to say @ginidietrich . Just that I loved this, and organization is my #1 attraction point + calming indicator. I’d literally go insane without it. Good stuff here. The overarching point I’d take away: do what works for you. We all have our systems, just make sure you have a system. =)

    • ginidietrich

       @ryancox Thank you, Ryan.

  • jonbuscall

    Interesting approach, Gini. 
    Don’t you find writing in WordPress a hassle ? The window is so small you have to keep stretching it down all the time. 
    Other than that, I am amazed you can wade through so many Rss feeds. I used to be like that but I just got to the point of information overload and started feeling guilty every time I couldn’t get through the list of posts. 
    That said, I’m curious when you talk about “optimizing”. Do you use a plugin or is this just a manual process you go through based on experience?

    • @jonbuscall You know you can edit the window size in Writing settings, or even just use the full screen tab and its better than Word then, mate? 🙂

      •  @DannyBrown  I never realized you could do that. Thanks for posting that tip Danny!

        •  @brittanybotti  @DannyBrown Also, at least on my system if I blog inside the regular screen I find quite a bit of time lag between keypunch and words appearing on screen. Screws up the flow when you are editing. When you toggle full screen, that’s gone and it feels like you are writing in a native app

      • ginidietrich

         @DannyBrown  @jonbuscall Yeah – you can make the window bigger by clicking on “toggle full screen.” My button is next to the spellcheck button. I really like it better than anything else, but I also know it’s just a personal preference.

        •  @ginidietrich  @DannyBrown  @jonbuscall @brittanybotti that was Danny changing this blog to By Bloggers for Bloggers who Blog about Blogging.

      • jonbuscall

         @DannyBrown  @jonbuscall Duh! I never knew that. Heading over to check that out immediately. Thanks so much. 

      • jonbuscall

         @DannyBrown  @jonbuscall Just tried it. 50 lines!!! Awesome.

        •  @jonbuscall  @DannyBrown can you get 51 lines? because 50 is not enough in my book Jon.

  • You read a lot of news, digesting this and curating that.
    Would you be able to spend a day, let alone a month, without reading any news? I ask because it’s an experiment Matt Cutts recently completed and something I’m considering.

    • ginidietrich

       @Ari Herzog No. I would die. And I wouldn’t want to, either. I get a lot of energy and inspiration from reading. When I was in Norway a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t sleep, I read two books in three days. So it’s not an experiment I’d care to try.

      •  @ginidietrich  @Ari Herzog I did that whole unplugging thing not for a month, but for four months when I was volunteering. One day I was neck deep in social media and tech and what not, and 3 days later I was in the  Himalayas with a very flaky net connection that you had to climb a steep hill for 15 minutes to access, if available
        I went into a bit of withdrawal during the first few days, waking up in cold sweat abruptly at night. I hallucinated. My heartbeat bumped up 150%. But later, as I dragged my broken body out into the balcony and took a whiff of the mountain air and the open scenery, by Yahweh, all was right.
        I would be lying if I said I went the way of my ancestors, not reading anything. I had a great library nearby, and it was a magical place full of old issues of National Geographic  and Reader’s Digest and huge fat books on economics and Gandhi and the Gita.
        Good times were had.

  • Communic8nHowe

    I’d love to learn more about how you optimize your blog posts using WordPress. I suspect that I’m not doing enough of that for my blog posts. 

    • ginidietrich

       @Communic8nHowe In the beginning, I used SEO Scribe to learn how to do it. There are a few tools out there that teach you how, as you write the post. I liked it the best, but I know a few new ones have come out  in the past year. It’ll tell you what you’re missing and how to fix it. It’s pretty darn easy. I paid for it, but it was worth every penny.

      • Communic8nHowe

         @ginidietrich Thanks Gini! I’ll check it out.

  • Well, you know my thoughts on this – at least you would if you stopped by to read my last blog post! 😉 
    That said, there are some topics/posts that I’ll work on for the better part of a week, especially if they’re complicated and heady stuff.  At any given point, I’ll have two or three of those in process, but balance them out with the shorter (but still worthwhile) posts. 

    • ginidietrich

       @jasonkonopinski Hey jack ass. Read your comments.

      •  @ginidietrich XOXOXOXO 🙂

        • ginidietrich

           @jasonkonopinski LOL

      •  @ginidietrich Dang name calling and all!

        •  @JustInTheSouth  @ginidietrich She’s so mean to me. 

        • ginidietrich

           @jasonkonopinski  @JustInTheSouth I’m pretty sure you deserved it since you were giving me crap for having not read your blog post when I commented AND you commented back. Jeez.

        •  @ginidietrich  @JustInTheSouth Details, details. 
          Besides, if I didn’t give you crap, you’d think something was very wrong. 😉

        •  @jasonkonopinski Yeah about that one! Seems to me that you may be dishing out more than you can handle with @ginidietrich … Have fun with that one.

  • This has been such an interesting series of blog posts to read because every writer is so different. I’m debating about writing my own, but who wants to hear about how I decide which choice curse word I throw out on a given day?
    Otherwise though, I’ve tried doing the morning writing thing, and it just doesn’t work for me. I’m not competent enough before I’ve had a shower and breakfast to tell the world how I really feel about Facebook and Google+.

    • ginidietrich

       @JayDolan I’d actually love to read about your process. I’d like you to include how you decide what is going to get snark and what is not. 
      On a different note, how’s the running going?

      •  @ginidietrich I just completed my six mile run yesterday. Halfway to the half marathon!

        • ginidietrich

           @JayDolan WOO HOO!!!! Remind me when the half is? This is super exciting!

        •  @ginidietrich June 3. We’ll see if I survive until then.

    •  @JayDolan Haha, I hear you mate. My process is – get idea, blog, publish. That wouldn’t make for a very interesting post at all. 🙂

      • rustyspeidel

         @DannyBrown @ginidietrich Yep, that about sums it for me also.

        •  @rustyspeidel  @DannyBrown  @ginidietrich @JayDolan So Danny uses his Pinterest Tips but for blogging?

      •  @DannyBrown The only difference with mine is “Get idea, write, draw cartoon, upload.”

  •  @ginidietrich I’d love to know your optimization process. To me that is the most tedious part about blogging & the part I most dread…I’ve been known to write a whole post and not submit it because I didn’t want to or have time to optimize. 

    • ginidietrich

       @brittanybotti It’s really not that bad! It takes less than three minutes per blog post. When I first started, I used SEO Scribe to teach me what kinds of things were important. Now I just go for it. You can also use SEO all-in-one-pack, which we have installed now. But it doesn’t really teach you what to do like Scribe does.

      •  @ginidietrich Sounds like I’m worrying too much about it! Yoast SEO has been my guide so far…I’ll look into SEO Scribe. Thanks!

        • ginidietrich

           @brittanybotti I think Yoast does exactly what Scribe does so you’re in good hands!

  • jaymethomason

     @ginidietrich Thank you for sharing how you get your blog posts planned/written! We kind of geek out over editorial process over here…so it’s great to hear how you and a few others get it done!

    • ginidietrich

       @jaymethomason How do you guys geek out over it??

  • I am going to engage in some pseudo social media douchebaggery and provide a link to a post that helps writers:

    People over analyze and over think all this writing crap. Just write. Find your idea, put together a beginning, a middle and an end. Just write.
    Stop trying to be different. Stop trying to be the most innovative person out there. What is the difference between Time and Newsweek or Toyota and Honda. 
    If you ask me virtually nothing, yet they all keep going. We could dig into customer service, mindshare, marketshare and all that other crap, but we really don’t have to because this is simple.
    Some people will love your writing and others will hate it. Just write and good things will come from it.

    • ginidietrich

       @TheJackB I agree with you about just writing, but you and I are not the norm. It’s not easy for a lot of people to write. I always feel like I need to write – it’s a part of me. But I know my friends and family think I’m nuts about it. So, while it’s easy for us to say, “Just write,” unfortunately it’s just not that simple for some.

      •  @ginidietrich  @TheJackB But perhaps “the norm” get put off by posts that go through minute detail, when most of the time few people go through this process (or need to).

      •  @ginidietrich I understand. I could post 3-4 times a day, every day and each one would be different from the others. But I am convinced that our need to write is the difference here.
        It is a skill that improves with practice. I am sure that cycling isn’t much different. I don’t ride very often anymore so I might be hesitant to go out with out because I know that I can’t keep up.
        That shouldn’t be a reason for me not to do it. If I put in the time to train than I should reach a place where I can ride with you without concern about my ability to keep up.
        Writing isn’t any different.

        • ginidietrich

           @TheJackB Sure, but to take your cycling analogy, there also is some talent involved. You might be able to get out on your bike, but it’s doubtful you’ll be riding with Lance Armstrong, no matter how often, or how hard, you ride. And maybe you won’t even get out there because you know you’ll never be good at it and you don’t want to spend the time. You are an incredibly gifted writer. I think you’re taking that for granted.

        •  @ginidietrich Wayne Gretzky said something to the effect of you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
          I understand what you are saying and yes, I have some natural ability but that is not always the difference.
          Eight years of blogging and all of the other time that I have put in has made this much easier for me. If people put in the time they can do so much.
          I might not be able to ride with Armstrong but is that really the goal. The goal makes such a big difference. Every time I help people/businesses start this process we start with establishing goals.
          And we incorporate an understanding that you have to learn to walk before you can run.

  • John_Trader1

    I have to admit that I feel a bit dirty for having such great insight into your organization and thought process for each post you write. I have been a little unplugged lately so wasn’t aware that these posts were circulating — I’ll be sure to check out some other methods, read through and hammer out a more organized, customized strategy for myself. Although I don’t have my own blog I would like to hone my skills for some of the sites that I guest blog for.
    It’s gold to get this type of insight from bloggers who are successful. Thank you.

    • ginidietrich

       @John_Trader1 LOL! You SHOULD feel dirty. 

      •  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 Don’t worry John Gini has 57 Patents for A-D which is 1 more than Facebook has so she has her IP protected. Though I saw a URL registered last week

  • ToddBartlett

    Thank you for the insight into your blogging process. I  recently began blogging for my internship and for personal branding purposes. At first, I was intimated by the thought of blogging and was insecure about my writing style. However, the more I blog the more comfortable it has become. Reading articles like the one you have written is very helpful for someone like myself.

    • ginidietrich

       @ToddBartlett It’s like anything else, right? The more you do it, the better you get. As my piano teacher used to say, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”

  • Wow.  That’s in inordinate amount of time, IMHO.  I think about things all the time, but when I wake up on a Mon, Wed, or Fri I realize I have to write something.  If I’m lucky an idea came to me the night before or in the 15 minutes or so before I crawl out of bed.  There have been many days when I had zero idea what I was going to write – and on those occasions I visit a few mainstays that I have where people write insanely dense, jargon-filled pieces on the economy and more or less translate them.  🙂
    I never spend more than 30 minutes writing, 15 editing, and another 15 adding links and snagging a picture.  If I spent more than an hour on these things I would seriously eat into my ability to make a living!
    During the day, I steal time as I can to log in to twitter and post a link live plus respond to comments.  I don’t know how long this takes, but I’m often making tea or something while I do it.  
    Lately I’ve been making some videos for my YouTube Channel on Sundays with my kids.  We made two 4 minute ones last Sunday and it took about 45 minutes – all in one take out in the park.   My son did the editing for me, which was minimal.  
    I can’t see spending any more time than that on this stuff without getting paid for it.  I make something decent out of the “tip jar”, but not enough to justify a bigger commitment than I have.

    • ginidietrich

       @wabbitoid We’ve figured out the secret sauce to getting business from the blog (two clients this year, alone). So the idea that we’re not getting paid to blog is just looked at differently. I’ll bet you’d find the same because you do so much writing for clients. You just have to analyze where people are finding you.

      •  @ginidietrich I do get some work from Barataria, certainly, but I always need money right away.  That means getting work on my own without the blog.  I would dearly love to write pieces more like those on Barataria for a living, but it is very hard to be paid to write pieces on economics.  There are far more people ahead of me with much better connections and credentials.  
        I think it will always be where I get things out of my head so that I am clear to write what other people will pay me to do.   That is valuable in itself, but in a very limited way.  I have to have some outlet for creativity and intelligent thought or I’d be even crazier than I am!

  • sassyinthekitch

    Great post, as usual! This can really apply to any industry, love that. You have a system down, that’s for sure!

    • ginidietrich

       @sassyinthekitch I really wish I could get the schedule down for my recipe blog. But, alas. I have to drool over your photos and recipes instead.

  • Wow, that is identical to my schedule…………..ok, maybe close to it………….ok, we both blog; I’ll say that much. 
    This is why you are a machine and I am a flat tire, but it takes all types, huh? 
    You still amaze me with all you accomplish and the fact you do engage and give back to your community as well. I don’t see anybody at your level who even comes close to that; that’s a big plus in my book, that’s why I would take a bullet for you. 
    BTW – I concur w/ the ‘no such thing’ nonsense and I don’t mean too many posts……….:). 
    You still da best; just keep doing what you are doing ’cause ‘you rock’. 

    • ginidietrich

       @bdorman264 You, literally, made me laugh out loud with your first sentence. I love you, Dorman! LOL!!

      •  @ginidietrich  @bdorman264 Bill forgets he has a full time job running a high energy high risk insurance company while Gini spends her days blogging and yukking it up at music festivals,…I mean industry conferences. Bill you do good putting out the volume of content you do considering your limited free time.

        • ginidietrich

           @HowieSPM  @bdorman264 Right. And I go see Oprah and eat bon-bons, too.

        •  @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich Ah yes, a regular Jimmy…, uh Warren Buffet, eh? 

  • I’m glad to hear you mention/suggest you write with a mission and a vision (blogging philosophy). This defines the conversations that you lead. It creates the context for meaningful conversations.

    • ginidietrich

       @Faryna And it keeps you out of the conversations you shouldn’t be having that take away from the real reason you’re blogging.

  • Gini, thanks for the insider view.  I had read the posts by Mitch and Chris. Cool to see the full spectrum.  I believe that leaves two left on the Norway list to share their secrets.

    • ginidietrich

       @joeldon You’re right! We need Valeria and Maggie now.

  • kevinbehringer

    Boy, you want to talk about an “infinite loop.” I read your first two points in your graphic and saw my blogging process wrapped up in those two! Read Mitch, feel inadequate. Read Mitch, feel inadequate. Glad I’m not alone! Love to see some “behind the scenes stuff from bloggers I really respect. Thanks for posting!Kevin 

    • ginidietrich

       @kevinbehringer LOL!!! Maybe you should read the third step??

  • MSchechter

    I’ll never quite know how you do it inside of WordPress, but I’m impressed as all hell that you can. Do you jump into fullscreen (or distraction free mode) or can you just block out all the crap on the screen?
    Also, just because I wouldn’t be my geeky self if I didn’t have a suggestion, have you ever considered working Instapaper into your reading workflow?
    I know it’s an extra step, but I found a lot of success with quickly blowing through my RSS reader in Reeder and sending the things I want to read into Instapaper. I also automatically forward all of the newsletters I regularly read there (and have gmail auto archive them) as well as put all of the links I come across in a day from people via email and by twitter there. It’s a hub for reading for me and only includes things I want to read. It’s my daily pleasure. It’s also a really well designed app for reading (where I find Reeder to be a better designed app for burning through the feeds. 
    I’ve also found an unexpected benefit from this. Like you, I’m subscribed to a hell of a lot of feeds (although you put me to shame) and moving quickly through them in Reeder offers up a nice 30,000 foot view of what’s trending. I often found I missed that when I would stop and start by reading directly in Reeder. 

    • ginidietrich

       @MSchechter I tried Instapaper. I didn’t like it. Unfortunately I’m like everyone else. When I find something that works, I’ll try new stuff, but if it doesn’t make things easier on me, I go back to the old tried and true. It’s why I still carry a notebook. 

      • TMNinja

         @ginidietrich @MSchechter I too write entirely in the WordPress interface. I like the speed and quickness to publish. I usually start with a picture and craft things as I go… adding links and formatting.

        • MSchechter

           @TMNinja  @ginidietrich Do you guys keep several drafts working or do you just go one post at a time?

      •  @ginidietrich I switched between various options. I use Windows Live Writer for my own blog, but my client’s WP blog is set up in such a way that WLW can’t detect the theme. So sometimes, I will write in Evernote, sometimes I will write in Word and sometimes I will write in WP fullscreen (which actually has been quite regular lately)

        • ginidietrich

           @bhas Which one do you prefer?

      • MSchechter

         @ginidietrich You and your sensible approach to technology and just about everything else for that matter… 🙂

  • margieclayman

    Ugh, I feel so cool. I write all of my posts inside WordPress too. My life is validated!!!! 🙂

    • ginidietrich

       @margieclayman LOL! Apparently we’re not the norm.

  • Now I know why I have never played you on Scramble with Friends….  you are one busy cookie…..

    • ginidietrich

       @Nic_Cartwright Ohhhh! I’m good at it! We can totally play.

      •  @ginidietrich them’s fighting talk from round these parts…..  challenge accepted – what’s your cowboy name (username)……  arabic alphabet ok???
        ps – i am slightly scared – you know lots of words….

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  • Same here. I write directly to WordPress. I found this eliminates any potential format disparity. Also, I can throw in the links and link descriptions on the fly. Better that then coming back and doing links when the fire is cold- that kills me.

    • ginidietrich

       @Faryna I agree – I always forget which links to add when I don’t use WordPress. It’s just easier.

  • I am glad you mentioned the new video format because I had wondered how you were doing that with everything else you do. I really like that approach in fact I’d really love to find someone locally I could work with like that. Thanks for the idea.
    Blogging directly into WordPress is really a smart thing to do. I really don’t see a benefit to doing it anywhere else unless of course you don’t have internet access at the time. Technically though you could have WordPress running on your laptop though images would need to be added when you copied/pasted the html code into the live site.
    My turn? Pretty much all I’ve had time to do in recent months is Podcast Episode summaries. 😉

    • ginidietrich

       @hackmanj That’s exactly what I do, if I’m on a plane without WiFi…have the window open and type in there. I also copy and paste it into a Pages document, just in case, but I still do it all right in WP.

  • Very interesting… I had no idea you used WordPress.  So… someone designed your blog’s appearance using the WordPress platform?
    –Tony Gnau
    p.s. thanks for the shout-out! 🙂

    • ginidietrich

       @T60Productions Yep…a couple of years ago we had it all designed. Now @hackmanj manages it for us. It’s kind of a beast.

  • Wowzers. I know you don’t read every single blog post in your reader, but even 10 percent is a lot of content to consume. Do you skim and read the posts with compelling headlines? Do you have a set list of “go to” blogs that you read no matter what? I would be interested in hearing how you decide which ones to read.
    I ask because I was pushing more than 100 a few months ago, but I realized I was getting lost in my reader, so I deleted all of the subscriptions. 🙂 Now I just go to the blogs that I want to read. Consuming blogs is a work in progress, I guess.

    • ginidietrich

       @bradmarley I go in waves. Sometimes I just go to the blogs I want to read (weeks I’m traveling) and sometimes I skim the headlines to see what I want to read. I also have a lot of links sent to me, either via email or DM on Twitter. So I read all of those. And, of course, anything that links back to us. I can’t venture to guess how many I read every week. 

  • StorchMurphy

    Great read Gini. I like your strategy very much, which is probably why I keep ending up back here on a regular basis.  Can’t wait to get my blog going after the rebrand.  A few more weeks til I’m set.

    • ginidietrich

       @StorchMurphy I can’t wait, either!

  • So you’re saying I’m a buffoon for never reading Mitch. Ok, you didn’t say it, but I’m cool with admitting it. I have a feeling this will be the next passing of the baton in my blog reading marathon. From Mark Schaefer, to you, to Mitch. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you at the finish line… I got a big back to carry these blogs on all around the track!

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  • I’m going to lay down because reading all of that gave me the lazies. But. First thank you for such a clear blueprint. I can see several things I used to do that I now am not, and a whole bunch of other things I’m doing wrong. Also: I’m now depressed.

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