Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Blogging Process

By: Gini Dietrich | April 16, 2012 | 
139

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.

Pre-Blogging

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.

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