That was a strange trip, which is another story for another day, but the fact remains that little ol’ me, who grew up a naive kid in Utah, got to hang out with some of the biggest minds in our industry for a few days.
And it was glorious!
One of the things we discussed is our blogging process and, in fact, Chris wrote a blog post called, “Watching Mitch Joel Blog.”
We were sitting next to him, watching him blog. And it was informative and interesting and educational.
He has evolved since then—and most of his content is now audio (though he does write on Medium). But I venture to guess his philosophy and process are still the same.
(I’ll have to invite him to the Fireside Chat to discuss.)
This memory that surfaced recently made me wonder how much of our blogging process has changed—and what has stayed the same—in the past six years.
The Spin Sucks Philosophy
The philosophy at Spin Sucks has always been to create content that will help change the perception people have of the PR industry.
In 2012, that was simply through this blog and only one book—Marketing in the Round.
We knew if we were pushing the industry forward in everything we produce, we were doing what we set out to do.
Of course, it has evolved significantly since then, and a second book (Spin Sucks) has been written and published.
Today, our goal is to provide professional development that helps communicators and agency owners stay ahead of the trends and keep abreast of changes in the industry.
We know, if we take steps every day, both through free and paid content, to educate, inform, and change the perception in the tiniest way, we’re working towards achieving our goal.
That hasn’t changed at all in the past six years.
Where Blogging Ideas Come From
The Fireside Chat guest this month (airing on Friday) is Christopher Penn.
We talked about his content curation process and how he manages to read 1,500 articles every week.
I won’t give it away, but you can imagine it is data-driven and ridiculously nerdy (in a fantastic way).
Like Christopher, I read a ton for blogging inspiration, but I don’t have an algorithm that helps me decide which is most important.
Then, every night before I start reading for fun, I go through and read up to 10 articles.
That’s where I get all of my blogging 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 our blogging philosophy.
If I have an idea that hasn’t yet been researched and explored, I throw a link or two in a draft blog post in WorldPress and let it simmer there until I’m ready to write.
That way, I always have something to write about.
The Actual Writing of the Content
I don’t know why you wouldn’t just write in WordPress.
Mike writes in a Google doc and then copies and pastes everything over.
The only challenge with that process is the formatting never comes with it—so he has to reformat everything once it’s in WordPress.
Which is I prefer to write directly in WordPress—and why we debate this constantly.
I never write in Word or Google docs or use another software. Even if I’m writing a guest article, I write it all in WordPress so I can link, optimize, and save for later.
Typically I write at 5:00 every morning. I can get my blog post written, the guest post edited and scheduled, and all of my social media 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 the small child to school and get myself to work).
Publishing and Distributing
After I optimize the article, make sure I’m giving due credit with back links, add an image, and write a compelling headline (which I always write last), I publish or I schedule it for publishing.
My blog post runs at 6:45 a.m. CT 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 social media updates throughout the day using CoSchedule.
We schedule on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and on Facebook, where I always invite discussion and commentary.
If it’s something I know my personal friends will like, I post it to my Facebook wall, but that’s rare.
Then I hand it over to you for comments, debate, professional discourse, and discussion.
I try really hard to respond to every comment and sometimes it takes me all day to get there (which drives me crazy).
But community is one of the most important things to us so we all spend a lot of time in the comments.
What’s Your Blogging Journey?
And that’s it!
The process hasn’t changed all that much in the past six years.
Of course, we’ve also added a new podcast (yippee!) and do the Fireside Chat (versus Facebook question of the week).
But all-in-all, if we feel like we are meeting our goal of helping the industry move forward, the rest of it is unchanged.
I will definitely ask Mitch to come hang out with us for half an hour to discuss how blogging has changed for him.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you.
How has your blogging journey changed in the past few years?