Last Thursday I described my approach to producing blog posts day after day. This week is about post content. Everyone approach is different but they will all have some combination of planned and spontaneous posts.
With planned posts you have a theme, divide it into bite sized chunks and follow it, usually publishing at a particular time each day or each week. With spontaneous posts you are on the lookout for suitable content and post about it as it become available.
Currently, I plan posts each day Monday to Thursday and prepare spontaneous posts on Fridays. (OK they’re not as spontaneous as some people’s posts but I write them in the same week!) There is no reason I can’t produce spontaneous posts at any time but time constraints mean I find it easier to stay with my established pattern.
I find content through reading and visiting sites online. I draw on experience as a development worker and website designer. It then depends on how it all comes together.
Sometimes I plan a sequence, about conversations for example, that evolves in my mind. I sketch out several emails and drop the sketch into a word processor. This means I know where it is. Every post in that sequence is in the same file.
For this sequence about working with a consultant, I used an e-book as a guide. The authors write about how to design a site yourself. I developed a variation on the theme and with a few exceptions have followed their structure. My purpose and content is very different from theirs. They provide detailed instructions, whereas I am more concerned about what you need to know to work with your designer.
I find that once I start writing, the content flows and often surprises me. I know more than I know I know! Often I find I leave my plan because I realise I need an extra post. Maybe a post turns out to be too long and so I need to split it. Or else I realise my original plan did not allow for the information the reader needs to make sense of the theme.
One challenge I have is how to present the posts in sequence. The blog presents them in reverse order and it is a pain to follow a sequence on a blog. Cornerstone Pages are my solution to this problem.
You may find your blog is not so much sequences as discrete posts serving a variety of purposes. Use categories in your navigation. So, for example, if some posts are about events, you can have an events category in your navigation. Past events can be archived on your site or removed.
How do you write regular blog posts? Where do you encounter difficulties?