Refining my blogging process

Did I mention that I’m really enjoying blogging again? Well, that makes it sound like there was a time when I didn’t enjoy it. Not true. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, but have typically been too busy to do it. Recently I’ve made an effort to move a couple of the things I LIKE to do toward the top of my list instead of the bottom. I bought a bunch of tickets to see the Las Vegas Wranglers play, too. That’s been on my list for a while now, so finally decided it was time to act on it.

I was chatting with Jon Brown the other day and he brought up my recent stretch of blog posts. I don’t recall all the specifics of the conversation, but we did start talking about process. Blogging isn’t just about writing. Sure, that’s the bulk of it, but there’s also things like picking a featured image, linking words and phrases to other posts or other sites, tagging, categorizing and, of course, proofreading. Although, if you’re a regular reader here, you probably think I skip the proofreading part. Zing!

I have tried so many different ways to try and blog regularly, if I had taken better notes along the way, it would have made a great article about how NOT to do it. Although, I’m sure some of the processes I tried would work for somebody out there, none were good enough to get me to blog regularly. So since I’ve apparently latched on to something that’s working, this is probably the process worth talking about.

Finding my process

I remember when I first got an iPhone, I was pretty sure that a lot of the tasks I normally do sitting at a desk would eventually move to the phone. But even though there are some great apps available for blogging, none ever really worked for me. I had a lot of problems with the early WordPress iOS app, so I was always searching for other apps to fill the void. I probably went through 20 or 30 different apps with nothing ever really sticking. Evernote was probably as close as I ever came to an app that helped me blog regularly from the phone. But the process of writing on the phone wasn’t very pleasant.

When the first generation iPads came out, I went through the process all over again. App after app I tested trying to find the perfect match for blogging. But no dice. I loved consuming content on the iPad, but could never really get comfortable creating content on the iPad.

So why not just write at the desk? Since that is something I do all day long for work, sitting at the desk another 30-90 minutes to write a blog post isn’t always what I want to do. I’d much rather be able to lay in bed or sit on the couch and knock out a post.

The Perfect Marriage

This summer I picked up an iPad mini. I absolutely love the form factor. I find it so much better than the full size iPad, it’s not even a close comparison. As I started using it more and more, I realized that I was able to hold it in both hands and type with my thumbs without having to stretch to reach the keys in the center like I had to with the full size iPad. I started using the iPad in the morning to go through Facebook and leave comments, send tweets, etc. So when I decided to get back in to blogging, I grabbed the latest WordPress iOS App and tried it out. I was thrilled when I was able to write a post, add links and categories and didn’t have any problems.

So my process now looks a lot like this. I lay in bed and use the iPad mini plus the native WordPress app. I write the entire post, add links and categories and basically get the content ready to go. I then switch the post status to ‘Draft’ and click save. This doesn’t just save the post locally, it pushes it up, in draft mode, to the server. Then, next time I am at my desk I open the post, give it a final proofread, add a featured image to the post and hit publish.

The WordPress app is damn good these days. If you haven’t tried it out in a while, you really should. I find writing on the iPad mini extremely enjoyable and that’s been a big help in keeping me blogging. I would like to get a bit better at dealing with images in the iOS app, but that’ll just come with practice.

How about you? What’s your process?

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About the Author

John Hawkins is the founder of 9seeds, a WordPress development company. He's a frequent WordCamp presenter, an organizer for the Las Vegas WordPress Meetup and an avid hockey fan!

Comments

  1. says

    John, excellent piece! I love the iPad and I have the full version as it was a gift and very useful for magazine publishing to share with people I meet. The added bonus of like you say almost completely working from the iPad on the site is awesome!

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