How I publish a blog post a day.

by Tara Fitness

*Disclaimer: It’s only Monday to Friday because I don’t work weekends. It’s a self-care thing.

I’m not the first person to write about my writing process, and  I sure won’t be the last. Despite the frequency of this subject, I read every ‘how I write’ post I come across. Why? Because everybody has a different process, and within theirs, I might just find a gem that strengthens mine.

So if you haven’t set your writing process in stone, read on. Hopefully, you’ll find something that works for you.

The back story.

This month, I’m committed to posting one blog every workday on Medium. I’m aiming for a total of 23 posts. Just under two weeks in, and I’m sitting pretty.

To be clear, I’m not participating in a writing challenge. Instead, I’m trying to improve my writing process so I can write better quality work, faster.

I’m strengthening my writing muscle.


I’ve recently started offering content and copywriting services to fitness businesses. I’ve done the maths, and set my prices at a point where a full workload creates an income where I can thrive. This full workload, however, requires me to produce 10 professional, polished blog posts per week. This is on top of writing for my blog and Medium. So, you can see why I need to get cracking.

Currently, I don’t have a full client load, which means I have ample time on my hands to lay the foundations for when I do. I refuse to be one of those people who accept work and can’t deliver, or even worse, someone who has to work 16 hours a day to get my work compromising everything that’s important in my life.

So, in doing the ground now, I’m confident I’ll be prepared for the deluge of clients coming my way (I’m working on my borderline-delusional level of self-confidence – fake it ‘till you make it, right?)

My writing goals.

All good writing processes must start with a goal. Preferably a big, scary, incredibly exciting and slightly overwhelming goal.

Like mine – I want to write a book.

But, as Jeff Goins quite rightly points out, you can’t just decide you’re going to write a book, and *tada* you’ve written a book. You can’t just sit down and smash out 75 thousand words; which is why it’s so important to tear your big, scary goal into bite-sized chunks.

Like my daily goal – I write 500 words every workday.

In setting a daily goal, providing you achieve it, you gift yourself the most important skill any writer can have:

Consistency!


The system I use to publish a blog post a day.

But with consistency comes great responsibility. How could you possibly think of a new idea every single work day for a month, 3 months, 12 months, 5 years???

Simple… you don’t. Well, you might, but I certainly don’t.

There are days when I think of 10 different blog post ideas and others where I think of zero. The key to always having content ideas is to write down every single lightbulb.

So when I sit down to write every day I follow this process:

1: Choose an idea from my list.

2: Draft (a.k.a. complete data dump) a post fleshing out the idea, then close the document.

3: Open yesterday’s data dump and edit, then close the document.

4: Complete final read-through of the post I wrote two days ago, then publish.

Using this system,, I generally stay 2 days ahead, which gives me time to mull over each post and edit properly ensuring I post the most quality content I can.

The tools I use to publish a blog post a day.

A post about a writing process wouldn’t be complete without discussing writing tools, some of which, are a complete godsend.

Trello

I used to write my post ideas in a note on my phone, which became increasingly frustrating as I then had to email it to myself to put it on my laptop. What’s worse, I kept losing my shopping list in a sea of blog post ideas.

Until someone recommended I try Trello, a software based on boards, lists and cards. I have a board for everything – my to-do list, blog posts, guest blog posts, personal to-do lists to name a few. The best part is I can access Trello on my laptop and iPhone, so regardless of the device, I can always add to my ideas list.

Try Trello here.

Google Drive

Until recently, I wrote in Microsoft Word. While I prefer it, I didn’t like only being able to access my writing on my laptop. So, I transitioned to Google Drive. Within my Google Drive I have a writing folder which contains four folders:

  • Ideas
  • Drafts
  • Completed
  • Published

I move my posts through these folders as they move through the writing system explained above.

Zapier

My favourite writing tool has nothing to do with writing at all. Instead, it’s a time-saving zap that saves perhaps a minute per day, but it all adds up.

When I add a new card to my ‘ideas’ list in Trello, Zapier automatically creates a Google Document in the relevant ideas folder within my Google Drive. Now, when I sit down to write, I open my Google Drive ideas folder, open a document and write.

It’s not an essential step, but it removes some tasks from the writing process. Any extra task I have to complete before writing is an opportunity for distraction, so in taking 5 minutes to set up a zap, I’ve reduced the need to access my Trello boards (and risk glancing at my overwhelming to-do list) before I start writing.

Grammarly

When I first saw an ad for Grammarly, I thought “I don’t need that”, until I read enough great reviews to consider trialling the program. Originally, I thought it was about as good as the spellchecker in Microsoft Word. Then I was offered a free trial of the premium subscription, and within a day, I was hooked.

Grammarly premium subscription is like Microsoft Word spellchecker combined with Hemmingway Editor, except your document is checked within your browser, removing the need to copy and paste into Hemmingway. If you write directly into Medium or WordPress, Grammarly will check your spelling, grammar and readability as you type (the latter if you have the premium subscription).

I check every single post with Grammarly before I post it now. It’s improved my writing significantly, so much so, I don’t think I’ll write without it again.

(Note: Grammarly for Google Docs is still in beta and has a few issues. I’m crossing my fingers they’ll be resolved soon).

Read more about why I love Grammarly here.

Conclusion

I’ve been improving my writing process for about 6 months now. While I’ve had great months on Medium, I’ve also had some shockers, posting less than 5 posts. For the first time, I feel confident I can continue to post every workday beyond October and even beyond 2018. If you want to write, but don’t have a process yet, get one! Thank me for it later.

So, that’s my writing process – what’s yours?

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