To be proud of my blog, the necessary work and details punch up to a level I would almost consider professional. I’m amazed at some of the shoddiness in articles on the internet. Could I do better? Well, I’m going to try.
I don’t have much time, so let’s get started
Easy to say, but where do I start?
When I decided to do a blog, I imagined there would be some new things to learn. Being retired, this would become my part-time job. Or would it be a hobby?
I basically knew the direction I wanted the blog to take and resigned myself to the fact that this wouldn’t be easy. It was still a blank slate, nonetheless.
I had no idea of the detail and work required to publish a blog, especially one done well. I had lots of loose content that had some structure and knew that was the key to moving ahead. But blogging and understanding posts and blocks was new territory. I’d never heard about plugins, tags, meta descriptions, and all the other WordPress buzzwords.
Don’t forget the basics of writing
Proper grammar, consistent tense, accurate spelling, and word structure are basics that must followed. These fundamentals require constant attention. My wife (retired English teacher) tries her best to keep me on track.
Further, the procedures to post items and relate them to the various social media platforms was another lesson. Ensuring I can reach as many readers as possible is the original reason to blog.
Keeping an organized tracking of all the details
I realized early on that a spreadsheet was necessary to track the many assets (titles, audio files, videos, graphics, content) as it was so easy to miss one. Removing duplication, having a flow, creating proper links, establishing categories – so many details.
Now I had to really put my brain to work. Blogging is a constant process. Although my social media experience is minimal, I am somewhat savvy regarding IT. Understanding the power of SEO and how to harness it is a bit frightening. Fear is good if channeled properly. It definitely keeps me on my toes.
Take this one step at a time
Baby steps to start with. Take a bite, chew, digest, and take another bite. Similar to most endeavours that include a variety of components, there is a learning curve. What surprised me though was the steep learning curve I encountered.
I realized it was similar to cooking. I needed a recipe, then acquired the ingredients, prepped, cooked, then ate. Oh, don’t forget the clean-up. I couldn’t miss a step.
I’m going nowhere without content
First I need the idea for each post and then the related content follows. This includes much more than just words. There are images, video, and audio which all require searching and acquiring. Secondly, there is the platform of a blog, which entails publishing. Organization of all the components is important to avoid going off track.
Maintaining the original theme I envision requires constant review. Editing the content is so important as I discover my voice.
I get along with the boss
Every morning when I look in the mirror, I confront my boss. The self-discipline to maintain a blog properly can be difficult when retired. Fulfilling the obligation of maintaining a blog is self-imposed. There is only one person that’s going to push me to do the work and that’s myself. Pride and achievement are the driving forces and they can be powerful. Not unlike an entrepreneur.
In the end, it’s worth it
It is engaging and satisfying to see the finished product. Gratifying when I know how much work went on behind the scenes. It requires continual learning. Creating each post with all the trimmings is invigorating. The bottom line though, it’s fun.
An hour or two in the morning and the same in the afternoon almost daily is the minimal commitment in keeping up with the blog. And there’s the constant ideas and flashbacks as an entrepreneur that need to be orally recorded quickly (I have a Sony voice recorder) so they are available for use in future posts. It’s easy to forget the many details.
As I’ve stated, this is also therapy for me and my entrepreneurial spirit. The work just makes it that much more satisfying when it’s done.