The Blogging Process

When I first started blogging, I thought that all I had to do was design my site, post great content, tell a few friends, and I would have a relatively popular site in no time. Little did I realize then all the things I would be doing now. In not-so-particular order, here are the almost daily things I do to keep my blog running at full steam.

Posting a New Blog Entry


Some posts are easier than others, but they all require a bit more than just creating the main entry itself.

  • Prep Work – Prep work for a new entry includes uploading new photos to my Flickr account for a photo post, editing Quicktime videos on my fiancé’s Mac and uploading to Youtube, digging through scraps of paper to find a specific poem, jotting down barely legible ideas in my notebook using a thin sharpie while driving (do not try this – a video recording device would be much safer, but I am not fond of the sound of my own voice, unless I’m singing oddly enough), and creating playlists for music related posts.
  • Posting – Entering the actual post, keywords, Platinum SEO information, editing, and testing before putting live.


Social Media Promotion


This subject I cover more in depth on my Social Media Marketing & Networking Squidoo. I typically promote new posts using the following networks.

  • Twitter – Post a short description and link, the simplest network to do.
  • Plurk – About the same as Twitter, unless it is a video or photo entry, in which case I will just post a direct link to the media
  • Facebook – Share a link of the post or update my status with a link, depending on whether it will have a picture attached to it.
  • Myspace – Update my status with a link and post a new Myspace blog with an excerpt and link to continue to kikolani.com.

In addition to promoting posts, I also actively seek new readers.

  • Making New Contacts – This can be done in a variety of ways on the various networks. Most networks have groups, so one easy way to contact someone out of the blue is to join a group with similar interests relating to your site (in my case, poetry, photography, blogging). Then you can start interacting and befriending members based on that shared interest, casually mentioning your site to show what you have to offer in that area.
  • Blog Catalog – This site offers a widget that you can put on your page, showing your recent visitors. If their first visit was just a pop in an out, befriending them may encourage them to make a return trip. Bonus is when you visit a Blog Catalog member’s site, you will end up on their visitor list for others to see as well.


Interacting with Readers


It is one thing to get readers. But to keep them interested, stimulated, and coming back for more, it is essential that you respond to them.

  • Comment Responses – Instead of just sending a generic email greeting to people awesome enough to comment on my posts, I do my best to respond to most of my comments on my blog.
  • Comment Reciprocation – If a commentator has a blog, I continue onto their site to find some posts of theirs I can contribute to, comment-wise. Good blogging karma!
  • Befriending on Social Networks – Regularly, I check my email address book through the various social networking sites I am, befriending or following my readers.


Learning More


In order to grow as an individual, it is essential to continue to learn new things. In the world of blogging, this can be done in a variety of ways.

  • Subscribing via RSS – I subscribe to many blogs on for blogging tips, SEO, social media news, design, photography, poetry and anything else I am interested in. This way I get daily updates from everyone I like to read. I also subscribe to my commentators blogs. This is a great way to learn more about what my readers are interested in as well. (What is RSS?)
  • Commenting – Again, I mention commenting. I find that while I am commenting on other people’s posts, it stimulates my mind with new things to do for my own blog. I am not insinuating ripping off other people’s ideas. Merely expanding upon them, or giving a different point of view. And it is always polite to give link love to the inspirational post as well.


Social Bookmarking


Social bookmarking can be powerful in many ways.

  • Promoting Great Posts – Whenever I find a useful article, or intriguing story, I will bookmark it to StumbleUpon via the Firefox extension. It is quick and easy.
  • Promoting Yourself – When you bookmark posts that you have commented on, you are also bringing yourself traffic since your link will be in that post’s comments.
  • Sharing with Others – Last but not least, bookmarking helps others learn more about your interests, and points them to articles that they could gain useful insight from as well.


Technical Site Work


Everyday, I come across a new way to improve on my blog’s design and functionality.


What is Your Blogging Progress?


So how about you? Do you have a certain routine you follow in regards to your blog? Additional tips and resources are welcome in the comments, and may be included in future expansion of this article.

Enjoyed this post?

Be sure to subscribe to the biweekly Kikolani newsletter and get regular updates about awesome posts just like this one and more! You will also receive my free 8,000+ word guide on guest blogging!


Kikolani Proudly Uses StudioPress

Genesis Framework

Like the new design? Kikolani uses a theme called Magazine Pro on the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. It's great design right out of the box, easy to follow installation instructions, and built-in SEO features makes it perfect for professional bloggers.

If you have several websites and blogs powered by WordPress or design websites for others, then you will want the Pro Plus Package. It gives you lifetime access to all of their current 40+ professional designs plus new themes regularly added to their collection for unlimited use on your own websites and blogs as well as your clients' websites and blogs. Learn more about Pro Plus!

If you already use StudioPress and love it like I do, be sure to sign up for their affiliate program and start making money with your blog today!



Comments are open for one year after the post goes live. If you don't see the comment form below and you'd like to discuss this topic with me, become a fan of my Facebook page and post a comment on my wall!





Comments

  1. says

    There are a lot of things to do before and after you hit the publish button. Deciding upon what to write can take time as well. And before hittiong the publish i do the same steps as you do. Then i too try to promote in on twitter and other sites.

  2. says

    Ok. I’ve been thinking about this. The posting piece, not the problem. I got so many things I want to do or have done in life that I post about.

    It’s the promotion piece that is tricky. Or more so the time consuming part but most crucial. I use the following to try to get exposure:

    Digg.com
    Blogcatalog.com
    Entrecard.com
    Stumbleupon.com when they allowed me to stumble my own site. I am no longer.

    I avg 100 visitors a day which is good. But obviously would like to grow. Do you find Plurk and Myspace helpful?

    I’d use facebook but there’s too many people on there that I prefer not view my site. :)

    Anyway… It’s a young site still so I’m not like disappointed. In fact, I’m quite surprised at the responses I have gotten!

    You find Technorati helpful? I just joined.

  3. says

    @Vered: Thanks for the Stumble! I feel like I’ve left some steps out, but these are the primary things I do. :)

    @Madhur: Fortunately, I have a million ideas always jumping around in my head. All I have to do is discipline myself to write them down so I don’t forget them all. :)

    @Mike: I’m planning on adding Blog Catalog to my Squidoo – it is a great blogging specific community that generates a good bit of traffic. Quality traffic vs. quantity I might add.

    I’d say in ranking of traffic, my list goes Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, and Myspace. Plurk is just simple, like Twitter, but more fun with the photo & video posting capabilities.

    Maybe for Facebook you could create a separate account for your blog and do a Page or Blog Network for it?

    Technorati is good. I just got into doing the Technorati tags, so hopefully soon I will see the benefits of having my posts in their tagged listings.

    Your site may be young, but it has great content. That is the best thing to start with! :)

  4. says

    Totally agree. Quality outweighs quantity. I remember my old blog. I did that for 4 months. It started off slow but got good traffic eventually. It just didnt have an objective and I lost interest. So, took time off to think of a site with an objective. And you got my new site. BTW, thanks for visiting. Quite appreciate it! I may try that with facebook and see.

  5. says

    Kristi – great post that makes people stand up and take notice that this bloggin business ain’t all beer and skittles! In other words, it takes plenty of work and smarts to get a simple post online. Another favourite of mine that helps me do a lot of the things you speak of here is http://www.zemanta.com

  6. says

    Hi
    Squidoo is a great free tool that small business owners can use to create valuable online content that points users back to their website.Thanks

  7. says

    I do agree with Madhur. There are alot of works to be done before and after hitting the publish button. Blogging is not one man’s job. It is a social and networking activity. You need to be able to be connected to other bloggers and readers to be successful.

  8. says

    It is good to put the proces as a blog so we can reflect to our own style.

    I am typical hands-on type person. I have a family so no time to think process, let alone blog about it. So when I see that you have done it, it is probably high time I do one for myself.

    A great archive material

    you may like to check this out to add to the process: submit your articles
    BlogPouch

  9. says

    @MikeC: Well, your new site definitely has some fun topics! :)

    @Luke: I’m downloading that extension now. Thanks for the tip.

    @jacknelson: That is an informative Squidoo about the basics of creating a lens. Thanks for sharing.

    @kuanhoong: Precisely! Without connections, the greatest content in the blogging world can be missed.

    @Muhammad: Yes. I think if more beginner bloggers knew these things, their sites would take off faster and they would be less likely to abandon them.

    @annie: It is helpful to have it all laid out in writing, that way during busy times, you don’t miss an important steps. Even something done routinely can be skipped when distracted.

  10. says

    You have pretty summed up everything in one single superbly-written article….one that I have always wanted to write but there are just too many things for too little time.

    I think writing a good article is just the beginning, what comes after you hit the ‘publish’ button is what makes all the difference. Promotion aside, it all comes down to how well you interact with your readers on and off the blog. Social interaction is the key.

    Anyway, thanks for the plug and you know what, I wasn’t expecting you to write anything blogging-related so it’s a refreshing break from your usual stuff here.

    Awesome article indeed.

    DIGGed by Yan

  11. says

    @Maria: It could be because the promotion takes so much time, or because the motivation drops when traffic doesn’t boom in the beginning. I wrote the list because I find if you have a plan of action, you can better visualize everything and allot the time you have accordingly.

    @Yan: Thanks! I agree about social interaction being key. The list was something I wanted to do for myself, and I thought it would be a good thing to share for those who wonder how and why people spend so much time on their blogging. :)

  12. says

    What a great article. I have stumbled and dugg. I am very new to blogging and had no idea how much organization, effort, time, and passion that it really takes. I’m learning something new every day as well. I do love it and hope to become more disciplined and productive as I go along. Thanks again for sharing the knowledge! :)

  13. says

    got your link for Jesus Encounter… and i’ve read your post..

    thanks for sharing this.. i am just starting my blog and site, this would really help me..

  14. says

    @AngieSS:

    @Ray: I think I spend more time than that on it, but it’s probably because I am learning new ways to use the different networks. :)

    @Mimi: I am glad it will come in useful. You’re welcome!

  15. says

    Very good post Kristi, I am sure readers like me are going to get a lot of benefit from this. Please keep up the good work…

  16. says

    Kristi,

    What a great article. I wished I read it when I started my blog a few months ago. I had a goal of posting once a day but have been challenged with the time it takes to do all the things you reference.

    One tip that your readers may find useful. Ping.fm (http://www.ping.fm) allows you to do a quick status update that will allow you to share your post and a short comment with most of the active social networking sites. It really is a time saver. One caveat … certain status fields, like LinkedIn, max out shorter then 140 characters so it pays to first check out all of your sites to see how it gets posted. Thanks again!

    Mark

  17. says

    Kristi–

    We’re now following each other on Twitter (I’m @mombizcoach)!

    Thanks so much for your great strategies for blogging. I am still relatively new to blogging, social networking, brand new to twitter, and I am devouring all the great tips, tricks and advice being shared by you and others.

    I will subscribe to your blog when I’m back home from my vacation (using a borrowed computer now).

    Thanks again!

    Lara Galloway
    http://www.mombizcoach.com

  18. says

    @Harry, Daniel: Thanks.

    @Mark: That is a great tip. I signed up for ping.fm, but still find myself logging into each service individually, because I am a stickler for checking my new messages/replies. :)

    @Lara: Thanks for the Twitter follow. I learn something new everyday in the blogging/social networking world, and plan on future posts on those things when I find them useful.

  19. says

    Fantastic words of advice. I don’t think many people realize what it actually takes to have and maintain a quality blog!

    Thanks again for the tips :)

  20. says

    Great article Kristi! There is so much more than writing than goes into each post. I didn’t realize this before I got started. I definitely don’t test enough before hitting publish – 9 time out 10 I find the typos after I’ve already published – ugh!

  21. says

    Thanks for such beneficial tips. I’ve been blogging for almost two years, but just recently join social/networking sites such as digg and blogcatalog. I’m now kind of addicted to it.

  22. says

    I’m what people call a “life blogger”: I talk about what’s on my mind (or has been going on in my life at the time) and try to make it sound as “me” as possible. Some people have told me that my blog “reads” exactly as I speak, which I love because I want it to be as genuine as possible.

    Basically, I just come up with an idea and work around it. Sometimes I write a few notes in a draft post on the blog or the working title on a notebook, but lately I have been writing the ideas down on bright-colored Post-Its and sticking them in the wall behind my desk, so I can see them everytime I sit to work on my laptop.

    Just recently I created a weekly post, “Advertisement Thursdays”, where I post videos of commercials that I have enjoyed.

    You’re all welcome to visit my blog! =)

    http://annyris.blogspot.com

    Annyriss last blog post..I’m a PC and I wear glasses, just like BG

  23. says

    @Evita: You’re welcome. :)

    @Kim: I always hope to at least find them before they go to RSS. I hate when something messed up gets emailed to me later. My latest oops was deleting a post, then adding it again because it wouldn’t show up on my home page. Now it is in the RSS readers twice.

    @Dilasari: There is a fine line between promoting on those sites, and really getting consumed by them. They are so much fun at first, while getting to know all the features and new people. You have to make sure you don’t find yourself spending three hours adding bumper stickers to your profile (Facebook application). :)

    @Annyris: I think that is what blogging began as… just to be journals of people’s lives. I always enjoy those, especially when they are written genuinely and from the heart. I am glad some of your posts are translated so I can read them as well. :)

    @Debbie: I used to have a collection of stock photography that I am dying to find to add to some of my articles. Once I move, the cd’s will pop out of somewhere I am sure.

  24. says

    As a blogging newbie (well, outside of livejournal anyway), your blogging posts are a brilliant primer and this one in particular is proving to be an excellent jumping off point for me to learn more about social media. :)

    Vixels last blog post..Critique Me!

  25. says

    @Vixel: I hope that it helps. I learn more about social media every day! :)

    @RunningWolf: When I was looking for this theme, I looked for something clean that could hold lots of separate content blocks without being too cluttered. Also something that was easy to customize, as I never like to keep things looking too out of the box, so to speak. The bonus was this theme was the free version! I found it at http://hackwordpress.com/50-best-free-wordpress-themes-gallery/. There are a lot of great looking themes on this page.

  26. says

    Mainly I first write a post, then most of the time I put something on Twitter to announce it. Often I also put it onto Delicious, though I’m not necessarily sure what that does for me. And I have it automatically ping Technorati. Then I try to wait at least some hours, during which I visit other blogs, hoping they have CommentLuv, and leave a post so that the new blog post is at least in a few places in the Blogosphere.

    Mitchs last blog post..Gabi Wilson; What A Talent!

  27. says

    @RunningWolf: You made a good choice in your new theme! :)

    @Mitch: I haven’t seen much traffic from Delicious. Twitter, Facebook, and BlogCatalog have been the best as far as social networks.

  28. says

    Hey again. Was just wondering. What plug-in do you use to display the DIGG buttons on the posts? I use one but your seems to be working a little bit better. Mine does not display the digg button if someone is just browsing the blog, only when they access the post itself.

    Any suggestions?

  29. says

    Kristi, I am really disappointed. I visited your Youtube account and I did not see one video of you. Man, if I can put myself out there I think that at the very least you should do the same for all your loyal fans ;)

    As for promoting my posts, I basically use the twitter plugin and then I just go on a commenting spree on sites that use commentluv. I have a facebook and myspace account but haven’t utilized them fully yet.

    Sires last blog post..Blogging The Money Way With Plugins

  30. says

    @Mitch: Sorry about the delay in response. I think each network is trial and error, and the more active you are in a network with the most real followers, the better the traffic will be from it. That is my experience at least.

    @Blogging tips and insight: Thanks. I’m still loving it!

    @Prophecy, and Poems: It’s a free template you can find here: http://www.michaeljubel.com/2008/05/arthemia-magazine-blog-wordpress-theme-released/

    @Sire: Maybe. I’ve never been much for being in front of the camera, more so just behind it. Although my fiancé has collected some candid silly videos that he threatens to put on Youtube. :)

    Facebook does better for me than Myspace, but I’m sure it’s because I am so much more active on it, plus your posted items are on the main page instead of just on a news feed.

  31. says

    Nice Kristi,
    I appreciate for such type of post, and wondering to have your all posts some knowledge, I like Social Media Promotion in your post because it is the only way to spread your all posts to your fans.
    thanks to sharing this…