What I’m learning being away from my blog

empty desk

Miss me yet?

In case you didn’t know, I’m taking May off to move back to Texas and start a new gig so I’ve had to program a month’s worth of blog posts before I could pack the first box. Here’s a list of what’s coming for the rest of the month.

Guest Post May

Whoa. That’s a lot.

If you think about it, if the goal is to publish three times a week and to promote each post through social media, you have at the very least 12 posts to get ready. That’s not just writing them but also packaging them — photos, videos, clickables, and just making it look good on the page.

That’s a whole lot of work. A. Lot.

But it’s worth it. I’ve love how the guest posts are looking so far and how everything is being laid out. The act of putting things together for online/mobile is called digital packaging and, as I have learned recently, it’s a bit of an art form.  Digital packaging, and other skills, are just some of the things I’ve had to use to get this site ready to practically run its self for about a month.

Here are some other lessons I’ve learned so far.

Automate where you can.

Don’t underestimate automation. In the past, I was never a fan of it. I like to promote the posts live, beyond the initial Tweet or Google+ post. But, in reality, you can pre-post every single thing — the post, social media promotion, etc.  So I’ve done that and it has resulted in some interesting follows from new readers (I don’t look at pageviews for this site).  It’s also resulted in lost of shares.

To pre-post, I’ve used a combo of Hootsuite and Buffer. If you haven’t used Hootsuite, it’s a web-based social media management tool. I usually prefer Tweetdeck, however, it doesn’t allow me to post on Facebook or Google+. It also doesn’t allow me to save photos for use in Tweets. Hootsuite does all of that plus determines the best time to post.

Buffer is awesome and I love it. It’s similar to Hootsuite in the way it allows you to pre-determine when social media posts will be posted. However, it is limited. The free version allows only 10 “buffers” at a time. I’ve been able to choose the times items are tweeted out so it doesn’t over lap with what I’m doing on Hootsuite. Though I use Buffer to tweet out my own posts, I mostly use it to tweet out other things I see that I think readers would like to see and know about.

Guest posts are awesome

As you can see, I have a month’s worth of guest bloggers coming through for the rest of May and into June. When I first put out a feeler, I got so many people interested in blogging. That’s when I realized two things. 1.) My friends are pretty brilliant and 2) I really should have writer’s guidelines.

So, I worked with each blogger individually. Don’t be alarmed. By this I meant we talked about what they could possibly blog about. We brainstormed, keeping both audience and blogger in mind. The results are amazing and they helped lessen the load. I still wrote couple of posts myself (as you can see) but their help allowed me to be able to write less and pack more.

Another thing I am loving about guest posting is that the bloggers are bringing in some great expertise. Everywhere from promotion to blogging to writing, these bloggers know what they’re talking about.

Take the time to make each post visual, more than you usually would.

This is where all this digital packing skills are coming in handy. Because I had so many blog posts come in to be scheduled, there was time and energy enough to work on visuals for most of these posts. More than just picking a photo, some of the posts have info graphics and pinable art with them. I am loving the visuals and hope you do too.

Editorial calendars are awesome

Also because I was working so far in advance, I was able to plan out the month (as you can tell from the visual above).  Having an editorial calendar not only tells you what you will be publishing and when, it can also tell you when and how you need to promote certain posts. I’ve talked and used editorial calendars before but for making this site work with little oversight, it was a must.

 

That’s it for now. I’ll be back at it in June! Have a great May everyone and enjoy the guest posts!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s