This is the intro to a four part series on web-based writing applications. I’ve been tinkering with a few lately (including some you’ve suggested), so this series will serve as a tear-down of these services. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new home! But first a few tips before we get started.
Everyone has their go-to blogging platform, be it a fully featured client like WordPress, a social experience like Tumblr or a minimal setup like Svbtl. If you’re like me, you don’t always like the layout some of these services have you typing in. You need to make yourself comfortable while banging out a few articles to increase productivity and solid content and decrease distractions. That’s where these web apps come in. I’ve played around with several over the last few months, and I wanted to share my thoughts on them with you. But before we do that, I want to share a little about myself and my blogging habits. This should help give you a background as we push forward these next few weeks.
Before going too far, here is a list of the series done so far:
A Tip or Two (or Four)
My blogging journey has been a short one thus far, only about 6 or 7 months now, but I’ve learned so much in such a short time! Below are some of the things I’ve learned so you can know more about me and get a nice background to how I’ll be reviewing the platforms in the next few weeks.
- Get into a groove- Everyone’s different, I get that. There are so many ways people tell us to concentrate that it can make our heads spin! The point here is to find a groove and stick with it. This might mean a month or two of trying different techniques and blending them to create “Your Groove”. Mine usually involves sitting at my computer or tablet already knowing what I want to say. I brainstorm before sitting down. Then I throw on my custom Dubstep playlist on Google Play All Access and get to work. Yours can be totally different, and that’s ok! This isn’t true for everything, but in this case “whatever works for you”!
- “Know your bandwidth”– When I first started talking with Jeremy about coming aboard at 78P, this was one of the first things he told me. He meant “Know what you can handle and what you can’t. Don’t let blogging be the thing that maxes you out.” It was amazing how Jeremy shared this with me and didn’t even know that I love to jump into things without considering the consequences! Know how much you can write per week or per month and stick to it. Religiously. Blogging is a secondary calling and does not replace active involvement with your family or church.
- Write to your audience- Without an audience, why write! Writing is a meaningful and powerful tool of communication. It’s important to know who you’re communicating tool. Know who’s clicking your links and viewing your posts. Know which posts are connecting with your audience and which aren’t, and adjust going forward.
- Keep on learning- There’s never going to be that “Aha! Now I know it all!” moment of blogdom. As you write, read. I use an RSS Aggregator to organize the different blogs I follow. It’s nice to get to know the different styles and techniques of others as you seek to advance your own skills. Also, grab our ebooks on blogging here and here.
Now that we’ve laid the foundation, check back next week for the first web app I’ll be looking at, Writer.
What’s your groove? How do you push good content to your audience? What software do you use to write good blog posts?
[Image via Institute for Global Leadership @ Tufts University edited by Jesse Gruber]