I’m hugely envious of folks like Shawn Blanc and Ben Thompson. Their job is their blogs! How lucky is that?
This year I’ve really got into the content-producing swing of things – dunno if you’ve noticed. With this blog settled down and at home on WordPress.com, my newsletter working nicely thanks to Goodbits, the podcast rumbling along nicely on Libsyn and my Pinboard bookmarks providing even more stuff for people to look at if they need it, the tech and workflow is all slotting together very nicely.
It would be fantastic to be able to just focus on this content creation an curation work. It’s what I really love doing. Figuring a way to make it sustainable though is not easy.
Shawn and Ben both have membership schemes. Their core blogging is available for free, but extra bits – including content via email and podcasts – are members only. Members have to pay a certain amount to get access to it all.
This is a great way of doing things, but you need people willing to pay for your content.
Sponsorship is another way of doing things. John Gruber’s Daring Fireball does this, with the blog’s RSS feed being sponsored every week by a tech company wanting to reach his (many) readers. Gruber charges $9,500 per week for this sponsorship. Wowza!
The other option I guess is what I currently do, which is to use the content creation as a way of promoting my consulting work. The downside of this is that a) the blogging etc is a means rather than an end; and b) that I have to leave the house now and again.
Maybe I should just stop being lazy!
I’m running a day long workshop in London on the topic of blogging – might you be interested?
Here’s the skinny:
Join Dave Briggs for a day’s practical, hands-on workshop learning how to be a better blogger!
There are only 10 places available for this workshop, so sign up quickly!
It’s suitable for anyone who wants to start blogging, or who wants to improve their blogging to enable them to meet their goals. Equally, those who want to encourage blogging within their organisations will find this workshop helpful.
The day will cover:
- Why blogging is a good idea and how it can be used
- Choosing a platform
- Setting up a new blog
- How to write engaging content
- Ideas for different types of blog posts
- Using different types of media
- Practice writing and publishing posts, with constructive critique
- Post event support by email for those that need it
The event will take place in central London at a venue to be confirmed. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, as will laptops to enable practical work to be undertaken.
Interested? Sign up on Eventbrite. Register before the middle of June and you get a discount!
Lloyd Davis and I recorded another podcast recently, on the topic of blogging.
Here’s Lloyd’s post with some helpful links to follow up on.
Since work is now WorkSmart and I am retiring Kind of Digital as a professional thing, I thought it was time to sort out my blog.
After all, kindofdigital.com was once davepress.net and before that many incarnations over the years – going back to September 2004. Nearly ten years!
Anyway, the result of this is that business blogging will take place over at WorkSmart and this blog will transition to being about me me me. Well, it will probably end up still covering government and digital like it always did – because basically that’s all I think about these days.
I’ve also rehosted the whole blog at wordpress.com – mostly just to reduce the numbers of things I have to think about. I’ll be playing around with themes and layouts for a bit I think, til I find something I’m remotely happy with.
Enough navel-gazing… carry on!
I wonder if one way of helping the process of blogging is to separate the tools you use for writing and for publishing.
Here’s what I mean – when I use WordPress’ editor to compose a post from scratch, I am using the same software to write my content and to publish it.
I have nothing against the WordPress editor, by the way – it’s excellent. But I find that when I use it, I feel under a bit more pressure to get what I am writing finished, so I can hit that big publish button and be done with it.
Using a separate tool to compose the post, then transfer it to WordPress for publication makes the writing process a bit of a calmer affair.
I can still edit my content in the WordPress editor where I spot mistakes, or to add images, links and that sort of thing. The bulk of composition however, takes place in a different editor.
At the moment I mostly use Byword on the Mac and iOS for writing posts, which are then copied to WordPress.
What do you think? Am I talking nonsense – or do you also find that separating writing and publishing is helpful?
Inspired, as I often am, by Lloyd and his various experiments in reusing media, finding new ways to use old stuff, and continuing to prod at blogging as a medium.
Thanks to him, I’m drawn back to Tumblr. It strikes me that the follow and post model that Tumblr embodies harks back to the original blogging tools like Radio Userland that combine reading and posting, and facilitates the easy (b)logging of other people’s content.
It is a closed system of course, which is a bit of a bad thing, but tools like IFTTT can be used to ensure a local backup of content is stored somewhere. But it feels better than – say – Facebook, which really is another follow and post type system. As is Twitter, of course, albeit with greater limitations.
WordPress – at least in its .com incarnation – seems to be following Tumblr by enabling users to follow blogs within a dashboard. But with these platforms, you can only (I think) follow blogs within that platform. It would be nice to be able to pull content in from elsewhere too.
The separation between a reading application and a writing application – which happened when? 2003? – was an error, as it enabled platform players to provide that holistic experience, and there doesn’t seem to be an open equivalent, unless anyone else knows of one.
Fargo is one of my favourite web tools to have emerged recently. One thing I really love is the way that it keeps iterating and adding neat new features.
It’s now super easy to publish your own blog via Fargo. Here’s a video showing how.