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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

17 Unpublished Posts And A Blogging Lesson

Over the last two and a half years of blogging, I've published many tips and tricks to help people who are just starting blogging on how to find time to blog, styles of blogging or ways to optimize your blog.  One thing I haven't written that much about is how I decide whether something is good enough to post.  To say I write about what I'm interested in is probably pretty obvious - but I don't always like everything I write.  What I realized recently was a lesson that I had learned and been using on my blog, but never shared before. 

One trick I have talked about before is that I have a simple notepad document where I write my blog posts, collect ideas, and essentially keep all my rough thoughts and writing before cutting and pasting them into Typepad.  You can probably imagine that over two and a half years, this file is pretty long.  During my time away from blogging, I went through it to see if there were some posts I had written previously which I could publish.  To my surprise, there were 17.  Not 17 ideas for posts (I have dozens of those), but 17 fully written blog posts that I never published for one reason or another.  Sometimes I didn't like my perspective in them.  Other times I didn't feel that I had a strong point of view.  Still other times, the post was good but the timing for posting was wrong.  For one reason or another, I wrote all of these posts and then decided to bench them. 

My first thought was that some of these posts could be a perfect archive of material to quickly publish while I would be away from blogging.  Unfortunately, as I read through them, I could tell they were mostly average and would not make the greatest posts.  Of course, I could improve or rewrite some of them, but the easy thing to do would have been to just post them as good ideas and not worry too much about the writing.  I didn't, which leads me to my piece of advice for bloggers who are building their blog and struggling with continually putting out good content ... don't let "blog guilt" or a feeling that writing is a necessity drive you to publish content that you're not happy with.  Sometimes what you don't write says more about you than what you do. 

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Comments

I have about 25 posts queued in wordpress and another 50 written on paper that I haven't gotten to.

Theres just an overload of information and idea's these day's which makes it challenging to provide everything.

I have a few that I have written that didn't quite make it. I also have some posts in the idea form that I can't quite put the right words to yet. There is just so much to write that I don't worry about these posts in limbo.

Dear Rohit,

Thank you for sharing that confession. This is my first visit to your site and this post totally touched my heart. Like you and others, I have a tendency to draft ideas and articles only to promptly trash them!

I once read in an Internet Marketing e-Book that we should never let our ideas go to waste--even if we don't especially like the wording,etc. So, I use a program called Glyphius to ease the copy write pain. It "scores" documents against successfully published ads and other texts and really helps with the writing a lot! Then I use another program called ArtemisPro, which (believe it or not) further enhances the articles and automatically submits them to a premade list of publishers.

I figure using materials in this way is better than letting it idle or tashing it altogether.

Have you tried doing something like this?

Hello Rohit -

Being relatively new to writing a blog myself I'm glad to hear somebody as established as you, talk about not all ideas being good - I've already got a folder full of half written posts myself. And of course like all of us, I'm sure a year from now, with more experience, I will look at my old articles and think I could have done the same to a few of them also!

One thing I've also found useful in addition to my "draft" entries, is to capture anything I read during the days that I want to follow up on later. Sometimes it develops into a blog entry, sometimes into something I purchase, sometimes into something I work on.

Whether it be a notice about changes to the Google quality algorithms, a new product that looks interesting to try out and review, other blogs I might want to add to my blogroll, or something I want to research, I just have a folder in my browser that I dump all such items into. Then later when I'm not busy with customers or family I can sit down and review them properly (and the good ones tend to percolate in my subconscious in the meantime as well). Some of them I need to revisit a couple of times to decide if it's relevant to me, some resonate right away, but keeping them this way means I don't lose them, and don't need to copy or keep a lot of text or paper.

Harry
http://www.harrybishop.ca

Ive only been blogging since the start of the year and as such am still in the middle of a very steep learning curve. I am in full agreement with Harry, its refreshing to hear an established blogger discussing the behind the scenes process and how that not every idea and post gets to feature. Thanks for your honesty as it gives the rest of us a lift to hear that even established bloggers sometimes struggle with their ideas.

Niall Devitt

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