How I Write: The Ins and Outs of Writing and Maintaining a Blog | Still Playing School

How I Write: The Ins and Outs of Writing and Maintaining a Blog

By Devany LeDrew | Labels:
A recent meetup with other local bloggers at Folklore Coffee & Company inspired me to reflect on how I write here at Still Playing School.  Sara Bozich and Ken Mueller shared their tips of the trade.  Some were new ideas and some I'd already been implementing which was encouraging!

One thing I aim to do (that they mentioned) is write often.  It's a big time commitment, but it definitely provides an increase in traffic.  I've made it something I'm dedicated to so my family knows to expect me to prioritize SPS as part of my day.  (That being said, they also know that they come first and I have the luxury to drop everything if someone needs me.)

I use Google Calendar to outline my post schedule.  Some features reoccur regularly (another tip suggested).  Other posts are inspired the day they are written.  Usually this is the case with grief related writing.  There are some ideas that are born as just a draft scribbled down until I have time to elaborate and develop the idea (also a suggestion from Ken).  I can dig back through on a day when I'm not sure what to write.  Ideas are also constantly spinning off of conversations and questions from and for my friends.  I write what we live.  I blog what I would (and do) discuss with you if we are friends in real life.


I write when the kids are asleep because I'm obviously more efficient when I can focus my attention solely on the blog.  There are two problems with writing when they are asleep.  Sometimes I should be sleeping too, especially when baby D has a week like he's having right now where he is up frequently at night and needs lots of my help to settle.  The other issue is that most SAHMs use nap time to clean the house, prep dinner, workout, or shower.  I often let some or all of these things go for the sake of SPS.  I wouldn't trade it for the world because of the mental health booster it provides me, but I often frantically tidy up the house before someone comes over because it is in a constant state of disarray.

"Doing work" like Momma.

There is more involved with writing a blog than simply writing, though.  I am taking, editing, and sizing the pictures, providing links, researching topics, and checking my writing for errors.  (Some always still slip through, so I have some go to proof reading friends who I love!)  I meet with and interview people who I would like to feature or experts who can add their experience to our conversations.  I love the opportunity to review products, but we have to plan ahead to fit the products into our lives (with pictures!) to have accurate information before writing our opinions.  I gladly guest post monthly for Lebanon Macaroni Kid.  Giveaways need Rafflecopter widgets to be created.  I've created our logo and worked with friends on marketing and advertising.  The design of SPS needs a total re-haul, but I don't think I'm quite ready to take that on yet.  

Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter will add to your blog, but again, it takes time to be involved.  I can usually grab a minute here and there while the kids are awake but entertained to stay active in these communities.  

When anyone wonders if they should start their own blog, I always say yes, mostly because I will want to read it!  My advice is to write about what you love.  Come up with a solid name.  Everything else that I've outlined here (social media, features, logos, etc.) will develop over time when you're ready for them.  We're two years in with all we've accomplished.  I can't wait to see where we'll be in two more!

If you have a blog, please leave the link in our comments and weigh in with your tips and techniques for writing!

4 comments :

  1. I've been wanting to blog for a while now but about nothing in particular, lol Just daily thoughts and observations. Dot's Hot Spot ;-) I admire bloggers -- it definitely seems like much more than just writing! I enjoy reading them as well!

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    1. I would love to follow a blog written by you!!!

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  2. Great tips! I've let mine slip these last few weeks since having Ava but am gearing up for a month long blog challenge.

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    1. A well deserved break with baby Ava! I would love to participate in more blog challenges and partnerships and guest posts!

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