photograpy-articles Workflows

Travel Blog Workflow 5: Writing & Revisions

It can take a lot of work putting together a travel blog post

The photographs are uploading, now it’s time to double up and get writing.[learn_more]Take a look at my previous article on backing up and uploading photos when traveling! Travel Blog Workflow 4: Photography – backing up[/learn_more]

How is a travel blog post written? My workflow

Whether the blog post is led by a photograph or something I want to document there’s a lot more work involved than many people realize.

Where to start writing a travel blog post?

Sometimes I’ll already have a rough draft done up. Other times, I start from scratch.

I’ll nearly always start out with a title. To me, the title is the idea or the starting point of what I want to convey or document into my journals. By the end of the draft, I usually end up changing the title.

From there I get writing. I don’t spell check, I don’t insert photos, I just write.

My biggest problem is that I don’t stop. So many journal entries go way beyond the “standard” blogging word count. Which I think, in 2010/11 is meant to be around 500 -800 words.

With this done, I take a quick break. Usually to check on a photo upload, write an email and so on.

Second round of the blog post:

Next up I reread it. I will break up long sentences, and paragraphs. Clean up badly constructed sentences. And, spell check really obvious things.

I will now being inserting photographs that relate to the content, if it’s a journal based entry.

This involves coping and pasting two links. One for the photograph you see on the blog post page, and another for the larger image you get if you click it.

Then I need to write an image title for wordpress, so I can reference it. I then write an “ALT” text so that the search engines, and those with sight impairments know what the photograph is all about.

Following this, I write a description of the photograph for everyone to now a little more if need be. That’s the bit under the photo.

Finally, I place the image into the page, and make sure it’s positioning does not interfere with the main text content.

That’s a lot in itself.

I round things out with a good spell-check.

I consider this article or post, near ready. It’s saved for a day or two. Or until I get to good internet again.

Third round of my travel blog writing & revision workflow:

Now is when I come back with fresh eyes and reread everything again. Adjustments are made. Spelling, and grammar addressed. And, I may now change the title a little.

This is also where I add a meta description for search engines etc. Why I do this, is covered a little later.

The article or post is then scheduled for publication.

Publishing a travel blog workflow:

I write ahead of time. It’s not feasible to do so live.

Hopefully, and to be honest usually, I will have one more quick edit before publication.

As many of you know, I have dyslexia, and a lot of mistakes I simply don’t see. But leaving the post or article “stew” for a while helps.

Just hitting publish does not mean I am through, there's still a lot to do

The post is then published.

It’s not over yet though …

Post published workflow:

I use a few tools to let everyone know there’s an update to my journal.

As the update goes live it triggers Twitter which is renown for bringing instant news to the world.

  1. People on twitter get a link to the post or article.
  2. At the same time Twitter then tells my facebook account about the link, and the link is published there too.
  3. While all this is going on, RSS feed readers are updated.
  4. Then an email goes out to all subscribers of my website with whole blog post or article included.

All of this stage I have set up to be automatic. But, I still check to be sure. Slip ups happen when dealing with technology. Or rather, multiple technology providers.

And, when they do slip up, it’s good to be ready and catch them.

When technology fails your travel blog

There are some really good people that follow my journey and belong to the growing community on The Longest Way Home who quickly let me know if something’s not right. Either by email, or twitter.

Thank you guys! You know who you are, so smile. I really do appreciate it!

I’d like to take this time to offer any new reader here the opportunity to join in and get my journal updates via email for free. You’ll also receive my stunning top places to travel photo e-book for free too.

It’s just away of saying thank you for leaving comments, and helping out. I really appreciate the people that stop by here.

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Post post publication travel blog workflow:

If there are any mistakes, or corrections I try to get to them as soon as possible. Which isn’t always easy when traveling.

Sometimes there’s nothing I can do except try to forget I misspelled Filipina for the 100th time. Or, mixed up a paragraph. Once, online, I’ll correct any mistakes.

During this time I’ll also approve new comments. Which leads too …

Comment workflow:

I run a system whereby if you comment for the first time, it will be held until I approve it.

After it’s approved, any comment you make will now show up automatically.

This helps prevent spam. Of which I also have to filter through every time I log in.

I then reply to everyone who leaves a comment.

It might take a little time, but I believe if you took the time to comment on something from my post or article, then I should show due respect and reply individually to you.

I really don’t like blogs or sites that don’t take the time to comment back.

Email  feedback workflow:

With or without every article published, there’s usually several emails that are also waiting for me to answer too.

Many people feel it more personal to email a reply to an article than leave a comment. I feel it’s important to reply to these asap.

There are other emails waiting for me too though, and prioritizing is a must.

Some are long emails describing someone’s own hopes of breaking free and traveling, or moving to a new country.

Other emails are simple thank you’s, little hello’s and people reaching out to see who’s behind the website.

I welcome all these emails with much appreciation. Again, I can’t always reply immediately. Sometimes it takes over a week, or even weeks. But, I will always reply.

The secret to getting a fast email, is to – keep it short. With longer emails I feel it’s important to reply back at length as well. So, I mark them for “when I get time!”

The irony here is the longer, more carefully scripted and heartfelt emailers often have longer to wait for a reply than the short one’s.

Again, everyone gets a reply. But I still feel this is one area in my workflow I need to find a better solution too.

Coming up next in my Travel Blog Workflow:

Both before and after publication, there’s the whole world of promotion!

Because without promotion, who would ever have known about the website or article?

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