Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maintaining a Coherent Blog

Blogging for 6 months has shown me two necessary ways to keep a coherent blog - structure and accessibility of your site and content coherence.  I'm writing today about content coherence.  Editing note: We are digging out of almost a foot of snow again along with another snow day from school.  My house is losing almost all coherency, so it's nice to cling to some vestige of order this morning.  :)

I realized quickly that just throwing up all over the page day after day wasn't going to cut it in the long term.  If I was to last in the blogging world, it couldn't just be rant after rant after rant.  If you look back at some of my earliest posts, that's about all it was.  "I'm mad about this," "The kids are driving me crazy over that."

I originally started my blog for a specific reason - to raise awareness about giftedness in children and its impact on a family.  And I also realized early that blogging about more than just giftedness was going to make me the happiest, so I narrowed the focus of gifted aspects to the Super Sunday Series (which I consider to be my flagship), with the rest of the week reserved for "other things."

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that I needed even more structure for the "other things."  I didn't want to sit down every day and say, "What's today?"  For me, at least, I was afraid that would lead to failure.  So I structured my week like this:

Sunday - Super Sunday Series - gifted issues
Monday - Happiness, or ME stuff, self-improvement, betterment (right now I spend most Mondays doing a happiness project, based on Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project)
Tuesday - Technical Question Tuesday or Guest Post - where I reach out to readers to assist me in the many, many, many areas I still need help with - or post elsewhere, like today!
Wednesday - Family Moment Day
Thursday - Editorial Day or Leftover Day - react to things I see, read or hear about, OR catch up with things I need to do (updates from previous posts, for example)
Friday - Memes - Dear So and So and/or a Friday Following right now - found at 3 Bedroom Bungalow to Let in Crazytown, Midday Escapades, Hearts Make Families, One 2 Try and Trendy Treehouse
Saturday - another meme - 6 word Saturday - found at Show My Face

So that's my week - it helps for planning.  I'm sure it will evolve over time and that's what should happen to keep things fresh for me and my audience.  But I can use this structure to plan out at least a week ahead, which I highly recommend.

Finally, I try to structure my post content as well.  This is where my legal training overrides my creativity and I am virtually compelled to write in IRAC - issue, rule, analysis, conclusion.  State the issue, quote the rule, do an analysis with examples and reach a conclusion.  Sometimes I don't have a conclusion to reach, but I always try to end with hope.

I "hope" this was helpful to you!  How do you get "blog coherency?"  Share with me.  :)

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