Find Out About My War-Hardened Writing Workflow

7 Easy Stages To Publish and Share Your Content

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Photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

Basic principles

Actually, there’s only one. I use the best tool I can find for the job. Even if it means I have more than one for similar jobs.

Stage 1: Fill your Inbox

I’m always capturing ideas. Many people swear by having a notebook with them at all times. It doesn’t work for me. I like to get my ideas straight into the digital domain, where I can tag them so I can find them easily later.

  1. Google Keep. Kind of used as I can’t find anything better as a simple bucket for web links. These days, it’s all I use it for (aside for the shopping lists I share with my wife). I used to like it because I can make a note into a Google Doc, but Google Docs is no longer part of this workflow. I tag or make notes to identify where they’re destined for.

Stage 2: Do the SEO

Stage 2 can be as deep or as shallow as you like. For the purposes of this piece, I’ll suggest you hop over to Answer The Public and look into the questions people are asking in search. This is the greater part of what SEOs call researching searcher intent, finding the people who are really interested in you, your services or products.

Stage 3: Writing

For creative writing — for me, that means not reports or proposals, YMMV — I use iA Writer (available for Mac and Windows as well as iPhone, iPad, and Android). I’ve used it for years on my Macs, and it’s one of those apps that hits a sweet spot perfectly for me — just like Standard Notes.

Stage 4: Editing

I try to just write during my first draft. I put a structure in place with a first stab at a headline, plus a set of working subheadings to keep me from going too far off-piste.

Stage 5: Read for Grammar

Once I’ve edited, it’s cut and pasted into Grammarly for ‘another pair of eyes’ on my work. If you have a tame human with good editing skills to hand, use them, but I don’t.

Stage 6: Post

Once editing is complete, I find a featured image. Often from Unsplash, but sometimes one of my own photographs. I can also add further smaller images later on in the copy.

Stage 7: Post again

Once it’s live, I use Buffer and/or the SEMrush social media posting tool (there’s a whole lot more to SEMrush that you might like to explore, too) to schedule some links to the blog on Twitter and Facebook. If the piece is suitable, I’ll repost it on LinkedIn.

To recap: My writing workflow

  1. Ideas and reference capture in Standard Notes and Google Keep
  2. Drafting then spellchecking in iA Writer
  3. Editing on paper and then in iA Writer
  4. ‘Another pair of eyes’ in Grammarly
  5. Posting to WordPress or Medium directly from iA Writer
  6. Final tweaks in Wordpress or Medium
  7. Publishing (and republishing, in some cases)
  8. Tell the world about it using Buffer and SEMrush

SEO, digital marketer, writer, herder of cookbooks, photographer, audiophile and jazz nut. Aspirant polymath.

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