Blogging…all in a night’s work!

Blogging…all in a night’s work!

It’s not just publish and you’re done

Tonight I thought I would take you through what it actually takes to blog. I mean the day to day crap. If you think it’s just write a post, publish and done, then you are seriously mistaken. There is a ton of other things involved that go on to keep a blog going. I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes here at The Web Machine, and I’m sure almost any other blog that has effort behind it. Besides the writing, there is the constant tinkering, rearranging, testing, security, moderating…the list goes on and on.

So if you are thinking about starting your own web development blog, read on, and then see if you are up to it.

Beware the spam

The Web Machine is powered by WordPress, a great blogging/CMS platform. I use it for both, but for now let’s worry about the blogging side of it. This is not the most popular blog by far, but I still get spammed with an amazing amount of crap. From junk comments trying to get linked here, to flat out spam filled with links to who knows what. Luckily, Akismet and WP Spam Free takes care of the latter, but the other I actually see. Stuff like “I liked your post. I thought about writing something similar, but it seems you were faster.”

That kind of stuff is very common, and they are all worded differently, but with enough thought behind it that you might actually think it was a genuine comment. You can tell its garbage by looking at the link they filled in. So every night, i get to read through about 5-10 of those to make sure some real comment didn’t get accidentally tagged as spam, and then delete them. Even if you are just starting out, you are going to have to go through this. If you are not moderating and letting anything through, then you will have a TON of posted comments linking out to some dysfunctional product you don’t want to advertise.

Security

Getting hacked is one of my greatest fears. If you think it isn’t a serious problem, go read about the fun Chris Coyier has been having at his Digging Into WordPress blog. He has been nicely hacked a couple times, the link above goes to his article about one I hadn’t heard about, but he also got the Pharma hack. That one is a pain in the ass because you won’t know it unless you do a Google search and you see the nice pharmaceutical stuff in the results. Not fun to get rid of. My point? You have to do constant reading on how to protect your blog, constantly making sure you are doing what you can to keep your security nice and tight.

Ok…I lied. The actual being hacked isn’t my greatest fear. Its getting hacked and possibly losing all of my content. Which is why I back my database up constantly. You don’t want to see all of your hard work evaporated in an instant. So, add that step into your schedule.

Constant updating and then more…well…stuff

I change The Web Machine almost every other night, be it style changes, moving things around, adding things…it NEVER ends. Just tonight I changed my social icons to the right, because I didn’t like the ones I had. Then I added the number of feed subscribers bit so I don’t have to log in just to see if there were more. What else…oh ya, found a style conflict I had to take care of, ditched the archives, changed the font size limit on the tag cloud (which I’m not sure anyone uses, so that might eventually go), and added onextrapixel.com to the blog roll.

Just when you think your blog is perfect, you will find something else to add or change. You are dead wrong if you think there is ever a state of being done with the design of a blog.

But what about the writing?

Ohhhh ya, that. Obviously that is the most time consuming. Last night’s article? I put a lot of effort into that. 7 Google searches, 2 books to reference, building the demo, writing the code, then writing the post. That took me 3 hours to write. Now do that often enough to keep people coming back to your blog. And you thought the writing would be easy. It’s the hardest part!

Oh, I have plenty to write about, you say. Bull. You might think you do, but wait till you are a couple weeks in. That is when the real test comes. I spend a ton of time reading tweets, rss feeds, random clicking and what not researching and getting ideas, or just plain getting inspired. Coming up with something to write about is probably the most difficult thing you have to do. Get ready to read, read, read, and……..ya….read. Writing about just anything is easy. Writing something that you and others actually care about though…well I think you get the idea.

Get it out there

So you wrote your post. Good for you! How are you getting people to notice your blog? Well, when you are done, I’m assuming you have your blog hooked up to twitter. No? Go do that over at twitterfeed.com. I told you hitting publish was the least of your worries. After you do that, your blog will post a little tweet letting all your followers know you just wrote some crap. “Hey F#$@ers! Come read my crazy!”

Theeeeen…sign up for accounts at a ton of other article posting sites, which takes more time than even I thought. Once you have all those made (i have only 3 at the moment), submit the links and pray people click on the “This rocks, blend it, float it, bump it!”

Once you have all that set up…log into them after every awesome post you write. It will get easier after the first couple, but this still takes time.

Let’s call it a night…I’m pooped

While it might not seem like it would take a lot to write this post, I did more than just that. I spent an hour changing the images, an hour writing this, couple minutes worth of deleting spam, couple minutes tweeting, 10 minutes posting articles to places like The Web Blend, Design Bump and other sites like it. All in all, just tonight, I spent roughly 2 hours for you to spend 5 minutes here.

Anything else I missed? Let me know, cause its hard to think of what else I have to do. Thank God I love doing it, otherwise it would seem like work, but I love that, too. Getting 1 cool comment makes it all worth the effort. I promise.

Coupon Code: webmachine

jQuery junkBox

.change();
This event is fired when the matched element’s value changes. It is limited to input, textarea and select elements. Below will pop up an alert box when the value of ‘myInput’ changes.

$('.myInput').change(function() {
alert('Are you sure you want to change that?');
});

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