I mentioned back on Monday that I’m working on a new podcast for How They Blog. Well, I had the honor of interviewing Heather yesterday and…oh my… The girl is hilarious. And wise. We talked blogging and book writing and conference hosting. So much good stuff. I can’t wait to share it with you in a couple weeks when the podcast is all ready!
Until then, here is Heather with her thoughts on Social Media and Writing.
Oh and I’d love to feature you in the Q&A section of the podcast. The first Q & A will focus on blog planning, so if you have any questions about planning your blog scheduling content, or how to break down your blogging dreams into actionable projects and tasks, just click here to ask your question.
1. Be sure you include at least your first name.
2. Feel free to include your blog address.
3. Have fun!
Heather MacFadyen on Social Media and Writing
1. How do you keep social media from running your life? Is it a struggle for you? Any social media management tips?
What did you ask? Sorry, I was busy on my phone shuffling incessantly between Twitter/Instagram/Facebook “because I don’t want to miss a thing” (cheesy musical reference). Yes. Social media is a struggle for me. So much so, I’ve had to create rules (a better word may be “boundaries”) for myself.
About a year ago, I decided to take one of the 10 commandments a little more seriously. Not in a legalistic way, mind you. More like a “this is for my best interest” kind of way. We all know murder is bad & in everyone’s best interest if we follow the commandment against it. But what about the “keep the Sabbath” rule, maybe its in our best interest to follow that one too?
The more I looked into it, I discovered the word “Sabbath” meant “to cease”. For me, ceasing meant to stop checking social media all the time. So I try as best I can to stay off social media from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset (the traditional Jewish Sabbath, because I am an eighth Jewish, yo!). What I’ve found is taking those 24 hours “off” actually breaks my addiction a little on Sunday as well. It’s a nice restart button where I don’t feel this drive to keep up with everything or this feeling like I’m missing out. The less you’re on, the less you feel the need to be on.
2. What is your writing process? When do you write? How long does it take you to create a post?
Like I mentioned in the first interview I do most of my writing when kids are sleeping or on a weekend afternoon. This summer I only cranked out one post a week because of boys being home & planning a conference. Now I’m working on a book and so my writing time is divided between book & blog (a tricky scenario other bloggers are trying to balance as well). What’s hard is sometimes I get inspired with an idea and then have to decide if it’s a “blog now” idea or a “put in notes for the book” idea.
A lot of my posts are motivated by life events, those are actually the easiest to write. I can often type them out in an hour or so. In the last year, I’ve been trying to do a better job editing. Instead of typing up a post the night before I schedule it, I’m waiting at least one day, so I can see it with fresh eyes before hitting publish.
I used to spend a lot of time looking for pics for a post. I’ve found writing about life events guarantees I have an applicable picture somewhere (probably on Instagram…although I guess now I’m supposed to check out Pressgram…Kat can you talk about Pressgram sometime?).
All in all I probably spend 1-3 hours on a post, especially if I only have one a week. Back in the day, when I posted 5x a week I spent less time…and it showed.
3. Do you have a blogging mentor or accountability group (formal or informal)? How have you created and fostered those relationships?
I definitely view Kat as a blogging mentor. Whenever I’m contemplating a blog decision I’ll email her. I also am a part of a private FB page. It was on that page I learned how to successfully upload my first printable (major success people).
My theory is you should not only be mentored by someone but be mentoring someone else. A couple of women from my church came to the Declare conference back in August. After the conference (and after hearing Kat speak), I decided to invite these ladies over to eat Ghiradelli triple chocolate brownies and talk about blogging. Actually, this week the “Blogger Gals” (yes, that’s our name!) met for the first time.
We spent a lot of time talking about the process of switching from blogger to self-hosted WordPress. Then we discussed whether or not it was necessary to hire a blog designer. A lot of time was spent discussing social media (tips & purpose)…determining which tools would best serve each blogger to meet her goals and connect with her readers.
Even using language like “readers” or “tribe” was helpful for these ladies who got intimidated by self-promotion and gathering followers. Really the point of social media is to find those people who connect with your message or want to know more about what you have to offer.
4. What is the best blogging advice you have received? (OR) What is the best blogging advice you could give?
The best advice I’ve gotten and I can share with you is this: Never forget who your reader is and why you are blogging.
“Never forget who your reader is and why you are blogging.” –> Click to Tweet
There are many times I consider writing on a topic because it seems like it would be “popular” or because I just think it’s interesting. In general those posts aren’t well received. But when I stay focused on the theme of my blog, “helping moms stay God-centered” and remember my reader, who seeks inspiration and encouragement, blogging goes much more smoothly.
Q & A with Heather MacFadyen
What questions do you have about blogging for Heather? Click here to share your thoughts or ask your question!