November is National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo). To put a spin on things, yet still get inspired, I’ve chosen to work on re-launching my (other) blog: Chicago Beer Club. If you thought this blog was poorly maintained, my craft beer blog is way worse off.
My goal is to develop it as a portfolio for myself. While I enjoy sharing personal stories here, it’s not something I would feel comfortable citing in a job interview.
On top of that, #ChiBeerClub is much more than a blog. It’s a social presence (currently on Instagram and Twitter, with more platforms to launch in 2019). This fits nicely with my professional role as a social and digital editor. While I work at a content marketing agency in our financial services vertical, the craft beer industry is much more interesting and exciting (to me, anyway). But the beer industry hires from within, so I’m just looking for a way to get my foot in that door.
In deciding to re-launch ChiBeerClub, I considered making a greater commitment to Bee Sophia, as well. With an editorial calendar, getting ahead on my writing and automated social publishing for my other blog, I’m hoping both can be manageable. While I’m likely biting off more than I can chew, my goal is to continue sharing here. In the meantime, check out ChiBeerClub to see what I’m up to and to keep tabs on whether or not I’m living up to my goals.
This afternoon I head back to Chicago. If there’s one thing I’ll take away from this week’s trip, it’s that I need to start making writing a part of my everyday life more consistently. Even when I haven’t had much to say, it’s been therapeutic to force the process. I sat for awhile this morning trying to debate what I should work on and decided to contribute to a new project I started yesterday, thanks to a friend.
So, was this writing retreat a success? I think so. I wish I had done more actual writing for my novel. However, I did complete two weeks worth of planning in just one week. So that’s something. I also got to spend time exploring a new city, taking in the culture, and listening to the locals on advice for where to eat, drink and people watch. It was inspiring and rewarding.
I also learned a bit about myself. Aside from work, I’ve never traveled alone. Not like this. I was a little anxious at the start of the trip. But, it turns out, traveling alone is pretty great. Don’t get me wrong, I love exploring places with friends and family, but a solo trip is something very different. You’re on your own schedule. If a shop looks cute, you can just walk in. If you’re ready for bed at 7 p.m., you go to bed. You can wake up 5:30 a.m., turn all of the lights on and start writing, without worrying you’ll wake someone up. I think I gained a bit of independence and confidence in myself this week, and I’m pretty proud of that.
Today, I spent time writing the first post for Chicago Beer Club, my new project. Head over to ChiBeerClub to check it out!
As an editor and writer in content marketing, it’s important to stay updated with social trends of the field. I, for one, am fascinated over the information available with services such as Google Analytics and, recently discovered, Google Media Tools. To say the least, I’m a big Google fan.
I think the information available with these two Google goodies can do a lot more than just increase SEO performance. These provide the keys to actually developing quality content that’s worth reading. Knowing what people are looking for makes it a lot easier to create it.
So, why aren’t writers doing this? Does there need to be more focus on SEO performance along with quality? Rather than simply focusing on the keywords, grammar, regularity of posts, linking and getting the actual writing done, there needs to be a focus on the research. This shouldn’t be left to the SEO specialists or client-facing roles, it needs to be a central focus of the writers and editors.