Writing and publishing to my blog using MarsEdit

I’ve been struggling with my workflow and in particular the devices that I am going to use in my day to day and might have hit a really nice writing workflow that will work out for me when I’m on macOS. When I switched back to the Mac I didn’t have a clue what apps to use outside of the core apps that come with macOS but I decided to find the right episode of Mac Power Users and get to customising my MacBook that I am going to use as my daily machine for now.

On listening I decided to install Setapp and wow it’s already proving to be a cost saver. I installed iStatMenu (to keep an eye on battery and to have a nice view of the time and weather in the menu bar), CleanMyMac (to let it take a look at how I can get the most out of this laptop in terms of managing space) and most importantly MarsEdit.

I’ve got it installed and connected to my WordPress blog, which I can publish to directly from this one app. The layout lets me write, add tags, categories and images all within one app that can be customised to my liking. 

It’s much nicer to use than the WordPress app on iOS and having the flexibility of being able to create short posts from my iPhone on the WordPress app and also this powerful app in MarsEdit is leaving me enthusiastic about sticking with this MacBook and adapting to it rather than jumping back in and replacing my iPad Pro.

I’ll update as I get more stuff done on macOS, I thought it might be interesting hearing about workflows from someone coming to the Mac from iPad.

Let me know some of your favourite Setapp apps.

Using iA Writer again

I’ve been away for a while but I’m trying to get back in the habit of using iA Writer for my blogging. The WordPress app (for me) has gotten to the point that it’s slowing me down and forcing me to use their block editor.

My only concern is how I easily publish to WordPress via iA, something this post will test for me. If this looks ok then it’s working.

Blogging, a year in review: Where my traffic comes from

I’m going to write up a few posts on blogging rather than just tech stuff as I thought it would be good to be open about my site and the information may be useful to someone else.

Over the last year I increased my traffic by 4 times the year before but I still don’t get that much to be honest. In the first post I wanted to share where the majority of my traffic comes from.

Growing something, especially these days is hard. You can see that the bulk comes from searches (mostly Google), then social media and lastly in the top 3 WordPress.

I think that’s an important data point. If you’re using WordPress you have a whole host of other WordPress users that use the app to find content and writers. I have over 100 people that follow me on WordPress and read my stuff. It’s one of the reasons I stay on the platform. I’ve discovered a lot of writers using this method myself and I continue to use the app for reading.

So I’m small fry a nobody really in the blogging space but it’s nice to look back this year and actually see that my writing is being read and is somewhat useful.

Too many inputs

I’ve been in and out of the beta of iOS 13, installing social apps and listening to loads of podcasts and I’ve realised it’s gotten on top of me again. I’m ok testing the beta (I can’t write about it yet) but I’ve gotten sucked into spending too much time looking at others content and thoughts rather than creating my own.

I’ve got too much input and need to slow down again. My mind is very busy and having too much in my head is an issue for me, I’m going to have to pair it all back again and get creating.

I’ve got a few projects I’d like to get my teeth into and give me a creative outlet that I desperately need right now.

This is where my heads at right now and this post should serve as a reminder to me to slow down and focus on what I want to create rather than focus on others content and success.

Finding my niche

It’s been a good few months for getting feedback on my writing, this seems to only have happened in 2019. Prior to this I tried to follow other sites I liked but over the last 10 months or so I have subconsciously changed my writing style.

The feedback I’ve gotten is that my posts are short and mostly to the point. I’ve found that with so much going on today having short posts must be helping people discover and thankfully read my stuff

So I’ll keep this post short 😀 and say thanks to everyone that has pointed this out to me and helped me keep on writing.

Using Bear (again)

I started and stopped using Bear about a month ago but after struggling to organise with Apple Notes I’ve gone back in.

The main reason I’ve gone back is tags. Folders in Apple Notes is ok but I’m finding that the ability to add a quick tag at the bottom of the page I’m writing on is clicking with my brain more. All the dividers such as ‘gifts’ and ‘shopping’ above are tags that Bear automatically uses to create this structure.

What I learned from blogging on Medium

Trying to make it as an independent blogger is hard, especially in 2018 where the landscape is slowly but surely moving to video and social. I truly believe blogging is not dead and if you find your voice (and more importantly an audience) it is possible to make a go at it. I found that on my previous provider, Squarespace I just couldn’t afford to run my site (at £20 a month) so I looked at making the switch to another platform.

I explored all of the options available to me and went for Medium. It’s a platform that I used on and off since launch but it was a free option that looked like it had potential. Well, the short story is that am now completely off the platform (due to lack of confidence that they would continue long term) but I did take away a few lessons.

Write about what you are passionate about

On my previous site I focussed a lot on technology and found that over time it wore me down just writing about one of my passions. When I moved to Medium I found that I had a good response to a variety of subjects I wrote about, anything from games to movies.This was my main lesson, I am now going to be writing about what I’m passionate about.

Medium is full of startups

I found a heavy bias towards life coaches and startups on Medium. Writing about technology, movies and more traditional subjects aren’t popular enough to gain traction on the platform. Everything that rises up or is picked by their editors is all around the startup scene, if you don’t write these kinds of posts I wouldn’t invest in using the platform.

Make use of tags

It’s something I’ll be doing going forward on this blog, make sure of tagging to make sure that you are discovered by new audiences.

Own your content

My biggest takeaway, it’s better to build your own content on your own blog than build someone else’s platform. I have zero confidence in Medium, I give it 3-5 years before it goes out of business. I’d rather build it somewhere else.

Have you used Medium?

Let me know in the comments.