Announcement: Updates to Services, Website, and Patreon

It’s been quiet around here the last month! I’m not going to beat around the bush. I have two announcements.

Services

My editing sale has now ended! Thank you to everyone who supported my (lazy) marketing and contacted me. There will be another sale in the future, though I’m not sure of when.

I will be closed indefinitely to new clients on all projects. The soonest I may re-open my services will be October.

My available services will be changing in October, along with the rates.

Website

My blogging schedule is changing as we go into August, and then the fall and into the new year. Since I’m doing a college program from September to May, I’ll be busier! School work, part-time work, socialising… My online presence is not important compared to those.

Additionally, I will be moving to a new website (name and URL not decided yet), but that shouldn’t affect the availability of my content. It’s time that I let coryldork/CorylDork. I will let everyone know when I’m preparing to move digital abodes!

Patreon

I’ll be changing the tiers during August. To my current patrons, thank you so much for your support thus far! I’m still getting into the swing of things, and learning how many spoons I have for creating different things. Your patience, encouragement, and support have meant an incalculable amount to me.

Website Housekeeping: Privacy Policy

This is just a quick post to inform my readers that I’ve updated my website to include a plain English privacy policy, striving to keep in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP).

Considering I’m a small, personal blog and professional website, there isn’t much data I collect from visitors. However, there is some data collected from all visitors, and additional information collected from users who comment on my blog posts.

The privacy policy aims to make it explicitly clear what data is collected, where it is shared, and who is collecting it. I run this site using WordPress on a self-hosted domain, so I am very much in control of what data collection services are implemented on the site via plug-ins, third party programs, and back-end user access. I’m confident that my methods, along with those of the services I use, keep your personal data confidential and secure. (That is, what minimal personal data is collected!)

You are able to read the privacy policy here at any time, as it is linked on every page at the bottom of my website.

At the bottom of the website is also a notification, on every page, to my visitors regarding the implicit and explicit consent given by visiting and interacting with this website. Implicit consent is the consent you give to my website when you visit it, as data is instantly shared upon loading my website. Explicit consent requires your confirmation that the data is being voluntarily given to the website, such as comments and contact forms. Comments have an additional notification in the form regarding data collection.

I’m a tiny website and I don’t need much visitor data in order to run. But I do take your confidentiality, personal data, and safety seriously.

How I Run My Blog (+ Scrivener Template!)

I’ve been running a blog far longer than the 8 months represented in my archives. But the blogging community has evolved alongside trends, priorities, and social media. I certainly don’t blog the same way I did in 2009, when I still talked about high school crushes and my blog changed its appearance at least every other month. My content has changed, and so has my method for organising and producing that different content.

The Editorial Calendar

I don’t remember where I read about this, but I remember it was definitely on another blog… about blogging and lifestyle. I wouldn’t consider myself a “Lifestyle” blog, but I suppose that’s the niche I fit into because I blog about my life. (And creative writing and writing craft and mental health and gender and sexuality.)

Basically, an editorial calendar is a way to plan out what content you’ll post and when you’ll post it. Some blogs, particularly DIY blogs, tailor their content to trends based on certain months: school crafts in the fall, Christmas crafts in December, summer crafts through June and August. If they have an idea for an Easter craft, but it’s the middle of July, an editorial calendar for their blog ensures that they can get that idea out the next time Easter comes, and gives them a place to plan, expand, and brainstorm.

Some editorial calendars are simple calendars, with sticky notes or pencilled-in blog post titles. They might include social media presence reminders (posting a picture on Instagram, sharing a recent blog post 3x on Twitter the day it goes live, etc.) Some small information about meta-data, like the blog post category, can be included too.

My editorial calendar serves mostly as a place to brainstorm, plan, draft, and back up my blog posts.

My Software & Process

I use Scrivener for the majority of my writing, whether it’s for the blog, my fiction, my works-in-progress, or my poetry. I love the folder system, as well as the ability to store meta-data, on top of the writing experience. I can quickly draft a post in Scrivener, decide on a category, and stick it into a folder for later use—whether it’s in a future month or in my “Stock” folder.

Currently, I plan out a month’s worth of posts near the beginning of the month. As I’m writing this, it’s August 2—but I have this post planned for today, August 19. I wrote a few other posts the day I wrote this one.

I write in advance because I burn out easily. That happened in July, when I didn’t have enough content pre-written and I was back-and-forth between two cities (five hours away from each other…)

I prefer Scrivener because it puts me in that writing mindset. When I’m in Scrivener, I have very minimal distraction. I also have everything I need right where it’s easy to get to.

Meta-Data

Categories

I write on certain topics. As much as I’d love to post recipes and food adventures, CorylDork is not the space for that. I reserve this website for blog posts on my personal life (to my own discretion), gender and sexuality, writing, and student life—which includes organisation and lifestyle stuff.

I pay attention to how often I’m posting in these categories. I want a variety of content for all the things I write about, so I use the “Outliner” view in Scriv to see which categories are dominating, and which I need to shine some light on again.

Post Schedule

I post three times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. One of these days is a themed day: Writing Wednesday, so the other two days are free game for anything in my other categories.

Word Count

I like to vary the length of my content. By default, my Writing Wednesday posts are generally short. Most of my blog posts range between 500 and 800 words, and I’m okay with that.

WordPress

I blog using WordPress on a self-hosted server (so, I have the files from WordPress.org, rather than a domain purchased through WordPress.com), so my dashboard might be different to any WP.com users.

I use the following tools for my blog posts:

  • excerpt
  • featured image
  • category
  • tags
  • scheduling

The scheduling tool is by far the most handy. I can write up the post, include all the data I need, and then change the “Post immediately” section to a specific day and time.

I also use a few plugins, but they aren’t particularly integral to a simple blogging system.

Hootsuite

I use Hootsuite to schedule a few (maximum 3) tweets to promote my blog, and occasionally on Instagram. When it comes to social media, I’m not hardcore into promoting. It’s something I think I should do a bit more, especially since I get loads of hits from Facebook when I post over there, but hits and pageviews are not my current concern. I like to blog consistently about a selection of topics.


My biggest tip for bloggers is this: focus on what you want to say.

If you want to talk about something, make sure you have enough to say about it. Make sure you can be consistent in saying what you want to say. Others would tell you to “think about why you started” but that’s literally the shittiest motivation I can think of (I started blogging because I wanted to bitch about people. Not a good reason to continue blogging).

You also don’t have to blog often. I blog 3 times a week, but that might be too much for you to maintain for a longer period of time.


Anyway, as promised, below is the Scrivener template for a Blog Editorial Calendar! This was created with the Windows version of Scrivener, but hopefully it also works for Apple users.

Blog Editorial Calendar.scriv

Happy blogging! Remember: it’s okay to stop blogging for a bit and take a break when, and however long, you need it.

How I Run My Blog