My Daily Publishing Workflow
If I sent you this page, you're interested in how I do my daily publishing. Also, since you just asked, I probably also just updated this...
These are what I use in my workflow:
I email drafts to Ghost whenever I have an idea. Once a day, I look at my drafts and pick a thought/idea to finish, then publish it immediately. Ghost automatically sends my members an email.
Zapier listens for all new posts and if needed, it pushes to social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn). It will only post if I fill out the Ghost Twitter description, which is a metadata field I keep to about 200 characters.
I like visuals.
The nitty gritty deets:
- Ideate in my HEY email client using drafts
- Send draft emails to a Zapier Mail address
- My Zap then converts the email to a Ghost draft post with the correct internal tag(s)
- Time passes
- It's time to write, pick a draft to resume or new idea
- Write, edit, rinse & repeat – try to watch the clock. Use Grammarly.
- Too much time passes, gotta ship it – check word count, below 300 words? Good. Above? Split into 2+ offshoot draft ideas.
- Publish – schedule for later if holidays/weekend or something
- If I need to schedule more, do process again.
- Zapier picks up via webhook (native Ghost integration)
- Determine social content. If I filled out Twitter Description, use that for Twitter (else, no Twitter). For LinkedIn, I tag it with a private
- Post social snippet to LinkedIn and Twitter with 3 hashtags immediately. Note: I may delay this to a specific time of day.
Experimenting with daily audio readings embedded in the post itself (clickable via email). Maybe turn into daily podcast or use Descript to generate captioned videos. Free member-only perk.(Was OK but more work than I want)
- Publishing "up to" 5X a week to minimize my anxiety over trying to publish every single day.
Questions In the Back of Your Mind
How long does it take?
Idea capture can take a 1-5 minutes. If my wife yells at me, I send it immediately and finish it later.
The actual writing/editing process can take between 10 minutes and 4 hours. It takes longer for thought/strategy pieces than it does for tactical pieces. Sometimes I generate another 2+ ideas I draft up immediately.
8 month update
I've narrowed down my focus a bit in what I talk about (onboarding friction) and that's honestly been easier to write about. I've also been telling myself it's fine to send humorous-yet-relevant ideas out, like a metaphor that reinforces the idea of removing friction/smoothing out onboarding.
How long are your pieces?
I keep them to 300 words or so. I will go longer if I intend to sort of make it a post to share more often/widely.
I use tags to organize related/series together but I do it after the fact when I think it makes sense for sharing purposes.
Do you do anything custom for social?
At first I would summarize the piece in <200 chars and that would automatically go out to the channels.
That didn't really get people to sign up so I stopped. At the moment I have no idea what to do for social 🤷♂️
Do you like posting daily?
I like it the most out of what I've tried.
I never kept a weekly habit, or a monthly habit or ANYTHING except... daily. I tend to "ramble in my thoughts" so I guess getting them out quick each day "drains the noggin."
Sometimes I won't post on weekends or holidays. No one has to know. 🤫
I love that it helps me refine my thinking and it lets me test out weirdo ideas quickly and see what resonates. Ghost lets me get a thumbs up/down from people on my list, which is kinda nice since I have a niche. If I'm not helping them, why am I doing it?
8 month update
I've now gone down to "up to" 5X a week. I started to do less because it was taking up time during crunch mode with my client work and I needed to loosen my promise. However, after narrowing my focus, I actually find it's fast again to ideate and write, so I may up it to daily once I'm out of crunch mode.
Do you look at stats?
Ghost puts membership growth front and center for me, so yes. It also tracks:
- Referral sources for members (Free/Paid)
- Which posts converted someone into a member (Free/Paid)
- Which emails converted someone into a member (Free/Paid)
- Which links were clicked in emails
- Who are my top engaged members
- Email open rates
These are cool/helpful to know what ACTUALLY resonates (vs. guessing based on pageviews/open rate).
I don't check religiously but I'll sometimes check posts I think were good to see if they were actually good.
I also use Ghostboard.io for extra stats like SEO.
Do you like Ghost?
Yes, I like it a lot. I pay for Ghost(Pro). As a developer, I can customize my theme to an extent but I wish I could extend all of it.
I don't like how it doesn't let me customize my emails. I'd rather send plain-text emails TBH so I try to keep my posts plain-ish.
I do not yet have a big enough list to say whether richer emails are better/worse. Ghost has a lot of cool things I could do in emails because it's designed for newsletters/publishers.