Are you a serious blogger? Then you should treat every blog post as a software project, software projects resemble a lot like our blog posts and hence I thought we could leverage some of the best practices that the software industry follows.
Heard about SDLC?
A software development process, also known as a software development life-cycle (SDLC), is a structure imposed on the development of a software product – Wikipedia
There are lots of models that exist in the software world to simplify the development process but every one of them comprises the below three phases for sure.
- Document, Implement and Test
- Deploy and Maintain
Blog Post Life Cycle (BPLC)
Being in software world for the past six years, I could really see a lot of resemblance of what we do there with what we do here in blogging world.
So I thought we could also have something similar to SDLC, how about Blog Post Life Cycle (BPLC)? I have tried to correlate some of the vital phases of software development with that of blogging and presented it over here for you.
If you are looking for a “planning and execution” kind of model and a serious blogger, then this is a right choice for you 😉 So let’s get started, shall we?
In software world before starting a project, requirement analysis is performed, this ensures that the requirement of the end user is clearly understood and is well documented.
As a blogger you can also perform a requirement analysis by doing a little bit of research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubbersuggest, Google Trends, HashTags, etc. This provides clarity on who you write for (identify your audience) and how it helps them. We also call this as Keyword or market research in our blogging world.
As a blogger during the requirement analysis phase you may find that a topic on which you are planning do a post might have been already written by your fellow blogger, in this case you can either reference them or enhance their blog post and provide more insights on the topic from a different perspective.
Once the requirement analysis is completed, a project is estimated and the deadlines are set. It is important that one set’s deadlines for each of the below forthcoming phases so that they don’t have a slippage in delivery of the end product.
Similarly in blogging, once you have decided on what you are going to write about you could also estimate how long it would take to complete each of the below phases.
You can also break down some of the tasks that you might have to do and estimate them at a granular level. For example, if you are planning to do a review on a product then you could estimate the time for installing the product, exploring the product, understanding the features of the product, etc.
Architects in software world define and construct an architecture that the project has to follow. There are different types of architecture available and the one that suits well is picked and applied. Programmers also keep re-usability in their minds when creating modules which avoids redundancy and eases maintenance.
As a blogger you could also choose the design that suits your content, for example you could do a how-to-post, a list post or a review post. It all depends on what you write about and how you want to present it to the users. You can also decide upon the images or quotes that you would like to place in your content at this stage.
Choosing Headlines is another critical and vital factor for your blog posts which could also be decided in the Design Phase itself.
In blogging world you can apply re-usability by reusing the images that you could have used in the past, relinking your older posts at appropriate places, reuse of tags, etc. You can also make a list of related posts that you might have written long back and make a new blog post on it.
Implementation or the execution part is where programmers code, and for you its writing your actual content. There are 3 main areas that you need to focus when you try to do an implementation.
Implementation in software industry is usually done in a local development environment which closely resembles the live real-time environment.
Similarly you can also create your own local blogging environment that resembles your live website and write your blog post there. You can make all the changes that you want to do in your local copy and see how your blog post looks.
Having a local environment also gives you more freedom to try and experiment new stuff.
Just like every programmer has his/her own coding style, you can also have your own writing style. It is your writing style that makes you stand out from others.
Though a programmer has got his/her own style they still adhere to some of the best practices and coding guidelines which make the code/program more robust and efficient.
Same way bloggers also follow some standard SEO techniques despite their different writing styles. This ensures that your blog post is not only worthy but also effective.
During the implementation phase developers perform something called as unit testing which ensures that their code is bug free and works as intended.
Similarly you can also perform unit testing on your blog post to ensure, that your post is free from grammatical errors, check if external links are pointing to the right web source, you have tagged your post, placed it under right category, etc.
In software projects when integration is performed there may be some downtime expected which may not happen in our blogging world when we integrate our posts.
Once you have completed your Implementation phase, you can integrate the blog post directly in your live website.
You just have to copy the HTML from the local blog post that you would have created in your system and move it to the live website. Probably the only thing that you may have to do is, upload your images again in your live environment and point them correctly. And yes i forgot about the tags and categories, that too has to be updated.
After a project has gone live there may be a final round of testing performed. Though developers might have done unit testing, there are chances that some of the bugs might slip and end up in the testing phase. This may only happen if they are lethargic in their unit testing phase or missed a requirement during implementation. Software developers fix these bugs and update the latest version.
This may happen in blogging too, you might have crafted your wonderful blog post, checked it for grammatical errors, placed proper tags but alas!!! You misplaced a picture that is supposed to be somewhere else in your content. So, do expect and watch out for errors after post implementation too.
Enhancement and Bug fixing are the primary work that one does in software world after a project is completed. We call this post implementation work and does require a lot of effort.
As a Blogger you have to support your posts after it has been published. Support work in blogging world may involve responding to comments, checking periodically for broken links, update latest content that may add more value to your existing posts, etc.
You may also perform additional steps like posting your new blog post in social networking websites like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc.
Though this whole BPLC may seem overkill for blogging I think it could help you a lot in the long term perspective. Getting organized will look difficult at the beginning but you will reap the benefits in the long term. So get yourself organized and start rocking with your blogs posts.