As many of you know, we here at Banana Scoop try to post four times a day five days a week and then four posts total on the two-day weekend. That’s nearly 24 posts a week. We usually don’t take holidays and we’re fairly consistent with how many times we post. But as many of you must realize this takes time. ”But it’s your job,” some might say. This is NOT my job. I’m a chemical engineering student at a demanding top engineering school and writing a blog about pop culture is not considered a smart use of time when there are tests, quizzes, and optional homework that needs to be done. This blog is my hobby. My temporary escape from a rather creatively stifling school. But that’s another story for another time.
I once recorded the time it takes to prepare a week’s worth of material for Banana Scoop. It may take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a week. That’s a lot of time for something you’re neither paid for nor graded for. I still manage to have somewhat of a social life, have time for my 30 hour a week job, and of course to do other things I enjoy like reading or blowing off some steam playing video games.
I’m dedicating today’s post to how life works for me and Banana Scoop. While we do have one other contributor here, my inability to pay him forces me to carry about 85-90%+ of the workload of maintaining the aesthetics and punctual aspect of this blog. I have a very long system that originates from daydreaming into a castle to cramming minutes before my deadline. Read below on how I organize my life to run the very gratifying website that is Banana Scoop.
Ideas begin in the head. During times of boredom and unstimulating lectures, I tend to daydream about things I truly care about. So instead of listening to my lesson on energy balances for combustive processes, I’ll tend to think about posts that we could create for Banana Scoop. Next to my notebook will usually be my planner. In this planner [featured above], I’ll usually scribble down ideas that pop up into my head for potential posts. As many of you know, the four posts a day format is the following: Morning Links, Main Articles, Pop Culture Quip 1, Pop Culture Quip 2. This day dreaming is usually focused on the ideas for our main articles, the truly original content of this blog.
Morning Links, and Pop Culture Quips are normally found on the many forums I take a look at as well as things I stumble upon and find on other blogs I normally frequent. If I’m in a lecture hall or sitting at work where I can’t access my WordPress, I’ll normally email the link to myself so I can later add it to my bookmarks for further scheduling…which leads me to the brain of this process…
The Master Scheduler
Pictured above is my Google Calender account. I don’t have dentist appointments or important birthdays on the calender, but rather posts that are supposed to be posted on certain days. It’s this page where you can see the morning links [differentiated as MO], the main article, and the pop culture quips. The master calender usually fills up quickly. All the ideas, links, pictures saved are compiled here usually in the Saturday and Sunday days [as seen above]. They’re written up, it’s a simple game of drag and drop to see where posts fit when and what days require more. It’s a good system that works when I need to organize the many pieces of pop culture I accumulate. Anything that gets left over will be moved to the next month for processing.
This is primarily where I organize all of my articles. Our contributor, SoGoCJ is responsible for his own posts and are most of the time published in accordance to the correct times. This explains why some days are shorter than the four you’re accustomed to seeing. I almost used my July calender, but then you guys would see stuff I have in store and that’d be too much of a spoiler .
The Grinding Post Creation
So all the posts are scheduled and the entire month is filled to the brim. Now comes the most annoying part. If we were a legitimate site, I swear I would have an intern do this monotonous part. What we essentially do next is transcribe the entire month [or week in most cases] into WordPress. What I essentially do is open up about a dozen ‘Add New’ posts at a time and one by one transcribe the post header, the time it’s set to publish, and the category it’s related to. By doing so, WordPress automatically sends it to a ‘scheduled’ tab like the one you see above where it can be organized by day. I originally skipped the master calender part and relied on this format, but soon enough there were too many posts to keep track of and I found that Google Calender was a much nicer way to keep everything organized.
The Hobby Sketching
As most of you know, in addition to blog writing, I am also a hobby artist [a Chemical Engineer who loves writing and drawing...I'm a catch ladies ]. We [try to] feature two original sketches a week in the form of: Universidaze, a webcomic revolving around the experiences of some college kids and the Sunday Sketch, where I try to be ambitious as the professional artists on DeviantArt and fail miserably lol. Regardless, these two posts can take up anywhere from 3 to 4 hours [it used to be more when Universidaze was more detailed] of the 8-10 hours a week.
But it’s my love for entertaining people and my drive to be a better artist that allows me to grind through it and share with you all my progress.
Creating the Post
So when do I usually start writing the actual posts? In all honesty, it’s usually the night before. Anywhere from 9-11pm, I’m sitting at my computer typing and organizing away this post. As of right now, it’s about a little more than 12 hours before this post publishes at 11:00 EST. While the pop culture quips and morning links for the entire week can usually be done far in advance, the main articles are the time consumers, as most of them are tried to be written at with a minimum of 1000 words on a discussable topic.
It’s usually at this point where I add the tags, recheck the schedule with the master calender, edit the post. I know I’m not the best at editing and I miss a lot, but when it comes to a time crunch, I’m choosing quantity over quality given my unfortunate position. In addition to the regular posts, editing the Weekly Updates, Weekend Funnies, and Weekend Reblog also takes an amount of time.
The Finished Product
And so the night before the day of publishing, I go to bed in mind that the next four posts are absolutely ready to go. And my job goes from 9:00am – 3:00pm EST so when I’m done with work, I can check the stats of my blog and respond to any comments I may have. The work is immensely gratifying and it’s taken a long time to perfect my methodology to get to this point. Now that I have my groove, as you can tell, I’m trying as harder as ever to come up with new innovations to make this website the best site it can be. Screw the ad revenue and website hits. I know I appeal to a select number of people and as long as those people are happy when they visit my site, I have all the payment in the world. Thanks guys, if you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll be absolutely ecstatic to answer.