This is one of those posts that can only happen on a site that is literally my name with a .com on the end. In other words, though I try to usually produce content that would help others, this one will only benefit someone else if they are interested in my plans and a bit of insight into why I plan to do these things. Mostly though, this post is for me.
Additionally, I know it’s popular to write lengthy and elaborate year-in-review and looking-ahead sorts of posts, and I like to read those and admire anyone who can put the time and thought into that. However, this isn’t one of those and I can’t do one of those at this point in my life. I have done those before, but I don’t find them worth the value of the time and energy put into them.
Therefore, you’ll notice this is simply a specific take on just one small aspect of my life that matters a great deal to me: my writing (and other content production).
Side note: I began this post with the intention to write only about where I plan to write, but then quickly realized that wasn’t sufficient since, well, it’s 2017 and the best content production is not purely, if even primarily, about writing anymore. Though writing is my first love, I’m not sad about this reality and plan to happily engage multiple mediums better in 2017. So, I’ve gone back through and changed everything here from only about “writing” to all about “producing content” in general.
I find it very useful to think through and write down my plan and strategy for where I’m writing in 2017. It’s good to have this as a reference for myself, primarily, and this post would have been helpful at times for other inquisitive folks as well. It’s easy to lose steam and fizzle if you forget your vision and intentions for something, and it’s easy to confuse and lose people if you’re spread out in multiple places.
Furthermore, I think this post being its own specific post for this year will be helpful because I believe one of my utmost “themes” for this year is to produce content. If 2016 was mainly about “building” — and I believe it was — I’m feeling and hoping 2017 to be equivalently about producing content.
So, without further ado, my therapeutic explanation of where I plan to produce content:
The List Of Where I Plan To Produce Content And Why:
Let’s start with the obvious, but likely most lengthy. Though this site has become more and more of a portfolio and large “about me” site over the last few years, it’s still my central spot and main blog for all my content production. In 2016 I wrote possibly the least amount of posts I’ve ever produced for this site since I started seriously blogging many years ago. Most of that is to blame on how busy I was with building other projects and some of it is to blame on being spread out in other locations such as elasson.com (more on this below) and TheMajestysMen.com (more on this below) which have robbed content from topics I used to cover on here.
Still some of this lack has occurred because it’s been a difficult season of life to “pin down” just who I am and what I’m about. It seems weird to state this as a reason for not producing content here because it’s not as though I often feel “out of sorts” or confused about who I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing. However, it has proven extremely difficult for me to convey it to others the last few years since I have been a strange combination of occupations and interests, and so it’s been difficult for me to imagine any audience congregating around what I’d write here like they once did. This blog used to have a sizable following a few years back, but I’d imagine they’ve all been quite confused and have moved on to more predictable personalities in recent years. I wouldn’t blame them.
That said, this blog has primarily veered into my place to write about helpful advice and things I learn concerning business, marketing, web development, organizational development, personal development, leadership, and productivity. I suspect these will be the main topics of this year as well. However, I also have a sneaking suspicion that this might be the year that more of the “spiritual” and “theological” content that moved to elasson.com comes back here as well. I’m not sure on this though, and I’ll explain why below.
elasson.com (yes, the lowercase is on purpose) has been my own little possibly-public-but-mostly-private journal of sorts the last few years. This site is all about my personal development and journey in both the “ministry” and “marketplace” and my wonderings and learnings on both of these through the unashamed worldview of my spiritual beliefs. I engage thoughts on personal development, society, culture, theology, and ministry here.
It’s hard to believe, but I actually started this blog at the start of 2014, shortly after we had moved to Lawrence and I started my first business. Until I just went and checked on that, I was about to say I maybe started it this last year! That’s both how fast time has flown and how little content I’ve produced between elasson.com and rileyadamvoth.com in that time frame. Wow! Shows how much time and energy other projects and life in general have taken the last few years. I’m not sad about it. It’s just reality, and it’s just fine.
So, there’s this big question of why does elasson.com exist at all? Also, why would it exist as even more of a personal-thoughts-blog than this self-titled RileyAdamVoth.com site!? Primarily, this started because I had a suspicion I needed a separation between my “marketplace” content and “ministry” content I was producing. This was pushed into action when I was first starting my magazine and ad business here in Lawrence and a lady from the neighborhood I was working with told me that rumors were going around that I was just wanting to evangelize the neighborhood. No joke! So, the separate site for theological and ministry thoughts was formed as a bit of an experiment to see if I could better engage both worlds if I actually made it harder to tell that I strongly am engaging both worlds (so to speak).
Interestingly, I’m not too convinced this separation has helped though. Within myself, I feel no separation from my spiritual beliefs and the way I engage the world and the marketplace. So creating a division on-screen and in my content production has proven to be extremely difficult and has, I believe, actually hindered my content production rather than helped it. I also suspect it’s simply confused any “audience” along the way. It’s hard to know this with certainty though because I didn’t match the amount of content being produced for more reasons than just separating these two blogs; I also didn’t actively share content from elasson.com at all and shared very little from this one.
Suffice it to say, I’ve had multiple-personality-disorder in my blogs the last few years and it’s created a bit of dissonance in myself. Because of the lack of clarity on exactly why I have these feelings though, I’m not combining the blogs back just yet. I hope to consistently produce more content on both for the start of this year and then better evaluate. I’ve wondered for years now if a guy starting out should keep things more separate and “toned down” concerning his spiritual beliefs (like many in the world think). I’m not sure if it’d be a wise strategy for better engagement in the marketplace, more job options, and more “success” or not. But, I’m fairly certain I was a bit far past “starting out” in ministry, spiritual beliefs, and the teaching of these, and it’s made it pretty dang difficult to be seen as anything else. Maybe that’s all sovereign will. Hard to say — as it always is.
In summary of both elasson.com and RileyAdamVoth.com: I am ditching things that raise the resistance to producing content (like making graphics for each post or other systems I put on myself), and I plan to produce content in as many forms as possible (vlogs, articles, graphics, links, etc) with the goal of putting out a minimum of one quality post per week in each place. I’ll reevaluate these both later this year after I’ve done this for a few months. Maybe I’ll combine them; maybe I won’t.
This one is new! Well, okay, it’s new for me. But, before we all throw our hands up in the air and say, “after all the above confusion you’ve stated, you’d start another blog!?”, let my explain: Over five years ago I started a wedding website for my fiancé and I which then turned into a blog for my wife and I, and then turned into something I was just doing maintenance on and nagging my wife to contribute to. Haha! I couldn’t have convinced her to write on it if her life depended on it. However, after years of persuading her to blog, she finally conceived of her own idea, and even her own site name, and I spun up ByManna for her to write on health and wellness, cooking and recipes, personal and spiritual development, making things and other hobbies and such. She’s been slaying it ever since for the last two years now!
So, by the end of 2016, it became apparent that this was her central internet place and where she’d likely be spending all her content producing energy and life cataloguing time and thoughts for the future — including family news and such. So, we made the decision to redirect RileyandMargo.Us to ByManna.com and we’ll be importing the small amount of content worth reposting there from R&M and backdating it.
So, moving ahead, I plan to occasionally pitch in on some musings and news from our life as we go. It’s doubtful I’ll do too much, cause I want it to remain more of Margo’s thing, but I’ll lend a voice and helping hand on sharing about us, our beliefs, and our hobbies and activities from time to time. So think of it more like an intimate look into my life / our lives in multiple ways, but with a fairly feminine expression to it all. Haha. I married a dang good female for a dang good reason and I’m glad about it!
This is my newest site and blog, and it’s also my newest business! I’m really excited about it! SOZO.DO is my business I’ll now be doing all of my web development, marketing, branding, and copywriting work out of. Content production for this site runs the risk of overlapping and distracting from content for this site, and it might from time to time. However, I’ll be producing content here that is geared for clients and potential clients, and meant to be helpful for them. Additionally, I don’t plan to have a strong focus on content marketing for that site at this point, but rather, just produce that which is helpful for the clients. It is operating primarily as a hub for my portfolio and client help-base and, at least for the foreseeable future, that will be it’s main purpose.
I’ll definitely be writing some general but helpful content on marketing and social media, copywriting, branding, web development, and business there, and if it would help the audience to RileyAdamVoth.com, I’ll link to it from here. It’s my content, sooo I might as well!
This blog has become a full-blown website and network of blogs (more on this below) over this last year and building it all has been the main culprit for sucking up time that I would have otherwise spent producing content. However, I’m pleased to say that the building is mostly finished! There’s always upkeep and there’s a few tweaks left to be made here and there to things, but the infrastructure is complete. It’s high time to turn a strong focus to producing content here!
The focus of all content on the central site of TheMajestysMen.com is all sorts of content (articles, interviews, videos, images, quotes, books, podcasts, resources, and products) for young Christian men.
I plan to lean strongly into producing content for this audience on this site within these types. I have a huge backlog of articles to write, a ton of ideas for great interviews, a podcast plan in place to start asap on exploring the topic of gender, and more to produce for this site. I’m not the only one who produces here, so it should be a good year for content on TMM!
This one is where someone, or at least my wife, will begin to think I’m losing my mind. However, there’s good reason to this blog starting up — I promise! This is my network blog on the Adelphotes Network by TheMajestysMen.com. The main reason I plan to start this up is because I’ve wanted to have a dedicated place for deep diving into a couple of topics for more than a year now. I want to examine some topics like “beauty” (this will be my first), gender (this will link with my podcast with TMM), communion, work, and more. When I say “deep dive”, I mean “explore everything I can possibly think of to explore about certain topics”. I like to do this, but I don’t usually have a good place to do it besides my own head and Evernote. That’s what this blog will be all about. If nobody ever reads it or is helped by it, that’s fine; if they do and are, that’s great too!
The other reason I want to start this blog is so that I am actively using the product and service I develop for others. I can better come up with ideas and improvements if I’m using the same setup the other guys in the network are using.
However, I will admit that though I plan to start this asap this year, the content produced for this blog will likely be some of the lowest priority of all the content I produce. That may not mean much though since it will likely also be some of the most enjoyable… and, well, we all know we’re motivated by what we enjoy.
Rock Hill is the church that we moved to Lawrence to be a part of and help start from scratch. We’ve been here doing this now for what will complete 4 years by May of 2017. Every year, multiple times per year, I help with content production from writing blog articles to preaching sermons throughout the year. I’m sure I’ll be producing some content here, but who knows what it will be about yet (other than Biblical Christian teaching)! I’ll share it around if there’s anything relevant to my non-local friends and family. As always, links can be found on my index page of elsewhere posts.
Possible but not probable: MyStory.Is and FreeSlaves.Church
This marks the first time I’ve mentioned these two projects to anyone, in any way, online. In fact, there’s even only single digits of people that know about these two ideas in the offline world. So, though it’s a cruel thing to toss out two ideas as teasers and then not explain a thing, I’m not going to explain them. I’m just putting them here as unlikely possibilities for 2017, but possibilities nonetheless. Both of them are projects I’m sure I’ll begin on in 2017 to some small extent, but if I’m realistic with myself, I likely won’t have the resources in time, money, and energy to produce much or even build much with them. I’m super pumped about both projects, but I’m not sure either one of their times have come. Lord willing, I hope they do soon though! So, I’ll just leave this here. Haha!
I have a few sites across the interwebs that I’d really, really like to guest-post for and if I focus on content-production this year like I plan to, finally, then I suspect I’ll also finally have opportunities to do some guest posting. However I won’t share those here because it’s irrelevant until I’m posting there and, besides, I don’t want anyone laughing at my loft ambitions now do I? That wouldn’t help! You can expect that if I do get posted in any cool places other than what I’ve listed here in this post, I’ll share the links to them in my main blog feed if applicable and for sure on my index page of “published elsewhere posts”.
Well, *sigh* writing a short book or two has been in my yearly plans for multiple years now and has yet to happen. However, I can say I have multiple good ideas, sectioned out in multiple Evernote notebooks. So, I have made tiny amounts of progress on a couple of those ideas in the last few years. Realistically though, it’d be a bit of a miracle for me to make time to finish developing one of these books this year — even the shorter ones I have in mind. Yet, there is a chance this could happen if I blog one of these out in bits on the aforementioned Suniemi blog, and then simply package it up, which is something I’m considering doing for at least one or two of my ideas! Yep, double whammy. Clever, I know.
If anything does happen, they’ll definitely be announced / available on this site, and I even have made a Books index page in anticipation of this dreamy future. Haha!
Speaking and preaching is something that I’ve found myself doing increasingly more of with each passing year, and so if the trend continues, and I plan to seek to make sure it does, then I have every reason to expect I’ll be posting more talks, workshops, sermons, and such this year in their fitting places. Speaking and producing content such as articles and videos goes hand in hand for me because you can simply refashion and repurpose the content quite easily. Plus, I really enjoy this medium of communication and hope to develop this skill further this year. I’ll share relevant talks on the above blogs, and likely keep an index on my YouTube channel and examples on my Speaking page.
This leads and leaves me to wrap this up with my social media. Yet, considering my social media loops me right back to where I started with RileyAdamVoth.com. I always consider social media to be simply unowned outposts for the properties I do own. With my own personal self and “brand” (as they say), this has been difficult for all the same reasons I stated for my own self-titled website. I’m still fairly uncertain how to go about the type of content production on my own social media, but I believe I’m going to be veering back into more spiritual and theological content that have I steered away from the last four years now. This is, after all, one of my largest areas of knowledge, experience, and “expertise” and not only my favorite topic and aspect concerning myself, but seemingly also my most probably occupation in the future. So, why not? I couldn’t say that “occupation” part the last few years for sure, and so I tried a social experiment, of sorts, and it didn’t benefit much of anything. My guess is that by leaning more into who I am authentically and fully, even as diverse as that might be, I’ll find more energy and more audience and relationships in doing so.
So, with that said, I do have a pretty clear plan for what I’ll be focusing on with my social media (and this will apply to all my outposts I run for both my businesses and my self). I ended 2016 playing around with different ideas, and I’ve decided I’ll be strongly focusing my efforts if even at the expense of completely neglecting some platforms for 2017.
I will have both the Twitter app and the Instagram app, and only these two, on my phone’s home screen. I will use YouTube for storing all my vlogs and videos I produce, and I’ll use other social media only as tools from time to time as helpful or desired.
I love the medium of Twitter, and simply cannot see myself leaving it at this point. With their integration with Periscope live-video, I hope to explore this medium and maximize on the real-time, succinct and connected nature of it all while using this to refer to more in-depth and timeless content I and others produce.
With Instagram, I do enjoy it, but more-so I know the world is especially coo-coo for consuming images and videos and I only see this increasing. So, I want to get better at engaging these mediums and leveraging them so that I can be ultra-familiar and at ease with them. I tend to be a perfectionist, and so it’s good practice for me to use Instagram’s new “Story” feature. Their new live-video feature also reaches a slightly different audience than Twitter’s will. I also enjoy the repurpose-able (it’s a word now) nature of the images and videos if I want. I can set up IFTTT recipes to send them to other outposts I don’t frequent, or even like (I’m thinking mainly of you, Facebook), and I can even us the engaging feeds on my personal and professional websites. There’s no denying that the images and videos produced with Instagram have a much more intimately personal, relational, connected value to them than the words and long-form and highly produced content that we create and consumed elsewhere. While this scares some people, I find this really valuable and interesting, and I want to lean into it. I feel that as long as a person has nothing to hide in their life, their’s little chance of this being able to do much damage, and much good it can do with the transparent and connected nature it can help create.
So, There We Have It!
Welp, over 3800 words later, this is a wrap! I’m excited to begin working on and through these plans this year, and I’m really interested to see how it plays out. We’ll see if I come back and look at these plans as completely crazy and off-base or slightly tweak them. I know there’s a lot of people who would say I’m crazy for spreading out this much, and I myself wouldn’t advise it to most people. However, I’ve been blogging and sharing life online for well over a decade now and it’s pretty “natural” to my life and flow at this point. After this year, apart from drastic changes in this world, it will probably be even more so. With as little content as I’ve produced the last few years, because of all the building I’ve been doing instead, I feel I’m due for some major output on content now for a change. The interconnected internet of life is just as valuable of a tool and reality as it is dangerous, so I plan to use it with forethought and intentionality for the good of others and the glory of God (which are the same thing). Let’s see how I do!