A few months ago, I shared my creative process for writing a novel, and ever since then I’ve tossed around the idea of sharing my creative process for this blog. While writing a novel is a very large creative work, I’ve written many more blog posts than I’ve written novels, and if I added up all 679 posts that I’ve published (yes, I’m serious), I’ve written several novels worth. If I only wrote 300 words in every post, then I’ve written at least 203,000 words, which is equal to 2.5 versions of Aureole. Anyway, since I’ve written so many posts by now, I think that it’s safe to say that I’ve got this whole blogging thing down.
All the time: Brainstorm – I’ve mentioned it before, but I keep a running list of blog post ideas in Evernote in separate notes for each category, Lifestyle, Writing, and Health. This way, I always have ideas of what to write and I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to focus on when I sit down to write.
Step 1: Editorial calendar – I use an editorial calendar to run this blog, meaning that I decide ahead of time what topics will be discussed on which day. Usually, I make the calendar 1-2 months ahead of time, and when I do that, usually I only decide the exact post topic for a handful of posts, like the monthly blog traffic report or holiday-related posts.
Step 2: Choosing post topics – Anywhere from a few days to a week before the post is due to be published, I go through Evernote and decide what topics I’m going to write about that week. 75% of the time, I end up writing a post about the chosen topic. The other 25% of the time, I’m either not feeling the post that week or something comes up that takes my attention instead. I don’t want to force myself to write about something that I’m not interested in at all since that will come across in the post or it will take forever to write.
Step 3: Outline – Before I write, I always outline the post, regardless of if it’s a post that requires many paragraphs or bullet points with a few sentences like this one. This makes it easier for me to flesh out my ideas since then I know what part of the topic to focus my brain power on instead of staring at a blank post.
Step 4: Write – This is, for obvious reasons, the most time-consuming part of the process. Hopefully, I don’t need to explain the concept 😉
Step 5: Proofread and SEO – Sometimes I find the SEO key word for the post ahead of time, but usually it’s after I’ve written the post. I pick one using AdWords, and I learned what I know about SEO from Helene of Helene in Between – she’s certified in AdWords, by the way – so I’ll let that post I just linked do the talking on how to do it. I also use the Yoast SEO plug-in to evaluate my SEO use, which really helps because I am NOT an SEO expert by any means. I also use the time to work on my SEO to proofread my posts.
Step 6: Images – The last thing I do for a post is make the images! I use stock images mostly from Unspalsh and Pixabay (although some are my own) and then put white space and text over it. I started doing this so that my text would stand out, but I continued doing it and ended up branding my images this way. Hopefully, people who are familiar with Kate the (Almost) Great see my images on sites like Pinterest and know that they’re by me just by looking at how they’re styled. Scroll back up and look at the images from this post to see what I’m talking about!
Step 7: Schedule the post and schedule shares – All posts go live at 8 AM EST, so I schedule the post to publish then and then I go to Hootsuite* and schedule post shares. You can check out all the ways I promote my posts here, including the various social media sites I promote on.
And that, my friends, is a wrap! I hope it helps you get a feel for how I write as much as I do – generally 1,500-3,000 words a week in blog posts – while still managing my busy life.