Sometimes I think about the fact that I’ve been blogging for 6 years and have published nearly 1,000 posts and it’s hard to believe. I really enjoy this corner of the Internet, and I’m glad that you guys like it, too. That being said, I obviously have a LOT of experience writing posts, and I figured I would update you guys on what my process of writing a blog post is like. Whether you’re a new blogger or are just trying to find your rhythm, I hope this post helps you!
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My Process for Writing a Blog Post
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. I have the Evernote app on my phone, as I frequently get blog post ideas while out and about, and I want to capture them before I forget them. Additionally, I ask regularly on Twitter and Facebook if people have post requests. That’s actually where this post came from! Someone asked for posts about how to write a blog post, and while I had already written a post about this topic, it was published in 2016. Amazingly, that’s 3 years ago! Things change overtime, so I decided to update that post.
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 (in Google Calendar) 2-3 months ahead of time, and when I do that, I only decide the exact post topic for a handful of posts, like the monthly blog traffic report or holiday-related posts. This is also helpful because I look at what is going to happen in my personal life and decide ahead of time when I’m going to be offline/take a break. Because I write about 3 general categories, I want to spread them out as much as possible, which is why planning it out on a calendar is so helpful. It can sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t too much, and it is so worth it. It helps my stress and helps me keep a consistent schedule!
Step 2: Choosing specific post topics – Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks 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, as that will come across in the post or it will take forever to write. And while I do make money from this blog, it’s not my main source of income, so I want to enjoy what I’m doing. Especially because I have so little free time to write posts anyway!
Step 3: SEO – Sometimes I find the SEO keyword for the post after I’ve written it, but usually now it’s before I’ve written the post. This is a change from 2016! (Unsure about SEO? Read more about it here.) But I found that finding the SEO keyword after could often lead me to a) writing a post with a clickbait title, which I really dislike doing or b) having the keyword kind of obvious when reading the post and not fully linking the keyword to the topic. So I started finding it earlier; especially because sometimes my post topic would change slightly if I found a keyword I really liked!
Step 4: 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. Of course, this can be a personal preference. For example, in book writing, there are generally 2 types of writers: plotters or pantsers. Plotters are people who plan what they’re going to write ahead of time and generally outline their book. Pantsers are people who fly by the seat of their pants, aka people who figure out what they’re going to write as they’re writing it. I’m 100% a plotter!
Step 5: Write – This is, hopefully, the most obvious step. Hopefully, I don’t need to explain the concept, but this is basically fleshing out the ideas from the outline.
Step 6: Proofread and SEO check – Proofreading is essential, although I’m guilty of sometimes not bothering because I’m in a rush or stressed. I’m trying to get out of that habit! I also proofreading as a time to double check my SEO work. My blog is on self-hosted WordPress, and I use the Yoast SEO plug-in to evaluate my SEO use. This is super helpful because I am NOT an SEO expert by any means, although I probably know more than the average individual.
Step 7: Images – The last thing I do for a post is make the images! Sometimes, I use stock images mostly from Unspalsh and Pixabay, but over the last year, I have been using images I took myself. Then, I 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! I’ve also started recently trying Canva Pinterest templates to see how those images – made from templates created by the pros – compare to my traditional images. I’ve only been doing it for a little while, and I’ll give it a few months before deciding if I’ll stick with it or not, but it was the “big thing” I tried in June.One blogger's process for writing a blog post Click To Tweet
Step 8: Schedule the post and schedule shares – All posts go live at 7 AM EST, so I schedule the post to publish then, and then I go to Buffer and Tailwind and schedule post shares for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can check out all the ways I promote my posts here, which include what I just mention but also discuss the variety of other ways I promote my posts.
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 3,000-5,000 words a week in blog posts – while still managing my busy life.
What does your process for writing a blog post look like?
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