If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that earlier this year my Instagram was hacked by bots. It pretty much ruined all my inspiration in creating content for the platform, or being in any way interactive with it. Because of this, the other day I decided to start again, with a new account. This means I’ve lost all my followers! However, given due to the algorithm and having hundreds of fake followers, few of my followers were able to interact with my content anyway. If you haven’t already, hop on over to my Instagram and don’t forget to give me a follow so you can see all the latest pretty things I’m using, buying, or you know, you like lots of of glitter.
Anyway, today I wanted to talk about my creative process because I know that each and every blogger’s process differs. In an industry where anxiety and depression are quite common, I thought that sharing my process on “How to Write a Blog Post” or at least, how I write a blog post, and demystifying what happens behind the scenes on my blog, may help any aspiring bloggers who are feeling a bit overwhelmed.
I work full time in a corporate 9-5 role, which means that my blog is very much a part time thing, although I must admit I think about it all the time! Although I’m always thinking about the blog, and its content, I don’t always have to time to devote to it – well, not as much time as I would like. However, the following is my blog writing process, and so far, it seems to be working out for me:
Behind the Scenes: My Blogging Process
Inspiration can come from anywhere, no matter what your niche. For me, it can come from a conversation at work, a product I’ve fallen in love with, or a trend I’m on board with.
Once I have an idea, no matter how big or small, I add it to my Trello board. Trello is a great way to keep your lists organised and on the go, so it means I can add or update my lists from both PC or Mobile. I can create lists, add to lists, add ideas to the items on the list. Basically, it’s where my drafted content lives.
Sometimes I can sit on an idea for months before I find the time, energy, or inspiration to turn it into a blog post. And sometimes? Well, sometimes an idea never comes to fruition – what may have been a spark of inspiration turns into a forgotten idea, or something I simply no longer feel passionate about.
At the end of the day, if I’m not passionate about an idea, it won’t evolve into a post.
Although I’ll have a minimum of a dozen ideas on my Trello board at any one time, sometimes the inspiration to write about any said topic isn’t necessarily there at any particular time. Either way, when I decide exactly what it is I am going to write about for the week, I typically spend a few days researching the subject matter before putting pen to paper.
Once I start writing, I can typically write a post within the space of an hour, and always try to aim for a minimum of 1000 words. Some bloggers may consider this to be quite lengthy, but I like to talk, and share information, so it’s a number that works well for me.
I just use Word to type this up, and it usually catches most of my typos – but not all! And throughout the writing process, I will regularly refer back to the research I’ve done to ensure I’m not providing any misinformation, and add links where necessary. Any post that contains significant research will take longer than an hour, naturally, as I refer back and forth between sources.
During the writing process, I also select a keyword for SEO purposes. After transferring the written content from Word to WordPress, Yoast SEO let’s me know any further optimisations necessary so I can spend anywhere up to half an hour optimising any one post.
Once I’ve finished my article it’s transferred into a draft post on WordPress, I can now start creating the graphics using Canva for each post, which involve a featured image and at least three Pinterest images (the one you see above, and then at least two others which are hidden).
Firstly, I need to decide what style of photo I want to use for my featured image and correlating Featured Pin. I have a collection of purchased stock images I use, however if I can’t find what I want here I’ll head on over to Pixabay to find an image I’m able to use. On any post that is part of a series (The Foodie Files, Interview with a GirlBoss, Under Review) however, I have templates which I have created in Canva to makes generating the featured image a much simpler affair.
Once I have chosen a photo, it’s time to create the Featured Pin graphic, as well as the additional Pinterest images. For my additional Pinterest images, I use graphics from PNGTree.com and again, have standard templates I use. Occasionally, I’ll get a little creative and make some non-templated Pins just to see how they go. Typically though, my templates hit the targets I want.
Creating these graphics can take a few hours, depending on how long it takes me to find the right stock image, to editing the Pins I create, to dealing with Canva throwing its inevitable tantrum every now and then.
Once created, I then insert these graphics into my draft, ensuring they’re SEO and Pinterest Optimised. To be honest with you, creating the graphics is one of the more fun aspects of creating a post!
Not every post can be monetized, but if it can be then this is the next step in my process. Using Shop Style Collective, I either use text affiliate links, or create product widgets which show the products I recommend.
Creating widgets isn’t as easy as you would think! These have to be products you’ve used and believe in, or products that you’ve researched. As the widgets are graphical, you need to make sure the images of the product fit the form of your blog, and create a comprehensive and cohesive experience for your reader.
Once you have created the widgets, it’s then just a matter of inserting them into your main post, and then ensuring the html and visual layout of the post hasn’t been compromised by the code.
Once I have written my content and created the corresponding graphics, it’s time to schedule the post. I post every Tuesday and Thursday at 1800 (ish), which means I am home when it goes live. I only post twice a week because I work full time (as previously mentioned) and don’t have the time to work on my blog or any other influencer marketing full time.
Scheduling a post is honestly the easiest part of content creation! This means that the creative process is done and dusted, and all you have to do now is get that content out there amongst the masses!
The final step in the process of writing a blog post is sharing the content across social media and any other platform you may use. I share my content on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest over the following few days of the content going live.
Twitter: I share the link to my post four times per day over the space of two days using Hootsuite. This comes to a total of eight tweets promoting my content, with each tweet using different wording and hashtags to promote RT’s.
Facebook: As Facebook can show different people different content no matter what time it is posted, I typically share my content to Facebook groups during lunch hours and hope for the best. I honestly don’t put much effort into Facebook because, well, when you look at the statistics of any Facebook post you wouldn’t bother either. Ok, ok, I know that groups help engagement, etc, but over a year of posting to FB groups, etc, regularly, very little traffic comes my way from it, so to me, it’s not worth the time required. But that’s just me: I am sure it works really well for some people.
Pinterest: All of the pins I have created get shared to Pinterest immediately, followed by interval posting to various personal boards, group boards and Tailwind Tribes over the following days. Each Pin, if it proves popular, will then be regularly rePinned to relevant boards to keep them visible and active.
Instagram: I make sure to create a graphic promoting the post which I share to my feed, as well as mentioning it in my stories. As I’ve less than 10k followers (due to starting from scratch with my account) I don’t get that really useful Swipe Up feature but hey, maybe one day!
And that’s it! That’s how I create and share my posts, and the creative process from A to Z.
Although it may sound easy to be a blogger, or create content for a blog, trust me when I say it isn’t. Although I find writing to be a quick and easy task, this is because I’m passionate about writing and have been writing for as long as I remember, and blogging or journaling since I was 18, so it comes quite naturally to me.
However, I use stock photos as I have zero photographic talent. All those beautiful blogs where the blogger takes their own photos? Well, that makes things so much more time consuming! Those are the bloggers you really have to admire for their time and dedication to their passion, and if you take your own photos the process is much longer.
Blogging in general isn’t easy, but it is incredibly fulfilling and I love spending every minute of my spare time engulfed in the blogging world.
What’s your blogging process? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forgot to head on over to my new Instagram!