I’ve said it before, but blogging is like a relationship. There are ups and downs and it takes WORK. The highlight of my day is usually when I sit down at my computer and work on this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love all the other things I do for work, but this one brings me some of the greatest fulfillment.
Today’s post is a look inside my blogging process. It’s different for everyone and there is no right or wrong. Some days may differ slightly from this structure, but for the most part, every post I write follows these steps.
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1. Find a Topic
My post topics usually fall under a few specific categories: life (Monday & Friday), fitness, and inspirational (mental health, opinion, self-help posts). If I post all five days, then I will also have either a blogging/writing post or a recipe post.
I keep a running Google doc of post ideas separated into categories. If I think of an idea while I’m away from my computer, I will jot it down in my phone and then transfer it to the doc whenever I’m back at my desk. Depending on the day, I simply choose which category and which topic from my list and start writing!
Time: 5-15 min
2. Take Pictures
If I have a post planned, I probably have pictures already saved in my phone. If not, I consider what I’m writing and take pictures accordingly. Many of my Five Things Friday pictures are taken as I write the post!
It may seem simple to “take pictures,” but in order to have quality graphics, I need to think about the backdrop, the time of day (natural vs. artificial light), and composition. I have a number of props and backgrounds, but lately I have been sticking to simple, clean shots.
As you can see from this screenshot of my phone, I also take a LOT of pictures to make sure I get the right one.
Time: 5-30 min
3. Edit Pictures
When I first started blogging, I never edited my pictures. Let’s just say they were a little worse for wear.
These days, almost every picture I take is edited. I’ve mentioned my favorite editing app, VSCO Cam, before, but it’s saved the day on so many of my images. Because I take them all with my iPhone, I need to make sure they look as good as possible.
VSCO Cam definitely is not the most user-friendly app, but once you figure out how it works (I had to Google it a couple times), it’s so amazing to use. In order to maintain consistency, most of my pictures are edited with the exact same options, so it’s become really quick to edit images.
Time: 10 min
4. Design Graphics
For posts like this one that use an image designed for sharing on social media (Pin me!), I have an entirely separate process.
All of my graphics are created using Canva which is the most amazing thing ever made (aside from cookie dough cookie sandwiches). I recently upgraded to Canva for Work which allows me to automatically resize images for different social media platforms. SUHWEET.
In order to design a graphic, I either upload one of my images or use one from Unsplash or Stock Snap, both of which do not require attribution. Over time, I have saved ones that I think fit my style and I may use in the future, so it takes me less time to decide on one when it’s time to create. If I have to scroll through images looking for one similar to my vision, that can take longer.
Some posts require both edited pictures and graphics, which takes a greater amount of time.
Time: 15-30 min
5. Write Post
When it comes time to write the post, I will list out everything I want to cover and make a loose outline. Sometimes I have a title in mind and other times I will write the post and see what the final product is before I title it.
Then I write and try not get distracted by my phone or my husband when he “works” from home. I also always have a cup of tea ready because it makes me feel like a fancy writer.
Time: 30-45 min
6. Add Alt Tags
Once the post is finished, I will make sure to add in alt tags to all the photos. Alt tags refer to the alternative text field in your image details where you should make sure to include your desired keyword(s) and write a short synopsis of the post.
This is what Pinterest will use as your photo description should you decide to Pin it. Having descriptive keywords also helps Google search your images when people put in that search term.
Time: 5 min
Now that my post is written, I make sure to preview it as it would look if I was reading it on my blog. I scan for grammatical and spelling errors, as well as making sure the formatting is how I want it and easy to read. This is also the point where I make sure to add in any links that I refer to throughout.
I select the appropriate categories and tags, my featured image, and schedule it for the following day.
Time: 15 min
I use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to make sure that each post is optimized for what I’m writing about. I pick a keyword or two to focus on and then fill out the appropriate fields which appear directly underneath my post.
Yoast gives you either a red, orange, or green light as you fill in the fields. You want to adjust things as needed in order to receive a green light. Items that give you an orange or red light will be explained so that you know what needs to change to optimize your photos, titles, and body of writing.
Time: 3 min
9. Schedule Social Media
I’ve also mentioned that I use CoSchedule regularly to help plan posts and schedule my social media. Directly underneath my SEO plugin is CoSchedule’s scheduler, so I go right from SEO to setting up my social media for the next day, week, and month.
I schedule posts to both Twitter and Facebook, making sure to space them out and schedule them further in the future as well so that they don’t get lost once I write them. As soon as this last step is completed, I hit schedule and my post is ready to go for the next day!
Time: 5 min
- How do you blog?
- How long does a post usually take you to write?