How I Blog: My Posting Process

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.

Blogging is something that takes time and dedication. Here is a look into how I blog and what my process looks like for me!

*This post contains referral links

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

Blogging is something that takes time and dedication. Here is a look into how I blog and what my process looks like for me!

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

Blogging is something that takes time and dedication. Here is a look into how I blog and what my process looks like for me!

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

Blogging is something that takes time and dedication. Here is a look into how I blog and what my process looks like for me!

7. Proofread

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

8. SEO

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

Questions:

  • How do you blog?
  • How long does a post usually take you to write?
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36 Comments

  1. March 29, 2016 / 5:46 am

    Brainstorm, write post, do SEO, create graphics, find pictures/edit them in my phone, insert pictures, schedule. During this time also likely remove cat from keyboard.
    Thus why your blog is blowing up and mine is just chillin
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…The Power of Positivity (Rather than Optimism)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      Haha it is not settle down.

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Sometimes it takes me awhile too, especially if I get distracted. It would be nice if every time
      I could just sit down and bang them out.

  2. March 29, 2016 / 8:20 am

    I published a blogging-related post today, too. Great minds… 😉
    I usually wait till my writing is completed before I find images; images are actually the last thing I do before I hit “schedule,” which is tough sometimes if I’m on a “deadline.”
    I hardly ever write a post in just one go – I keep a file full of titles, outlines, and half-written posts that I work on when I can!
    I really enjoy your blogging posts; they’ve been super helpful (it’s how I discovered Unsplash and the whole alt text thing – which I still slack off on.
    Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted…How to Manage Blogging While Working Full-TimeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      I tried having drafts going for awhile, but I would either lose inspiration or forget what my point was. When I’m having trouble writing it helps me to put pictures in so I know how to break it up and what to talk about. I’m glad you found those posts helpful!

  3. March 29, 2016 / 11:12 am

    I used to insert images as I went, until I realized that was not an effective use of my time.
    When I’m working on a technical post (accounting or running) it takes longer because I’m constantly searching for quotes or technical materials because I don’t want to give out incorrect information. If it’s merely a recap post, then I just let the words flow and toss in pictures as needed 🙂
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…‘Bye March! My Recap of March GoalsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Lately I’ve been adding all my images first and writing around them. It helps me with the outlining process I think.

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Haha don’t be scared! The plugin does all the work for you!

  4. March 29, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Love this! I always love reading about different people’s processes for blog writing, and getting ideas on how to improve my own system. I am planning a giant blog overhaul this summer, so I definitely may have to incorporate some of your tips into my new system. Because you know I’m all about being overly organized! LISTS GALORE! 🙂
    Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted…Coca-Cola and Easter BunniesMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Oooh a blog overhaul! I’m PUMPED. girl, you know lists are one of my favorite things too!

  5. March 29, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    These days, I barely blog. I agree that blogging is like a relationship and I guess we’re on a break. :/ I’m trying to work my way back to it though. The thought of both blogging and not blogging stresses me out. I WANT to blog but…have I taken too much time away?

    I definitely like the idea of jotting down ideas and keeping them somewhere. I also like the idea of doing an outline. I HATED outlines when I was in school so that’s probably why I haven’t made a habit of them. Think maybe it’s time for me to change my ways. I can do this.
    Jennifer @ Lifting Plates recently posted…Weekend things: coffee, cookies, and cuss wordsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      You haven’t taken too long away! I feel if I’m not motivated to write, I usually don’t. You can totally do it, but don’t force it if it doesn’t add to your life.

  6. March 29, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    My blogging process is a little different than yours – as I make videos too… I typically come up with a random ass idea a week or two before I make the video, sometimes DAY OF – ha ha… And then film it, and edit it immediately because I am so not one to procrastinate… And then I might write the blog post a day or two later. And with the blog post – sometimes it flies out of my fingers… Sometimes I write one thought and walk away and come back later with another thought (hence why my blogs don’t REALLY make all that much sense sometimes? LOL) And then… Tuesday AM at 5:30… POST! BAM! lol!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Avocados Get Brownie PointsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      It would take me forever to make videos I’m pretty sure. Props to you for the best of both worlds!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Haha just keep working at it. It took me awhile to find my rhythm.

  7. March 29, 2016 / 5:11 pm

    This was a great post. My blog posting follows a similar schedule. I love that Im not the only one who has 15+ versions of one pic to capture all different angles. I call my husband, my paparazzi because he knows now to just keep snapping away. Thanks for the insightful post, definitely going to look into a photo editing app now!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      It’s made SUCH a big difference in the quality of my photos.

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Times when I get distracted since I’m at home makes it a lot longer to get it written. I try to keep my phone away from me while I write bc that can be a huge time sink!

  8. March 29, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    Great post!! I write down thoughts and ideas when i think of them and flesh them out later. I usually take pictures before the post is written and then add them in after I’ve edited them. Pretty similar to you. Thanks for sharing, I always like to read about other people’s blogging process!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Easter Weekend 2016My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Thanks for reading heather! Great minds think alike!

  9. March 29, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    I always find it interesting to see how other people blog. I really need to work more on my SEO.

    For me I too have a long list of ideas. I keep mine in One Note so I can edit and add them on my computer or phone on the go. Mine are all recipes and some require trial and error and some are ones I make and snap a pic but need to go back and write directions and actually photograph (other than with my phone). I go in spurts just like life so one week I might get a bunch done other times I go weeks or a month for traveling and don’t create any. I always like to have a dozen or two in que because of this (for the times my husband is like hey want to go to Ireland for a month, or hey lets do some major remodeling and I don’t have a kitchen for a month which ended up being 2!). Same goes for when I was just out of town for two weeks. I was busy before so I made, photographed, and wrote the recipe but did the photo editing and writing posts in the hotel during some down time. When it comes to posting I try to mix things up, some need to be on certain days, some are just what I’m in the mood to post. Lately my problem is pinning, sharing, tweeting, and keeping up (especially with the 2 hour time difference I just had that thew me for a loop) with it all but when I get time I usually catch up.
    I hate photo editing and writing posts. In a perfect world I could just sit in the kitchen and create recipes and have a robot do the rest. Haha!
    Sarah recently posted…Apple Pie on a StickMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:46 pm

      Ireland for a month?? That sounds magical! Social media scheduling tools have helped me cut down on the time I spent doing that. Do you use anything to help streamline that process?

  10. March 30, 2016 / 10:50 am

    I had a good system for a while where I actually planned out posts and picture taking but lately it’s a crap shoot. I just do what I can when I can! I also love VSCO but I recently got lightroom on my phone and I’m loving that!
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Spring FashionMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 31, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Oooh maybe I should check that out!

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 2, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      Isn’t it? I love all the photo options!

  11. April 3, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Looks like we have similar blog-writing proceses (yay!). I’ve added planning out posts a month in advance, even if I don’t adhere to the schedule. It gives me an idea of what I could post about, and gets the gears turning.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Avocado Hummus With Boursin CheeseMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 4, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Yeah that’s kind of what my google doc is. If I pick actual topics for certain days it doesn’t always work. I’ll just check out the running list and grab one each day 🙂

  12. April 3, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    I absolutely love how you laid this out Erin. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who takes about 10+ pictures of the same thing. Your pictures are beautiful! Writing the post always takes the longest for me too. 🙂
    Emily recently posted…What is True Victory?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      April 4, 2016 / 8:09 am

      Oh yes, LOTS and LOTS of pictures haha

  13. Robyn Lynne Norris
    May 21, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    This is a terrific post, Erin! Thanks for sharing your process. 🙂

    • erinsinsidejob
      May 23, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Anytime! Thank YOU for reading!

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