My Process for Writing Kick-Butt Blog Posts
1 | Get inspired
It’s gotta come from somewhere. You know what inspires you, or at least what needs to happen in order for you to be inspired. What do I mean by that? I know that I will never be inspired on a busy day when I’m surrounded by people. Being an introvert, I thrive when I’m alone and the house is quiet. But having a 2 year, those moments are few and far between. So when I want to be inspired, I get a babysitter. I have sisters in town so I have some free options. But when I can’t get childcare, I take my son out to find some inspiration with me! That might look like going on a walk together, going to a bookstore with a play area so he can mess around while I look at books.
Also, when you’re inspired, write it down! I have a Google Keep list on my phone that has upwards of 20 blog post ideas on it. When do I get most of these ideas? When I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. An awesome idea will usually pop itself into my head and I’ll be forced to grab my phone and jot it down and then try to drift off to sleep again.
2 | Outline
If I’m able, I try to make this happen during the INSPIRATION stage. That’s when my mind works best to come up with talking points for my post. This will be the time when you do some research for your post and see what questions potential readers might be asking about your topic. Remember, the most useful blog post will cover your cover your topic thoroughly and accurately. Just as important, make your blog post EASY TO READ. That doesn’t mean make your blog post short and sweet- that won’t offer much value to your readers. Offer as much information as you can on the subject, but make your outline obvious (kind of like how I’m writing this post) so if a reader wants to skip around to find something specific, they can. Some who have a more poetic writing style might think that they can’t use an outline for their posts, but you totally can! And in doing so, you’ll make your post seem less overwhelming and more readable to anyone who clicks on your link.
3 | Research
Guys. Your readers clicked on your post because they want answers. Don’t let them down! It might take more time and effort when writing, but if you put at thorough and researched post together, your readers will notice. Aside from being helpful, doing your research will also boost your reputation with your readers as a resource for their specific needs. You want to be seen as their go-to site to find answers to whatever they’re looking for. Do you have a knitting blog? Be the only knitting blog they’ll need! If a reader comes looking for an answer once and finds exactly what they needed, they’ll come to you again if another question pops up. Besides all this, doing research for your posts will only make you that much for of an expert in your field. Win win!
4 | Get in the zone
Again, be where you have to be to make inspiration happen. If you have a writing ritual, do that. If not, maybe it’s time to come up with one. Find out whether you write better at home or out of the home. I write best in a quiet home, but since that’s not always available, I try to get out and focus. I also usually make sure I have an espresso in hand. All of my best blog posts have been written while extremely caffeinated. Some say they write better after they’ve had a couple drinks. I have tried it and always I end up getting sleepy and turning in early. #momlife. So drinking before writing isn’t for me. Do what works for you to get your mind ready to produce something beautiful!
5 | Write!
Before you start writing, it’s important to determine the type of results you’d like to get from your post. Do you want it to be shared on social media and rank higher on Google? Or would you like to write a shorter, prompt-like post that generates a discussion and gets loads of comments? The length of your blog post matters depending on what you want to happen with it. Once you determine the goal of your post, have your inspiration, outline, and are in the zone, don’t wait! Get writing! (For more stats on what posts get what results, check out this awesome post by The Write Practice).
I know myself, and if I don’t take advantage of short quiet moments and energy spikes, I either won’t write anything, or I’ll come back later and delete everything I wrote because it sounds like it was written while drunk on fatigue. Others of you will thrive with consistent, scheduled times in order to write at your very best. If that’s you, find when you work/write best and designate that time solely to writing.
6 | Add any links, photos, opt-in forms, etc.
Post written? Check. Getting excited to hit that Publish button? Check!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE content creation, but I almost love creating graphics and social media photos just as much! My go-to resources for creating a Blog graphics is always Canva or PicMonkey. I use each website for different purposes. PicMonkey is great for editing photos and Canva is great for creating professional-looking graphics that will get your posts noticed on social media. What’s great about Canva is that you can create a template of a blog graphic, and then go back to that template for the next post you write and simply make minor changes to fit the new post. This allows for consistency and branding so that readers will recognize your brand before they even see your logo.
Aside from photos, I also add email opt-in buttons, “Tweet This” buttons, and any relevant affiliate links. Stay tuned for my post that gives the deets on what exactly I put in my blog post before I hit that Publish button! Every single post should include an email opt-in button or form! So important. You will want to make it as easy as possible for someone to join your email list. I use MailerLite to create opt-in buttons, landing pages, and email pop-ups like the ones below. They have an extremely simple user interface that makes creating an opt-in form easy for the not-so-tech-savvy.
7 | Re-read aloud and spell check
There’s a reason why this shouldn’t be done immediately after your finish writing your post. Take a few minutes to do something else before attempting to spell check, giving your mind some time to reset and be able to get a fresh look when you come back to re-read. Sometimes, if the words are still fresh in your brain, you’ll skip over the totally obvious spelling error that you would have caught otherwise because your mind auto-corrects the mistake for you. It’s also great to simply have a friend read the post before hitting Publish. I like to use Grammarly as well to help me catch spelling errors and grammar mistakes. It integrates with WordPress so I can see any errors as I’m editing a post.
8 | Share!
WOOHOO! By this point you’ve organized, written, edited, and hit that Publish button! At this point, all you need to do is share your work!
In this post, I talk a lot about Pinterest and using group boards to reach thousands, even millions, of people every month with your blog posts. Seem too good to be true? Read the post and find out that it’s totally not. To consolidate my effort with sharing to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc., I use a social media scheduler called ViralTag to do all the work for me. I simply select the photo I’d like to share (kind of like using the Pin It button for Pinterest), and schedule to share it on whatever group boards I want, or my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. (They have other social channels available but those are the ones I use most often). Remember, unless you have really amazing SEO (which usually takes time to build up), social media and email will be how your readers will know you exist. So, share, share, and share, baby!
Did I miss anything? What’s your writing process? What’s your go-to beverage to have on hand when sitting down to write? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and share with your bloggy-bloggin’ friends!