I’ve been blogging since November 2015 and have come into a good routine when writing new posts. I thought I’d share that process with you all today.
I will admit that it’s not always easy to come up with new content, and when I commit to writing a blog post, I want it to be meaningful and worthwhile. The purpose of my blog is to develop a connection with my readers and to engage in valuable conversation. Some bloggers can’t go one day without posting something new. This is fine, I guess, if you post valuable content. I would rather post one or two really good posts per week than to throw together poorly constructed posts every day that don’t get any feedback.
Luckily, coming up with new content gets a little easier. My 4 kids are always saying something or doing something cute, sweet, funny, annoying, or amazing. I just let my kids inspire what I write and usually the content flows better than sitting down trying to think of what I’m writing next. I also draw from local and national news, interesting posts I’ve read from other bloggers, or maybe a book or TV show.
The content is BY FAR the most important aspect of blogging. This is why we write, isn’t it? We have ideas we want to share and people we want to engage with who hopefully will become loyal and contributing fans of our work. Without quality content, nothing else that is done will matter. You can have the best pictures and titles ever created, but if your content is lousy and not interesting, your post won’t get attention. Content is where I spend 95% of my time during the blog post creation process.
Many times I will come up with ideas which I develop into post titles. I don’t always have a full idea of what I’m going to write about at that point, but if I like the title enough, I’ll go ahead and throw it into a WordPress post and save it as a draft. That way, the idea never leaves and I can take time to think about what I want to say, come back later, and write the post. I write my posts in Microsoft Word so that I can do a thorough spelling and grammar check. I’ll then copy and paste the final version into WordPress.
After I’m satisfied with the written content, I will add images. This is my favorite part of building a blog post. Almost all of the images you see on my site come from my iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality of the camera on the iPhone and find it convenient to be able to edit photos right from my phone. If I’m away from my home PC, I use several apps to help me edit. Adobe Photoshop Express is a really good app to do basic edits to photos and is FREE. If I’m really satisfied with the original photo, I may throw it into Instagram for light filtering. I have definitely learned the less editing and filtering done to a photo the better. I like the pictures I take to be as original and raw as possible, but there are times when I do adjust for red eye, brightness, and other basic properties.
If I am working with photos on my home PC, I use several free tools (see a pattern, here??). If I’m not using a personal photo for my featured images, I’m usually on Pixabay.com choosing from thousands of free Images.
Once I’ve selected my featured image, I have several tools at my disposal to add text to them. Picfont.com is a very easy to use website where you can upload your image and modify different aspects, including adding text. I also downloaded a free photo editing program called PhotoScape. PhotoScape has more options and features than Picfont, but depending on what I’m creating both suit my needs just fine.
Visual Presentation and SEO
After I’ve edited and formatted all of my images into the blog post, I do a quick preview of the blog post inside of WordPress to make sure everything is visually aligned and looks presentable. At this point, I make any final edits to the texts and use the Yoast plugin for SEO optimization.
Before hitting the schedule or publish button in WordPress, I add my categories and tags. I try to stick to no more than 3-4 categories and 5 or 6 tags.
Publishing/Social Media Engagement
I’m done with the post! I sit back and let WordPress publish the post not only to my blog, but to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. I make it a point to share the blog post multiple times throughout the week through the Hootsuite app. If I’m active in Facebook groups that week, I’ll share it with the group during the appropriate share time periods and use that time to engage with other bloggers.
There you have it, folks! My simple and effective method for writing and publishing blog posts.
What steps do you follow to write and publish? I’m interested in your methods and any additional tools you may use that could be beneficial to my process.