To run a successful blog, you need to be consistent. To be consistent, you should have a simple process for writing a blog. One that you can rinse and repeat that will ensure you post the best blog you can. Here is my simple process for blog writing.
Topic Idea’s List
It’s essential to have a bank of idea’s you can go to for blog topics. I have a list I keep in Asana a project management app. For each post idea, I create I also try to make notes on what I could write about in that post. For example
Topic: Creating a simple process for writing a blog
- Topic Idea’s List
- Content Calendar
- Plan Ahead
- Editing & Design Process
This way I have a structure for my blog when I come to write it. When thinking of topic ideas I make sure to do keyword research to see if there are relevant keywords that I can include in this post. I use a free tool called Ubersuggest for this to search for the terms that people are using.
Rather than creating a title that I come up with I try to make it what people might be searching for. However, if there is no search volume and a still want to write the post I don’t let it stop me. If I believe the information will be useful for my readers then I create the post anyway.
Once you have a list of ideas it’s good to organise them into a calendar. Look at your business themes for the month, any events you have coming up or services you wish to promote. Then arrange your blog posts around those themes.
This blog is very new and as you might be aware I am taking part in Blogmas to make sure I can build up a bank of content to help you get started with blogging. So this month is all about getting started, the technical and the practical tips for starting your website and blog.
Next month the theme will change as I will have shared a lot of the beginner knowledge with you. In Asana you have the option to add dates to your tasks. As I created my list of blog topic ideas in Asana as tasks I then go through and add dates to them. You can put the list view into calendar view and arrange your posts by dragging and dropping them around the days.
Having a content calendar makes planning ahead easy. You can see what posts you have coming up, create them in advance schedule them into WordPress so they go live as planned. I try to ensure I schedule a time for writing the blog posts into my personal calendar. Blocking out a section of time to dedicate to writing, editing and designing my posts.
I use a calendar app to block out periods of time, assigning different time blocks to different calendars depending on the type of task. For example, I would block out time for exercise in my health calendar, time for working on a client website in my client calendar and time for content creation in my business calendar. I was using Google Calendar for this but I recently moved over to iCal to give it a go. It seems to be working well so far!
The writing process is simple. In my allocated time I sit down and see what topic I am scheduled to write about. I use the notes I have already made to create a structure and a working title. I then fill in the gaps. Doing research where needed. This takes me an hour or so depending on the topic I am writing about. When the draft is complete I move onto the editing process.
The Editing Process
Editing is not my strongest point. I struggle with spelling and grammar, but I want to make sure that I can communicate my point as well as possible. So I have a system to improve my articles as much as possible. I write my post in a Google Doc, I make sure to have Grammarly switched on. Grammarly is a Chrome extension which pics up on your spelling and grammar mistakes and highlights them as you go. The free version, which I have, picks up on quite a lot.
I then move my edited draft into a website called Hemmingway app. This analyses the text for passive sentences, sentences that are too long or difficult to read, words that are not necessary as well as a few other readability factors. Using this app I read through my post once and make the adjustments that I agree with.
The almost-finished article goes into a new post on WordPress. I use Yoast SEO to improve the SEO of my website and this plugin also pics up on the readability of your post. By now my post is pretty much there. Yoast has a traffic light system to tell you how good your content is so I make the suggested changes to turn that traffic light green.
Once my traffic light has gone green and I am happy with the content of the article I move onto the finishing touch. Add a featured image, create a Pinterest image for the post using Canva and add any other images that would be relevant or useful. I make sure to select the appropriate categories and add any tags to the post.
Then I work on the SEO for the blog post. I use Yoast and the suggestions it provides to optimise the content for my chosen keyword. I create metadata using a free tool that shows you the character length for the title and description. Images should all have alternative text on them so I make sure to include the keyword in the alternative text.
When I am happy that all these smaller, but very important details are complete I schedule to post to go live on the date determined in my calendar.
Then it’s time to promote. This is where I am falling behind currently and an area that I will be working on. Using the Pinterest image I have created I share my blog on Pinterest and then share that same image on my Instagram stories.
As I start to promote my posts more I will share more on this topic. I will also amend and add a section for analysis as once your post is live and you have been promoting it everywhere you can you should check back in to see how it is performing.
With a move back from Australia and a commitment to creating one post a day for the lead up to Christmas, I am very busy. My promotion and analysis will come after Christmas when I can see how well this challenge has worked. Check back for an update in the new year!