How I plan and write my blog posts
I am a big believer in streamlined processes for every aspect of my business, and I always say that it is what keeps me going and helps my business to run smoothly. As a small business owner I wear many hats, so the more organized I can be, the better. When it comes to blogging, I have recently worked on streamlining my process even more so that I can bring you better content on a more regular basis without cutting in to the rest of the work I need to do to run my business. I wanted to give you a look at my process so that you can adapt and apply it to your own system and make your blogging just a little bit easier.
If you are a frequent blogger, you know the importance of having a running list of ideas for blog topics so that you always have a resource when you need it. It is important to take the time to brainstorm quality ideas that fit with your blogging niche and are relevant for your audience. Sometimes this can be a difficult task, but I encourage you to use a partner to bounce ideas off of and do research on what will interest your audience. Most of the time, once you get going the ideas will keep coming and you will end up with a long list before you know it. You can write down your ideas on paper or keep a running spreadsheet and go back later to edit and choose which ones are the best for your blog.
If you need help brainstorming ideas, visit my post on 20 Quality Content Blog Post Ideas.
Once you have a good list of post topics, the next step is to organize them into an editorial calendar. You can use any form of a calendar that works best for you - a printable, spreadsheet, planner, etc. - to schedule what topics will post on each blog day. For me, I use a calendar spreadsheet on the computer and this blog planner notepad to keep track of each post and what needs to be done. I usually schedule a month or two in advance so I know which posts need to be written first.
Writing the post
I set aside one day a week for blog writing and can generally write a few posts each writing day. I find that this is the best method for me because I can get into a groove of writing and the words just come easier. I start each post by creating an outline with sub headings that I want to include. This helps me to keep the writing concise and make sure that I include all important information at the same time. Then I dive in a start writing. With Squarespace, I am able to save the drafts easily and I can edit them from the computer or from my phone later. When I feel like I have the content I want, I save the draft into the review section so that I can edit and add images.
For more tips on improving your blog writing and getting those words flowing, visit this post.
Edit, images, and schedule
I also take time during my blogging days to work on editing the posts, creating images, and finalizing the layout. This includes text layout and image placement as well as categorizing and tagging the post. This is when all those little details get taken care of for each post. Then, when everything is ready to go, I schedule the post in Squarespace so that it will automatically post when I need it to and I don't have to worry about it.
The final step in every blog post is sharing the post with others. This could be considered the most important step because you want people to read the post that you have spent so much time working on. The best way to share your post with your followers may depend on your specific industry and where you reach your readers best. Typically I share my posts in a variety of social outlets including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, and email marketing. The specific share style and timing is different for each of these, and it is important to determine the best strategy for your business or blog.
As an overall rule of thumb, you want to make sure to set aside time for your blog so that it gets the attention it deserves. Your blog can be a great way to connect and communicate with others and to grow your audience and community. Take time to utilize this essential outlet and curate relevant and interesting content for your audience. Creating a system for your blogging will help you to make this process run smoothly and make your blogging less of a hassle that gets pushed down on your list to something that you enjoy doing.