A Blogging Process to Get Your Started
Before you got to bed at night, you have a process. When you get ready in the morning, you have a process. When you start to blog, you will eventually create a blogging process which will improve over time.
It’s simple; anything that requires skill to be good at something requires a process.
Last week I showed you 16 benefits one year of consistent blogging can provide you. This week I’m taking the next step to break down my process so you can get started.
My 4 Phase Blogging Process consists of:
- Planning & Preparation Phase
- Writing Phase
- Featured Image Phase
- Post Production Phase
Trust the process and you will achieve what you’re looking for through blogging.
1. Planning & Preparation Phase
Tip: Invest more time in preparing your topic. This will significantly speed up your writing and post production phases.
Picking a topic
Making sure my weekly blog targets my audiences exact struggles is my main agenda. I do this through my on-boarding phase whenever someone signs up and joins my team. Upon joining, they receive a welcome email that asks for the biggest struggles they face when pursuing their creative careers.
This is great and all but I didn’t have this ongoing list of responses to source from in the beginning. If you’re starting out, speak of your own struggles and experiences. Share your story and relate it to the audience your hope to grow.
- What things in your life have you battled through?
- How do you respond to adversity or even a positive situation?
- What kind of processes or skills can you share or teach about?
The main objective is positioning your writing so your reading prospects receives value.
Once you’ve picked a topic you can transition to the next stage of mind mapping.
This process works best for me as I work visually in order to brainstorm and create an outline to work from.
Start with your center focus and then branch out what you plan on talking about. You will create a series of webs and sub webs that you can work from. Or you can organize it a bit more and create a more structure outline.
I have more clarity and direction once I’ve exhausted my idea through mind mapping. It’s so much easier to put together an agenda that I can easily flow through as I’m writing.
If it’s a shorter post and I’m concise in my content, I can start writing straight from my mind map and skip this stage.
Once I’ve written my mind map and outline, I will sleep on the topic. This allows it to marinate overnight before I dive into my morning writing process.
2. Writing Phase
Morning Writing Routine
I used to be a night owl until I discovered the magic of mornings. The silence breeds productivity and clear thinking. I’m able to begin deep writing with a cup of coffee by my side.
Tip: I use a text editor app called IA Writer which allows me to quickly write in Markdown format and export to HTML.
My morning blogging process looks like:
- One morning dedicated to conscious stream of thought writing with absolutely no editing. My goal is to hit at least 1,000 words in the hour – hour and a half allotment. My posts typically average 1,300–1,500 words but this doesn’t have to be the case for you. Michael Hyatt keeps his around 500.Tip: Imagine there is no backspace key on your keyboard when your writing.
- One morning dedicated to polishing and a wave of proofing. I then export my file in HTML.(I would just knock everything out in one day but I work on this before I head to my day job.)
3. Featured Image Phase
I strongly feel your blog needs a feature image. It can be a stock photo or something you made digitally or by hand.
For me, the feature image is what initially will “draw” someone into my post. Then it’s important to follow it with a compelling headline, sub header and opening statement to get complete engagement.
I allot a maximum of 3–5 hours on a piece. I usually work this in later at night as my mornings are dedicated to writing.
Something I started to do as well is make these one off original drawing for sale through my Perspective-Collections campaign. If a drawing has interested you in the past, it’s now available to own!
4. Post Production Phase
WordPress (whatever platform you use will work)
- With the exported HTML file, I copy and paste it into my WordPress post where I will again give it another proof.
- Next I add my images which always include a Title, Caption and Alt Text for SEO discoverability purposes.
- This is followed by 10–15 minutes max of optimizing my post for SEO.Tip: I use a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO which does a lot of the thinking for me!
- I then schedule my post to go live Wednesday mornings at 5am with the Publish to Schedule plugin.
Newsletter – Mailchimp
- Once the post is scheduled, I copy all my text or condense it to an overview with takeaways and paste into a new Mailchimp campaign.
- I again add the images and update any hyperlinks or call to actions buttons.
- I schedule my post out to go at 6am Wednesdays following my website blog post. This lets people have the option to go to my site from my newsletter to read the full post.
Channels of Distribution – Social Media
Once I have my post polished, optimized and scheduled via WordPress and Mailchimp, I distribute through my social channels.
Creating a custom feature image goes a long way for gaining attention to my blog post. I utilize the image along with small takeaways to draw traffic to the original post on my site.
Tip: My goal is always to direct people back to my website. However, you can experiment with native content like inputting your full post on LinkedIn, Facebook Note or Medium.
Instagram – I will announce my blog post 2–3 times but in different ways throughout the week.
- I may post a time-lapse video WIP (work in progress) announcing that I’m sharing my process on Snapchat.
- I post a WIP image of the drawing to announce the weeks blog post topic with a takeaway or even a call to action (CTA) to voice your opinion on the subject.
- I post the final on Wednesday giving more takeaways and a CTA to read the full post.
Facebook – Similar to Instagram, I will post 2–3 times to announce the blog post but in different ways.
- I may post that time-lapse video WIP again.
- Typically I will post a WIP image with takeaways along with a link to my post.
- I then post the final drawing with more takeaways with a link to my post.
- I will post a WIP image with a takeaway along with a link to my post.
- I then post the final drawing with another takeaway with a link to my post.
- I may occasionally tweet a takeaway from the post and link it to my site.
- I post a final drawing at 800x600px with minor html and a link referring back to my blog post.
- As soon as my post is live, I use the Google Chrome Pinterest Plugin to pin my drawing to a designated board. This will redirect the Pinterest viewer to my blog post upon clicking.
- Throughout the whole week I’m speaking to my audience about the topic.
- I also share my entire drawing process of the feature image from beginning to end.
Tip: Do not spam your audience with the same image and message over and over. Get creative and give value by using takeaways from your post.
Blogging Process Becomes Routine
When looking at this process, it may seem like a lot but in reality it isn’t. I spend up to 3–4 hours total on the writing, editing and posting process along with the 3–5 hours drawing. You obviously don’t need to write as long of posts as I do nor spend that much time on a feature image.
The whole point is just to get started. Even if it’s just short mini posts with a stock photo or some typed feature image, putting consistent content out there is the key.
Establishing a routine with your blogging process will become second nature as you develop your own methods.
You have a voice and what you have to say matters to someone out there.
I’d love to hear from you if you start your blogging journey after reading this. Email me to keep me updated on your progress.
- Investing time in preparing your topic will speed up the writing and post production phase immensely.
- Make sure your blog targets your audiences struggles if possible.
- Position your writing to where you are giving value to your prospecting readers.
- A featured image will pique interest and bring more traffic to your blog
- I use the image along with small takeaways through social to bring traffic to the post on my site.
- Do not spam your audience with the same image and message over and over.