How to Craft the Perfect Blog Post


I believe there's an art to writing a good blog post. Personally, I never just have an idea and sit down and write a post from start to finish. There are usually ten steps I follow; however, these aren't set in stone - it's just how my writing process has evolved over the years. 

How I Create My Blog Posts in Ten Steps

Step 1: The Idea
I get my ideas for my blog posts from anywhere and everywhere; they can come wherever I am and at any time of the day or night. I have a lot of ideas while I'm in the shower or out for a walk/run (probably because these are times my mind can wander as I'm not focused on anything else). An idea for a post could be sparked by something I've read and want to give my own take on, something another person has said or asked me about, a TV show or documentary that I've found interesting, or sometimes it can just appear out of seemingly nowhere.

Step 2: The Notes
I need to jot my ideas down as soon as I have them, otherwise I'll more than likely end up forgetting them. Depending on where I am, I'll either write in my phone's notes app, in my blogging notebook, on a piece of scrap paper or occasionally on my hand (welcome to the life of a writer; I also carry a pen with me at all times). I'll do any research that needs to be done at this point by using Google, Pinterest and talking to people who may know about the topic. 

Step 3: The Title
Once I've thought of a topic I want to write about and an angle to give it, I'll open up a Word document and write a working title. This doesn't always end up being the title of the actual post - it's usually too boring and I tend to make the title a bit more attention-grabbing once I've written the post (the working title for this is How I Write a Blog Post - not very inspiring, is it?) but it keeps me focused on the subject I'm writing about, otherwise I might go off on a tangent.

Step 4: The Outline
I'll transfer my notes to the document from wherever I've written them, then I'll juggle them into the best order to make the post read as smoothly as possible. I'll write all the subheadings (sometimes these are just working titles, too) and play around until they're in the order I want. 

Step 5: The Post
Now I can finally start writing the body of the post. Since I already have an outline, I just have to 'fill in the blanks' - write a paragraph or two under each subheading. I don't do this in order from point 1-10 (or however many points or tips I'm sharing). I'll often start with the one I have the most to say about and carry on from there, so I could explain point 7, then 2, then 9, then 5 - I'm sure you get the gist - until all the points have been filled in and fleshed out. Someone watching me may be a little confused by this but it makes sense to me (there's always a method to my madness). This part of the process usually also involves plenty of trips to Twitter and Instagram while I try to procrastinate.



Step 6: The Conclusion
When the post is written, I'll write a short conclusion summarising everything I've said in the post and I'll often include a question or CTA (call to action) to encourage the reader to stay a little longer, read something else on the blog or interact with the post in some way (such as leaving a comment). 

Step 7: The Intro
The last thing I write is usually the introduction. This might seem strange, but I find it hard to write an intro until I know what the rest of the post says.

Step 8: The Pin and Pictures
Now it's time to make the post a little more attractive, rather than just a page full of text to read. If I'm being honest, this isn't my favourite part. I'm no photographer and usually use stock images to illustrate my posts (unless I'm writing a review). Once I've chosen a few suitable photos I'll head over to Canva (a godsend for bloggers) to make the Pinterest graphic, or pin. This doesn't usually take long as I have a set style for my pins and can often use an existing template from another of my posts and just change the picture and words. Doing this task at this particular point gives me a break from my writing and fresh eyes to move onto the next step, which is...

Step 9: The Editing
This is the part most people hate, but I actually enjoy it. In my mind, all the hard work (writing the post) has been done and all I have to do is make it better. I'll proofread and edit the post, checking for any spelling mistakes, typos, repeated words, misplaced punctuation and incorrect grammar or colloquialisms that people from other areas or countries may not understand (most of my readers are from the US so I try not to include too many 'English-isms'). I'll also make sure the post is as SEO friendly as possible. Then I'll copy and paste it from Word to Blogger, add the pictures I've chosen, read the post again and use the preview function to see how it will look on my blog. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I re-read my posts up to about ten times; this would be a bit excessive for most people but I'm very thorough and detail-oriented (and terrified of typos). Once I've done all this, I'll hit that publish button. 

Step 10: The Promotion
Finally, my blog post has been written and published. Woohoo! Now it's time to let people know it exists by sharing it on social media. The majority of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest, then Twitter, then Google searches, so these are the three things I concentrate on the most. I'll upload the pin to Pinterest, linking back to my blog post, and share it on a few group boards as well as my dedicated board for my blog. I'll send out a tweet, adding relevant hashtags and tagging a couple of blog RT accounts for good measure. Sometimes I also take part in Twitter blog sharing threads, which is a good way to get more views and comments. 

So that's my process for crafting a blog post. It's worth noting that I don't always do all of this in one sitting; sometimes it can be over hours or days with breaks in between. I could make the outline one day, write the post the next and edit it another day - it just depends on how much time I have and how motivated I'm feeling.  

I'd love to know how you craft your blog posts - do you plan them or do you just sit down and write? Let me know in the comments! 

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Comments

  1. These are such good tips! I'm working more on my Pinterest, but it is taking time!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  2. I am definitely going to have to try out some of these steps! I am also working on Pinterest but it's a slow process!

    http://journeyinlaw.com/

    Imogen :)

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  3. Really helpful post for someone who's not been doing it for that long! Definitely going to be taking these steps into consideration! x

    Jared Davies | Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger
    www.jareddavies.co.uk

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  4. This really interesting to read, I am always curious how others write blog posts! I'm exactly the same, most of my inspiration strikes when I am out on a walk or in the bath, hehe! Having a bloggers notebook is so handy, plus any excuse for more stationery, amiright? :D My process is quite similar to yours, although I do my photos first (as it my fave part of blogging) then I'll write the words around the images. I do like your suggestion of writing the introduction last, for me that is always the hardest part, I'll defo have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing your tips Nicola, fab post as always! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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  5. This was great, really good tips! I've been trying to work Pinterest, but been kind of struggling. I'd be interested in how you do it. Thanks for this post, anyway! x

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  6. Wow, this process is totally different to mine! I usually map out all the posts I want to write in a month in my planner, then when the time is coming to write each one, I've usually thought about it so much that it's already written in my head. Then by the time I sit down to write, I'm basically doing the final edit of the version in my head, then I add the photos etc. I'm trying to work on building my Pinterest right now! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  7. I pretty much follow the same steps, although I have dozens of notes for different posts that I add to randomly, until I settle for which ones I'll actually properly work on

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  8. I love the process you go through to make a blog post. I always take notes about my posts and put it together sometime later. The best part of the whole process is the promotion! It is so cool to post your finished work in different platforms. Thanks for sharing your process! I am pretty much similar to you but might have done things in different orders, but it's all good!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  9. This post is so helpful! Something I need to work harder on is making notes before writing the post, as I'm often very impulsive and just quickly write up a post as soon as I get the idea, and proof-reading my posts after I've written them (I'm so lazy and I need to work on that, haha..) Thank you for this post :) x

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  10. I often "write" blog posts in my head and then scribble down notes. I tend to write directly to Wordpress rather than in a document. I use Yoast to sharpen everything up.

    Misa | starsandsprinkles.co.uk

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  11. Love this post. Very good advice and helpful info. I need the reminder for publish a post and getting it out there. Do you write your post on the blog or transfer it from like a word document?

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  12. This was such a detailed and yet simple outline for how to write a great blog post! I always tend to write down an idea, and then slowly add ideas to it, and it somehow forms from a blob of thoughts into a cohesive blog post, haha. Your ways sounds MUCH more rational than my mind! But I love seeing what steps you take to create your blog posts! So interesting :)

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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  13. You're a magician for being able to get blog traffic through pinterest. I try, but it never works!

    Also, I like your process. Mine is much different and, thanks to your post, I may just make a post out of it!

    •Bree
    letsbebreef.com/blog

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  14. I always find it interesting seeing the process for others when writing blog posts, that's quite a good idea of writing the intro last because after you've written the body of the post it probably makes it easier to write the intro. I usually always start with that, I feel like I'd struggle to write it out in a different order, but maybe I'll give it a try! Thank you for sharing :)

    Chloe xx
    www.chloechats.com

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  15. Ideas for blog posts can come from literally anywhere, and that’s what I love about blogging even if that does mean right before I’m about to sleep, a random post idea will pop into my head and I write a random tangents in my notes app haha! YES ESPECIALLY WHEN IM ON A RUN - it’s like my brain thinks of a million and one thing when I’m running.

    Titles usually come to me when I’m mid-way or completely finished with a post, there’s no in-between or sometimes I’ll finish writing the post and I won’t have a title for it that I absolutely love!

    I vaguely write an imaginary outline, but usually I write everything I want and then afterwards find myself outlining my thoughts better. I basically do the opposite of you even though yours makes more sense to do haha. The only time I have a set outline is if I’m writing a breakdown of an Amendment of the Constitution or vaguely for my crash courses!

    I have to say that with photos, I either have a set of photos I took early in the week or I’m trying to figure out when I can squeeze in a quick photo session!

    I actually love editing ONLY if I wrote the post days in advance and then I come back to it and add some more to it or fine tuning some of the points I already mentioned! I usually have a point/something I came across I want to showcase/opinion, and then I think backwards to how I got to that point (that probably didn’t make sense haha!)

    Sahara | https://saharas-dreams.blogspot.com/

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  16. I really like this logical order of blogging. You're totally spot on about writing the introduction last, this was what we were told to do with essays at university. It's still stuck with me. Personally I write blog posts out in pen first before typing it all up - it really helps me get the flow of the post better. I also agree that the pins and pictures aren't my favourite part.

    John | www.themaverickjohn.com

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