You may think all there is to blogging is typing words on a page. Believe it or not, it is so much more than that. Yes, we type words on a page but there is a process. There has to be a process or none of those words would make sense.
The Idea Process
A writer has to come up with ideas. Many ideas. All the time. Constantly.
So, grab a notebook and keep all of your ideas together. I have a notebook and I also keep all of my ideas on my “Blog Ideas” board in Trello, each with its own checklist. I don’t go from top to bottom when I am choosing an idea to use; rather, I choose which theme strikes my fancy.
But where do ideas come from? That depends on your niche, your needs, and the needs of your readers.
- Do you have something you want to learn more about? The answer is to do some research. Google the topic and see what comes up. Or ask the question in Quora. Check out a few of the links to see if you really want to go for it. Do not throw away the topic if it is something that you don’t want to get into now. Save it for later as a possible alternative.
- Is there a topic you feel you are knowledgeable about? Is it what your readers would like to read about? Then teach away. Condense everything you have learned into short bullet points. Your readers will thank you for it.
- Are you in Facebook groups? They are an awesome place to be because questions are always being asked. You can socialize and help the person with their needs and then think about turning your answer into an informative story.
- Are people asking your questions on your blog? Expand on them and turn some into future posts.
You may also just come up with an idea out of the blue. You don’t have to use every single idea you ever come up with, but having said list will come in handy if you are wondering what to write about next week.
The Writing Process
First comes the idea and then you need to build on that idea. This is where that notebook comes in handy. I usually do some freewriting about now…
- jotting down any and all ideas that relate to the topic,
- headings that I may want to use,
- thoughts that come to mind pertaining what I want the outcome to be,
- and, any other concerns that come to mind.
It doesn’t have to make sense now because you will be putting into a recognizable order soon. You just need to get it all down on paper. Or type it into Google Docs where you can sort it out when you are ready. It really just depends on where you are working.
When I get serious about a topic, I get out my notebook and start writing out different thoughts on the subject. I put several spaces in between each thought or idea and keep going until I get writer’s cramp (just kidding). But I do try to exhaust my brain while I’m already in the mood.
Then, I put numbers (1, 2, 3…) next to the sections to determine the order. Now, this isn’t written in stone because the order will probably change once you start typing it for real. The story you are telling needs to flow.
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The Rest of the Process
There’s more? Oh yeah, there’s plenty more. Let the fun begin.
Once you get it typed out it needs to be edited. If you don’t have someone to read it for you just read it aloud yourself. How does it sound? If it didn’t flow well the first time then rearrange it until it’s easier to read.
Then it needs to go to Grammarly to check on any typos or misspelled words or missed commas. And don’t forget to make those changes in your document.
Do you need to add a content upgrade (freebie) to your post? Then that will need to be created, along with the opt-in.
And what about all those pretty pictures? You can’t just pull any photo off of the internet and call it good. No, that is a headache and/or a lawsuit waiting to happen. You have to find CC0 (creative commons zero) pics. There are many options to choose from for free or you can subscribe to a styled-stock library. And then those photos need to be edited and made into Pinterest-friendly and Twitter-friendly images for sharing.
The End of the Process
It really never ends. You just kind of rinse and repeat for every post.
How does one remember everything? You don’t! Remember that “Blog Idea” board I mentioned earlier? I have my editorial list, from beginning to end, on Trello and I just copy it and add the title of my post. Then I follow my checklist so I don’t forget one single step.
I am passing on my own checklist to you, just in case you need a little behind-the-scenes for yourself. It only lists what I use so if you are on Instagram, just add it to the list for yourself. It isn’t complete as I have added to it when I think of something else but it is a good start for now.
Comment below if you have any questions you need an answer to. Who knows? You may ask the question for the next blog post.
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Thank you for your interest!