Blogging is such a learning process isn’t it? If you’re anything like me you’ve experimented a ton, looked to other bloggers for advice and done research on top of research to find out what’s in that secret sauce that allows some of these big time bloggers to consistently churn out awesome content, be ever present on social media and otherwise rock at blogging.
Well folks, the secret sauce is a workflow. Basically, every successful blogger has a workflow that they stick to which makes them efficient, consistent and constantly on top of their game. The blog world can be a fast paced and often demanding environment and some days I was left wondering how the heck they did it! Anyone else?
My workflow was created through trial and error. At around the six month mark I realized that I really really loved blogging but didn’t always have the time required to create new content and promote it effectively. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: blogging is only partly about writing posts and mostly about marketing yourself, connecting with other bloggers and putting yourself out there. Problem is all that takes time and unless you’re willing to be chained to your computer 24/7 you’ll eventually either create your own workflow or get burned out.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty shall we?
Below is a a very detailed description of how I get inspired, write and promote my posts here on TTBH.
My blogger workflow
Inspiration for posts can come from any and every aspect of your life both on and offline. I approach all my time online as a source of inspiration for future posts. I’ll often come across a pin, article, tweet or instagram photo that will spark an idea or leave me asking questions. In these moments I pull out my iPhone and jot down a one line note that serves as a reminder of what sparked my interest in the first place.
If you’re struggling to come up with blog post ideas, don’t fret! It happens to the best of us. Why not create a secret pinterest board where you save posts that get your creative juices flowing? Save as many as you like and when you’re feeling drained of ideas have a quick look – I can guarantee you that you’ll come away with some awesome new ideas.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out my blog post prompt ideas board on pinterest!
I like to stay ahead of the game so to speak. As a result, I tend to write a whole months worth of blog posts at the end of the previous month so I can focus on marketing my posts, engaging with my readers and connecting with other bloggers when the posts go live. I use WP Editorial Calendar to draft blog posts and assign them to different days throughout the month. The editorial calendar is amazing because I can drag and drop my drafts, move them around and edit right from the calendar. Once I’ve got a plan for the month which usually includes roughly 12 posts that come from topics revolving around frugal living, motherhood and blogging tips I get going on writing.
Generally, it takes me about a week to write 12 posts. I’ll often jump around from one post to the other and write a little before closing it for the day. I rarely write an entire post in one sitting. I find that letting my ideas steep a little helps me refocus my ideas and gain some direction with my writing. Of course, that’s totally an individual and personal preference – there are a ton of bloggers who write one post at a time and like to complete each one before moving on to the next. Your workflow needs to work for you!
Once I’ve created my posts I get going on creating images and inserting them into my posts. I’m a little late to the Pinterest game – I didn’t truly understand or appreciate it as a blog marketing tool until very recently (which I regret) and so I’m really focusing on including pin worthy images in my posts. I’m trying to create two high quality, vertical images to include in each of my posts. If you missed my post about where to find free images for your blog and how to edit them you should have a look since I’ve listed all my favorite sites there. Essentially, once I’ve found images (either stock or that I’ve taken myself) I head over to PicMonkey or Canva to edit and prepare them for my post. My posts generally include a featured image and two pinterest pins.
Once a post has its images uploaded and inserted I proof read it multiple times. Once I’ve made necessary edits I categorize and tag the post and polish up the SEO using Yoast SEO (another phenomenal WordPress plugin). From there I schedule my post to be published. I tend to post on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule around 7:00 am. I started off with this schedule and since it works for me I’m sticking to it. I don’t believe there is a set number of posts required to be a good blogger. Instead, consistency is key – if you’re readers know you post on Fridays then give those folks consistency by posting every Friday.
Social Media Sharing
With all my posts ready to publish, I head over to my various social media automation tools to set up automated instagram posts, tweets and pinterest pins. As much as I love being on social media it’s nearly impossible for me to be “around” all the time. I just can’t commit to that. So, I’ve done my research and started to use the following apps to streamline the process a little. Of course, I do use social media in a more “live” manner on a daily basis but using these apps helps remove the stress of promoting my posts consistently since once it’s set up I can just forget about it and focus more on interacting with my readers and other bloggers which is what I love the most about blogging.
Instagram & Twitter: I stick to using Hootsuite to schedule my tweets and Instagram posts. I realize there are probably better alternatives out there but Hootsuite is very easy to use and really makes the process stress free. I generally schedule one Instagram post on the day my post is released with the hashtag #ontheblogtoday and create tweets every other day to market that post on twitter. I rinse and repeat this process for each of my posts for the upcoming month. In all, I probably spend 3-4 hours creating my promotional social media posts.
Pinterest: Pinterest is truly the place to be when it comes to publicizing your posts. Like I mentioned above, I’m really late to the party which I regret but I’m trying to make strides now that I’m more aware of how useful Pinterest can be to increasing your page views and driving traffic to your blog. In a nutshell, Pinterest acts like a search engine that returns visual results (pins) instead of a text list of websites like a more traditional search engine. The key to Pinterest though involves being active, pinning consistently and sharing your own content. The issue is that this takes a ton of time. After doing some research and trying out a few other Pinterest automation apps I’ve settled on using Boardbooster – it is absolutely a breeze to use and it makes pinning, sharing content and looping pins easy as pie.
In a nutshell I spend most days casually creating blog post ideas that are inspired by just about everything and anything I read online. From there, I spend a solid week drafting content, creating images, editing my content and creating promotional posts to share on various forms of social media.
My method might not work for everyone. It’s really something that I developed by trial and error and works well with my lifestyle. Approaching blogging this way gives me 3 weeks “off” and 1 week “on” so that I can spend the majority of the month connecting with you fine folks!
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Do you have a blogging workflow? What does your method look like?