Plan, plan, plan. The best advice I’ve heard about blogging is “keep blogging.” One way, maybe the only way, to do that is to have a plan. Over the past year, I’ve developed a planning and blogging process that works best for me. I usually spend a long morning, twice per month, planning blog content. This includes brainstorming ideas, writing content, and posting information. After one year of blogging, I’ve implemented a blogging process that works for me.
My blogging process
- Setup OneNote tabs: I setup one tab per primary category. For me, those categories are Eat, Work, and Live.
- Brainstorm ideas using OneNote pages: Under each tab (category), I create a page for each blog idea.
- Update Excel spreadsheet with topic idea: I also have a running Excel document with ideas. In this document, I also track potential content ideas and social media topics.
- Make an outline in OneNote: Using the previously created OneNote pages, I start an outline.
- Research content: Based on the outline, I start to research content, or if it’s a personal blog or story, I simply jot down my initial thoughts. Sometimes, during this step, I like to put “pen to paper.” I carry around a spiral notebook that I’ve appropriately labeled “blog.” Writing with a pen on paper often helps me flesh out my thoughts and spurs my creativity. If I’ve written something in my spiral, then I’ll type it up later, and add it to my Word document (see next step).
- Write draft content in Word: I transfer my researched content and initial thoughts to a Word document. I find Word is easy to use and provides unmatched editing capabilities.
- Update draft: Either immediately, or overtime, I’ll write the complete blog post. Sometimes content comes easy to me, and other times I need to think about it longer.
- Proof and finalize draft: I’m usually my own editor. If you have others who can edit for you, do it! Either way, take some time away from the draft, come back to it later with “fresh eyes,” and make all needed grammar and stylistic edits. I suggest creating a Style Guide for your blog.
- Add to WordPress: I add a post, copy and paste content, and select my featured image. I save and preview the draft and make tweaks, as needed.
- Schedule and post: WordPress allows for immediate publishing or to schedule for later. If you’re planning ahead, you can schedule for later and organize your blog posts by theme. For example, my preference is to post a mix of Eat, Work, and Live blogs to space out the topics.