Do you ever sit down to write your next blog post with a million ideas, so ready to share your thoughts with the world, and then you put your fingers on the keys and nothing?
Or maybe it is a long in-cohesive brain dump that only makes sense to you?
When I first started blogging far too often did I get stuck in one of these situations. It wasn’t until I developed a method and a system for my posts that I was able to efficiently write my blog posts.
Perfecting your blogging process can be done with discipline. It is easy to get distracted or maybe you are stumped on where to start. Then suddenly blogging can become more of a chore rather than something that should be fun.
Here are a few quick tips:
Always have a notepad with you or have an ongoing note in your phone. Here you can store blog post ideas, quotes, or topics that will inspire you when it comes down to writing your next post. This will help you stay organized when it comes to creating a series or a flow between each week's blog posts. Whenever you have an idea, don’t forget to jot it down.
In addition to being organized with your ideas and inspiration, be organized with your writing time too. Depending on how much content you want to put out each week and the amount of time you have to work you can schedule your time in two different ways.
- Schedule time to write for your blog every day or every other day. Maybe for you, it is thirty minutes because the kids wake up in the morning or an hour during naptime. You can set the time, just try to be consistent with it.
- Your second option is to batch your writing. This is what I personally do. Instead of writing a little bit each day, I set aside a larger window of time, usually on Saturday, to knock out all of my blog content for the week. This helps me “get in the zone” and I seem to crank out the information more quickly.
Having a specific schedule to do your work is best rather than only writing when you feel like it. Just write! If you work best in a busy place, like in your nearest coffee shop, then go there to write.
If you are the type of person who is more productive in a quiet space, then get to work in your home office. My favorite time to write is late at night when my hubby and little boy are asleep. I feel like I have no other responsibilities so that is when my creative juices get flowing.
Here are the steps I like to follow to efficiently write my blog posts, while still creating valuable and relevant content.
1. Decide on a topic
First of all, you need to decide on a topic to blog about. Grab your notebook for ideas that you’ve written down throughout the week.
Also, take a look at your past posts and see which ones had the most comments, shares or engagement. Expand on those topics or consider turning that post into a series.
You can even ask your followers on social media or on your email list. This can be a fun interactive way to know what your readers want to learn more about and how you can best serve them.
2. Make a summary
After selecting your topic, you need to make a summary of what you want to achieve in that blog. Ideally, after reading your post you want to be able to take your reader from point A to point B, meaning you want to solve one problem or answer one specific question for your reader.
For example, let’s say you are a food blogger and your targeted reader is stay at home moms. You know that your readers what quick healthy meals for their family so in your post you are going share a five-ingredient recipe that can be prepared in thirty minutes or less.
This takes your reader from the problem of, “I don’t have a lot of time, and I need to make something quick and yummy for dinner” to “Oh, this recipe looks good. I’ll start boiling the water.”
See what I mean? You solved a specific problem for that mom.
Or maybe you are like me and run a more technical blog that has a lot of tutorials. One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I start a blog?” I am asked this almost daily via email or in my Facebook group, so I put together a step-by-step post that takes my reader from, “How do I start a blog?” to a fully set up self-hosted site.
Try to hone in on one specific topic or problem that you want to cover in each post.
To start, make a quick break down of everything you want to include in your post. Ask yourself what you want your reader to take away after reading the post. Think about the end result you want to your reader to be able to achieve after reading through your content.
At this point don’t worry about the format or style, just note down everything you want to include, that way all your ideas are flowing and not held back. You can write these on the same notebook you write down your ideas on. During this step, I usually open up a blank google doc and do a brain dump.
Once you have your ideas on paper then create an outline for your post.
3. Choose your format
Now that you have the basic groundwork of what your post will be about, decide on a format or a layout that would best suit it. Pick one that clearly relays the information you are putting in. Depending on your subject, you might need more area to post photos, or have a graph, or having a simple layout for your paragraphs.
For example in my post How To Create Pinterest Graphics with Canva, I have detailed steps, so there are lots of photos to guide the reader through the process. This format works very well if you are doing a tutorial with lots of steps.
Other posts don’t need step-by-step instructions, so you can include images to liven up the text. Like for example my post, Eight Ways To Make Your Blog More Readable. I have images to break up the text, but the are there more so to make things look pretty than to help the reader understand.
4. Start with a bang
Picking the right title is very important. The title is one of the main reasons why a viewer will click through to read your post. Remember the key problem we talked about in step #2? You can mention that problem in the title.
Your title can be serious or humorous, it all depends on your personality and what you want to convey. It’s truly a skill to make great titles that catch people’s attention. If you are having a hard time coming up with a strong title try using the Co-schedule Headline Analyzer to help you determine how strong your title is.
The beginning of your post should reel the reader in. You can include a great photo, a quote or even a personal story that ties into your blog post
5. Follow through
Now it’s time to write your blog, which will be much easier because you have an outline of what you want to cover. Start filling in the spaces on your outline. Try “free writing”. This just means to keep on writing and to get all your ideas down before even editing or even checking the grammar or spelling.
I’ve found that if I try to make it perfect the first time around I just type myself in a circle. I am able to write much more quickly if I know I can go back and edit once I am finished.
This technique can also make your blog sound more relaxed and genuine because it sounds more conversational. When you are done free writing, editing becomes easier and you can go back and do the necessary changes and proofread your blog a couple of times till you are satisfied.
I always proof my blog posts with the free version of Grammarly and read through it one last time to make sure that everything flows.
At the end of your blog, make sure to make the message of your blog clear and something that the reader will take away and value after they have read it. As a bonus, you can end your post with a freebie like a content upgrade, or similar posts that the reader may be interested in. This will give your reader more time to get to know you by either joining your email list or reading more of your content.
Speaking of which…
If you want to grow your blog this year, grab my swipe file full of my favorite free resources for bloggers!