Today’s topic is a question I get asked about almost daily; “what actually goes into a blog post?” For those of you who don’t really blog, you’ll probably think it goes a little something like take photos, edit, write and publish. Whilst in theory that sounds about right, it also couldn’t be further from the truth. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into each individual blog post and people are always so surprised at how much effort, time and hard work it takes to make something look effortless.
It’s important that every single post on here brings YOU value, content, bright & high quality photos, so that you go away feeling inspired, informed and motivated. Of course my way isn’t the only way of doing things, it’s just what has worked for me. Many bloggers have different strategies and methods that work for them, I’m just here sharing my way and experience.
Once a month I’ll sit down and have a content planning & strategy session. I brainstorm topic ideas, directions, and the kinds of content I want to focus on for that month. Is there a focus on health? Beauty? Travel? Are there any holidays coming up? I also need to incorporate any kind of collaboration posts. For instance, if there’s particular brands I’m working with, I’ll need to set out all the dates so nothing clashes. I also schedule in any meetings, events, and photoshoots. Basically I plan out what I’m doing on each day for the entire month.
Once a week, I’ll also need to have mini brainstorming sessions to finalize the exact content for each day. This is where I align it with my social media calendar so I can start creating content for all my platforms as each post goes live. Knowing what posts are about to go live also allows me to gather props or any information I need in advance.
There are also days where I’ll get inspiration for a post or questions and feel the need to post about it so the schedule is quite flexible. At the moment I aim to post on Sunday Chapter at least 3-4 times a week, but will be upping that to 5-6 times a week towards the end of the year so the bulk of content has to be set out and planned months in advance.
Shooting & editing
As I mentioned before in this post, I prefer to batch my tasks together. There’s usually 1-2 days a week that I’ll dedicate to shooting photos which has helped me a great deal. I prefer to have photos ready to go rather than having to worry about setting up shooting before or after you’ve written each individual post. For me, it just takes up too much time.
Details are VERY important to me (I’m a perfectionist, remember?) so I need to plan in advance to organise all the props I need for each individual shoot. If it’s a photoshoot, I make sure to have outfits ready to go and prepare from the night before to make sure my nails are painted, hair is styled/not a train wreck, and all those little details are taken care of.
When it comes to editing, it’s always been a long process for me because I’m very specific with how I like my photos to look. I need them to fit the brand and my aesthetic (e.g. dark, gloomy, overly sharp & de-saturated photos are usually a no-go for me). To speed up this process, I often have presets ready-to-go in Lightroom. I use both Lightroom & Camera Raw to adjust the colours, shading, crop, etc etc.
Writing the post
Strangely enough, I think I spend the least amount of time actually writing posts despite it being the part I enjoy the most. When I’m writing, I need a certain work flow that involves coffee, chill house music or silence, and a bright, clean space. I love being surrounded by things that inspire me – flowers, candles, calendars, prints, and positive affirmations. This is extremely important for me because for some reason I just cannot focus in mess or dark spaces. When I’m surrounded by mess, my mind is all over the place and I get distracted way too easily (…like a puppy, honestly).
Once the post is written, then I go back and add photos and code them to be formatted a particular way. I take care of the presentation – borders, backgrounds, spacing and so on. I go through and proof read to correct any grammar mistakes, add links, & any shop the post widgets. I make sure all the SEO is good to go and add tags so people can easily search the post, and then it’s time to hit publish!
UNLESS it’s a collaboration/sponsored post which means this will only be the draft. It will be sent out for approval and there’s usually a bit of back and forth emailing before it’s all good to go.
Social media promotion
The process definitely does NOT end once the post is live, it’s only the beginning! Now it’s time to promote & market the post across all social media channels. I share the post to Pinterest, Facebook, WeHeartIt and Tumblr, and also create separate graphics/edits for Pinterest & Instagram. For each individual post, I post 1-3 images to Instagram and I also make sure to share to Twitter in the morning and night to reach different audiences. I also promote some posts through Instagram stories and Snapchat given the post works for the platform (for instance, I don’t feel any need to share collages on Snapchat). I want to get the word out, but I try not to be pushy and annoying about it.
I try to respond to every single comment on the blog post and on social media. Engagement with your audience is so crucial and I always feel a little put off when I reach out to a blogger and they don’t even acknowledge me. No matter how much time it takes, I always get around to respond to each comment. In the end, your readers are everything!
So there you have it. All the steps I take to form a blog post, and this doesn’t include the added steps of emails, contracts, approvals and invoices if it’s a sponsored / collaboration post. I guess you could say it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed?
It’s definitely taken me a while to form a good system. You guys should’ve seen me about 6-8 months ago… complete and utter mess.
I’d love to know a bit of insight into your creative system. Is your blogging process similar to mine or very different? I’m always so interested to hear!