Wednesday 6 March 2013

How to write your blog posts efficiently...

I was asked the other day about how I schedule my posts, decide what to write and how I actually do it. I hadn't really thought about it before but I thought it might be helpful, so here we go....

I write blog posts in my head all the time, some of them are silly and never make it to the blog, some I forget about and of course some do make it out there. I also take photos all the time, whatever we are doing, whether it be something interesting or something mundane, there is usually an angle I can write about. I think that is where my creative side kicks in!

Usually on a Monday or Tuesday I sit down and upload the latest batch of pictures to the mac. I go through and 'flag' the ones I want to use, these are usually over several days so cover various events or items of interest. I like to get the blog posts for the week written in one go so that I can forget about it for the rest of the week and concentrate on business matters.

Next, I open photoshop and open all the flagged pictures. I do a quick bit of editing, add my name to the image and crop it to size. I try and stick to the rule of 600px wide. Once I have done editing I save all the images to my desk top. Sometimes, like today's post I don't have any photos, so I will whip up some graphics instead.

By this time I usually need a drink, water or tea that is!

Time to write. I open up blogger and 'new post' and upload any pictures for the post. Once I have the images up I find it easier to write. The images give me a prompt to work with. So, I write away, when I have finished I have a read through and do a spell check. Then I add any links.

Next up labels, it is important to add these if you want your readers to be able to search and find your posts and to help goolge index you blog, better for your ranking. I wish I had know this when I had started out!

Once that is done, I hit preview so I can check there is no dodgy formatting issue going on.

Then finally I use the scheduling function in conjunction with google calendar so I know what is scheduled and for when. I usually set the post to go out 6am JST. Using google calendar, I can see if easily if the blog post clashes with something or if it would be more appropriate to post it on a specific day.

I have some sponsored posts/ promotional posts, I get the information for them usually a couple of weeks before they need to be scheduled, for example, the recent Action Pack post. I tend to write these posts as the information comes in and schedule them ahead of time, this means I can work my 'everything else' posts around the promotional ones.

There are also the regular posts such as 'Pinterest Love' and 'Inspiration Sunday' these I try and schedule a month in advance, this takes the pressure off in case I have a really busy week and not able to blog for some reason. For Inspiration Sunday it also means I don't have to panic about finding someone to interview for that week.

These are the general waffle, I have no plan of what I am going to write about, it just depends what comes up, what has been happening and what catches my eye at the time. I have tried to be more regimented with these posts but it doesn't work for me, having the balance of a couple of regular posts a week and then the artistic license to write whatever I like is how I like it. Some bloggy experts out there are probably tut-tutting and shaking their head in disgust, but at the end of the day, this is my blog and I will do it as I like!

I also like to have a few pre-written posts that can be used at any time, general crafting or book reviews etc. So that I can pull them out of the bag in case of an emergency, those weeks when everything goes pear shaped!

Final word of warning, the scheduling function is great and saves me a lot of stress and headache BUT when the earthquake hit in 2011 I had a scheduled post go up all about rainbows and happy stuff - not appropriate AT ALL and due to what was going on I had forgotten about the post being scheduled. I am sure people reading the blog must have realised what had happened and didn't think I had lost the plot, writing about rainbows in the midst of such an enormous disaster but I did feel pretty rotten about it.

So, this is my way, I'm not saying it is the right or wrong way but this is what works for me. If you have any questions, pop them in the comments section.

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  1. Outstanding advice and flexibility is key! Taking and using my own pictures is something I forget that I can do….good to have this reminder!!!

  2. good tips! I'm trying to get in the habit of regular posts, it's not that easy!

  3. Thanks for the tips I didn't know about the scheduling function. I am just trying to get in the habit of being consistent, writing regularly and building an audience. It would appear as though I have a lot to learn!


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