How I Blog.
I've actually pre written this post and scheduled it's dispersal on all social media accounts so I'm one up on yesterday!
I've written a few "How I" posts (like this one on my working process) so I thought it was about time I delved a little deeper into how I blog!*
I am relatively new to blogging so I luckily have yet to use up the bank of ideas. I have a list which I reflect on constantly both on paper and on an app (Swipes, read about that here) on my phone, just in case I lose one. This time of year especially there are always a lot of seasonal post ideas and I am constantly inspired by current affairs and the news so that generates a lot of my ideas but if ever I am erm, lacking in fresh ideas, out comes the list and one of them bad boys gets used up. I also have a 365 blog ideas post book which I haven't had to dip into yet but it's refreshing knowing it's there to help me along.
For my birthday I was gifted with this glorious matte white notebook (read about it here), perfect bound full of black on white inspirational quotes and laid out in an organisation freak's dream situation. I start every month with the calendar and generally map out where my ideas are going to be scheduled to get a feel for how much I am going to be posting that week and roughly how many days in between posts. This also gives me space to see where I can squeeze in some topical content and also made it 3812849028593 times easier to plan my blogging advent calendar.
Similar to winter bulking, but with ideas. After I've used the monthly calendar I'll go through each day of the month and on each page use the handy sections to flesh out the ideas. This particular notebook has sections for title, post time and date, themes, general ideas, a top 5 checklist, a section for notes and another checklist for all social media platforms. It is the dream.
Sometimes I draft, sometimes I publish the first thing I've written, it depends really on my feels that day, whether I'm in the zone bashing out post after post and if I have to leave a post of text and wait a few days until I can take the perfect images. Lighting is key ya'll.
The writing of a post can take me anywhere between half an hour and days, it really depends on what else I have on and how quickly the words spring to mind. If I have a deadline or I'm late posting, I am guaranteed to get caught up with 4723957398 other things and it ends up going up at 5pm (oh hey yesterday) and then some days I can be rushed off my feet, sit down at 10pm with a cuppa and some tv and write 4 posts in one go. But when I do get typing I like to get it all done in one go, images, tags and all and scheduled.
After I've written a post and skim read it to check for typos (skim is the crucial word here, typos are regular, my proof reading is appalling), I link. I think links are massively important whether it be to social media accounts, websites, other content topical to what you're discussing or simply to your own posts. I know that when I read blogs I like it when the author has slipped in a few cheeky hyperlinks in there, not thrown them in your face like READ IT and if I haven't read the original content I will 99% of the time click and read on.
Not all my posts require more than a header image but most do, especially lists, promos and my best of the week. I tend to collate the images in a mixture of transfers from my camera, internet stock images (less so) and photographs from my phone and once I have them all together and edited nicely on VSCO or Photoshop, up they go in one block.
8. Promo Photos.
Promo photos often take longer than the actual content photography because it often needs composing and setting up, post editing and quite often these days, a bit of typography. They are the last piece of the content to be uploaded before it goes to scheduling and tagging and I almost always forget to then send the promo to my phone where I do all of my promoting. Classic.
I much prefer to schedule my posts in advance than right them the day before or even, god forbid, the day of. There is always so much pressure when you're late with a post and I nearly always miss the deadline so scheduling well in advance (generally a week, except for weekly content like the best of the week) is the way for me. I schedule times and dates, tag, categorise, link to social media and upload onto my website before the work goes live.
Finally, the second most important part after, ya know, actually creating the content, is promoting it. Ain't nobody gonna see it unless you're promoting it, unless you're like Zoella or someone. I wait until my blog posts have gone live at 6am and then (apart from those natty tweets that get sent out on both my website and the Wordpress platform automatically) I promote the hell out of it whilst lying in bed before I get up. Like I genuinely set my alarm half an hour early every day just to get all my promos scheduled and up and running. I start with Facebook which requires a post, a promo photo and a link and then that's scheduled. I then move on to Instagram which is the upload of the promo photo followed by some witty text and 7490237593875 hashtags and then I get an alert to actually post when the time comes. And finally, I end with Twitter because it takes the longest where I schedule 10 tweets a day normally starting at 10am and then working their way up one hour at a time. My general formula is three posts a day about the new blog posts with some cheeky READ WHAT I DID YESTERDAY/LAST WEEK/AGES AGO reminders and a bit of my life thrown in for good measure. All in a days work.
*I committed the ultimate blogging sin and used images from a previous post (this one in case you were wondering). Apologies and all that but the lighting way a hella lot better in October than dreary old December. Soz gal pals.