Friday, 25 March 2016

My blogging process

Blogging process
I always love reading about other people's blogging process, as it usually inspires me and also because I'm just curious, so today I thought I'd share mine! And it seemed like a fairly relevant topic for my 100th POST (wooo!)

I've been blogging on and off for quite a while now, but consistently for about a year, and compared to when I started, my blog process has changed so much! I took a break from my blog only a few months after I started it but it was a good decision. I wanted to blog, but I wasn't enjoying it. I was blogging about things that didn't overly interest me, just to try fit in a bit more and despite my follower count going up, I wasn't coming up with content I liked. So I took a step back to 'rebrand' and think about what I really wanted to do with my blog, and now I am SO much happier with it.

Since blogging regularly, I've fallen into a process that WORKS for my blog. Now I have a bit of a routine going, I feel much more motivated and organised, and it's obviously helping because my page views have done this:


Ideas for a post


The first step to any blog post is coming up with the idea for it. I take most of my inspiration from my daily life, and I never really get stuck for ideas for content – I find it harder to decide what in what order to publish it all. Whenever I have an idea, even if it's not fully fledged, I write it down. I've been using my bullet journal to keep a track of ideas recently, but I tend to add them to OneNote still. I keep all my ideas separated into categories so I don't go wildly off topic with my ideas. My OneNote page looks a bit like this at the minute, though I am trying to think of a better way to organise it, but it is working for me:
Blogging process - planning | www.hannahemilylane.com
Blogging process - planning | www.hannahemilylane.com

Writing

I also write all of my posts in OneNote so it's easier to keep track of. If I have an idea, I sometimes get writing it straight away, so I don't forget what I wanted to include. I don't always finish them and sometimes they're nothing more than a few bullet points that I then go back and flesh out and expand on later.

I find the writing of a post usually pretty easy. Writing tends to come naturally to me and even long posts don't take me too long to write. I usually just sit at my desk with a cup of coffee and type away. Then I'll go back and edit out any bad grammar or repetition or anything that doesn't flow too well.

Blogging process | www.hannahemilylane.com

Photos

Photos always come after writing for me, as sometimes I'll get writing with an idea and then it'll change and I'll end up with a different sort of post, and the photo may not be relevant. Over winter with the dark nights though I'm forced to take photos in advance, but I'll usually have a pretty solid idea in mind before I take photos. However I have recently been building up a little album of stock photos I can use if I don't get a chance to take photos in advance.

After selecting photos, I then make any other graphics I need for the post. I have templates ready to use so this doesn't take me too long. I save them all to a folder and then upload them to flickr.

Pre-publishing

So I have photos and copy. I then put this altogether on Blogger. With the text, I always copy it first into a text editor to get rid of the hidden formatting from OneNote and then into the HTML bit of a post on Blogger. Then I'll add my formatting; header styles, lists, and text alignment. At this point, I'll also add any links and related posts. Then I add the photos, making sure I include relevant alt descriptions and changing the size as needed.

Once all the formatting is done and it's basically finished, I give it a final proof read. Usually I will have written the post a few days before this so when I come back to reading it I have a fresh mind and catch mistakes easier. My boyfriend is also chief proof reader and he always does a brilliant job, and it's so useful to have a second opinion on it. He also catches any of my Norfolk grammar mistakes (e.g. apparently 'a good as any' is wrong and it should be 'as good as any' but this just sounds wrong to me haha!)

Blogging process | www.hannahemilylane.com

Post-publishing

At the moment, I never schedule my posts. I have done before and it can be useful/necessary, and I know I'll have to when I go travelling over summer. But at the minute, no scheduling. I'm always paranoid about scheduling though as I've had a couple of cases in the past where it's just decided not to publish, and I have tweets going out and no post, which is obviously not ideal.

I do schedule some tweets though. I obviously can't be on Twitter all day while I'm at work, so I schedule most daytime tweets via Buffer the night before. I also schedule some to go out overnight so I can reach readers/potential readers from different time zones. I check Twitter on my breaks at work and catch up with notifications and comments then.

I mostly just promote on Twitter and Pinterest, so after a post has gone live, I pin images to my boards on Pinterest. I'll usually do this again a while later, as well as tweeting about a few weeks after, depending on the content (I.e. no-one wants to see a Christmas post at the end of January!)

I also always try to reply to comments as quick as I can, so I make sure to keep an eye on emails and notifications after I publish a post.

Is your blogging process similar or completely different? I'd love to know!



Hannah Lane



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