Let me just say up front, I am not a writer. I started blogging because I thought it would help our website gain some more exposure.
Fast forward 4 years, 400 blog posts, and hundreds of thousands of visitors and I’ve found that I actually like blogging.
So here is what my process looks like:
The Ideabin™ is a post draft that I keep so that I can add ideas that crop up during the day. I also keep ideas in Google Keep which I later transport to my Ideabin the next time I get home.
This system has worked great for me for the past year or so. I find the best ideas come about while I am going about my day.
Get excited about an idea
I will not write a post unless:
- I am totally excited about it
- I beleive in what I am writing
- It is something unique or at least a vast improvement on something else already written
The environment & mood
I find I write the best late at night when I am alone, when my inbox is empty. If I have a ton of pending commitments or a server is down that leaves me with a ton of anxiety and my creative juices just do not flow.
I like to sit down usually with a few cups of coffee in me, nice and stimulated.
Once I feel that buzz and I am good and excited work can commence.
I normally do all of my writing inside of WordPress (or wherever it is published). Very rarely will I use a text editor. This way all of the formatting is done in the end.
Once I have the idea in my head and the environment is set just right, I can begin writing.
The first part of my writing is to get a rough outline together.
I think about the main points of the post and put together these parts:
- The title (the most important part)
- The opening statment
- The headings
- The meta description
- Any notes along the way
Once I get that down, I get all of my references together and open them up in a separate scratchpad.
References are so key to a professionally written blog post. Any notions about OBL’s or PageRank are completely ignored. It is all about showing my readers that what I am saying has merit and I am not completely full of crap.
Once all of that is lined up, I start writing.
If I find that the words are not flowing I abandon the post completely and come back at a later date. I find that the best posts are the ones that I am really jazzed about, and the worst ones are the ones that are forced.
I’ve also been playing around with hiTask, which has really been helping me organize my thoughts lately. I like it a lot because it syncs with Google Calendar which I use anyway.
As I said before, I like to do my formatting as I go along. This way it is all done at the end.
I would love to have the luxury one day to have a webmaster to handle all of this for me but that is one expense I will have to eat for now.
I try to keep a standard for all of my posts. For instance I have a featured image standard, a topical standard, a grammatical standard, etc. I might want to write about a cool zebra I just saw at the zoo but since this is an inbound / seo blog I like to keep things on topic.
I generally like to have someone look over my posts before I publish. That person will pick up on run-on sentences, grammar, or just lame sections.
It really helps to have someone else look over your posts. You don’t want to have tons of errors before you go live.
A few people have asked me recently “what my writing process” was recently so I thought I would write it in a post.
Any questions, feel free to ask!