For me, there is a certain process I follow when writing blog posts. Especially if I’m imparting useful information, I need to make sure that I cover everything I want to say. And as blogging is one of the key things you can do to promote your business, you definitely want in on the game.
If I were to just sit and write without a process, I know that I would ramble on for hours and constantly go off on tangents. I still do that anyway to a degree, but far less than I would have! And while I will edit my post, it saves me having to delete swathes of text later.
By all means though, if you are writing opinion posts or journals, feel free to go for it and write from the heart. It can be interesting to see what your brain throws out in these processes. So please, don’t let me stop you!
But if you suffer from brain-leak like I do then you may find my process helpful. It simplifies the whole thing, and in the long run, it ensures I reach an endpoint instead of banging on forever about a load of old nonsense!
So without further ado, here is my step-by-step process for writing informative blog posts.
1. Create a Web diagram/Mind map
I always begin with a mind map, or as I grew up referring to them, a web diagram. Some people know them as brainstorms. To me, a brainstorm is just a page with very basic randomised ideas. Whatever you call them, it’s basically a plan of your blog.
It’s a key part of the blog writing process for me.
Brainstorms can be great for coming up with ideas. But if I’m talking about a subject I know well, I go straight to the mind map. However, you may find the brainstorming stage helpful in some circumstances.
A mind map makes sure I cover everything I want to say when I write the post and don’t have to keep coming back to it if I forget things.
I like to take a pad and a pretty coloured pen and take it away somewhere peaceful to create my mind map.
If you have several blog ideas, you can create several mind maps in one sitting. You can then use these to schedule your blogs a few weeks in advance.
1a. Number your mind map points
Now I’ve created the basic mind map, I like to take a different coloured pretty pen and label the points in number order.
This is so that, when writing it, I can easily find the next bit so I’m not searching around the mind map. Some of mine can get a bit crowded!
Refer to my post on structuring blogs for help on what to put where.
2. Write the post
Now you know what goes where, refer to your structure and write your post. You know what you’ll write before you start so it takes half the time than if you’d just started writing blind.
Personally, I like to use the Hemingway App to write. I start in Write mode, then switch to Edit mode afterward to tidy it up. This is not the last edit I’ll do, but it’s a useful first step and teaches you good habits.
I also have Grammarly switched on, to pick up on any obvious errors and save me a bit of time. It doesn’t pick up on everything, and many of its suggestions are wrong, but it is useful to an extent. So be careful not to believe everything it tells you.
Once I’ve finished writing, I copy the post into my WordPress site and see what Yoast SEO tells me about Readability.
Don’t be too worried about getting all green bullets on the Readability score. Some points won’t be relevant to your post, but to get an overall amber bullet or above is good. Just make sure it isn’t red! Although you can have red bullets in the analysis points and have an overall green score.
Although I have to admit, I do get a buzz from writing something with a perfect Readability score!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about with red, green and amber bullets, don’t worry. You will understand once you start using Yoast SEO! I use it all the time and find it invaluable.
It’s definitely worth having a look around Yoast’s blog for more in-depth advice on using their plugin. And if you take your SEO seriously, consider upgrading to Pro.
3. Step away from the blog post!
This step is vital. Once you’ve written and edited and you think it’s pretty much there – leave it alone for at least a few hours. Preferably overnight.
If you have lots of posts to write, you can take your next mind map and write your next post. Or take the dog for a walk. Or sleep on it. Basically, try your very best to forget about it.
There is a very good reason for this. If you read something over and over too much, it becomes too familiar and you won’t spot the errors. Going away and coming back to it with fresh eyes means you’ll be much more analytical about it.
This part of the blog writing process, for me, is so vital and leads to far better blog posts, that it’s the reason why I’ve made a full point about it! Yet so few people do it and I can usually spot those posts a mile off. They’re the ones that are littered with silly, easily fixed syntax errors.
4. Do your final edit
Once you’ve had enough ‘brain space’ from your post – and ideally a night’s sleep between writing it and editing it – come back and give it a proper look through again.
If possible, get someone else – either a friend or ideally a professional editor – to do this stage. Or read it aloud.
Reading something aloud exposes any flaws or errors in your writing far better than reading it quietly to yourself will. This is usually when you’ll spot stuff you just didn’t see before!
Getting someone else to read it has a dual purpose. Not only will they spot the mistakes you missed, but they can also sense check it. It will really help you to see if you’ve got your point across properly and see if there are any tweaks you need to make in that regard.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your Yoast Readability score throughout the editing process, as you might create too many long sentences or leak some passive voice into your writing that wasn’t there before. So just be mindful of that.
5. SEO and promotion
Once you’re happy with the Readability assessment, go to the Yoast SEO Assessment tab, and go through the steps there. I’m not going to walk you through that process here, as there is more than enough information on that on Yoast’s own blog. Which I highly recommend you subscribe to.
Whilst SEO is one way to spread the word about your blog, don’t forget your social media and newsletter audience.
JetPack’s Publicise is one way that you can set your post to auto-push to your social media profiles. And most newsletter software can be set to automatically send a newsletter with your latest blog posts. Alternatively, you can include the post in your next newsletter.
Promoting your blog, as I see it, is an essential part of writing and publishing it, so do remember to do this.
Once all this is done, either hit the Publish button, or schedule it to go out at a later date and time. Do this, knowing that it will automatically hit your social media profiles and is fully optimised to be picked up quickly by Google.
Go for it!
So now you have a process for writing blog posts, you can get going with blogging for your own business! It can seem daunting at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
And having an easy-to-follow process makes things much easier too. But if you’re stuck for ideas, get in touch and I can help you generate some.
So now it’s over to you! Do you have any good suggestions for blogging that you can add to this picture? Please post your comments and suggestions below for everyone to benefit from our shared knowledge.
And by all means, if you have any questions or are still nervous about blogging, then drop me a message and I can help you get started.