Saturday, August 26, 2017

How to effectively plan out and create a complete blog post + how to write more - Blogging 101

I like to be very organized in planning my blog posts and I like to write more to make sure my tutorials or life hacks that I'm sharing are well explained and detailed. Here's how I plan out my blog posts and get inspired to write more for each post:

how to effectively plan a blog post
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored.


FREE PRINTABLES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

Planning blog posts aren't just writing a few words and clicking Publish (unless that's what your blog is, go ahead). You could just post pictures on your blog, but if you want to profit from and have traffic to your blog, only pictures probably won't do the job (unless you are super lucky).

Recently, I have been writing posts every day to stock up for this and the following hectic months so that I can spend more time with my family before I head off to the USA for university. Writing and coming up with a lot of blog ideas can create quite a mess and being organized is definitely the key for not going completely insane, if you too are writing blog posts every day, or more than 3 times a week.

1 Penning it down
I like to start off by making a list of new ideas and variation for a certain topic. When I have ideas for the body of the post I will quickly write them down under the title idea as a sub heading because I will most likely forget that point. If I do not think of a particularly good and important point, I will just continue with listing the ideas.

2 Expansion
The next step in planning out a blog post is expanding the topic into categories. I may start off by listing points I would like to include under the title written on a random page of an old planner or I may skip that step if I have time and create a flow chart or spider diagram to expand the topic. You will see ahead, a flow chart showing all the steps in making a blog post ready to be published below (like a summary of this post)

Once I expand the idea and create categories, I will begin writing my blog post. I start with an introduction as you can see in this post and on basically every recent post of mine. Once I type down the introduction, I evaluate it to see if it would make a good meta description. If you don't know what meta description is, it is basically the text you see below the title of the google suggestions when you carry out a search. Consciously or unconsciously, you read that description to know if the site really contains the information you are looking for. If you are using blogger, the only option to create a good meta description is by adding the relevant information in the first two sentences. If you are using Wordpress, there is a plug-in you can install to type down, separately, the meta description. If my introduction doesn't contain, in my opinion, a satisfying meta description, I add two more lines above it that perhaps would be a better description.

In the body of my blog posts, I write down the key points/categories and then continue to write under each of the headings.

3 Pictures & Links
I like to add pictures and links, when applicable, to my blog posts. In my opinion, images help make the post look more interesting rather than bland and "too many words". It adds a bit of color and doesn't keep the entire page from looking plain. I also add links to any relevant blog posts that I think you would like to read. For example, since you are probably a blogger or thinking about creating a blog (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this), you may want to click on the links and read the posts below:

I also like to add a picture at or near the beginning of the post to tell you, in a visual format, what the post is about. It is kind of like the thumbnail of the post. I usually use PicMonkey or iPiccy to edit and add text to this thumbnail. If I don't have a photo that I have taken to go with the blog post (I try to use one of my own photos when possible), I will head on over to Unsplash to get amazing quality pictures for free!


(Don't forget to add Title and Alt Title to your pictures)

If I have to link to a video or post that is not yet posted/created, I will type [VIDEO] or [LINK] and highlight it like shown, so that I don't miss it when I'm going through my post one final time before publishing incase I forgot to link the post/video.

4 Labels
Adding labels and adding the right labels can make a difference to your blog. Especially if you are a small blog, you may see a slight increase in your traffic when you start using the right labels. I use the Serps Keyword Research Tool to see what are the most used labels and which labels have the highest CPC.

5 Finishing touches and publishing
I add some finishing touches, like a change in the font style or spacing between paragraphs, etc. Next, I publish the post and promote the hell out of it on Instagram and sometimes Facebook (sorry not sorry for the spam).

6 Other Things I Do
I like to keep all my blog ideas typed into Google Sheets so I can make sure that I don't forget to link to other important blog posts and can keep track of how many posts I have ready for publishing and what posts I have to write next.

I like to use Draw.io to make my flowcharts and here's a flowchart to summarize this blog post
(but read below to know how I manage to write at least 1000 words per blog post):


I try to write at least 1000 to 2000 words per blog post. Mostly, I am not able to write 2000 words and sometimes I even fall short by a few words. Writing more words can increase your Google ranking and the more you write, the clearer of an idea Google will get what your post is about.

There are two methods I use to write more words:

  • I copy my entire blog post draft and use a word processing software like Microsoft Word to paste all part of the draft and see how many words there are in total. I proceed to try and add more if the word count isn't sufficient
  • Doing the same thing above, but first, I see how many words the introduction is. Then, I see how many categories/steps/subtitles the post has and calculate how many words on average should be written for each category. I then try to fulfill that average.
FREE PRINTABLES!
I created a basic printable so that you can easily plan your blog posts!
You can either right-click on the below image and click "save image as" or you can go to this Google Drive link and download the pdf version of the same printable (the second option would be easier for you to print). If you want me to email you the pdf file (in case you don't use google drive), then DM me on Instagram: @blackandwhiteandwise
If you download the printable, let me know in the comments or on Instagram if the printable was helpful!

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByYzoYNWNnsDVHNWRFJLeHdYczA/view?usp=sharing
blog organization printable

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