My 5 Step Blogging Process

One of my goals this year is to be more consistent in my blogging, and one of the ways I aim to achieve this goal is just by being more organized. I’ve slowly started to  develop a process to this madness, learning from other bloggers along the way. I hope some of these tips will be helpful to other bloggers but, if nothing else, can be a fun informative way to see how I blog. :)

My 5 Step Blogging Process

1. Organize and Planning
I’m a bit of an organization freak, so it is so essential for me to organize and plan my blog posts on some minimal level. Holly introduced me to this amazing site called Trello, and I use it to organize and plan my blog posts. She wrote an awesome post about how she uses it to organize her blog, and I now use Trello very similarly. I keep a list for post ideas and series that I do regularly, and then organize when I plan on publishing them by month. It’s very easy to move cards to a specific month or from month to month if your schedule changes. You can also add due dates and checklists to each card.

This keeps me from staring at a blank draft page and from having no idea what to write or talk about. It also give me consistency! Life gets busy and I don’t always have the time I need to dedicate to writing new posts, but if I have already planned them out ahead of time, all I have to do is do some minimal editing, sometimes add a few pictures, and hit publish.

2. Drafting
The next step is to actually write out a first draft of my post. I actually do most of my drafting away from home. When I have down time at work or school, it’s easy to pull up my Trello board, see posts that I want to write about, and start drafting them. I then email them to myself and then later upload the draft to WordPress and edit. (I don’t like to have all these drafts cluttering up my WordPress, so that’s what I send them to my email because my inbox is a complete disaster. I’ve accepted it and moved on.)

This is a very rough draft – I just write what I’m thinking and worry about editing and refining later after I have all of my thoughts and ideas down. I like to let my drafts sit for a day or two before I come back to them, that way I have more of a fresh perspective on it and can include points that I may have forgotten. However, that doesn’t always happen. If it’s a time-sensitive topic, I draft and edit right away. But sometimes I don’t touch a draft for weeks!  

3. Editing (and Adding Pictures)
This could really be broken down into two steps, but I tend to edit my posts and add pictures at the same time. After I’ve let the post sit for a couple days (or sometimes weeks – let’s be honest, haha) then I start to edit. This can include checking for spelling and grammatical errors, rewording or rephrasing, adding links, removing paragraphs, adding and taking away points, adding pictures, etc.

I add pictures in the editing step and not during drafting because I may remove certain points that I didn’t like, and then a picture may then be irrelevant. It’s silly to waste time editing the picture if I’m not going to actually use it. I also tend to really reorganize posts, so when I move the last paragraph to then be the first paragraph, I end up moving the pictures around, too. Saves me a bit of time!

4. Publish
Yay! My post is edited and I have deemed it ready to be released to the public. Sometimes I schedule my posts to be published, but normally I just publish in real time because I like to return comments after I publish a new post.

5. Return Comments
I cannot emphasize how important returning comments is. Returning comments builds awesome relationships with other bloggers, and it drives traffic to your own blog. I respond to comments in two ways. I usually respond to the original comment on my own post, acknowledging that I’ve read the comment and to answer questions. It’s like a, “Thanks for your comment! I’ve read it and you’re awesome!” I love discussions, so this also facilitates that.

I then comment on the person’s blog. I’m not concerned about how many comments I get on a post, but I really appreciate feedback. So by returning comments on their blog after I publish, I tend to receive more comments on that particular post. Most of my commenters are recurring readers, so if they’ve already commented on my last post they now have something new to comment on.

And that’s it! Not really too complicated, but it keeps me on track and I think it’s really helped with the consistency and quality of my posts the last several months. Do you have a blogging process? I’d love to read your system and get some tips for my own. I’m always looking for ways to improve my blogging. :)

15 thoughts on “My 5 Step Blogging Process”

  1. I like to agree with you that returning comments builds relationships, however, I leave comments on a lot of other bloggers blogs and I rarely get one in return. I’ve seen where other bloggers have told other bloggers that it’s not an obligation to return comments. As you’ve stated, it builds your relationship with that blogger and on top of that builds traffic to your blog. Why would you NOT want to return comments? I just thought it to be proper nettiquette to return a comment if someone were to leave you one. Though, that’s just me.

    I really like your ways of blogging. I tend to open up WordPress when I have a new story in mind, or when I want to talk about something in particular, I will mostly blog about it and edit it then. This upcoming semester, I have no idea how busy I will be, but I am pretty sure I will be extremely busy. I am taking asp.net and C# level 1 and 2, and already we have homework! We haven’t even started yet. I’m hoping that I can find time to read and blog during my down time or breaks from studying. Though, both of these computers courses wants me to study at least 6 hours a day. WOW!

    Well, I think I am going to have try out that Trello site. I’ll let you know if I like it or not.

    1. I agree, Jamie. I leave comments on a lot of sites and don’t expect any return comments. But I don’t leave comments for the return comments, so maybe I should have included that in there, too. I don’t believe bloggers have any kind of obligation to return comments either because you can do what you want with your own blog, but I just feel like if someone took the time to make a thoughtful comment, I can do the same. :)

      Good luck with your semester! Sounds busy!

      1. I totally agree with that, Becca! I think the same way as you do, and I believe (just like you said) if you took the time to leave a thoughtful comment, at least acknowledge the person and return it either on your own blog or theirs. Ya know? I blog because I want too, not to get popular or for the comments. The feedback and comments are both a nice feature though. It helps improve what you might have missed or something. Ya know?

        Thank you! Good luck with yours as well!

  2. I love Trello! I need to start using it properly to organise my blog. At the moment I just use a spreadsheet that I rarely open. I also don’t tend to plan things either, as I never know how much free time I’m going to have.

    I think replying to comments is very important, I just struggle to have enough time some weeks. I’ve starting doing it on long bus journeys to work, as I know I definitely have enough time to do it. I need to get into better habits in returning comments though. I do read everyone’s blog posts, though!

    I really enjoyed this post. There are some great methods of making blogging easier, definitely. I’m probably going to start planning my posts now!

    1. Oh I feel ya! I am currently like three posts behind in replying to comments haha. I’m not always quick about it, but eventually I get to it!

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I hope it was helpful :)

  3. It’s interesting to see how people plan their blog posts! Mine’s similar to yours except what I usually do is come up with a mental database of what I want to blog about and then create drafts in my WordPress. My first step is to always come up with a title. I can’t move forward without that along with the header image now LOL. I usually tend to have my images ready before the words. The words come to me later XD;

    Anyway, I’m glad you found a method that works! Keep it up with the blogging, girl! I think it’s great you’re trying to be more active on your blog :D

    1. That’s so funny. One of the last things I do is come up with a title (usually). It always takes me a long time to come up with a good title so I push it off til later! Haha

  4. Yay! So glad you are loving Trello. I’ve tried so many different ways of organising my blog in the past but I think Trello is the best.

    That’s a really good way to write drafts. I know what you mean about clogging WordPress up with drafts. Mine is so messy and I really need to sort them.

    I’m really behind on returning comments on my blog but it’s something I insist on doing when ever I have the chance. I really like to show my appreciation and thank people for taking the time out to comment on my post.

    1. I recently just cleaned mine out last month so I’m trying to keep it that way! Thanks again for recommending Trello!

      I’m perpetually always behind in returning comments, haha. I probably need to come up with a better system or just get in the habit of doing it at least weekly or something.

  5. You’re a lot more organized than I am. I usually have a day in mind that I’d post on each week. I then pick a random topic, spend two days writing it while have a nervous breakdown and freaking out that it’s never going to get done, embed a video that’s at least somewhat relevant, post, then not think about what I’d post next for like six days.

    1. I used to blog more like that, I would just write whatever was on my mind or had recently happened, and I still include many posts like that now, but I found that I would just disappear for like a month if I didn’t feel like writing up a post. So now I like having some posts planned a head of time in case not a lot has happened recently. It just makes me more consistent.

  6. Good tips to leave a good blog and things to remember. I always try to return comments because it is the polite thing to do. I do it because I feel like I should. I just write what I feel and then construct it afterwards. I have some ideas what I’ll write, but usually the topic at handle is relatable in some way or another.

  7. I definitely find staring at a blank screen and a flashing cursor to be incredibly daunting so I’m intrigued by Trello. I will definitely have to check it out. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome! Having a list of ideas is always helpful for me, and so is seeing them mapped out when I want to publish them. Hope you find it helpful! :)

  8. Good luck with your blogging goals! I’m excited to see you post more this year (and not go MIA again). Organizing and planning out your posts is definitely helpful! I keep a physical planner to plan out my blog posts along with marking the projected post dates on a calendar XD.

    Good that you have alternatives to drafting a post. I do the same on Google Notes XD. Returning comments is important- that is if the blog owner wants to interact iwth others. If they only want to post for the heck of posting, so leave it be.

    BUuuuuuut in the case of you and me, returning comments is important to build a relationship between you and the readers :).

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