For weeks, I’d have the itch to write. I’d think, “I want to blog, but I don’t know what to write about.” Then, I’d try reading other blogs or my old posts to see what I could write. Usually, I’d end up with nothing.

Yesterday though, I wrote three blog posts and scheduled them to post on three consecutive days. I don’t know exactly how this surge in writing happened. But when it does happen, it’s rather nice.

I guess when you hold onto an intention, eventually you yield results. (I also started reading books daily recently, so perhaps that has got the wheels spinning in my head.) I would write, even when the idea seemed insignificant. I even wrote a blog post on coloring. Most people might disregard it, but I published it anyway. It might be helpful to someone someday. Who knows.

If you have a goal of posting on your blog daily, it’s nice to sometimes write several posts a day and save them up. Then, you can take breaks in between (if you want). You can go back and review what you wrote, to make sure it still seems good. Or, you can focus on other content creation such as YouTube videos or social media posts.

I suggest that if you write a bunch of blog posts in one day, schedule them out. I spread mine out to one post per day. Some people might schedule the posts farther apart, like two or three days, or even a week. There’s been some debate on how frequently you should post. I think daily is okay, but some people say weekly is better for increasing readership. You can always experiment. I don’t mind posting daily because I feel like most people stumble across my posts through searching Google anyway.

Usually the more you practice something, the more you improve. I can notice some improvement in quality between my old blog and my revamped blog. I remember at one point more than two years back, I was posting frequently, just whatever was on my mind. I still do that now. But when I look back at my archived posts, I don’t see much content or value. I was pumping out content, like some social media influencers would suggest. My ideas seemed somewhat unclear. If it seems unclear to me, I can only imagine how it comes across to you as the reader. I still focus on quantity, because quality is something that is improved over time, especially with writing. But, I try to make sure that I have some point in what I write.

I don’t consider myself a good writer. I think I’m okay. Maybe I’m above average because I tend to make few spelling or grammar mistakes and I get my point across. Also, I’ve been blogging for many years. And, I’ve done pretty well in school whenever I had to turn in a paper. Regardless, it doesn’t matter much to me to be the best writer. I just want to be able to provide some kind of value in what I write.

I think if I put more effort into fleshing out and proofreading my posts, they’d be higher quality. But typically, I don’t spend much time editing. If I do edit, it’s usually as I’m writing. I mostly write, taking a few breaks in between depending on how long it is.

I had a professor back in college who somewhat influenced my academic writing. He taught us to just write whatever comes to mind. And after you do that, then you outline the main points. Then, you re-organize your paragraphs and put them in a logical order. Then, you add/remove parts. You might update your thesis based on new information. You might update your conclusion. You do this a few times, and put an appropriate title, and bam, paper. And basically, your first draft and your final draft look nothing like each other.

I took the part where he said just write anything that comes to mind to heart. You don’t know where your idea will go until you let it take form. So, I just write whatever is on the top of my head. And as I write, I organize.

The major difference is that for the most part, my first draft of my blog post looks like my final draft with some tweaks. That’s it. I know it doesn’t have to be perfectly organized.

For a book, it’d be different. I’d definitely spend more time organizing my thoughts and trying to make it more cohesive. That way, the reader can more easily digest the material. It makes sense in this context.

But (for me at least), a blog post is more like a conversation. You just start and see where it leads. And as you gain more ideas, you share them as you go.

Sometimes, I add headers. I might have some structure. Maybe I’m creating a list. Or, maybe I’m sharing a specific set of steps for a method I use. But otherwise, I’m just going through a series of thoughts.

Here is the breakdown of my blogging process:

Title / Idea

I usually write down what I plan to discuss. Even if it’s vague, I write this down as a pointer. So for this blog post, I wrote, “How I Write Blog Posts.” I got the idea of “How I Write” from a Steve Pavlina article. He talks about not only writing on his blog, but about how he wrote his first nonfiction book. I knew I would talk specifically about blogging, so I titled it this way.

Sometimes when I’m writing a blog post, it’s not exactly clear what I’m writing. So, I let the first written title/idea guide me. And then after I finish writing, I go back to the title and see if it still makes sense. If my ideas changed as I was writing, then I’ll change the title to something more fitting.

Sometimes even, I have no idea what I’m writing. So, I leave the title blank and free write a general idea. Then when the idea hits me, I write a temporary title, revising it later to what feels most appropriate.

Some people like to create a title that can be a keyword or phrase that is entered a lot in searches. I try to think in terms of that sometimes. But, I feel like lots of topics can be searched these days. There’s billions of people using the internet, right? So someone’s bound to search what I’m writing for, if not now, in the future. I’m not so concerned about this consequentially. I’m more concerned about using a title that accurately describes my blog post. I feel that if you have an accurate title, more people are likely to find it valuable.

The post itself

Like I said, I write whatever comes to mind. I revise as I write. If I word something strangely, I go back and try to find a better way to say it. It’s like I said earlier, I write like it’s a conversation. I want to find the best way to express myself in the moment. The only difference is that if there’s any filler words or awkward sentences, I’ll fix it. But otherwise, I try to let it flow naturally.

Skimming

I don’t always read my blog post word-for-word. There are people who do that, and maybe their posts end up better than mine because of the extra effort they put into it. But, I basically just skim over what I write. Because it’s still fresh in my mind, I can mostly tell what I wrote. I’m just basically trying to figure out if the order makes sense. Would the second paragraph come across better if I insert it as the fifth paragraph? Does the first item on the list make sense?

As I skim, I’ll try searching for typos or weird grammar. Sometimes, I miss some because I don’t spend a lot of time doing this. I might catch them after I publish the post. I think that’s okay, because most people can understand my writing regardless of these tiny mistakes. If I catch it, nice. If not, it’s no big deal. I guess that’s why I spend so little time on it.

Categories / Tags

I add the post to at least one category. If it doesn’t fit in any particular category, I’ll add a new one that I think I might write about in the future. Sometimes, my posts fit multiple categories, so I might tick off more than one. This is just to help organize my material better for future reference. Also, readers who are curious about specific topics can search those posts more easily.

I also try to add tags that I feel people will search for. So for this post, I already have the title, “How I Write Blog Posts.” I might reword that and add tags such as “how I blog” or “my writing process” or “my blogging process”.

I don’t use any specific keyword tool or planner or anything. I just come up with ideas of my own usually. I might search for certain phrases on Google and see what else comes up. Otherwise, I don’t spend more than 1-2 minutes on this.

Featured Image

After revamping my blog, I started adding featured images to my posts. There’s something nice about having a visual element to your blog. It might give a better idea of what the post is about in addition to the title.

I’ve been using royalty-free images for the most part from websites such as Pixabay and Pexels. There was one post when I used a photo I took. If I don’t have a photo of my own, I’ll use a free image. They have tons of images on those two websites alone, so I haven’t used any other websites for free images yet.

Pictures within the post

One time, in addition to a featured image, I sprinkled images throughout the post. I think I’m more tempted to do this when the post has a lot of text. It’s not necessary, but it might make the blog post more appealing.

I think eventually, I’ll probably add more pictures of my own to specific blog posts. I might add a progress chart for a 30-day challenge. Or, I might show the different steps for creating certain DIY projects.

For short blog posts, I don’t usually add additional images to a feature image. I just feel like for some longer blog posts, it could add some more pizzazz. It’s not necessary. It just depends.

Publish or schedule

Typically, I post right away. Otherwise, if I published another blog post that same day, I’ll typically schedule the post for the following day. I used to just post soon after writing/editing, but nowadays, I try to space out my posts. I think it makes it easier for a fellow reader to have one post to look forward to each day rather than five posts in one day and none for weeks or months.



Overall, that’s how I generally write a blog post. It’s pretty straightforward and simple. It’s good that I don’t overcomplicate the process because it’s probably the main reason I blog as much as I do. I enjoy the simplicity of the process.

I could even make it more simple by removing the categories, tags, and images. But since I’ve already learned about those elements and I enjoy adding them, it is part of my process. New writers can skip these parts and just go straight to writing.

One area I still need to work on for blogging is finding a nice way to wrap up my posts. Sometimes, I feel like I’m lacking a conclusion. I just thought of this problem as I was finishing up the skimming process of this post.

Anyway (awkward transition, I know), that’s how I write my blog posts. It’s pretty intuitive. I feel like anyone can blog because you can create your own process for writing. It doesn’t have to be like mine. It just has to make sense for you. Whatever satisfies you works.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t really pay much attention to visuals. I just stuck to writing. I was used to seeing blogs with just text. Some of my favorite blogs don’t have any images on their actual page and may have many paragraphs of text. But when restarting my blog, I decided to add images. I wanted to create a visually enjoyable experience for the reader, with the theme of my page and the images.

Nowadays, there are many resources for free images. These are completely free to use, and you don’t even need to credit the creator. I think it would be nice to do so anyway, but it makes it easy in case you forget. There are some websites that offer free images and require attribution, but that’s easy and simple to do. I think it’s easier than me trying to create an image on my own for every post I make.

I think if I were to include some of my own images, I’d watermark it with my name, or at least the URL of my website. I also wonder why people are so generous to offer free images. I mean, attribution is one thing. But, what if people have no clue where the image came from? How does it benefit the creator? I think it’s nice, but personally, I’d want people to know it’s from me. That’s why I’d personally watermark my images.

When I select images for my blog post, I try to find something that relates to the topic I’m discussing. Like for my first blog post, I talked about restarting my blog, so I went with an image of a journal. So if someone is coming across my page and sees that image, they’d probably think that it’s related to writing or journaling of some form.

You can use images to invoke a certain feeling. For example, the theme/layout I use is calming to me. I used a header image of a pastel sky and serene blue ocean waves. It gives a sense of peace. It can reflect on the title I gave my website: Conscious Balancing. That’s what I envision when I think of the ideal mindset. It’s calm, peaceful, relaxing, and in a state of contentment.

Another reason why it may be a good idea to add images is because it helps bring it traffic. Well, assuming that you do a few things. One, you have to make sure that you name the image properly when you upload it to your website. If it’s a generic “screenshot.png” or “image.jpeg”, it’s not going to do anything for you. But if you name it something like “meditation-practices.png”, it can help with getting your post ranked in search engines. It might show up in Google Images and link to your blog. And also, you can add alt text.

I haven’t quite figured out how to rename images directly from the WordPress dashboard. I haven’t seen that option when I search in my Media folder and try to edit an image. It’s a little annoying because when I name files on my computer, I sometimes add a number (representing the number of pixels wide) or a size to the end of the file name so I know how big the image is. So when I upload an image, it automatically matches the name. I wish I could add it without the number being attached too. It’s not a big deal. It would just be nice if WordPress asked you what you would like to name your image before it uploads it.

In case you’re interested in adding images to your own blog, here are a few resources I recommend:

Pixabay
Pexels
Unsplash

There’s a bunch more. All you have to do is Google search “free images”. But, make sure that it’s actually free to use. And, make sure if no attribution is needed. Sometimes, you’ll end up on websites where they offer both free to use images and stock images (which means that you usually have to pay a fee to use their images). So, just double check.