As I was planning my blog posts for the next couple of weeks, I realized I have never shared what goes on behind the scenes of a blog post. You know, what takes place for a single blog post to get published and made available to you guys. So, I am going to do my best to cover it fully today! 😉
Not every blogger has the same approach to creating a post. I have just naturally fallen into this cycle and it works great for me so far!
Over the last couple of years, I have developed a planning routine. I try my best to plan posts at least two weeks in advance. If I have a giveaway or large project, those get planned approximately a month in advance. I like to give myself plenty of time to finish a project completely, take pictures, and make sure the post is not rushed.
To help with my planning, I use a weekly planning sheet.
download pdf here
Remember how I told y’all I lost all of the files on my external hard drive? Well, the version of this document that could be edited was part of that collection. So, I can’t take the link off the bottom or anything.
Since making this document, I have found it to be a little lacking. I still use it and like it, but I wanted to add a few things to it. So, next week, you will see an updated version of my weekly planning sheet.
All of the writing outside of the boxes should be a good indication of my need to change this document up a bit.
Pictures are great, but content is what blogging is all about. Every blogger takes a different approach to presenting content. You have to find your style and go with it. Some blogs are straight forward. They give you the information with very little emotion or feeling behind it. And, others are the complete opposite.
I want y’all to read my posts and understand “my story.” That could include my life in general or the story behind a particular project. I strive to help y’all feel a connection with me as a person. I am still learning how to do that, but I think I have come a long way since Day 1.
Now, let me state that sometimes I do not create content in order. When I say “in order,” I mean that I do not necessary create Monday’s post first, then Tuesday’s, and so on. I have to be in the mood to write about it. Does that make sense? If I am in the mood to write about a particular topic, then my words fall into place. If not, I feel they are forced and I can tell when I read what I wrote.
Also, I rarely sit down at one time and write a post from beginning to end. I may write a little bit and not come back to it for a few days. I’ve learned that sometimes stepping away helps my creative side.
One more little bit of information…
I do not create a rough draft of my posts!
Sorry to all of my past English teachers! It honestly doesn’t feel natural to me. When I create a post, I type it directly in WordPress. I type and edit as I go. I know in English class they teach you to create a rough draft, make your edits, and then, create a final draft. Well, my brain doesn’t work best that way. And, I do not like writing on paper!!!
Yeah, I like writing on paper planners, but when it comes to creating a post, I like to just type it. I feel like I lose some of the description if I write it down on paper first.
3. Taking Photos
This is the area that I am still developing. I did not go to school to be a photographer and I know enough about it to be scary. I read and research photography a lot these days. Lighting, backdrops, staging, color… It has all gotten researched at some point. At the moment, I am using an older model Canon camera. The really really good cameras cost a good amount of money and I need a computer before I invest in a camera. So, I make due with what I have.
I am slowly purchasing some photography equipment too to help me with lighting. Lighting is such a tricky beast! Natural lighting is your best friend, but when you are trying to take pictures of a closet it is kind of hard to depend on natural light. So, I am still learning how to create that effect.
The amount of time it takes to take photos depends on the project. If I am snapping a few after photos, it doesn’t take long at all… 15 minutes, maybe. If I am taking pictures throughout a project, it takes more time AND more pictures.
Taking pictures takes time, but not as much time as editing photos.
4. Editing Photos
Since I do not have a computer, I am at my husband’s computer’s mercy meaning that I have to use whatever is on the computer to edit photos. Well, that leaves me with Paint or Microsft Office. Let me say that the Microsoft Office editing has come a long way. It has a ton of different options for changing anything from brightness to saturation. So, I am very thankful, but nothing compares to Adobe Photoshop.
I was going to purchase the software, has anyone else realized you pay monthly for that sort of thing now, but decided not to until I get my own computer. I am terrified of messing up my husband’s computer.
Fingers crossed that a new computer is sitting under the tree for me this Christmas!
Even with Photoshop, this step takes the longest. First, I download the pictures from my memory card to my external hard drive. Then, I go through the photos and decide which ones I want to keep. Then, those get renamed.
In a Pinterest-driven-world, your photos need to be named something pinnable. IMG_795 is not good!
Next, I take each photo and carefully edit it. This takes a lot of looking, walking away, and looking some more. I always ask myself, “If I was visiting my blog, would I find these photos interesting?” Sometimes, this is a VERY HARD QUESTION!
5. Insert Photos into the Blog Post
After the images meet my idea of good, then I insert them where they need to go in my post. This is probably the fastest step of them all.
6. Create an Intro/Header Image
This is probably the second longest task that I complete on every post. Once I get all of the content and pictures taken care of, then I have to decide on an intro image. The intro image is the first thing that pops up on my posts. Not every post has one, but most of them do.
This image should be pin-worthy and summarize the content in your blog post. You know, an image someone would pin on Pinterest to look at later on. It needs to contain the title, your logo, and some nice graphics. This is one of my favorite parts to do!
I like creating graphics! I guess that is why I LOVE to create printables for y’all. I couldn’t draw at all in school, so I didn’t go the Graphic Design route. So, this blog allows me to dabble into some of that. Just like picture taking, I am learning new things everyday about this area as well.
At the moment, I am using Microsoft Word to create these introduction images. So, it is possible to create such images if you do not own any Adobe software. It is a little more time consuming, though. Hopefully, I will get to start using Photoshop once I get a new computer.
So, how long does this take me?
Depending on how complex I want to make the introduction image, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. But, keep me mind, the time flies by because I love it!
7. Preview, Format & Proofread
In WordPress, there is a Preview Button at the top right of the screen.
You will see on this actual post (the one you are reading now), I had already previewed and revised it 7 times. By the time I finish and publish this post, there will be a lot more than that too. Every time I finish a post, I click the Preview button and read through it entirely.
This is the way I make sure my post is formatted correctly. Is the space even throughout the document? Is there too much space between a picture and a paragraph? Should I center or left-align that information?
Sometimes, I can’t get the spacing correct by using the Visual screen, which is where I type the post. So, I have to click the Text tab that includes the html code. I know enough about coding to be able to fix the small things, like spacing.
The Preview button allows me to see what the post will look like once it goes Live.
I make sure to correct any errors, formatting or spelling. Once I have previewed it and I haven’t noticed any errors, then I am good to go.
After I have previewed and proofread fully, then I click Publish.
Publish means exactly what is says. It makes the post Live for y’all to see and read.
I can still make edits to the post even after it is published.
9. Mark in My Editorial Calendar
After every post is published, I mark the title down in my editorial calendar. I could’ve created this publication, but I didn’t feel the need to since Jen’s calendar from iheartorganizing was just what I was looking for. So, I paid $3.00 and used it myself. Check out her Etsy shop. You can download her 2015 calendar here, which I definitely plan to do.
And, now it is LIVE!