How I Blog – Here’s My 10-Step Blogging RoutineOctober 5, 2018
I often get asked how I blog. People are curious what my blogging routine is from finding a topic to write to creating images and publishing them all online.
Blogging is and will always be a big part of my life.
I’ve been doing this for four years and it has changed my life completely. To be honest I pray I can have this whole blogging a full-time career. Maybe 2-3 years from now.
But, maintaining a blog is pure hard work.
On top of that I work full-time on a 9 to 5 job.
People ask me how I do it. They are surprised to know that even though I have a full-time job I can still pursue my passion projects.
Here’s the truth:
Everything can be done as long as you put your mind and your heart into it.
Today I’d like to share to you how I blog and the 10 steps I’m doing every month to be a productive blogger and achieve blogging peace even with a full-time job.
1. Check my statistics
As a new month begins I like to review how my blogs performed in terms of traffic, top performing posts, AdSense earnings and more.
I use Google Analytics for this.
Every last Sunday of the previous month, I go to my Google Analytics Account and review how my blogs are performing. I analyze everything.
My most visited dashboards are as follows:
1. Audience – here I review all information available about my pageviews and sessions.
2. Acquisition – here I review where my traffic is coming from. Whether people are finding me through browser/search bar, clicking my URL directly, social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) and referred from other sites.
3. Behavior – here I review all the content that has been mostly viewed. What’s good is I can also see how my audience navigate within my blog. From what post they first clicked to their exit page.
Why am I doing this?
The simplest reason why I check my statistics first is the information are my benchmark when I set blogging goals for the coming month.
I need to have a basis first just like how computing for a net worth works. If I know that my pageviews for August 2018 is 25,000 then it is easier for me to set a goal of increasing my pageviews by 27,000 next month.
Related Read: How To Get Massive Traffic on Your Blog
2. Set next month blogging goals
Once I’m done with analyzing my statistics, I move in setting some new and/or recurring goals for next month.
If you read my monthly recaps you’ll know my recurring goals for my blogs on the monthly basis as:
- Consistently publish 2 new posts a week
- Be at least one week ahead of blog posts
- Update 1 SavingsPinay Post a week
- Send out weekly Newsletter
I set almost the same goals for my other blog although it is way easier for me to write a beauty and lifestyle post than a personal finance post. HAHA.
You may be wondering why goals are important in how I blog. Here are the reasons why. When I set goals…
- I have more focus. It makes me do more things in general.
- I am more motivated to blog. I can avoid procrastination for I know exactly what I should be doing.
- I have direction. I know where I want to be and how I can do it.
Aside from monthly blogging goals I also maintain a list of goals for the year. These goals are macro focus.
Steps 1 and 2 are the easiest part of my blogging routine. Now we will go on how I write posts.
3. Check my editorial calendar
For the first two years that I’m blogging I have always struggled on what to post and when to post it.
Thanks to reading countless blogs online I found out about keeping an editorial calendar.
An Editorial Calendar works to give you a basic plan of what posts will be live on what day. Here you can write down your planned contents, put check or done when it’s completed and cancel out if you missed publishing it.
I use Google Calendar as my own Editorial Calendar. It works perfect for me to drag and drop my post in a current month.
What I do is check what posts should be published in the coming week so I can create an outline of the post beforehand
The good thing in having an Editorial Calendar is it promotes consistency in terms of how I blog and when I post.
Once you have a working calendar, all that’s left for you to do is to follow it.
Because you know that there should be a new content on Monday you have to be sure that the post is ready a day before.
It’s okay if you miss posting on some days. Don’t be too hard on yourself especially if you have a full time job. Just make sure you don’t leave your blog hanging for too long.
One solid post every week is a good start.
4. Outline posts
It took me years to really appreciate what outlining can do in my content creation.
An outline works like a structure or a skeleton of your blog post. It helps in capturing all the main points, sub points and references you want to include in your blog post.
Because you already have an outline prepared, you save more time doing the actual writing.
Outlines can be compared to a budget. It works as a guide for you so you know exactly what you will be publishing.
I realize that when I fail to do an outline, I waste a lot of time during the writing process. I get easily distracted opening different tabs just to be inspired to write.
When I outline, I am simply filling up the details during the writing process. This is a real time saver for me and helped me juggle two blogs with a full-time job.
Here’s a typical outline of a SavingsPinay post:
My posts will normally start with few sentences in the beginning that can be used for social media. I don’t have much time to think on what to caption my post on Facebook so I make sure that the first part summarizes or gives hint on what the post is about and why it should be clicked or visited.
For the body of the post I try to accomplish the following:
1. Always use headings and bullets. Headings and bullets are helpful to make sure that your readers can easily follow the information you publish. Bigger fonts in bold are helpful too to put emphasize a certain word or phrase on your post.
2. Use shorter paragraphs. Another important change I made on my posts is writing in short paragraphs. This helps keep the eyes of the readers on your blog. You want them to scroll and reach the end of your post. Always read your post after drafting. Kapag sa iyo pa lang, nabibilaukan ka na then your readers will surely find your content too difficult to read. Keep your sentences shorter and simple.
3. Write long content. Long content produces credibility as a blogger. You can be easily perceived as an authority in the topic your talking about. It is also easier to put links within the post that could point your readers to old content. Aim to make your post longer. 1500 words minimum. My posts tend to be between 2500 to 4000 words.
4. Include photos. Images can enhance a blog post. It actually helps in the overall production value of your blog post. Included in this tip are charts, graphs and print screens that could better explain your content.
5. Tell a story if you must. Sharing your anecdotes related to your content helps in establishing your own voice as a blogger. And that blogging voice help to distinguish yourself from the rest.
Don’t forget to conclude your post with a summary of your main points and a call-to-action.
The summary gives your readers a quick breakdown of what your post is about. Readers who have no time to read will most often than not go straight at the end of your blog instead. So never miss a chance to impact your readers with an overview.
I also make sure to add a call-to-action at the end of every post. This is a template so I just copy and paste to speed up the process.
For my recap and extra income report posts I follow the same outline every single month like a template so it’s way easier for me to publish one.
Outlines work and in case you haven’t tried one for your blog post I encourage you to do so.
Mostly, I batch outline posts on a weekly basis. I simply set a timer and outline as many posts as I can. That’s why my editorial calendar must be updated first (Step 3) so I know what posts to outline.
Drafting, for me, takes a lot of time. Like a lot.
What I do is go through each outlines I created and write as many thoughts as I can. My goal here is to get as many blog posts drafted. If I can draft two posts for SavingsPinay and three posts for my personal and lifestyle blog I feel accomplished already.
I used to publish so many posts when I first started blogging. But, through the years I realized that I’d rather go for quality than quantity. I want to feel proud with every post I publish and be happy re-reading them even after so many years.
Here are some tips I find helpful when it comes to writing as a blogger:
- Have a dedicated place to write. If you want to help yourself get in the zone of writing then try to have a dedicated place in your room to write. This shouldn’t be a fancy working area. Just a simple table and chair set up (even your dining table will do!) where you can sit straight and blog.
- Set the mood. I mostly listen to music when I draft posts. I created a playlist of different genre. My favorite playlist to listen to are This is Mozart and Best of KPop. There are others who find music as distraction but for me music sets the mood. Another way you can set the mood is by having coffee while you blog.
- Write with timer. I cool way I hack my content writing process is by using a timer. I set myself a timer for 25 minutes or 45 minutes and write without distraction. This is also known as Pomodoro Technique. I’ve already implemented this Pomodoro Technique in a number of tasks I do in a daily basis such as journaling and reading books.
Editing is another step in my blog routine where I spend a big chunk of time. Here I start copying my draft from Google Docs to the Content Management System (CMS) I use.
For SavingsPinay it’s WordPress while for IzzaGlinoFull I use Blogspot. I have shared the difference between the two in my how to start a blog article.
Editing/Proofreading involves the following tasks:
- Reading the post aloud to check for any grammar or spelling mistakes.
- Interlinking related posts.
- Inserting ads within the post.
- Putting keywords and other SEO-related information.
I used to not edit or proofread my article in the past. I rush to hit the “Publish” button just because I want something up on my blog.
But now I see to it that I spend time editing/proofreading my post so that every post I publish stays consistent.
7. Make image on Canva
Canva is the only tool I use to edit all of my blog images. It is a superb free tool that I highly recommend to every blogger I know.
With Canva, I can design the most visually appealing thumbnails ever. I need this because I also have a Pinterest account to maintain.
Once I have an image ready I go to the post I just edited and insert it on the same position. I make sure to add links to the images and attributes as well.
8. Schedule/Publish Posts
Lastly, I either hit “Publish” or “Schedule” my post for the future. One of my goal is to at bet at least a month ahead of my posting schedule. I dream of that moment when I have plenty of posts on queue.
Right now I can say I still lack in this area. Although my routine is solid, blogging in two different platforms with a full time job is a tough thing to do.
My social media routine is pretty simple. Once I have a new post I automatically share it on Facebook. Then on weekends I work with Pinterest to propagate each of my Boards.
I find Pinterest to be a great source for US, UK and Australia traffic which has a great effect on the income I generate on Google Adsense.
What I find to be amusing in my years of blogging is how important promotion is. If you spend an hour writing a post you must also spend an hour doing whatever it takes to promote it.
If you believe that the content you published is worth reading then learn to promote.
10. Update blog post idea bank
The final step in my blogging process is to update my blog post idea bank. I keep a separate Google Doc to type any interesting tips, topics or ideas I find online. I believe there is nothing more frustrating than figuring out what to blog next. Having a blog post idea bank helps me not run out of articles to write.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
There you have it! My 10-Step Blogging Routine. A detailed step-by-step procedure on how I blog.
Blogging is a big part of my life especially now that I found a better purpose for it as a platform to preach financial stewardship.
I’d like to repeat that my process is of course very personal and I’m definitely not as consistent as I should be in following my own blog routine.
But this serves as a guide and it’s something that makes me become very aware of what’s going on. I used to get easily stressed out blogging but with this 10 step blogging routine I know I am getting better and better in my blogging process.
I hope this post helps.
What about you? Do you have a blog routine?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org