I might sound like a dinosaur when I say I’ve been blogging for 17 years. When I first began blogging, never in my life did I think it would be my full-time job one day. Back then it was more of a hobby, but now I work 40+ hours a week at it. One of the things I hear most about being a blogger is “What do you do?”. I think there is some confusion as to what the job actually requires, and I find that it’s different for everyone.
It varies by type of blog, type of content, and even the tools greatly vary from one blogger to another. Since the process is so different for every person, I thought it would be fun to share mine. I’ve partnered with HP to share my blogging workflow and hopefully it will provide some insight into what I do step-by-step, and the very real work that blogging as a job entails.
Having the right tools I feel like is a must for blogging and while everyone has different preferences, I think the basic needs are similar.
This is an absolute must. I’ve heard of some people blogging from their phone, but I can not imagine trying to format a blog post or writing something longer than 140 characters from a cell phone. I love my HP Spectre because it’s light enough to go everywhere with me, but strong enough to handle editing images and having multiple programs open at once. Using the mouse side-by-side with it is an absolute must for me because I can’t stand to edit photos with a trackpad alone.
Another must. Whether it’s your iphone or a Canon 5DMKIII (what I use), using the best camera you can get your hands on is absolutely required in my opinion. The internet is very visual, and high quality images are a must! I have a helpful photography tips series here.
Software & Apps
WordPress or some other blogging platform. Squarespace or blogger if you must.
Photoshop for creating graphics, advanced photo editing.
Lightroom for image culling and basic photo editing.
Image Optim for compressing images to help with load time.
Co-Schedule as an editorial calendar, content planning, task management, and social scheduling.
Later for instagram scheduling and content planning.
My Blogging Process:
Brainstorm Editorial Calendar
Every month I sit down and come up with ideas for posts, based on my editorial schedule (a set pattern of what type of posts appear on each day). I come up with loose ideas and try to figure out what type of post they fit in best in the Calendar, and if they’re helpful for my readers, relevant for today, and if they fit in with the rest of my blog content and style.
After brainstorming, I go into each individual post and do a soft outline of what that post might look like. I outline anything that might be what type of photographs I need, to what type of sponsorship or affiliate links I might want to try to use. I add any extra tasks that I need to add to my task list and assign a due date.
If a post is not yet sponsored, I make a list of potential sponsors that would fit well with that post. For example in travel I will reach out to hotels to try to partner with them for certain content about where I want to travel to. If a post is sponsored, I simply need to be sure that it’s a good fit and mutually beneficial for the sponsor, myself, and my readers.
Now it’s time to get to work. If I didn’t already do so in the outline, I make a shot list for each post and go about setting up and styling the shot based on what type of post it is for. Sometimes this means coordinating with locations, or even other photographers.
I go through and choose the best images I think are a good fit for the post, and edit them to my liking. I prefer to use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for this. They both work perfectly on my Spectre, even with files open in both at the same time. Then I can optimize and compress them to upload to my post draft.
Sometimes I write a post before I edit images, depending on whether or not I need the images to match my story better. Most of the time I will write after I complete the images because it gives me a more vivid picture of what I’m writing about. I aim to keep my posts informational, but not too lengthy.
Once I’ve completed everything I need to, I preview and read through a post to double check for any errors or weird formatting that may happen. I make any final edits I need to then schedule the post to go live on my blog. Along with scheduling the post, I also schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Ultimately my plan is to be able to work from wherever I need to whenever I need to (that hanging chair is pretty comfy). I’ve made a lot of progress and improvements recently in my blogging workflow and it’s greatly improved my outlook towards blogging as a full-time job. I love having everything streamlined and at my fingertips, no matter where I am.
This post is sponsored by HP, a company I have grown to know and love over the years. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make this blog possible.
Do you blog? Do you use a specific step-by-step process for your blog posts? What are your favorite tools?