Blogging is not only hard, it takes a lot of your time as well. We bloggers have to market on social media, comment on posts by other bloggers, do collabs, take photos, work on our blogs and so much more.
But none of it would do any good without the MAIN part of blogging—blog posts. And these blog posts can’t be random words strung together typed up in no sensible order. Blog posts have to be presentable.*
*I probably spend more time making my blog posts look good than myself.
I’ve been wanting to do a post on my blogging process for a long time now but I never stuck to one way to properly talk about it. After almost two years of blogging, I can now say that I have some semblance of a process. And this has been mainly driven due to college.
Blogging is hard, but it is harder when you’re supposed to be studying for two tests, writing three assignments, preparing a seminar and trying to find that little bit of time somewhere to read.* I also have about five hours of time at home, on an uneventful day, so basiCALLY I’M SWAMPED FRENS. I NEED HELP. This lack of free time has made me develop a certain “process” in making blog posts and hence I’m able to write this
hopefully very informative post for you.
*I have taken to reading during class. And that’s pretty much how I finish books nowadays.
I plan. A lot.
I am a planner, if you haven’t noticed the bullet journal posts on this blog. I love lists, planning, recording, and making sure everything is IN PLACE.
About a month or two in advance, when I start planning the posts for a particular month, I write down the dates and days of that month in the last pages of my bullet journal.
I used to make spreads every month in the middle with my regular monthly spreads, back in 2016, but once I started planning in advance I had to make some spreads over and over again. Hence I began making them in the end so they’ll remain constant.
As you can see in the pictures above, I add sticky notes for every month. I record my favourite songs and anything notable that I want to mention in my Wrap-up there. This way, when I’m writing my Wrap-up I can see it all in one place instead of a bunch of different places.
Bullet journals are awesome that way, because they can encompass ALL of your life in one notebook and you can be SUPER organised.
I prefer planning in my bullet journal than on my phone
When I get blog post ideas and am jotting them down, or if I’m planning the posting schedule—it’s all on paper. I found that my ideas flow better when I’m WRITING them down rather than typing. And I simply love using a pencil, scribbling something in almost unreadable writing, scratching, erasing and rewriting. It gives the original feel of editing and it actually does help.
Another reason why I love planning on paper, as I’ve mentioned in some post AGES ago, is because it allows you to keep your old ideas. When I scratch an idea, it’s still there. Which means if I want to improvise from it later on, I still have the original notes to refer. Being a little bit of a perfectionist, I tend to think and rewrite my sentences at least a couple times, especially if it’s on paper. Having my discarded notes to refer helps.
It’s also easier for me to find when I published an old post. I started planning my posting schedule in my bullet journal about six months after I began blogging. Hence I have ALL of that planning put down which will never get deleted. Now if I want to find an old post but I don’t remember when I published it or what it was exactly called, I can simply turn a few pages and find it. It’s THAT EASY.
I also tend to delete images, texts and ANYTHING in my phone that is of no use to me anymore. And sometimes I wish I hadn’t deleted them. But as I record everything truly important (long-term) on paper, I have no qualms about keeping my phone storage clean. This is another reason why I love using paper to plan, because it serves my purpose and also allows me to not have a bunch of things I don’t refer to regularly on my phone.
Every month, I maintain a “blog post ideas” spread in the bullet journal and I have TONS of unused ideas simply waiting for me to write on them someday. Some of them were thought of several months back. If I DO run out of ideas in the future, I always have them to look back on.
I brainstorm my blog posts first
There are spontaneous ways to writing blog posts:
- Many bloggers get an idea and immediately type it up.
- Or they open the writing page and THEN think.
- Some might even start typing and figure out what they’re blogging about as they go.
I have been all of the above. When I first began blogging, I had no direction on what I wanted this blog to be and simply maintained it as a brain dump for everything I wanted to talk about. In April 2016 I blogged EVERYDAY and almost all of those posts were spontaneous ones that I typed up on spot while racking my brain to work. I ran out of posts real quick.
But once I began attending classes at college, things did a one-eighty. I suddenly had absolutely no time and several tasks lined up in my to-do list. Not to mention, I preferred reading over blogging.* But I started getting adjusted pretty quickly and took to writing down blog posts in my bullet journal. And I don’t mean drafts. They were COMPLETE posts which took up several pages. I wasn’t in the habit of noting down the main points and using them as a guidance while typing later. On Sundays, when I had time to blog, I simply copied the same thing (making minimal changes) and hitting publish.
*Are you really surprised, though?
Obviously, things have changed and become better since then. Right now, I have at least six posts drafted in my bullet journal. With dates assigned to many of them. By drafts I mean bullet points talking about the main things I want to say. I elaborate and make it all pretty and structured as I type.
My discussion posts, Top Ten Tuesdays and Wrap-ups are usually drafted on paper first.
But what about my book reviews?
I don’t have a set process to my book reviews. But here are the majority of ways it usually goes:
- I sometimes jot down notes on the book in bullet journal as I’m reading it, or on sticky notes in the book to refer later.
- But I generally try not to concentrate on critiquing it but enjoying it. Hence what usually happens is that I either write down a few lines on my Goodreads private notes section when I mark a book read and refer back.
- Or I simply write the review on spot.
I actually DON’T write book reviews as soon as I finish reading. I tend to review based on how I feel and when books which lack a storyline but end with a really nice scene, I’ll be on a high and write a glowing review only because of the last page. A few days later, though, I finally get around to seeing the whole picture. Only then do I try to find time and write the review—when I’m sure I can write on all aspects of the book.
In short, I plan my blog posts more than I plan my future. And neglect my assignments while doing the same. I probably shouldn’t but is that going to make a difference? NO. I love blogging and I love all aspects of it.
P.S. I meant to talk about my COMPLETE blogging process but I ended up writing too much* only about brainstorming and planning. Therefore, I decided to split it into two parts and talk about the rest of it in another post.
*As I always seem do?
What does YOUR blogging process look like? How do you come up with ideas? Do you plan out your blog posts as well? How do your blog posts take shape? I would love to discuss in the comments!