I love to write, and I hope it shows in my content. I try to write about things that are of interest to someone, and I do get positive feedback in both responses and private email. Thank you for that!
What may not show is all that goes into a blog post. It’s never a matter of copying some text I’ve received in an email, slapping in some high-res images and hitting that Publish button. Noooooo, there’s so much more!
The anatomy of a blog post is much more complex and detailed than what appears. First, the blogger must experience what he/she is writing about. This could be by attending an event, watching a movie, interacting with someone, in some fashion, testing/trying a product, eating a food, the list goes on. We take notes, take a lot of pictures and enjoy whatever it is, most importantly.
When we’re done, we have to download our photos to our computer then run them through Photoshop or another photo editing program to crop out the dirty napkins, the strange photobombs that don’t work or the blurry stuff. Neaten them up and put them in a folder where they’re easily accessible. (I am uber-organized, so each event gets its own folder and they are also uploaded to Snapfish.com.) That can take quite a while, if you take a lot of photos!
Then comes the first draft. I usually do this in Notepad, as sometimes Office/Word leaves funny code in that makes a mess of my text when I copy it into the post field in WordPress. I upload the photos I want to use in another window, and later on I add more photos if I have space, if I wrote more than I thought I would, or if I suddenly feel it needs to be included. Some photos tell stories better than verbiage ever could.
Next up is the linking, changes in code and the SEO work in the WordPress UI. Adding categories, a tag, SEO terms into the body of the post, that kind of thing. Then I place the photos where they go and hit Preview. Like it? Great. I’ll publish it. Missing something? Fix it. Not sure? I’ll marinate on it a bit and go back to it later, after I’ve thought about the details a bit more.
After a post is publish, the promotion begins. Carefully chosen and scheduled shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ occur. StumbleUpon is another. Then come the repetitive shares later on, with newly crafted text and at a different time…unless that first one was wildly successful. Between the two, I’ve looked at my ShareAholic stats and my Google Analytics to see what worked and what didn’t. Never overlook your stats: these are a majorly important key to your business success.
If it’s a sponsored post, I send the url to the appropriate rep. While I’m doing all the behind-the-scenes work before publishing, I make sure I’m including anything they have requested and that their business is promoted properly, all while being myself. I prefer my posts to speak for me and to be credible. Trust is a big deal for me, both in blogging, in my social media and also in my job. Reliability and trust — you really can’t have enough of these two.
I love blogging, but it is a timely process. This is why I have to say no to some things, as my blog is my business. My family is the most important thing to me, and if something’s going to take time away from my family, it has to be worth it. Maintaining the blog as my business conveys that reliability and trust I spoke of, and I’m so thankful for the relationships I’m built and am continuing to build by being a blogger. The people I meet, the things I get to do, the places I get to go: what a life! I told my husband the other day that I can’t imagine someone not wanting to be a blogger, and I know that’s silly because no field is for everyone, but that really speaks to how much I love it. I love the details, the accounting, the business-y stuff I have to do that’s not related to any specific post, it’s all a part of this amazing new career that is growing every day. If you’re a blogger, don’t be afraid to say it! (And then be ready to explain how it’s not just posting cool stuff to Facebook or sharing high-res images.)