My exact step-by-step blogging process
So you know you want to blog, but are wondering … what exactly goes into writing and publishing your first post?
Turns out, there’s quite a few steps in the process to publish truly professional-quality blog posts!
And today I’m going to share exactly how we do it. (We being my assistant and I, as we’re both equally involved in publishing blog posts these days!)
Yeah, you could cut corners and skip a few of these steps, but if you want to know what we’re doing for every post, here it is!
Step 1. Brainstorm blog post ideas
I’ve actually already written on how I come up with blog post ideas, so here’s the link to the post on that if you’re interested! Basically, I brainstorm ideas all the time and write down them down in Asana or my Notes app.
Step 2. select best ideas for editorial calendar
I then go through my list, eliminate the terrible ideas (believe me, there are many) and then settle on the ones which I feel are best, which readers will enjoy most and the ones which I’m most excited to write! I then use Asana for my editorial calendar. (Here’s a post on how I use Asana in my business btw.)
Step 3. Write the post
Because I use Asana for my editorial calendar, which is also what I use to remind myself of all the tasks I need to do in my business, I know I need to write a post that day when that editorial calendar reminder pops up on my Asana with my other tasks for the day.
Previously I tried writing outlines before writing the actual post, but slowly learned that that just wasn’t my thing and now I go straight to writing the entire post all at once. In Asana I just have a rough, crappy name of the post.
For this post my Asana task said ‘Editorial Calendar: How I did it in my business: how I blog (+ split the work with my assistant)’
Basically, it’s kinda a bad name & description. When I go to write the actual post, that’s when I pick a proper name (SEO-friendly is preferred!) and fully write out the thing.
Andddd that’s everything I do! The rest of this list, my virtual assistant takes over and completes!
(OPtional step). Notify assistant post is written
From there, my assistant takes over. So first I change the post from a ‘draft’ in Squarespace to ‘needs review’. I then create my assistant an Asana task asking her to finish prepping and schedule any blog posts marked as ‘needs review’.
Step 4. Proof read
Next up, my assistant reads through the post to find any grammar and spelling errors, and any really oddly written sentences. (I have a tendency to write those fairly frequently, haha.)
Step 5. Search for any instructions
While I’m writing posts I put any instructions for my assistant in between ***.
So for example, if I want to link to add an affiliate link added to the post I’d write in the post
“Yadda, yadda, yadda, I love Squarespace, it’s what I use for my website. You can get 10% off your first year by clicking here.” ***link words clicking here to our affiliate link***
My assistant then does a Command+F, searches ***, finds the relevant instructions and completes them.
Step 6. Add related posts
We finish off every blog post with a ‘You’ll also love . . .’ section. So my assistant finds relevant blog posts (we have an ongoing list of posts in a Google Doc to make this easier) and pops in the links.
If you’re wondering how we add related blog posts to our posts, here’s a post on that. (… That was a lot of uses of the word post in one sentence.)
Step 7. Insert opt-in image
We have a couple of opt-in gifts that are scattered around our site. We created little promo images for each of them a while back and now pop the most relevant opt-in gift promo image into each blog post.
Here’s a look at our 3 main opt-in gift promo images (and yes, each ones clicks to the relevant freebie, so feel fee to click through and grab some free stuff!)
Step 8. Create & insert blog post image
We have a template for our blog post images created in Adobe Illustrator. My assistant then pulls an image which best fits the post from our Google Drive folder of images (it’s a folder mixed with brand photo shoots I’ve done as well as stock images) and swaps out the text on the template to be the title of that blog post.
She then exports the new blog post graphic, converts it from a PNG to JPEG (which makes the file size much smaller, and therefore faster to load on our website), optimizes the size of the image (how to on that in steps 7-10 in this post) and names it correctly for SEO & Pinterest before uploading it.
She then inserts it both at the very top of the blog post with an image block, and also uploads it to the ‘thumbnail’ image area in the settings of the post.
Step 9. Create alternate graphics & hide within post
In an effort to do our best Pinteresting job, we also create alternate versions of our blog post graphics and hide them within our posts. We have a tutorial on how to do that in Squarespace here.
Step 10. categorize post
In the settings of the post, we then add it to whichever blog post category is relevant.
(Wanna know how to properly use Squarespace tags + categories - this video helps with that!)
Step 11. Optimize URL slug
Again, in the settings of our posts, my assistant changes the auto-generated URL slug to a shorter, more SEO-friendly one. This generally involves shortening the URL slug to be 3-4 keywords and eliminating all the other fluff words from it.
Step 12. Schedule blog post
We publish new blog posts every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 AM EST. My assistant then looks at all our previously scheduled posts, sees which upcoming Tuesday or Thursday needs a post and schedules it accordingly.
Step 13. Add post to our Google Doc list
Remember how we have a Google Doc with all the names and links to our blog posts, which comes in veryyy handy when adding related posts to the bottom of a post? The last thing my assistant does is add that new post to the Google Doc!
And that’s it! That’s how we roll with blogging!