This one is for all of my blog friends out there struggling with creativity and getting a solid system down for their blogs! I see you. I know what it’s like!
You already know that blogging is a ton of work and it’s not always easy. Blogging isn’t just writing content and publishing it. Nope! It’s an extensive process of cultivating and creating, trial and error, and ups and downs.
Today, I want to give you some actionable tips on developing your own creative process for your blog. I’ll be giving some examples on how I work and hammer through my own creative process. I’ll also ask you some questions and give you some ideas to work with. I’d say that the main part of developing a creative process for your blog is heavily dependent on how you work, not on how everyone else works. I’m here to help you build a firm foundation.
“WHERE DO I START?!”
I have had many bloggers express to me that sometimes they just don’t know where to start in creating their content. Do they write their blog posts first? Do they take photos first?
The thing is, there is no straightforward answer to this question.
We are all wired differently, which helps make the beauty of blogging and our creative processes so special. Even though there is no one answer to this question, I encourage bloggers to do one thing first before getting started with creating content… And that’s to brainstorm away!How To Develop A Creative Process For Your Blog Click To Tweet
THE 7-STEP CREATIVE PROCESS YOU NEED FOR YOUR BLOG:
BRAINSTORM YOUR IDEAS // The first thing I do after jotting down a new post idea in my drafts or notebook is to take a few minutes and write down some key points that I know I want to address in that blog post. I also take note if it’s a post that might be able to be sponsored in some way, by incorporating a brand that I love into it. The thing with brainstorming is that you can’t filter yourself. Well, I should say – you shouldn’t filter yourself. Brainstorming is the time you want to write any and every idea down that comes to mind. Not every idea will take root at first but the important thing is that you write it down.
I encourage you to immediately write down any new idea that you might have the second you get it. If I’m at my laptop, I automatically save the new post idea as a draft, as well as type it into my desktop’s sticky notes. If I’m on the go, I’ll simply jot it down in my notes app on my phone or in a notebook. This is huge! If I don’t write it down right away, I’ll most likely lose that idea.
If the idea of writing something down whenever you think of it is overwhelming to you, I want to still encourage you to do it. Then at the end of the day, file all of your ideas into a system that works best for you.When brainstorming new blog content, you should NEVER filter yourself. Jot down each and every idea that comes to mind. You never know when it'll flourish into an amazing piece! Click To Tweet
KEEP AN EDITORIAL CONTENT CALENDAR // Bloggers, you MUST have an editorial content calendar for your blog. You can really use any calendar you’d like, but I suggest using one that’s digital, easy to use, and has a drag-and-drop method to it. It’s much easier that way. I personally like to use the calendar right on the desktop of my MacBook Pro. It’s quick to get to and it allows me to see when I have what content planned to go live. I can also drag-and-drop to move things around if and when need.
Content calendars are key when it comes to balancing out your content. If you have a few main categories that you blog about, you really have to pay attention and make sure that you’re regularly hitting every one of those categories. For example, here at CWS, I write mainly about blogging, self-care, style, travel, and affordable lifestyle. I try my best to never post about the same topic twice in a row.
Related Reading: Why You Need A Content Calendar For Your Blog
Content calendars aren’t just great for finding balance within your content, they’re also great for looking ahead and being able to map out a plan for future posts. I highly encourage you to work ahead if you’re blogging seriously.
Try to plan your content ideas in 3-month blocks and if you’re able to, try to plan even 6 months ahead. Now, you don’t have to write all of those blog posts ahead of time, haha! But, it’s good to have a solid plan of action for your content.Content calendars are key when it comes to finding BALANCE in and throughout your blog content. Click To Tweet
CULTIVATE YOUR VISION FOR EACH BLOG POST // What do I mean by vision? Well, I actually mean two things! 1. Photography and graphics. 2. Your voice and how you’ll incorporate it into each blog post you write.
Photography is such a HUGE part of your content. People are visual. Your readers are visual. So, if you’re not investing time into furthering the photography in your blog posts, you will lose readers. I’m not saying you need a fancy camera – you can use your phone if that’s what you have. Devote time to master whatever you’re shooting with and editing, and I promise it’ll pay off.
It’s important that your voice is consistent throughout all of your content, even differing categories. You should have underlying characteristics of your writing voice that you can carry into each blog post. By having a consistent voice, you’ll learn how to be a storyteller and to really get your point across.
PHOTOGRAPH MORE THAN ONE BLOG POST AT A TIME // This is so, so huge, my friends! I used to stress myself out so much back in the day when I’d only shoot one blog post at a time. I wasn’t being diligent or intentional with my time. This also ties in with the importance of having a content calendar – you’re able to look ahead and see what you have coming up. Depending on your niche, you want to find a good groove when having photoshoots. Photographing more than one blog post at a time isn’t just something fashion bloggers should do, it’s something every blogger should do. It helps save you time and prevents a huge amount of stress from weighing on you.Struggling to always have photos for your blog? Shoot more than one blog post at a time. It helps save you time and prevents a huge amount of stress from weighing on you. Plus, it helps you to work more intentionally. Click To Tweet
DO YOUR RESEARCH // This point is totally dependent on what topic you’re writing about, so sometimes you’ll want to do further research and other times you won’t need to. One thing that I personally do when I’m writing on a topic that’s blogged about often from others is to look up other posts like the one I’m writing. I only really do this in regards to my self-care content and the reason being is that I want my blog posts to stand out amongst the rest of the self-care blog posts out there. I will research and see what others have shared about and I’ll make sure that my blog posts are completely different than those that are out there.
I think this is something everyone should when writing about topics that are very popular. You don’t want your blog post to be too similar to the ones already out there – you want to stand out.Are you blogging about a popular topic? Look up other blog posts about the topic you're writing about. Why? You want to make sure that your blog post isn't cookie-cutter. You want your blog post to stand OUT amongst the rest. Click To Tweet
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CRAFT YOUR BLOG POST // Each blogger has a workflow that works for them. For me, when I write a blog post I have to have all of my photos ready to go. As I write, I insert the photos where I want them as I craft my blog post. But for others, they might not add their photos in until after all of the content is written. Whichever method works for you, get in the groove and rock it out.
If you’re a new blogger and you’re not sure which will work best for you, try both out or come up with something of your own.
HAVE A SOLID PROMOTION PLAN // I’m sure you promote your newest blog post the day it goes live, right? You’ll post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram… but, if you’re only promoting on the day your blog post goes live, you’re doing it WRONG. Yes, you need to promote the day of but you also need to have a consistent promotion plan in place for all of the time.
If your content is evergreen, you can schedule promotions all year round. If your content is seasonal or holiday-focused, then schedule promotions out a couple months before that season or holiday. Promotion is probably one of the toughest parts of blogging because it’s something that’s never-ending.If you're only promoting your new blog post the day it goes live... then you're doing it WRONG. Here's how to do it right! Click To Tweet
I could go on and on about promotion strategy but we’d be here forever and I’m already creeping up on 1500 words, haha. I’ll save that for another time. 😉
The 7-Step Creative Process You Need For Your Blog Click To Tweet
Being a blogger is a hardcore job. There are so many details and lots of strategies that go into all we create. I hope this outline is helpful to you in finding your own creative process for your blog! If you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments!