Last Updated on January 12, 2021 by Kelly Thoreson
Looking for a kickass blog writing process but don’t know where to start? Start here, my friend, start here …
After countless words written and many hours toiled, I have my proven, 10-step blog post writing process down like a clown Charlie Brown.
And I want to share it with you. Cause we’re cool like that.
Real quick, I’ve gotta question for ya:
Do you have trouble concentrating while writing blog posts?
Yes? Me too!
That’s why my entire blog post writing process is designed around getting my squirrel-brain to focus!
That way, I can stay on track and write an amazing blog post for my beautiful audience (you! Awwwe…).
It’s worked wonders for me, I know it’s gonna take your blog writing to the next level too.
Let’s look at exactly how I do it!
Grab Your Copy of My Proven Blog Writing Process
Don’t forget to grab your free PDF of my proven blog writing process! That way you can keep it on hand and stay on track!
You can grab it here:
Step #1: Light Bulb Moment!
Every great blog post starts with a light bulb moment: an idea.
Since I now write every day thanks to the Blog Daily: 7 Day Blog Writing Challenge – the question when I sit down at my blogging desk isn’t, “will I write?” it’s, “what will I write about?”
Which brings us to the first step in my process: coming up with a blog post topic.
The last thing I want for you is to sit down to write a blog post and spend all your writing time trying to find a topic.
I used to do this, and it led to a lot of frustration and not very many blog posts. Wah-wah.
I now keep a notebook filled with blog post ideas. Each idea gets its own page in the notebook to jot down keyword research, title ideas, topic research, and a very brief outline.
I turned this process into a Blog Post Seedling Template that you can download for free:
When I sit down to write, I thumb through my notebook and pick out a topic that inspires me!
Always write from a place of excitement and inspiration, if you’re bored when you’re writing, your audience is gonna be bored when they’re reading.
Here are some of the ways I find blog post topics:
- Commonly asked questions in niche-specific Facebook groups
- Listening to podcasts
- Researching topics on Ubersuggest
- Reading niche-related books
- Reading other blogs for inspiration (not to steal their shit – that’s bad mmk?)
Now that you’re off to the races and have an idea, let’s get down and dirty with keyword research.
Step #2: Keyword Research
After picking a topic, I like to validate that people are actually searching for this topic via keyword research.
If the phrase, “keyword research” makes you feel like a slimy oyster just slid down your throat, don’t worry, it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds.
In fact, keyword research is perhaps the easiest part of the whole blog writing process!
I use Ubersuggest for my keyword research, let’s look at how I do it.
Pretending that we’re Keto diet bloggers, let’s do a keyword research in Ubersuggest for the keyword, “low carb smoothie”:
The example above is a gold mine! It has high search volume (6,600/month) and a low search difficulty rating (20).
What we’re looking for here is a keyword with decent search volume and a low search difficulty.
What’s good volume? Like everything else in blogging, it depends.
It is perfectly A-Okay to target the lower volume keywords that have easy search difficulty. That’s what we call low hanging fruit!
For more established blogs with great traffic, that might not make so much sense but for the newbie blogger – it’s a chance to rank on page 1 of Google!
How do you know if a search difficulty number is easy?
Use this guide!
New bloggers with brand new domains should stick to search difficulties in the green (0-29) and sometimes the yellow (30-49).
I wouldn’t wander into the orange/red hues until your domain authority score has matured a bit.
No clue what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, I didn’t know what domain authority was when I started blogging either.
Read Hubspot’s article What Is Domain Authority and How Can You Improve It? to learn more.
Now … on to topic research! Oh, joy!
Step #3: Topic Research
Here’s where I get real dorky on all y’all: hardcore blog post topic research.
And you know what? I love the research phase!
Here are some of the resources I pull to research a topic:
- Google search (obviously)
- YouTube Videos
- Other Blogs
- Official Authorities (example: Food & Drug Administration)
I take anything noteworthy I find in my research phase that I may want to include as a link, quote, or statistic in my post and jot it down in the, “Related Materials” area of my Blog Post Seedling Template:
By the time I am done giving myself an unofficial master’s degree in the blog post topic, I have a solid idea of what I would like to say and thus … am ready to outline!
Step #4: Outline (Come On, Just Do It)
I know you don’t want to outline.
I’m here to tell you to do it anyway.
Especially since you’re prone to distraction like me, an outline will help you organize your thoughts and keep you on track while writing.
Your outline doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it should only take you a couple minutes.
Here’s what my outline for this article looked like using the Blog Post Seedling Template:
See how simple it is?
Just fill out the H2 headers, and a brief description of the supporting points (bullet list style) and you’re done!
Step #5: Rough Draft
Like I mentioned above, I used to struggle a lot with blog post writing.
Despite loving writing my entire life, minoring in English in college, and being a total book nerd – I found out that blog post writing is a whole different ball game.
That’s why I created the Blog Daily: 7 Day Blog Writing Challenge for myself, so I could not only write a shit-ton of blog posts but enjoy doing it!
I’m happy to report that it worked so enormously well that I turned it into a course! That way you can publish like a boss too.
If you haven’t taken it yet, I highly recommend doing so because I want you to be a massive blogging success!
When it comes to blog post rough drafts, I’m pretty opinionated.
Blog post rough drafts should:
- Be composed outside of WordPress
- Only consist of words (no media)
- Not be edited until done
- Be at the very least 1,000 words long
Why You Need to Be Writing Your Posts Outside of WordPress
WordPress is distracting AF:
- Stats to check
- Comments to approve
- Plugins to update
- Things not working
- Homepage tweaks needing tweaking
Seriously, it’s an effing miracle blog posts ever get published at all.
Not only that, but the longer your blog post gets, the laggy-er WordPress gets, slowing down your rough draft writing.
Less distractions + faster software = more productive blog post writing.
When I switched to MS Word to compose my blog posts, I started writing more and as a result, publishing more.
You don’t have to use MS Word; you can use any word processor available to you … even Google Docs! Then, it’s just a matter of a little copy & paste action.
Why Adding Media Should Come After Writing
Let me paint you a picture:
Sitting down to write your blog post…
you’re feeling a bit distracted but manage to put your blinders on…
you’ve eeked out a few paragraphs…
then, coming to a sentence that calls for a hilariously placed GIF…
you head over to Giphy to find the PERFECT one…
and proceed to spend the next 45 minutes laughing at cat GIFs on the internet.
Does this sound familiar?
I call this the GIF rabbit hole and it’s the reason I wait until my rough draft is finished before adding media.
Adding media to your blog post is 100% necessary, but it can also be a 100% time-suck. Wait until your rough draft is finished, then add in photos, video, and of course – GIFs!
Why You Should Wait to Edit Your Rough Draft
The mean girl inside our head is a real bastard, and she is why I offer the following advice:
WAIT. TO. EDIT.
I know that as a new blogger the pressure is on like Donkey Kong to publish at an ungodly rate.
I know that you just want to go-go-go!
But putting some space between writing and editing not only helps you spot errors, but also hushes our inner critic.
Many times, I have convinced myself while writing a blog post that it sucked, it was the worst thing I’d ever written, and that no one would want to read it.
Then, upon coming back to it the next day to edit, I realize, “Hey … this is pretty good!”.
Put some space between your editing and your writing and enjoy the clarity that comes with it.
Why Your Blog Post Should Be 1,000+ Words
Did I mention that I’m opinionated? Well…
Your blog posts should not be any shorter than 1,000 words.
Don’t give me the, “readers have a short attention span” excuse.
Even the bounciest of Pinterest traffic can withstand a well-written, entertaining 1,000-word post.
And if you want to rank in Google (you do), you need to write posts that are more informative, helpful, and all around badass than your competition.
In today’s competitive blogging environment, rinky-dink posts aren’t cuttin’ the mustard.
Beef that baby up, pack it full of value, solve your readers problems and your post should naturally be around or well above 1,000 words.
You can read all about exactly how long your blog post should be in my post, What is the Ideal Blog Post Length? (+ free workbook).
Step #6: Edit
Editing is not the sexiest thing in blogging, but it is necessary.
You’ve seen poorly edited (or completely unedited) blogs … did you go back for more?
No, you felt like the author threw that shit together in 5 minutes and hoped you were too stupid to notice.
Here’s how I edit my posts:
- Spell & grammar check with my word processor
- Re-read of the entire rough draft (I like to print mine out, but you do you boo)
- Make edits where necessary with my word processor
- Use Grammarly to check things over after transferring into WordPress
- One more re-read before I hit publish
Even after allll of that, errors get overlooked.
Yes, it can be difficult to edit your own work.
But your audience will forgive an occasional typo, they will not forgive an obviously unedited post that smacks of carelessness.
Make sure you edit, bloggers!
Bonus Points: Editing for Personality
While you’re editing, it’s a good time to step back from your piece and ask yourself if your writing is really coming across as, “you”.
Are you hilarious but your writing came across boring? Editing is the perfect time to go back to a few sentences and see if you can inject your writing style into them.
Unsure of what your blog writing style IS?
No sweat, I got you! Take my free blog writing style quiz to find out:
- What your blog writing style is
- The benefits of your blog writing style
- Possible drawbacks of your blog writing style and how to remedy them!
Step #7: Transfer into WordPress
After editing my blog post, I transfer it into WordPress. Like I said above, this is a simple copy & paste action. It is insanely easy!
I’m sure that there is some fancy pants way of importing a Word document into WordPress, but, screw it – I found a shortcut!
I just select the text within Word, copy it, click into a paragraph block in WordPress and paste. Voila!
Step #8: Add Media
Various forms of media are an important part of blog post writing and should not be overlooked.
Let’s look at what I use to create images for my blog posts and the different types of media that you can add to spice things up!
I use Canva Pro heavily and I love it.
It’s the one blogging tool that I’ve paid for the pro version of since the very beginning and I’ve never regretted it. It’s affordable and to me, vital.
I use it to create pins:
Website components & logos:
And so many other creations:
Media is Not Just a Blog Post “Nice to Have”
Media is an essential aspect of any succesful blog post.
A Moz.com study found that posts with:
- Lists got 200% more links compared to just images
- Videos + photos resulted in 300% more links
- Lists, videos, and photos got 400% additional links (!!!)
Clearly, media isn’t just something that you should add to your posts – it’s a must.
Types of Blog Post Media
Get creative with your blog post media! Anyone can grab a free pic of Unsplash, but the real pros include many different kinds of media:
Like I mentioned above, the more varied your media, the more links you’re likely to receive to your post so … why not?
Step #9: Blog Post Checklist Audit
The blog writing process can be exhausting. By the time you’ve come to the end of it, you are ready to hit publish and never look back!
But it is important to give your blog post a last once-over before you release it fearlessly into this world.
This is where I grab a copy of my free Bang’n Blog Post Checklist and make sure I’ve literally checked all the boxes.
This way, I know that my blog post is reader friendly, SEO ready, and primed to bring me tons of traffic!
Grab your free Bang’n Blog Post Checklist here:
If you want to learn more about how to use the blog post checklist, read Bang’n Blog Post Checklist: 25 Points to Viral Success.
Step #10: Publish & Promote
Now girl, hit that publish button!
Then just sit back and watch the traffic roll in … JUST KIDDING!
Ah, if only the saga of blog post writing was over once the publish button was pushed.
Buuuuut, it’s not quite that easy.
To promote your blog posts with the two-pronged SEO + Pinterest approach, I’ve got two recommendations for you here that pulled me out of the weeds and into the fast lane of traffic.
If you have followed my Bang’n Blog Post Checklist instructions and SEO’d correctly, you should eventually see organic traffic from search engines … eventually.
Ranking in Google doesn’t happen overnight!
SEO is a giant, sometimes confusing topic and it’s got a bad rap in the blogging world.
But SEO doesn’t have to be scary, once you have even a basic understanding of it, SEO is a blogger’s best friend!
If you’re lookin’ to learn SEO, and I mean REALLY learn SEO – I cannot recommend Stupid Simple SEO enough.
It is, quite plainly, the shit.
I spent a year gathering conflicting free information on SEO from the web before I finally just bought Stupid Simple SEO and it was worth every. Effing. Penny.
Especially for new blogs, if you don’t promote your work, no one is going to see it!
If you’re not using Pinterest to promote your blog, you’re leaving a lot of free traffic on the table.
I struggled with Pinterest for a very long time.
During that time, I purchased 3 of the “go-to” blogging Pinterest courses, one of them cost me $200, and sadly all 3 of them really got me nowhere.
And then, one glorious day, I bought Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies.
This girl, let me tell you … I love her!
I love Carly’s teaching style and I LOVE that she FINALLY got me Pinterest results:
And the kicker is that the cost for Pinteresting Strategies is CRAZY low, under 50 bucks.
Don’t waste your time and money like I did on other Pinterest courses – Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies is where it’s at, friend.
Blog post writing isn’t what you thought it would be, but now that you have my proven 10-step process, you can do it!
Just stick to this proven 10-step blog writing process and you will be on your way to blogging badassery.
Have questions about my blog writing process? Meet me in my free Facebook group for live Q+As and get all your questions answered!
Until next time …