How to write and publish blog posts in under 4 hours a week

How to write and publish blog posts in under 4 hours a week

If you're like many of my clients, then the idea of learning how to write and publish blog posts in under 4 hours a week probably sounds very appealing.  For many people “blog” is the figurative four-letter-word.  Just the thought of coming up with an idea for a blog post is intimidating, let alone writing the post and publishing it on their website every week or month.

I often work with clients to come up with a blogging strategy, but at the end of the day many of them don’t consider blogging a high priority.  And it makes sense.  Their clients, work, revenue and day-to-day operations come first.

We already covered the reasons why you should blog in another post, so I’m sure you recognize it’s importance.  But knowing something is important doesn’t make it any easier. It’s important to exercise, but that doesn’t mean you’re spending all your time at the gym, right?

Common complaints about blogging

Many of the reasons people don’t like blogging are similar.  Here are a few that I hear quite often:

  • “It’s hard to do”
  • “I’m not a writer”
  • “I don’t like to write”
  • “I don’t have a system”
  • “What I write is never good enough”
  • “It takes too long”
  • “No one reads them”
  • “I’m too busy”

If these sound like something you’ve said in the past, then this blog post is for you.

We’re going to show you our own tried and true method for writing blog posts, only taking a few hours a week to complete. In fact, we use this exact method to write blog posts between 3,000 to 5,000 words each, in under four hours a week.  That’s less than an hour a day; sometimes much less.

The perks of our blogging system

Our blogging system allows us to ...

  • Write blogs easily.  By following this method we find the words practically write themselves
  • We never have to wonder what to write about or what to write on which day
  • Our blogs are packed with useful and helpful content that help our readers move their lives and businesses forward
  • And we do it in just a few hours a week, working around 40 minutes a day, Monday to Friday

Want to get the details on so you can use this system for your own blog?  Well, follow along and at the end we’ll also give you a free blogging checklist so you never forget a single step of the process.

Let’s get started!

Our blogging system in a nutshell

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Process in a nutshell
Let's crack open the blogging nut shell

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s take a look at an overview of our blogging process.  That way you can take a look at the whole forest before we chop down your blogging trees.

Our process for blogging takes five days, bringing our blogs from the “idea” phase to a published post.  However, before we start this process we also go through a monthly brainstorm of blog ideas.  We shared this blog brainstorm process in another post so be sure to check that out if you’re stuck on what to write.

In that post we shared methods for prioritizing topics to find the best options for your next blog post.  We also shared a template to help you determine (in about 5 or 10 minutes) the promise, solutions and specific steps you will write in your post.  So, for now we’re going to assume that you already followed those steps and have a clear idea what you want to write.

The full details of our blogging system

With that done, let’s look at each of the five days to show our blog writing process.  The first time you do this it might take a little longer, but that is true for any new skill you’re learning.  But keep practicing and soon enough you’ll be publishing blog posts like a pro.

Day 1: Outlining the blog post

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - day 1 blog outline
Let's create an outline for your blog post

The magic of this system is that we are working from a big picture to a detailed picture. You’ve already viewed your post from the widest view of the question or problem you’re answering.  And then you went more detailed using the blog post template, identifying the problem, solution, steps, take-aways and calls to action.

So, on Day 1 you’re going to write an outline of your blog post based on the information from the template.

Personally I like to use Google Docs for most of my work on a blog post.  After I create a new Google doc for this blog post I copy over the template information, and then at the top of the page, I add in a sub-title with the word “Outline”.

Under the sub-title I start creating a bullet point list of the various topics in the post.  Then, under each bullet list I add details with more specific information.  You can think of it like an organized brainstorm.

An Analogy

Using the analogy of building a house, think of the blog template like a document where you’ve written down “3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 kitchen, 1 living room”.  The outline is the equivalent of an architectural diagram of the house laying out where those various rooms go and how you get from one to the other.  Nothing is laid down in stone, and you can move things around, but this is where you start creating structure for your blog post and a logical sequence from one idea to the next.

An Example

I’m going to use a specific blog post as an example so you can follow along with the process.  Click here to view the finished post, entitled “Automation Resources to Super Charge Your Business Systems”.

With that post, the “problem” I wrote in the template was:

“You will learn how to create a process road map for your clients that allow you to know exactly where you are and where you're going.”

So, in the outline I fleshed it out to this:

  • The Problem: You are setting up automation for your client onboarding or lead education and, but some items are still falling through the cracks and you have a hard time tracking which steps you’re on or have done for various clients and customers.
    • I shared with you the entire process in four steps, but even after you’ve implemented it you might have problems.  I don’t want to leave you high and dry so here is how you can keep things organized and stay on top of your automation systems.

As you can see, I took the big picture idea and just gave it a bit more detail.

Here’s another example from farther down the post template:

“Workflow software must make it easy to set up diagrams and conditional sequences graphically”

Which, when outlined, became this:

    • 1. Workflow Diagram (Map) - This is where you organize your top-level view of the entire system for onboarding or education.  If you ever get lost, this is what you refer to for guidance.
      • Workflow Diagram software and systems - it must make it easy to set up diagrams and conditional sequences graphically. This is a visual exercise.

Outlining is actually one of my favorite parts of the process because it allows me to flesh out ideas without worrying too much about grammar, sentences, or being super logical.  It is really a brain dump of what you eventually want to write on that specific topic or idea.

Here is a time lapse video of me taking a template document and turning it into an outline.  It should give you an idea of how it looks (super sped up, of course). The total time was around 15 - 25 minutes.

Day 2: The Rough Draft

Once again we’re going to take what we’ve done the day before and add another level of detail.  The key to writing a good rough draft is to not worry too much about writing a “good” rough draft.  In fact, the more typos and grammatical errors the better, because it means you aren’t getting bogged down editing your draft and are focused on writing.  Your goal is to hit the “delete” or “backspace” button as little as possible.

I know that for many of you this will be challenging.  If you are the type of person who’s desire for perfection turns a one paragraph email into a 20 minute ordeal, then this will be like nails on a chalkboard for you.

But to be honest, I find the process rather “freeing”.  It feels good to write without worrying about quality, for once.  You can just put things on the page and know that you will get back to polishing things later.

To accomplish the rough draft I go into my Google Doc, create a new sub-title of “Rough Draft” at the top fo the page, and copy my outline just below it.  As I go down the outline and create the rough draft I delete the parts of the outline that I have completed, focusing on getting my thoughts roughly written on the page.

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Day 2 Rough Draft
The rougher the first draft, the better

An Analogy

So, if the outline is the architectural diagram of a house, then the rough draft is the building shell; the beams and boards defining the space of each room and giving them context in a three dimensional word. You are laying out the pathways for electrical and plumbing needs, and creating space for what will later be the more polished elements of your house.

An Example

So, looking at the outline that I shared earlier we have this:

  • The Problem: You are setting up automation for your client onboarding or lead education and, but some items are still falling through the cracks and you have a hard time tracking which steps you’re on or have done for various clients and customers.
    • I shared with you the entire process in four steps, but even after you’ve implemented it you might have problems.  I don’t want to leave you high and dry so here is how you can keep things organized and stay on top of your automation systems.

And here is the rough draft I wrote from that, in all it’s typo-ridden glory:

I n th elast blog post [link] I talked about the four steps to create an onboarding automation system that can take you from ove rwhelmed to 30% increases in available time and revenue.  But I realized that creating any automated system for your business is going to be challenging if you don’t have the resurces and tools you need to organize those new workflows into a cohesive system.

Often after setting up a new system some items will still fall through the cracks.  You might have a hard time keeping trck of which tasks have been completed or which tasks are up next for your clients and customers.

Since I don’t want to leave you high and drive, in this post I’m going to show you tools and resources to help you keep your automation systems organized so you can stay on top of the work with ease.

As you can see, there are lots of typos and mistakes.  It isn’t written “beautifully” but it gets the idea across and that is all I need at this point.

You can also see that I try not to interrupt my process, so I use placeholders like “link" of "video" and then circle back to them during day three or day four when I have time to do the research.  I’ll do that for images, videos, links and anything that requires time to complete.  Or sometimes I’ll put in placeholders for idea that I haven’t worked out the full details for yet.

Again, the priority is to just brain dump on the page and worry about making it readable later.

This process might be one of the longer days.  In fact day two and day three are usually where I spend most of my time with blog posts. But even so, I only spend about an hour writing the rough draft.

Here is another time lapse video to show you my process for writing the rough draft from the previously mentioned article:

Day 3: Polished Draft

For some of you this process might be challenging, and for others it will be a relief.  I’ve noticed that there are generally two types of writers: brainstormers and editors.

Brainstormers are great at dumping out tons of content quickly, but they aren’t so good at reviewing their text, checking for spelling errors or fine tuning what they wrote.  They don’t know a participle from a preposition, but they’re good at churning out content.

Editors on the other hand are amazing at fine-tuning the written word and know the difference between “it’s” and “its” and have a copy of Elements of Style next to their desk.  They find it hard to let an unpolished email go out into the ether, but when it eventually does goes out, it usually looks pretty amazing.

You probably know which one you are.  I’m a brainstormer and, as you’ve seen from my emails and posts, I barely know the difference between it’s and its.  🙂

If you are working with a team, then have your blog posts co-written by a team member who is the opposite type of writer. I’ll share some ideas on how to divide labor another time, but just keep this in mind as we go forward.

So, when writing the polished draft I go back through the Google Doc, create another sub-title at the top of the document called “Polished Draft”, copy the rough draft text below the sub-title, and then work on refining things.

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Day 3 Polished Draft
Let's put some shine to bring clarity to your blog post

There is an order that I go through when refining my rough draft.  Again, I start from the big picture and drill down to the details.  Here is the order of things that I work on:

Logic

This is where I make sure the ideas in the blog post make sense and are presented in the right order.  Sometimes I may realize I should have combined some ideas, or that they are not in an order that makes sense.  So, I will look at the big picture and make sure everything in the article is written in a logical way.

Voice

This is where I make sure what was written contains the right voice and sensibilities for the brand.  The way I write to express ideas on the Akamai Websites blog is different than I would write on my wushu blog or my personal blog, so I make sure that the voice is consistent with how I have written in previous blog posts.  This is all about enhancing the consistency of your brand identity.

Style

This is the “editing” process where I remove unnecessary parts of the article.  As a designer, my focus is on taking my creative work and editing it to the essentials.  This is the same thing I do with a blog post.  I have the tendency to write using the same mistakes so I generally have a good idea of what to look for. But everyone is different, so if you know your peculiarities then this is the time to address them.  The main idea is to take the text and fine-tune it to be more efficient and get your idea across with as few words as possible.

Grammar

Next I go and (try to) fix the grammatical problems in the blog post.  Fortunately there are lots of great apps to help with this and I try to make good use of them.  Grammarly  is a good one so if you aren’t naturally a member of the grammar police, then technology can be a great help.

Spelling

Finally we take advantage of the awesome Google Docs spell-check feature.  It underlines misspelled words with a squiggly red line, making them easy to identify and fix.  It is also important to track the wrong use of correctly spelled words, such as “to”, “too” and “two”.

An Analogy

Looking back at our house, you can liken this step to putting up walls, installing wiring, plumbing and putting up the roof.  You end up with a bare bones house with no furnishings or amenities, but if you had to get in from the rain you’d at least stay dry.  Just don’t try to use the non-existent toilet.

An Example

So, in the post from before, here is the text from the rough draft:

I n th elast blog post [link] I talked about the four steps to create an onboarding automation system that can take you from ove rwhelmed to 30% increases in available time and revenue.  But I realized that creating any automated system for your business is going to be challenging if you don’t have the resurces and tools you need to organize those new workflows into a cohesive system.

Often after setting up a new system some items will still fall through the cracks.  You might have a hard time keeping trck of which tasks have been completed or which tasks are up next for your clients and customers.

Since I don’t want to leave you high and drive, in this post I’m going to show you tools and resources to help you keep your automation systems organized so you can stay on top of the work with ease.

And here is the “polished” draft version:

In the last blog post I talked about the four steps to create an onboarding automation system [link] which takes you from being overwhelmed to 30% increases in available time and increased revenue.

And that’s a great first step, but I realized that creating any automated system for your business is going to be challenging if you don’t have the resources and tools you need to organize those new workflows into a cohesive system.

Often, after setting up a new system, some items will still fall through the cracks.  Keeping track of the tasks that have been completed, or are up next, can be challenging.

I don’t want to leave you high and dry, so in this post I’m going to show you some invaluable tools and resources to keep your automation systems organized and keep you on top of your work with ease.

And here is another time lapse video where I take the rough draft and turn it into the polished version.  This process took about an hour.

You might be wondering why I haven’t added in the links, images or other media.  Well, that is something we save for day four when we bring our blog content into WordPress and put in the finishing touches.

Day 4: Prepare for Publishing

With the blog post mostly written (at this point it is usually 85 ~ 90% of the way to being good enough for others to read), we open up WordPress on our website and spin up a new blog post to prepare it for publishing.

We have a process for this as well, which is outlined as follows:

  1. Format the text (headers, bolds, quotes, etc.)
  2. WordPress options (tags, categories and author)
  3. SEO (keywords, headers, text and readability)
  4. Images and Media (post images, featured images, pre-done videos)

One of the nice things about copying text from Google Docs to WordPress is that it doesn’t add a lot of extraneous code to your blog post.  Copying from Microsoft Word can often have that problem, which is why I don’t recommend it.  Google Docs is free, easy and awesome, so get used to it for content creation.

Here is a breakdown of each step  of this process:

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Day 4 Formatting Text
Time to format your text and prepare the post for publishing

1. Format the text

We’ll discuss this a bit more when we talk about SEO, but the use of bold, italics, headers and text formatting are quite important.  But for now I just make sure the body text is formatted correctly, and all the headers look good and have a consistent hierarchy.

Since the “Header 1” style is reserved for the main blog post title, I use the “Header 2” style for the main headers for the page.  From there, just make sure you are consistent with which titles are “Header 2”, “Header 3” and so on.

Bolding text, using bullet point and numbered lists, and formating quotes are all good ways to direct the reader’s eye to the important details in your blog post.  Later we’ll also talk about how these things help with SEO.

Time to complete: 10 - 15 minutes

2. WordPress Options

There are three options we’re going to focus on here: tags, categories and the author.  And similar to the text formatting, tags, categories and authors also have an impact on your website’s SEO.

For tags we go through the blog post and identify any special terms, topics, people, places or products that are mentioned.  For example, if you mentioned the new iPhone in your blog post, then you could add tags for “iPhone”, “Apple” and “Smartphone”.  Depending on your website theme you may or may not have tags show up visibly on your post page, but keep in mind that they often show up in the meta description which can help your search ranking.  Don’t go too overboard, keeping in mind that you are trying to tag words and phrases that people will use to search for the helpful information in your post.

Categories are general blog topic categories that you have already set up through your website.  For Akamai Websites we use categories such as “design”, “onboarding” or “education”, but your categories will probably be different based on your business.

Finally, the author for the post should be specified and, whenever possible, their biography should show up under the blog post.  This is helpful for reinforcing both your brand and the authority of those who work in your business.  If you scroll down to the bottom of this post you’ll see my author box that shares some information about me and my background.

Time to complete: 10 - 15 minutes

3. SEO

This is about thinking of the content on the page beyond what looks nice or gets your point across, and think in terms of how Google or other search engines will identify your keyword topics and information.  It is a bit of a paradigm shift, but one of the things that makes this a lot easier is the Yeost SEO plugin.  We install it on all of our client sites because it makes setting up SEO on a page or post super simple.

We’ll have to do a whole blog post on that some other time, because it is beyond the scope of these few paragraphs, but just know that the way you format your text matters to how easily you can be searched online.  For now, let’s look at a few specific things that have a big impact on your SEO:

  1. Keywords.  How and where you use the keywords you are trying to rank for has a big impact on how Google views your blog post.  Use it in your title, the first paragraph or first sentence of your blog post, and in key areas across the rest of the post.
  2. Formatting.  Google looks at how you format your text to determine the relevance of your content for specific search results.  Bolding text, using it as a header, sub-header or in bullet lists are good habits to get in to.
  3. Images. It is helpful to SEO to have relevant images on your post.  But it isn’t enough to just have images, but to name the files, the image description and the alt tags with relevant keywords for that image.
  4. Links.  By linking to relevant sites that have authority for your given topic or keyword, you’re showing to Google that you are providing useful information to your readers.
  5. Backlinks.  These are one of the best things you can do for your SEO, but also one of the trickiest.  Finding sites to post links to your blog post can be a fulltime job, but if you have a lot of high authority sites linking to your content, then you’re sure to improve your Google ranking.

These are just a few things to work on, but certainly not all of them.  Ideally you already have an SEO strategy in place, and are working to rank for specific keywords, both for your industry and to rise up in local search results.

If you want more information about SEO, then be sure to check out the Beginner's Guide to SEO written by MOZ.  It is a great resource to help you get a handle on this whole thing.  But, like I said … this is worth its own blog post in the future, so let us know if this is something you want to learn more about.

Time to complete: 10 - 15 minutes

Images

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Selecting Images
How will you decide on the right image?

I mentioned in the SEO section how important images are for ranking.  Finding good images to help illustrate the points I’m making in a blog post is the next step in my blog writing process.

There are lots of great websites to find royalty-free images, but one I use the most is Unsplash.com.  They have awesome pictures, good search functionality, and everything is free to use.  Although they don’t require attribution for the photographers, I’m more than happy to link back to their website since they have such a great service.

When looking for images there are two types that I’m trying to find:

First, I want to find the images that go inside the post.  I identify images that help illustrate my points and then edit and optimize them for use on the web.  There are also plugins that can help you optimize the images you upload, but be careful with file sizes and image dimensions because it can affect your page load times (which affects your SEO).

Second, I look for the Featured Image.  This is the main image that represents the blog post on the blog index and at the top of the page.  This is also the image I use for social media promotions.  I try to make sure that it is a good representation of the feeling, content, topic or tone of the article.

An Analogy

Going back to our house building project, you can imagine that what we just accomplished is equivalent to installing appliances, painting the walls, putting in the furniture, and basically making sure the house is ready to live in.  The “interior design” phase of your blog post, if you will.

An Example

Unfortunately, I can’t really show you a before and after for this step. But if you check out the live blog post you can see how the article looks in it’s “furnished” state.  This will show you the final changes that happened to the first few paragraphs by the time the post went live.

One important thing to keep in mind is, when you’re working on the site in WordPress, don’t hit the “publish” button.  Always save as a draft. I’ve made that mistake more than once and it can be a bit embarrassing to have an unfinished blog post live on your website.  One way to help this is to “pre-publish” your post by setting a date in the future.  That way, even if you hit “update” it won’t be live on the site until that date and time you already set.

Here is a quick time lapse video of me working in WordPress to polish off and prepare my post for publication, and I also included the Day 5 video here, which is me preparing promotions on social media.

Okay, so we’re done, right?  Well, not so fast, buddy.  Actually, publishing a blog post is just the beginning, but we’re going to work on that during the last day of the work week …

Day 5: Promote the Post

Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers is well known for having unique strategies for psychology-driven content marketing.  One of the things he talks about is how writing a blog post is only the first part of your content marketing process. It is the weeks and months after the post is launched that really matters.  He doesn’t write a ton of posts (about one or two a month), but he is amazing at sharing them with a wider community and getting major traction by promoting each one.  In fact, in this blog post he talks about how he uses an 80/20 rule where only 20% of his time is spent writing a blog post vs. 80% of the time spent promoting it.

I hear a lot from people who launch blog posts and then wonder why no one is visiting their website.  Even after they posted a link on Facebook or Instagram is seems that people still aren't’ reading their post.  Well, the key to gaining traction with your blog post through social marketing is about going beyond your own network and building relationships with readers and customers in other areas of the internet.

This is a topic that deserves it’s own blog (or series of blogs) but I just wanted to emphasize the fact that, if you spend the same amount of time promoting your post as you do writing your post, you’ll see some great results.  It isn’t enough to spend 10 or 20 minutes posting links on social media.

What I’m going to describe below are really just the bare minimum of things that will help you promote your post.  Ideally you are spending a good week or two (or six) promoting your content.  That is, assuming your content is worth sharing. 😉

Before we talk specifics, let’s discuss the words you’re going to use.  For each blog post we write, we write specific copy for each social network we use to describe the blog post’s benefits.  We also use relevant hashtags and keywords and create a specific social media image (usually the same image I used for the blog post’s featured image.

Once you have set up your social sharing copy and images, then it is time to share it.  And the first (and best) way to share it is through the king of online marketing technologies.  This is one of the most valuable items in your online marketing toolkit and the first thing I recommend to all of my clients if they want to create a lasting impact and relationship with their clients, customers and audience:

Email Marketing

Without a doubt, if you aren’t building an email list to engage with your followers, fans, customers and clients, then you are leaving potential millions in the wind.  Yes, I said Millions.  Because that is how valuable a good mailing list can be.

Once again, this deserves it’s own blog, but if you take nothing else from this blog post then hopefully you remember to begin your mailing list right away.  Even more than your Facebook page, Twitter handle or Instagram account, email is key.

Spend time crafting and sharing information to your subscribers that provides true value.  Sometimes it is just an anecdote, or information about a blog post, but try to provide something that is actionable and can make a difference for their business or life.  The point is to be consistent with your communication.

I typically schedule the email to go out either the same day or the day after the blog post is published.  And I always try to include some “behind the scenes” information about how the post came about that you wouldn’t know unless you read the email.

Once I’ve set up the email (I use ConvertKit, in case you’re wondering (affiliate link) but you can use Mail Chimp or some other service just as easily), then I work on social media promotions.

How to write and publish blogs - Akamai Websites - Social Media
Time to promote your awesome new blog post

Social Media

In my view there are four platforms where you can get the best traction when you share your blog posts: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Others work great too, but these are the easiest to build both a following and your reputation.

I set up promotional blasts to go out on the same day (or next day after) of the launch, and then I schedule additional promotions over the rest of the week or months on a gradually diminishing frequency.

So, for example, in the first week when the blog post launches on Monday, I might promote it on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Then the following week on Tuesday and Saturday.  Then Thursday in week 3.  Then maybe every other week for a month until it just falls into our standard social network promotional schedule.  (Yet another thing I need to write a blog post about.  See?  Coming up with blog post ideas is almost comically easy … it happens as I’m writing blog posts!)

As I said, email and social media are just the bare minimum for blog post promotions.  I encourage you to find other ways to share and promote your content beyond these, but if you do nothing else, at least this will provide a consistency of action and branding for those who find you on the internet.

An Analogy

Using our example of the house building project, this process is akin to sending out invitations to your house-warming party.  Let’s pretend that for every person who comes to your party you receive $1,000.  Suddenly getting as many people to come to your part is pretty important, right?  Sending out invitations to your friends (i.e. followers) is just the first step.  Now you have to figure out a way to expand that reach beyond those already in your network.

A confession

I have to be honest here.  I’m not as diligent and consistent with my social media marketing as I would like to be.  So, if you look at my networks you might not see all of these recommendations being used.

I know … I should walk the talk.  It’s something we’re working to build into our systems here at Akamai Websites, but it’s a process that takes time to build.  I just wanted to be honest and let you know the truth.

The full video

So, throughout this blog post I’ve been showing time lapse videos of each process.  I included the time lapse of me creating the social media marketing elements for the post in the previous day's video.

Here is a copy of the social image that I created, using a program called visme.co.:

Akamai-Websites-Automation-Resources-for-your-Business-Systems-768x644
The finished social image for the blog post

At the end of this post there will be an opportunity to not only get a full video of the whole thing, but I’m also providing a video walk through that takes the entire process and talks you through each step as I’m doing it.

If you want the full explanation of each part of the process, then you can pick up the walk-through video right here. It is 15 minutes and shows you each part of the process, explaining the details of how we write our blog posts.

Tips and Techniques

Before you head off to write your blog masterpieces I wanted to impart a few words of advice to help you on your journey.

  • Don’t worry about word length.  Just make sure your post is succinct, useful and delivers results.  The blog posts I write are probably longer than the average but that is because I work to provide a lot of useful information.  Ii fact, I’ve had more than one person describe them as “densely packed” with useful information.  I consider that a compliment. 🙂
  • Build a tiny habit and grow it over time.  You wouldn’t go and run a marathon if this was your first time exercising, and you shouldn’t try to tackle too many things at once if you’re just getting started blogging.  You want this to be an enjoyable process, so just keep things simple to start.  700 - 1,000 words answering a simple question is more than enough.  And then, just build on that over time.  Before you know it you’ll be writing 6,000 word behemoths like I do. 😉
  • Focus on promotion.  I said it before, but the promotion of your blog post is where it will gain traction.  At some point aim to spend an equal amount of time promoting your post as you did writing it.  If that was 4 hours a week, then the next week you should spend 4 hours getting the word out.
  • Build systems and automate them.  If there are parts of this process that are repetitive or don’t require specific knowledge or skills, then automated or delegated them.  The whole social media part could be delegated.  If you’re more of a brainstormer than delegate the fine-tuning of the post.  Eventually you should just be responsible for coming up with the idea, outlining it, and writing the first draft.  Everything after that can be done by others (or machines).

Later we’ll talk about specific types of blogs to help you be more effective.  In fact there are dozens of different blog post types, but really just three or four that you need to know and understand.  These are the main blog types we create, but I’ll cover those in a future post (Topic #6?).

Did you learn how to write and publish blog posts?

So, there you have it.  This massive post provided our entire system for writing this massive post. 😉  Here is a quick summary of each day:

  • Day 1: Outline the blog post.  Big picture bullet list view of what you want to talk about.
  • Day 2: Rough Draft.  Stream of consciousness writing to get it out of your head and on the page.
  • Day 3: Polished Draft.  Edit things down to make it logical, voiced, styled, grammatical and properly spelled.
  • Day 4: Prepare for Publishing.  Get it in WordPress and set up your post with all the bells and whistles for SEO quality
  • Day 5: Promote the Post.  Get the word out there!

If you’re wondering, I typically give the blog post 2 days to simmer where I’ll go back in and take another look at it (or two) to make sure it is okay.  It only takes a few minutes to review, but it is valuable in making sure that it is ready for prime time.

Our schedule for blogging starts on Monday and ends on Friday, which means that on Saturday and Sunday I just do quick checks of the post and fix anything that I think needs a bit of an adjustment.  Then I have the post launch on Sunday night for a Monday morning promotional email and social media marketing.

And just because it looks cool, I wanted to share a final time lapse video with you.  This is the entire process of writing the blog post — over 4 hours in total — compressed to just six minutes.  Pretty crazy, but also really entertaining.

Next Steps for Blogging Success

If you’re serious about really leveling up your blogging game, then be sure to pick up my 26 point blogging checklist that goes through everything I covered in this post, and then some.  This is what I follow when I’m writing a post, so just enter your information below and you can get yours instantly.

If you found this information useful and it has helped you with your blogging, let us know!  Post a comment below and link to your blog post.  I’d love to see how things went and if you have anything you'd’ like to add (or ask) about this process.

Image Credits

Photos by Ilya Pavlov, Good Free Photos, rawpixel.com, Thought Catalog, James Pond, Marcus dePaula, Aidan Meyer and William Iven on Unsplash

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