Hello guys, gals friends and readers of the YourChicGeek blog. Welcome to the first of a 3 part series and a blogging behind the scenes with YourChicGeek.
I figured I would split this up into 3 parts, because my blog is “kind of a big deal” LOLZ. (I’m kiddingggggg) yall….
I had to throw some Ron Burgundy into the mix. Gotta love Anchorman.
I’ve been blogging since 2009 and let me tell you it has been quite a journey. I decided to use this series as an opportunity to share some of the tips and strategies I’ve picked up along the way.
And since I understand the benefits of blogging from a branding and digital marketing perspective, I don’t have plans of stopping anytime soon.
Blogging has helped me:
- Get FREE organic traffic from Google through search engine optimization
- Foster relationships with some of the folks in the industry that I’ve admired for a long time….
After Years of Blogging, I Finally Discovered a Framework that Works
One things for sure, if you want to Blog Like a CHAMP, then planning and organization is key.
It took me years to get to this place, but I now have a solid framework in place for creating content for my blog.
In this part of the series, I am going to cover the first 3 steps that I take to create blog posts and they are as follows:
- Review my blog’s editorial calendar
- Choosing a Topic
- Create a “Catchy” blog post title
#1: Reviewing My Blog’s Editorial Calendar (5 Minutes)
If you do not have an editorial calendar for your blog, you NEED one. Like yesterday.
An editorial calendar will help you plan, organize and write content for your blog easier.
This is coming from someone who used to:
- Create content on the fly
- Spend hours frustrated trying to figure out what to write about
- Not have an organized and systematic approach to blogging
Say YES to an editorial calendar…
My editorial calendar is pretty much mapped out by Month and Theme. I use the blogging “Theme” of the month to come up with a blog post “Topic” (which I will cover later).
Next, I head over to my editorial calendar, view the “Theme” of the month, then forge ahead to choose a blog topic to write about.
#2: Choosing a Blog Topic (10-30 Minutes)
There are three tried and true resources that I use to come up with blog post topics: Facebook Groups, Blog comments and Quora.
Facebook groups are a gold mine for coming up with blog post topics. There are so many people using Facebook Groups that need help.
Your job is to hang out in a few “select” Facebook groups where your target audience is.
The key to choosing Facebook groups is that you want to be very strategic about groups you are spending your time in.
You don’t need to join 10 different groups either. I believe that you can do well with 2-3 groups max that have high engagement and activity in them.
What you want to do is this:
- Use your Facebook groups to look for issues that peeps in your industry are having.
- Become a go-to resource for them by answering their questions
- Note the questions that they are asking and use your blog to answer them.
My second resource for finding blog topics is blog comments.
Here’s the deal:
You don’t have to always use comments from your blog.
Comments from popular blogs in your niche related to the “Theme” you are writing about work too.
The blog post that I wrote on blogging consistency came from reading a comment someone left on my blog.
In the comment, the reader stated that she wanted to blog…but she struggled with “consistency”.
When I read it…I had a huge “Aha” moment as I know that a lot of people struggle with blogging on a consistent basis.
Like Facebook groups, Quora is also a gold mine for finding topics to blog about. Quora is a question and answers forum that people use for two things:
- To share content
- To ask questions
I use Quora to find blog topics and search for questions that people are asking about a particular subject.
Note the screenshot below:
I searched for “Why should you blog”. Quora showed me some of the questions that people are asking about this topic.
Another thing to pay close attention to when you are searching for blog topics in Quora is the “Related Questions” section.
This area of Quora will give you a list of questions that people are searching for that you can potentially use as blog topics.
Great stuff right?
When I figure out a blog topic, I head over to my editorial calendar and notate it for tracking purposes.
#3: Creating a Blog Post Title (30-45 Minutes)
I am not going to lie, a lotttttt of TLC and time goes into creating my blog post titles.
Your blog post titles are the first people see. So, it’s one of the main parts of my blog content that I spend a lot of time creating.
The Resources I Use to Create Catchy Post Titles
Buzzfeed is full of titles that are what you would consider “click bate”. These are titles whose main goal is to make you click on them.
I use Buzzfeed to get ideas on verbiage that I can use to add to structure my blog post titles.
I can scan through Buzzfeed, find a title that jumps out at me then plug in a few words and use it to create a blog post title for my content.
Like this title:
23 Mouthwatering Ways To Upgrade Scrambled Eggs
23 Simple and Effective Ways to Upgrade Your Relationship with Blogging…(or something like that)
Guys….I have an unhealthy obsession with lurking Pinterest. You can find a lot of inspiration for blog post titles…for realz.
When I am looking for blog title inspiration from Pinterest, I will scan through Pins and look for Pins that have a high “re-pin” rate to study that headline.
#4: Block out time to write my content (1-2 Hours +)
I can already see that you are rolling your eyes at me on this one.
But….despite what you’ve read online about writing blog posts in 30 minutes, it takes me a lot longer.
Depending on what kind of mood I am in, I will either get in a quiet place to write, or fire up Pandora to set the mood.
I use Google Docs to write my blog posts because I love having the ability the access my content whenever I need to.
#5: Proofread the post to Check for grammatical and spelling errors (30 Minutes)
After I finish writing my content, I use the spell checker in Google Docs to scan the content for spelling errors.
Next, I run the post through the Hemingway App. If you are not using this app, start today. I love using this tool because it simplifies my content and makes it flow better.
To use it all you have to do is paste your content into the editor, scan your work and remove unnecessary content.
#6: Use Canva to Create My Blog Post Graphic (10-15 Minutes)
You already know that I am a Canva fanatic right? If you don’t, read this post to see why. I’m such a fanatic that I created a course teaching peeps how to use Canva to design graphics, workbooks and course collateral.
YCG Blog Post Images
Anywho, I just don’t have all friggin day to spend designing graphics for my blog posts. So I used Canva to create a standard blog post template that I rinse and repeat for my posts.
If you don’t have a blog post graphic, I recommend heading to Canva to create one. You can use this video as a guide.
#7: Add the new content to my blog (10-15 Minutes)
This doesn’t take long at all to do as WordPress makes it super easy to do. After I scan the post and run it through the Hemingway App, I just drop the entire post into the WordPress editor.
#8: SEO the blog post (10-15 Minutes)
If you want to get traffic from Google and other search engines, SEO is critical. I use the Yoast SEO plugin on my blog. It makes SEO really easy.
When I optimize my blog posts for the search engines, I do the following:
- Add the main keyword to the post no more than 5 times
- Put the keyword to the meta description (this is the description people see in Google)
- Use the keyword to the Title of the post
- Add the keyword to the blog post image
This post covers SEO in greater detail. If you do not know how to SEO a blog post, I believe it will help ya. I have a video tutorial that walks you through the process step by step.
#9: Schedule the blog post to go live (5 Minutes)
Yayyy! I’ve finally made it to the easy peasy part. Publishing the post….. Now….depending on my blogging schedule, if I am behind then I publish the post right away.
If I am on schedule, I will schedule the post to go live at a later date and time.
What’s Your Blogging Process Like?
Do you have a blogging process in place or do you write content on the fly? Either way I’d love to know. If you don’t have a blogging process in place and want to get on the fastrack to Blogging Like a CHAMP, then check this out.
Please leave your comments below.