There are so many ways to write a blog post. I wrote this post for my recent How to Start a Blog in 7 Days email course graduates to help them get started blogging. But I’m sharing it here on the Diana Starts so other new bloggers (and maybe even some veteran bloggers) can see. So, let’s talk writing blog posts. I don’t mean, how to develop your writing style. This post is more of a step-by-step process. Ready? This is how I write a blog post on WordPress.
Note: Since the drafting process for how I write a blog post can take awhile, I do “Save Draft” frequently. Also, I wanted to mention that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you.
10 Steps for How I Write a Blog Post on WordPress (My Workflow)
#1 Select the Topic
First, I figure out what I want to talk about. I usually have a list of ideas handy. Okay, I have many lists. But if I’m not pulling from the list, I’m writing because something has inspired me or has been on my mind. Many bloggers maintain an editorial calendar so they can plan when they want various content to publish.
#2 Define the Value
Next, I determine what the value for the reader will be from the post. Ask yourself, “What’s the point I’m trying to make with this post? What is the value my reader will gain?”
#3 Edit Photos / Create Graphics
As a rule of thumb, I try to always include at least one graphic or photo in each post.
Edit Photos: So, if I’m using photos, I edit them (for color correction, cropping, etc.).
Create Graphics: For graphics, I make these typically on PicMonkey. You can make great graphics for free, but I loved PicMonkey so much, I upgraded to Royale in 2015.
Photo / Graphic Best Practices
- Resize your photos for performance: large photos may slow your site down and eat up your storage space
- Rename them for SEO: image names using your key word can help with your SEO*.
*Read #9 below for a bit more on SEO.
#4 Add Photos to a Draft Post
For drafting the post, sometimes I create/edit directly in WordPress (via my admin panel). Sometimes I use the WordPress mobile app (usually when I’m blogging from my iPad). And sometimes I use blog software called Ecto that helps me blog a lot faster. And I often use a combination of tools.
Order: Photos or Text First?
Here’s where things go 50/50. Many of my blog friends add photos first when starting a new post. But many also prefer to write first and insert the images later. I opt for the former.
If you’re developing your blog posting style, try both and see which flows more naturally. I’ll continue in my usual order.
Populate the Alt Tag
Be sure to add a value to each image alt tag. Doing this will help your SEO and can help your pins on Pinterest.
#5 Add Text to Draft Post
Next, I add my text around the photos. The location of the text(in relation to photos) depends on the type of post.
If it’s a recipe or lifecasting type of post, I usually write the text underneath the corresponding photo. This is because I tell the store a bit more with the photos. And the text is almost secondary.
If it’s more of an educational post, I usually have only one or two images. So, I’ll place the image somewhere between the intro and the content.
If it’s a step-by-step tutorial, I may have many screenshots, in which case I follow the recipe/lifecasting style.
Overall, it’s mostly about the flow. So I see where the photos seem to fit most naturally.
Be sure you’re using your headers throughout your post. Headers are usually used for titles and sub-titles to help your readers scan your content and easily follow it. Most good themes have special formatting for headers so these titles are displayed differently.
Headers also help your SEO – see #9 below.
#6 Re-Read, Edit, Repeat
Once I have a full draft complete, I’ll read through the entire post, making corrections along the way. I check the flow, look for typos, correct punctuation, etc. I’m pretty slow with editing because I typically re-read and refine each post many times.
I also make sure the post will bring the reader to the value identified in step #2.
#7 Add Categories and Tags
Once the post is written, I’ll add categories and tags. I recommend defining these up front. If you haven’t done this already, you may want to sign up for my 7 day mini email course on how to start a blog because I share exercises to help you with this.
#8 Set Featured Image
Next, I’ll click the “Set featured image” link and select a photo from the post as the featured image. I usually use the post’s title as the alt text.
#9 Set Yoast Key Word
Finally, if I care anything about the post’s search engine optimization (SEO), then I’ll set the Yoast key word. Yoast is the plugin I use for SEO checking on individual posts and pages. It helps me rank higher in Google and other search engines. The free version is awesome. I learned about it at WordCamp, and it’s quickly become one of my go-to plugins. I love it so much, I’m considering upgrading to pro.
Once I’m confident my little blog post is ready for the world, I’ll hit that publish button. And then share it on social media.
And that’s how I write a blog post!
As I was writing this post, I thought of a bunch of follow-up posts I could write to help explain some of these steps further. Why I do what I do. How it benefits your blog, search engine ranking, speed, etc.
Let me know if you have any follow-up questions, and I’ll focus on those first!
Are You Already a Blogger?
How do you write your blog posts?
Thanks for reading!