Have you ever wondered how the blogging process is like? Being a blogger myself, I’m often curious to know how other bloggers do their works, how they find their inspirations, how they create different contents, and what their blogging process is like.
I’ve been blogging for eight years now. Although it may seems easy, it’s actually quite a bit of hard works. On some days, I type only three or four sentences. It’s hard to get the ideas and thoughts to be translated into words and sent to my keyboard.
On some days, I’ve so many ideas flowing through my head that I don’t know where to start. On the good days (though not many), I find equilibrium where my mind and fingers operate at the same speed, and ideas are translated into words seamlessly.
Be it a good day or a bad day, I’m going to give you a sneak peek into my blogging process. It could be similar to yours, or it could be completely different too. So, let’s go!
Step 1: Finding Inspirations for Blog Posts
Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or a complete newbie, you may find yourself stuck for inspirations sometimes.
My blogging inspirations come from many directions. It may come from my own experiences that are worth sharing, blogs that I enjoy reading, my own blog archives, and beautiful pictures. Sometimes, I’m inspired by someone else’s words, a good movie, an incredible event, or just free flow to allow whatever in my thoughts to bubble up and out.
More often than not, inspirations hit me when I’m out and about. Therefore, I always carry a small notebook in my bag so that I can quickly write them down before they are completely forgotten.
Step 2: Translating Ideas into Words
Step 1 is the most tedious, but once I’ve the ideas clearly captured in my notebook, I can translate them into a proper blog post easily.
Instead of writing directly onto my WordPress, I use Microsoft Word to do all my writing using my laptop. It’s easy because I get all my grammar, thesaurus and spelling tools here. Once the blog post is completed, I will re-read it at least once to make sure that everything is correct.
Step 3: Finding and Editing Pictures
This step is the most time-consuming – especially for travel posts that often come with lots of pictures. As you may have noticed, I rarely post a blog post without any pictures. In my opinion, every blog post should have at least one relevant picture.
How do I decide what pictures to be used in a blog post?
It largely depends on the post content. For a product review post, I’ll take pictures of the products in different angles and set-up. For travel posts, they contain the most number of pictures. I usually make them into collages so that I’ve shorter upload times, and my blog post can load faster. It’s also easier for the readers to view more pictures without having to keep strolling the page.
I’m a big fan of photo-editing softwares. Most of the pictures on my blog are edited for colours, sharpness and effects prior publishing. I have Adobe Lightroom, but I rarely use it now. The two photo-editing softwares that I use more often are PicMonkey and Pixlr. They are very easy to use. For creating panoramic images, I use Microsoft ICE – a very smart software that combines multiple pictures with just a few clicks!
A panoramic image created using Microsoft ICE by combining a few pictures that I “anyhow” took using my smartphone camera
Albeit time-consuming, pictures that are edited for colours and effects look more pleasing to the eyes. Besides the basic operations like cropping and rotation, I usually enhance the colours by changing its hue and saturation, as well as optimizing its colour temperature. I also use the ‘Sharpness’ tool to gently enhance the image sharpness.
Recently, I’m also using a lot of styled stock images on my blog, and they are purchased from Etsy (the first picture at the top is an example). They may be expensive but I don’t mind splurging on beautiful images. Simply put, I like all things pretty, and they make me happy. A beautiful image captures attention, and not everyone (including myself!) can take beautiful pictures. So, the easiest way is to buy them.
But let’s face it; it’s not budget-friendly to buy stock images all the times. Is there any free good quality images that we can use without worrying about copyright issues? YES, there is! *cheers*
Unsplash is the perfect example of a truly quality free photo site. They are real and honest photos contributed by talented people. Truly beautiful and high-resolution photos that are completely free to do anything you want with. I can hear your excitement!
Here’s one sample picture I took from Unsplash. They don’t even require attribution from users if they don’t want to (but I still prefer to credit the photographer).
Step 4: Publishing on Blog and Social Medias
Voila! We’re finally at the last step – Publishing! This is the easiest step. I upload all the images to my Flickr account, just to save storage space on my blog. You can get 1000GB of free storage, that’s enough space for more than 500,000 photos on Flickr.
Then, I copy and paste the post content from Microsoft Word onto my WordPress blog, insert all the appropriate photos from Flickr, add categories, tags and keywords, and double-check the preview before hitting the “publish” button.
I’m using Jetpack Publicize plug-in to automatically publish my posts on several social media platforms. It saves me a great amount of time as I don’t need to post them separately.
I can’t tell you how long I usually take to complete a blog post. It all depends on the topic, number of pictures and length of the post. A short post may take about 30 minutes, but a long post may take up to 6 hours (spread across a few days).
Every time I hit the “publish” button, I heaved a sigh of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dread writing a blog post. But somehow, after all the hard works from writing, editing to publishing, I feel a great sense of satisfaction whenever a blog post is published. And then, I’ll take a short break before the whole process starts again.
All in all, blogging gives me a lot of opportunity to learn new skills. I’m glad to be able to learn at my own pace and am enjoying every part of it. After all, learning is a lifelong process, isn’t it?
I hope you enjoy reading the “behind the scenes” post on how a blog post on Our Little Smarties is being created. If you’re a blogger, what your blogging process is like? I love to hear from you too!