What Goes Into a Blog Post?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


You know how you do certain things so often that it just becomes part of your every day or weekly routine? Sort of like muscle memory? That's kind of how I feel with blog posts sometimes (see: most of the time). It's not to say I don't care about writing them or that they bore me because I do care and I'm not bored. It's just that sometimes you just become so used to doing something that you forget all of the effort and steps that go into it because it's so ingrained in your mind. 

Did any of that make sense? Should I just continue on and try to elaborate later? Yes? Got it. 

I don't think about the time that each part of a blog post takes. I've never really sat down and analyzed everything that does into a post. I tend to just figure out what needs to be done in a mental checklist and just try to do all of them before the blog post goes live. But in the past few weeks, I've been asked by interviewers about my blog process, what goes into each post, and how much time an average post takes and it's just not something I've thought about extensively at all (my brain has very limited space for anything that isn't Liam Payne and LeBron James and songs from the 2000s). 

I'm sure everyone has a different process, just with similar-ish steps. The beauty of blogging is that we all do our own thing and individuality is celebrated. What works for me might not work for someone else just the way that my process might not be the same for someone else!
What are the main components of a blog post?

For me, my blog post can be broken down into these three things: the original concept, photography, and the actual copy/text itself. Of course, each of those three has its own subcategories. Beyond the original concept, I have to think of mini bullet points to hit in a post. For example, this post is broken down into about five different bullet points in my agenda and what I want to talk about and cover. Photography requires shooting, either photos of your own or with a photographer (or in my case, with my mother) and also editing said photos and then I suppose uploading them to whichever blogging platform you use. And finally, the copy itself obviously combines every aspect of the original concept but elaborates on it enough so you write an entertaining and/or informative post for your readers. 

How much time goes into a blog post? 

This is a question that genuinely varies. When you think about it, a post has all of those components that I talked about in the point above this. This post has only a couple of pictures, but that didn't mean I took two shots and called it a day. I had over 50 pictures for this blog post and only two of them ended up working out, which is fairly typical. For my outfit pictures, I take anywhere between 150 to 300+ shots with my mom, depending on the weather (namely, the effing wind), whether or not I am in focus (she's not a professional, we try our best), and if I can control my RBF or not (spoiler alert: I cannot). So, shooting could take five minutes, or it could take 45 minutes, especially depending on where we decide to shoot. Luckily, I edit with my own presets, so that cuts down a lot of my editing time, though I do tend to tweak each photo anyways to make sure nothing is overexposed or saturated too heavily. I'm not trying to look like Casper or an Oompa Loompa. I just want to look like myself!

Timing the creation of a concept is nearly impossible. Obviously, ideas come to you in the moment, but there are times that I've been thinking about something for weeks, I just haven't been able to put those thoughts into a solid concept that I could build on. Like this post! A question about the time and effort that goes into an average blog post has stuck with me and was the spark that started the original idea for this post. And then sometimes, they just come to you while you're planning with no seed planted from a lingering conversation in your mind.

I always think writing posts takes so much less time than they do because I'm a fast typer and I also type like I talk: in one, long, stream of consciousness. But damn, if I haven't worked for nearly two hours on a post trying to make sure it's entertaining, sounds like me, covers all of my points, has the proper links, the photos are in a good order, and making sure it's grammatically correct. Or at least, I try to. I'm human, after all.

So, yes, while a post from start to finish might only take an hour, some could take three, four, hell even longer and I wouldn't blame anybody. Our name and our name solely is on our blogs and we just want to make sure we're attaching our names to something great and quintessentially us.


Well, what happens after you finish?

And after the party, it's the hotel lobby...After you hit publish on a post, the work isn't quite done! It's time to share on social media, which leads to another string of thinking of a concept (how do I want to share my new post? What graphics will I use? Do I want animations? What do I say about it so it sounds enticing?). Some social media platforms make it easy to share posts with their hyperlinks and have their own summary cards (a preview image, typically the first shared in your post). But, for good old Instagram, you get the chance to be creative a few times: through an actual post and now through your stories.

I make my Instagram Story graphics in Canva and Hype Type, just to make them a little more different than just the photos themselves (there's nothing wrong with this, of course, you do you). And we can't forget about Pinterest and its graphics and trying to give each new pin an appropriate summary that will make it turn up in the most ideal searches to try to increase traffic. The point of writing a blog post is for people to read, right? So why not use social media to your advantage and try to spread your hard work to as many people as possible?

* * * * * * * *

Even now, re-reading this makes me feel like I've seriously simplified the blogging process. It's hard to explain without actually doing it. We all know that there's a general confusion with what content creators do. People assume YouTubers just film and edit one video a week and that's it. Bloggers just take pretty pictures and post them on Instagram and their cute little blog with a sentence or two. The behind the scenes or effort go unnoticed, which is a total shame.

What's your favorite part of the blog writing process? I'm a big fan of adding as many bad dad jokes as possible (is "bad dad jokes" too redundant?)

2 comments

  1. this was SO useful! thanks for sharing!
    -Amanda

    www.amandadalvarado.com

    ReplyDelete

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