What does it take to write a blog post? That’s a question a person in one of the Facebook groups I’m a member of said is a surprisingly untouched subject and not many bloggers write about it. When you do a google search what you get is “how long does it take to write a blog post?”, “how to write a blog post?” and the list goes on. I honestly find it a bit odd because if you’re a person who wants to know if blogging is for you wouldn’t it be relevant to also find out how much work actually goes into creating a blog post? Or a blog in general?
In this blog post you will learn what it takes to write a blog post from scratch, at least the way I do it. There might be a step or two other bloggers do that I don’t (and vice versa) for different reasons. That’s lesson number 1 I suppose: not all bloggers do things the same way, and you have to figure out what works for you.
The first step to writing a blog post is, of course, to figure out what to write about. Inspiration can be found in numerous places, I usually don’t struggle and can find ideas just by talking to people, listening to podcasts, roaming Pinterest etc. but I have the luxury of 1) not having a monetized blog, and 2) I’m covering a lot of topics on my blog which means that I have more freedom to write whatever I want.
Most blogs, however, are niche specific meaning that they will focus on fitness and health, blogging and social media, food, or parenting – whatever it is. That obviously narrow which topics you can write about and that’s where keyword research, a product or affiliate links will come in handy.
KEYWORD RESEARCH is a must if you want to create a serious blog post. Why? Because good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help make your blog post rank on Google. Or in other words: people can find your blog post and/or website by doing a quick Google search. Now, I don’t personally seach for keywords because my site isn’t monetized so although it would be great if people read my content it doesn’t actually have any impact on my life if they dont. It’s not my livelihood. But many bloggers actually want to make money and since you have to search for keywords to include in your blog title AND blog post anyway you might as well harness that power for inspiration as well.
Learn more about SEO and resources for keyword research here.
One resource that isn’t mentioned in the link above is answerthepublic.com. The good thing about this site – other than it being free – is that you will get a lot of both keywords and content ideas from just one search. The downside is that you only have 3 searches per day. On the free plan at least. Still, if you use your 3 searches strategically you can get 5-10+ content ideas AND keywords in one go so I definitely think it’s worth it.
AFFILIATE LINKS is another source of inspiration. In case you don’t know affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions for marketing another person’s or company’s products. So if you’re an affiliate for, let’s say Amazon, you usually incorporate a link people can click on so that if they buy something from Amazon using your link you will get a cut of the cake. My point is that creating blog posts around company(s) you’re an affiliate for will provide you with content; content through which you will promote the product. If you have a product on your own you can promote that as well. Creating your own products (courses, printables, templates etc) will definitely provide you with blog post ideas.
Not everyone needs to do research but it will depend on your niche, your profession (prior or current) and on the specific blog post. For instance, I rarely need to research fitness and health inspired blog posts because I am a Physiotherapist. I’m already the “expert”. But when I write blog posts about psychology or other things that need scientific evidence I have to do sometimes extensive research. Mostly because I actually know nothing about the subject and by doing research I not only am able to write a blog post about it but also educate myself. It’s one of the things I love most about blogging. Be aware that research can take time and that obviously influences how quickly you can push out a blog post. I usually like to take notes and save the links and resources in my blog post draft so that I can incorporate them once I start writing.
ACTUALLY WRITING THE DAMN THING!
Now to the fun part (for most people). Actually writing the blog post. You first need a keyword rich TITLE that is also catchy. I know, it can be a pain! I recommend writing a title no matter if you think it sounds good or not because it will make it easier to find in your drafts, and you can always change it later. If you nail it in the first try, good for you! Personally I have a bad habit of going back and re-wording my title once I finish my post. Either because the blog post has changed it’s purpose slightly – hey, it happens! – OR because I can use one of the subtitles as inspiration. If the only thing missing is a number but I don’t yet know what that number will be (e.g. will I have 10 or 11 tips on whatever) then I put an X and fill in the blank once my post is done. I then check the URL to see if everything is how I want it.
The actual BLOG POST… I don’t really have much to add. How much time and energy it takes will depend on lenght, amount of research or something else. We all have to find that out on our own. If I don’t have too much research to do I can usually write a blog post within 2-4 hours. If I have to include GIFs or pictures that will take time as well. For me writing the thing isn’t what is time consuming. It’s everything around it.
Worth noting: I usually include a call-to-action at the end of my post, nudging people to comment or share. If you scroll to the bottom you see that I first have a “let’s connect!” call-to-action; another one above my pin that says “pin for later!” and the last one below the pin where I ask people their opinion or a question.
HEADER AND PIN DESIGN
If you want to include a HEADER that will need designing. Now, many people don’t have a header and I totally get why; it’s time consuming! Especially for me because I always make a unique header for each post. It’s not a very effective way to work but I love designing, it’s therapeutic for me.
I recomment utilizing PINTEREST for all bloggers, and if you do you will need to design pins as well. Not just for Pinterest but to include in your blog post. That means that your post isn’t ready for publication before you’ve created a pin (or several) to include in your post. Unless you have a template to quickly fill out that can take time as well. Also, I recommend using Canva for banner and pin designing (and for Instagram posts and stories, and Twitter banners as well for that matter). Canva is has an excellent free plan that I use for all of my designs (that includes everything in the ICHIC designs store as well!)
Both headers and pins most often require you to find stock photos to use (unless you want to take your own pictures of course). When you’re starting out stock photos can be easy to come by but once you’re a year or more into your blogging journey it can start to get a bit difficult because you’ve used a lot of the pictures already. I personally don’t like to use a stockphoto for more than one blog post unless I can do it so that it looks different (turn, zoom or put a colour filter over it) so I burn through them quickly. My best source for free stock photos is Ivory Mix. It’s free to sign up and once every month you will get new stock photos in your email.
I truly don’t think most bloggers do this, and you perhaps won’t either, but I sometimes think my blog posts look a little boring and so if it’s not a serious subject I like to add a bit of colour to my headlines, this post being a good example. I also make it match my header because I’m extra, haha!
I also have a habit, again in my less serious posts, to include more pleasing text dividers. If you do you either have to design them yourself OR find royalty free ones to use. This post is a good example of using more creative text dividers.
Tags aren’t difficult to add but it has to be done. Along with everything other than coming up with a title and writing a blog post tags are just another thing that people who have never blogged before don’t think of but they have to be added before you can hit publish. My book and music posts can sometimes require an extensive number of tags but usually it takes me a few minutes to add the relevant tags and that’s that.
PROMOTING YOUR BLOG POST
Finally! Your baby is done and ready to fly. But where to? Promotion is a huge part of being a blogger and it can take a lot of time. Where you want to promote your blog posts is up to you but keep in mind that you want at least one search engine based place to drive organic traffic to your website. That means: Pinterest!
PINTEREST won’t give you quick results but if you put in the effort it will give you great results over time. How fast you will grow depends on your niche, dedication and consistency, you can read more about it here and here. Be aware that Pinterest also works with keywords and that you will have to do research for that as well. I’ve actually written a blog post explaning the 3 ways to do keyword research for Pinterest.
IINSTAGRAM is another way to promote your blog posts, products etc. It is not search engine based and is therefore harder to grow. BUT with the right tools it can be done. My ultimate resource for Instagram marketing is Vanessa Lau.
If you have a TWITTER account you might want to share your blog posts but be aware that the lifespan on your tweets isn’t long so finding the right time to post is absolute key! I’ve seen successful people use Twitter as their main source, honestly I’m not sure how they do it. My advice would be to use Twitter to connect with people in the blogging world, whether they’re in your niche or not. Having a place where you can get answers to questions and support is always a good idea. Which brings me to my final promotion shoutout…
Facebook groups! I was late to the party and had been blogging for 7-8 months before joining a group. For me personally that was fine as I had spend that time discovering my style of writing, how my website should look and other things but having a place with daily threads where others will share your work and you will share theirs is really nice. They can offer a ton of tips, tricks and support as well.
I hope you’re left feeling like you know more about the wonderous world of blogging than you did before – at least that a lot more work goes into blogging than what most people think. It’s hard work! Anyway, as I’m about to demonstrate I’m terrible at writing outroes so please visit me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook, please share my pin and comment down below. There, that was all 3 call-to-actions in one, haha!
Pin for later!
Did you learn anything new?
If you still think blogging is for you what would your niche be?