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Master Your Blogging Game: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Effective Blogging Workflow - GIRL IN PAPERTOWN
Blogging,  Blogging basics

Master Your Blogging Game: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Effective Blogging Workflow

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Word BLOG made from wooden letters with a pile of letters next to it - featured image for blogging workflow



Blogging can be a hard work. I’m not able to count how many times I wanted to give up, felt overwhelmed and burned out. There’s one thing that helped me a lot to stop feeling this way and it’s… getting organised

When I just started blogging, I had no specified workflow, no checklists, nothing. The entire process was very chaotic and overwhelming. No wonder I felt so demotivated to create anything!

It took me over a year to create my first blogging workflow, and it was a game-changer. That’s how I realised that the key to publishing new posts regularly is having a system that would help me stay organised and consistent.

That’s why today I want to share with you my blogging workflow to help you up your blogging game and ditch overwhelm. So, let’s get started!




What exactly is a blogging workflow?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, workflow is the way that a particular type of work is organized, or the order of the stages in a particular work process.

That’s saying, a blogging workflow is simply a process you need to follow in order to get your blog posts created and published. There are several steps you need to take from the very early research stage to hitting the publish button. 



The benefits of having a blogging workflow

Creating a blogging workflow with a checklist to tick off helped me simplify the entire process and make sure that I won’t forget any crucial steps along the way. It happened a few times in the past and I truly don’t recommend it! Just imagine publishing your post and realising that you forgot to change the URL or add pins to it.

Having such checklist also helps to free up your mind and be able to focus better on more important tasks. There’s no point in trying to remember everything when you can write it down and reference to it whenever you need to. 



How to create a blog workflow

Step 1: Brainstorm ideas

Brainstorming ideas is always the foundation of any blogging workflow. Without it, I would have no direction and nothing to write about, really. I’ve neglected this step for a while, and the amount of stress it caused me is insane! 

It’s a good idea to schedule a brainstorming session once a week or a month, trust me.

At the beginning of each brainstorming session, I go through all my notes, business blueprint, content pillars, and all that stuff to remind myself what my purpose and mission is. Usually it sparks some great ideas in my mind and that’s enough to keep going. 

If I’m not able to come up with new blog posts on my own, I get my inspiration from somewhere else. Checking forums like Reddit, Quora, and Facebook Groups is the easiest way to uncover topics that are emerging right now and get to know your target audience further. Look for questions people repeat over and over again and see if you can write about them. 

You can also try Answer The Public to start wheels turning. It works similarly to Google’s own suggestions, but it gives you more results. Typing your query in Google and seeing what it’ll suggest you can be a good idea, anyway. Sometimes you might need just a tiny push to spark new ideas.

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If you’ve been blogging for a quite some time, don’t forget to check your analytics. Once you open Search results in Google Search Console, you’ll see queries people used to find your website. You can not only use them for writing new blog posts but also to update your old ones.

There’s one more way I like to get my blog post ideas – checking competitors and what keywords they rank for. There’s one caveat though – you can spend hours doing research this way faking productivity. I did that more times than I can count, hence why I don’t do it unless I’m absolutely stuck.

There’s one more downside to this method – if you don’t know your “why”, haven’t specified your target audience, and did basically no prep work before starting your blog, you can easily go down the rabbit hole of constant comparison and trying to complete with others constantly. That’s how I ended up writing solely for Google and got demotivated and burned out so often.

It’s a good idea to check your competitors from time to time to see what you can improve, or look for inspiration. Just remember about your purpose and mission while doing it. Always focus on your own journey.



Step 2: Create content calendar

Once you have a list of potential topics to write about, create a content calendar. I’d get lost without one, truly. 

I plan my content on a monthly basis. Usually I switch things around throughout the month, especially if I suddenly come up with a new blog post idea that really excites me, but I like to start a new month knowing what’s waiting for me.

There are many apps you can use to create your content calendar. Many people recommend simple Google Sheets, but there’s no calendar view I find very useful to plan (and move around) my ideas. I tried most of the options and settled with Notion which gives you a lot of flexibility. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m moving away from this software right now, so I’ll be checking out tools like Asana, ClickUp, and Trello once again.

Once you’ve created a content calendar, make a habit of updating and referencing to it regularly. Plan content in advance so you always know what to write next and track progress to make sure that you’re not falling behind your schedule. Content calendar is also very helpful to make sure that you’re not neglecting any of your content pillars. 


How to create an effective blogging workflow



Step 3: Research + outline

I usually do my keyword research while planning out content for the month. Same with checking competitors and creating the outline. It helps me make sure that all blog posts scheduled for the month are 100% valid and worth writing about. 

Have you ever sat down to write and realised that even though you know what you want to write about, your thoughts are chaotic and you’re not sure how to organise them? Well, it happened to me more times than I can count. 

Since I started writing 400 words every day, I realised how important it is to create an outline beforehand. Until the December last year, I was writing posts one by one and never planned them in advance. Once I started publishing new content twice a week, I learned the importance of batching some tasks. 

This applies to creating a blogging outline. Once I finished researching keywords, checking competitor pages, and all that stuff, I create outline immediately. Sometimes I’ll just put all the relevant queries from Google and leave the rest of it until later, especially when I want to write something completely different from what I found online.

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Usually, though, I write my outline from beginning to the end. I try to remember to write all my thoughts and ideas before checking competitors, to make sure that my content is as original as it can only be.

Doing that helps me immensely with staying consistent with writing and making sure that I draft the minimum 400 words a day even if I don’t feel like it.

Discipline > motivation.



Step 4: First draft

Once your content calendar is ready and you researched and outline all your posts, it’s time to write! Honestly, this is my favourite part of the entire process. I don’t batch writing and don’t write them in a chronological order. Yes, it means that I usually jump from one post to another if I feel like it. So one day I might start drafting a post that’s due in the next 3 weeks just to abandon it in the middle and come back after a week.

Nothing good ever came out from forcing myself to create, so now I choose the topic I “feel” the most and write about it. If there’s anything that’s due within the week, though, I’ll focus on that first to make sure I finish it on time.

Habit of writing 400 words a day has been crucial to make sure that I can keep up with publishing two new blog posts a week. It helps me not only to stay on track but also helped me create a few posts in advance. If you told me last year that I would be not only publishing posts more than once a week but also schedule them in advance and have a backlog of drafts, I would’ve never believed you!



Step 5: Edit, edit & edit

Here’s the thing – I used to really hate editing. I’d spend hours procrastinating just to avoid doing it. There’s something about reading my own thoughts that used to make me really uncomfortable. I also used to spend long hours editing my post ruthlessly, and rewriting paragraphs to make them sound better according to a software.

There’s something I hate to admit, and it’s the fact that I’ve been very subconscious about my language skills. It used to stress me out that one day someone would discover that I’m not a native and I don’t know.. Write a hurtful comment? Make a fun of me? 

Once I stopped obsessing about it and trying to write perfect essays, editing became much more enjoyable. I usually let my draft sit for a day or two so that I can go back to it with fresh eyes. Then, it’s time for the next step in my blogging workflow – source images.



Step 6: Source images

I have no strict routine for sourcing photos. I take care of them when I have time. Usually I try to do it once I finish drafting and editing my blog post so I can find specific images that would fit perfectly. Recently I’ve been working harder on my Pinterest account, so I create all the pins when I’m working on photos for the blog post.

I use stock photos I found on unless I write travel related content. Same with monthly recaps and other more personal pieces. I try to include my own photos as often as I can, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.



Step 7: Import to WordPress

Once I’m done with editing, I import my post to WordPress and format it. Sometimes I do some more edits while formatting the post, especially if first draft was unusually messy.

Otherwise it’s time to add photos and links to it. I try to put as many relevant internal links as possible and add outbound links anytime I can. Then, I add tags, categories, change the URL, and write metadata description. In other words, I do everything I can to make sure my post is search engine optimised to the best of my capabilities. 

To ensure I don’t forget about anything, I made a checklist I follow every time I write a blog post. I also use a RankMath plugin in WordPress to double check if I’ve done everything I needed to make sure that my posts are search engine optimised.

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Sometimes I’ll go through my blog post once again and double check if I can add more keywords to it. I usually this is also time when I rewrite my headings too.



Step 8: Final touches

Then, it’s time for “final touches” step. This is where I open the preview of my blog post and check once again if everything looks perfectly. Sometimes I read the entire I wrote, other times I just scan through it. This is also the time when I get back to my checklist and double check everything once again. I started doing it after I forgot about changing an URL to one of my posts – luckily I caught it fairly quickly! Once I’m happy with the way everything looks like, I schedule my blog post or publish immediately if I’m running behind.

One more tip I can give you is to pay attention to WordPress pre-publish checklist. If you forget to change categories or add tags, it’ll always remind you about it once you get to the scheduling step.



Step 9: Pin to Pinterest

Once the blog post is ready to be published, I go to the preview and schedule pins included in the article. This helps me stay consistent and to not forget about any new blog posts I should add to Pinterest, but somehow forgot. If I do it while the blog post is still in the preview mode, I change the URL to the proper one.

Then, I add the rest of the pins I created for the blog post to Tailwind, so I can easily schedule them in the future.

Once the blog post is published, I always index links manually to make sure than search engines will do it as soon as possible. I’ve seen many people saying that it’s unnecessary because Google will crawl your website, eventually. It might not happen for a very long time, though. It takes less than two minutes, so I always index links manually.


PIN IT FOR LATER!

How to start a blog - how to create an effective blogging workflow



Step 11: Share on social media

Here’s something I really struggle with. Content distribution plan. 

If you have an Instagram account, don’t forget to add stories with a link to your new blog post. You might also want to add a link to your bio and publish a static post or reel with a sneak peek. Same thing applies to any social media, really.

If you’re also a YouTuber, create a video version of your blog post and link them with each other.

If you have an email newsletter, what about linking your blog post to it? You can either do a little monthly round-up of your posts at the end of your email or include some sneak peaks from your blog posts if you send your newsletter weekly. It might be also a good idea to write a weekly newsletter with more tips and tricks, recommendations, and other interesting things relevant to the blog post you published earlier that week.

Create a content distribution plan to make sure that you always notify your audience that you published something new. It’ll help you gain more readers and deepen your connection with your audience.



Final words on creating your dream blogging workflow

I remember days when I wanted to make blogging works but didn’t know how to do it. It can be a hard work and having no one to talk to about it doesn’t help.

Amount of things I had to do in order to create one blog post paralysed me. I’m not sure why I didn’t create a blogging workflow back then, but I guess it wasn’t as obvious to me as it is now.

That’s why I wanted to share with you how the entire process looks like for me. Getting more organised helped me a lot with being consistent and publishing new blog posts not only regularly but also more often than previously. Once I created and simplified my entire blogging workflow, the overwhelm I’ve been feeling for a long time disappeared. Writing new content became easier and more enjoyable.



I hope this post was helpful to you. Do you have your own blogging workflow? Share your experience in the comments down below!

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