It has been said time and time again that content is the most important thing a blog has. Ever heard the famous “content is king” phrase? Well, it’s 100% true. You have probably heard that phrase so much that you’re getting sick of hearing it. But how many of us truly treat our content like a king?
There are so many more things we would rather do than writing blog articles. I myself would rather spend an hour tweaking my blog design than spending an hour writing. What you rather do besides writing blog content? I bet the answer to that question is the thing you do when you should actually be writing!
If you want to start giving your content more of a “king like” treatment, you have to review your writing process. You writing process is basically the steps you take from coming up with your idea, to hitting the publish button on your final post draft. It’s important to have a solid plan to come up with the best content as possible.
I can break down a good writing process in three steps:
- The planning/brainstorming stage
- The writing stage
- The touchup stage
This is the process I use for each and every article I write. Every blogger goes through this same process when they write, no doubt. But it all comes down to how you carry out each step. You can plan out every last detail, or you can go into writing without that many details. It’s up to you on how you choose to treat your content, and I hope for the sake of your blog you choose the right way.
1. The Planning/Brainstorming Stage
This is the most important part of your whole writing process, because you’re basically coming up with the template you will follow for getting through the other two steps in your process. When you are planning, you have to be as prepared as possible and try to nail every single detail.
What does it take to come up with any good ideas? Inspiration. Coming up with a great blog article is not easy to do when you aren’t inspired. Read other blogs in your RSS reader, sip on some tea and listen to music. Do something that will get you inspired and ready to start your brainstorming process.
One thing that gets me inspired to work is the place I work at. I have a desk for doing my web development work, and a separate corner in my room where I sit on my laptop and write. I only sit in this area when I have to write, and I really am relaxed here (picture below).
How to come up with many ideas for articles
The technique I use to map out my blog posts is a technique called mind mapping. It’s something we all learned in elementary school, but it’s very effective in coming up with a lot of great ideas for blog posts.
I wrote an article about mind mapping before, and I would highly recommend you read that post for a better idea of how to mind map. It really is the best way in my opinion to plan out a blog post, and it leaves you with a lot of great details to expand on later.
I use a whiteboard in my room to mind map my blog articles. Sometimes I use half of the board, sometimes I use the whole thing. It really beats using anything online in my opinion.
2. The Writing Stage
This is the part of the process where you actually produce the content. It’s not always the most fun, especially if you’re low on time. But it’s definitely the part of your writing process that is the most satisfying to achieve.
When you’re writing, you need to stay focused. You can’t work in an area that has any distractions as you will most likely get less things done. You can still watch a football game and write an article, but you will work slower and you may not write at your best as your mind will be focused on the game and your article. You can’t afford to have a mind that is only half aware when it comes to writing – make sure you’re focus is 100% on your content!
You should always keep focus, but don’t be afraid to take breaks. Sometimes breaks are just what you need to get your head clear so you can write better. Usually we see break time as a time to relax. I don’t believe that should be the case when you are writing. When taking a break from writing, get up and walk around. Stretch your muscles and let your mind wander while you’re away from the computer. It will do you good.
Don’t just take breaks at any random time though. As in, don’t walk away from your computer when you are halfway through a sentence. Try setting break times for yourself by making checkpoints. For example, take a five minute walk after completing six paragraphs.
Always be sure to stick to the plan you initially created in step one. Improvise where you absolutely think you should, but I would advise you to stick to the thing you planned on doing going into writing. It will take a lot off your mind in the long run and will keep your goal a to what you want to talk about in your writing clearer.
What are your best tips for staying focused and productive while writing?
3. The Touchup Stage
This is the final stage of your blog article. The part where you spell check, add formatting, and fill in every other minor detail.
It’s probably the least time consuming stage of your writing process, but it’s a very important one nonetheless. There are quite a few things you can do to make your post really great after finishing writing it. What are the things you do with your articles at this stage of your writing process?
- Interlink - Interlinking adds depth to your blog and brings traffic back to older posts.
There is a great, free plugin that makes interlinking blog posts very easy and quick. It is called Internal Link Building, and is very simple to use.
- Images - Adding a few images to your article can really improve readability. It never looks appealing to publish an article that has paragraph after paragraph. Images are a great way to separate information and improve it’s appeal. Read how to setup blog post images like us.
- Formatting - Sometimes you don’t realize that you could have used a list to display information, or that you could have broken down a long line of paragraphs into a few different headings.
Are you for the Kings Treatment?
Content takes a lot of work, and requires a lot of pampering on your end to make it great. But, your blog will not be anything special if don’t make your content special. That’s all there is to it.
Look back at the content on your blog and try to determine if you have been treating it like a king, or something of lower value. If content is what you don’t spend the most time on your blog, then you may have the answer to why you aren’t where you want to be.