It used to take me about 15 minutes to write a blog posts, but they were shorter than they are now. I’ve decided to write longer articles from here on out, for the most part. There will still be a few short ones here-and-there, but I want to add as much as I can to help everyone out more.
I still generally only spend 20 to 30 minutes on the actual writing part, but that is because I do some things to prepare.
Today I’d like to share my process with you.
I have an idea notebook
It’s just a journal where I write my ideas and notes for each site I own. I separate it out in sections with sticky tabs, and write the name of each site on a tab. Every time I get an idea for an article, or any other type of idea for the site or blog, I write it down in the corresponding section in this journal.
This keeps all my ideas in one place, meaning I’m not wasting time searching for notes I’ve misplaced.
Photographs need to be ready
I make sure to take any photographs before I plan to write the articles. This way I can upload them to WordPress, slap on a title, and add the copyright information and a link to one of my online stores.
By doing this, I don’t have to worry about photographs while I’m writing.
Getting ready to write
When I know I’m going to spend some time writing articles, I take the idea notebook and look at the topics I’ve written down for the site(s) or Blog(s) I’ll be writing for that day or, as is usually the case, that weekend. (I usually do this on Thursday because I’m looking for writing ideas to use during my weekend hours at work. I work at the front desk at an inn, and often have downtime. I work 32 hours in a three-day stretch, so I need to be sure I have plenty to do when I’m not busy checking people in and out and taking phone calls.)
I take out a piece of paper and pen, and write down the topics I want to write about from the sections in the notebook. At this time, I spend a moment taking quick notes of anything significant I can think of. This way, I’m not wasting time when it comes to writing.
I put this paper, along with my calendars, in my backpack with anything else I’ll be bringing with me, so I’ll have it on hand when I’m ready to write.
I have a one-sheet yearly calendar for each site. These calendars help me to keep track, at a glance, of how many articles I’ve completed and scheduled for each place. I simply circle the date when each article will go live, on the corresponding calendar.
When I’m ready to write
Because I usually do my article writing at work, I do so during down time. Things must be able to proceed quickly. My list of ideas and notes is kept at my desk, as are my calendars and a pen, to make it easy to start typing when I have a few moments.
I open up the site administration area, and start a new blog post. The first thing I do when I get in there is set the feature image, then I write the article using my list and notes. I don’t worry too much about spelling and whatnot at this point, I simply need to get the words typed. When that is done, I add categories and tags, and then an excerpt.
This process takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the length of the article.
Finishing up the article
When I’m ready to edit, the first thing I do is click on the spell check icon. Then I read. Spell check programs aren’t always 100% correct, after all. Whether this check brings up mistakes or not, I read every sentence, sometimes changing up sentence or paragraph structure to make things sound better. I might delete something, or even add a sentence here and there. Whatever I determine is needed. But I read the whole thing.
Once the editing process is done, which takes under 10 minutes, I schedule the article to post on a specific date, circle that date on the corresponding calendar, and cross the article off my list.
And I’m done. In less than 40 minutes my article is schedule to post. It takes longer if I don’t go through the prep stages in advance.
This organization really helps with time management.
What process works best for you? How long does it take?
Shannon L. Buck
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