Monday, December 04, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Blogging

I started blogging back when most people used it as an online journal – 12 years ago! I wrote for two reasons at the time: to share photos with friends and family (this was before Facebook which I thought wouldn't catch on) and because it was therapeutic. I had always been a journaller but when we got married I ditched the daily notebook writing for the computer. Three years ago I was nominated as one of the Top 30 Mom Bloggers in Vancouver (runner up, yo) and decided that it was time to kick things up a notch when I realized that more people were reading it than I thought. I'm still a little fish in this pond but have done some sponsored content, am monetized with ads, and have used it as a platform to share on topics I am passionate about: fostering, parenting, marriage and adventure.

Behind the scenes of blogging
At a local media event
I love learning a bit about the behind the scenes of people's jobs and TV shows and therefore will let you know some of what goes on just writing one blog post. This is very general but gives an overview of the process.

1. Find something to write about 
  • This is often through reflection, reading or a question that someone has approached me with. I always ask myself "Do I find this interesting?" "Is this something that will benefit someone?" because I once wrote about a product that I wasn't passionate about and it made me uncomfortable. Usually if you are nervous to press that publish button, it's good.
  • Try to be original. If you see someone else writing about something specific, just share their link, don't steal the idea for yourself.
  • I get a few emails each day about others asking me to share media releases or products for posts or a sponsored campaign. If you do go the sponsored route, there are dates and contracts to be discussed. Many sponsored campaigns need to be applied for and require great numbers (of followers and views) and well-written pitches.
  • Attend media nights for local events and write about them.
  • Approach a company you would love to work with with a well-written pitch and media kit.

Behind the scenes of blogging
Flying with Brent Handy of Redline Aerobatics to promote the Abbotsford Air Show

2. Write the post 
  • The post should have a catchy title that has common, uncommon, emotional and powerful words in it. You can check using CoSchedule's headline analyzer. The title should describe the post well and be searchable.
  • Keywords need to be used especially in the first paragraph (what people will search for), title, and labelled in the post.
  • Make sure it is SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
  • There should be about 300-1000 words in the post.
  • Include links to previous posts and other websites in your writing.
  • Make sure to break up the post with subheadings.
  • End with a question or call-to-action.
  • Edit. Edit. Edit. But, don't hem and haw over it too long.
3. Images
  • Posts need at least one image. What one will be displayed when you share it on Twitter or Facebook or Google +? 
  • Make sure the image has an appropriate name.
  • Make sure the image has Alt text for pinning and searching.
  • Make a Pinterest ready graphic (I use Canva).
Behind the scenes of blogging
Getting images for Thermarest and MSR–such a great fit for me!


4. Make the blog post public & promote & engage
  • Share on your Facebook page at an optimal time (for me that is 8 AM, 1 PM or 8 PM). Use an engaging question and hope that people start commenting or liking. Like your own post in order for it to show up on more people's feeds. 
  • Engage with those that do comment. I usually stick around for 30 minutes after I post on Facebook if I can. You can schedule posts but then there is no engagement. I value my FB crew so want to stay and engage.
  • Share the blog post on Instagram stories, update the link on your Instagram profile if applicable. Do an Instagram post about it if possible.
  • Share the post on Twitter with 2-3 hashtags and an image. Tag the appropriate people if need be.
  • Pin the post to your own board and then add to Tailwind. Tailwind is where you can schedule your own pins and others (through tribes) and it costs about $100/year. 
  • Share your post with other blogger friends so that you can engage on each others posts and therefore increase the possibility of more people seeing it.
  • If the post is evergreen (can be shared at any time) be sure to share it again a few months later. 
  • Check your analytics (Google, Pinterest etc) to see how your posts are doing, where your readers are coming from and where growth is occurring. 

Why all the extra work of #4? 

Well, if you take hours to write something it would be beneficial for more people to see it. Whether it's a recipe, craft idea, family activity or inspirational idea, if I found it interesting, maybe you would too! Also, from a monetary point of view, the more views you have the better your numbers for campaigns and the more you make on your ads. 

How much money do I make on this space? 

Very little. I make more subbing one day a week than I do in a month of blogging (which I put about two hours into daily). However, others can and do make a lot more but I enjoy it at my pace – not to much pressure and the freedom to do what I want. I have had some great campaigns, worked with some wonderful local venues and met so many new readers and bloggers by writing here at Talk Nerdy to Me. I have burnt out in various areas of my life and I'd like to keep this one fun. 

How can you help a blogger out?
  • If you see something you like, then actually "like" it.
  • If you have something you would like to say but feel like it doesn't matter, comment.
  • If you have a question that you think a blogger could write about, let them know.
  • If you see something you could share on your own Facebook page or could retweet, consider it a high-five to the blogger.
Being a blogger, or influencer as they are now called, can be a lot of work. Besides the writing and promotion of the post there are conferences and classes and podcasts and non-stop learning to be done to keep up with the latest changes. There is a vulnerability involved with it, too. I have to say to myself "I might not be the best writer but hopefully something I say resonates with someone. I can put it out there and if they want to read it, they can. If not, that's okay".

Is there anything in here that you weren't aware of? What do you enjoy about the blogs that you read? 

(See, I ended that with a question but I really do care about the answer!)

Love,
Louise

As always, I'd love to see you on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Please pin here for later:

What is involved with the proccess of blogging? How do you write content and then get it out there? This is a behind-the-scenes look at it.




4 comments:

  1. Great post, Louise. Now I'm off to check out that headline analyzer. That's a thing???

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    1. It is! Let me know if it helps or frustrates you.

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  2. Very interesting! I love learning behind the scenes stuff too. So much thought and time put into each post!

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    1. Thanks, Katrina! I love reading yours especially with the photos of your cutie boys.

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