Sometimes, it’s nice to take a step back and say: Hey, I do a good job.
As a blogger, I am forever met with people thinking it’s easy. And don’t get me wrong, it’s a choice and a hobby. No one is making me run Katherine-Louise, and I really enjoy doing it. But it’s also a lot of work, a huge chunk of pressure and actually, let’s be blunt, a sprinkling of skill. I work in marketing, so I know I’m a creative person. But alongside shooting Pinterest-worthy photos, comes hours of content planning (you know, thinking up posts), dedicated time to write useful and inspiring copy, as well as the business aspect – emails, contracts, negotiations, pitching. I won’t get into working with brands, and how so-called ‘freebies’ come about – but I thought today I’d write about what exactly goes into creating a blog post.
First up, you’ve got to have a content plan. I never used to do this, and blogged pretty adhoc, whenever I felt like it. These days, I try to plot my content upfront. I blog two days a week at the moment (Tuesdays and Fridays – although this weeke we’ve shifted a day due to the bank holiday) and like to be around 3 weeks ahead of myself. This leads directly onto the next stage, which is coming up with ideas to fill this plan.
Sometimes, I have post ideas coming out of my ears – with a constant list in my phone. Other times, I need to actively look for inspiration. This can be from anything – other blogs, magazines, the TV, social media, real life. Working out what I want to talk about is half the job done!
Generally, I find writing my posts the easy bit. I can sit down and type away for hours. Unless it’s a complicated post with lots of components, this part never phases me. 90% of the time, I write my posts before I shoot my photos purely because I find this bit easier – it then motivates me to get out and shoot images to fit my copy so I can the post uploaded. Writing a blog post can take anything from 10 minutes to 90 minutes.
This is probably the part I struggle with most, yet is the most rewarding. If I have something I can shoot alone (beauty products, a recipe), it can be easier but since I’ve developed my style, I’ve really started to push myself with my photography and I’m not happy to settle for a bowl of grub or a bottle on the bathroom side. I like my photographs to feel interactive, and that usually involves me being in them. This means I have to schedule in time for my ‘Instagram Husband’, Sam, to help me. And with his job, this isn’t always that easy. If I’m shooting fashion, we have to get out and about to a suitable location when the weather’s right, if it’s food, I need to cook or prepare the meal, if it’s beauty – I need to be looking my best! If I’m travelling, I tend to really feel the pressure to capture photos as I go. There are so many aspects that control the photography element of blogging and it is the bit that takes the most time for me – and plays on my mind!
My favourite part. I just love editing photos. But it does take time. Time I don’t mind spending, but making sure everything looks the best it can is important.
This is something I’ve been working alot on lately, and it’s boosting the SEO of my posts. I use a plugin which helps (Yoast, for fellow WordPress bloggers), but it means I need to name all my images correctly, insert keywords and tag things properly. Sometimes it can be downright frustrating! And it requires a basic understanding of SEO principles, which I think is a challenge in itself.
Once my text is written and my photos are shot, it’s time to upload my blog post. This involves working out the optimum order for photos, spell checking and setting featured images. I love previewing a new post when it’s all come together!
When the post is all ready to go, it’s time to schedule. I post at 8am on my set days, so I schedule these to go live for me. That’s the easy part! Social sharing is another ball game…
If you follow bloggers on social media, you’ll know this is the primary way they share their posts. Real-time sharing of links is fine, if you have the time and brain capacity to remember. Because I work full time, I have to schedule my social links to go out. During the day, this is one tweet every hour or so – which needs to entice people to click on to it! A really tedious job and something I hate doing! It’s also a cross-platform job – all which have different challenges associated. Take Instagram for example – once you’ve chosen your image, it’s all about timing, hashtags and regrams to get the best out of your chosen photo.
And finally, not letting a good blog post disappear into the ether. I like to reshare posts I’m particularly proud of, at a later date. Not all readers or social follower would’ve caught them the day they went live, so resharing older posts is a great way to get people onboard.
PHEW! When you break it down, it really is a big task to get a post you’re pleased with, live. Blogging emcompasses so many skills, from writing, to photography, through to good business sense and web knowledge. I’ve learnt alot from blogging and continue to do so, but don’t ever let any tell you it’s easy!
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.