My Blog Writing Process

Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you start to notice a process in the way you write each post; steps you take each time that at some point you realize, you wouldn’t know how to write a blog without. All writers develop a process at some point, something unique to them that helps them to get inspired and focused. With blogging though, some steps aren’t quite as unique as others.

blog writing process

A Blank Screen

Of course, the first step to any new blog post is to open up a fresh post editor, and stare at the vast blank page in front of you. Somehow, whether it’s on a computer or in a notebook, a blank page has always been such an important part of writing for me – to the point that in my journal, I start each new entry on a new page, even if there’s plenty of space left on the last page I wrote on. Something about that empty space waiting to be filled gets me ready to create something, and inspires me in a way that nothing else does.

Scan Post Ideas

I’ve mentioned before that I keep blog post ideas written everywhere – in several notebooks that I carry around with me in every purse and leave sitting on my bedside table, in the Notebook App on my phone, in draft format on WordPress, and in Evernote on my computer.  So whenever I go to write a new blog post, I start by scrolling or flipping through each of those ideas, even though I remember what most of them are. Sometimes, I’ll use one of those ideas for the post that day, but most of the time I end up writing something completely different but that was inspired by one or more of those ideas.

False Start

I don’t know about you, but my blog-post writing process involves a lot of partially written first paragraphs and blog post drafts made entirely of lists.  Tonight, before getting around to this idea, I started three other blog posts that are now sitting in draft format.  A lot of times, those partially-written drafts come from the ideas I mentioned above.  Other times, they’re completely new ideas that don’t pan out right then.  But whatever the reason for each draft, there are several of them lying in my drafts on WordPress, and most of them will never manage to get published.

A Good Photo

Most of the time when I write a new post, one of the first things I do is “design” a photo for the post and get that set up and ready to go.  Somehow, having the labeled photo imbedded into my post draft encourages and inspires me to write the actual post.

So what about you? What does your blog post writing process look like?

  • Jae

    I agree with you on false starts! I have several draft posts on my dashboard, too, and I can’t seem to get around any of them! I feel like I’ve neglected my blog (and very few readers) big time. :(

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      I know! I have 3 from just last night, and one of them is a post I’ve been considering writing for about 3 months now. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen at this point hahaha

      • Jae

        Oh, the pressure of being a blogger! I’m with you on this, Kiersten. *fist bumps* Hahaha!

  • Shybiker

    Nice post. I tend to have ideas pop into my mind and they grip me. I develop them while doing other things (like driving) and then sit down with almost-fully-formed posts.

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Ooo I do that with my more creative writing – I’m constantly writing essays in my head, and then have to grab a piece of paper or something and write them down real quick because more often than not, I’ll forget them pretty quickly.

  • Diane

    I always do my pictures and design first – it makes me feel accomplished and then i can focus on the content. Thanks for sharing it’s nice to see how others handle the writing process!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Exactly! haha it’s something I can say like “okay, that’s done now.”

  • Kasey Decker

    I definitely have the collection of partially written posts. I think the title is the hardest part of my writing process..

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Oh god yes! I’m terrible at writing creative, yet SEO friendly titles. For the most part, I end up sacrificing creativity when it comes to titles and just using something descriptive and SEO friendly.

  • Kaeleen

    I definitely have the “false start” thing going a lot! lol. Thanks for sharing your process :)

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      So glad I’m not the only one! And thank you for reading and commenting :)

  • Zoe @ La Vie en Zoe

    False starts are basically half of all posts in my blogger right now (I wish you could have folders in blogger so I could hide all of those false starts… but I digress). I usually do a photo last, because it’s the finishing touch on a post! :) Thanks for sharing your process!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      hahaha So glad I’m not the only one! I have a ton of them (seriously…3 from last night!)I think I do the photo first because it’s this tangible thing I can point to and say “okay, that’s accomplished”

  • Camila

    Oh this is so true! So many half started posts – that I’m still hoping one day I will finish… And I also usually do photos at the end, it’s like a final step!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      I think doing the photos at the beginning makes me feel like “okay, I’ve accomplished something!” because it’s this tangible thing I can point and say okay that’s done.

  • Lulu

    Many of my posts involve a fair amount of research, so I first save any articles I think I will need in a draft, then I come back later and write a post around my findings, linking to each of them as citations. (And sometimes these drafts never see the light of day as well!) If I’m writing a more personal post, it’s typically a very spur-of-the-moment decision. I don’t let a draft sit around; I write it all in one go and publish it right then!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Ooo that’s such a good idea! Most of my posts don’t have a whole lot of research in them, but when they do – I usually have the posts/articles/websites saved in my Evernote folder and I’ll go through there and pick them out when I need them. I’m so jealous that you don’t have a ton of drafts though!

      • Lulu

        Right now I have 8 drafts sitting around; don’t be too jealous. :P

  • Lizzy

    I normally write my posts on word first. I think as a student the familiarity of word somehow helps me get in the groove of writing! Slightly weird as this never happens when i’m trying to write essays.. haha.

    Lizzy at Nomad Notebook

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Ooo I can definitely see that! When I first got my Mac and all I had was Pages, it drove me crazy because I almost needed Word in order to get in the writing frame of mind. It was weird, but I can definitely see how the same would apply with blogging.

  • Kristyn

    This is amazing. What a wonderful post. I normally either have posts in draft status or come up with ideas on the spot. Not the best method. I finally bought a planner and have been using Evernote to help me figure things out a little bit better and actually plan posts. What a wonderful post though!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Thank you so much, Kristyn! I definitely have done that, too. Sometimes I’ll look at all the ideas I have written down, not like any of them, and decide to do something completely different for that blog post. I definitely need to get back into using my planner…

  • Mia Sutton

    My blogging process is very similar! I have a dedicated “blog post idea” journal and also my daily journal where I jot down ideas. I have a few drafts saved in Blogger as well that I come back to periodically. And a blogging planner calendar where I can try to plan for the week/month and generate ideas that way as well. :) So great to learn more about you and your writing process, thanks for sharing!

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      Ooo I love that you have a planner – I have one, but I’m so bad about using it. It’s something I definitely want to get back into doing!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Mia!

  • waitingformeg

    I also have {often incomplete} blogposts everywhere. Paypoint slips, diaries, notebooks, computers, in my blog’s draft folder – almost everywhere. I should get around to posting them all.

    • Kiersten McMonagle

      hahaha Oooo I’ve got so many receipts with ideas and lists and such written on them!