Bloggie Wednesday: My Blogging Process

Bloggie Wednesday - My Blogging Process

If there’s one thing I’m curious about bloggers and want to know more about, it’s their blogging process. Each blogger creates content differently and I often wonder how their blog posts come to fruition. How does an idea translate to words? How long does it take for a blogger to come up with a blog post complete with pictures? What’s his/her writing process like?

On today’s Bloggie Wednesday, I’d like to peel the curtain back a bit and show you what my blogging process is like e.g. how an idea becomes a blog post on BA. It could be very similar to yours or it could be quite different to what you do as well. 🙂

Where the ideas come from

My ideas could come from anywhere. Heck, I got the idea of writing this blog post while sitting on the toilet. Speaking of which, don’t underestimate the power of the porcelain throne. It is a place where many great ideas of great leaders were born. At least, I’d like to think so. 😛

I get a lot of my ideas from blogs that I enjoy reading, YouTube videos that I enjoy watching and these days, I’m getting a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing resource for blog post ideas. As the content is so visual, it’s a lot easier for me to consume and be inspired compared to reading chunks of text. Blog post ideas hit me often when I’m out and about too. When I’m shopping, having a meal, on the train … the list goes on. Even though I work from home, I make sure to leave the house on my own at least twice a week to be surrounded by people because that’s when I’ll get inspiration hits too. Cabin fever stifles creativity.

Bloggie Wednesday - My Blogging Process

Capturing those ideas

I have a notebook from MUJI that I use to capture ideas for blog posts. When I’m out and about, I usually bring my notebook with me so that I can write those ideas down as soon as possible. Sometimes I write them down so fast to the point where I’m scribbling random words and when I go back to my notebook hours later, I’d be wondering what the heck it was that I was trying to say. That’s when I learned to utilise my phone’s voice recorder. When I need to brain-dump an idea immediately, instead of writing it down, I’d whip my phone out, turn the voice recording app on and record those ideas. This is far more useful than trying to decipher my godawful scribbles.

When I’m at the computer and an idea strikes me, I’ll type it out immediately in point form. I won’t bother writing grammatically correct sentences at this point. It’s just a brain dump and when the words need to come out, it doesn’t matter if my spelling and/or grammar is wrong. As I primarily use a desktop computer, when I’m not at my desk, I’ll use the iPad to do a bit of brain-dumping as well. Once I’m done writing on my iPad, I’ll email those notes to myself so that I can access them on my desktop or any other computer at any time.

Bloggie Wednesday - My Blogging Process

Putting them in words

Once I have my ideas in my notebook, it’s time for me to bring those ideas to a proper blog post. This is when I’ll edit my words. Notes that were typed in point form will be reconstructed to proper sentences. Notes that were recorded with my phone’s voice recorder will be transcribed and edited. The same goes for notes written on my iPad.

Instead of writing directly on WordPress, I use Notepad++ to do all of my writing on the desktop computer. This post was also written on Notepad++. I love that program because I use it for coding work as well. I don’t like to write directly on WordPress because I don’t want the mistake of accidentally pressing the Publish button when I’m not ready. A lot of bloggers like writing their drafts on word-processing programs like Microsoft Word. Personally, I’m not a fan of using Word for my drafts because when I copy and paste the completed post on WordPress, the “enhanced” version with page breaks, italics and so on are pasted as well. I prefer my text posted as is.

The text file that contain my blog post drafts is saved in my Dropbox folder and each time I save the file, it’s automatically updated on Dropbox as well. This allows me to write and make changes anywhere I go.

Bloggie Wednesday - My Blogging Process

It’s all about the photos

On very rare occasions, I’d post a blog post without images but as you know, most of my blog posts have at least one image. As Lewis Carroll famously wrote in Alice and her Adventures in Wonderland, “what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?“, I may not have the conversations but I surely will include pictures as much as I can. So, how do I decide what images to use in my blog posts?

This depends on the context of the blog post. If it’s a product review, I’ll take photos of the product in different angles and positions (I try not to use stock product images if I can help it). Before I chuck paper boxes that products come with, I photograph the list of ingredients first and leave the writing for later.

If it isn’t a product review and if I’m not able to capture the context of the blog post in my own photos, I’ll turn to stock images. I use photos from stock photography websites like iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dollar Photo Club, Canva and Unsplash. These are great websites for stock photos especially Unsplash. I’ll try my best to use my own photos as much as possible but when that’s not an option, I’ll turn to these image websites for help. Sometimes, I’ll check Pinterest for styling and composition ideas on similar blog post topics.

Next, the photos are edited with Photoshop and/or Picmonkey. I always edit my photos prior to publishing and I recommend all bloggers do the same. There’s nothing wrong with editing your photos to make them look better.

Most of the time, I’d sort the images out first before writing the blog post. When I’m having a particularly unproductive day and my creative juices have run dry, I’d get the photography part done first.

Bloggie Wednesday - My Blogging Process

Setting it up to publish

Once I have my photos and blog post draft ready, it’s time to transfer them onto WordPress. I simply click on Add New Post, copy and paste the completed draft, insert the necessary photos, check the appropriate category, include the tags, keywords and descriptions, and schedule the post to publish on the certain date and time. I’ll check the preview post several times to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors (unfortunately, these elude me from time to time).

Scheduling social media

Once the blog post is scheduled to publish, it’s time to schedule my social media posts to promote that blog post. I use CoSchedule for this. This is one of the best plugins I have on BA. Right after scheduling my blog post, I’m able to schedule my social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to promote that blog post on the dates and times that I want. I don’t need another app for this; it’s all on WordPress. I don’t promote my blog post more than 3 times a day.

And that’s how a blog post comes to fruition. It sounds rather complicated when it’s written down like that but it has become second nature to me. Depending on the subject at hand, a single blog post can take me 15 minutes to 6 hours to write. On average, each blog post takes about an hour to complete, from photography, editing to writing and publishing. Bloggie Wednesday posts often take the longest to produce (this particular post took almost 2 hours).

I hope you’ve enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look on how blog posts on BA are created. Sometimes I have YouTube videos playing in the background as I’m writing but most of the time, it would be Pandora’s Classical music stations keeping my creative juices flowing. I breathe a sigh of relief each time I click on the Schedule/Publish button. I’ll move on to the next blog post and the whole process starts again.

If you’re a blogger, what’s your blogging process like? Is there any part that you find particularly easy or hard to do?

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments. This post also contains several affiliate links. By purchasing something via these affiliate links (at no extra cost to you), you’re supporting Beautyholics Anonymous, which I highly appreciate. For more information, please read our disclosure policy.

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17 comments… add one
  1. MonicaP

    Process? Er, I sorta wing it? I try to get out two posts per week, but I really need to be “inspired” .. I have to WANT to share .. so it takes me some time to get it together.

    I do have those times when I think of a good post .. but then I get shy about it like .. no one wants to read about that .. LoL. Maybe I’ll just jot it down and see how it comes out before dismissing the idea ..


    PS: I have not thought of ideas on the toilet (tee hee), but I do think of ideas in the shower 😛
    MonicaP recently posted..Casual sporty outfitMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah I totally understand what you mean by wanting to share. I guess this is why I need to plan my content out in advance because there will be plenty of times when I have absolutely nothing to talk about. Zero. Brain juices run dry. It’s very frustrating when that happens.

      Oh you should most definitely write all of your ideas down! Don’t dismiss them! You never know when you may want to share with your audience. I have plenty of post ideas and actual completed drafts that I’m still holding back on publishing because I’m not sure if y’all will like it. I have controversial content as well which will be great for discussion but am afraid it might cause too hot a debate. Still, I keep them because you never know, one day I may publish them after all 😛

      PS: Oh I’ve had plenty of ideas in the shower but I find the ones born out of the toilet most, er, ripe. Tee hee!

  2. Paris B

    And this is why blogging is HARD WORK! Anyone who says or believes otherwise can sod off, or give it a go themselves. Having been blogging for so long, first personally and then about beauty, I’ve come to think about anything as a potential blog subject. A conversation, something I see, a news article I read, a comment from someone… anything is possible, and that’s where the discussive posts come from. Review posts speak for themselves don’t they?

    When I was operating off an editorial calendar last year, I’d do a lot of prep work and I knew ahead what I was going to write. This year, I’m winging it so topics, blog posts etc are all done on the fly. I take a bunch of photos of different things at a go and then save them up for when I’m going to publish. I do work directly off wordpress, and my drafts section has over 100 draft posts in various stages of completion, some of which are obsolete. But it’s helpful because when I’m stuck, I go back and check out what I’ve penned down and pick out a post from there. It’s like my repository of ideas 😀 But it takes a while to get things together of course. If we were to put it into hours, it would be a whole day affair to plan a post, take photos and write it. Who said this was a hobby again? It’s a job, dammit! 😛
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Do you follow the mascara-wearing beauty rule or don’t you?My Profile

    1. Tine

      It IS a job! It’s damn hard, I tell you. I admire those (well, you especially) who are able to keep up a consistent blogging schedule with consistently good content AND having a busy full-time job as well. Because if it was me, I’d say screw it, it’s too hard! 😛

      I do the same as well; everything I see becomes a potential blog topic. The problem with me is that when it comes to blogging, at least now, I find it difficult to wing it, which is why for me, I need structure, planning, organising etc down to a T. I may not have all the posts written but at the very least, I must have topics planned for specific days if not I’ll get real antsy.

  3. Me my best and I

    Downloading CoSchedule STAT! Thanks Tine x

    1. Tine

      You’re going to LOVE it! 😀

  4. gio

    My blogging process is very similar to yours, only I write directly in Wordpress. But I have hit published prematurely a couple of times… I hate it when that happens. Maybe I should check out notepad++ too.

    I have also started to create Canva a lot to create graphics and collages. It makes it so easy!
    gio recently posted..Product Review: The Body Shop White Musk Sumptuous Silk Shower GelMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh I know right? Back in my Blogger days, I accidentally hit Publish very often. At that time, they don’t have the Schedule Post capability so I have to be very careful not to hit that button, which of course, didn’t work.

      I like using Canva to add text to my own pictures but what I don’t like about it is that while I can add text, I cannot move the elements of the text (unless I create a new image altogether with Canva). I can’t reposition different texts and that drives me nuts. Does that happen to you as well?

      1. gio

        Sometimes. I find that, if I create my own text, I can do whatever I want with it. But if I try to edit one of the texts already provided, then it won’t always let me. It’s quite frustrating, but I still prefer to add text with canva because of the wide variety of fonts provided. I’m still on the free plan with Picmonkey, and their best fonts are all premium.
        gio recently posted..Book Review: Body Of TruthMy Profile

  5. Allison

    Such a wonderful post, Tine! Love knowing how you work. I should carry a notebook for inspirations with me. Great idea! Lately I’ve been doing so many product reviews that I haven’t had time to do a “creative” post. I write directly on Wordpress. Only once did I hit publish when I shouldn’t have. I need to check out CoSchedule. I use Bufferapp to schedule tweets but I still do a lot of promoting by hand at the time which I know is stupid.
    Allison recently posted..YSL Mascara Volume Effets Faux Cils: Luxury MascaraMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Allison, so glad you enjoyed the post. I love doing non-review posts; I find that my readers actually participate in those post discussions a lot more than product reviews. Give it a whirl; I reckon your audience will really enjoy your creative posts too.

      Do give CoSchedule a go. I used to use Bufferapp too and while it’s good, it’s better to have all my scheduling needs consolidated on one page. That way, I won’t forget to schedule blog post promotions. 🙂

  6. lyn

    I’ve always been a fan of this series and have learned so much from your over the years! I try to organise my thoughts and ideas on paper first but will type directly into the Wordpress editor. I’m so used to the system. I do use that free editorial calendar and don’t find myself needing CoSchedule yet. I recently started playing around with PicMonkey and love it. Awesome that it’s free too! But I do most of my photo post-processing in Lightroom and will use either Picasa or PicMonkey to add text / create collages.
    lyn recently posted..Friday Feature: An Interview with Label Me MerritMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Lyn! I’m so glad the series helped you. 🙂
      I work best when I’m using good ol’ pen and paper too. Then it goes onto Notepad++ and then Wordpress. I’ve only used Lightroom a couple of times but I couldn’t get the hang of it so I just stick to Photoshop instead. Picmonkey is so awesome and so in Canva.

  7. Mel

    I write all my ideas in a notebook, write the post, then do photos last. I find carrying a paper notebook with me everywhere helps me to get lots of ideas and write them down 🙂
    Mel recently posted..‘No Makeup’ Makeup Look for Medium/Tan Skin ToneMy Profile

    1. Tine

      All hail the good ol’ pen and paper! 😀

  8. Mel

    This was such a handy post to read. I’m such a noob and hopeless at photography and been reluctant to do FOTDs and tutorials as I can’t take a selfie/ picture to save my life. Seeing you have a mirror in front of the camera is GENIUS!! Also, the CoSchedule is also a brilliant idea! It’s also nice to see other bloggers processes too. Thankyou! 🙂

    Mel 🙂
    Mel recently posted..Lash Lash Lashes!My Profile

    1. Tine

      I used to have so much difficulties trying to photograph lip swatches because I couldn’t see what I was taking. One day as I was using my small desk mirror (as seen in the photo), I found out that I could just see the reflection in the mirror! 😛

      PS: CoSchedule is awesome. Man, they should be paying me for the amount of free advertising I give them. Ahem ahem. 😛

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