Today I thought I’d write a little on what goes ‘behind the blog’. There’s a misconception that getting a blog post up is easy and that a post can be whipped up in a matter of moments (which very occasionally it can be if I’m on a roll!!). Some folk believe that a flurry of free blogger mail is delivered every day ready for reviewing – for me, this is a rare occurrence. I haven’t been blogging that long in the grand scheme of things and those that do receive blogger mail have worked tirelessly to build their audiences and build relationships with brands. Don’t get me wrong, this is a hobby and not my job and I love this little corner of the internet that is HappyWiseOwl but I wanted to share with perhaps my non-blogger followers what it really takes to run HWO.
The ‘Lightbulb Moment’
People often ask where I get my ideas from to create blog posts – it can be from anything and that flash of inspiration can come at any time. Typically I’ll get an idea for something when it’s not convenient to jot down an idea so by the time I remember to write it down I can’t quite remember what I was going to cover! There are weeks when I have ideas coming left right and centre and other weeks where I’m wondering what to blog about that’s of interest to folk.
Creating Content – the words vs the photos
I try to have content that is of interest for you to read up twice a week – either Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays depending on what’s been happening work wise. I have to feel excited by it and not feel like it is a chore – if it’s a chore to write, it’s a bore to read!
For me, the words are the easy part! Content on HappyWiseOwl can be anything from somewhere we’ve been to eat / drink / a holiday we’ve been on to the more personal reflective posts like my Guilt Pang Attacks or my really popular What is Luxury. The reflective posts are usually tumbled thoughts that are whizzing round in my head or based on a conversation I’ve had with the family or friends.
I’ve also been lucky enough to receive products to review such as Henny & Joes Chai, Limelight Candles or tea from Leafy Tea Company.
I’ll be the first to admit that I find the photography part particuarly tricky. I find that the writing comes naturally and I could witter on for quite some time. I always get the writing done fairly swiftly, depending on the topic and then agonise over a flat lay / getting the lighting right.
This is something that I’m STILL trying to get my head round. For those unsure, SEO is Search Engine Optimisation which is ‘the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results‘. Basically, it means that I have to insert appropriate keywords, use the correct tags and to name all my images correctly. I’ve just moved to self-hosted with WordPress and I’ve installed the Yoast plug-in which does make things a little easier. There is still a TON of stuff to learn – I’ll get there but it’s not something I find particularly simple!
Publishing / Promoting
Once I hit that publish button, it’s not simply the end of the process where I can kick back and relax. As you’re probably already aware, the main way to promote the blog is through social media channels. I schedule these promo tweets / Facebook updates on the day of publication for every hour with catchy titles (but being wary of not using click-bait headlines). As I have a full time “job”, I use Buffer or Hootsuite to do this. Don’t forget the Instagram platform as well!
Reshare the Love
After you’ve put all your handwork into a blog post and promoted the backside out of it on the day of publishing you don’t want your post to disappear into the background. On days that I don’t have a new post up, I try to promote older posts. I’ll be honest – I often find that I haven’t scheduled anything for a few days…which is bizarre considering part of my ‘real job’ is running other people’s social media for them.
AND…that’s about it!! As you can see, it’s not a 5 minute job and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
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I am also like you in that I find the blog writing the easy part, I could do it all day, but getting the photos right and how I want them to look, is the hard part! Lovely post.
Alice | alicemaysnell
It just doesn’t come naturally to me!!!! Urgh!!! X
Couldn’t agree more with you Emma! There is so much hard work that goes into each and every post! Everyone should read this! Georgie – As You Wish UK
This is so true Emma. I don’t think other non bloggers realise how long everything takes! I’ve just discovered naming images correctly and using tags. I’m intertested in SEO but I’m not self hosted yet so will wait. Writing the post is definitely the easy part! I’m still managing social media for myself so must look into Buffer as it’s a job in itself! Thanks for the post. X
You’re one step ahead of me…I haven’t been naming my images correctly – got to go back and rename them ALL…bad blogger!!!!
If you need any help just shout x
I know it takes ages……zzzzz I haven’t finished with this yet. It’s also the reading, commenting and basically getting yourself out there that takes the most time! I’ve got articles backed up but like to post them only 3 times per week! Enjoying it though!? Need to look into self hosting….and just joined Twitter but not really understanding it!
I think a lot of people don’t realise how much of hard work blogging is! It can take hours to get the right photos. I think it’s great educating people about what we do so thanks for this post 🙂
Great post Emma! Blogging really does take a lot of time, and it’s annoying when people don’t understand this. And SEO is such a struggle, though like you I’m using the yoast plugin and it’s definitely helping a lot!
Lauren | Lauren the Daydreamer
Such a relatable post! I’ve stepped away from blogging for a while as I was just burning myself out, I don’t think non bloggers realise how much hard work goes into a blog.Iamfoxxtailz | Alternative Style Diary
If it makes you feel any better lovely, I’ve been blogging for three years now and I STILL haven’t got my head around the SEO part properly! It’s a tricky one but I’ve found making sure that I use alt tags and search descriptions has helped 🙂
I love posts like this that give you an insight into how other people put their posts together – I’m like you and I definitely find the writing comes easier although with running a fashion blog my boyfriend is usually the one on the other side of the camera. That said, I find myself getting stressed about how to pose without looking awkward or dealing with people shouting stuff in the street when they see me shooting!
LJLV | Luxury Meets Alternative