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’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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