Exactly How I Write Blog Posts

Let me just say up front, I am not a writer. I started blogging because I thought it would help our website gain some more exposure.

Fast forward 4 years, 400 blog posts, and hundreds of thousands of visitors and I’ve found that I actually like blogging.

So here is what my process looks like:

The Ideabin

The Ideabin is a post draft that I keep so that I can add ideas that crop up during the day. I also keep ideas in Google Keep which I later transport to my Ideabin the next time I get home.

This system has worked great for me for the past year or so. I find the best ideas come about while I am going about my day.

Get excited about an idea

I will not write a post unless:

  • I am totally excited about it
  • I beleive in what I am writing
  • It is something unique or at least a vast improvement on something else already written

The environment & mood

I find I write the best late at night when I am alone, when my inbox is empty. If I have a ton of pending commitments or a server is down that leaves me with a ton of anxiety and my creative juices just do not flow.

I like to sit down usually with a few cups of coffee in me, nice and stimulated.

Once I feel that buzz and I am good and excited work can commence.

I normally do all of my writing inside of WordPress (or wherever it is published). Very rarely will I use a text editor. This way all of the formatting is done in the end.

Writing

Once I have the idea in my head and the environment is set just right, I can begin writing.

The first part of my writing is to get a rough outline together.

I think about the main points of the post and put together these parts:

  1. The title (the most important part)
  2. The opening statment
  3. The headings
  4. The meta description
  5. Any notes along the way

Once I get that down, I get all of my references together and open them up in a separate scratchpad.

scratchpad

References are so key to a professionally written blog post. Any notions about OBL’s or PageRank are completely ignored. It is all about showing my readers that what I am saying has merit and I am not completely full of crap.

Once all of that is lined up, I start writing.

If I find that the words are not flowing I abandon the post completely and come back at a later date. I find that the best posts are the ones that I am really jazzed about, and the worst ones are the ones that are forced.

I’ve also been playing around with hiTask, which has really been helping me organize my thoughts lately. I like it a lot because it syncs with Google Calendar which I use anyway.

Formatting

As I said before, I like to do my formatting as I go along. This way it is all done at the end.

I would love to have the luxury one day to have a webmaster to handle all of this for me but that is one expense I will have to eat for now.

I try to keep a standard for all of my posts. For instance I have a featured image standard, a topical standard, a grammatical standard, etc. I might want to write about a cool zebra I just saw at the zoo but since this is an inbound / seo blog I like to keep things on topic.

Publishing

I generally like to have someone look over my posts before I publish. That person will pick up on run-on sentences, grammar, or just lame sections.

It really helps to have someone else look over your posts. You don’t want to have tons of errors before you go live.

A few people have asked me recently “what my writing process” was recently so I thought I would write it in a post.

Any questions, feel free to ask!

 

Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe is the founder and CEO of Elite Strategies Llc. Patrick takes a hands on approach to managing Elite Strategies and loves to get involved with technical projects relating to clients inbound marketing needs.
Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe
  6 COMMENTS
Blog Content Marketing
  • Written by: Sam Hollis

    As someone on the more technical side of things. It’s great to have resources like this for the SEO side of things. Thanks!

    • Written by: Patrick Coombe

      YES YES YES!!!! Sam Hollis just threw his hat in the ring 🙂

  • Written by: Grant

    I liked “Get excited about an idea”.

    I just quit all my agency work. The briefs have been leaning more and more towards the opposite of where SE’s (and me) are going. x word count + x,y,z keywords etc. Needless to say I lost my creativity (if I had any) and enthusiasm (I think I had some).

    Feedback is definitely important – it all gets a bit blurry after a few proof reads!

    • Written by: Patrick Coombe

      hey thanks Grant! I definitely get losing creativity. That definitely happens to me at least a few times a month. When it does I normally “turn off” for a day or 2 and totally dis attach from the interwebs.

  • Written by: Victor Pan

    Hey Patrick,

    Do you have a private e-mail list in which you solicit feedback? Usually these are people that will help proof your ideas and grammar – when your blog post comes out, they’ll usually be more than happy to help share and get the word out since they were part of the content creation process.

    GDocs (and comments) is great for that sort of collaboration.

    • Written by: Patrick Coombe

      Wow Victor Pan! The man himself 🙂

      This type of stuff I mainly work on Skype but yes Gdocs sounds like it could also be awesome for this too. Oh yes totally that is a good point a lot of these people will help promote posts and such, good call. Kind of an “I scratch your back…” type of deal.

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