• What Goes Into Writing a Post

    September 23, 2010

    Every blogger has their own method for writing their posts. There’s a zillion different blogs out there, so I assume there’s a zillion different ways to compose a blog post. I receive questions from time-to-time about how I write mine, so here’s what goes into writing a post for me.

    I cannot write a blog post without photos. I’ve tried in the past, but it just blows up in my face. I know a few bloggers who write their posts before a meal or event and then plug-in the photos afterward, but my brain does not work like this. Photos drive my posts and without them I can’t blog. Even writing this post, I struggled until I found photos to guide my writing.

    Because photos are such an integral part of my blog posts, they are the most time-consuming component for me. Of course, I have to upload, edit, and insert them into my post, but there’s also a lot of “behind the scenes” action that happens even before I sit down at my computer.

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    Before a blog post is even a thought in my mind, I snap photos. Lots of them. I take photos all day long. I always have my camera on me. Remember: the best camera you have is the one you have on you.

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    Basically, I take photos like any other “normal” (super enthusiastic) person would.

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    I snap pictures of landscapes, people, places, objects, pets, and, of course, food.

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    While snapping pictures, I always keep in mind how I can better improve them since many of them will end up on my blog.

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    Soon, the photos and the experiences start to come together and my brain starts formulating a story to tell through my photos.

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    I don’t think about what I am going to write; I think about how the photos will tell a story in my blog post.

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    Then, I start to look for happenings, activities, and things that will further tell my story.

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    Because, as you know, a picture says a thousand words.

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    Before I type a single word into a new blog post, I arrange my photos in a way that best tells my story. I typically obsess and change the photos around a million times, but, eventually, I get it right.

    At this point, I create a title for my blog post. Usually, I have an idea what the “theme” of the post will be, so I try to find a title that reflects it.

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    Then, it’s finally time to write. Writing is not easy for me, but if I do a good job taking photos and putting them into my blog post in a way that makes sense, the words usually come right out.

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    Once I write my post, I re-read the entire thing from top to bottom and edit as needed. The final step in my blogging process is tagging and categorizing my posts.

    As you can see, I have quite the process for writing a blog post, but, for me, I can’t blog any other way. Most posts take me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. For more involved posts with a lot of photos and/or text, it can take me up to two hours.

    Breakfast

    I have a busy morning, so I kept breakfast simple by making whole wheat toast with walnut butter and sliced banana. Quick, easy, delicious. I swear, the walnut butter tasted maple-y this morning!?

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    On the side, I enjoyed some cinnamon iced coffee with a splash of soy milk.

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    Question of the Day

    When it comes to writing/blogging, do you have a method to your madness?


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    { 132 comments… read them below or add one }

    Mads September 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I definitely need to work on my post titles…and I could always use more pictures.

    One question: How much photo editing do you do? If you do a bit, do you have any tips?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Tina September 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    @Mads: I use iPhoto to edit pictures, but only the really bad ones. I post so often it’s very time-consuming to edit them all.

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    Jessica@tastyandtrim September 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Sometimes I write up a post and then add the photos later, but I find it much easier to add them as I am writing. It’s almost as if the words flow better when I have the pictures aside them to guide me :) Cinnamon Iced Coffee sounds delicious right now!

    Reply

    Wendy (Give Love Create Happiness) September 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Photos are one of my favorite parts about posts. Today’s post that I wrote was 100% driven by photos. Sometimes depending on what I am writing about I do it the other way around. I guess I’m all over the map, but I DO love photos!

    Reply

    Jen September 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I can not write a decent blog post without pictures! I always line everything up, text and pictures, read through it a million times and then add the title. I’m still learning, maybe one day I’ll be half as good as you are!!!

    Jen
    http://jenslosinit.blogspot.com/

    Reply

    Rachel September 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I love the photo with the yellow blooms and steeple in the background!

    Reply

    Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice September 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I’m definitely the same way.. Photos play a big role on what my post will be about. Sometimes, if I can’t think of anything, I’ll stare at all the photos I took for several minutes and it’ll just click.

    Reply

    The Wife of a Dairyman September 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is so good to hear from you because create my posts the exact same way! I don’t consider myself a ‘writer’ but I can definitely tell a story through my photos….I must have photos to tell my story. Plus, I think it makes for an interesting post as well:) Have a happy day!

    Reply

    GoingonGoals September 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for the post! I always find it interesting how others blog. My process greatly depends on what I am writing about. For recipes and vacations I need pictures! This is a shame b/c I am so bad about taking them! I am carrying my camera with me all the time now! For budgeting, goals, books I do not need photos to drive my content.

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat September 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I am also very photo-centered when it comes to my blogging. But at the same time, I haven’t been at it very long. I just try to see similarities or themes within the photos. Otherwise, my posts tend to be a compilation of random thoughts about my day.

    Reply

    Natalia - a side of simple September 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    This is such a neat post. As a frequent reader of blogs but someone who is new to the actual blogging process, I find myself curious as to how other bloggers conduct their posts and create magic. Thanks for sharing, Tina!

    Reply

    Monica September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    It is interesting to see your blogging process. I always wonder how my approach compares to others. :)

    I feel like I post the pictures, then right, then name the post, and then finally spell check, proofread and publish. I tend to link as I go along.

    I am still evolving this process though as I am not yet a seasoned blogger.

    Reply

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic September 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    What an interesting post. I am the opposite – I write first, then insert photos!

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    Miranda September 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I think it is really interesting that you write based on the photos. It speaks a really beautiful truth about photographs and the moments they capture.

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    Kelli September 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I am not sure if you ever did a post on this but I would love toknow how you organize all your pictures on your laptop I take a couple a week of the kids and I feel they are so disorganized!!

    Reply

    stacey-healthylife September 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    My method is very similar to your style.

    Reply

    Lindsay September 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Is the walnut butter from a jar or did you make it yourself? I love walnuts and have been looking for walnut butter but have yet to see it at a store.

    Reply

    Laura (Starloz) September 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    i cant write without pictures, they set the theme of my post EVERYTIME

    Reply

    Lee September 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I am sort of the opposite. I write a lot of my posts first, sometimes at work, and then add the photos when I’m done. Of course, if there is something that I’ve taken a bunch of photos of, I’ll write the post around it.

    Reply

    Wendy September 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I am RIGHT there with ya – can’t blog without pictures. The more, the better.

    Reply

    whitney September 24, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I’m experimenting right now. Most of the time I can’t think of things to say without my pictures but I am horrible at always taking pictures.

    Have you always been the person with the camera? I need to start teaching myself to never leave the house without it.

    Reply

    Jennifer@keepitsimplefoods September 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    What a great post! My process is completely different from yours but it’s great to know how other bloggers do it. Thanks!

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    Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss September 24, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I often write blog posts without photos … maybe that’s why I don’t have nearly as many readers as you do! ;)

    My method actually depends on what I’m posting about. Sometimes I go from an idea; sometimes I just talk about my day; sometimes I get a title in my head and write a post around it; and once in a while, I borrow someone else’s idea.

    Reply

    Renee @ Get Inner-gized! September 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is great and VERY similar to what I do. But I do think about my posts ahead of time, but I’m also just starting out, so I’m sure if I was at the point where you are, I’d go by pictures! I’m also an aspiring photographer, so I always have my camera with me too! AND, just like you, I sit and place my pictures to tell a story. I LOVE this (must be my journalism background) – I do this a lot on my family blog – I want the pictures to tell a story for my family – so it’s like they’re right there with us. :) As for writing, as soon I start typing I pretty much start flowing…of course they’re days I can get stuck, too! But pictures definitely help. I agree…I don’t want to ever post without a picture. I was also a teacher – so having visuals is always a plus in anything! Have to gear it toward all learners…hehe! :) Great post!

    Reply

    emily hall September 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I love your blog!

    In the pic above, Is that Jenna from Eat, Live, Run?
    Just curious!

    Gorgeous pug! I want one so bad!

    xoxo,
    Em

    Reply

    Tina September 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    @emily hall: Yep!

    Reply

    Brittany September 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I LOVE reading your blog (and other blogs) with such great photos and content! I definitely want to focus more on my writing skills and photography to entice my reader!

    Reply

    Danielle @ weightsandmeasures April 19, 2011 at 12:29 am

    It’s funny, because my posts are very writing driven. I am naturally a writer, and the photos are much more difficult for me. I do not carry my camera everywhere. I did not even own a camera until my sister said that I could have her point and shoot when she bought a fancy camera after having her first kid.

    So, I am working on the photo part. Hopefully people will stick with me as I learn to take photos. Until then, I’ll keep on writing…

    Reply

    Jessi @ Quirky Cookery June 6, 2011 at 9:51 am

    For longer, picture-oriented posts, I don’t arrange them all first, but I do upload the photos first. Then it’s a mixture of letting the words drive which photo comes next or whether the pictures drive the words I’m going to write. It can flip back and forth several times within the same post sometimes even.

    Reply

    Kate August 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    This is such a great post! Being someone who also obsessively takes pictures, I was really able to relate to this. Thanks so much for the great info, my blog is just starting to take shape!

    Reply

    Calvin August 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

    What an awesome post. I think this could help my site out a lot. Thank you so much! I usually just write and write, but I think I could use some color and some photos. This is really very helpful and bookmarked on my PC now.

    Reply

    Paula November 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I’m so excited to have found your blog. I’ve just recently started a blog and have been feeling very lost with the direction I want to go to say the things that are on my heart and in my mind. Thank you.

    Paula B.

    Reply

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