What Goes Into Writing a Post

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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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

  1. As much as I love taking photos (it was my major after all), I have no problem writing photo-less blog posts. My first personal blog lasted six years and most the posts did not have photos. In fact, I tend to write less often when I feel like I have to have photos with it. I know the post turns out better with them, but sometimes I just want to get my thoughts out there, and those thoughts do not often have an accompanying picture.

  2. Thanks for the post! I just mish-mosh everything together. I just started blogging a few months ago, now I am addicted to the whole community and writing. I would say I write like journal entries – I throw pictures in when I have them and I have the time. I am inspired mostly when I go for my run and have time to think about it. Yeah, its a mish-mosh

  3. I’m so happy to read that some people are as slow at blogging as I am 🙂
    I don’t always include pictures in my posts- but I’m trying harder to include as many pictures as I can. When I do, I usually open up iPhoto, look at my pictures, and use them as inspiration.

    Thanks for the insight into your blogging technique.

  4. I love it when you post about the essentials of blogging! As a new blogger I’m trying everyday to improve my blog, photos, and posts. Just a small request…could you educate us more on photo settings? I’ve been having a rough time trying to take clean, clear pictures with my Nikon. THANK YOU!!!!

  5. I never really realized what a process blogging is for me until my boyfriend has been over at times when I’m preparing posts. He got to see the *gasp* method to my madness! I am more reliant on words first, and just hope I have some pictures to go along with, but that is partly because I still only use a point and shoot. Tips like yours on photos though have helped to bring even that along!

  6. How funny! Photos completely drive any blogs I post. I have to have the pictures first and arrange them in the order that I want to use them and the story flows from that.

    I do want my photos to look nice, but I just do it for fun so I’m not always that concerned about them.

    Thank you for a behind-the-scenes look!

  7. Love this post. And your process is probably why I love your blog so much. I love photography (hence my own photo blog) and I love clean writing – so I appreciate the time you take to edit!

  8. I love that you use your photos first. I think I’m the exact opposite. Since I only post once a day, I might write a few words into a draft here or there as to remember my ideas for later to be expanded on… then comes the random word vomit… 🙂

  9. Great post!

    Depends on the post for me – my writing style and formula changes depending on the post. Some posts I write first and then take pictures…others I take pictures and then write the post.

    I’m always thinking about posts though – while running, driving, cooking, etc!

  10. Very interesting. As a reader, I can definitely say I like pictures in a blog post, as well as some way to break up the words (whether its bold words, spaces, whatever). If it is just one big lump, I sometimes quit reading. I don’t apply the picture thing to myself because I don’t have a camera right now but it definitely makes a blog!

  11. That’s a really great approach. Mine is so haphazard. I usually think of topics first and write second, pictures come in where they belong, but I don’t post daily meals or even events so I don’t think my pics could tell a story. You do a really great job of narrating and it clearly comes through on the blog.

  12. Thanks for the tips! I agree with some of the previous posters that photos really do make a post unique and make me want to keep reading. Your photos are always amazing and high quality! I can tell that you put a lot of effort and love into each post!

  13. There is currently no method to my madness so I will need to try your photos first method. Thank you so much for these tips.

    I’m not sure how long it has been there, but I just noticed the image of your book on the right side…I LOVE the cover! I can’t wait for it to come out.

  14. I don’t really have a method, being as I’m new to blogging. I usually upload my pictures to my computer, start typing up a post and see where it leads me (which is why mine usually seem unorganized), and add in pictures and edit/crop them as I go. Probably not the most efficient way, but I’m sure I’ll learn what works for me as I go 🙂

  15. I’ve noticed people like a lot of photos rather than text..there’s tons of blogs out there and there’s just no time to read through a ton of text to get the gist of what went on in their day. Photos tell storys much better..and they’re a heck of a lot more fun!

  16. Very interesting to see how you do it. My method is a lot like your in that I take a ton of pictures anticipating they might work out in my post. I’m also blogging in my head all day. Once I get a good idea I can build around it. Or I have no idea and just start typing. I’m new so I’m learning! Love you ideas 🙂

  17. Great post! Normally I think about what I’m doing during the day where and what am I eating? Am I going out? Is there something otherwise interesting and entertaining happening? I normally only post once a day. While I’m eating or doing the activity I think about what I would want to say or how I would narrate it and take pictures accordingly. Then I write and edit and upload the pictures. I also have a hard time writing without pictures so I make sure I have plenty. Then editing, tagging etc. I almost always post at 9 pm while I’m watching TV.

  18. I really enjoyed reading about how you put together your posts. If I wrote a blog like yours, that would be a great way to do it. I like that you let the pictures tell the story first and then fill in with words. I love pictures!

    For my blog, I post about recipes that I have made for family and friends. I usually have already made the recipe at least once and have jotted down some notes about measurements and special instructions. I type out the actual recipe and if I am inspired then (bc I have just eaten what I’m writing about) I write a short paragraph summarizing what the recipe is all about, why I made it, why other’s should make it etc. THEN, later… I remake the recipe and take lots of pictures of the process. Step by step. I paste my write up in… add the pictures. Read and re-read, then hit publish. All sounds simple, but it take SO MUCH TIME.

    My post yesterday would have normally taken me about 20 minutes to throw together, but blogging about it took about an hourish… and my writing was already done.

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your method! My blog usually has less pictures, so I really focus on the narrative that I want to convey. I usually think of a general theme or story that I want to write about (ex: a guide for runners; the idea of “good guilt”; etc.) and I start to compose the post in my head before I even get to my computer. Then, I’ll sort of piece in my photos as I feel they are appropriate. It’s madness, but it works for me!

  20. Great post on posting!! I feel the same way, I am not inspired to write pots until I have photos to bulk them up; they really can tell the story! I like to have photos, a good story, and either a food or recipe section to liven things up 🙂

  21. i loved reading about your blogging process because it’s very different than my own! i totally agree, though, about the time commitment! i usually need a good hour to do a post.
    i find ideas fall into my head randomly during the day and i start to compose…then i type. insert photos later as that is not my forte; edit. at least with all of us we have one similarity: we love blogging!

  22. I am still learning what works for me. I have tried pictures first then post, but then my thoughts take over and go off into a completely different tangent away from the pictures I intended on using. So far it seems if I just put is most pressing on my mind and try to follow a general theme, the pictures usually follow. Just like with any thing this will probably change though 🙂 It’s all part of the learning process, and it’s fun 🙂

  23. I usually have a theme in mind first, but I let the pictures guide what it is a I say about it. But sometimes, if I’m writing on a specific topic, I have to remind myself to add pictures because I know that no one wants to read a lot of words that aren’t backed up by pics.

  24. I am a blogger in progress and loved reading your process. I too think that photos makes blogging a bit easier but often when there is a down moment at work I will be inspired by a thought I want to share so I quickly type something up in Word and email it to myself so later when I am home I can upload, edit then post.
    BTW…I just noticed you have the ad for your book posted….how very exciting! Can’t wait till Spring to buy it. 😉

  25. I love your blog posts, I try to think of the title at the end. I’m going to try this pictures before writing and see how it goes! You always have great ideas and new thing to try for blogging. Thanks Tina.

  26. It’s so interesting to know how other bloggers work. I would say I’m probably the opposite to you. I write the entire post first and then put some pictures in where necessary. My posts don’t tend to feature too many pictures unless I’ve done something particuarly eventful (which doesn’t happen often!), so this method works for me.

  27. Mmmm, walnut butter sounds wonderful. When I think about posting, I always work around photos too. I am a very visual person and love the way photos really enhance what I’m saying 🙂

  28. Hi there! Do you or any other readers have a suggestion for a blogging program (free I hope ) like Ecto or whatever to pre-write posts!?!? I have a mac at home and pc at work…thanks!

  29. great post, TIna! I remembered you saying these things about inserting pictures first, from when I interviewed you about blogging last fall! Great advice, and obviously, working for you!

    Walnut butter sounds interesting! Must be fall — mapely??! 😛

  30. We have exactly the same method for blogging. I cannot think without pictures. I’ve tried writing, then adding pictures, and it just blew up in my face. It was not the best post. I think one way that would make my posts better are taking pictures of more things than just my food. Thanks for the tip! I’m going to start snapping away!

  31. Pictures are a must for me too. I’m a very visual person so I need to look at the photos first. Sometimes posts just flow out of my fingers without pictures too.

  32. Most of my posts don’t include photos unless it is a recipe or an event but I also don’t really blog about my daily life either. I used to and it just wasn’t the style of blogging that works for me. I say more power to you because I don’t know how you stay sane doing it 😀

    Anyway, sometimes, I am formulating a post in my head for weeks before I write it. And then other times, my fingers just fly through the keyboard and I have a post written in less than ten minutes. I write best when I am reflecting on personal experience and sharing my insights but I also try to write informative posts from time to time and those seem to take much longer.

  33. Posting can be hard if you didn’t do anything “special” or don’t have a great workout or recipe to share. But usually thre’s something. I enjoyed reading this!

  34. Thanks for the tips Tina. I am with you, most days, the pictures are the one that are telling the story. The words are just extra, maybe I’ll insert a comment here and there.

    On posts where I want to write a lot, I minimize the pictures so that it doesn’t take the attention away from the writing

  35. What a great day for you to post this! I just started blogging and have the opposite problem: the words come to me, but the photos don’t. Maybe it’s because I broke my camera, or because my blog’s theme is a bit more abstract, but I MUST jump on this photo bandwagon! Thanks for the reminder!!

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