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How to Write a Blog Entry In 5 Steps (From My Experience as a Freelance Blogger)

Writing for Fun & Profit, Opinions, The Freelance Life · November 6, 2020, Friday

Image: desk with a sheet of white paper, a pen on it, and a cup of coffee nearby. I wrote "On Writing" on the image.

I’ve been thinking about why I chose freelance writing (blogging, in particular) as my career, and among the reasons that come to mind I can say that I love to teach as much as I love to learn.

When I blog, I’m learning more about the subject I’ve been researching, testing and writing about, but mainly I’m writing for other people who need an answer to their questions and a solution to their problems.

I blog for myself but I also blog to communicate, and I do that simultaneously.

That’s why I thought it was time for me to write a blog post that is both helpful and personal on this blog, telling you more about the writing process for a blog entry that I honed over the decade that I’ve been blogging for clients.

I hope that it’s going to help you get some stress out of the process, and all the same, enjoy it more as something that you do for both yourself and others.

My 5 Steps to Writing a Blog Entry

1. Understand who you’re writing for and start with a brainstorming map

If you are writing a personal blog entry, your first audience is you.

But if you want your blog post to be helpful for others, you’ll need to get into the mindset of the teacher or the helper: “How can this entry help my reader? What do I have to give?

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The other thing to keep in mind is that writing for the Web is conversational, whether you’re writing a personal blog entry or a niche blog post. So approach your writing using a conversational tone (the “write like you talk” type of advice, I know, but it’s a real thing!)

When you have it clear in your mind who you’re writing for, it’s time to do a brainstorming map.

I found it useful to write down the topic I want to write about, circle it with my pen, and then scribble down related subtopics all around it.

Below is an example brainstorming map for a blog post I had to write for a client:

Photo of my notebook with a brainstorming map on it, the way I described it, with the main topic in the middle and subtopics all around it

2. Outline your entry before you start writing

That can be a list of bullet points, or structured outline with headings and a summary of what you want to say.

Outlining your blog entry ensures that you know exactly what you’re going to cover in your post and in what order, because you already decided it before hand.

3. You don’t have to start from the beginning

Unless you’re telling a story or an anecdote, you don’t have to start from the beginning.

Actually, I’ve found it helpful to start from whatever point you feel a greater connection with. For example, I started writing my five steps here from the point you’re currently reading, not from the brainstorming map one.

That happened because I felt an immediate connection with this topic, so I dove right in with the writing.

I did the same for my post on the charm of a minimalist workspace in a maximalist lifestyle.

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Try it. Start from the subtopic you itch to write about. You’ll be amazed by how faster you’re going to get the whole entry written!

4. Write your draft and then add your research

If you need to research something that you’re writing about (e.g. mental health, SEO, political elections, etc.), add a placeholder (e.g. TK, “to research”, etc.) in your text to remind yourself that you need to research those facts.

But write your draft first. From the heart. Edit it with research, links and images only after you’ve written your blog entry. That way you won’t have to jump between research and writing and you use your own ideas and knowledge first.

Try it. It makes writing easier.

5. Make at least two rounds of editing

One round — the first — is for syntax and improving your text, its flow and style. This is the most important type of editing you can do on your blog entry. It’s necessary to make it smooth to read and cohesive internally.

The second round of editing is proofreading to catch any typos and misspellings in your text. For this round, I use Grammarly to speed up the job.

If you are unsure that you’ve done a good job at this point, you may want to do another round of editing to catch even more errors, but I think two rounds is the minimum you’ll need if you have written your blog entry with care from the start.

Conclusion

Writing a blog entry is not difficult when you have a plan or a formula in place. Overall, I do almost always the same steps when writing a blog post for my blog(s) or for a freelance writing client.

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Sometimes I alter the routine and swap steps, or do research while I’m writing, but that usually happens when I’m really stressed and I’m trying to do things quickly. All the other times, I stick to plan.

And you: what’s your writing process for blog posts?

Let’s talk in the comments. 🙂

14 responses to “How to Write a Blog Entry In 5 Steps (From My Experience as a Freelance Blogger)”

  1. Toma Ruh says:

    For now I rarely sit down with an intention to write. Unless I’ve been thinking about an idea for a while and just need to write it down. I write if I feel like I have something to say. However, I recognize how important it is for a blogger to be consistent and being able to write whenever. Really great tips!!

    • Luana says:

      Hi Toma,

      I think writing when you have something to say is the optimal choice, but yes, sometimes you may want to schedule your topics in advance and plan your post. That’s when a process comes handy.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. This is good advice. I do most of these things when I write my blog posts without even realizing it.

  3. Em says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your writing process with us readers. I use mind maps to draft my blog post too so that I can have some sort of order when I’m writing. Love your website 🙂

  4. Megan says:

    Some real helpful tips!

    Honestly I just write when I get inspired to write something. I honestly never thought much about what I write. Some good stuff to keep in mind.

    • Luana says:

      Hey Megan! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!
      It’s certainly good that you write when you feel inspired to write, but there may be times when you know you want to talk about a series of topics and in that case some planning helps. I’m glad this post could inspire you!

  5. Susanne says:

    This is a great post on this topic! A very good overview over the workflow with writing a blog post, with good suggestions of how you can do it. I also like how you don’t take for granted that everyone writes business/monetised blogs! I hope this doesn’t sound like a spam comment 🙂 Take care! (Also, may I ask what GDPR plugin you are using?)

  6. I do the same with my blogs! I brainstorm and write a map and build on it. Nice post!

  7. Merry Sari says:

    Great tips here!

    I mostly do research first to gather some ideas and start from that point!

    Brainstorming is really important and I do the same for my blogs. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips x

    • Luana says:

      Thank you, Merry! ♥

      I have to agree: brainstorming is really a critical step of this whole process. I know I wouldn’t be able to write my posts without it.

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