This was originally written and published for Photofocus. The article is republished here with search engines blocked and canonical set to the original published article. It is here for archival purposes and so my community can find it too.
Not all photographers feel comfortable with the idea of content creation. I’m not referring to photography content, of course. I’m talking about text or video and even audio content.
In this article, I will be sharing two simple workflows that can help make your blog content creation process easier.
Before we dive into the organizational part of the workflow, I want to share two services that can drastically improve the text that you write. Adding them to your workflow will immensely improve your product output.
Content creation services
Hemmingway is my first go to service for writing anything and everything. It’s a free service which requires no account. While there is a grammar and spell checker included, its main intention is to simplify what you write.
As you can see in the screenshot, Hemmingway analyzes the content for:
- Unnecessary Adverbs
- Uses of passive voice
- Phrases with simpler alternatives
- Hard to read sentences
It also gives you a readability score, and somewhere between 5-7 is a great score.
If you want something that lets you save your work, then the desktop version (paid) of Hemingway Editor is quite affordable and offers you the same control as their free services, but with the bonus of saving.
Grammarly is my favorite grammar and spell checker. After writing my initial draft in Hemmingway, I bring it into a Google Doc, into Grammarly itself or to WordPress for putting the more complete draft together with images, etc.
Grammarly offers a paid version and has browser extensions which work in a variety of platforms including Gmail. From within your WordPress photography site, you can have the most powerful grammar and spelling tool review your text for improvements. It can check for duplicate content so you don’t run into search engine optimization issues, offer suggestions to improve individual words and sentences and keep your content positive with minimal to no negative tones.
Grammarly uses finely tuned AI to discover areas of improvement in your content.
Between the two services you’ll have incredibly easy to read and well-crafted text for your blog posts.
Content creation organization
There are two methods for organizing your content that I’d like to share with you. One is a popular one among the content marketing industry and the other is one I think I created for my own sanity and it’s also free to do.
First up is the popular service, Trello. It uses an organizational board called Kanban. The board is laid out horizontal columns and then individual rows of items beneath each.
Within each Trello card, you can add notes, attachments and anything that would go into drafting the actual content.
You can start with an “Ideas” column, then drag it to “In Progress” when you’re ready to plan the piece. Start planning and then open Hemmingway to start writing.
When the piece is complete and published on your site, you drag the card to the “Completed” column.
Using Google Drive is my preferred method for many reasons, but some of them are as follows:
- It’s free if you want it to be
- You can use folders to organize
- You can selectively sync it to your computer, or sync all
- You can keep the images separate for better access later
- You can get instant edits from someone remote
- Apply colors to folders
As someone who writes and creates various types of content for numerous places, including my own website, Imagely, Photofocus, YouTube and more, I find my organization method in Google Drive essential to my workflow.
It all starts with the “Content Creation” folder, which has subfolders of each place I’m creating the content.
Looking inside the Photofocus folder you’ll see two more subfolders: “In Progress” and “Complete.”
Anything being worked on at a given moment is in the “In Progress” folder. Inside there you’ll see the article you’re reading right now along with two others.
Inside of the article’s folder is a Google Doc with the draft of the text. Beside the Doc are any images that are to be embedded inside the published article. I typically use JPEG images, but sometimes they’re PNG files depending on the need.
After writing in Hemmingway, then checking grammar and spelling in Grammarly, I’ll copy the text over to the Google Doc and have a second person check it as a backup.
If you prefer to just write in Google Docs then know that Grammarly still works there. Grammarly’s support for Google Docs is still in beta at the time of writing this article, but it works well. So, in theory, you could skip two steps of this workflow and just get right to writing in Google Docs.
When an article is published I then move the entire subfolder to the “Complete” parent folder under that brand. So by the time you read this, the folder for this article was moved to Content Creation > Photofocus > Complete.
I know this workflow won’t be for everyone. But as someone who creates content for a living, I find this extremely helpful to keep my focus clear and the OCD in check. Plus, I’m dyslexic, so relying on tools to keep my words readable is quite helpful. I hope that this workflow helps you to improve your own or discover new ways to fine tune yours.