5 Steps to Stress-Free Blog Post Creation

Stress-free blog post creation, creating blog posts without stress, content creation for your blog, how to easily create blog posts #blogging #blogdesign

Let’s talk about blog post creation.

The key to blogging is consistency. But for some reason, consistency can be the hardest thing to achieve.

The pressure to produce something that your readers will actually read can be really stressful. Not to mention, having to repeat that process on a semi-regular basis.

How do we remove the stress and pressure and make blog post creation fun again?

Blogging isn’t easy, but there are so many habits you can implement to make your blogging journey equipped for long-term success. Here is my 5-step blog post creation process that has, for the most part, taken away the pit in my stomach when I start planning and writing my content.

1. Write down 3-5 clear focused topics to write about.

The biggest hurdle to creating quality blog posts is coming up with a topic that will be easy to write about and connect with your readers. Brainstorming topics ahead of time will make post creation much simpler, as you’ll already know what you’ll be writing about before you sit down to write! For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you’re topics might be city guides, budgeting, where to stay and how to get around. Every time you sit down to write a post, it will fall into one of those four categories, simplifying your thought process.

2. Commit to posting a realistic number of posts each week.

One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers make (especially new bloggers) is attempting to post 4-5 posts a week. To avoid blogging burnout, take an honest look at your schedule and decide how many posts a month you can commit to. Then be consistent! It’s ok to be posting bi-weekly, as long as you’re consistent and your readers can count on seeing new content regularly.

3. Make a content creation plan & schedule batch writing sessions.

Once you’ve decided on the topics you’ll be writing about and how many times a month you’ll be posting, plan out your post schedule a month in advance. If you use WordPress, you can do this right in your WordPress backend using the Editorial Calendar plugin. And if you don’t use WordPress, I highly recommend switching over. You can read all about how to set up your WordPress blog here.

Next, choose a day or week when you can commit to writing all your blog posts for that month. After they’re written, schedule them out over the next month in your post scheduler. And you’re done for the month! Trust me, batch writing is a key step in eliminating the stress of post creation and freeing up your energy for social media engagement and community building.

Stress-free blog post creation, creating blog posts without stress, content creation for your blog, how to easily create blog posts #blogging #blogdesign

4. Outline your posts before writing them.

This trick has been HUGE for me. When I’m staring at a blank page, it’s so hard for me to get the words out of my head and onto the page. Creating an outline of your post before writing it seems like an additional step, but can actually make the writing process so much easier.

Start by outlining the post’s objective, main points and call to action. Then go back in and add all the details. Outlining removes the pressure of cranking out 1000 words from nothing and adds a stress-free flow to your writing process.

5. Create a post image template.

It’s no secret that a good blog post has a beautiful, relevant image to engage the reader. But searching for and formatting that image can eat up so much time. To save time, create an image post template that can be used for every post. This can be done in Photoshop, Canva or whatever your preferred graphics creation tool is. If you need help getting started, check out my guide for Creating Branded Images for your Business here.

Finding quality images for your posts can also be a huge source of stress. If you’re not a content creator and need great photos at the snap of a finger, I’ve put together a list of The Best Stock Photo Resources for Bloggers here.

Ultimately, your blog is your business. If you can put systems into place to remove the stress and automate your processes, your blog will bloom and grow just by your commitment and consistency.

Happy blogging!

xx,
Ariel

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Paris City Guide

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

My darling Paris.

I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want to love Paris. Loving Paris seemed so cliche. Everyone wants to see Paris. And I really tried my hardest not to care all that much about the hyped city.

But I was oh so wrong. Paris is everything you want it to be. It’s as magical as the movies. And, to my surprise, it’s the first city that I wasn’t ready to leave.

 

Where to stay

After visiting Amsterdam, we learned our lesson on location. We knew our days would be full to the brim with sights so we wanted to stay somewhere central that we could return to mid-day for power naps.

After our Air BNB canceled two hours after our promised check-in time, we ended up having to find a hotel last minute. We had our hearts set on staying in the Le Marais district and decided to stay at the Hotel Paix Republique. It ended up being perfect and we loved our stay there. We walked everywhere (including an hour and a half walk to the Eifle Tower). And there were so many great bars and restaurants close by.

*For those interested, Air BNB completely refunded us after our host cancelled and offered us an additional 50%/per night of our original booking price.

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Where to eat & drink

Republique of Coffee

2 Boulevard Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France

Go here for the best chai & avocado toast you’ve ever had.

 

Season

1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for creative & healthy breakfast dishes. Try the green pancakes and anticipate a bit of a line to be seated, it’s a popular place.

 

Paris New York

1 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for burgers and an AMAZING interior. The servers are friendly and it’s the perfect spot to chill after a long day.

Eric Kayser

Go here when you’re mid-sight-seeing and want a quick, affordable French lunch. They are scattered all around the city and their baguettes and pastries are everything you want a Paris meal on-the-go to be.

 

Grazis

91 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France

Go here for delicious pizza, a chill vibe, outdoor seating in the summer and a MASSIVE wine selection.

 

Le Refuge

72 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris, France

Go here when you’re walking around Montmartre. It’s just outside the tourist streets and the perfect Parisian cafe for a quiet glass of wine or cocktail.

Paris City Guide, Traveling to Paris, Where to eat Paris, What to do in Paris, A Weekend in Paris, Paris travel guide, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

What to see & do

Picnic by the Sienne

Grab some cheese and a bottle of wine and head to the Sienne for a sunset picnic! In the summer, there are bars that line the river, people dancing and an overall great vibe.

 

Notre Dame

This was my favorite “famous” sight we saw in Paris. Make sure to reserve a time online to climb up the tower to the top. The view is unreal.

 

Tuileries Gardens Carnival

What’s better than a Ferris wheel outside the Louvre with views of the Eifle Tower?

 

Rue Cremieux

This was the only thing we didn’t have time to do, but wish we had! It’s the most colorful street in Paris and looked absolutely beautiful to explore.

 

Centre de Pompidou

Paris’ modern art museum. So many interesting pieces by both modern day artists and classics like Matisse, Picasso and Dali.

You can definitely see Paris in 5 days. But it would be so nice to spend a little longer there and take things slower. I think a full week would be perfect.

Have you been? What were your Paris Faves?

xx,
Ariel

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Amsterdam City Guide

Amsterdam City Guide, What to do in Amsterdam, Where to eat Amsterdam, A Weekend in Amsterdam, affordable things to do in Amsterdam, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

 

Amsterdam has been, unexpectedly, one of my favorite European cities so far. The vibe of the city is exciting & lively. You feel like a part of something just by wandering around the streets.

Unlike cities like Paris or Stockholm, Amsterdam is about immersing yourself in the crowd and experiencing the city vibe. There aren’t a million must-see monuments or world-famous sights. Time in Amsterdam is spent walking through the streets, picnicking by the canal, drinking beers at the local pubs and just taking in the exciting city buzz.

 

Where to stay

Amsterdam can be expensive. So to cut our costs a bit, we decided to book an Air BNB outside the city in Breukelen. Little did we know that the train to get into Amsterdam city costs $15/person round trip. So $30 extra a day just to get to the city. If we had known the trains would be so expensive, we would have put that $30/day towards staying somewhere closer. Once you’re in Amsterdam, you can walk everywhere. I would definitely recommend eliminating the extra cost of transportation and staying in the heart of the city.

 

Amsterdam City Guide, What to do in Amsterdam, Where to eat Amsterdam, A Weekend in Amsterdam, affordable things to do in Amsterdam, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Where to eat & drink

 

Chipsy King

Muntplein 5, 1017 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands

The streets of Amsterdam are filled with fry shops. We tried a few and Chipsy King was by far our favorite.

 

Coffee & Coconuts

Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 GK Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here for the beachy interior & the coconut coffee.

 

Hiding in Plain Sight

Rapenburg 18, 1011 TX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here for the speakeasy vibes. Also, the bartenders are great. Order the Zombie cocktail – it’s an experience in itself.

 

Pancakes Amsterdam

Berenstraat 38, 1016 GH Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here for the pancakes (obviously). They are ginormous and come both sweet and savory.

De Hallen

Hannie Dankbaarpassage 47, 1053 RT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here for the coolest food court in Europe. So much good food and drink under one roof – you’ll want to try a little of everything.

 

Sweet Cup

Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 93HS, 1017 NH Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here for a homegrown cup of coffee. Off the main road, it’s a quiet place for some mid-day rejuvenation.

 

Hoppe

Spui 18-20, 1012 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Go here when your feet are tired and you want to people watch with a cold beer. We came here almost every afternoon.

 

Canal Picnic

There are cheese shops on every corner. Hop into one, sample a few kinds of gouda and get a sandwich to-go to eat by the canal.

Amsterdam City Guide, What to do in Amsterdam, Where to eat Amsterdam, A Weekend in Amsterdam, affordable things to do in Amsterdam, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

What to do & see

 

Walk around

Just walking around is honestly the best way to experience Amsterdam. I know it seems aimless. But walking around is the best way to immerse yourself in the vibe of the city.

 

Pedal Boat Rentals

You’ll quickly learn that Amsterdam is a city of canals. Renting a pedal boat is an affordable, fun way to see the city from the water. WARNING: These are harder to maneuver than they look. But worth it for the memories.

 

De Pijp

De Pijp is one of Amsterdam’s trendy neighborhoods, full of yummy food and great people watching. Head to Coffee & Coconuts or the Albert Cuyp Market for a fun afternoon away from the tourists.

 

9 Straatjes

We walked through these streets on the daily. You’ll find cute shops & iconic food wound through the beautiful canal streets in the heart of Amsterdam.

 

Free Ferry

From the central station, you can take a free ferry ride over to the NDSM wharf to see the more industrial, artsy side of Amsterdam. Once there, the Noorderlicht Cafe is a fun place to grab a beer and party with the locals.

 

My best piece of advice for visiting Amsterdam is to not have an agenda. There’s nothing you’re going to “miss out on” by not having a plan. Just explore, eat, drink and take in the atmosphere.

xx,
Ariel

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5 Things I’ve learned from my first year running a business

Your first year running a business, what you need to know during your first year of running a business, creative business tips, how to run a creative business, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Today marks The Blog Stop’s one-year anniversary! Time has FLOWN by. I remember this time last year, locking myself in my office for days, making sure everything was perfect for the big launch. I had no idea what the next year would unfold or where it would take my business. It was a year of learning, growing and laying a foundation down for even more business growth.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about what I’ve learned from this year, I really wanted to reflect on some of the year’s highlights. As far as I have to go, and as much more as I have to learn, I think it’s really important to identify the successes. They are often what give me the extra push to keep going & try things outside my comfort zone for the sake of my business.

 

Your first year running a business, what you need to know during your first year of running a business, creative business tips, how to run a creative business, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

YEAR-ONE SUCCESSES

1. Launching the blog design template shop

2. Publishing 22 blog posts

3. Tripling business revenue from what it was last year

4. Launching a website rebrand & relaunch

5. Quitting my desk job to run The Blog Stop full time

6. Booking my first styled shoot

Now, without further ado, here are the top 5 things I’ve learned from the first year running a business.

 

1. Just do you.

Run your business however you want. There are so many people out there who think they know how to run a successful business. And they are probably right and have experienced success from their methods. But this is your business. If you don’t want to focus on email marketing, don’t. If you don’t want to sell a digital product, don’t. If you don’t want to create a course, don’t. I started thriving & experiencing the most success when I let go of trying every business tactic out there and just started creating something I loved. A lot of my time was wasted by trying to make someone else’s strategy work for me when I should have just been pouring all my energy into the parts of my business I love.

Your first year running a business, what you need to know during your first year of running a business, creative business tips, how to run a creative business, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

2. Push yourself.

This has been my theme for the year. And for me, pushing myself has primarily looked like creating my own content. Aside from client mood boards, every single thing I’ve published or put out there this year has been my own content. It’s been VERY time consuming and has stretched me both mentally and creatively. But I can see how much my work has improved in this last year. The biggest growth takes place when we force ourselves to try new things and exercise skills we’re uncomfortable with.

 

3. Identify where you are already successful.

For me, this meant reaching out to ProPhoto. I’ve been working with them on client projects for years but had never even thought about asking them to add me to their designer network and sell my work in their shop. Because I’d already developed such a good relationship with them, they were excited to bring me on board and working with them is now my #2 source of revenue!

Where are you already spending your time? Who are the people you’ve already built trust with? How can you turn those relationships into something that will push your business forward in a new way?

 

Your first year running a business, what you need to know during your first year of running a business, creative business tips, how to run a creative business, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

4. Simplify.

When I first started The Blog Stop, I had dreams of selling courses, doing custom design work, hosting webinars, having passive products in my shop, the list goes on! A few months in, I realized that it was pretty unclear to an outside viewer what I could do for them. There were WAY too many options. In general, people get overwhelmed by choices. And if you have too many choices, they’ll most likely pick none. Give your client 2-3 price tier options and keep it at that. It will be less work for you and your future clients will have an easier time saying yes to working with you.

5. Take breaks.

This is something I had major guilt about this year. I would work really hard on a launch or project, completely burn myself out and quit running my business for a month. But I realized that breaks are ok. As long as the basic day-to-day pieces are in place (my website works, I’m answering emails, etc.) I don’t need to constantly be launching something new or making my business bigger and better. Yes, there are definitely times to go balls to the walls and do something awesome. But it’s ok to take time to rest, recoup and be inspired for the next great thing.

I can’t wait to see what year #2 holds. This has been a year of laying a foundation and I have so many ideas for where to take The Blog Stop next. I’m grateful for the neverending support of my husband, family and friends (both IRL and online). Running a business has required the most work of anything I’ve done in my life. But I’ve enjoyed (almost) every second of it and wouldn’t have done it any other way.

xx,
Ariel

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NEW! Customizable Blog & Website Templates in the Shop

Customizable Blog & Website Templates, modern blog template, modern website template, blog design, web design, modern graphic design, the blog stop, ariel garcia

 

It has been a dream of mine to launch a blog design shop. Over the years, I’ve spent a good chunk of time searching for the perfect downloadable, DIY, customizable blog design template. One that had everything I needed and could be easily customized, without having to learn how to code or higher a developer.

I’ve found little to nothing that doesn’t look like a template or allows for easy customizations – little to nothing.

This brand new corner of The Blog Stop is dedicated to just that. To offer beautiful, modern and easily customizable blog design templates for the blogger who wants to stand out. For the blogger wanting to express their aesthetic & passions visually for their readers.

 

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SHOP THE TEMPLATE HERE


HOW IT WORKS

Each template in the shop is completely downloadable, meaning you can purchase the design of your choice for instant download and get started!

These templates work with ProPhoto. ProPhoto is a WordPress theme platform that gives you complete customization control with zero coding required. You can just drag and drop new elements into your design, change the layout & upload your own images and graphics. Be sure to read more about ProPhoto on our FAQ page here.

 


Customizable Blog & Website Templates, modern blog template, modern website template, blog design, web design, modern graphic design, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

SHOP THE TEMPLATE HERE


I’ll continue to design & add new templates to the shop regularly.

In addition, you can now book the Bombshell Blogger package which I’ll be chatting about more in the coming weeks.

Be sure to head over to the shop and check out all the new designs!

>> SHOP THE DESIGNS <<

 


Happy blogging!

xx,
Ariel

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The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

 

Oh Copenhagen. My time with you was short but you were so beautiful.

As Levi and I traveled from Stockholm to Amsterdam, we stopped for one day to see the city of Copenhagen. I’m well aware that one day is not nearly enough time to experience a city, but in our eyes, it was better than nothing. Becuase our time was short, I tried to plan the day to perfection.

And it was!

We saw so many sights, drank good coffee, ate yummy food & took SO many pictures. I had more pictures from our one day in Copenhagen than our entire month in Sweden!

If your time in Copenhagen is short, these are the activities I would recommend for the prettiest, most photo-worthy trip! Because, pics or it didn’t happen, amiright?

 

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

 

Botanical Garden

Gothersgade 128, 1123 København, Denmark

The Copenhagen Botanical Garden was at the top of my list! Those domed, glass greenhouse NEEDED to be photographed. Our admission also gave us access to the Butterfly room, which was a fun surprise experience. The Botanical Garden exceeded my expectations & I’m so glad I got to see it in our short time there. Absolutely breathtaking.

 

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Torvehallerne Market

Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 København, Denmark

Next stop – Torvehallerne Market! This is the perfect place to grab lunch & snap a few pics after sweating it out in the garden. The market is indoor (perfect for a sunny or raining day) and you can find rows of food, coffee & flower stalls all in one room. I chose steamed buns from Lele Street Kitchenhighly recommend.

 

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

The Round Tower (Rundetaarn)

Købmagergade 52A, 1150 København, Denmark

The Round Tower is an old Copenhagen church at the center of the city. You can walk up the spiral ramp to the top to get a 360 view of the city. Be sure to pop into the church at the bottom level before or after you go up!

 

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Original Coffee

Østergade 52, 1100 København, Denmark
Located at the top of the Illum department store, head to Original Coffee for some rejuvenation and a beautiful view of the streets below.

 

The most Instagrammable day in Copenhagen, Copenhagen guide, Copenhagen city guide, Copenhagen, Visit Copenhagen, Travel Guide, One day in Copenhagen, The Blog Stop, Ariel Garcia

Nyhavn Street

Just a few minutes walk from Original Coffee, you’ll hit Copenhagen’s famous Nyhavn street. Here you can pose your heart out with the color rows of buildings along the canal.

A there you have it – the perfect, Instagrammable day in Copenhagen.

xx,
Ariel

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