Wouldn't it be great if you could write high-quality blog posts faster?
Speed matters because ultimately, writing a memorable blog post is only half the battle.
Once you've written your article, you also need to PROMOTE it.
But it can be hard to find time to do that, if your blog posts take several hours to write.
So here are 7 easy ways to slash the amount of time it takes you to create your blog articles.
Use these strategies to cut down on how long you spend writing -- and then, ideally, use the extra time to drive more traffic to your website!
1. Don't think of YOUR BLOG POST as a long-form article
Instead, try a strategy where you approach writing your post in small, bite-sized chunks.
Here's how to do it:
- Before you start writing your blog post, create a very basic outline for it. This should be a handful of bullet points that correspond to each major point you'll make in your article.
- When you come to write your blog post, use each of your bullet points as subheadings.
- Then, just expand on each subheading with one or two paragraphs, or 4-6 sentences. (For longer blog posts, you might use more paragraphs or sentences, but this is a solid starting point!)
2. Go easy on yourself
Choose a blog post topic that you're excited to write on and already know something about. This will save you time on research, and your enthusiasm for the subject will show in your writing!
(Plus, as the blogger Dan Shewan says, "Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – will kill a blog post more effectively than a lack of enthusiasm from the writer"!)
Also, definitely don't feel like you have to create a huge, "ultimate blog post"-type article.
Sure, search engines tend to like long blog articles with lots of links.
But you're not writing for search engines -- you're writing for human beings!
In fact, according to the writing coach and blogger Carol Tice, "for most business blogs, the ideal post length is about 6-8 paragraphs."
Most humans are busy and distracted, and are very happy when someone gives them the information they want in a succinct way.
Remember that -- and know that if you hit at least 300 words in your blog post, you're doing great!!!
3. Recycle existing content
An even more effective way to speed up the amount of time it takes you to write your blog post is to choose a topic that you've already talked about elsewhere.
Maybe you did a Facebook live or a podcast interview a while back, and you could pull some nuggets of information out of that.
Possibly you could expand on a recent social media post, or combine 2-3 social media posts into an article.
If you're active in Facebook groups and regularly respond to people's questions there, another strategy is to use your replies to other people's questions in those groups as the basis for a blog post.
This strategy is especially handy, because not only do you have content already written, but you'll be writing about a subject which you know for sure that people are looking for help with!
4. Separate your research and writing (and set a timer for each!)
Now when I say "research", please know that I don't suggest doing more than 10-20 minutes of research for your blog post.
(Unless, of course, you're writing about a topic that you know nothing about. But in that case -- why write about it?!)
I suggest splitting your research time as follows:
- 5-10 minutes of some quick SEO research. Use this to check that your planned title and topic are aligned with what your audience actually wants to know about. (See my post on Use This SEO Hack To Write More Powerful Blog Posts for pointers on how to do this!)
- 5-10 minutes more research to give you ideas for external links and/or to check that you're not missing out any vital information. Do this research by searching for your chosen topic on Google or Pinterest, and reading through what the top 2-3 articles have to say. Don't take notes, but do keep the tabs open after you've read the articles. (If you won't be writing immediately after you do the research, you can always bookmark the links in Evernote or Airstory, to reference later!)
If your research causes you to change anything in your blog post outline, quickly make the necessary tweaks -- and then start writing!
And as you write, make sure that ALL YOU DO IS WRITE.
DON'T edit. DON'T add formatting as you write. And DON'T let yourself get distracted by doing further research or fact-checking.
Instead, set a timer (try the Pomodoro technique -- start with 25 minutes, and then take a 5-minute break).
Try to write as much as you can while the timer's running. Remember that you can come back to make everything better later!
TOP TIP: BATCH YOUR CONTENT
If you can, try to write a few blog posts one after the other -- a practice known as batch content creation or mega-batching. Once you're in the writing groove, you'll write much more quickly, so take advantage of being in the zone while you're there, and get as much done as possible! (You may also want to check out these other productivity tools to help you be even more time-efficient...)
5. Think outside the box in terms of how you write
Personally, I draft almost every blog post I write on the Notes app on my cellphone.
That's because I'm a fast texter, and writing blog articles on my phone helps me write in a more relaxed, personal way -- as if I were texting with a friend!
Whereas when I type out blog posts on my laptop, I tend to unconsciously drift into a more formal manner.
Plus, I spend most of the day on my laptop, so writing blog posts that way feels much more like WORK!
Another way to make the writing process more enjoyable for yourself is to record yourself speaking about your blog topic and then transcribe the recording.
Or, you could switch to creating video blog posts instead -- aka vlogging.
(If you still want to include text in your posts, a quick and easy way to do this is to pay a transcription service like Rev or Temi to transcribe what you say in your videos, so you can paste the text version of your words underneath them.)
6. Add in links, images, your intro and formatting at the end
Remember that tip that you were given in college or high school, to write the introductions to your papers last?
Well, it applies here too!
You should also add in text formatting (bold, italics, underlining etc.) and any images you want to include only once you're DONE with your first draft of your post.
Likewise, if you're planning on linking to articles on your own blog or to articles on other people's websites, add those links in later, as part of the editing process.
Same goes for adding in quotes from other people.
Basically -- make your argument first and foremost, before you bring in extra media or reference what others are saying elsewhere!
(If it will help you to keep track of where you want to add in images, links etc., jot down short notes as you write your first draft, such as "Add image here" or "Add external link here". This will help speed up the editing process later!)
7. Be consistent but realistic -- and know that you'll only get better!
Set yourself a goal that's REALISTIC for creating blog content, and then hold yourself to it religiously.
For instance, if you know that blogging twice a month is all you can realistically commit to, don't beat yourself up about that.
But DO be religious when it comes to following through with it!
Decide on a day of the week when you'll publish a new blog post, and then stick to it, come hell or high water.
And don't get disheartened if you don't initially feel that your posts are very good.
Because honestly, the ONLY way to get better at writing blog posts is to keep writing blog posts.
Keep persevering, and keep learning from your experiences.
It's all uphill from here!!!
Do you have any tips for how to write blog posts fast? Share them in the comments below!
And to discover 4 easy tricks to writing words your audience can't get enough of, don't forget to download my free cheat sheet on the 4 P's of Personality-Packed Copy!