One of the most time-consuming parts of blogging is actually writing the blog posts! So being able to write blog posts more quickly can have a HUGE difference impact on your productivity. Here’s how to write blog posts faster…
How long does it take you to write a blog post?
Writing blog posts is obviously one of the most important parts of blogging. But it’s also usually one of the most time-consuming parts of blogging.
Being able to write blog posts faster can therefore make a HUGE difference to your productivity, as a blogger, and ultimately to your blog’s success.
If you are able to write blog posts faster, you can write more blog posts and/or you can devote more time to other aspects of blogging – ones that will really drive your business forward and earn you more money… for example, working on SEO, creating products, recording videos etc.
Now, before I go any further, I do want to underline two important points…
Firstly, all of your blog posts need to be QUALITY CONTENT… I’m not talking about speeding up your blog post writing by cutting corners or spewing out lots of short, low quality content. Definitely NOT! In this blog post, I’m talking how to write quality blog posts faster. In fact, some of the techniques I share below will help you write BETTER QUALITY CONTENT!
And secondly, it is also important to ensure that you are writing blog posts which genuinely serve a purpose. When it comes to writing blog posts, less is very often more. It is far better to write 1 highly successful blog post than 3 less successful blog posts. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes bloggers can make is creating TOO MUCH CONTENT.
So, make sure you do your audience and keyword research first and only write the blog posts which are really worth writing – blog posts your readers genuinely want to read! In other words, just because you can write blog posts faster, don’t write more blog posts just for the sake of writing blog posts!
OK, now we’re clear on that, let’s dive in. Here’s how to write blog posts faster…
Give yourself a publishing deadline and stick to it
This is an oldie, but a goodie. There’s nothing like a deadline to make you work faster. The trouble with blogging is, there’s no teacher or boss to set the deadlines that make you work fast to meet them! So, if you want to take advantage of the power of a deadline to make you write faster, you are going to have to set your own deadlines.
My top tip here is to set a deadline of a set day and time every week when you will publish your blog post and then stick to it! For example, for Productive Blogging, I publish a new blog post at 9am every Thursday. Just this one simple act of setting a deadline will help you write blog posts faster.
Make yourself accountable
It’s all very well having a deadline, but if it’s only you that knows about it, it’s not much of an incentive. To make setting a deadline more effective in helping you write blog posts faster, you need to make yourself accountable. And the best way to do that is to tell your readers. Let them know that they can expect a new blog post from you at 9am every Thursday morning (or whenever you choose!).
This makes that deadline so much more real and important… suddenly the pressure is on, just as if it was a teacher or a boss who imposed it. And that pressure will make you write faster!
This trick of setting yourself a deadline and making that deadline public can help you, not just with blog posts but also writing your weekly newsletter, recording a weekly podcast or YouTube video… etc. etc.
And not only will it help you work faster, it will also make your blog more successful, as you will be publishing content consistently and because your readers will come to look forward to hearing from you at the same time each week.
Give yourself a strict time limit
But we can go one better! If you really want to make this deadline thing work for you, why not set a strict time limit for writing your blog post? For example, give yourself a 1 hour window to write your first draft. You could even set a timer which will help give a little extra external pressure.
Setting yourself a strict time window to write your blog post in will almost certainly make you work faster!
The reason why this works so well is a well known phenomenon – that whatever you have to do will take the amount of time you have available. If you set aside a whole day to write a blog post, it will probably take a whole day. If you set a timer for an hour, it will probably take an hour!
(BTW – I say 1 hour because it takes me roughly 1 hour to write 1000 words, and 1000 words is a good length for a high quality blog post… if you need to write longer blog posts than this, by all means give yourself a little longer!)
Use the pomodoro method
This is a slight variation on the above idea. And this method works better for many people. Instead of setting a timer for the whole time you’ve allowed yourself to write for (e.g. 1 hour), the Pomodoro method works like this…
First, you pick a task to work on. So, in this case, it’s writing this week’s blog post.
Next, you set a timer for 25 minutes. You work on writing your blog post for that full 25 minutes without any breaks or interruptions.
When the timer rings, you take a 5 minute break. This 30 minute session (25 mins writing, 5 mins break) counts as 1 Pomodoro.
After the break, you set the timer for another 25 minutes and, again, work on writing your blog post for the full 25 minutes without any breaks or interruptions. And again, when the timer rings, you take another 5 minute break. You’ve now completed 2 Pomodoros!
After 4 Pomodoros you can take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
You could set yourself the challenge, therefore, to write your first draft in 2 or 3 Pomodoros.
The reason why the pomodoro method works so well is that it forces you to work on a single task, in this case writing a blog post, for a short but concentrated amount of time AND it also forces you to take regular breaks which is not only healthy, but it can also really fuel your creativity… meaning you will end up writing BETTER blog posts.
READ MORE >>> The Pomodoro Technique*
Have a content calendar
Often, one of the most time-consuming parts of writing a blog post is deciding WHAT to write! If you leave this until you are just about to write your blog post, it will take FOREVER as you umm and aaah and weigh up the options.
The best cure for this is to create a content calendar. Once a quarter, sit down and plan out your blog posts for the next quarter. Then, when you come to write a new blog post, you won’t have to spend any time thinking about what to write, you can just start writing.
The other advantage of having a content calendar is that it makes you think more strategically about what content you are going to produce on your blog. This will ultimately help your blog be more focused and purposeful, have a better structure, be more reader-oriented AND all of this will mean that ultimately your blog will be much more successful!
Get clear about the main aim of your blog post
OK, so now you have your topic, you are ready to write. But before you put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard), make sure you are really clear in your head about the MAIN AIM of your blog post. What is the main thing you want your readers to get out of this blog post? Having this firmly in your mind (maybe even write it down) will stop you from wasting your time on random tangents, unnecessary waffle and anything which doesn’t serve the purpose of this particular blog post.
For example, with this blog post, there are lots of extra things I could have added… I could have added a whole load of extra information about content calendars, for example. Or I could have gone off on a tangent about how to write high quality blog content, or about the Pomodoro technique, or why every blog post should have a purpose. But none of that would have really served the main aim of this blog post… to help you write blog posts faster.
As you’ll notice, whenever I have referenced a subject that is really out of the scope of this blog post, instead of going off at a tangent, I’ve simply linked to another blog post which covers that tangent in more detail. This is a great trick… it means you’ll write your blog post faster AND you’ll be including lots of internal links, which is a real benefit to your SEO and to the success of your blog in general (and plus, it’s much more helpful for your readers).
Don’t try to write 3 blog posts in one!
This is kind of an extension of the previous point, but one that is all too easy to do. And that is trying to write 2, 3, 4 or more blog posts in one. Stick to ONE MAIN POINT and if there are other things to say on that topic, create another blog post on it and link the two blog posts together.
This will not only speed up your blog post writing (it’s much quicker to write a blog post on ONE sub-topic, than FOUR!), but it will also help your blog posts be better quality (you’ll most likely cover that sub-topic in greater depth) and your readers will thank you for creating a blog post that’s quicker to read (than that mammoth 4 sub-topic one you were originally planning to write) AND which covers the sub topic in more depth!
If you do find, once you have written your first draft, that really you’ve written 2 or 3 blog posts worth, don’t be afraid to split it into 2 or 3 separate blog posts and publish 1 this week, 1 next week and 1 the week after… This will make your blog post writing super-fast for the next 2 weeks, as you’ll have already done most of the work. And ultimately this approach is better for SEO and UX and will therefore make your blog much more successful.
Start with a plan
This one is a MUST! Before you start writing your blog post, write a quick plan. First sketch out the H2 headings… what will be the main points of your blog? Then flesh out your blog post a bit, by adding a few key thoughts you want to cover under each H2 heading… as well as any H3 headings you think you’ll need. Now, armed with your plan, write your first draft.
Having a plan like this will not only allow you to write much faster, it will also mean your blog post has a much better structure which is, yes you’ve guessed it, better for your readers, better for SEO and will ultimately make your blog more successful.
READ MORE >>> How to write the perfect blog post
Give yourself permission to write a terrible first draft, then edit!
This is such an important tip! Don’t be a perfectionist on your first draft. Don’t try to make every sentence ‘just right’. Instead set your timer and allow yourself to write freely.
Try not to go back and correct yourself (unless you have a brilliant extra idea that you’re worried you might forget). Just write, write, write as fast as you can.
Don’t worry if it sounds clunky, don’t worry if you can’t quite articulate your idea right, don’t even worry if you have made a few typos… leave them – don’t interrupt your flow. All these things can be easily fixed in the editing stage.
If you can’t quite think of the right word, if you want to add a link or a quote or anything that will take you away from just writing, just type XXX and move on. You can work on all these things when you go back and edit your work.
Above all, give yourself permission to write a terrible first draft.
Once you’ve written your first draft, take off your writer’s hat and put on your editor’s hat and go through your first draft improving everything, cutting out waffle, correcting typos, adding links and quotes and generally turning that rough stone of a first draft into a polished diamond ready to be published!
The reason this works so well is, as I’ve alluded to above, writing and editing use different parts of your brain. When you try to do them at the same time it slows both processes down (and often gives rise to the dreaded writer’s block!). Splitting out these two tasks – just writing first, then just editing after – will mean the whole writing process will be faster AND you’ll end up with a much better blog post at the end.
Write to a formula
This is like an extension of the tip of writing a plan. Over time, develop a formula or template for writing all your blog posts (or have a few different templates for the different types of blog post you feature on your blog).
For example, on Productive Blogging, you will find all my blog posts follow the same format:
- Short attention-grabbing paragraph which introduces the topic and includes my keywords (and which can be repurposed for social media)
- Longer introduction, giving the reason for the blog post
- Usually around 8-10 H2 subheadings, each sharing a different tip / aspect of the topic
- Some sort of conclusion and/or a question asking readers to comment and/or an opt-in offer
- Further reading on the topic
- An invitation to follow me on social media and subscribe
- A pinnable image
This really works as it will help you develop a consistent style your readers will come to expect and enjoy AND it will greatly speed up the blog writing process AND it will help you to remember to include all the elements of a successful blog post, such as an attention grabbing intro, a pinnable image and a call to action.
Use re-usable blocks in Gutenberg
Another way to significantly speed up your blog writing process is to use reusable blocks in Gutenberg for all the things that you put in every post. For example:
- further reading
- a call to action
- an affiliate disclaimer
- an invitation to subscribe to your mailing list or follow you on social media.
You could even combine this tip with the previous one and create a reusable template for your blog posts in Gutenberg… this will greatly speed up all the formatting of each blog post and so your post writing process.
It’s a huge temptation when writing a blog post to write EVERYTHING there is to write on a particular topic. But that’s not going to help your readers and it’s going to take a looooong time to write. As much as possible, keep what you are writing short and to the point. And keep focused on the main point of the blog post.
Writing a plan with H2 and H3 subheadings will really help with this. Once you’ve got that in place, tackle each subheading in turn, writing only as much as is necessary to make your point and move on. Remember, your readers are short on time too… They want to get the info you are giving in your blog post in the shortest time possible… so don’t waffle!
Turn off all distractions
Another super important tip is to turn off all distractions when you write. Close all the other tabs on your computer, put your phone on silent and turn it over (or put it in a different room!) and definitely don’t allow yourself to check your phone / emails /social media etc. until you’ve finished writing your blog post (or at least your first draft!).
Allowing yourself to get distracted by emails, social media etc. while you write, will seriously slow down your blog writing post and also take you out of the writing zone – meaning you’ll find it harder to get back into the zone…
Constantly, trying to get back in the zone will make it take EVEN LONGER to write a blog post and you will most likely end up with a lower quality blog post as well (I don’t know about you, but I always find I write my best blog posts when I am in the zone and I can’t get in the zone when am being constantly distracted!)
Write when you are most creative
We all have more (and less) creative parts of the day, don’t we? For me I’m most creative first thing in the morning. For my hubby it’s late at night. For some people it’s late morning or early afternoon.
Try and schedule your blog writing time for a block of time in the week when you are most alert and creative. At this time of day, you will be bubbling with ideas and so write more quickly AND write a better post.
I always schedule my blog post writing time for Productive Blogging on Tuesday mornings, because mornings are my most creative and productive time. At this time, my hands are skipping over the keyboard as fast as they will go, trying to keep up with the super-fast flow of ideas that is spewing out of my brain… and so, inevitably, I write much faster. This would not be the case if I tried writing my blog posts in the evening, or even the afternoon!
How to write blog posts faster – over to you!
Are you going to implement one or more of these tips? I’d love to hear which one(s) and how you get on!
Do you have any additional tips for writing blog posts faster? Let me know in the comments below.
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