5 Things That Make Writing Blog Posts Easier and Faster

writing blog posts

Photo courtesy of adamr and freedigitalphotos.net

Writing blog posts isn’t so easy is it?

If you have your own blog you know what I mean.

My experience with finding content ideas, editing posts and just plain finding enough time to write 2-3 posts a week is tough!

That’s when I came to the conclusion that there has to be an easier way to come up with ideas for writing blog posts and write them faster.

Blogging shouldn’t have to be this hard, right?

So I made a few changes to my daily routine, 5 to be exact.

These changes have definitely improved my blog writing skills and I figured them out simply by studying the habits of other successful bloggers.

1. Read More

The more you read the better you’ll write; it just makes sense. By reading more, you expose yourself to more ideas and facts.  Reading also helps you think and that helps you ponder new ideas.

Interestingly enough when you begin to write a piece, ideas and facts you’ve read about will surface.  Those facts you’ve tucked away in your brain from reading related content creates the perfect resource for your writing.

2. Write More Often

If you’re finding it hard to write as much as your blog requires, don’t feel bad, that’s one of the biggest complaints bloggers have. Writing is a skill and to develop that skill you must keep at it; that means writing more.

I know you’re probably thinking that you can’t keep up with what you write now, how can you write more?

Try stepping back a little and devote a few weeks to simply writing a personal journal.  Write in your journal every day, several times a day.  You don’t have to spend a lot of time at this, but do writing something each day.  I like to keep a daily journal on my kitchen table and every morning I simply write whatever is on my mind. As things occur during the day, I’ll write more.

The journaling exercise is to keep you writing, but it also keeps your mind off perfection. By simply writing what comes to mind, you have no specific goal except to get into the habit of putting your thoughts into words.

Do this consistently for several weeks and it won’t be long before you’ll see your writing improve. And as you improve it will be easier to write more and write faster.  

One small word of advice.  If you find yourself losing your motivation to write, it could be your daily habits.  Writers are notorious for gluing themselves to their computers and neglecting good habits like exercise, proper nourishment and adequate sleep.  Sarah O’Leary noted it well in this must read motivation for writers.

3. Use a Good Outline & Set a Timer

Having a good blog post outline to follow each time you write your post will make the task flow easier.

A basic outline should consist of a catchy title, an opening paragraph that gives your reader a glimpse of what they’ll be reading about. Next the body should contain the important points you want to make, expanding on each point with 2 to 5 sentences.  All followed with a closing paragraph.

It will help you to write faster if you schedule out your time and use a timer.  I’m easily distracted so I find that I get more written in a timely fashion if I have a deadline to keep me on track.

4. Keep Up With What’s Going On In Your Industry

This doesn’t mean wasting a lot of time combing the internet finding ideas and trends.  There’s an easier way to keep up with what’s new and trendy by stocking your RSS feeder with feeds from other industry blogs. Use Twitter and follow respected experts you admire. Also try tuning in to webinars and watch videos that discuss current changes and new ideas in your industry.

Once you’re set up, set aside a few minutes a day or a week, whatever your schedule allows, and read the new feeds and postings.  This is where new ideas for blog posts are born that you can notify readers about, comment on, or even develop interesting things to debate about.

5.  Outsource

It’s hard to create a blog, make it look professional, find post ideas, write posts, research, edit and do all this yourself. It’s a big time hog and it can be overwhelming.

If you’re consistently doing all this yourself you could be sabotaging your business success because as they say, time is money, and if you waste either one you’re setting yourself up for failure.

From personal experience I can tell you it’s easy to waste time just trying to figure certain things out. For example, how to make things look a certain way or get menial tasks done like editing and publishing your blog posts, writing catchy titles,  finding royalty free graphics,  setting up shopping carts, creating opt-in boxes, etc.  Save those are jobs for someone who can do them quickly and efficiently. You can’t make sales if you’re fiddling with problems. That’s time and money wasted.

Try outsourcing those things.  Something that might normally take you an hour or more can be shaved down to 10 minutes or even less. If you’re not already outsourcing, Nicole Dean has awesome free outsourcing tips with a bonus guide called “Outsourcing Demystified“.  Nicole’s a master at outsourcing.  She’ll show you how to shave time off your blogging tasks, how you can do it cheaply, have more free time and still generate income.

Just for the record, this blog post took me about 2 hours from concept to publication.  I developed the idea while watching TV, the title took me about 15 minutes including keyword research, developing my outline took 10 minutes, editing took about 15 minutes, writing the content took about an hour, finding a graphic and publishing took about 20 minutes, I never find graphics quickly :-(

Not great but compare that to a few years ago where it could take me all day to write one post.  I also didn’t outsource any of this post.  Similar blog posts usually take me about an hour, give or take a few minutes when I outsource things like editing, finding graphics and getting help with titles.

Overall Take Away…

Writers that skim over topics and offer generalities are not the things that draw in readers, so to help improve your writing and make it easier to write so you can write faster, here’s your task list:

  • Read more to help you generate great ideas.
  • Write often to improve your skill.
  • Get in the habit of using an outline when you create your blog posts.
  • Use a Timer.
  • Outsource when you can.

How long does it take you to write your blog posts?

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Hi Ms. Liz,

    Loved the idea of writing in a daily journal as a way of writing faster. Sometimes, it’s tough to get out of your own way when you’re writing. You judge yourself as you write, and you keep tripping off your feet.

    Writing something often (like a journal) that has no pressure, no research, and no worries sounds like an exercise that’s worth a try and a committed effort. Thanks for sharing!
    Jesse recently posted..You’re 3 Questions Away From Your Best Year Ever

    • Hey Jesse, that’s what I like about keeping a journal as well, it’s a daily exercise, so there’s no right or wrong there, but the practice really can make you a better writer, “if” you stick with it, and I think that’s also key. Thanks for your feedback :-)

  2. May I add an angle to your excellent summary Liz? Try profiling your reader, reaching in to his/her interests, needs and as far as possible personality. Visualize them, become friends with the person inside your head; talk their talk. If this comes hard, pin a focus picture(s) near your screen. For the dog training niche for example, try snapshots of an owner with a responsive Labrador (or a not so responsive!) It all helps to build a rich and focused picture -and writing becomes easier and more enjoyable.
    Colin recently posted..Your Internet Marketing Business Model

    • Hey Colin,

      Profiling your reader is a great strategy for really getting to know who that person is. Stepping inside their head isn’t as easy as we like to think. Not everyone thinks like we do, but it’s one of the best strategies for gaining reader confidence and projecting your authority as a writer. Thanks for your feedback Colin.

  3. Hey Liz,

    This is a post that every person trying to make extra money blogging should read! Some people think that blogging is something that is going to make them money instantly. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and insight. Blogging should be something that you do because you enjoy doing it and income is a byproduct of that :)
    Braden Cobb recently posted..Money For Single Mothers

    • Hi Braden, There isn’t any business that’s going to earn you lots of money instantly and I think it’s for that reason folks give up too soon. Whatever you do you should enjoy first. That’s been the key for me. Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Wow… I can’t believe it only takes you two hours to complete a blog post!!! It takes me between 5-10 hours (was 6-12 but am getting a little faster thank goodness). Can’t wait to be able to complete one in 2 hours!

    Thanks for a great post – and for the inspiration Liz! :)
    Lillian Leon recently posted..6 Stages to Become an Online Marketer

    • Hey Lillian, There are days when it sometimes takes me longer. Occasionally there are variables that get in the way. But, overall I’m a lot faster than I use to be and these are things that have definitely helped.

  5. Yes, profiling your reader can be a big help, especially with adding information to your blog that will interest your readers. Thanks for your feedback :-)

  6. I liked the article, Liz. I agree with them all (I don’t use 5 though)

    Read more…
    Yep, I tend to take 1 hour out each day to read. I’m not the most efficient writer out there but have gotten much better just from reading every day.

    Write more…
    I actually enjoy writing once I sit down and begin to write. My mind doesn’t like the idea of writing though. I can come up with many excuses to put it off, but once I begin, I always enjoy the process. I’m not sure if you have experienced this problem, but when I begin to write, I can’t bloody stop a lot of the time :)

    Outline & Timer…
    My headline usually dictates what I write about. That’s always the first place I start. Pick a great headline, and make the content worthy of it. As for timer, I use my meditation timer and set it to 2 hour intervals.

    Keep up with Industry..
    Research is another very important component I take time out for every day. It’s usually at the end of the day, I’ll take an hour to research. Today, for example, I’ll be researching a new traffic strategy to implement and do a case study on.

    Thanks Liz, have a great day.

    Declan.
    Declan recently posted..Simple Offline Strategy To Generate More Leads

    • Hi Declan, thanks for your detailed feedback, I always enjoy a reader’s point of view on what they’re doing.

      Just curious though, how much time do you spend on finding good headlines? In other words do you just pick a headline idea and go with it or do you work on formatting the headline for the search engines and reader appeal?

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