Writing blog posts can be a demanding job. If you have your own blog you know what I mean.
Thankfully you can make writing blog posts easier and faster if you can do just 5 things. These are things I learned simply from studying other successful bloggers. I know these things work because I do them myself, which has significantly improved my own blogging skills.
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.
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 do your blog posts take you?