Last Update 6th March, 2017.
You sit down in your writing chair pumped to write your next viral blog post.
You look up at the clock and a couple of hours have already passed by….
Now you’re banging your head on your desk in absolute frustration and kicking yourself for being a bad blogger.
Been there, done that so many times… but I think what I’m going to share with you now will help you with this.
So invest the next 5 minutes reading this post in it’s entirety and I’ve help you avoid wasting hours of time by showing you exactly how I write 1,000 word blog posts in under 60 minutes.
The slowest blog post writer you’ve ever met
I just want you to understand I was once the slowest, procrastinating, perfectionist blog post writer you’ve ever met.
My first two years were painfully frustrating and I achieved a level of success despite the ridiculously long time to took me to write each blog post. Seriously – it would take me 4 hours to write a single blog post.
If you’re like me and you blog to make money online, time is money; your online business and ultimately your income depends on how quickly you can write great blog posts, how effectively you can use your time.
The foundation of blogging is being able to produce good quality content, so if you can cut down this process, boost your productivity you’ll be doing yourself and your blogging business a huge favour.
The simple fact is:
More blog posts = more blog traffic, more email subscribers and more money.
Over the last two years I’ve published 300+ blog posts across my blog portfolio and I’ve gradually learned a way to write blog posts quicker and easier.
Now my blog post writing flows faster to the point I can now write a 1,000 word blog post from scratch in under 60 minutes.
So what changed? I’ll tell you. Here’s my 10 top tips on how to write a good blog post quickly:
1. Start your blog post the night before
I target a keyword with every blog post I write so I like to use a keyword research tool to come up with a title and basic idea of the angle I’m going to go for… and then sleep on it.
I get my subconscious mind working on it as I sleep and it really helps because your subconscious is powerful.
2. Use downtime
Similarly, use your downtime to chew the blog post idea over in your mind. As you’re thinking, shopping, working, playing golf, get your mind working at connecting the dots.
I find my best ideas come when I’m not actually working but when I’m casually doing something else like working out at the gym, taking a shower or walking about.
Try this for your next blog post and you’ll find when it comes time to sit down and write your post, you’re ideas will flow much easier and quicker.
3. Cut out the distractions
Okay, so now it’s your allotted time to write and publish a blog post. Before you sit in your favourite writing spot, cut out all the distractions – shut down social media, turn off your notifications, turn off your phone and focus.
I used to be so easily distracted… I’d just quickly check my emails (you know, waiting for the life-changing email that never comes?) and before I knew it, I’d catch myself watching dog rescue videos on YouTube. Like what?!
Cut out all the distractions and focus on your blog writing, the cute kitten videos will still be waiting for you after you’ve hit publish.
4. Listen to music that gets you in the writing zone
This is a trick I learned at high school when doing my coursework. I find music really gets me in the writing zone.
We’re all wired and respond differently to different stimuli, it’s about finding what works best for you. Some people prefer silence and that’s okay, others write better with gentle instrumental or jazz music going on in the background.
For me, having electro/dance music mixed with motivation workout songs blasting through my headphones just gets me fired up, gets my ideas flowing, fingers typing faster and my blog posts are more dynamic as a result.
5. Set a countdown timer
Setting a time limit totally revolutionised my blogging output. I use the Tomato Timer which beeps after the 25 minute mark.
Without this, I just waste time. I’ll write a sentence or two then step away to make yet another cup of tea, take yet another bathroom break and before you know it, my whole day is gone with nothing to show for it. Come on, I know I’m not the only one : )
By setting a countdown timer, I can see the seconds passing on my browser tab and it forces me to make every second count and helps me focus.
6. Use a blog post template
If you’re starting with a blank WordPress page no wonder you’re finding it hard to write your blog posts quickly. Starting from zero is so much harder to work your way up the quicker writing gears.
I find having a simple structure I can work through helps my blog post writing flow much easier.
Here’s my blog post template I try to follow:
a) Headline and first paragraph
You want to hook your readers from the very start of your blog with a promise or shocking statistic (see my: 13 ways to start a blog post and hook readers from the get-go)
You want to grab your reader’s attention and draw them in to the rest of the blog post.
b) Personal story
Next I like to share a personal experience I’ve had or how I’ve overcome a certain problem I was struggling with.
I find it helps readers to relate to you more and builds trust and if I can help people learn from the mistakes I made then that’s a great bonus!
Here I’ll typically connect my introduction to the main body of my blog post. What do you want people to do with the information you’re giving them? How will what you’re saying help improve their blogging/exercise regime/recipe… whatever your blogging niche may be?
d) Main body
This may be your main list, thought or research. It’s where I give the meat of the article, the juicy stuff that fulfills the promises I made in the blog post headline.
e) Summarise the blog post
I’ll conclude my blog post with a quick recap of what we’ve just covered, tie up any loose ends and bring it all together nicely.
f) Ask a question
I’ll usually end each blog post inviting readers to get involved in the discussion in the comments section and encourage engagement.
I don’t always follow this template fully, but it helps me to write blog posts quicker if I have this basic outline as a foundation.
This basic blog post template is like having a Christmas tree – all you have to do now is decorate it. It avoids the horrid staring at a blank page scenario and gives you a starting post.
7. Getting your first draft done
We write creatively with the right side of our brain and edit with the left side of our brain. For the first two years I would torture myself trying to jump back and forth between two hemispheres of my brain. I still have to remind myself every now and then not be a perfectionist at the first draft stage.
The main goal here is to get all your ideas for your blog post onto the digital page so you can come back and refine later.
Learning to write first without worrying about making mistakes or crafting perfect sentences has literally halved the time it takes me to write a blog post.
8. Go back and make it better
Now I’ve got my ideas out, I’ll start the editing stage and go back and edit, usually several times. Checking for any typos, errors. I’ll add links and format my post in WordPress.
I’ll add the metadata – that is, I’ll choose the category for my blog post, add any tags and add my 160 character description into my All in One SEO plugin.
My main focus at this point is to reduce redundancies; to say more with less. If I’m rambling or repeating myself, I’ll cut it. At this point I might go back to refined the headline and starting paragraphs to make them punchier and sharper.
9. Add images and metadata
We all know images make it easier for your readers to digest your content; we’re visual creatures by nature. But don’t fall into the temptation to try and add your images when you’re writing your first draft.
In an ideal world I’d take my own photos for my blog but I’m definitely not at this stage yet.
There’s a few great places to find images for your blog (a topic for a future blog post) but try to keep away from cliched images that make your blog look generic and actually take away form your blog instead of enhancing.
10. Publish your draft
No matter how many times you’ve read and re-read, there’s probably some mistakes hiding in there somewhere…
I find what really helps me is publishing the post (yes!) and reading the post afresh with the elements together on the blog as it should be.
I don’t know what it is but there’s something about hitting publish and seeing your blog post come together on your site, that helps you to see things you missed before, or give you ideas on how to enhance your blog post even further.
3 bonus tips on writing good blog posts:
- Use short paragraphs – break big blocks of texts into smaller, bite-size 2-3 sentence long paragraphs.
- Use bulleted lists (like this one) to break up your writing that creates reader-friendly white space and makes your content scan-able and means it’ll get read by more people.
- Add lots of links to your other blog posts – not only does it help keep people on your blog, but it saves you having to repeat something you’ve already blogged about in another post and helps your readers find answers to questions they might have.
Whatever you do, the best thing you can do to write blog posts quicker is to find your own workflow. I’ve shared with you what works for me. Again, it doesn’t mean you can’t deviate but it gives you a starting point.
Give it a try – I’d love to hear how any of this worked for you, what you tried and how the tweaks you made helped you write your blog posts quicker. I can still learn too so please share your comments below.