Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge and advice with your ideal audience. However, most business owners shy away from it and those who don’t, want to get it done and off their plate as quickly as possible. It’s often seen as time-consuming and difficult, so they want a quick solution - and that usually revolves around learning how to write blog posts faster.
However, learning how to write blog posts faster is only half of the solution. You also need to ensure you’ve prepared the ground beforehand, so you’re in the best possible position to write each blog post quickly, moving forward.
Luckily for you, in today’s blog post I’ll be giving you a clear strategy to follow. In fact, within this post you’ll find two clear processes - one to help you get better organised with your blog posts and the other, to help you write blog posts faster. So set aside 10 minutes to read this post, as it will save you stress, overwhelm and crucially, time, in the long run.
You also have a chance to access my own personal blogging template, that’ll enable you to stop worrying about whether you’re setting out your blog posts right and ensuring you remember the crucial extra bits - such as crediting the photographer and remembering your H2 and H3 headings.
There’s a big rookie mistake many new blog writers make when first starting out - and that’s expecting it to just happen, with no preparation. They expect to be able to write a blog post in the quickest possible time, with minimum effort.
The typical thought process most small business owners go through is this:
That blank Word document and flashing cursor are totally overwhelming for many small business owners. This is why you need to avoid the overwhelm that’s associated with poor blog writing preparation, and get organised in advance. Here’s how you can make that happen for you.
The first thing you need to do is stop avoiding it. I believe it’s an important part of your overall business strategy. Hubspot is one of the many businesses that recommend having blogging as part of your marketing strategy - they cover their top 10 reasons why you should be blogging, in one of their recent blog posts. If you want to have a regular blog on your site, you need to make that decision and implement a plan to follow through on that decision. The following steps will help you get focused and on plan.
Another blogging mistake typical business owners make, is not writing down their blog post ideas. Not only does this mean you miss out on all of those great ideas, but it also means you’re missing a chance to get prepared for regular blog writing. One simple idea can lead to an entire series of blog posts, and writing those ideas down in the first place - well that can lead to time saved, further down the line.
If you want to write blog posts faster, you need to group like-tasks with like-tasks and this means writing more than one blog at a time. By grouping them together, you’re minimising the amount of time it takes to get set up and get focused on each particular task. When you’re flitting between different tabs and platforms, you’re losing valuable time - so it pays to keep this to a minimum.
So what tasks are typically involved in your blog post creation? There’s research, graphic creation and photo sourcing, writing, editing and uploading.
Now you can set aside your time slots for those blogging tasks. Depending on the time you have available, you now have two main options:
You can obviously play around with the tasks within these slots, depending on your available time and the length of time needed for each task. For example, research, editing and photo sourcing can be quick, simple tasks of less than 20-30 minutes, whilst you know you’ll need to set aside an entire morning or afternoon, to write all four blog posts.
As I write blog posts for myself and my clients, I tend to group graphic creation in with research, and editing in with uploading. I can then batch together these tasks for all my clients in one hit and schedule separate time slots for each customer, to cover writing their month’s worth of blog posts.
This step is all about getting in the right mindset. When you’ve got a task to do and you’ve scheduled it in, you need to get your head down and just do it. Block out any distractions, set your timer and get going!
Research can be a huge time suck. Not only can you end up getting completely sidetracked, but you can also end up drowning in research overwhelm. If you want to write blog posts faster, you need to have both a research plan and a time limit. So what do you need to complete during your research period? You’re looking to:
Set a timer for a maximum of 60 minutes, get what you need for all of your blog posts for that month and get out!
A blog content calendar isn’t just there to help you get more organised (although this is a huge part of what it does!). It’s also there to help you write blog posts faster, so it pays to set aside time to fill in your blog content calendar every 3-6 months.
So what do you put on this calendar, if you want to write faster? You’re looking to use it as a central place for all of your blog posts, so it needs to have the following categories on it:
As you can glean from the categories above, if you want to be a super time saver further down the line, you can set aside a time slot to carry out blog post research and photo/graphic creation months in advance.
If you want to get organised with your blog post writing, you need to lose that perfectionism streak we all tend to have. We put immense pressure on ourselves, by sitting down with the intention of writing that ‘perfect’ blog post or writing a blog post that will get us x amount of sales/views/shares. We then stress over how we word something, using perfect grammar and writing about what we think we need to write, in order to grow our expert status.
Instead, focus on writing something that’s of real value to your audience. Your readers and ideal clients are after solutions, not perfection. They’re not interested in whether your sentence structure is perfect or if you need to use a comma or a semicolon (unless you’re teaching them about grammar, that is!). Your blog post doesn’t have to be perfect - it just needs to be of value to your audience.
Another way you can get organised is to create your own blog post templates. I tend to stick with just a generic template, as it ensures I don’t forget the essentials. However, I do know people who have set up templates within their WordPress theme, for the different style of blog posts they write (such as the ‘Top 10’ list or the ‘product review-style’ post - here’s 5 different types of blog post Neil Patel suggests all businesses should write, and here is marketing strategist Dr. Kelly Wade's excellent article on the 7 types of blog posts that drive sales in 2020).
So far we’ve looked at the big rookie mistake many new business owners make when writing their blog posts. Sitting down and just expecting to write a great blog post, without any preparation, not only slows down your blog writing speed, but it’s also the quickest way to overwhelm and frustration. Now we’ve cleared up how to get properly organised, prior to writing your blog posts, I’m sure you’re prepared and eager to get onto the actual blog writing part. Preferably, with a simple process that shows you exactly how you can write blog posts faster. Read on and I’ll give you the deets!
If you want to write blog posts faster, you need to start with the end goal in mind. What’s the purpose of the blog post you’re looking to write? Do you want to entertain or educate your readers? Do you want to share with them a great new resource you’ve found or created, or give them the chance to sign up for your new training webinar? Where is this blog post headed?
Next, you need to give yourself permission to get that first draft down. We’re great at expecting our first attempts to be perfect - regardless of whether we’re baking a cake or writing a blog! Practice does make us better, but in the meantime, I’m sure you’re still worrying about putting out something that may be wrong in some way or that may show you as less than professional.This is why you need to allow yourself to just write. It’s easier if you tell yourself this stage is just about getting the basics out. You’re simply looking to get down this first draft - and will edit it later.
Remember that overwhelm around having a blank Word document staring back at you? Now you’re going to totally bypass that. You’re still going to create a new blank Word document, but you have something to already put on it - the information from your blog content calendar! This is why it was important to get prepared, prior to wanting to write blog posts faster. The content calendar then becomes an outline for each blog post within it.Simply paste in your blog post title, the overview and/or main points you want to cover, along with your intended call to action. If you already have your internal and external links, along with any other information recorded on your blog content calendar, you can paste them in too. You then have your blog post outlined and ready for you to fill in the blanks. (If you want to ensure you’re covering all of the essential elements of a great blog post, you can also sign up for my free blogging guide!)
Once your outline is in place, it’s simply a case of filling in the blanks. However, your blog post doesn’t have to be written in order and in fact, I’d recommend starting with the middle - the core content of your blog post. Why? Because we waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to catch the attention of a reader with our opening sentences and paragraphs. Yes, you still need to do this - but it’s a lot faster (and easier!) to know how to capture their attention if you already know what’s been written in the blog post!If you’re writing a top 10 list, the core content is the 10 things. Writing a how-to? The core consists of the steps a reader needs to take and if you’re writing a review; it’s the main things you want to cover.
Next, move onto the conclusion. By now, you’re in the flow of writing the blog post in question, so it’s easy to know how to naturally wrap it all up. If you’re looking to share a resource or encourage readers to opt-in for something, now is the time to give them a direct call to action - i.e. here’s where you can sign up/buy!
Finally, you can write your opening paragraphs. I find it a lot easier to give the post a quick read-through, prior to deciding on my introduction. You may, therefore, want to carry out step number seven, prior to this step. However, if you do, you’ll then need to ensure you then remember to read through and edit the introduction, after you’ve written it ...
This is the part where you take notice of any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, correcting them as you go. Another thing you want to watch out for is how the blog post reads - and I find this easier if I read it aloud and listen for how it sounds. If you find yourself tripping over a sentence or struggling to make sense of a paragraph, now is the time to make changes.Remember your end goal from this blog post (step #1 - know where you’re headed)? When you’re reading through, keep that end goal in mind and ask yourself: Did I achieve that goal? If you did, great! If you didn’t, don’t worry. You can either tweak your blog post to reach that desired goal, change your goal for another, or save that intended goal for another blog post. Because you can do any of those things, as it’s your blog and you’re the boss!
Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge and advice with your ideal audience and they’re more than happy to read it if it gives them the solutions and advice they’re currently looking for. But most business owners shy away from blog writing, as it seems overwhelming, difficult and time-consuming - but that’s really not the case.
What is overwhelming is staring at a blank Word document. It’s this overwhelm that makes blogging seem difficult - the fear of not knowing what to write or how to get started. And what makes it time-consuming, is not having a clear plan to follow, in order to write blog posts faster and more efficiently.
Luckily for you, in today’s blog post, I’ve given you a clear strategy to follow. Within this post I’ve shared two clear processes - one to help you get better organised with your blog posts and the other, to help you write them faster. You can confidently follow these steps to create your own blog content calendar, be better prepared to write future blog posts and ensure you’re writing blog posts faster than you currently are. Oh, and don’t forget - you can also download my own personal blogging guide, to ensure you’re remembering to set out those blog posts correctly, without missing any other crucial bits from them!
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