5 Ways to Write Great Blog Posts in Less Time
This is a guest post written by Jessica Thiefels. Want to contribute? Check out the 2018 publishing calendar.
If you’re not a speed typer, don’t worry. Writing great blog posts for your coaching website in less time isn’t about how fast you can move your fingers—it’s about how you structure the writing and your time. Using specific apps and techniques, you’ll be less distracted, more focused and able to put together a cohesive blog post with less effort.
Use my tried and true tips, from 10 years of blogging experience, to write more great blog posts in less time.
Use a formula
Blog-style writing is already relatively formulaic—you know you need subheads, bullets, an intro and a conclusion. This is a great starter formula and all you need to do is plug and play when it comes time to write. Start with your title and subheads as the outline; you can see in the screenshot below that this is the formula I use as well.
As you begin research (more about this below), fill in the rest of the subheads to complete the skeleton of the post. From there, you start writing, completing the body of each section based on research and personal expertise and insights.
Write the intro last
After determining your subheads, dive right into the text of each section and focus on the intro last. Not only will it take you longer to write an intro when you don’t know what information you’re including in the article, but you’ll be more concise when your direction is clear and specific. You’ll be surprised how fast the words roll off your fingertips when the article is complete.
Structure your research
Research is likely necessary for most of your blog posts, but instead of researching the topic as a whole, plug your subheads into Google. Instead of sifting through five to 10 general articles on the topic, you’ll find more specific information, which you can use for quotes and data. Research often takes the longest when writing and this will help you cut down the time needed to complete that.
Use the Pomodoro technique
It may sound counterproductive to take a break when you’re in the middle of a task, but our mind needs to the mental rest to stay focused and sharp. This is where the pomodoro technique comes in, which is a way of structuring work time into shorter segments, paired with brief breaks:
“Set a timer for 25 minutes and work without interruption on one task. After the 25 minutes is up, you take a break for 5 minutes to recharge your batteries. This break might simply be a walk over to the water cooler and back. Repeat the timer process if a task will require more than 25 minutes to complete,” says the remote working experts at The Office Club.
Literally block out distractions
Technology, like the Pomodoro apps above, can be hugely helpful in writing great blog posts in less time—in this case, you can use it to literally eliminate all potential distractions. You can block everything from social media sites to specific apps you know are most attention-stealing.
Here are some tools to make this happen:
Self Control (Mac Only): Once downloaded onto your computer, you’ll use this program to block anything on the internet based on your preferences. With no formal presets, this is a blank, “distraction-blocking” canvas for you to use.
Freedom (Mac, iPhone, Android, iPad and Windows): While this app does charge a monthly fee (starting as low as $2, with discounts regularly offered), it can be used on nearly all your devices. This makes it ideal for people who work on the go. With Freedom, you can block the internet, apps and websites.
WriteRoom (Mac only): This Mac app costs $9.99, but it’s the ultimate distraction blocker. When in use, WriteRoom uses a minimalist, full-screen interface to keep you focused on the task at hand: writing. There’s no formatting options, only the ability to type and check word count. The screenshot below is what your computer will look like (you can customize colors and themes) when using this distraction-dodging app.
Bonus: Plan ahead
One of the best ways to write great blog posts in less time is to plan ahead with a content calendar. If you’re running a business blog, this will also structure your content efforts. With a content calendar, all you have to do is look for the next topic listed and get started—no brainstorming ideas or digging through old posts to find inspiration because that work has already been done.
Don’t have a content calendar yet? Check out these free, downloadable content calendar templates.
Again, you don’t have to be a speed writer to complete blog posts in a timely fashion. Use these tips to better manage your time and distractions and structure your research and planning so that you can move quickly and efficiently. Soon, you’ll be writing more posts, more often and your blog will be overflowing with great content.
About Jessica Thiefels
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer, content marketing consultant and business owner. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for Manta, StartupNation, LeadPages Salesforce and more. Follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.
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