7 Simple Tips For Blogging Faster [Without Caffeine]

How do you blog faster? How do you speed up your content creation? Here are 7 (sometimes counter-intuitive) tips.

This post was originally written in 2009, but was updated in 2019. Things have shifted in blogging. Does speed and post frequency still matter? Read on and find out.

We all know that content is important in blogging. Most bloggers are under pressure to produce more blog posts (although maybe you shouldn’t be).

As I’ve been doing this for quite a long time now, content creation is pretty fast for me. My average blog post is pretty long, so it takes me a bit to prepare. However, what a lot of other bloggers do on their blogs, I tend to do these days in email in The Edge. Those articles I can prepare in 15-20 minutes apiece.

When I talk to other bloggers, I get varying levels of speed. Some bloggers are fast while others struggle to get even one post per week out the door. Couple into this the demands of normal life, and it is easy to conclude that time is the major bottleneck to your blogging success.

Below are 7 tips to speed up your blogging. And, in the process, we’re also going to answer the question…

Is your speed something you should even be worried about?

#1 – Maintain an Idea File

Often the biggest constraint to crafting blog content is simply what to write about. When you’re sitting there making decisions about content at the same time you’re trying to write it, it can take forever.

So whenever an idea for a blog post enters your mind, record it. Whatever it is, wherever you happen to be, record it.

Do you have a smartphone? Well, surely it has the capability to record text/voice notes. So, either record it as an audio recording to yourself, or jot it down. Carry a notepad with you? Then jot it down there. Be careful not to have your ideas spread all over different places because that only adds to the disorder.

I’ve had ideas hit me while I’m driving, in the gym, or just going for a walk and listening to a podcast. And I’ve been known, numerous times, to whip out my phone and capture an idea before I forget.

#2 – Keep Your Surroundings Clean

The state of a person’s environment is a direct reflection of how they handle their own thoughts. They go hand in hand.

For this reason, we are able to concentrate in orderly surroundings better than in a messy room. So, keep your writing space clean. Keep your office clean. You’ll find your production is higher.

#3 – Gamify Your Content Creation

Many times, we do our best work when we’re under pressure to get it done.

Have you ever found yourself being the most productive right before a scheduled vacation? We all have. 🙂 It almost makes you wonder about the possibilities if you were to work that way all the time. The reason it works is because when you reduce the amount of time you have to do something, you act faster. You don’t waste time screwin’ around.

One way to apply this to your blogging is to set a countdown timer up, set it for an amount of time you think is reasonable, then start the countdown. Your goal, then, is to finish a draft of that post before the timer hits zero.

Make a game out of it.

#4 – Stop Writing.

No, seriously. Nobody said that blogging had to be all about the written word. In fact, there are definite reasons why you should definitely branch out into audio and video.

Beyond the benefits of multiple content mediums, there’s also the simple fact that some people are just slow writers but can speak out their ideas much faster. Some people can talk your face off and are quite good at what they do, but the moment you put a blank document in front of them, they just clam up. Writing is not their strength.

But, why fight it?

If writing isn’t your strength, then explore using other methods of content creation that suit you better.

If writing isn't your strength, then explore using other methods of content creation that suit you better.Click To Tweet

For instance, whip out your webcam and record a quick video. Perhaps outline a few bullet points beforehand as the extent of your “writing”, then hit record and just talk it out. You can even create a simple slide deck and then do a screencast.

Now, even though you might be creating content in another medium, that doesn’t mean we can forget the written word. About that…

#5 – Use Voice-To-Text or Transcription Services

If you’re going to create your content in a spoken manner, you still want that written text. Some people like to read your content and search spiders chomp on it.

You can try using some voice-to-text software to automatically transcribe your spoken words into text. There are numerous options for this from commercial options like Dragon Naturally Speaking, to free options like Dictation.io, to even using Siri or Google on your phone to do it.

While automatic transcription software has gotten pretty good, it isn’t perfect. It lacks that human judgement and you’re often going to need to go back and make edits so that it can be published.

Another option is to use transcription services so that an actual human being transcribes your material. Services like Rev will transcribe for you for $1 per audio minute. Now, think about this…

Let’s say you talk out a post for about 5 minutes. It will cost you $5 to get that turned into a post. In written form, you’re probably going to have a post which is about as long as this very post you’re reading right now. Ask yourself.. how long would it take you to write this post? An hour? 2 hours? What is your hourly rate? Do you like working for less than minimum wage when you can simply throw down a few bucks to save yourself the time?

Think about this…

Jon Morrow over at SmartBlogger generates over six-figures per month and he is literally unable to write. He does it all by speaking. If that isn’t a case study for voice-to-text, I don’t know what is.

#6 – Don’t Worry, Be Crappy

No no, I’m not saying to pump out garbage. What I am saying is not to be a perfectionist.

Blogging is a conversation, not a term paper. Don’t overthink your blog posts. Just write the idea you have in mind and let it flow.

Blogging is a conversation, not a term paper. Don’t overthink your blog posts. Just write the idea you have in mind and let it flow.Click To Tweet

If you are blogging more strategically and using The Redwood Strategy, then those kinds of posts can take more time and you may put more thought into them. However, realize that even those kinds of posts you are going to circle back to time and time again. That’s the nature of the strategy. So, it doesn’t have to be perfect right out the gate!

Remember, perfection is unattainable. There is no such thing as perfection. It is a mirage. So, don’t waste your time chasing it. As my grandfather always told me, the only sure-fire way never to catch a fish is not to have your hook in the water. Likewise, the only way any post will do nothing for you is if you never publish it because you’re too busy chasing your own hidden standards.

#7 – Blog Less Often.

Blogging has journaling at it’s roots. This is why a lot of blogs are presented in chronological order, one post after the next. And it leads to this expectation that you’re supposed to do it a lot.

Just stop it.

One of the best ways to speed up your blogging is simply to stop worrying about how fast you’re going. Instead, just slow down and post stuff that matters when you have something to post.

One of the best ways to speed up your blogging is simply to stop worrying about how fast you're going.Click To Tweet

This is the essence of The Redwood Strategy. It really does make things much easier.

A blog is a powerful foundation from which to build a real business. It is a powerful marketing platform when used strategically. But, one of those most strategic things you can do with a blog is to stop thinking of it like a blog.

Think of a blog more like a collection of articles. Articles which are kept updated and are each optimized to serve specific marketing functions for your business. You don’t spend all your time making new posts. You go back and routinely update the old stuff.

You’re blogging in overdrive gear rather than busting your chops going nowhere really fast in first gear.

And that brings us to the perfect way to end off this post…

It Comes Down To This…

This post was originally written in 2009. Back then, the idea was to blog fast and often. That was the the motivation that gave the idea for this post.

Today in 2019, I am doing a content audit. Spending time going back and updating stuff (or deleting it) rather than spewing out new stuff. So, I’m updating this post to bring it up to my current standards and my current way of thinking.

This very update serves as an example of the best way to blog faster.

We blog faster… by not worrying about speed.

Simply don’t stress about it. If you’re worried about not blogging enough or fast enough, then you’re doing this with the wrong goals. Blogging isn’t supposed to be a pressure cooker.

Above, I’ve given some tips to make your content creation a little faster and, perhaps, easier. But, overriding all of that  is simply to stop holding yourself to some kind of speed standard.

This isn’t a race.

And unless you are in the media business and you’re fighting to be first with a news release, you really have no business trying to use your blog that way.

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • Claudiu C. says:

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your great blog post.
    I’ve seen some of the advice you gave us previously, but I like how you outlined it.

    I do find myself over editing, and doing a lot of other crazy things that make me spend a lot more time on a post than I should. I hope that as time passes by, I will learn how to do this faster, because I do it more often.

    Have a nice day,

    Claudiu

  • Ron Cross says:

    Writing articles ahead of time is definitely one of my weaknesses. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had trouble banging out more than one article in a sitting. Probably because I’m always writing an article the night before it’s supposed to post!

    I haven’t been maintaining an idea file either, which I know would be a big help. Going through the 30 day challenge will help, hopefully. I just got set up with Evernote. My posts could definitely be shorter sometimes too. All areas that I think will help me speed up the process. I only post twice a week and I have to admit it’s tough to keep even an easy schedule like that for me. I don’t know how people post every day, lol!

  • Al Bryant says:

    This post has literally made my day! I want to try and get two posts our this week and I now feel like I can achieve that. Thanks David!

  • This is the last stop in my stint of reading on your blog today via Google reader. I keep an idea file like you said and then actually start a draft post in my blog account to keep working on the ideas as I go along.
    Point 2 – I looked at my desk and I have homeschool docs and cds strewn over it – will definitely fix that today.
    Point 4 – I will definitely look into some voice recognition software. It should cut my time.

  • Nezine says:

    I know how that is like! When I was working and writing reports, I used toshow it to others for correction. Each one would come up with their own ideas. This would take ages to complete the task.

    So, yes, write and promote.

  • Knowing your topic makes a HUGE difference, as does INTEREST in the topic about which you are writing. If you have to do a lot of linking and on-the-fly research, it will slow you down a bit.

    IMO, speed is not as important as consistency. (I'm not a pro-blogger, though.)

  • These are great ideas, and they are techniques I try to use. I guess the pressure is not as heavy for me, as blogging is only a part of my business promotion, but it's still good to generate good, regular content in order to keep folks interested.

    I find the ideas file and keeping my area clean to be especially beneficial.

    Great reminders, as always!

  • SuperAwesomeDating says:

    you got to find what works for you. For me, I post a 1000-2000 word article every other day. I sit my ass down saturday morning and write 2 posts, then rinse and repeat on sunday. This works perfect for me. Google loves long posts, i have consistencey wich is also important, im providing the quality i feel comfortable with and i free up mon-fri to work on other things like link building, monitization, or product creation.

  • Dave Doolin says:

    Writing time – for me – depends on how accurate the article has to be. When there are actual facts involved, or code, that always eats up time. Just making sure code runs correctly can take 15-20 minutes per snippet! But that's my burden, and certainly not common among most bloggers.

  • Nour says:

    I'm going to school and the semester can get pretty busy very quickly. I want to write several posts during the winter break as back up for the spring to post if things get busy. Do you think that would be a good idea? I'm still new to blogging.

  • The idea file is one of my biggest lifesavers. Absolutely recommended. I've considered using voice-to-text…I bet you can use Jott to auto post to a feed and automatically voice-to-tweet. thoughts? ha. just thought of that.

  • Natalie says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have a new found reason to clean my desk and record my thoughts! I also feel like it is helpful to include video in your blog. Video adds variety and takes the pressure off of creating a text post every time.

  • Donny Gamble says:

    Blogging is definitely something that you have to prepare for if you want to consistently provide quality blog content. It is a must to have a couple of post written ahead of time just in case something comes up

  • Joe Gilder says:

    I'd add to Number 2 that part of your “surroundings” includes your online clutter. It always takes me twice as long to write a post when I have Gmail, Tweetdeck, etc. all open in the background. I'll get a paragraph written, then I'll see that I have an email, then Tweetdeck will pop up and tell me I have a mention, and of COURSE I have to go read it.

    Complete waste of time.

    You're right, David. There's a lot more “time” in the day when you use it wisely.

  • David Risley says:

    Yeah, I sometimes take longer on a guest post, too. Longer posts take more time.

  • David Risley says:

    Just work it until you get into a groove. I have always been relatively fast, but I think it comes with practice as well as knowing my topic very well.

  • msfreeman says:

    All 7 of these points are original and useful. I don't currently have an Idea File per se but I do keep a note pad. My surroundings are fairly neat and organized. The tip that most moved me to action is #5, this is the second time I've heard something similar. If we hold off posts, e books and newsletters until they are perfect then they may never get published. Just put the stuff out there and you can tweak it as you grow.

    Thanks for the tips!:)

  • Some days I can crank out posts in a few minutes, but on most, especially as I've been doing more guest posting and more self-critical, I border 45-60 minutes per post.

    Your points are all valid though, and without implementing them in my own life, I could see taking much longer. The idea file is a lifesaver for me.

  • John Paul says:

    Great tips,, but without coffee?.lol That might be tuff.

    On editing. I wrote a post last week, about 200-300 words, and some reader complained because a made one spelling mistake, and to grammar mistakes.. All were silly mistakes that did not take away from the point of the post.

    So I agree with not over editing, there will always be one tight ass that needs things to be uber perfect to be happy, and will miss the point of your post.

  • cathygoodwin says:

    Great comments on blogging. I especiall agree with #7. Too many bloggers write way too much! However, I have to say that caffeine typically adds zest to my own blog posts.

  • mikecrimmins says:

    Great tips, although you could probably do it all faster with a great cup of coffee.

    I have a huge idea file and my blog posts planned rough for the next 2-4 weeks at any given time. That alone saves a lot of time because sometimes when I don't know what to blog about, it can waste two hours just there.

    I also like to write a quick outline. It helps me to stay focused, but also so that I don't spend five hours thinking of the next line.

  • jaredplittle says:

    David, have you always been able to write posts that quickly or has that come over time?

    Writing has never been a strength for me I actually started blogging to force me to write more so I will hopefully become better and me efficient at it. I will use this advice to see if it helps but 15-20 a post seem like a challenge for me.

  • TheInfoPreneur says:

    Great post, very usefull, I completely agree about not over editing and worry if its perfect or not, If you ask ten people to proof read it, they will all come up with things the other one missed! Write and promote!

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