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.