Blogging Fast: 8 Simple Tips For Writing Faster
How do you start writing faster? How do you speed up your content creation? Here are 8 (sometimes counter-intuitive) tips.
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). But, it can be time consuming. So, how can we begin writing faster?
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?
In This Post…
#1 – Blog With A Strategy In Mind
The biggest thing you can do to help blog faster is to remove the issue of what to write about. And the most important thing you can do is to have an overall strategy for your blog.
In my post – Blog Content Strategy: How To Structure Your Entire Blog (So It Will Actually Work) – I define it as:
A content strategy guides the overall body of content that is your blog. It is a long-term plan. Something that guides what you are intentionally working on when you choose your topics, your category structure… and even the details of each post you create.
When you are building your content strategy, you are envisioning the overall body of work that your blog can and will become. Instead of your blog just morphing into something over time in a reactionary way, we’re envisioning the ideal scene of what we want that blog to look like.
The idea, then, is to have a “grand plan” for what you want the overall body of content of your blog to look like. Then, when you know where you’re heading, it helps to shape what you will be working on writing at any given time.
#2 – Maintain an Idea File
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.
Even when you are blogging according to a real blog content strategy, you’re still going to have ideas hit you at random times. Have a way to capture those things for later.
Get The Most Out Of Your Next Blog Post! Use The Blog Post Preparation Checklist
- Ensure your post will appear perfectly on social media sites, and help enable free viral traffic
- Maximize your revenue potential for the post so it acts as a true, long-term asset
- Optimize your post for SEO and get free, organic traffic
- Ensure high engagement with your post, keeping them on your site longer and reducing bounce rate
#3 – 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.
#4 – 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.
#5 – 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.
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. You could record a podcast.
Now, even though you might be creating content in another medium, that doesn’t mean we can forget the written word. About that…
#6 – 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 $1.50 per audio minute. Now, think about this…
Let’s say you talk out a post for about 5 minutes. It will cost you $7.50 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.
#7 – 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.
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.
#8 – 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.
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…
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.
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,
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
I'd add to 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.
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.
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.
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.