How long do you devote to writing a blog post? I have spoken with people who indicated it takes them hours… sometimes days… to write one blog post! What?!
Yes, there are times when you’re working on an in-depth blog post that requires talking with and interviewing experts or collecting facts and figures to support your content, but if it’s taking you hours or days to write one post, you’re probably not working effectively.
Believe me, I know that some of us have “toxic schedules.” Those full-to-the-brim days where you’re working outside of the house, caring for your beloved pets, carving out time for friends and family and oh yes, blogging for your side gig. How can you do it all? Writing fast is a learned skill and one that influencers may want to cultivate.
Because I want you to get to your blogging, here are some quick and actionable tips to help you write a great blog post in fewer than 30 minutes.
As a writer, you should never be without a way to capture ideas and blog concepts. Keep an idea notebook with you. Use Evernote to capture both visual and voice to text ideas. Text yourself a message with your blog idea. Spend time at least once a week transferring these potential blog post ideas into your editorial calendar.
Pre-plan the post
After you’ve decided on the blog post concept, break it down into three, five or seven (or more) bullet points. Make sure the points fall under the same general topic. Craft your introductory sentence or topic sentence. From this initial sentence, the rest of the blot post will flow into the body and into the conclusion and call to action.
If you veer off in one of your bullets to an unrelated topic to make your point, then you have not honed your idea tightly enough. Keep each blog post to one topic. If, when you’re writing, you find yourself veering off, grab your idea notebook and write that detour down as an additional blog topic idea. Keep in mind that many readers are scrolling through your blog post on their phones or tablets; because of this, break up large chunks of text with bullets, numbers, sub heads, etc. (Read more formatting tips for blog posts.)
Keep your posts short
The metrics on blog post length keep shifting. One week you should “write long” and other weeks you should write no more than 350 words (350 being the magic number that Google determined is proper post length). If you have a killer blog post idea that will be long, break it into a series.
Just write it
Believe me, I am one of the biggest self-editors on the planet, but when I need to get a blog post done and off my plate and set to “live,” I need to just write. I find that during the process of writing, the “perfect” headline or intro paragraph will grow from the content that follows. Done is better than perfect. Get the words on the screen, edit later.
I can write a blog post in fewer than 30 minutes BUT it takes longer to find and prepare images to go with the post; it can take me as long, or longer, to get the graphics just right. I don’t struggle with words; I do struggle with graphics so I tack on additional time for that aspect of my blog writing task.
How long does it take you to craft a blog post? Do you have an idea swipe file? Do you find it hard to stick to one topic?
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter.