Does it take you days (or even weeks) to write a blog post?
Are you filled with self-doubt when you sit to write? Do you wonder why you can’t organize your thoughts and turn them into words quickly?
A blinking cursor on a blank page is a blogger’s nightmare.
If writing is hard, but you need a solid workable solution on how to write a blog post every week (or bi-weekly), then you’ve come to the right place.
Before We Start
Before we get into the actual tips, here are some things that you will need to do to make them work for you.
Find your Golden Hour
Finding your most productive hour of the day is like finding gold. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, the secret to getting more done is figuring out when your brain works at its best.
To find your most productive hour, try writing at random times of the day for a week and track the amount of work and quality of work you could accomplish. You can use a tool like toogl to log this information easily. Click here for some more strategies on how to identify your most productive hour.
Choose a distraction-free writing environment
We have all experienced distractions caused by mobile phones at some point. But did you know that a recent study on the attentional cost of receiving a cell phone notification, shows that participants were likely to experience disruptions on attention-demanding tasks, even when they had their phones in silent mode.
That’s why it is always better to choose a no phone – distraction free spot for writing. Maybe Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” had a point when he would fight for his spot.
Shift your mindset on the Process
When you look at blog writing as one big task, it can be very discouraging. But when you dissect your blog writing format into chunks and allocate a time for each task, you will find it a little less overwhelming.
For example: When I don’t break my writing process into timed chunks, I tend to get lost in the research phase. I would spend hours reading other blog posts mindlessly, without actually writing anything. That is why, I time my research to 10 minutes (more on this later) and stick to it.
I like to split each post into these small chunks:
- Keyword Research
- Content Research
- Outline Creation
- Choose a headline
- Write Introduction
- Draft and Edit the actual content
The Prepping Process
- Add Visuals
- Find stats to back claims
- Optimize SEO
- Promote on Social Media
Have a Hit List of Keyword Researched Blog Ideas
As a blogger, you probably have a hit list of blog ideas. But not all ideas are worth chasing. There is no point writing about things that would hardly bring in any traffic. And that is why it is important to do keyword research too. Keywords are the exact phrases that people use on search engines to find what they need. I’d recommend you to have at least 20 blog topics with key research done at any time. This way, if you are facing a writer’s block, you can always choose something else to write about for the week.
Have Realistic Expectations
Most bloggers start a blog with unrealistic expectations and give up too quickly. Blogging is like a slow-cooked sauce that takes time to perfect and good writing is the secret ingredient. I encourage you to have realistic expectations and to not give up too quickly.
Now that we’ve covered the basics. Let’s dive in.
5 Tips on How to blog faster
Do a 2 minutes warm-up
Just like you need to do warm-ups before any exercise routine, doing a 2 minute brain dump before getting into the writing process helps. It doesn’t matter what you write about at this step and your sentences needn’t even be complete.
Cut Short Content Research Time
Before you begin googling to conduct research, create an outline or a mind map of the various things you’d like to cover in your post. Doing this will help you to add your own twist to the blog post.
While you can do this over a piece of paper or on Google docs, I’d recommend you to try Transno. With Transno, you can create outlines and convert your text into mind maps on a single-click.
Personally, I like to dump my ideas into Transno and later view it as a mind map to get a clear overview.
Next, take a look at the top 5 results in the search engines results page (SERP) to see if you’ve missed any key points and identify your competitor’s content gap.
Use SEO META in 1 Click Chrome Extension
I use this chrome extension when I have enough knowledge on my topic. Using this extension, you can quickly see key SEO meta data, headings and subheadings, number of images and a lot more for any website. I use this extension, to quickly glance through what’s covered in the top 5 results on SERP.
Ideally you should spend anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes on research if you already know the topic in-depth.
Try Listening on Pocket (when you need to research longer)
When you aren’t very familiar with the topic, you may need to spend more time at the research phase. To cut short your learning curve, try using the Pocket. The tool lets you read out loud any content. You can even highlight key information in the premium version.
Try Voice Typing
Google Docs has a text-to-speech feature that allows you to complete your work faster by simply dictating text over a microphone.
To use this option, make sure your microphone is working and select Tools > Voice typing. Click on the microphone icon that appears on the screen and start talking.
You can also dictate punctuation marks. Additionally, if you need to correct a mistake, simply move your cursor to the area and start dictating again.
NOTE: This feature works on Chrome browser. Mobile users can download Gboard to get started on using their voice to dictate their written content.
Don’t Stop to Edit
Trying to edit while writing is like trying to sew a dress while cutting the cloth. When you stop to tweak and polish every sentence, you are most likely to second guess your efforts. This would slow down your writing and you would end up taking hours to hit the publish button.
Instead, set a timer and just get your thoughts out on a paper or on the computer. Your sentences may flow in a silly fashion and you’d probably be making many grammar mistakes. At this point, don’t try to even incorporate keywords. Ignoring all these things would help you to finish a first draft quickly. Once you get your first draft ready, you can edit and format later very easily.
Even the best writers get stuck. And that’s why there are placeholders. Placeholders are some symbols or texts that you use to indicate ‘come back and fix later’ sections in your first draft. This way you don’t end up wasting time looking for details instead of writing.
For example: when I’m writing my draft, there would be some places where I would like to add some stats to back up my claim. Instead of stopping to research, I use the placeholder <<stat>>. Likewise, I do not worry about taking screenshots or looking for stock photos while working on the draft. Instead I use <<>> to denote that I need to add later. Also I add a <<finish later>> placeholder for a subheading that I don’t want to deal with at the moment.
Later I would use Ctrl+F to find these sections and add details. I also use highlight sentences that are too blunt or need better wording .
Start where you are comfortable
One quick way to get unstuck is to pick a section that you are most comfortable with and start writing from there. Once you are done, move out to the next comfortable section.
Many experienced writers prefer writing the introduction and blog post title at last. Personally, I like to write my introduction first to set the tone and then I pick a random subheading from the outline that I’m most comfortable with.
Use writing tools to polish your sentence
As a non-native English writer, I often wonder if my writing is of any good. This is where writing tools come in. While Grammarly is the best one out there, I prefer using Prowritingaid and Hemingwayapp as these are free alternatives. I would suggest Prowritingaid for beginners, as the tool recommends sentence restructuring tips.
Don’t stress over how long your blog post should be
It is no secret that search engines love longer content. Most SEO experts suggest taking an average word count of the top 5 results on SERP. But not every one of your posts need to be very long. One way to reduce anxiety is to not stress over a specific word count. You can write a mix of short-form, medium-form and long-form content and as long as your content is valuable, your readers would still appreciate it.
Use Blog Post Templates
Blog post templates are a good starting point when you have some clue on what to write but don’t know how to structure it. There are plenty of blog post templates out there. Personally, I like to refer to the following ones: Backlinko blog post templates and Ahrefs blog post templates when I need inspiration.
Don’t aim for perfection
Nothing kills productivity like perfectionism. It is very easy to get stuck in the blogging process if you feel your post is just not ready. Blogging is an iterative process and blog posts are certainly not carved on stones. So stop aiming for perfection and hit that publish once you get a decent enough copy. You can always come back and make changes.
There you have it. My best tips for pushing out your blog posts even when you are feeling stuck.
One last piece of advice, never compromise on quality over quantity and get into the habit of writing daily. When I started out, I could only write about 100 words a day. Focus on writing 10% more than you do right now every day and in no time, you will be churning 2000 words in under an hour.
So did you find this blog post useful? What techniques do you use to get your blog posts out faster. Leave a comment below.