Writing is a very labor-intensive task, and that’s why so many people avoid it.
And while it’s true that there are some accomplished writers who churn out blog posts quickly, they're quite a unique breed.
Then there are also those of us who find ourselves undecided about what to write, staring at a blank screen for hours on end, and wondering why we ever started in the first place.
Why Does Google Love Original, Long-Form Content?
The answer to this question can be found in the Google “quality rater's guidelines,” a document that sets forth the criteria for quality search results. These guidelines state that Google values long-form content because it is “helpful to users” and “relevant to the query.”
The Guidelines also stipulate that Google values “original content,” so it follows that if you want your blog posts to rank highly in search results, you should write more original content than you currently are.
In other words, original content should be what defines your blog.
The Secret to Writing Faster Blog Posts and Easier
The secret to writing faster blog posts is to write more. Write a lot. If you're not used to writing, start by taking on one post every other day or so. Don't worry about quality, and don't worry about your writing speed. Just get used to writing.
When I first started writing - which I hated doing at the time - I realized that writing was significantly more difficult than I'd expected. I had no idea what was going to go on the page, and even less of an idea of how to get there. It was a total mess, but it didn’t matter because I kept going. I wrote a lot, and eventually I gained the skills that I needed to write well.
It was all about practice.
7 Steps to Writing Epic Blog Posts Faster
Here are a few proven ways to write blog posts faster, so you can reach more people with your craft.
1. Identify the Reader's Pain-Point (5 Minutes)
A reader's pain-point is a problem that an author or marketer has identified as the primary issue of concern for the target audience. For example: if your blog is about identifying signs of a failing marriage, the pain point is loneliness.
One way to start thinking of topics to blog about is to find people who are struggling with the same problems or insecurities as your reader.
For example, if you want to find free content for your blog, you would search for useful tools, and resources to help you reach that goal. It's about matching the reader's intent. What are they searching for? Then giving it to them.
2. Decide on your Blog Post Topic (5 Minutes)
What should you write about? This is the first question you need to answer before you begin blogging. The blog's topic will depend on the type of blog that you're creating.
Deciding on a topic is an important and oftentimes challenging task. One of the main benefits to choosing a topic that you are passionate about for your blog is that you’ll be more interested in writing it. If you write about something that you're already knowledgeable on. it's much easier to write a piece that is fact-based rather than opinion based.
Alternatively, if you have something in your life that needs change, you can blog about how you plan to improve that situation.
Using the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator can quickly suggest ideas for 5 blog posts.
3. Research the Topic (10 Minutes)
Before writing a blog post, you need to research (and make notes) what you're going to write about. There is more to research than just a topic. For example, you might want to know more facts about your topic, the history of it, any controversy surrounding it, and how your readers will benefit from learning about it. If it's a completely new topic that's beyond your expertise, google resources available online to check your facts.
4. Outline Your Blog Post (5 Minutes)
A blog post should be succinct, clear, and uncluttered. The following is an outline of a standard blog post (you can amend it as required):
1) Headline: This may be obvious, but the headline is what readers will see before anything else in the blog post; it says a lot about what your post is going to be about.
2) Introduction: What is this post about? Why are you writing it? How can you make people keep reading?
3) Main body: What is the post about? Why are you writing it? What details, supporting information and examples do you have to back it up?
4) Conclusion: Summarize your main points and encourage readers to leave a comment with their thoughts on the topic.
5. Begin Writing Your First Draft (20 Minutes)
Now that you know what your topic is, you should have no problem writing it out. Grab a pen and paper and write down anything that comes to mind regarding your blog topic. This will help you sort your thoughts, relax, and brainstorm ideas for your post.
Don't edit as you go; write first, edit later - this is another piece of advice that may seem obvious, but it's exceptionally good advice. If you edit as you write, it slows down the process and makes it much more difficult to get your thoughts out on paper (or on screen).
Start with the title. Then think about where this post will fit into the overall content of your website. And that's where most people stop - after putting in 15 minutes and writing a few sentences - because they don’t know how to continue from there.
Use the old adage "ready-up, shoot-out" - by writing a quick introduction and conclusion before moving on to the meat of the post; you're able to move forward more quickly as you've already outlined the rest. The introduction and conclusion can be a few brief paragraphs for a longer post (think long-form blogging) or one sentence for a shorter post.
6. Review, Edit and Check (5 Minutes)
Your writing needs to be excellent not only because it reads well, but it makes total sense for your readers. So thoroughly review your first draft document. Go back and edit - even if you have everything in order and ready to go, make any changes that you think are necessary before publishing. This saves time and gives you a chance to iron out any wrinkles before posting.
Use spelling and grammar checks. First, send it through Microsoft Word's or Google Doc's checker, and then use Grammarly to fine tune. These two tools together will catch a lot of mistakes.
7. Format and Finalize (10 Minutes)
By now, the main meat of the post has been written and you've fixed the punctuation and grammar. But you now need to break up the text into bite sized readable chunks, so the reader can easily skim through it.
Your aim here is to make it more than just a wall of text blocks. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply break it up into smaller paragraphs. This will make it look pretty as well as being easily digestible. Then add headings (with subheadings if needed), format some of the text (add underlines, bold texts, italics) to make certain points stand out. You could add images and video too.
It is also especially important for you to include a call to action in your blog posts, so your audience can easily contact you when they have questions or want to learn more about the topics you dig in.
It is important to ensure that all your blog posts are possible before they go live for the world to see. Finally, give it a quick read over again.
1) Before you even begin writing, find a way to help you relax. It will help you get in the right mindset when you go to write. You will not be stressing, wondering if you can get into it; instead, you can settle into a groove that allows your writing to flow more easily.
Having trouble getting started? Play some music, have a cup of tea, or take a hot bath. Just find something that settles you down enough so that you can begin the process of writing your blog post.
2) Read newspapers - while this may be more helpful for long-form blogging as opposed to shorter ones, reading newspaper articles helps provide inspiration for writing blog posts quickly by getting new ideas flowing.
3) Set goals for yourself - this can be the number of words you will write in X amount of time or the number of blog posts you will have posted by a certain date. You want to set goals that aren't too difficult but are still challenging enough to get your mind in the right place.
4) Take breaks - if you're not getting the words out, don't force it. Instead, take a break and start again later. You don't want to get burned out, and you're not going to get your best work done if you're stressed or tired.
5) Use your iPad for blogging on the go - if you find yourself without access to a computer, your iPad can be a great tool to write blog posts on the go. This way, you won't have to worry about not being able to get work done when you need it.
Lastly, be consistent. It helps keep your readers coming back, and they tend to stick around longer and read more of what you've written as well as sharing and commenting more (which increases traffic).