Writing a blog post doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or time-consuming task. If you’re just starting a business blog, you may feel creating even one post per week will take up too much of your precious time. It’s true that blogs take lots of effort if you want to convey the importance of the information contained, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need hours to do so. If you really need to get your blogging time down to less than an hour, we can help. Here are 8 simple steps for managing your writing time wisely.
1. Plan Your Topic and Title
Coming up with a title can take a majority of your allotted hour, but it doesn’t have to. Instead of planning your topics just before you write, consider setting aside four hours or so each month to come up with the topics you’d like to cover in the coming weeks. With a content calendar planned, you’ll be able to formulate catchy titles within a few minutes.
2. Create Subheadings
Your subheadings will work as a guide or outline as you write. If you’re planning a big list-style post, the subheadings could take a majority of your blogging hour. These don’t have to be catchy just yet. You might simply type out one or two words that will remind you the direction you planned. There is plenty of time for editing later. Also, you can move the sections around at a later time if you realize the flow of your original plan would work better in a different order. Nothing is set in stone at this point.
3. Collect Research
We know you need a bit of assistance with your blog. Not everyone has all that knowledge ready to pull out of their heads at a moment’s notice. Go ahead and make notes on your document, pull quotes, and link the sources before you even begin. You can form the rest of your blog around these bits and pieces as you go. This will keep you from abandoning your writing to look something up, because once you’re back to the worldwide web, there’s a good chance you’ll get distracted.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Go ahead and close out any other programs that might beg for attention while you’re working on your blog. This includes social media, unless you’re planning to use these as reference points. If you do need Twitter or Facebook open for any reason, minimize the window until you need it. You may be better off collecting screen shots or Facebook embed codes before you get started so you won’t be tempted to stop for conversation or a quick look at the of a cute puppy that can howl the alphabet.
5. Ready to Write
With your title, subheadings, and research complete, you’re ready to write. By this point, you should know your topic well enough to simply let go and put down words. Don’t stop to edit. Let your words pour across the page from beginning to end. When you’re finished, read back through and add all the details you may have missed the first time. Again, don’t worry about repeated words, typos, misspellings, or even bad grammar. Your ultimate goal is simply to get the blog written as quickly as possible.
6. Time to Edit
When you’re sure you’ve included all the necessary information, it’s time to edit. Go through each sentence carefully to make sure you’ve caught all the major and minor mistakes. Keep in mind that spellcheck won’t work if the misspelled word or typo is still a real word. Next, check for any repeated words or phrases. You can use a thesaurus to come up with alternatives if you notice the same terms appearing too often. Finally, read the blog aloud to make sure every sentence reads smoothly and includes correct grammar. Again, don’t be afraid to look up answers if you aren’t sure.
7. Quick Formatting
You may have kept most of your blog in good shape as you wrote, but now it’s time to make sure the whole picture is pretty. Place your images or embedded objects where they belong, convert subheadings to H2 tags, and check the spacing between paragraphs for a uniform appearance. When everything is in the proper place, check the clock.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
This method can help you produce blogs in record time, but perhaps not on the first try. You’ll need some practice to develop the skill. Don’t give up if you notice your early attempts take longer than an hour. After four or five tries, you’ll streamline the process and become a blazing fast blogger.
What other tips could you add to help writers produce blogs in short amounts of time? We’d love to know your secrets, so leave us a comment!