You do blogging for a living. It’s your job, and it stands to reason you want to grow as a blogging profession and do this job better.
But, let’s face it:
There’s one tiny detail in blogging that drives you nuts sometimes: it’s all that time you need for writing a blog post itself. Isn’t it frustrating to spend hours or even days on a single blog post when you know others writing more in less time?
When you are a busy professional with big goals, you want to generate more content faster but with the same quality for the audience to love and share it. In this article, you’ll find the tactics to double writing productivity and get the most out of your blogging skills, creating exceptional blog posts for even the pickiest internet users.
Do Pre-Blogging. Always.
You can’t do research, planning, outlining, and writing at the same time. Otherwise, it will lead to brain overload, creative block, and writing holdback: you’ll sit and stare at the blank screen, thinking of how to start a sentence or what fact to mention next; you’ll forget what you’ve written, reread the draft trying to come up with a transition… Needless to say, it takes tons of time and demotivates you.
Every professional who makes money blogging would recommend separating these tasks for better productivity. So, organize your blogging research accordingly:
- Brainstorm blog topics beforehand (you can do this over a coffee at your favorite cafe, for example).
- Write down all the ideas, quotes, and research once they hit you, so you could use them for reference and wouldn’t have to spend time on searching for them later.
- Have a list of sources where to go for great images or where to create illustrations for your blog posts. Think of how to visualize your research and what types of visual content you need to communicate a message before you sit down and start writing.
Known as a pre-blogging work, all these habits will save you tons of time on writing. You won’t be distracted by searching for a quote or external authority resources to mention in your blog post. Research and planning go first, writing comes afterward.
It helps you write faster because of implementation intentions in the human brain. It’s all about psychology, and it reduces procrastination: with no plan, our brain thinks like, “Oh no, it’s hard for me to write that blog post!” With a pre-blogging work completed, it believes this work is much easier to do now.
Get Rid of Distractions
It’s not about turning off your smartphone and desktop notifications so nothing would distract you from the writing process. Think of organizing your workspace too: get rid of clutter, think of a comfortable chair, make a cup of green tea (it makes brains work better), and have a live plant on the table (it’s proven to reduce stress and boost productivity).
Also, clean your writing app. If working in Google Docs, for example, you can hide its menu and change it to a full-screen mode to avoid distractions. Another lifehack for faster writing: use two monitors, so you wouldn’t spend time on switching between the tabs when need to check your notes or information resources.
Set a Timer
This trick will help to get started (as you know, it’s often the hardest part of writing a blog post) and concentrate on a particular text. Just set a timer (Pomodoro or an alarm clock at your table) and don’t stop writing until the time is over. You can do that for each step of your blogging process: brainstorming a topic, research, outlining, writing, editing your blog post, and even for its promotion). Allocate some time for each block, and do it.
The thing is, our brain works so that once you’ve started doing something — you’ll want to continue until the job is done. It’s known as the Zeigarnik Effect: the brain doesn’t like starting a task and then stopping it unfinished. You’ll be anxious until the task is done, so the timer will be your motivation to keep going.
Also, feel free to manage your writing time with tools for tracking your working hours and saving information about your writing activity. Chanty recommends ClickTime or FreshBooks for you to manage time and compare your writing progress after a while.
As savvy copywriters say, you don’t write but build texts. As a super-savvy copywriter Henneke D says, “Writing blog posts super-fast is like baking bread in a breadmaker. You follow an automatic process with known ingredients.” So why not prepare these ingredients beforehand and therefore save some more time on writing?
For that, create a template (structure) for every type of blog posts — and just fill it in each time when you need to write it fast.
Let’s say you write narratives. So, you know that:
- you’ll need an introduction with a hook for readers, a specific moment that will make your blog post matter, and a thesis;
- you’ll need a blog post body with a storyline and arguments, a conflict and a climax, and a resolution;
- you’ll need a conclusion with major points and call to action for readers.
What to do? Take a ready template, fill it in with all the above, and therefore create user- and SEO-friendly content fast. Thus you follow the checked and proven writing formulas for your blog posts to engage the audience.
Write Now, Edit Later
Make it a habit to ignore every tiny mistake while writing; you’ll have time to edit it later. Don’t correct each typo or grammar defect once you finish a sentence; otherwise, it will take you forever to finish the whole blog post. Don’t allow anything to distract your train of thoughts: keep writing even if you think you have nothing to say. The trick is to find your flow, which helps to write faster.
How to do that?
Zoom out your page so you wouldn’t notice mistakes and could focus on thoughts, not letters. If feeling stuck with a blog post introduction, skip it and go to the main part: you can write it later when the whole text is ready. Also, feel free to write your conclusion first: it’s the place where you bring all the thoughts together, so, when finished, it can help you focus on the narrative.
Set a Deadline
To write faster, you need to focus on the end result. Imagine the rewards you’ll get after a blog post is ready: positive feedback from your editor, likes and shares from the audience, etc. Focus on that reward, prioritize that writing task, and set a deadline to motivate yourself to work faster.
The shorter the deadline, the more focused you are. It happens because you trick the brain into getting it done: psychologically, deadlines raise our stress level, priming our bodies into action. To deal with that stress, you start working faster. No deadline? Not enough stress to keep moving, so a blog post remains unfinished and you keep postponing its writing to the last.
The right mindset will help you remain productive and efficient blog writer. Your time management and organizational skills, together with little tricks to cheat the brain (the fact is, it’s lazy and unwilling to work), can skyrocket your writing process and professional growth as a blogger.
Have a plan. Separate pre-blogging work from actual writing. When sit and get ready to start, make sure nothing distracts you from this process. Set a timer and keep writing until the time’s over. And don’t be shy to use templates, read niche books, use corresponding tools, or ask professionals for help.
After all, they don’t turn you into a lazy and poor blogger. They are designed and willing to make your blogging work easier.
Author Bio: Lesley Vos is a professional web writer. Specializing in data research, SEO copywriting, and content promotion, she is in love with words, non-fiction literature, and jazz. Check her portfolio or follow on Twitter @LesleyVos to see more works of hers.