How to Write a Better Blog Post in Half the Time

By: | January 2, 2018 | Tags: , , , | 29 comments

How to write a better blog post in half the time

by Dina Indelicato

Yes, of course, you want to continue blogging. The thing is, it’s such a time-consuming activity that you’re not sure you can keep doing it as often as you do and still hold onto your job. And as your blog isn’t yet paying for your living standards (who can live off exposure after all) you need to find some ways to speed up your game.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that’s not that hard to do. The trick is to become a more productive and more effective blogger. In this article, we’re going to explore how you can do so. Sound good? Then enough preamble and let’s dive straight in.

It’s a matter of separation

When most people start writing a blog, they muddle through the processes of writing a blog because they don’t really understand the different stages. The result is that they have to constantly backtrack and jump forward, which means they can’t use the magic of flow and focused work. If that’s what you’re doing, you need to stop immediately and take to dividing your work up into the task at hand.

At a minimum, there are three and a half stages of the writing process (though you can turn into four and a half if you really know your stuff).

These are:

  • Research and planning. Here you take your topic, flesh it out with the necessary research that you need and outline what you’re going to write. Doing a good job here will cut down the need to jump back and forth later a great deal.
  • Writing. This is where you create the first outline of your blog article. If you’ve done a good job in the planning stage, this should be a matter of fleshing out your outline until you’ve got that first draft.
  • Editing. A lot of people edit as they write. This is a terrible idea, as they’re both entirely different exercises. Writing is a positive and creative enterprise where you want ideas to flow freely. Editing is a critical and negative exercise, where you judge whether what you’ve written is actually up to scratch (And changing it when it isn’t). That means that they often block each other if you do them simultaneously. So don’t. Hold off with the editing till you’ve got that first draft on paper.
  • Fill in the blanks. As you write, you’ll often realize that you don’t quite have all the statistics and values that you’re looking for. Don’t fill those in as you go. Instead, wait until this point and fill them in here.

So, say you’re writing a translation service guide. The first thing you’d do is find the services you want to actually include and the information you need about them. Personally, I’ll collect all that information in Evernote, but you can just as easily put it in a word doc.

Then you write out the entry as you’d approximately like it to be. If you don’t have a certain bit of information, throw in three Xs. This is much better than highlighting as you’ll be able to find them quickly with a Ctrl + F.

And only then do you do your editing and finally search for whatever you’re missing. I promise you, this will save you heaps of time.

[Read: 19 Free Ways to Fire Up Your Productivity: Evernote]

Eliminate distraction

A lot of people believe that the ticket to focusing on a task is resisting temptation. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not about willpower. Instead, it’s about making sure you can’t be tempted in the first place.

The most effective way to do that is to make it harder to interact with the stuff that distracts you. So, turn off your cell phone, kill your email program and – if you can – turn off the internet entirely. Alternatively, if that’s really not an option, use a website blocker like Stayfocusd which will stop you from accessing certain websites during a window in your day (like say, social media).

That will obviously work a great deal better if you are actually following the strategy I outlined above, where you’ve separated out the tasks. This will let you be online when you need to be and turn it off when you don’t – thereby streamlining your work that much more.

Work with others

We’re all better at some things then we are at others. For this reason, why not do a trade with somebody who you trust? Even if it’s just to get their opinion on something you’ve written or for them to use their superior grammar techniques to scan through your document for mistakes, you’ll be much better off.

Then, in return, do what you’re good at – be it coming up with clever headlines, SEO or producing high-quality images.

The best way to make sure that the trade is as fair as possible, track the time you’re both working on your respective assignments. If you can do that, then you’ll know that you’re spending about the same amount of time on your assigned tasks (and you’ll know if you’re actually winning time on the trade).

Don’t write as many blog entries

When we start off writing four entries a week (or however many you’re writing), it can feel like a betrayal for you to go back to fewer. You’ll feel convinced that if you do so, then your readers will get offended and desert you in droves.

Of course, nothing of the kind will happen. They’ll adjust. That’s particularly true if you stick some of the time that you win by not writing that blog article into making the other ones you’ve written that much better. Then they’ll actually get more bang for their buck – which will ultimately make them happier. After all, we’d rather read less and get the same, right?

Last words

So there you have it, some simple yet effective strategies that will immediately boost your productivity. Start applying them today and you’ll find they will make a huge difference to what you’re trying to do.

For the rest, just keep at it. Practice does make you faster over time. So if you keep writing, you’ll find that you’ll be able to produce higher quality tests in a greatly reduced amount of time. The best part? Even when you’re not writing blog entries that skill will still be immensely useful.

 

Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She writes for a Translation Services Company. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and Facebook.

Host blogger’s comments:

Dina advised not blogging as often. Do you agree that’s the way to write a better blog post? According to Dina, you’ll have more time to create quality content. Do you agree this is a wise idea?

Readers, please share. Many of Dina’s tips are valuable for everyone.

I look forward to your opinions in the comment section: Do you have any time-saving tips? Google prefers in-depth posts. How would you recommend saving time while trying to produce a better blog post?

      • Anil Agarwal at 9:02 pm

        I think it’s all about how you manage your time while writing.

        If you’re working in a distracted environment, it’s impossible to finish even a 500 word post.

        That’s why decluttering your work space is important.

        A quick tip is use head phones (with soothing background music) while writing. That way your words will flow.

        Another tip is to use Google docs for content creation. If you’re not in a mood to write, you can use Google voice function to do the writing!

        • Janice Wald at 6:47 pm

          Hi Anil,
          Using Google voice function in Google Docs is a great idea. I’ve recommended it myself in blog posts. Now, if I only could remember to use it, it would really help me get the words out before I forget them! Thanks for writing.
          Janice

          • Anil Agarwal at 11:32 pm

            Glad to know that you’re recommending Google’s voice function with your blog audience Janice. It’s a great tool!

            Also when you’re writing posts, use distraction free writing tools like OmWriter, Zen Writer etc as they keep you away from all the online distractions by providing a great platform for writing.

            Keep rocking!

  1. Serdar Kara at 4:09 am

    From what I’ve read and from what little I’ve experienced, writing quickly is a skill that can be learned. I’m sure that as time goes along, we’ll all become more and more adept at writing quickly.

    Happy new year!

    • Janice Wald at 9:54 pm

      Hi Serdar,
      Nice to meet you. I appreciate your comments on my guest author’s article.
      I agree with what you wrote. How long have you been blogging? I’ve been blogging for three years, and all blogging tasks go faster now.
      Janice

  2. Vishwajeet Kumar at 8:33 am

    Hello Janice,

    First of all Happy New Year to you. Writing a blog post is a big task for newbie bloggers. These are some of the great and practical tips you have mentioned here to speed up the writing process. If someone is new to this field then he/she can practice writing daily to improve their writing skills. Practice makes everything perfect.

    Thanks for sharing these great tips.

    Have a Great day 🙂
    Vishwajeet

    • Janice Wald at 10:03 pm

      Hi Vishwajeet,
      Thank you for commenting on my guest author’s article.Great to see you. Happy new year!
      You mentioned writing daily. Do you Ryan Biddulph? That’s one of his main tips. I certainly write most days, so it sounds like I’m good to go! I agree that blogging gets easier and quicker with practice.
      Janice

  3. Joy Denise Healey at 10:03 am

    Hi Janice and Dina,

    Those are great tips for better blog posts in less time. I am finding blogging just too time-consuming for the return. I only publish once a week, but – alongside all my other commitments – it seems to rake up all my spare time, so any tips to reduce the time spent are very welcome.

    To be honest, it’s not the writing I find the most time-consuming, because I enjoy that, it’s the promoting – because it doesn’t seem to bear any fruit.

    I think the only one time-saving tip I (personally) disagree with is about not editing as I go along. If I spot a mistake it just nags away at me and disrupts all productivity until I correct it.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

  4. Jeanette S. Hall at 10:28 am

    Guys,
    I am in the field of agreement with other people who edit as they write. If I see a mistake, I cannot continue until it is corrected properly!

    The error just will continue to nag at me until corrected. It is worse than my mother-in-law as a nag!

    • Janice Wald at 10:17 pm

      Hi Jeanette,
      That was a funny comment you made about your mother-in-law. I assume she’s not a regular reader of my blog, LOL! =)
      A guest author wrote this post. I agree with you and my other commenter Joy. Like you, I can’t continue until I fix an error.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Happy new year!
      Janice

    • Janice Wald at 10:19 pm

      Hi Jeanine,
      Happy new year to you and Bree! Thanks for coming by to wish me a happy new year.
      I guess we’ll find out together what Mostly Blogging brings in 2018! =)
      I can be a woman of mystery, after all!
      Great to see you!
      Janice

  5. Fred / Guitarspotting at 12:27 pm

    Definitely some good advice. I do tend to separate # 1, 2 and 4. But have generally been doing 2 & 3 at the same time. I will take this advice and separate these two tasks, hopefully it will help make the whole process less frustrating and time consuming.

    • Janice Wald at 10:22 pm

      Hi Fred,
      After reading your comment, I scrolled up to look at the numbered points!
      Nice to see you; happy new year! I am notorious for not eliminating distractions. I guess focusing should be my new year’s resolution! Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  6. Moss Clement at 1:08 pm

    Hi Janice,

    Your article is stunning. The strategies are great. I agree with you in the tips you presented.
    For example, in 2 where you talk about it being a “matter of separation,” that’s perfectly correct. I used to write and edit at the same time, but as time went by I decided to experiment.
    So, I just keep writing and didn’t care if there were typos and errors. However, after writing I took time to proofread and edit and then found out that it all went smoothly and in less time.

    Here’s my take, use an outline, yes, that’s what I do. When planning and researching I use outline to map out my topic, content, and all the necessary things for the project.
    When this is done, my work just flows and in less time.

    Thanks so much.

    NB: Please, check out my new articles as well as my updated post on my site. I need your support in this. Remember, you can’t do it all alone.

    Thanks Janice. Have a great day.

    • Janice Wald at 10:44 pm

      Hi Moss,
      I tweeted and commented on your post but couldn’t find a sign up box. I’d love to subscribe! In the meantime, or even after please tag me in your posts on Twitter and I’ll definitely retweet your articles. In case you didn’t know, I’m @MrsPaznanski on Twitter.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences about the editing process with my readers so they know your time-saving tips.
      Janice

  7. Ryan Biddulph at 4:37 pm

    Hi Dina,

    Smart tips here.

    I did pull back on writing for a minute, then bumped it up to 3 posts weekly and also, 1 travel page daily. I am not sure how it effected my writing time but my traffic jumped quite a bit. But really, it is finding the strategy that works for me.

    I write rocking blog posts in less time these days because I practiced writing millions of words over the years. From writing in a Word document in private to writing online through various guest posts and genuine, in-depth comments, I have been writing like a machine for many years. Both the quality of my work and volume has improved over time.

    Ryan

    • Janice Wald at 10:29 pm

      Hi Ryan,
      Happily, I have also found that writing in general and other blogging tasks go quicker and more easily after 3 years of blogging. For example, even now, I’m watching TV with my husband while responding to comments. Once upon a time, I would have had no TV on so I could focus.
      Thanks again for starting my year with the exciting news that I was featured in the Huffington Post. I put the logo in my sidebar and shared the accolade in my bio here and on Twitter.
      Janice

  8. reil at 9:18 pm

    like your post very much. I believe that everyone should make their
    interest their business. By doing this they can give their 100% and
    business will be like fun. Thanks for sharing this article.

  9. Peter Nyiri at 1:33 am

    A very important thing is the rule of 20 percent writing and 80 percent promotion.
    What I did on my blog is to write all the basic posts that I need in one shot, so now I have 30 posts and my blog doesn’t look empty.
    Now I concentrate on promoting the posts and only write a new post when I run into a subject that seems to have a great need.
    I also spend some time on updating old blog posts as I encounter new data. This doesn’t take a lot of time at all and Google likes it also, because it keeps things fresh.

    • Janice Wald at 10:35 pm

      Hi Peter,
      Nice seeing you several times this week.
      You sound SO knowledgeable. I do update old posts. I know Google likes it but I do it rarely. Perhaps I need to update more often. Thanks for the inspiration.
      Regarding your other strategy: I do write often but only promote the morning that the post publishes for the most part.
      Janice

  10. Donna DeGuglielmo at 9:35 am

    Happy Blessed New Year my friend 🙂 cheers to you and yours thanks for the article. ugh long sigh distractions … sorry but u have to love us ABI ers ) you gave some good advice. along with a lot of others. One blogger friend writes to readers ” I will post when I have something to say” sounds cold but she is a kind and informative person. but I am too but I think that needs to be reworded any suggestions? I am trying to be consistant but cannot to it all the time. blessings cheerio

    • Janice Wald at 6:30 pm

      Hi Donna; thank you for your comments.
      I agree that sounds cold. Why doesn’t she not post rather than explain in such a cold way? I believe if you have nothing nice to say say nothing. People will see that you are not posting. If that is consistent I don’t think it needs an explanation. If so, find a gentler way.
      I agree with you.
      Janice

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