Synopsis: Every blogger faces it – writing a blog at the last minute in order to keep to his or her posting schedule. Here are 9 tips that should help you out and get that post quickly crafted.
Crafting Rapid-Fire Blog Posts When You Don’t Have the Time to Write Blog Posts
by Norman Arvidsson
It’s midnight. Not much time left in your day. And you still haven’t written that blog post that should be up tomorrow. You can’t get up early and write it because you have a meeting. It’s now or never.
What to write about? You don’t want to create and post a “bomb” – you need to get clever and smart and do it quickly.
Here are 9 suggestions that may help you get that post written, appeal to your audience, and still get a decent night’s sleep.
- Tell a Story
Think over the past few weeks. Was there a great experience with a customer? Did you participate in a charity event? Did you get a new pet or have to put one down? Your blog posts don’t have to always be about the value of your expertise or imparting some niche-related information or solving a problem.
Part of the purpose of a blog is to develop a relationship with your readers – a personal relationship. When you expose things about yourself through stories, people feel connected. You can entertain with humor, appeal to emotions through poignancy, or inspire through a story.
And personal short stories are easier to write. No research, no studying what competitors are writing about, etc.
If you have been doing the right analytics, you should have a record of the blog posts that were most popular. Go back a year and lift one of those. Read through it, see what you can add, change the title, and re-write it.
You will probably be surprised at the number of posts you have written in the past, the content of which is still relevant and important. That content is called “evergreen.”
It’s a good idea to find your evergreen content even when you don’t need it. This will give you a pool of posts to pull from when you run into tight deadlines again.
- Read Competitors’ Blogs
What have they been writing about over the past few days? Read through a couple of their posts.
It’s not that you are trying to copy those posts. But, as you read through them, you may pick up quick ideas. Can you address the same topic but add more that is clever, humorous, or insightful?
Sometimes getting the topic is the toughest part of getting started on a post.
- Advance Planning
While this piece of advice will not help you in the moment of urgency, you can prevent this from happening in the future, if you generate topics in advance.
Lots of bloggers develop a list of blog post topics and possible resources for research a month in advance. They are then less stressed when their time is short and a post must be written.
- Consider a Short Humorous Post with a Great Visual
If you have a presence on social media (and you should, of course), you have certainly seen humorous posts with memes, jokes, and short funny anecdotes. In fact, being a consumer of social media content can make you a better writer.
Can you craft a meme? You can find open source memes and come up with a catchy phrase to add.
Can you find an amazing photo and a famous inspirational quote that you can post, followed by a paragraph or two of our own? What does the quote mean to you and what might it mean to your audience?
While these very short posts may seem more like a something you would post on Twitter, when you are pressed for time, they can still be valuable for you blog readers.
- Put the Onus on Your Readers
You can create a survey or ask questions of your readers and ask them to respond. People love to voice their opinions or provide input.
You can even ask readers for their issues, the topics they would like to see addressed,
Make the entire post something your readers actually create by their comments, feedback, and discussions. You are simply providing a forum for these discussions.
Remember, however, if you do this, you will need to access that post tomorrow sometime and join in the discussions and respond to comments, questions, and feedback with your own words.
And it is certainly okay to tell your readers that your schedule has been so tight, instead of writing a full post, you are asking for their help. They see you as human, they can relate to being pressed for time, and they will probably gladly help you out.
- Set up Reciprocal Arrangements in Advance
If you can establish a relationship with several other bloggers in related niches, you can set up an arrangement to publish each other’s posts. If you have permission in advance, you can sort through their blogs and pull one that will appeal to your target audience.
This is a perfect solution when you are out of time.
Beware, however, that you do not want to make a frequent habit of this, or you will lose your credibility with your readers. They want to know that you are an expert and that you can provide content that specifically meets their needs.
- Keep Yourself on Track
If you are writing an original post, and you have an hour or so to get it done, be certain that you do the following:
- Make a quick outline and stick to it. You cannot afford to get sidelined
- Use a title generator tool to get the best, catchiest title you can – you don’t have time to agonize over titles
- Get rid of every distraction – no TV sounding in the background; no people around; no eating until you are finished.
- Push yourself by setting a coveted reward once you finish – you get that Snickers bar sitting on your desk.
- Don’t be afraid to make it shorter than your usual posts. Lots of bloggers produce short pieces that are appreciated by busy people on the go. This may be a good time to produce a short list or brief “how to.”
- Announce a Contest of Some Sort
Give your reader a task of some type – maybe come up with the most creative title for your next blog post. Lay down some rules for an entry that will benefit you – they have to pick their favorite post from the past 3 months and share it on their Facebook feed, for example. And they will get the credit when the post is published. This gets them actively involved in your blog and spreads your brand at the same time. And it only takes a few minutes to write – bingo!
The best defense for getting caught in a bind of last-minute writing is to plan for these incidents. Two of the suggestions here will help a lot – getting those reciprocal arrangements that allow you to lift a post from another blog and re-post it, and having a list of topics with resources in advance. Of course, the ideal would be, when you have some downtime, to write some posts in advance and have them ready to go – wouldn’t it be nice if we all could be so organized?
About the author:
Norman Arvidsson is a freelance writer for essay writing service Get Academic Help. He was born in Sweden and moved to the United States. Now his main passion is blogging. Norman knows all pros and cons of this area. You can ask him anything on Twitter.
Readers, please share so other busy bloggers know how to create quality content when they write blog posts even when they’re low on time.
Note: Janice will be responding to comments as her vacation schedule and internet connectivity allows.