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Tips for Writing Better, Faster Blog Posts

23 Nov

Tips for Writing Better, Faster Blog Posts

Blogging is more than just a popular pastime, it’s becoming an increasingly important part of brand building and business development. Whether you’ve committed to a daily, weekly or monthly blog, regularly fueling its appetite with quality content can feel like a looming task on your to-do list.

So often we don’t stay consistent with publishing to a blog because we feel it’s too time consuming. Before you throw in the towel – and risk losing all the benefits of your blog – begin with these tips for writing better, faster blog posts. The easier and less time consuming this tasks becomes, the more likely you are to find a good routine and stick to it!

Let’s take a look…

Keep a running list of potential blog topics

It can be challenging when you know you need to write a blog post, but you simply don’t have any ideas come to mind. You may waste valuable minutes trying to come up with a topic that doesn’t motivate you to write and the result is a painful writing process that leaves you frustrated and drained. Overcome this hurdle by keeping a running list of potential blog topics. You never know when an idea will strike you, but it’s not likely to be during an ideal moment to sit down and write. Throw the topic into a word doc and then come back to it when you’re prepared to take on this task.

Save a folder of photos and quotes for inspiration

Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms. You don’t even need to have a particular topic in mind, but so long as a photo or quote sparks your creativity, it’s worth keeping in a folder for future use. Then, when you’re ready to write, browse through this folder and see what new ideas come to mind. I love pulling from quotes for inspiration. Most importantly, take a new spin on a quote to make the blog post original.

Start with the title and closing question

Staring at a blank word doc can be enough to signal anyone’s writer’s block. Once I open a new document, I immediately slap a headline up there and also write the closing question (you’ll see these at the end of every blog post I write). This gives me an immediate sense of productivity and also helps to set the tone of my blog.

Outline your sub headlines

Once you have a main headline, continue to outline the core pieces of your blog post with the sub headlines that shape the flow of your article. Many of my posts are lists of some sort, so I use this step to establish how long my list will be and what it will include. This helps me to visualize the full scope of the blog post and ensure I’m not missing any major components.

Leave your intro for last

You read that right. I’m suggesting you write everything else about your blog post then go back and do your introduction. This may seem backwards, but once you do it a few times you’ll see the major time-saving benefit. Once you have written all the other content within your article, you will have a better understanding of how to “preview” your main points in the introduction. Starting here cold will take you much more time to gather your thoughts, plus what you write may not even be relevant by the time you are done shaping the rest of the blog.

Write it all out, then proof read

For this particular technique of “speed writing a blog post,” you don’t want to take any more breaks than is necessary. I know I’m personally guilty of stopping after reach paragraph to proof read my work before moving it. This is a sneaky procrastination trick that we often don’t know we are doing. My rule of thumb for pumping out a quick blog post is to write everything out as it comes to mind and then switch to my editor’s hat and proof read the entire article at once. This is much better for efficiency and should also result in better overall editing.

Write several blog posts at once, when the mood is right

If you find yourself particularly inspired or with a good chunk of time to dive into writing, don’t stop with one blog post! Keep writing as many as you can. Once your writing muscle is warmed up, it’s a great opportunity to stock pile some blog posts for the future. Pay attention to when your creativity and quality of writing may start to wane and call it quits for the day. But push yourself a little further to write more than what you were planning, should you have the motivation.

Short and sweet works for everyone!

Finally and most importantly, avoid the pitfall of making writing a blog post into a far more daunting task than it needs to be. I, too, can get longwinded at times and before I know it I have wasted 2 hours on a blog post that should have only taken me 45 minutes to complete. The end result is a longer, but not necessarily better article. I actively try to get my thoughts out in a paragraph or two per sub headline. If I find I want to dig deeper into that particular topic, I note it as a potential blog post of its own in the future. Trust me, everyone will appreciate a short and sweet blog post that gets straight to the point!

Do you struggle to write quick and quality blog posts that don’t consume too much of your time? Share your challenges by commenting below and I’ll personally offer you an answer!

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7 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2015 in Business & Success

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Tips for Writing Better, Faster Blog Posts

  1. terryshen

    November 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Rock solid tips, Stephanie. I find if I don’t get started on the blog or put it another way, the later I wait to write a blog worse the pressure is for me. So the challenge is do you maintain your blog quality standard (which btw is very good) in those situations?

     
  2. terryshen

    November 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    missed a word ‘how’ in the last sentence. Should read, So the challenge is how do you maintain your blog quality standard (which btw is very good) in those situations?

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      November 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Great question! I write my blog posts well in advance and even when I’ve built up a good “bank” of posts, I still try and add a new one to that schedule each week (rather than letting my bank run empty). I’ve found that there will be a week here and there when I am too busy or uninspired to write a post, but that for the most part, I keep my writing ahead of the game. Knowing I’m always “working ahead” has really helped to alleviate the stress of needing to create post for a looming Monday deadline and opens my creativity. Also, consider opening your blog to guest writers! I have some wonderful contributors who enjoy the experience and I appreciate them helping to fill the schedule while I may be too busy to write.

       
  3. ramakrishnan6002

    November 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.

     
  4. Keesha "Isleland Gurl" Metcalfe

    December 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Nice post Stephanie. I liked your point about keeping a folder of photos and quotes for inspiration. I think that Pinterest is the perfect online platform for doing this effectively. You can always create secret boards of things that you can use as inspiration for your blog posts.

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      December 2, 2015 at 8:49 am

      A secret board on Pinterest is a great idea! This way is will always be easily accessible to you no matter what device you are on. No matter how you choose to organized and store your ideas, the most important piece is to continue to collect them for future inspiration.

       

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