Writing good blog posts quickly is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. The more posts you write, the faster and more efficient you’ll be at creating blog posts. Here are six tips for writing blog posts more effectively, in less time.
Find your ideal writing conditions
Figure out what the ideal conditions are for you to get some writing done. This can mean the location, time of day, level of background noise and distractions, and state of mind you are in. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Schedule your writing time for when you are most productive.
It’s a bad idea to write when you are tired; it’ll take longer and there’s a higher chance of you making errors. You’ll also be less creative when you’re tired.
Choose a location where you can focus on your writing, whether that’s the local library, coffee shop, or simply your computer in the corner of the living room. Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary to get refocused. Maybe you actually like some background noise and a distraction every now and then. Or maybe you need quiet to work effectively.
Whatever the case, the important thing is to find out what your ideal circumstances are and put yourself there. Ignore what other writers say about concentration if it doesn’t work for you. There’s no one way to write, so just go with what leads you to successful writing sessions.
Use an outline
Sketching out an outline is a great way to get started and avoid writer’s block. Write out a simple outline with an introduction, a body consisting of a few sections, and a conclusion. If you’re writing a top ten or a similar list-style post, then write down each of your points.
Use your outline to break down what seems like a large post into several smaller, more manageable parts. Expand and flesh out each of your points and soon enough you’ll have a rough draft.
Using an outline is a good way to guard against writing hundreds of words, only to realize you’ve gone off on a tangent and written a bunch about something unimportant to your main point. For example, if you are writing a top ten list post and you aim for a 1000-word post, then each list item should have no more than 100 words or 2-3 sentences.
Come up with your final version of the title when you’ve developed an outline. Tweak your title after you finish your post. You can also check out its effectiveness with CoSchedule to make sure it will drive traffic and shares.
Write and edit in separate stages
Get your first draft, messy though it may be, finished before you begin to edit. Resist the temptation to edit on the fly. You will waste a ton of time if you’re going back over each sentence to rephrase or fix mistakes. When you’ve got the creativity flowing, keep it going. Don’t stop the flow, since you could lose it and forget the ideas you had in your mind.
Remember that you can always go back and edit, but you can’t go back and retrieve ideas, flow, and motivation once they’ve been interrupted. Via Writing and Grammarix are tools that can help you with your blog post’s grammar. Consider leaving the post for a day or two before returning to edit it for spelling, grammar, voice, and style.
Everyone suffers from writer’s block or simple boredom from time to time. If you feel like you’ve hit a wall, or just can’t concentrate, take a break. You’ll actually be more productive if you get up and do something else for a while, rather than staring at your laptop and accomplishing nothing, while becoming frustrated.
Get some fresh air, take a quick nap, eat a snack; do anything but write or think about writing. Taking a walk or folding laundry are great tasks that let you keep thinking about your writing while getting something else done at the same time. You could also start searching for stock photos or editing pictures to accompany your post. Working on the images to accompany your post may help you with ideas and inspiration.
It’s better to walk away for a bit than to burn out. Just remember not to let your break turn into an extended period of non-productivity. Once you’ve cleared your head, it’s time to get back at it.
Practice makes perfect
You should write every day. Writing is like any other skill—the more you do it, the better you’ll get, and the faster you’ll be able to do it. Make writing a habit and you’ll find that you’re able to finish posts that would have taken the entire day in just a few hours.
With enough practice, writing posts will become a habit. You’ll find yourself getting words down quickly. You may even be able to write multiple posts in one sitting.
Get into the habit of setting writing goals for yourself. A deadline or a word count target can help you be more productive. Without goals, it can be all too easy to let things slide and get to them later (or not at all).
If you don’t have a brand or sponsor placing a deadline on your writing, then set a blogging schedule and deadlines for yourself. If you struggle with setting deadlines and goals and sticking to them, consider using a coach or finding a blog buddy to be your accountability partner.
What tips for writing blog posts would you share with other bloggers?
Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. She is a part-time educator and Editor in Chief at Oxessays. She is passionate about covering topics on career, blogging, self-development, social media and others.