You already know blogging is an effective marketing channel, but how do you find the time to write a blog post?
When I started blogging seven years ago, it used to take me four to five hours to write a post. Since then, not only have I figured out how to write 1,000-2,000-word blog posts in under two hours, but I’ve also figured out how to improve the quality of my posts.
Download this step by step cheat sheet for writing a powerful blog post in less than 2 hours.
Here is the process you can use to write a post in less than two hours.
Blog on your passion
Blogging can be a chore, unless you are passionate about the topic. So, first and foremost, pick a topic you are passionate about.
Don’t just pick a topic that you “think” you are passionate about. Pick one that you definitely know you’ll love. It has to be a topic that you love so much that you want to constantly learn more about it.
Create a list
Now that you have a topic that you’re passionate about, create a list of all the popular blogs in that space. You can easily do this by searching Technorati. If there aren’t many popular blogs in your space, list all the blogs that are somewhat in your space and are popular.
Now that you have a list of all the popular blogs, make sure you browse them once a week. When browsing them, look for social buttons on each post that shows how many people either “tweeted” or “liked” the post. The higher the number, the better.
Take the posts that have over 50 or 100 social shares and list them in a spreadsheet. This whole process shouldn’t take you longer than ten minutes. If it does, you are spending too much time on it.
Spin the title
The hardest part about blogging is coming up with a topic to blog about. But you don’t have to worry about this problem anymore.
Browse through your spreadsheet and continue to tweak the headlines until you come up with a topic idea that you would want to blog on.
For example, in my spreadsheet, I found this headline:
This headline on Copyblogger had over 1,400 tweets. Because the Quick Sprout audience also likes topics about “blogging” and I myself am passionate about blogging, I thought I could spin that title. Here were my variations:
- A Simple Plan for Writing One Blog Post per Week
- A Simple Plan for Writing One Blog Post per Week in Less Than Two Hours
- A Simple Plan for Writing a Blog Post in Less Than Two Hours
- A Simple Plan for Writing a Powerful Blog Post in Less Than 2 Hours
As you can see, I kept on modifying the headline until I was happy with a variation. The fourth and last variation is one I liked, so I decided to go with it.
The process of spinning headlines shouldn’t take you longer than ten minutes. You should be able to produce a variation of a headline at least once every thirty seconds. So, over the course of ten minutes, you should have at least twenty headlines.
Outline your post
Before you write your post, you should outline it. List the main points you want to cover in your introduction, body and conclusion.
Once you have the main points you want to talk about in the body section, break them down into subheadings. In this post, the subheadings are:
- Blog on your passion
- Create a list
- Spin the title
- Outline your post
- Fill in the details
- Edit, tweak, and massage
- Post and share
Make sure your subheadings clearly describe what you are going to write about.
This section shouldn’t take you longer than ten minutes. I know you may miss some details by being efficient with your time, but that’s okay. No blog post is ever perfect, so whatever points you have in your outline, just run with it.
Fill in the details
This is the longest section, but probably the easiest. Over the next sixty minutes, you should be writing what you want to talk about.
Don’t worry about making things perfect or using correct spelling or grammar, just write. If you happen to have writer’s block in one of the outlined sections, skip it and go back to it later.
The key to “filling in the details” is to type as fast as possible. Don’t fluff things up and don’t correct any errors when you make mistakes while typing. Most importantly, don’t worry about trying to sound sophisticated through the use of fancy words… blog as if you are writing for a 5th-grader.
Edit, tweak and massage
Now that you have your blog post, it’s time to polish it.
- Add or remove points – you want your blog post to hit hard, so add any points that you feel will strengthen your post. Accordingly, remove any points that aren’t strong.
- Add facts – with a few quick Google searches, you should be able to find information to support the points you are making. Find some sites to link to that back up what you have to say. This will boost your credibility and help brand you as an expert in your space.
- Improve the flow – if something isn’t easy to read, people won’t want to continue to read it. Make sure your blog posts are easy to read. Use transitions to help readability.
- Correct grammar and spelling errors – although this sounds like a useless step, it actually is really important. Errors can affect your credibility in a negative way. If you aren’t good at fixing your errors like me, have someone else proofread your blog posts. If you can’t find someone, read your post aloud as it will help you find the errors.
Editing, tweaking and massaging shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.
Post and share
If you wrote your post within your blogging platform, great! If not, just copy and paste it. Most blogging platforms have a “what you see is what you get” editor, so if you copy and paste your blog post over, it should keep all of your formatting.
But before you post your blog post, you need to add an image. You can find a creative commons image from Flickr.
Once your post is up, share it on your social accounts. Twitter and Facebook are two great places to start.
This process shouldn’t take you longer than ten minutes.
There you have it! You are now able to write a blog post in under two hours.
At first, you probably won’t be able to do everything I mentioned above in two hours, but after your first few tries, you should be able to write a post within that time frame easily.
Do you know of other ways of speeding up the blog writing process?