Produce More Content in Less Time With These 6 Science Backed Tactics


Don’t you hate it?

You understand how content marketing works, but you still can’t quite get the results you want.

It’s hard to pump out enough high quality content in order to reach your goals.

There are two main reasons for this.

First of all, writing isn’t easy.

Creating great content that is worthy of being shared is even more difficult.

In order to create content of that level, writers often spend several hours on a single post.

In my experience, though, most bloggers could double or triple their writing speed by becoming more efficient.

The second main reason why producing enough content is difficult is because there are many distractions.

Even if writing is the only job you do, you still have to contend with distractions such as social media and email. When you’re not very motivated, it’s really easy to click over to Facebook and waste 20 minutes.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s even worse.

In addition to the same distractions that a writer might have, you can also get distracted by other parts of your business: product creation, content promotion, customer service, etc.

You put those two factors together, and it’s no wonder that it’s difficult for you to publish content on a consistent basis.

You and I both know that’s a problem.

Without consistent output, your results will be a fraction of what they could be.

And since we both know the power of content marketing, it’s a shame.

But I have good news! It’s a problem that can be fixed if you’re willing to keep an open mind.

I’m going to show you six writing tactics that can turn you into a more focused and efficient writer. They have worked for me and other top notch writers.

You might not be interested in trying them all at first, but give one or two a try, and once you get good results, try others. 

1. Don’t leave yourself an option to procrastinate by doing this…

Let’s deal with the most common form of procrastination first:

wasting time on the Internet.

Anyone can go to Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit and waste hours with the endless stream of content.

But when you have writing that needs to get done, you can’t afford to do this.

If this is something that you’re struggling with, you need a more robust solution than simply trying not to go to those sites.

My suggestion? Use a plugin to block your biggest time-wasters while you work.

If you physically can’t access the sites, you can’t waste time on them.

Here’s what you’ll need (options for Chrome and Firefox).

For Chrome – StayFocusd: Once you install this Google Chrome plugin, click the little blue-and-black clock icon beside your address bar.

It’ll show a little pop-up, where you can click on the tool’s settings:


This extension is incredibly well developed. Considering that it’s free, it’s pretty amazing.

The first things you’ll want to set up are your blocked and allowed sites.

You’ll only need to fill in one of these sections, depending on which options you’ll eventually go with.

But let’s look at both.

Make a list of the sites that you waste the most time on when you’re trying to be productive.

Then, remove the “http://” part of the URLs, and paste them all into the “blocked sites” section:


Finally, click the button below the text box.

The other option you’ll have is to block all websites except for the ones you specify in the allowed sites tab.

If you’d rather use this option, follow the same procedure as above, and paste in sites you’ll need (e.g., Wikipedia):


Here are your two main options: You can either schedule certain times to run the plugin, or choose the “nuclear option.”

First, let’s start with the “nuclear option” because it sounds cool.

If you were paying close attention, you probably saw the link to the nuclear option page on the original tiny pop-up (from the icon).

This option allows you to start the blocking immediately and specify how long it should last. Once it’s started, you can’t stop it.


First, you’ll pick which sites to block.

You could go with “all websites,” but that might be a problem if you need to do some research.

My preferred option would be to only block the sites on the “blocked sites list.” This way, you’ll stop yourself from using the most distracting sites.

Then, specify for how long to block the sites and when the blocking should start. Finally, click the button.

The second main option you have is to simply schedule when the plugin should be active.

There are two menu options—“active days” and “active hours”—that you use to control this.

For example, if you wanted to write every day from 9 until 11 in the morning, you would set those as the start and end times in active hours.


Choose whichever days you want to work as the active days.

There’s one final cool feature that might come in handy.

If you go to the “max time allowed” tab, you can set a simple counter to indicate how many minutes a day you allow yourself to browse your blocked sites. 

The plugin counts how much time you’ve spent on the sites on your blocked list (in total), and if you exceed this max time, it will automatically block them for the rest of the day.


For Firefox – LeechBlock: The highest rated plugin of this sort for Firefox is LeechBlock.

It’s not quite as comprehensive as the Chrome option, but gets the basic job done.

After installing the extension, type in “about:addons” in your address bar, and click on the Extensions menu option:


Finally, click on LeechBlock’s options to bring up a popup.

With LeechBlock, the options are much more straightforward. Pick the sites you want to block, and pick when you want to block them.

First, enter the domain names of the sites you want to block:


Then, click the “when to block” tab, and enter the time in the military time format:


You can, of course, pick which days the extension should be active.

In the final tabs, there are a few advanced options where you can specify how the extension blocks the sites. You can set it so that there’s no way you can access the sites until the time is expired or leave it so you can disable the extension.

2. Develop a system and never stare at a blank page again

Many writers waste time “thinking.”

And what I mean by that is that they stare at their page wondering what they’re going to write about.

I’ll let you in on a secret: The most prolific bloggers don’t do this.

They all have their own personal system of writing, which maximizes the time spent creating content and minimizes the time trying to figure out their next step.

A system consists of 3 main things: input, output, and process.



The input of writing a post is time and energy.

The output is ideally a great post.

But what you really need to focus on defining, if you want to create a system, is a solid process.

Why do you need a system?

A system—more specifically a process—is a set of instructions that explains how you do certain things, e.g., write a blog post.

The most important thing is that they are specific.

It’ll be much easier to understand with an example. Here’s what a system for writing a blog post might look like:

  • Step #1 – Create headings for an outline
    • Create the main heading
    • Create subheadings for each section
    • Outline each section with a few bullet points describing what it’s about
  • Step #2 – Find supporting research and resources
    • If there are any holes in your knowledge (needed for the post), learn about them
    • Find 2-5 studies about the problem/solution
    • Search for each section topic, and write down the URLs of any great resources
  • Step #3 – Write each section, one by one
    • Follow the outline
    • Write the first thing that comes to mind (more on this later in the post)
  • Step #4 – Create any necessary images for the post
  • Step #5 – Add internal links and a lead magnet
    • Add one internal link to a relevant post for every 200-400 words
    • If a post-specific lead magnet is possible, create it now
  • Step #6 – Edit and publish
    • Remove any “fluff”
    • Check for spelling and grammar issues
    • Format for WordPress, and publish

You could develop an even more detailed process.

You basically want a set of instructions that you could hand off to any writer and say, “Write me a great post.”

Do you see why this will save you a ton of time? Instead of continually pausing and wondering, “What part of the post should I do now?—you already have the answer.

The better your system is, the less “thinking” time will be required. Most of it is upfront in the outlining and researching phases.

Your system will probably look different from that example, and that’s a good thing. Customize your system so that it reflects your working preferences.

2 other benefits of systems: Although the primary function of a system here is to minimize non-productive time, there are a few other smaller benefits.

First, the quality of your posts will be extremely consistent.

When you don’t have a system, sometimes you’ll be motivated to do extra research, make great pictures, and do a great editing job.

But other times, you might skip these steps.

This will result in some great posts and some okay posts.

With a system, you do the exact same things every single time. Remember the input/output diagram? Your output should be the same if your input and your process are the same.

The second benefit may or may not apply. If you write monster posts like I do (and that I recommend), you might have noticed that you get a little overwhelmed from time to time.

It’s hard starting a mammoth post when it seems like it’s going to take forever to put together, and it’s going to be difficult.

But when you have a system, you already know that if you follow the steps you laid out, you’ll get the output you want.

Instead of worrying about the final result, you can just follow each small step, one-by-one, knowing that you’ll finish it in a reasonable amount of time.

In essence, your system breaks up a giant task into bite-sized, and thus less intimidating, tasks.

3. Learn to get “in the zone”

If you’ve ever played a sport, at any level, you know the feeling of being “in the zone.”

Everything just melts away, and all your focus goes to the task at hand, whether it’s running or playing basketball.

Needless to say, this is how you get your best performances.

But getting in the zone isn’t just limited to physical activities.

You may have also experienced it when working or studying. One of the most common examples of being in the zone is when a programmer “plugs in” when they get engrossed in a challenge:


As far as I know, no one knows how to get “in the zone” at will. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to improve your focus, which will in turn improve your efficiency.

Here are a few effective strategies…

Strategy #1 – Efficiency and batching go hand in hand: Batching is a concept that is typically used in industrial settings.

Smart factory owners noticed that when they created large batches of their product at once, it was much cheaper and faster than creating products one at a time.


Imagine if people who delivered mail only took one letter at a time from the distribution center? It would take forever.

But taking mail in bulk, the delivery person can deliver the mail without having to go back and forth all the time.

That’s an extreme example, but it applies to every step along the way.

So, how can you use batching as a writer? It’s pretty simple. Stick to one task, and don’t switch to another one until you’re done.

  • Coming up with blog post ideas? Come up with 50-100 at once, not just one per post as you need it.
  • Need to outline a post? Outline the full post before you start writing, instead of outlining a single section, writing it, and then repeating the process.
  • How about editing? Don’t edit as you go—do it all at once at the end.

Applying batching in these ways will save you a lot of time.

But possibly more importantly, it will help you focus better.

Our minds work best when we concentrate on one specific task. However, the typical writer is constantly jumping between outlining, writing, researching, and editing.

Sounds familiar?

There’s no way to get in the zone when you’re constantly shifting gears like that.

If you only apply this strategy, you’ll still have great improvements in your focus and efficiency.

Strategy #2 – Visualization is a powerful tool: The mind will try to find a distraction if it gets in an uncomfortable situation.

Sometimes, writing a post can become uncomfortable.

You start writing, but then you get to a particularly tricky or complex part of the post. All of your doubts about people not liking it, or thinking you’re an impostor, come to mind.

This is uncomfortable for any writer.

This, of course, causes them to get a little twitchy and think or do something else (like check Facebook).

Having a system will help reduce the chances of this occurring.

In addition, you can use visualization to quell these worries and get back on track if you feel that it’s happening.

How do you do it?

The basic idea is that you want to see yourself succeeding in a realistic situation.

Close your eyes, relax for a minute, and picture yourself publishing the finished post on your website, followed with a slightly above average number of shares and comment.


This isn’t some hippy idea that involves attracting your desires.

This is about knowing what you’re trying to achieve and being confident in your ability to do it.

Studies have shown that visualization can improve performance in a wide variety of situations.

Strategy #3 – Clear your mind beforehand: Finally, what if you have a really active mind? I think most Internet marketers and business owners have this problem.

You constantly look and think about new opportunities plus all the other things on your to-do list.

With your focus divided, you will be less productive.

One potential solution is to meditate beforehand. It doesn’t have to be long: just 5 to 10 minutes will go a long way.

But isn’t meditating hard? If you’re a bit apprehensive about trying meditation because it seems like a complicated thing used by monks, don’t be.

Although they might be great at it from years of intense practice, you don’t need to be a monk to experience the benefits of meditation.

There are many types of meditation, but the most basic one is to focus on your breath. Just acknowledge your thoughts as they come up and return your attention to your breath instead of staying with your thoughts, which will be tempting.

Depending on how busy your mind is, you will notice that it becomes clearer after 5-15 minutes of doing this.

Here’s a short, but detailed explanation of how to perform meditation:

4. The simple science of habits (use them to make writing easy)

We all know the power of habits.

The more you do something, the easier it becomes.

For writers who struggle getting started with writing a post, looking at the science behind habit formation can be incredibly helpful.

There are 3 parts to every habit:

  1. The cue – What triggers you to do the routine.
  2. The routine – What action(s) you perform.
  3. The reward – What the immediate benefit of the routine that makes you feel good is.

Put them together, and you have the “habit cycle.


How to create a writing habit: Once you understand the habit loop, you can use it to form new habits, whether it’s for writing or anything else.

The first element is to pick a “cue” for writing.

The cue should be something that happens often.

The cue can be many things:

  • An alarm going off
  • Having a meal
  • Checking email
  • Turning on the lights in a room
  • An activity like stretching or meditation
  • A song you’re listening to ends

It can be any cue you want, but try to pick one that will happen (or you can make happen) at a specific time just before you want to start writing.

For example, if you like writing in the morning, start writing after you finish breakfast.

Or start writing after you’ve checked your emails.

The second part is the routine.

Obviously, you already know how to write.

The key is, at least for the first month or so (it takes about a month or two), to just write. Even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes, you’re just trying to establish the habit.

Then, write for longer after you’ve established the habit.

Finally, you need some sort of reward.

The biggest problem with creating a great post is that you don’t get much of an immediate reward. It can be weeks or months before it is published and gets any attention.

It can be several months before you see the long term SEO traffic benefits of a post.

The alternative is to make your own reward.

For some people, a reward might be as simple as telling yourself “good job.”

For others, it might be playing a game for a few minutes or having a small snack of their favorite food.

Find a reward that will help you associate the action of writing with a good result.

Follow that 3-step process and you’ll form a new strong habit before you know it.

5. Don’t worry about perfect, do this instead

You’re trying to create great content, right?

The kind that really adds value to your readers’ lives.

For that, I congratulate you because that’s really how marketing should be done when possible.

But there’s a side to this that isn’t often talked about.

It’s easy to obsess over making a post as good as humanly possible—or perfect.

But perfection can cause a writer to freeze up.

When your goal is perfection, everything less than that becomes failure, even if it’s really good.

As you might know, most people have an innate fear of failure (to different degrees).

If, while writing a post, you ever wondered “How can I make this perfect?” only to freeze up or get overwhelmed, it’s likely due to this.

But I have a solution that you can put into action right away.

The simple strategy for productivity AND quality: First, realize that there is no such thing as a perfect post, and that your readers don’t need perfection.

A very good article will give your readers almost the same value as a “perfect” article.

But where does the value come from?

From the design of the content? A bit.

From the choice of words? A bit.

From the meaning behind the content? A lot.

If you truly have something of meaning to say, it won’t matter how good of a writer you are. It can still make an impact on the people who read it.

Sharing valuable knowledge is the most important thing.

That doesn’t mean that writing style and formatting aren’t important at all; it just means you should focus on making the valuable message as clear as possible.

And you don’t do this by picking the “perfect” words.

So, instead of killing yourself, wasting minutes between sentences, thinking of the absolute best way of phrasing something:

write each sentence down as simply as possible.

Simple words come to mind quickly, and readers can understand them easily.

Your goal isn’t to create art; it’s to create something that gives the most value to readers, which means that they must understand your message.

Will it be perfect? Heck, no.

Will it be good? Hopefully, but not necessarily.

When you write down the first thing that comes to mind, it sometimes turns out okay. Other times, you’ll ramble on and add “fluff” content that doesn’t add to the main message you’re trying to get across.

Would it surprise you to learn that most top writers do this?

The difference between them and an average writer (besides practice) is editing.

After you’ve written the post, you can edit it to remove the fluff.

With this simple method of writing, you’ll typically end up with a better article than you would have if you aimed for perfection:

  1. Write the first thing that enters your head
  2. Spend a good amount of time editing it

When you’re editing it, don’t go for perfection—go for clarity.

6. Four aspects of an optimized writing environment

Most of what we’ve looked at so far has focused on improving the way you approach writing.

But what we haven’t looked at is how to create a good environment for writing.

Imaging how hard it would be to write with a bunch of noisy kids running around? Almost impossible.

And while you may not be able to create a perfect writing environment, there are four fairly simple things that you can do to make creating great content easier.

1. Create your own writing space: No doubt, you do at least some work from home. But you may find yourself being less productive because of where you’re doing it.

Our brains create connections between locations and activities.

For example, we associate the bedroom with sleep. What studies have shown, however, is that working in bed (or even the bedroom) weakens the association between the bedroom and sleep.

If you work in bed, not only will you make it harder to sleep, but you also won’t be as productive. You’ll always have a significant association to sleep in your bedroom, so don’t be surprised if you feel a little tired or too relaxed when writing in bed.

But this can be extended to other areas as well.

Do you always play games in a certain room?

Do you always Skype or go on social media in a certain room?

Your mind creates associations between those activities and those locations, which means that you will be more prone to do those things rather than write in those spaces.

The solution? Create a specific space that is only used for writing.

It doesn’t need to be large, but it should feel unique so that over time you will associate it with writing.

What you will gradually start noticing is that when you work there, you will begin to write automatically instead of having to force yourself.

2. Breaks are not for the weak: It’s a brutal cycle. You don’t want to take a break because you want to spend more time writing to be more productive.

But when you do this, you fatigue faster, lose focus faster, and end up writing slower, which makes you even less productive.

In addition, sitting for long periods over the long term can cause back pain and even create deadly blood clots.

Ideally, you should take a short 2-5 minute break every 30 minutes. And don’t go without a break for longer than 60 minutes.

During this break, get away from the computer.

Get up and stretch, or do something that involves a bit of moving.

If you Google “work stretching routines,” you can find many simple ones to try:


This is good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your productivity.

Studies have found that brief diversions from a particular task significantly improve focus in upcoming periods of work.

3. Your seat matters: When you’re “in the zone,” all your focus is on the task at hand. If you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair, you’ll be constantly distracted by it.

Whether it’s the general discomfort or pain from the chair, the same effect occurs.

As a writer, you probably spend at least 20 hours a week in your chair, or almost 1,000 hours a year.

That’s too much time to be uncomfortable, and you’re costing yourself a ton of productivity.

If you have any budget at all: get a nice comfortable office chair.

The most famous one is the aeron chair by Herman Miller. While it costs a bit over $900, it’s also one of the most comfortable and ergonomic chairs you can use.


Another option is to use a standing desk.

A lot of research has come out recently on the dangers of sitting for a long time. One study found that men who sat more than 6 hours a day (on average) had a death rate 20% higher than those who sat for less than 3 hours.

Other studies have concluded that those who sit for prolonged periods of time are 50% more likely to die from any cause and 125% more likely to have a cardiovascular event (like a heart attack).

One good option is to use a standing desk instead, which may help you stay more focused as well.


A quick caution though: Although research on standing desks is still pretty new, some studies have shown that standing too much is also bad for your health.

I’d suggest doing both if possible, mitigating the health risks as much as possible while keeping you comfortable and productive.

4. Take it easy on your eyes: Finally, staring at a screen all day is tough on the eyes, especially if you work at night.

A simple solution to reduce the amount of eye strain and fatigue is to install the free program f.lux.

It alters the intensity of the light coming from your screen, which not only reduces strain on your eyes but is also said to help you sleep better.


At first, it will look really weird, but you’ll quickly get used to it and wonder how you ever lived without it.


Although writing a great article takes time, there’s no reason for it to take all of your time.

Most of you who are writing, if you used all the tactics in this post, you will be able to double or triple your output, which is huge.

You don’t need to try them all right now. Look for your biggest problems as a writer, and use the matching tactics I’ve shown in this post to address those specific problems.

If any of these techniques have worked well for you or you have any of your own to share, I’d love to hear about it in a comment below.


  1. Benjamin Carter-Riley :

    Well Neil, what can I say.

    This article is speaking directly to me. Being consistent and motivated to blog is something you must have in order to achieve success on your blog. You must stay focused on the thing that are important. I’m still quite a newbie to blogging, but with all this wonderful information that you’re providing, will certainly help me on my blogging journey. Thank you so much Neil for this post. This blog post is awesome and the things that you write really motivate me to move forward with what I am doing.

    All the best Neil,


    • Benjamin, glad to help. I like to provide value in any way possible so I thought to write a post on things people don’t often think about when writing.

      Let me know which of these tactics work best for you and I look forward to hearing much more from you.

      • Hi Neil,

        I have been following your blog post so closely and most of the times I feel guilty for not commenting on your articles. They are astonishing and I believe you are “Really a big Deal”

        My website traffick increased. Although I have no idea about how that happened, I only know that I have been followimg your blog and applying some of the strategies.

        Am so happy for my site…

        Thank you and waiting for more from you buddy.


        • Tony, glad to help. It’s great to see that you’ve achieved such great success.

          I look forward to hearing much more from you and please let me know if you need any help along the way!

      • Benjamin Carter-Riley :

        Hi Neil,

        I’m back again! 🙂 And I wanted to let you know that using the StayFocusd chrome extension really did help me stay on track. I never knew about it before and I’m so glad you brought it up in this blog post.

        I’m glad you mentioned flux too. I’ve being using it quite a while and I don’t think I can use my PC in the evening without it, it’s awesome!

        • Benjamin, glad you found it helpful. The plugin really does a great job of keeping you on track — keep up the great work!

    • Three more apps:

      1 .Rescue Time – track your spent minutes on computer
      2. Team Viz – for tracking pomodoro technique in the right way.
      3. -for zen writing

    • Hello Mr. Patter,

      I just would like to thank you for the great information you kindly shared here.



  2. It’s really hard to continue with regular articles. You’ve outlined very genuine things.
    Facebook is very addictive. I’ll try out the extenion that you’ve mentioned.
    Standing desk is a very good choice but, not for everyone. Especially for me :p
    Overall a very good post. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Deepak, glad you like them. I wanted to provide as many options as possible for everyone reading — the standing desk being one.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  3. Shahenur Akter :

    Thanks, it will help me as well as my team (writer’s )

  4. Thanks – just what I needed – been working on a big upcoming keynote – workshop talk and your practical advice was right on. Even when we know what needs to be done it is essential to have a coach or a supportive community to keep us on track. Thanks Neil for creating a supportive community and for taking the effort to share your knowledge. Ok back to work now.

    • Sadhana, glad I could help.

      I definitely think of this as a supportive community. Questions are answered, people share their thoughts and no questions are discouraged from being asked 🙂

  5. Oh, gosh. I had to click through just to see how science would make me produce more content in less time. What a fun headline.

    You’ve noted something from one of my favorite books: The Power of Habit.

    I’ll say this about writing. I am a long-time writer and editor and I highly recommend the power of… a morning walk. (Or an afternoon drive. 🙂 ) Curiosity and irritation are also really good things to propel a person to write. (Though I think perhaps you are more the planned-writing type?)

    • L.L. , Great suggestions. You’d be surprised — I take a ton of breaks and often go for walks to clear my mind or get the creative juices flowing. It’s all about taking mental breaks so that you can create an ecosystem of success.

      Thanks for the support and feedback!

      • Neil, that’s terrific. I wish more people would take advantage of the miracle of exercise. Free cognitive therapy, right there.

        There is actually science behind that, too (exercise & cognition). The brain is encouraged to create BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) when we exercise. Walking makes us smarter. 😉 (I once wrote a 6-part series about this and other matters of exercise and the brain, using the amazing book ‘Spark’ as a springboard.)

        If you are interested in the geekiness of at least the topic of BDNF, check out Wikipedia:

  6. Vishal Kataria :

    I started using the Self Control app after you suggested it in a post, Neil. Now every time I work, I use the Pomodoro technique (again something which I read here) and block all social media sites for 1 hour (with the exception of Quora).

    I use Mindmup to create an outline of the post, and Buzzsumo and Quora for ideas. Once I go through the articles as well as the posts which they link out to, I note relevant aspects to add to the post (and the links). And then, I write.

    Each of my posts take 3-4 hours to be completed satisfactorily… I’m still working on reducing that time by half like you. Hopefully I’ll get there soon…

    Keep ’em awesome posts coming Neil 🙂

    • Vishal, that’s awesome. I love seeing some of the tactics I share being employed. I think the Pomodoro technique is one of the best out there. It really allows you to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand.

      Keep me updated on progress as I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  7. What the hell Neil, you’ve raised the standard of content writing so high, that often after reading your articles I’m more demotivated than motivated. I tell myself Arjun you can do it and then I end up on to read a never ending article on writing motivation that would talk about content writing motivation and everything on earth remotely connected to it. You even spoke about the posture, height of the table and distance from the screen. There’s no way I’m even getting close!

    • Benjamin Carter-Riley :

      Don’t be discouraged Ajrun, with practice and hard work you can write better content. I have far to go but I know that if I keep going I will get there. Stay motivated my friend! 🙂

      • Thanks Buddy 🙂 that was my very sarcastic style to actually appreciate what Neil does! (wink) Nice of you to reply mate.

    • Arjun, I would see it as more of a personal challenge. I didn’t mean to cause any added stress.. I would suggest just taking things slowly so that you can get the best results over time. Don’t rush things.

  8. Hello Neil and thank you.

    It’s always nice to read one of your posts and, my being a bit dim, be able to at least understand the theory even if I am a little lax in putting your good advice into practice.

    I am a terrible one for getting into the writing zone and just carrying on. It’s when I finish and then try to stand up. I discover that my legs and arms are locked, and remember that I should have had a break a while back.

    Thank you for your mindful list – have a super weekend.

    • Zarayna, I like that you mentioned “mindful” it’s something that western societies often overlook. It’s important to take a step back to see the bigger picture. Glad you are already using some of these tactics 🙂

  9. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    Awesome information. I think just the idea of going step by step helps a lot too. I started with one post per week, then 2, now 5, and as I go I feel more and more used to it. Basically to be honest with yourself and pick a number you can actually do, otherwise you burn out by the stress of doing more than you can handle.

    As for f.lux…thanks a ton! 🙂

    • Eduardo, I always encourage quality of quantity — you want to produce high quality posts and don’t want to sacrifice quality. Focus on what works and let the scaling and numbers game enter your mind later.

  10. Hey Neil, it’s so ironic that I came here to distract myself from knocking out my latest blog posting task. LOL! God bless you for introducing me to Stay Focused plugin. Just what I needed…

    Anyway, before I get back to my ‘real work’, I just wanted to say what an interesting post. A significant ‘side-step’ from your usual writing themes. Nice detour.

    • Andrea, sounds like I provided the mental break you needed. It’s all about allocating time to doing things that spur creativity.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  11. Oh, and by the way, I find that mindfulness and anxiety management (the roots of a lot of procrastination) can be helped enormously through the use of EFT. Google “Emotional Freedom Technique”.

    Try it. It may look really daft, and sound like the very epitome of psychobabble but, speaking from experience, It’s phenomenal.

    • Andrea, I would love to learn more. If you have any other insights let me know. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  12. “Breaks are not for the weak.”

    That’s true. My boss often drag me off the desk to accompany him walking around for at least one block. Good refreshing for body and brain.

  13. Neil, You always come up with what I need.
    It took me 7 minutes to read this out and then I did the stretches. Now I’m ready to start writing my epic content in no time. I guess this is how you write such long and well explained content. This was a good one indeed.
    Thank You

  14. Sangeetha Menon :

    I make sure that after every hour I get up from the place I sit, go to loo , drink water or do anything that makes me engaged for 10 minutes. It really helps me to break off the monotony of sitting at one place for hours all at once. Once am back am refreshed, motivated and energised!

    • Sangeetha, that’s definitely a great strategy. You have to stay engaged and focused to get the best results. You also needs breaks to refresh the mind.

  15. Another wonderful article. I like the 6 steps system for writing a blog post and shared with my team. So much to learn from you, Neil.

  16. Yes! These are the great ideas! These tips obviously teach help me to create a successful blog post for my blog .Thank you Nail for sharing such a useful post.

  17. Charmaine Beleele :

    What an amazing post! In my 12th year as a blogger, I discovered many of these things the hard way– what a blessing to see them so well organized in one place! Wonderful post!

    • Charmaine, it’s never too late 😉 I am constantly learning new things daily and it’s a fun journey. Let me know if you need any other help along the way.

  18. Hi Neil,

    Again…. a great post! Wonderful to also see you cover the productivity topic with items such as habits and meditation.

    One addition on the habit: A reward is good. A craving is much more powerful(as anyone who’s tried to quit smoking would know).

    On my soon to be launched blog, the first article will cover a technique that will let teach how to produce craving in the mind to reinforce ANY habit.

    Off course, I’ll be applying many of your lessons on this blog!

    Thanks again for all the wonderful insights!

    Regards, Tristan

    • Tristan, glad I could help. Your blog sounds super interesting and I’d love to check it out — keep me updated on progress.

      Let me know which of the tactics work best for you.

  19. Danielle Brown :

    Hi Neil

    Great Article! I have always stuggle with writing good content but after reading this I know It be much easier. I have been thinking that everything we do in business or personal life needs a system and this article was right on time. For me I will start with one section at a time. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  20. For someone who has been diagnosed with adult ADHD, the StayFocusd extension for Chrome works wonders. Thanks Neil!

  21. Chris Hufnagel :

    In the zone! I definitely know what this feels like. Playing soccer for 25 years, I have had my times of in the zone and not in the zone.

    Your recommendation on the plugins that block distracting sites is helpful, love it! Installing those extensions now.


    • Chris, glad to help. Content marketing is just like sport — it takes a lot of concentration to get it write.

      Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  22. Hey Neil,

    Fantastic post, thanks. Definitely going to start using some of these, especially the blog post creation outline.

    I have a quick question for you if you don’t mind. What word-processing program do you use to write and compose your blog posts in?

  23. Walter "Goodsy" Galczynski :

    I thank you immensely for this article. I have been reading, studying and watching tutorials for about 3 years on Internet Marketing. My goal is to start an Internet Marketing business. But, I haven’t felt ready because I have that fear of failure or that I do not know enough. Procrastination in writing content is a huge factor, too. After reading your post – it has really motivated me to start writing. I have been following you for awhile and you are a great teacher. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Walter, thanks for all the support and feedback. If you need help with anything in particular I am always here to help 🙂

  24. Well, as Arjun said, you established some high standards… what if, after meditation, visualization, chair shopping and intensity of display adjusted… the content is still, let’s say “average”.
    The more I read in order to document myself, the more I see that 99% my ideas are already said in better ways that I can do it…and when I decide to write something “my way” I feel like I am cheating, and than I am overwhelmed that nothing original can be said. 🙁

    • Anda, it’s good to establish high standards that you can live up to. My standards may not fit with others but I encourage others to make their own standards. Keep at it and the rest will follow. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  25. Hey Neil

    I am struggling to create content for my blog, even i have the idea for the post, as there is a lack of system and you have just simplified things for me.

    I’ll focus on developing a system and stick to it.

    Thanks, This is really helpful.

    • Viren, glad to help. If you need help with anything else please feel free to reach out. Simplicity really is key. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  26. Best post ever!

    How long did you spend writting this?

    Congratulations, you’re awesome!

    I think this is gonna absolutely change my life…

    Thank you 🙂

  27. Hi Neil!

    Thank you so much for all of your posts, especially this one. My content quality isn’t consistently ‘knock it out of the ballpark’ amazing and I needed to read this one.

    You claimed in this post that, “As far as I know, no one knows how to get “in the zone” at will.”

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discusses actually making getting “in the zone” happen in his book ‘Flow’. Something for you to maybe read?


    • Caroline, Sounds like an interesting topic — I’ll definitely have to check out that book.

      You really have to consciously get in the zone. That’s the challenge.

  28. Thanks a lot Neil!
    This article fits like a glove on everything I was thinking and trying to fina a solution for me this week. It looks like you wrote that to me! 😉 Not just about writing, but as a professional Photographer, it helped me in every aspect of my work in front of the computer.

    • Luiz, glad you liked it. Photography is just like content marketing — it takes creativity, patience and time. You want optimal results from your audience.

  29. Hi Neil,

    To get into the zone immediately, one should try getting into the “here and now” as detailed by Eckhart Tolle. It takes practise, but once mastered, anyone can slip in and out at will

  30. Hi Neil,

    thank you very much for this awesome article.

    Just one question;

    Considering the fact that I’m a beginner at blogging, and English is not my native language, would it be advisable to write up to 3,000-5,000 words(like you do) per blog post immediately?

    I tried, but it took me almost a week just to finish 1 article.

    My goal however, is to write three mammoth/monster articles per week consistently.

    That’s why I’m glad you wrote this article, this would mean a lot to my blogging career in the future.. 🙂

    • Jazzel, anything is possible. The main question to ask is — would you be sacrificing quality? If the answer is yes then stick to shorter articles.

      The key is to provide value to your readers.

      • With that said, I think I’m ready to start writing blog post consistently.

        And the key element that I always have to consider is the “value” and “quality” – regardless the length of the articles..

        thanks Neil..

  31. These Plugins idea is amazing, and I will be implementing it asap. Thank you so much! Times have changed and I feel that today’s marketers have it so much harder, bombarded by competitors’ and other attention stealers on the Internet every minute it seems. Do you also have a suggestion how to deal with constant distractions from the smart phone? Or maybe you wrote a post about it that I missed? I am considering removing several e-mail accounts from my phone, but what to do about Facebook and Instagram? I need them to be able to make my daily posts…But they can pull you in and distract you big time. Any additional advice that helps reduce mental overload and overwhelm for a small business owner would be highly appreciated.

    • Ava, I think the post was pretty comprehensive. You’re right though — I can write a whole post on smart phone usage. That is the biggest distraction people face . I like to put my phone to the side and not look at it when I am having moments of extreme concentration.

      Feel free to reach out anytime!

  32. Jonathan Hamilton :

    Thanks for a great post Neil. I genuinely have no idea how you manage to put so much value into your blog posts so frequently. This really is content worth paying for. I am a Neil Patel convert!

    I am a strong advocate of the motorised desk which allows a choice between sitting and standing and also allows for the height to be ergonomically optimized which is a hidden benefit rarely mentioned.

    Big fan of meditation although I am struggling to build a strong habit to do so regularly. I often find the ‘reward’ is not compelling enough and I can become stuck into a rather introverted circle.

    As Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – this is a good quote to remember when struggling with writers block 🙂

    One day I will actually manage to read through all of your awesome posts Neil 🙂

    Best regards,


    • Jonathan, I wanted to provide some hacks to make working much easier.

      Walt Disney had it write — he was a tenacious guy who worked hard for everything — once you find something you are passionate about the rest will follow 😉

      Thanks for sharing.

  33. Hey Neil, Nice to understand the basics. Thanks alot for your practical steps. I enjoyed reading along with the self explanatory and eye catching graphics.

    Many a times I thought to implement it but fails so. But this article has energized me once again to focus on right activity …in right direction…with right approach.

    Once again thanks alot

    • John, glad to help.

      I think with the right approach anything is possible. Sounds like you have your strategy down pretty solid so keep up the great work and let me know if you need help with anything else.

  34. Great tips Neil! Stay Focused seems like a really useful plugin. Will be using it for my next article. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  35. Writing content is one of the hardest part of operating any website.

    Crafting a post title makes 80% of the job done. All those you will write in the content will now be based on the title which makes writing easier.

    • Gilbert, writing content can be a really tough process — but it’s very rewarding as well.

      The title is the most important part — it’s what captures someone’s eye.

  36. Fabrizio Van Marciano :

    Hi Neil wow I loved the StayFocused app you mentioned at the start of your post, got it installed and hopefully it will help me get more done. I have a serious problem with procrastinating on Facebook and YouTube and it’s been getting out of hand so thanks a ton.

    Never thought of using a system for writing before as well, I’ve always started with a head line title after spending some time scratching my head thinking about what to write next. Love it.

    • Fabrizio, I am sure it will provide a ton of value — let me know how it helps you out specifically.

      Keep up the great work and please make sure to check back in here 🙂

  37. Very helpful post for social media time wasters thank you for guidance.

  38. These are awesome tips. I definitely wonder off to places like Facebook way too often.

    I especially love it when I write out my entire post in headings and bullet points but sadly I often forget to do that so I waste time thinking a lot when writing them out.

    Great post!


    • Esteban — it definitely can be a distraction. I like to outline things so that I don’t lose my train of thought when I drift off. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Going to use the intensity plugin.

  40. Brilliant article. I cannot stop reading your articles man. It just speaks right to the bloggers heart. The distractions, motivation and writing environment.

    You just hit every point hard and real. I am still trying to produce monster posts like yours on a regular basis. Sometimes I hit a snag and its a struggle to get back into the zone.

    Picked up many golden nuggets in this post and I am glad I found Quicksprout.

    Thanks Neil

    • Samuel, time and patience will get you there — just keep at it.

      It took me years to get where I am — failure will help you learn what it takes to succeed.

      I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  41. Hi Neil, you write great articles in a friendly and informative manner.
    This article really hits home with me, ive been working on my site for almost 2 years.
    Not trying to make excuses but i work full time, am a carer for a disabed sibling, have 2 small children (one with special needs) and moved home last year too where alot of my weekends and evening were spent doing repairs on the property so lost almost a year there. You include great advice on writing and i will definetly attempt at least one strategy and go from there.
    One question i had is what 3 personal qualities/characteristics can a person develop that are essential to make it as an online marketer? thanks

    • Shakeel, you seem like a very hard work and because you are asking this question I have no doubt that you will see great success sometime soon.

      Here are three qualities that I think are helpful:
      1. Hard work
      2. Ability to network
      3. Ability to modify your strategy to get the best results

  42. Rajkaran Singh :

    Hi Neil
    This is an awesome new teaching. I too recommend meditation and visualization in my blog as these are highly effective. I wondered how can I write lengthy articles on self improvement but now I got the ideas. You really are a genius.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Rajkaran, glad to help. Sometimes all it takes is to step away from the computer and gather your thoughts to spur creativity. Keep me updated on progress.

  43. The post was terrific Neil… You really pick inigmatic topics that steals thousands of hearts.
    I am very inspired by you & your thoughts. Those inspiration motivated me start my own blog( to Enlighten the thoughts of online marketers. I have learned tons of tricks and techniques from reading your blog & in future more to learn… Thanks again

    • Prakash, glad to help. If you need anything else please let me know. I look forward to hearing more from you and being kept up to date on your progress. Good luck!

  44. Hey Neil, How to use Web 2.0 platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, Weebly etc. to rank my target webpage’s keywords?

    Does Web 2.0 sites help to improve my website’s keyword ranking? If yes then how to use these web 2.0 platforms?

    • Rintu, can you be a little more specific ? The more specific you are with your questions the better I can help 😉

      • Neil, Say my target website url is If I create few subdomain in web 2.0 sites like wordpress, tumblr, weebly etc like:,, and then post niche content on these web 2.0 sites and then linkback to my main target domain…Does it will help to improve my target ( webpages keyword ranking?

  45. Really, Great post Neil. As always you have revealed the secrets of being a good writer. I have learned several things by reading your blogs. Great Job..

    I need a suggestion from you. If I will start a health blogging website then will it be beneficial for me? Through health blog, could I generate money and help people? Thanks in advance…. Kindly suggest me.

    • Shahil, I would suggest writing on a topic that you are passionate about — if health is your passion and you have unique ideas to help people out then I’d say go for it 😉

  46. Again one more post from genius Mr.Neil patel.You have too much knowledge and you are still learning something new everyday.

    Amazing Mr.Neil You are just helping people by your incredible knowledge and Ideas.

  47. Marcio Santos :

    Great post Neil!

    The habit-forming approaches very helpful.

    Also, the note about writing for meaning is very interesting.

  48. Hey Neil,

    This is a very thorough post. Took some time out to read it all. Cut down your post and made a handy guide for myself that summarises all the important points in one page. I’m just going to use that in writing my first blog post for my personal blog.

    Thanks a ton!

    – An avid reader

    • Preetam, glad to help. If you need any specific help along the way don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  49. Good morning Mr. Patel!
    Man, after reading this post, I have several things I’d really like to say to ya’.

    1. Thanks for such an informative and well laid out post! I’ve tried a lot of different things when it comes to websites and making money online (all of which have been unsuccessful), but one thing I remembered through all of it was that I really enjoyed writing.

    With that in mind, I’m currently working on a site / services redesign of my personal brand to focus on this “love for writing” that I’ve discovered about myself. The timeliness of this post was absolutely invaluable to all of this, and I’d really like to say thank you for that.

    2. Neal, I’ve been following you for quite sometime…go back and look if you’d like in Mailchimp to see when I first subscribed to your list… Anyway, my point is this: You are truly gifted in your writing and marketing abilities. Seriously! I can’t remember ever reading anything from you that wasn’t extremely useful!

    What continues to amaze me about you, and more specifically about your writing, is simply how much “stuff” (marketing & general, extremely helpful knowledge — type ‘stuff’), is literally jam packed into each one of these posts!

    I mean, I get it…I really do. One of your primary reasons for writing is because it fuels your business, but there’s more going on than that.

    You also provide an absolutely, ridiculous amount of value for good ole’ “regular” people like myself that are just trying to ‘break in’ to the online business market. Or more specifically in my case, refocus their efforts into a more profitable, sustainable business model.

    In summary,
    Thanks for all the incredibly helpful content, thanks for consistency in an ever-evolving world we call the ‘internet’ and perhaps most importantly thanks for all the hidden gems you include in your posts.

    Have a great day sir!

    Matt Vaden

    P.S. I’m sorry for writing a book in your comments section, but I meant every word of it. Thanks again!

    • Matt — this is much appreciated and I am humbled by your support. No need to apologize — I love in-depth comments and you touched on some valuable points when it comes to how I market. I love writing, as you well know, and I like to do it often. The reason I am so successful is because I have found a way to provide value to my audience. That is the first to any successful content marketing campaign. I look forward to hearing much more from you!

  50. Hi Neil,
    I red this with a little nostalgic smile on my face. I had been a journalist at newspapers and radio stations for about two decades before switching to SEO. I never gave that much of a thought to my process of writing but now thinking back to times when I was able to come up with three stories per day (anywhere from 600 – 2400 characters) I can relate to many of your tips.

    Maybe a few of my own.
    1. A good lead is crucial to any story. If you have a good lead, the story seems to build on itself. Don’t bury the lead somewhere in the middle.
    2. Start thinking about a lead and gather information in advance when you plan more complex stories. I usually start the process up to two days before writing. Writing and gathering info at the same time is never productive.
    3. Write something easy before the main thing to warm up. In my case this means a few short articles (up to 300 characters), a few meta descriptions, just to get me going.
    4. I am always most productive in the morning. With good leads and info in my hand I used to finish before noon, even caught a game of tennis, or jog, before going back home. Rejuvenated I then leisurely started thinking about stories I could do following days, and gathering info… It was a never ending process, yes, but I was most creative like that and it never felt like a hard work. Writing in the morning, gathering info early in the afternoon. That saved me a lot of time.
    5. Don’t pile info in your story just because you have some more left. Being limited by space available is actually a good thing. Decide what is important, make some sort of a frame of what you want to say and leave everything else out. That will save your time too.

    I’ve seen a lot of blogs that lost me half way through.

    Please forgive my English. It is not my native.

    I am looking forward to many more of your stories.

    Best regards
    Iztok from Slovenia

    • Iztok, glad you found it helpful. I feel like a lot of people have lost sight of what great content is. With all the click bait going around lately people have forgotten what truly compelling content looks like. Content is meant to educate and inform.

      I also agree with your points on keeping your content to the point and not overdoing it. Thanks for sharing your insights — I definitely look forward to hearing much more from you.

  51. Does website design matter for the better ranking in search engine?

  52. Excellent article, Neil. If I may add my tuppence about my routine: A hack that I found worked very well to focus and to create a cue is to try to include as many of your sensory organs as possible.

    The most powerful sensory organ to ‘induce’ a cue is the olfactory sense – the sense of smell. I didn’t want to keep a bunch of spices or oils around me so I found the next best one – muscle memory cue. If you couple this with vocal cues, it works extremely well for me.

    Here’s what I suggest: Have a dance routine with a song for a battle cry. You don’t have to do a whole gig. Just have a routine with heavy gesticulating of your hands, tapping your feet, etc. And a nice, peppy song. Works like a charm for me.

    • VS, that’s awesome and a very unique way to do things. Dancing can really get your creative juices flowing — I’ll have to try something out sometime soon. Sometimes to get my focus going I’ll clap or snap my fingers to music, will have to give dancing a try.

  53. One tip.. I’ve tried to use leechblock, but it didn’t work for me. Because if I want to, I could always open up another browser and get to those sites anyway. So… because of this I googled around and found Focalfilter. Google for it, install it and set it up so it’ll block the websites you want for the amount of time you want. Very simple, but much much better than the other ones, because it will block it for ALL browsers.

    • Malachi, thanks for the tips — I’ll have to check it out. If you have any other insights I’d love to hear them. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Thank your for your information Mr. Patel,



  55. Hey Neil,

    This is such a wonderful post. And given that lot of writing is involved for bloggers, I am sure anyone can use these tips.

    I use f.lux and its awesome. Thanks for the recommendation. I also like to batch process stuff and have a system. It takes guess work out of the equation.


    • Jane, glad you liked it. I try to make them as digestible as possible for marketers at any level.

      Keep me posted on your progress – I am sure you can sustain that momentum 🙂

  56. Hi Neil
    I am a newbie in to the field of blogging and i never had wrote some thing that belongs to me. I hope your motivational ideas will be the source of success. I am crediting you for your effort in advance.

  57. Abhishek Jain :

    Hi Neil
    The chrome extension “Stay Focused” is amazing. It is real time savvy and I love to use it while working. Fb cannot distract me while writing 🙂

  58. The struggle is real. Creating content has always been a challenge not just for me, but for most people I know..until they have learned to develop a process, as you have suggested. This fully comprehensive post will surely help a lot in overcoming such challenges. Thank you, Neil!

    • Sarah, glad to help.

      It’s all about creating the right processes to get the best results. People often get caught up in the minor details that don’t matter or push the needle. You have to focus on metrics that matters. Keep me posted on your progress!

  59. Hello Neil,

    I am a new reader of your blogs and I have to say that I am extremely impressed. I get the impression immediately that I will be learning a lot of strategies and techniques to help streamline by effective when it comes to writing content.

    I particularly liked the Apps you suggested in this article, I have already installed and begun utilizing both of them.

    Being productive behind the computer screen is definitely something that I struggle with from time to time as I am sure many others do as well.

    I know I am a great writer that has a lot to offer my readers, and if I could just ramp up the amount of engaging content I am able to produce I could really take things to the next level!

    Thank you for this very informative post and I will be checking back daily to see what else I can learn from you.

    -Matt M.

    • Matt, it definitely sounds like you have a passion for writing. You should cultivate that passion and keep writing — you’ll find that it becomes an addictive habit that will spur on more creativity and contentment.

      Let me know if you need any help or tips along the way.

  60. Hey Neil, as always, great and lengthy post. Really enjoyed it. I’m trying to spend time reading your blog each day now.

    And I’m amazed by your work and your commitment to reply on every single comment. Just wondering how you can manage your time with writing long articles, doing research, replying comments, etc, etc.

    • Shawn, glad to help. I think it’s important to reply and engage with all of my followers to get the best results possible.

      As for time management — I have mastered that 😉

  61. Hello Neil! It was a huge pleasure to see you here in Brazil on the Fire event! I always wanted to meet you personally. As for your articles are always very detailed and practical. I thank you for this in particular because it will help me a lot to improve my productivity when writing articles for my games. Best wishes and keep up the good work! Hugs from Brazil!

    • Jogos, it was a great event and one my favorites. Glad this article helps. Just start writing and the rest will follow. I look forward to hearing much more from you on here.

  62. What about a treadmill desk?

  63. rencontre amoureuse improbable :

    I am genuinely grateful to thhe holder of this wensite who has shared this great paragraph at at this time.

  64. Shahzaib Ahsan :

    Hi Its always a pleasure to read about you. You are a real source of motivation for the people who likes to work online.

  65. Good one. I started writing every morning at 9am after I make my coffee.
    I have coffee while writing, I believe it is a productive habit and I don’t care if others said that coffee isn’t good for my health. LOL. 🙂

    • That’s great Shawn, sounds like you got a good routine going. Coffee isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either

  66. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your
    weblog. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some material for your blog
    in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if
    interested. Regards!

  67. Mamta Singh :

    It’s like you stay “IN THE READERS MIND” with every post of yours. I fall short of words to describe how beautifully you organize and put across any topic to its simplest and most engaging form!

    I recently started my personal blog, while I wasn’t very impressed with the first two posts, but the third one has been much better, and makes me feel so proud!

    Thank you so much for all the inspiration.

  68. Wow! This has to be the best post I have seen on increasing productivity as a writer. I’m so glad I happened upon this, especially as I’m currently struggling to develop a routine! I love the part about the writing structure! Matter of fact, I love every part of this post. Bookmarking this one and even leaving it open on my phone browser for a while so I can fall back to it like everyday.

    Good bless you for this Neil!

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