UGH, your calendar alert just notified you that it’s that dreadful time of the week/month/quarter(eek!) when you’re due to write the next blog post. You scheduled it in your calendar, which means you have time to do it, but it’s just that it takes so long, and it’s so frustrating. If only you could figure out how to write blog posts faster.
This nightmare scenario, my friends, is a common complaint among my clients and why they seek me out.
Why is it so difficult?
Because writing isn’t easy, even for professionals! What’s more? Most people sit down to write, having done no or very little planning. It’s no wonder blog posts sit unpublished in their CMS!
Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s an easier way. In this post, I’ll help you write your blog posts faster by sharing 5 simple steps to relieve you of the pressure and make writing easier.
I will preface the following tips by saying creating a content plan at least 60 days out is ideal for executing a strategic 360-degree marketing plan. #Goals, I know!
Good news: I’ve written this post with the planners and non-planners alike in mind.
STEP #1 – CHECK IN WITH YOUR BIZ GOALS
If you have a content plan, you will have your idea or content theme set. But if you don’t, the next best move is to think about how this post can support your business goals or meet your customers where they are.
For example, suppose I’ve recently created an (amazingly helpful!) lead magnet. In that case, my content strategy for the short-term includes promoting it on various marketing channels. I will write blog posts that align with the offer I’m promoting to pique interest in my offer and offer value to my readers.
Ideally, your post should always have an immediate goal (the promise you are trying to deliver on in the article) and support a larger business goal.
STEP #2 – BRAINSTORM IDEAS
Once you’re clear on the goal you’re supporting, it’s time to put your ideas into action. What type of post would best deliver on your promise? What are the supporting ideas or subtopics that best illustrate your promise.
If you’re stuck for ideas, take five minutes and ask yourself what would resonate most with your audience in the moment.
Here are some ideas:
- addressing customer questions
- customer success stories
- celebrating a stellar employee
- corporate social responsibility initiatives
- educational/inspirational/experiential content
A quick Google or Pinterest search for ideas will give you more than you need. Save them all for when you’re in a crunch (aka the next blog post)!
Want my comprehensive how-to guide and Signature Blog Post Outline template? Download my free guide
STEP #3 – WRITE OUT A DETAILED OUTLINE
Are you still with me? I hope so because this is the most important step to writing blog posts faster. A comprehensive outline in which you plot your blog post will set you up for success.
Before you begin to write, fill out the corresponding information below. Then use it as a guide to structure your post and hit on all your key points.
- Working Title –
- Keywords for SEO –
- Promise – what will the reader learn/discover/feel by reading the post
- Body Paragraphs – subtopic for each body paragraph and supporting points
- Conclusion – revisit the promise you made in the introduction. Did you deliver on it? If so, sum up the points you made in the paragraphs.
- Call-to-Action – what do you want the reader to do next? Click on another page on your website? Sign up for your newsletter. Tell them here and make it easy for them to do with links.
The beauty of the outlining process is that it allows you to think through the post beforehand, and get all your ideas down. If done thoroughly, you will only need to add full sentences and transition phases to make it flow.
STEP #4 – WRITE FIRST. THEN EDIT.
When I discovered Grammarly, one of my favourite free writing tools (learn my other free favourites here), I have to admit; I became addicted. I’m such a writer geek that I would bang out a few paragraphs, paste them into the analyzer and anxiously await for my score.
It was THE WORST THING I COULD HAVE DONE.
Writing is hard enough without breaking up your flow. Allow yourself to get the words down, then go back and edit.
That said, editing is one of my favourite parts of the writing process because I’m merciless. You may be hesitant to cut the words you just fought to get out. I recommend using Grammarly or Hemingway as your editors (honest recommendations – no affiliate links here!). They’re the next best thing to a real person.
Finally, your last step in editing should be the headline. In the outline I detailed above, I included the working title as a guide to help you decide on the post format (How-To / List Post / Comparison Post). You will want to refine your headline based on the final draft only after you’ve finished writing.
STEP #5 – DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT
Hallelujah! Weight lifted. Perfection was something I struggled with as a new business owner. Me at 2 am: OMG, I emailed my subscribers, and there was an extra space after a period in paragraph …
Remember, we are our most formidable opponents when it comes to the perfection game. People are reading and finding value in your content; not critiquing it!
Think about how it would feel to write blog posts quickly and confidently. You’re almost there! That’s right, those days of calendar appointment dismissals are over because you’ve got the outline, my friend. Use it wisely!