Blogs are one of the best to develop an online presence both for companies and individuals. There are many technicalities associated with this art form that every content creator manages. Usually, the time required for writing one is subject to debate. Brian Dean (Backlinko) and Vitaly Friedman (Smashing Magazine) take 20 to 25 hours to create a blog post. On the contrary, folks like Jeff Bullas (jeffbullas[.]com) consider an average of 1000 words per hour as their benchmark.
Writing a 1000 word content piece consumes 3 hours and 20 minutes for an average writer. (source: Word Counter) Today, I am going to share my recipe to build a great blog post under 60 minutes or less!
I would like to tell you that these methods require you to be at least an intermediate experience or a fantastic newbie. Don’t worry if you don’t fall into either of the categories. I reckon that this article will help you bridge the distance between long hours to a single, power-packed hour for blog post writing. Buckle up to explore the fast writing hacks with me for one thousand-word blog.
Before You, Ink, Don’t Shudder To Think
Completing an article in such a short period is no joke. It needs a lot of preparation before you lay your hands on the keyboard. Ideally, you need to have a considerable amount of information in your head. Naturally, the subject is known to you, but you shall spend some time in solidarity with your motivation for the content. Spend some time thinking about the broader outline and key takeaways for the readers.
Statistic Time: Blogging increases the chances of getting ROI by 13 times. (source: HubSpot)
One of the most widely acclaimed methods followed by writers is going offline to stroll in the city or simply shower. Social Media like Quora and Reddit also work like a charm. On a technical note, SEO tools like Moz, SEMrush, Google’s Keyword Planner or Hubspot are the best players on the turf of keyword research. Pour in your dedication throughout the preparation phase.
Building Conceptual Layout
Begin with identifying the value propositions and curate an ideal content structure. When you are done with that, place the important highlights in the structure along with your take on the narrative. I don’t mean to plan elaborately, but to devise a game plan for making things more predictable for you. It is imperative to increase the writing speed since most of you’ll be thinking most of the time.
An average person writes around 50 words per minute which translate to 20 minutes for typing. The remaining 20 minutes is exactly where you can squeeze the time with your strategic gameplay.
Pro Hack: Maintain an excel sheet containing all relevant statistics you come across throughout your writing career. It acts as a reliable cheat sheet for future reference, saving you tonnes of time spent on researching stats over and over again. I also suggest grouping them based on relevant categories.
Now that you have understood the backstage preparations, hop on to the cooking time.
Developing Content In Easy Steps
Minutes 1–20: Divide the content into 4–6 main sections depending on the subject. In each section, write a rough patch with a probable area you can call attention to. Find a relevant statistic to make your point more concrete for the readers. Don’t focus on editing and foolproofing work as it kills your productivity. I also find that emphasizing perfection often absorbs our creativity and ideas.
Also, fetch some relatable images from either your collection of paid stock photos or simply get them from sites like Unsplash, pixabay or pexels. Write as much as you can in the first twenty minutes and you can cut down the fat in the second phase. In the last couple of minutes, go through the information you penned down. Use the classic journalist approach of the five Ws and one H to check relevance for your target audience.
Minutes 20–35: Now, pick one paragraph at a time. I usually skip the introduction and conclusion while applying this content recipe. You shall read the paragraphs and recognize the fat in the content. I know that the word count isn’t good enough for any removal, but you still need to reduce vague sentences. Now, google the particular context you have discussed and look out for explanations to different narratives. Drawing analogies is another way to improve the experience of readers without mishandling their attention.
Congruence to your central idea is vital to writing an article that pleases the audience. At the end of the second phase, you will notice that the article seems to materialize. Read your second draft and fetch statistics that back your opinion. In most cases, I prefer giving at least 3–5 statistical proofs to back my content. You shall use stats in your cheat sheet from renowned sources as it helps develop trust and ups your SEO game too.
Market Insight: Almost half of the buyers (43%) will go on to read anywhere between 3 to 5 blogs before approaching the sales team. (source: Impact)
Minutes 35–50: Remember that we skipped the starting and ending portions? It’s time to target them now. This phase is similar to mirror-imaging as you have to first curate the introduction and conclusion as per the main body and vice versa. This will require you to add more words in each section to rationalize the content.
Before this, most of the paragraphs will have nearly 70–80% of the required length. Increasing the word count to add relevant information and connect one line with the next is the principal motivation behind this phase. Try to establish consistency between all paragraphs to streamline the flow of your blog post.
Minutes 50–55: It’s touch up time! And I am talking about the SEO makeover of the blog. Firstly, optimize the readability with the help of tools like Grammarly. It saves a lot of time and provides suitable suggestions to rev up the process. Next, check the keyword density of the text using tools like wordcounter(.)net to avoid unintentional keyword stuffing. Lastly, put on the header tags to assemble the final content piece.
Minutes 55–60: This is a crucial phase for post-production work. Go through the content and decide the category, tags, and other site-specific details. Moreover, internal linking is one of the must-have features for any blog post and it’s also good for your SEO. Add highlights of the blogs in the form of bullet lists and tabulate data wherever it makes sense to do so.
“If you are caught between Speed and Perfection, choose speed. Perfection will follow.” — Sunil Bharti Mittal
It is an iterative process as you would have recognized. Even this very article discusses the preparation till the midway. I want you to understand that writing at such a pace requires you to focus only on agility. Competition is increasing in blogging as the USA alone expects to home 31.7 million bloggers in 2020. So you can’t cope with information to outperform them every time you write an article. No blogger knows A to Z on any particular subject. It’s not even our job to know everything, so just look out for common issues.
Whether you are writing the content piece in one hour or one week, the extraterrestrial perfection is never going to exist. So, focus on adding as many spicy value propositions as you can while delivering the blog post with this 60-minute recipe.