A lot of my friends who have blogs often struggle with updating their content as often as they’d like. It’s a mental trap really because you know your posts won’t be very good if you aren’t inspired to write them, but at the same time, you can’t get inspired to write them when you don’t feel like you have enough time. If you’ve ever been caught in this situation, you know you have three choices. You can either ask a guest writer to write a post for your blog, you can decide not to update your blog at all, or you can learn how to be more efficient with your writing.
Richard and I each write three posts every day for Bit Rebels, and we’ve done that 7 days a week for several years now. People often ask me how we are able to keep up that pace since they think there must be some secret to it. As much as I’d like to say there is some secret sauce to doing that, there really isn’t. It’s just about creating habits which make the process much faster and more efficient than it is for most people. I feel sure most bloggers who write multiple posts everyday would agree with me on that.
It’s like when you have to get ready for a big meeting. If you already know what you are going to wear, if your shoes are already polished, and if you have everything laid out and all you have to do is put it on, you can get ready for your meeting in like 20 minutes, right? However, if you have to stand in front of your closet searching for the right suit, if you have to rummage through your shoes to find a matching pair, and if you have to find and write down the address for your GPS, it can take you an hour to get ready for the same meeting. Most bloggers who write quality posts quickly and efficiently have just found a way to stay on top of the details, that’s all.
So what kind of things can you do ahead of time? It varies. I will share with you what I do. First of all, not all your content has to be original. It is completely appropriate in the blogosphere to share what you find on another site. All you have to do is write about it from your own perspective and include a “via” at the bottom with a link to the source. Knowing that not everything has to be original should make you feel more at ease and make the process faster.
As I surf the Interwebz each day, if I happen to see something that I think our readers will like, I’ll instantly put that link in a document saved to my desktop. Doing that takes almost no time. I do the same thing with images that I’d like to use someday.
Since I do this, when I actually sit down to write my posts each day, I never have to struggle to find content (or images) to write about because I have an ongoing list of things I’ve found. All I have to do is make the decision about whether I’m in the mood to write original content or if I’m going to choose one of the topics sitting on my desktop. Then I just immediately go into the writing process.
When I start writing, I don’t stop. If I have to research something, I’ll put a line or something to mark that place in the post, but I write the whole thing at once. It only takes about 15 or 20 minutes to write a post when you are not worried about editing during the writing process. Then comes the only time consuming part of the process, and that is adding the images. Although it can be a pain, it’s a fact that the quality of the images on your blog will affect how many readers share you content. I drop the images into the post, add the links, write the title and then round one is officially finished.
Next is the editing. This is where you will read your post out loud word-for-word and make any corrections that are necessary. For me, reading it out loud is really important because I have a lot of noise in my head. Reading it out loud forces me to deliberately check each sentence carefully.
This whole process from start to finish takes me about one hour (sometimes a little less). Blogging doesn’t have to be a big time suck. More importantly than all this though is your level of dedication. It’s about the commitments you make to yourself. If you make a promise to yourself that you will update your blog three times a week, how do you handle it if you don’t actually do that? What is your level of dedication?
One way to increase your dedication is to have a collaborative blog with other people. That way, if you don’t do it, it’s not just you that you are letting down. It’s also the people who are depending on you to get the job done. That right there is incentive enough for me to write when I don’t feel like it (we all have those days). I was impressed by this infographic called 8 Secrets To Writing Faster Blog Posts by j6 design. It’s one of the first ones I’ve seen on this topic that really hits the mark in so many ways. What are some of the ways you optimize the time you spend writing your blog posts? I hope you find this helpful. Good luck!