10 Ways to Blog Better, Faster

What would your day be like if you could write better blog posts in half the time?

Does it take you an hour (or longer) to write a blog post?

Do you sit down to write and end up frustrated at how much time you’re putting into your blog?

Blogging doesn’t have to be that way.

You can blog well in less time if you know how to approach it and have a few of these strategies in your bag of tricks.

1. Be Yourself & Write What You Know

Trying to blog like someone else usually just causes frustration.  Not only will it take you longer, but it will destroy your own creativity and voice if you try to fit yourself into someone else’s mold.  It’s okay to “sound” like you!

Part of being you is writing what you know.  If you’re blogging about a topic you know little or nothing about, expect it to take a while since you’ll have to research everything thoroughly before you publish.  If you pick a topic that you know about you’ll find it much easier to write quality content quickly.

2. Let Go of Perfection

That crazy impulse that drives you to proofread and edit your post for the 37th time… you have to get control of it.  Stop at the 36th proofreading run, okay?

It’ll save amazing amounts of time if you accept now that at some point you’re probably going to accidentally publish a typo, say something you need to edit later, or even change your mind about a stance you’ve taken.  You don’t have to get it all right all the time.  The world will not end if your blog isn’t perfect, I promise.

3. Practice Short & Be Flexible

Some posts might hit 1,000 words because the topic demands it and some posts will necessarily take more time and research than others.  But not every post needs to be that long.  Sometimes short and sweet can get your point across best.  Practice writing shorter posts.

This will also free you to jump in and write a blog post when you’ve got the inspiration and a few minutes, instead of waiting until you’ve got an hour or two blocked off for blogging.

Allow yourself room to try different post lengths and styles.

4. Use Templates

This is a “Top 10”  or “10 Tips” style post.  I chose the headline and format before I started blogging.  And it made this post much easier to write.

Here are some free blog post (and article writing) templates you’ll find helpful:

5. Be Inspired by Others

Are you reading other blogs?  Choose at least a few successful blogs to subscribe to and read regularly — it’ll help you generate ideas and give you a model of what works that you can learn from.

6. Keep a Notebook

Ideas are everywhere.  Start paying more attention to what’s around you and you’ll soon find that you “see” blog ideas in everything from your cats to the mailman to the plant on your desk.  Write them down as soon as they come to mind and then you’ll have a constant list of content ideas to draw from when it’s time to write.

7.  Don’t Limit Yourself to Text

Video, audio, graphics — there are lots of options for blog posts.  Don’t limit yourself to writing text, especially if you aren’t a fast typist.  Maybe video blogging or audio blogging is a better option or a good way to give your fingers a break from time to time.

8. Improve Important Skills

Identify what takes you the longest when you blog, and work to improve on it. For example:

  • Type slow? Improve your typing speed with a typing class. Or try voice to text programs that type what you speak.
  • Too much time researching? Speed up your research by bookmarking the best sites for it so they’re at your fingertips.
  • Challenged to come up with ideas? Keep a list of brainstormed blog post ideas.
  • Frustrated by no comments and it’s got you feeling like not writing anything new? Join a comment tribe, blogging group, form a comment circle with friends, comment on other blogs.
  • Not sure how to promote your posts? Research once and create a promotion plan, then follow it for each new post.
  • Don’t understand WordPress (or your blogging software)? Take a class or find a mentor and learn it.
  • Can’t find perfect photos? If you’re spending 20 or 30 minutes searching free photo sites, consider just using royalty free photos instead from StockFresh or Dreamstime – if it saves 30 minutes, it’s worth the $1 or $2.  Or look at plugins like Zemata or PhotoDropper.

All of these present an upfront investment of time, some a few minutes and some longer, that will more than pay off in the long run.

9. Blog in Series/Batches

Instead of brainstorming a new idea every day, try choosing a theme and writing a series on it.

If you write 5 posts on the same topic in one writing session, you’ll find it’s usually a lot quicker than if you were to write 5 posts on different topics on 5 different days.

Series are a great way to draw readers back and add subscribers to your blog, too.

10. Use a Blogging Calendar

A blogging calendar can help you get organized. I tend to go old fashioned and brainstorm out my posts ideas on a printed calendar.  Here’s how I plan mine: https://www.michelleshaeffer.com/how-planning-your-blog-content-can-make-blogging-easier-and-draw-more-regular-readers/2010/10/05/

I use the Editorial Calendar Plugin for WordPress.  It allows me to see on one screen what posts I’ve got coming up and easily move them around.

Bonus Tip: Drink More Coffee.

Okay, I’m not totally serious on that one.  But do reward yourself!  My reward of choice is usually Starbucks.  Yours can be whatever you want.

Your Turn!

What helps you blog better, faster?  Do one of these tips work for you, or got another tip to add?  Share in the comments!

Photo credit: Andresr at StockFresh

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57 Comments

  1. If I drink any more coffee, my blood will be brown!

    1. LOL Mine just might be, too, Roy.

  2. 10 Ways to Blog Better, Faster…

    What would your day be like if you could write better blog posts in half the time? You can blog well in less time if you know how to approach it and have a few of these strategies in your bag of tricks….

  3. I often use mind mapping as a way to organize my ideas and you can download one for free. It just flows much easier. I also use a software that keeps track of the time I spend on each task. There’s something about having a “time limit” that makes me not sweat the little stuff (your 2nd point: letting go of perfection). These help me quite a bit. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Mind mapping is a great tip. I use Freemind sometimes (http://freemind.sourceforge.net) and it works really well.

      And timers are awesome. I need to use a timer more often!

  4. Hey Michelle

    I have the drink more coffee nailed! Love the point about the length of posts. I tend to get a bit hung up on this one, but the real reason we blog is to get our point across right? So if we can do that in 100 words then so be it! Audio is also another favorite of mine, they are so quick and easy to pump out, and there is the connection people make with you from hearing your voice.

    No excuses this week now, it’s time to pump out some blog posts!

    Cheers Beanie

    1. Exactly! I get hung up on length too so that’s one I’m consciously working on. :) Edit, edit, edit…

      Love that enthusiasm – no excuses!

  5. LOL at the coffee tip, Michelle. :-D I apparently didn’t have enough this morning when I read Roy’s comment over at my blog. Thank goodness you brought your caffeinated self over to explain things. :-)

    I like the theme approach. I tend to forget about that one. See, there was one brain cell left that caught that. Thanks for sharing your ideas, Michelle.

    1. My brain requires caffeine to jump start. lol I hope what I wrote made sense over there. :)

      Themes are fun! I enjoy watching/reading series on blogs.

  6. Those are great tips, Michelle!! I love my blog calendar. And your reminder about perfection is a good one, too. Also, blogging in batches. I love to do that sometimes on weekends and get a whole week of blogging done.

    1. I do the same, Jeanine. And those are about the only weeks I end up with a post every day. :)

  7. Excellent tips and advice here Michelle! Blogging has become a favorite thing for me because I am able to not let it get the best of me. It really is all about thinking of what inspires you, tips that can help others or sharing some really good info you found on other sites.

    I am finding that images play an important role on the ‘attraction’ of getting others to read the post. Especially if it is eye catching and even a bit odd…. whatever works, right?!

    I look forward to sharing your article with my fan, followers and client. Good work!

    1. Hey Lynn, thanks so much for sharing it. :)

      That’s the approach I take too, very relaxed, and it works well for me.

      Images are a great way to draw attention. I love blogs that have creative images or ones that make me stop and read because I have to find out what that image is about.

  8. I need to work on making it short. I often get carried away and want to say it all. But I’m working on it..

    Jotting down ideas is one I’m good at. My phone note application has an endless list of post ideas waiting to be completed. Lots of writing to do.
    Thanks for sharing..

    1. Ikenna, I’ve found it helpful when I just have to share more to split it into multiple posts. I do that at least a couple times a month and it works for me because I’ve got two or three posts instead of one and I still get to say everything I wanted to say. :)

      Awesome on the list. That’s a great help for blogging when those ideas are right there ready for us when we’re ready to write.

  9. Great post! It’s one that will come in really handy for me, as I just finished moving and have quite a bit of blogging work to catch up on. One thing that I’ve found with my blog, is that the drafts section is my best friend. As soon as I think of a new idea for a post, I create a draft for it, so that way when I’m inspired or I find more information on a certain topic, I can immediately add it to the draft. More often than not, by the time it’s time to post a new article, I already have one 3/4s of the way completed, so all that is left to do is finalize and polish.

    I’m especially a big fan of your drink more coffee tip. It comes in handy for me many times! ;)

    1. Yes, it does come in handy. Many of my posts are fueled by caffeine. :)

      Smart way to use your drafts section.

      Hope the unpacking goes smoothly and life is back to normal soon for you.

  10. I love your idea of blogging on a topic for the week. I started doing that a few months back and it does speed up the writing process. Thanks for introducing me to PhotoDropper in this post. Didn’t know about that.

    1. I’ve enjoyed the series you did on communication (and I really should go leave you some comments – the one about what we say and what we mean was awesome).

      Isn’t that a neat plugin? I just found it. :)

  11. These are all great tips. The letting go of perfection is the one I need to work on most. I use a blog calendar and a notebook with ideas. I’m learning wordpress now and I think the key is to always be open to learning and trying new things.

    1. Yes! Totally agree. It’s a continual learning process and each step forward we take moves us in the direction of success. :)

  12. i love blogging – as its my passion I can post a blog within 20-30 minutes and that is from the moment I have researched the keywords, formatted my post, added images and the tags, keywords formatted and even chosen what category to write in! Then I press the “Finish” key and submit my blog post to the important areas for SEO purposes. I have six blogs, and could easily write on many more :) Its a matter of like you say, writing from the heart and being passionate about a topic. That is what makes a great blogger.

    Cheers
    Lisa

    1. HI LIsa,

      So tell me…If you have six blogs….do they all have different names or are they all under one heading and just different categories? I’m just getting started and I feel like I need more than one, but everyone says one will be enough but the areas of interest are totally different. Just wondering how you manage it.

    2. Sounds like you’ve got a great system that’s working well for you, Lisa. Love it!

      Robin, if you’ve got totally different areas of interest that don’t tie together I’d go with separate blogs personally – better for your readers (so they know what to expect where) and SEO as well. Should also help make it easier to promote/advertise if each blog is focused on a particular topic. My two cents anyway. :)

      1. Do you have seperate ones? Or just one? How often do you post to each?

        1. I have in the past, and might in the future, but for now I’m just focusing on one. :)

  13. Yes and Yes to your second and third question! Thanks for the tips… my motto now is go with ‘good enough’ and cut yourself some slack. I found it interesting when you said to edit after. Not long ago I posted and a reader commented and it made me realize it was misinterpreted…so I immediately edited it. No one died :) Thanks Michelle!!

    1. Yep, it’s happened to me, too. I proofread and edit before posting but sometimes things still slip through and I have to go back and edit. The only casualty so far has been my a little bit of my ego. ;)

  14. LOL! I love the bonus tip! I like to use a blogging calendar and write series posts. I definitely find that I write faster when I’m inspired and when I write about what I know. Darren Rowse’s tip about brainstorming off of existing blog titles is a great help too.

    1. Yes! That’s a great tip, Leanne.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  15. Love it Michelle. Always happy to get information on improving my blogging ability. :)
    Dee Britton recently posted… The Joys Of Working From HomeMy Profile

  16. Great post. Getting rid of perfectionism and being yourself I think are both major points. I find setting a time limit to write my posts helps with both of those.

  17. Thanks for the tips. I especially like the idea of blogging in series or batches. I may just give that a try during the challenge.
    Bonnie Anderson recently posted… A Proper Tea Room?My Profile

    1. I find that particular tip helps me a lot. Any time I set aside time to blog in a batch, the rest of the week goes SO much smoother.

  18. Just a big thank you for the post. As a more or less newbie to blogging I loved it when I get to read such a lot of “concentrated” help. Yes a big thanks!!!

    1. You’re welcome, Coffeegirl (love your username). :)

  19. Thanks Michelle, I just wanted to let you know that I was checking my junk box this morning to make sure I wasn’t missing something, and there was this article. After reading it I immediately took you out of junk and into the all important inbox. These are really great tips! Thank you so much for all that you do and I will be watching for your emails.

    Much Love to You,
    Morgan Dragonwillow
    Morgan Dragonwillow recently posted… The In BetweenMy Profile

    1. Thanks for rescuing me from the junk mail box, Morgan. :)

  20. Great post! I learned so much from it. Thanks for sharing and your visit for UBC

    Angela

    1. Thanks Angela, glad it was helpful. :)

  21. Thanks it’s realy helpful!
    BoomZik recently posted… Kristin Wiig Set for Passion Project ImogeneMy Profile

  22. Thanks so much for sharing… great stuff
    adnan recently posted… The Money Hub: How to make money online?My Profile

  23. 10 Ways to Blog Better, Faster…

    What would your day be like if you could write better blog posts in half the time? You can blog well in less time if you know how to approach it and have a few of these strategies in your bag of tricks….

  24. Lots of great ideas! Especially #4 about using template. Thanks, Suzcat@PAYROLLPUNKROCK
    Sue Ellen recently posted… Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)My Profile

  25. Thanks for all the great info. I am a newbie at blogging and I spend waaaay too much time trying to find good content. Love the calendar, timer and mind mapping ideas. Thanks all for sharing.
    Leslie recently posted… New Balance ShoesMy Profile

  26. Great topic, VERY helpful insight for me, as a new Blogger.
    Dyrene Bell recently posted… 4 Random things about meMy Profile

  27. Thank you. Your ideas and motivation is the only thing keeping me going. I’m going to try a few of the ideas above. Blessings to you Michelle!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Trisha, I’m happy to hear this was motivating for you. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  28. For me, it makes a huge difference if I know the opening line, a story I want to tell, or the main premise. Sometimes, that’s the hardest part to come up with. Once I know what I’m going for, then the words usually flow out pretty fast.

    1. That’s cool, Jamie. One of the most interesting things is learning about the different styles and strategies that work for bloggers. I think those who are great at processing through storytelling often do great if they just have that spark of inspiration to get started. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Easy Way to Create Your Own InfographicsMy Profile

  29. Michelle,

    it’s so strange that the things you need just apppear. I love the templates because they help you organize a post or article. Usually, I organized my post on the fly. I know this is bad and time consuming. I wanted to do and post on how to write articles and was going use the template I learned in school.

    it goes like this: Intro: Tell what your going to tell them
    Body: Tell them
    Conclusion: Tell what you told them

    I want to say thank much. These template are going to take my writing to a different level. And I believe I will save time in editing.

    Thanks

    Mike
    Mike Cleveland recently posted… Where are all the leads gone? Good ones anywayMy Profile

    1. Templates do make it so much easier. And the one you’ve shared here is great for really reinforcing the learning in a post — can’t miss what the key lessons were when you tell them what you’ll tell them, then tell them, the tell them what you told them.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  30. Just learned about and installed the editorial calendar. It’s a great tool.
    Thanks.

    1. Awesome. That’s one of my favorite plugins for sure. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Smart Ways to Keep Your Content ConsistentMy Profile

  31. I like this one very much especially about writting in series.
    Shelly Ann Black recently posted… Daring MyselfMy Profile

    1. That’s a big time saver for me, personally. I love when I can create a series and sit down and create a week or two worth of posts at once. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Shelly.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Promote Your Blog Posts (Video)My Profile

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