Speedy Fast Blog Posts

Yesterday’s blog post took about 10 minutes.  When I tell people I can blog in 10 minutes, they usually roll their eyes (yes, I *can* see you through your computer screen!) and tell me maybe I can but they can’t.  Yes you can, if you know how.  In today’s post I’ll share with you how to create a speedy fast blog post that’s still valuable to your readers.

First, a caveat.  This is not a great strategy for every post.  Think of this like the Chinese food or pizza you order out for once or twice a month.  It’s *awesome* as a treat (and a break from cooking) but it would get old fast if you ordered out every night, and be a little unhealthy.  Or, I suppose it would.  I haven’t tested that theory yet myself… shrimp fried rice I think I could eat every night for a week at least before I got tired of it… but I’m off topic.

So this is a “emergency! no time to blog but got to keep publishing consistently” strategy.

I spent the weekend away from home.  And as co-host of a blog challenge happening right now, I need to keep blogging.  While I ‘ve got lots of half-written posts, I didn’t have anything ready to go (first mistake!).  I usually put in 20-30 minutes, unless I’m doing a step by step or really involved post in which case it might be an hour or two.  But I didn’t have that kind of time.

So instead I thought about the fact that lately Monday has felt this way for me — overwhelming and not sure what to focus on.  That was step 1: identify a topic.

Then I took about a minute to think of who pops in my mind as an expert at organization and productivity.  Couple names popped into my head and I went for Sandra Martini.  If you haven’t met her yet, either virtually or in real life, you want to know her.  She’s one of those people who can throw something at you in such as way that it seems so brilliantly obvious, and you know it will work, but somehow you were missing it.  I had the privilege of hearing her speak at Nancy Marmolejo‘s I Heart My Biz Conference and she was full of helpful information.  So step 2 was identify an expert.

Next I went in search of articles she’s offered for reprint.  I started at www.EzineArticles.com and put her name in the search box.

From the results I chose her *profile* page (not any of her articles yet).  You can identify the main author page by looking for this: “Author Name – EzineArticles.com Expert Author” in the listings.

Then I scrolled down to the bottom of her profile page where it lists articles by *topic* or category and I looked for the right category and clicked it.

That brings me directly to articles Sandra’s written about “Business Productivity” and from there I was able to find a great article that was helpful to me and that I could share with my blog readers. 

Step 3: Using the strategy of “search name, choose topic, choose article” saves me time and clicks at EzineArticles and takes me straight to what I want.

Step 4 was to surf over to StockFresh where I prefer to license images from and put “monday” into the search box.  Going for speed I forced myself to choose an image from the very first page of results and purchase for use on my blog post.  I could have found a free image or maybe a “better” image but I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes searching free photo sites or looking through options.

Finally I uploaded the image, wrote a quick intro, pasted in Sandra’s article, and viola!  Blog post done, helpful content for my readers, and only a few minutes of my time.  Did you catch the post?  See it here: It’s Monday. Do You Know Where Your Focus Is?

Recap of the strategy:

  1. Identify a topic
  2. Identify an expert
  3. Go find an article for reprint on the topic by the expert
  4. Find a photo to go with it
  5. Write the intro, put it all together, and publish

Like I said, you don’t want to do this constantly.  Blogging successfully means putting in the time and energy to get results.  But once in a while it’s a nice way to get a fast blog post in AND introduce someone awesome to your blog community.

Do you reprint articles on your blog?  What other strategies do you use to knock out those “emergency!” fast blog posts?

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  1. I’ve done this for my newsletter before, and it’s nice to showcase those who influence me.
    Great reminder that we can go for the fast fix and still be authentically awesome! ;-)

    1. Yes, works well for newsletters, too. I find most blogging strategies are so helpful in other “content needed” situations, too – article marketing, newsletters, etc. I enjoy sharing those who influence and help me — I know if they’re helpful for me then it’s worth helping others find those people.

  2. One of the things I am going to start doing more is taking a question that a client or potential client asks me via email. I get a lot of these. Then I can turn that question and response into a post.

    If one client is asking the question, others will want to know the answer as well. Easy content.

    Great post as always Michelle.

    1. Still trying to figure out why my picture doesn’t always appear when I make a comment on a blog and it is driving me crazy. Any suggestions?

      1. For blogs using Gravatars, the email address you comment with has to exactly match the one you’ve got setup at Gravatar.com. Do you maybe use different email addresses to comment? Or the other thing is that some blogs use Disqus instead of Gravatar, or another avatar system. This post might be helpful for you: https://www.michelleshaeffer.com/smile-with-your-blog-comments/2011/07/04/

    2. Definitely a great strategy, Candace. I find when I answer client questions those posts get more search engine traffic, too. If one person is wondering, more are too. The great thing about questions is that when we’ve got the question we don’t have to brainstorm an idea to post about or wonder if readers will find it helpful. We know they will. :)

  3. I usually spend way too much time searching for a picture to go with my post. Sometimes it takes me longer to find the picture than to write the post.

    Thanks for the reminder that time is valuable and that it makes more sense to buy a picture (of the first page), than to search forever for a free one.
    Daphne Bousquet, CMP recently posted… Seminar Marketing On A BudgetMy Profile

    1. I really have to watch myself or I do too, Daphne. It’s easy to just start looking and keep looking… and then realize it’s been 20 minutes… oops!

  4. I found StumbleUpon and I love that site. Just a short little bit about a site you might like. It’s something fresh and light. Which I decided would be something wonderful to share with my readers. So about once a week, I share a site that I found and enjoyed browsing through. Just a simple link and maybe something I like about it, with a pic from their home page.
    Jennifer Radtke recently posted… Been tagged by Noah’s Crazy Ark. Now you’re it Rayne And Roses~Analisa Rose Boutique~At Home Moma~Lundela – porcelain beads, jewelry and baubles~Wearable Art ~ Huggable Friends…have a fantastic day!My Profile

    1. Hi Jennifer, that’s another excellent way to get a quick but helpful post done. :)

  5. Speedy Fast Blog Posts…

    In a time crunch? Here’s one of my “emergency” fast blog post strategies to help keep consistently great content on my blog on the days when I’m just out of time. Plus, several more great ideas are shared in the comments….

  6. when I fist saw the title, I thought you’re going to share a technique to help us write articles faster. I stumbled upon a nice technique a while ago. it’s called pomodoro technique. what you basically to is focus 25 minutes on a specific thing, but you only focus on that, you don’t let other things distract you. there are also some nice full-screen text editors that can help you write your posts without being distracted. you can try them;)
    Iulian Lita recently posted… SEO, SEM, Web Analytics: retrospectiva saptamanii 30 mai – 5 iunieMy Profile

    1. Focus makes a huge difference, doesn’t it? I find the full screen mode for editing helps, too. Thanks for sharing those tips, Iulian.

  7. Thanks for the great tip. I’ve never thought of going to ezine articles to find one on a subject to share with my readers.
    Nancy Rose recently posted… So exactly what is QuintessenceMy Profile

    1. With a name like “EzineArticles” our first thought is probably always going to be for our ezines. :) But they do allow us to reprint up to a certain # of articles per year per website as well. And there are articles on sites like SelfGrowth, GoArticles, WAHM-Articles, too.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Weekend Fun: 101 Awesome Marketing QuotesMy Profile

  8. Great tip Michelle. I’m finding myself in the same boat now that I’m back from vacation with a lot to catch up on. Thanks for spelling out a quick solution to needing a blog post fast!
    Catherine Bruns recently posted… Are You Missing Your True Calling?My Profile

    1. Welcome back! Hope you had a great vacation, Catherine. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Blog Post Brainstorming Made EasierMy Profile

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