An Essential Guide to Writing Fast and Effective Blog Posts

If you write a blog, it’s important to updateit regularly with new and engaging content. Fresh content keeps your readers engaged and highlights your professionalism. It’s also important from an SEO perspective.

You have more opportunities to use keywords in a natural way, and your pages will be indexed more frequently, leading to higher rankings in search engines.

However, it can be difficult to produce effective content regularly and efficiently. Whether you update your blog daily, weekly or monthly, you may find yourself dreading the days when you have to produce a new post. Staring at a blank screen for hours on end is neither appealing nor productive.

The good news is, there are things you can do to help kick-start the writing process and make it easier on yourself. And with practise, you’ll get better at quickly producing high-quality posts. The more regularly you write and publish posts, the more natural the whole process will feel to you.

This essential guide will give you all the information you need to write effective blog posts quickly and efficiently. It will help you to break the writing process down into smaller and more manageable areas, making it seem less daunting. You’ll find helpful time-management tips to ensure you’re working efficiently, tools to help you effectively produce and share content, and common pitfalls to avoid as a blogger.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Preparation

Preparation for blog posts is something you can do all the time. Be on the lookout for ideas and inspiration wherever you go. This is another thing that gets easier with practice. The following tips will help you prepare your ideas for posts, helping to begin the writing process in a painless way.

Preparation

Start a list of ideas

Write down ideas for blog posts as soon as they come to you. Having a list of ideas at hand will mean never having to start with the dreaded blank screen. If you have ideas ready, you’ll find it much easier to start the writing process. You can record your ideas simply as potential titles or subjects. If you want to add more detail you could also include some potential sub-headings, or a few lines of the post.

You can use a simple notepad and pen, or there are handy note-taking apps available to gather your ideas and keep them organized.

  • Evernote – Jot down ideas in a note format, clip articles from the web, save photos and links and add tags to find what you need efficiently.
  • Trello – Save ideas and add files with a simple drag-and-drop system.
  • OneNote – Create notebooks and save your ideas across all your devices for maximum convenience.

Use whatever works best for you – just make sure it’s always at hand to jot down ideas as soon as inspiration strikes.

Use an editorial calendar

Gathering your thoughts and ideas is an important part of the writing process. This is where an editorial calendar can help – if you know what you’re writing about in advance, your brain will begin to work on it subconsciously. There are dedicated editorial calendars available such as CoSchedule. You could also use Google Calendars – simply note down which topic you want to post on each date.

Research

Many bloggers really enjoy the process of research and learning new things. It’s important to do your research as efficiently as possible, or it can end up being a drain on your time. The following tips will help you to approach the research phase of your writing with confidence.

Research

Allow enough time, but don’t get distracted

Thorough research saves you time when it comes to the actual writing. Even if you’re writing about a topic that you’re knowledgeable about, it’s always worth spending some time finding some new ideas and interesting content that you can reference and link to. Don’t get distracted and spend too much time on research – you will start to lose your enthusiasm by the time it comes to writing the post.

Keep the research stage separate from writing

It’s tempting to start writing your post as soon as you find some interesting material. This is a big time drainer. Wait until you have done all the research you feel is necessary before you start writing. Having a good overview of the subject is important, and will help you to write the finished product faster.

It’s far more efficient to do all your research first before starting to write. This allows you to see the full picture, and it’s easier to judge what should be included in your post.

Close your browser when research is complete

It’s important to remove as many distractions as possible before you begin the writing process. It’s easy to open up a web page to confirm a fact, and then still be aimlessly browsing half an hour later. Closing your browser, or even disconnecting from the internet altogether, will remove this temptation.

If you need to look up additional information for your post, you can do this once the writing is completed – highlight any areas where additional work or fact-checking is needed.

Writing

The only way to get a blog post written is to sit down and start. It can be difficult to find time to write, so decide on a specific time. Put it in your calendar and stick to it. This will help you get into a routine when it comes to producing content for your blog. Follow the tips below to make your writing process quicker and more efficient.

Writing

Remove any distractions

You’ll find the writing process easier if you remove potential distractions. Checking your phone and email are guaranteed to waste time, and also distract you from the flow of your work. A quiet and clutter-free environment will encourage productivity.

Write an outline

An outline for your post is an essential first step for most pieces of writing. An outline helps you develop your points and arguments in a logical manner. It will help you to stay on topic and write only about what’s relevant to your points.

Start your outline with the main points as bullet-points. Even if you only write a few, it’s a good start and you will soon start adding more.

You can then add sub-headings and other information. Start with a keyword for each section and create sentences around them. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your piece of writing starts to take form.

A good outline should take around 15 minutes to write, and will save you time by ensuring you only include what’s relevant to your post. It helps you to stay on point, meaning you won’t have to delete paragraphs of unnecessary work later on.

Rough Draft

Once you’ve plotted your outline, you can start writing your rough draft. The idea is to write in an uninterrupted way, until you have all the desired information on the page. Start with the section that you feel is the easiest to write – this will give you the confidence to tackle the more difficult parts later on.

Getting words on the page are most important to start with, as this provides you with the motivation to carry on.

Write without editing

Don’t attempt to edit your writing as you go. The process will take you much longer if you attempt to write each sentence or paragraph perfectly.

Writing the introduction and conclusion

Many writers find the introduction and conclusion are the trickiest parts to write. There are different approaches to tackling them.

You may find it helpful to write your introduction last, as you’ll have a thorough overview of the material and how to present it. You could also try writing your conclusion first – this will round up and summarize all your main points, so it may give you some ideas to help with the general structure of your post.

No matter what approach you use, your introduction and conclusion should be the strongest parts of your post. Although many readers skim online content, they will pay more attention to these parts.

Editing and Proofreading

Many writers think of editing and proofreading as the same thing; they are actually two different processes. The following tips will ensure you complete both stages correctly and thoroughly, leading to a flawless finished product.

Editing and Proofreading

Editing

Editing is the stage after your rough draft. It involves checking the overall structure, flow and organization of your writing. During this stage you may find yourself rewriting and deleting some of the work you’ve done in your rough draft – this is part of the process so don’t worry. Take a close look at:

  • Structure – does the writing flow in a way that makes sense to the reader?
  • Content – does it contain all the relevant information?
  • Clarity – is your writing free of jargon that may confuse readers?
  • Paragraphs – do your paragraphs flow naturally? Are they of varied length?
Proofreading

Proofreading is the final stage of your writing. It requires paying close attention to spot mistakes, so make sure you’re not tired. A helpful tip is to put your writing away for a few hours between the editing and proofreading stages. You will be much more likely to notice errors. When you’re proofreading, look for:

  • Spelling – are all words spelled correctly?
  • Grammar – is your grammar correct? Check you haven’t fallen into certain grammar traps; it’s vs. its and their vs. there are common ones.
  • Punctuation – is your punctuation correct and consistent?
  • Spacing – are all words and paragraphs spaced correctly?

Avoid Common Blogging Pitfalls

There are certain mistakes made by many bloggers when preparing and writing blog posts. These mistakes will cost you precious time. They will also seriously hamper the effectiveness of your writing, and may leave the reader wondering what the point of your writing was. Let’s take a look at these mistakes and how to avoid them.

Avoid Common Blogging Pitfalls

Writing without a purpose

Before you write a single word, ask yourself what the purpose of the piece of writing is. If you’re not clear what the purpose is, you’ll give your readers very little valuable information. If you have a clear purpose, you’ll find the rest will follow more naturally and it will result in a far better piece of writing.

Writing to please search engines, not your readers

This is a big mistake. Stuffing your posts with keywords will only harm your rankings in search engines. It also leads to blog posts that contain very little actual value for the reader. Write your post with one thing firmly in mind; your audience. Optimizing for search engines should be done with a few subtle tweaks after the writing process is complete.

Using complicated language

Write your posts in clear, simple English. Using long, complicated words will quickly turn readers away from you. Write in a conversational tone to avoid sounding stilted.

Unstructured paragraphs

A paragraph should make one main point. Cramming more than one idea into one paragraph leads to unattractive blocks of text which will not hold your readers attention.

Spelling and Grammatical Errors

If your post is littered with spelling and grammatical errors, you’re giving an impression that you don’t care about the quality of your work. It’s not enough to rely on spellchecking program – proofread your work carefully. Some people find it easier to spot mistakes on paper. If it’s helpful, print your work out to proofread, highlight any mistakes and then change them on your screen.

More Time-Saving Tools

There are lots of tools and resources available to help you write effectively and quickly, as well as get your posts out to a wide audience. This is a selection of the best free tools available.

More Time-Saving Tools

  • HubSpotBlog Topic Generator – Enter three keywords and you’ll be given five potential blog topics to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Google Trends – See if your topic will be popular. Enter keywords and phrases that fit your post and you’ll be shown search volumes.
  • Buffer – Schedules your posts to be shared on social media sites. They can be displayed multiple times, with different headlines.
  • Click to Tweet – A WordPress plugin which allows parts of your posts to be shared on Twitter by your readers.

Conclusion

Keeping your blog updated regularly with fresh content is vital, both for your reader’s benefit and also for SEO reasons. This is often easier said than done. Writing top-notch content quickly and efficiently is a skill that must be learned, and will get easier with practise.

Breaking down the writing process into different stages will remove the fear you feel when sitting down to write a new post, allowing you to tackle it smaller, manageable areas.Keeping a note of your ideas, conducting solid research and producing a planned outline of your post all help to speed up the writing process.

Hopefully, you now feel ready to put some of the advice you have learned here into practise, and feel less daunted by the idea of regularly producing high-quality content for your blog.

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One Comment

  1. It is really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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