writing1

Unless you have an abundance of “free time,” you are going to need to write your blog material quickly and concisely so you can get back to the other 20 things you either should be doing, or would rather be doing.  I typical have a thousand other things I should be doing instead of doing posts or working on a book, so I make the most of my writing time.  

Here’s a short list of ways that will help speed up your writing time (while also improving the quality of your blog posts) by utilizing a little advance preparation:

  1. Watch for Great Quotes.  In your daily reading of other blog material, books, and magazines, you are going to come across quotes from other people that make a brilliant point.  Even if it’s not something you are currently working on, copy down the quote (with source reference) so that you start accumulating a little library of wisdom that you can pull from later.  I will even go into my blog and set up a DRAFT blog post and put the quote there so that I have it handy when I get time to do a post.
  2. Watch for Helpful Links.  You’ll also come across links that you want to share with your audience.  Create a document to store these links so you can easily go in and grab them during your writing time. Or, using your favorite browser, create a bookmarks folder that is specifically for “links to share in blog posts.”
  3. Be Ready.  Inspiration for a blog post can strike at any time so you’ll need to make sure you always have access to something to write on so that you don’t lose your good ideas.    Save notes on your smart phone, carry a little notebook, a voice recorder . . .  just try not to rely on your memory for all the brilliant ideas that you are bound to forget.  Especially at night,  when you wake up with an inspiration, NEVER think “oh, that’s such a great idea, I’ll remember that for sure!” You won’t. Keep a notepad or your phone by the bed. Write down what you need to make sure you’ll remember. I usually text or email myself so I’ll have it at my desk.
  4. Great Headlines Make Great Posts. This is one of my favorite tricks: when you read a great headline, STOP. Don’t read the article or the post. It will bias your writing. Go create a DRAFT blog post, and rewrite the headline in your own words. Then, write down an outline or bullets points from your own original thoughts about that headline.  If you read the original article first, you’ll just end up repeating it most likely AND you’ll miss your own original thoughts they may not have come up with.  After you’ve outlined your own post, then go back and read the original.  

Okay, you are ready to start writing:

  1. Plan for a Few Minutes.  Consider your audience and what they are interested in reading.   Go take a look at your competition and see if there are any “trending topics” that you have not yet tackled in a blog post.  See if there is a popular style or category of blog posts that you could include on your own blog.
  2. Create an Outline.  After you have identified what you want to write about, come up with a sentence or two to introduce the topic to your readers.  Then create a bullet-point list of what you want to tell them (you can use the list as headings within your post if the post is long, or just a bullet-point list you will add more information to later).  Next, fill in the missing information in the bullet-point list.  It’s much easier to map out the post and then “fill it in” in my opinion.  A modified version of bullet points is to simply write the article subheads with a sentence that describes what will be in that section. After 20 years of writing, I have found that writing with a road map is much faster and of higher quality than just sitting down at the keyboard and pounding away.
  3. Check your Quotes and Links.  If you have found any quotations or links that would be relevant to your blog post and helpful to your readers, find a good place to add them to your post.
  4. Insert High-Quality Images.  You definitely should have images to enhance the visual appeal and interest they bring to your blog. There are many online stock photography libraries that contain incredibly high-quality clipart, photos, and even animation. The better the quality, the more it costs, but you are only talking about a few bucks for most images or clipart in the size that you need for a blog post. My favorite service is www.istock.com.
  5. Finalize and Post.  After you have written and filled in your outline, inserted relevant quotes, links, and images, all you need to do is write some parting wisdom to conclude your post, and give it one last thorough proofread. TIP: do yourself a favor and find a proofreader. No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to proof your own writing and find all the mistakes. Your eyes see what they want to see and a good editor/proofreader is worth every penny you invest in them. 

I go over all of this in a lot of detail and offer hundreds of tips in the EPIC BOOK I published this year.  

This list above should help your writing productivity.  If you have any additional suggestions to share with LinkyBlog readers, I’d love to read them in the comments section.     

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