A blog post can take anywhere from 2 to 50 (!) hours to complete. It’s tempting to want to figure out how to write blog posts faster, especially if you’re a CEO who blogs on top of doing everything else in your business, or a professional blogger who doesn’t charge by the hour.
Sure enough, there are ways to work more efficiently—especially if perfectionism is what’s slowing you down—but you should be wary of cutting down the time you spend researching for, writing, and editing your blog posts. Why?
The growth of content marketing in every industry has made it extremely hard to cut through the noise. As a result, brands that want to get return on their content marketing efforts have to produce great content.
For blogs, that usually means long-form, in-depth posts. According to Orbit Media’s 2021 blogging statistics, posts that are over 1,500 words long and take 6+ hours to complete generate the best results.
“People like reading insightful long-form content, even on mobile,” content marketer Neil Patel wrote.
But here’s the truth about intelligent, well-researched content: 1) It needs to be written by actual humans, and 2) It takes time to create.
There’s no getting around that. You can’t create great content automatically (at least not yet). And you can’t skimp on things like research or editing without compromising content quality.
How to write blog posts faster without making quality suffer? Here’s our suggestion:
Take as much time as you need on the stuff that matters. Save time on anything that doesn’t impact the final result.
Seriously, don’t skimp on these tasks
These tasks may be time-consuming, but they’re worth spending time on:
Researching the topic you’re going to write about is a good thing. Marketing guru Seth Godin spends 16 hours doing research for each of his 200-word posts, and his blog is one of the most popular in the world.
It pays off, too: content marketer Neil Patel saw increased engagement when he began writing articles where every statement or assertion he made was backed up by testing and data.
Outlines might seem unnecessary, but they’re pretty crucial for writing efficiently.
Creating an outline before you sit down to write will help you overcome writer’s block, provide you with a solid direction to go, and give you a bird’s eye view of your content, all of which will help you write faster.
“Every minute you spend outlining will save you a heap of time later,” says publication coach Daphne Gray-Grant.
She suggests 5 minutes of outlining for every 500 words of content, which means 15 minutes for a 1,500-word blog post.
Spending an hour or two editing a blog post is worth it if you want readers to find it and read it to the end.
Editing involves optimizing content for search engines, ironing out awkward phrases, and cutting out unnecessary information—all of which is essential for making content findable, shareable, and enjoyable.
Note: Editing takes longer than writing. According to editor Samantha Ensler, a standard metric is six pages (approximately 1,500 words) per hour.
Use tech to minimize effort and increase focus
To write faster without compromising the quality of your content, leverage the power of automation. Use auto typing software, or a text expander app, to type with less effort and increase your focus.
What is a text expander?
A text expander is typing shortcut tool that helps you write faster. You can save any type of text into a text expander—words, phrases, paragraphs, codes, URLs.
For each fragment of text you save—also known as a text snippet—you assign a keyboard shortcut or abbreviation.
From then on, whenever you want to insert the saved text, all you have to do is type the abbreviation.
This may not seem like much, but it’s huge. Here’s why:
A text expander frees up your mental space
As productivity guru David Allen famously said, “Your mind is for having ideas, not storing them”.
When you rely on your brain to store information—ideas, to-dos, codes, titles, names—you leave little room for problem-solving and creative thinking.
By storing useful information, a text expander functions as your second brain, freeing you from having to remember or look things up.
A text expander minimizes distractions
When you stop writing to do something else on the computer—like grab a quote, link, or data point—you interrupt your flow. After that, it can take a while to get back into your zone.
One solution to this problem is to finish your first draft, then fill out the missing information.
That’s a sensible solution, but it’s one most writers have a hard time following.
Another is to use a text expander. When you use a text expander, you can pull up a name, title, quote, URL, or stat without leaving your document or taking your fingers off your keyboard.
A text expander helps you type more with less effort
Once you store frequently-used words, phrases, codes, and URLs in a text expander, you never have to type them fully again.
Using a text expander is the simplest way to improve typing speed and write faster.
How to write blog posts faster using a text expander
Here’s how to use a text expander to write blog posts faster.
While researching your topic, you’ll come across interesting quotes to add to your final piece. Rather than paste them onto Text Edit or a Google Doc, then search for them amongst other content, save them as snippets in your text expander. That way, you can instantly access them when you need them. It’s convenient and saves you from having to do tons of typing.
Store hard-to-type names
If there’s a word or name you’re going to use a lot in the process of writing a blog post, create snippet for it. Say, for example, you’ll be quoting the American Society of Heart Association a bunch. To avoid having to type the organization’s full name each time, save it into your text expander, then assign a short abbreviation for it (for example: ;ap).
If you’re writing an article about someone whose name is hard to spell—like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—saving it as a four-character abbreviation, like ;mcs, can make your life easier.
And if you’re constantly misspelling someone’s name—for example, you’re typing “Valerie” when you should be typing “Valeriy”—you can save your typo as the abbreviation and the correct spelling as the content you’ll expand.
Finally, saving company names is also helpful, since it can be hard to remember which letters to capitalize.
Store transitional or obligatory phrases
If there is a phrase you always use at the end of your blog posts, you can save it as a two-character snippet so you don’t have to type the whole thing from scratch every time.
If you find yourself using the same transitional phrases to introduce, summarize, or conclude, you can also save them as snippets to save time. For example, it’s easier and faster to type ;ic then it is to type “In conclusion”.
Store blog post templates
Saving helpful blog post templates (we recommend HubSpot’s 6 essential blog templates) as snippets can also help you write faster.
Templates simplify the writing process, providing guidance on what to include and helping you get unstuck. Say, for example, that you’re going to write a listicle. Rather than stare in despair at the blank page in front of you, you can expand a listicle template and replace the original instructions with your content.
The biggest advantage of storing templates in a text expander is that you can insert them on a blank page with just a few keystrokes. That’s way better (and faster) than Googling them and then locating them within a webpage or document.
Store blog post “headers”
Along with the content of your blog posts, you may have to include relevant information such as a link to the image you’re using or the keyword phrase that you’re targeting. Here’s the information we include at the top of our blog posts while they are still in the editing stage:
[Keyword volume/difficulty] MSV, KD%
We have the above fields stored in our text expander so we don’t need to type them every time. Instead, we just expand the snippet and enter the details.
Try TextExpander free for 30 days
TextExpander helps you write faster by enabling you to type more with less effort and “pull up” useful information without interrupting your workflow.
TextExpander works on Mac, Windows, Chrome, and iOS, and you can use it to expand content anywhere you type.
To see what TextExpander can do for your writing speed, try it free for 30 days. Click here to sign up for a free trial.
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