Want to focus on growing your blog but struggle to find the time to get things done? If you’re juggling a job, school and a dozen other things all at once, spending hours a day writing blog posts likely isn’t an option. But what if you could write a complete, compelling article in just 15 minutes?
As someone who can easily spend an hour writing a single sentence (let alone a full article or blog post!), I am always looking for ways to simplify and speed up my own writing process. I find it helps to remember that readers prefer articles that are brief and informative, so spending hours crafting the perfect paragraph is probably not going to pay off in terms of traffic. Here are a few tips and techniques to help you get things moving!
Usually a blog post starts with an idea, right? So once you know how you want to start your next article, take a few minutes to plan out the middle and the end as well. Mapping out the article will give your writing clear direction and prevent you from straying off topic. Here’s what a typical blog outline looks like:
Intro: Here’s where you briefly describe the “what” of the article. Summarize what the post is about, what the reader will learn, and why they should keep reading. People often lose interest after reading the first sentence or two of an article, so your intro needs to get them hooked. Open with something interesting like a fun fact, famous quote or thought-provoking question to boost engagement right off the bat.
Middle: This is where you explain the “why” or the “how” behind the “what” of your article. Whether you’re giving advice, sharing information or writing a tutorial, keep the information clear, concise and easy to follow. Include any applicable images to illustrate your point and break up large amounts of text.
Conclusion: End your article with a call-to-action, encouraging your readers to use the advice, instruction or information given in your article and to share it with others.
Find the Right Headline
Even if you’ve written a fabulous article, it’s a catchy and compelling headline that will capture a reader’s interest. Make it clear what’s in it for the reader if they click on your post. Make them feel like they’ll be missing something if they don’t. Try including lists, statistics, trends or questions in your headlines to attract attention. Here are a few examples:
5 Articles You Don’t Want To Miss In The Next Issue of Faze
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How Teens Really Feel About Social Media, And Why
Many bloggers find it helpful to create headline bank where they write down ideas that come to them or make note of headlines that catch their attention online. This can be a great time saver if you are stuck on a title and need a little inspiration. Coming up with a great headline before you start your article can help guide your writing as well.
Break Things Down
Posting regularly is essential if you want your online presence to really grow. If you have a lot to say about a particular topic, there’s no need to pack it all into one post. Narrow down the content and break it up into a series of posts. This way, you’ll have a few days’ worth of articles ready to go and you can entice readers to check back soon to view the next post. Let’s say you’re writing an article about your fall beauty essentials. Instead of creating one comprehensive post, separate the content into different categories. One post could cover skin care, another eye makeup, another lip color or hair products, etc. At the end of each post, your closing call to action could link to the past, present and future posts in the series.
When in Doubt, List it Out
Suffering from a serious case of writer’s block? Write a list! List posts are great because they are quick to write and fun to read. You can write a list about anything: your favorite beauty products, Pinterest recipes, D.I.Y. ideas, must-see movies, etc. The options are endless. The article should be visually appealing and include images to illustrate each item on the list. Sharing content created by fellow bloggers on your site is a great way to make connections in the online community. Just be sure to credit their work in your post and include a link to their page. Hopefully one day they’ll return the favour!
Watch the Clock
Allot yourself a specific amount of time to write each portion of the post (headline, intro, middle and conclusion) and do your best to stay on schedule. You’ll be able to pinpoint where you’re spending the most time and which areas you need to work on.
As with all things, efficient writing takes practice. Just follow these helpful tips and you’ll be speed blogging like a pro in no time!