On your mark. Get set…. BLOG!
You know that your site will have more traffic and search better if you have fresh, exciting content that changes frequently, but honestly, who has the time to devote to this task while still trying to run a business? Ah, guilt! This reminds me of exercise. I despise exercise. It just seems like a huge waste of time and energy that could be spent on something much more productive. If I’m going to have sore muscles, there had better be a great lawn or some furniture moved or something tangible to show for it. Exercise just takes too much time and the results can be so intangible, so I put it off. I know. I know I need to do it. Lots of people know that exercise is a must if you want to be healthy. Just like you know that your business needs a blog with frequent and consistent posts. But it does take time. And you may feel like it takes too much productive time away from running your business. Interesting blogs written regularly and rapidly may be as elusive to you as an exercise program is to me.
How much time?
Honestly, do you know how long it takes you to come up with a topic, write, proof, find and add catchy photos, sprinkle in some links, and click that “publish” button? I do. I have a great app called Harvest that runs a stopwatch while I blog. With a little spinning circle, it reminds me that time is a-wasting while my mind is a-wandering. If you could cut your blog-writing time in half, would you blog more? Probably. So here are three tips to get you on your way to successful “Speed Blogging.”
Tip 1: Know what you are going to say
Don’t sit down to write a blog and start by dreaming up a topic. Creativity creeps into crevices in our real life. It is not summoned on demand. Your best blog ideas will come to you in the shower or while you are bored driving in traffic. Stop right then and write it down. Use the “notes” section on your phone, Evernote, or tablet so you won’t lose it. While you may not need the idea now, write it down anyway. Real life makes for real interesting blogs. If your reader can relate to your real-life scenario, they can more easily follow your train of thought. So look for the little things in life, and then relate those to the bigger topic of your blog. Know what you are going to say long before you sit down to actually write. Basic Blog Tips provides more great tips here.
Tip 2: Fill up the background space
While I don’t fully understand why this works, there has to be what I call background “fuzz” that surrounds me when I speed-write. A very progressive teacher explained it to me like this. Imagine that your brain is like a big, blank chalkboard, and you are trying to focus on filling up one little spot. If there is too much blank space, your ability to concentrate on that one little spot is compromised. You are being more drawn to what you could put in all the blank space than the task at hand. By filling the blank space with background fuzz, you regain focus. Silly as it sounds, make your surroundings busy. Make the noise buzy. But make sure that nothing really stands out to distract you. For me, the coffee shop is the perfect place to write. The hum of muffled conversation, the constant motion of people, even the smells keep me focused on the writing. And when you know what you are saying, and when you are focused on the task at hand, then there is just one last tip to keep you Speed Blogging…
Tip 3: Don’t spin your wheels
If you find yourself getting nowhere, feeling frustrated, and the words just won’t come, then stop. Come back to writing later. Do you work well under pressure, then wait till the last minute to write? Maybe pressure stifles you, so plan your writing well in advance. I’m more of a “write in the moment” person. Just in the nick of time, the sky opens and suddenly the words just jump off my fingers. In a matter of minutes, the idea is down, perfected, and ready to print. So don’t spin your wheels when the words aren’t flowing, but be ready to drop everything and focus when the faucet gushes. Don’t edit as you write. Just get everything down as fast as you can, and then go back later to vary your sentence structure, check for spelling, reword what sounds awkward.
A few bonus tips…
Photos are so important to draw attention and spice up your post, but don’t spend too much time searching for just the right image. Beware of copyright issues! Just because you found it on an image search doesn’t mean that you have the rights to use it in your post. I have found that a huge time saver is to just take my own photo. Yes, there are great sources for images, and subscription services. Use those when you can, but in the interest of speed blogging, grab your phone, snap a great picture, crop it really tight because that makes it look all professional. You will be surprised at how fast and easy this is, and how wonderful your results will be.
And it goes without saying, that if you can’t type fast, then you can’t write fast. Do an online typing test, and if you can’t type just about as fast as you can talk, then you need to practice. You may recall that moment when you were studying a second language when all of a sudden, you could speak in that language without having to translate each word. Typing should be the same. Perfect your typing so that you never have to think of the letters, but that the words just flow from your brain to your fingers. Perfect touch-typing style can be a huge writing timesaver.
Please share your tips, too!
Let’s all share our speed blogging secrets. What tips do you use to make the most productive use of your valuable blog writing time? Please respond!