Many bloggers struggle with coming up with content for their blogs. Then, they struggle with writing and publishing said content. I hope this post helps you write better blog posts in less time. Once you get a handful of posts up, read my post about how to get traffic to your new blog.
How to Write Better Blog Posts in Less Time
You knew I was going to start with this one, right? Of course. Eliminating distractions will be the single most helpful action step you can take to writing blog posts faster.
Log out of Facebook (trust me, you won't miss anything you can't catch up on later), close your other browser tabs (or open a new window completely), put your phone on silent, and just write. This is the best way to be a more efficient blogger, and it's actually EASY to do!
Create a Blog Post Template
Creating a blog post template is easy if you're using Gutenberg in WordPress. You can do it several ways but the easiest for me is to create a reusable block.
Set your template up in the reusable block, then insert it into each post. You will not be publishing the reusable block, simply copy and paste the template into a new block(s) and edit from there. Reusable blocks change globally (meaning in every post they are added to), so it's important to use the reusable block as a template, then remove it from your blog post before publishing.
VIDEO TUTORIAL COMING SOON
A template gives your blog a more cohesive look. Your readers know what to expect when each post is set up the same way.
I personally do not use a template because I spend more time editing the template each time than actually using it. If you find yourself doing this, skip the template and use the next method instead.
Create an Outline for Your Blog Posts
Before you get started writing your blog post, write your subheadings out – either on paper or typed into your WordPress Editor. If you're going to write a post titled “7 Reasons You MUST Visit Arizona This Winter”, create 7 subheadings with your reasons. These will be short and to the point.
After you have at least some of your subheadings mapped out, start writing under each of them. I usually write at least a paragraph or two under each subheading. Sometimes I'll use an H3 heading, with H4s underneath it. You can see this in my Table of Contents: the H3s have the H4s nested under them. If you're using Gutenberg, this is super easy to do.
Stay Focused and On Topic
Stay on topic when you write your blog posts! If this is something you struggle with, outlining can help. Your readers don't want to feel like they're bouncing all around from topic to topic in one post. They will lose interest and click away.
I fail at staying on topic regularly, but this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” type things. 😉 When I get off track, I look back at my blog post title and I ask myself if what I'm writing fits with the title. If not, I will copy and paste what I wrote that doesn't fit and use it for another post.
After you're finished writing but before you hit publish, be sure to read back through your post – or have a friend read through it to make sure you don't have any glaringly obvious mistakes.
If you have a habit of using certain words over and over again (“also” and “great” are mine), use CTRL+F to find all of those words and then use a Thesaurus to choose stronger replacement words.
Another one of those “do as I say, not as I do” type things: I don't edit my posts after the fact. All of my energy is put into writing and by the time I get to the editing stage, my eyes are glossed over and I'm just unable to do it. I don't recommend this method as a new blogger because you can easily lose credibility if you have typos in your posts or sentences that don't make much sense.
Stop Overthinking It
When you get stuck in the overthinking stage, you don't take action. If you don't take action, you don't make money. Do you want to make money? I'm hoping your answer is “yes”. It's time to stop overthinking and start taking action.
Overthinking is an excuse. Plain and simple. As long as you're stuck in the “what's the next move?” phase, you're sitting still. You aren't having to put the work in. You aren't having to hit “publish”.
You're scared to make a mistake, so you sit and overthink instead. It's easier to get stuck in overthinking paralysis than actually put the work in. Ouch, I know that one stung, but until we admit that we are sitting in La La Land instead of working, we can't move forward.
Why are You Overthinking This Blogging Thing, Anyway?
Are you naturally an overthinker? Do you overthink everything, or just blogging tasks? If your boss at work tells you to write a memo, do you write a memo or do you sit there staring at the computer all day instead? If you were an employee at your business (your blog is your business), would you still have a job or would you get fired and replaced by someone who put the work in?
These are hard questions to ask, but they're important to answer so you can move forward.
How to Fix Overthinking and Execute
My guess is, you're scrolling Facebook or watching Netflix instead of taking action. I could be way off, but based on the number of posts I see in my Facebook feed by people who say they're overthinkers, I'm going to say I'm right on the money.
While you're sitting there taking notes, watching videos, getting inspired, making plans, you feel like you're on top of the world. The video stops, the notes come to a halt, and it's time to get to work. Then, things change. The high feeling goes away and you're second-guessing everything you write.
Planning is important, but executing is non-negotiable. You can execute without a plan, you cannot win (or make money) without execution. You might feel like you're working during the planning stage, but honestly you're just writing out your ideas. At some point you have to hit the GO button.
If you're trying to decide between Blog Post A and Blog Post B, flip a coin. Trying to decide between scheduling posts out on Facebook or filling your Tailwind queue? Flip a coin. Seriously, there's a whole song about flipping a coin to make a decision (Heads Carolina, Tails California), and I've even made a decision about WHERE TO MOVE based on coin flipping. If I can decide on where to move my entire family based on a coin flip, you can decide on a damn blog post using the same method. Hit the red (publish) button. Just do it. Damn.
Challenge yourself to write every single day. You don't have to write a blog post, but you need to write. Get your brain (and fingers) in the habit of typing words. Don't worry about what you're writing or how good it is, just write what's in your mind. It can be a story about your childhood, it can be ideas and dreams for the future, it can be anything you want to write.
TAKE ACTION: Do this every day for the next week (7 days). On day 8, write a blog post and HIT PUBLISH.
Find Your Voice
If you haven't noticed, I write differently than a lot of other bloggers – and I'm okay with that. I'll drop an f-bomb here and there, and if that bothers someone, they're not my ideal reader. Finding your voice as a blogger is crucial to standing out in an oversaturated blogging world – especially if you're in a popular niche (like parenting, travel, etc).
How to Find Your Voice as a Blogger
Sometimes we get wrapped up in what we “should” write vs what we want to write, because of all the rules we've been told about blogging. The only rule I have is my blog posts must be helpful. If I'm going to write a post, it has to serve a purpose and it has to help someone.
Write in your own voice. Write so often that you drown out the other voices telling you how you “should” write. Just be you. Write in your own authentic voice. You will stand out and be much more successful this way. You'll also take less time to write each blog post. Editing your voice takes a lot of time!
Let's look at a few examples of blog posts I've written and the why behind them.
Ultimate Guide to Catalina Island, California – I wrote this post to inspire others to visit Catalina Island, because it is beautiful and was a wonderful experience. I also wrote it to let travelers know what to expect and what they can do on the island. This saves them time and encourages them to visit.
5 Reasons Keto Isn't Working for You – I wrote this post to encourage people (women especially) who may be struggling with a low carb/Keto diet. It can be a tough lifestyle to follow, and if you're not losing weight while you're avoiding sweets, breads, etc you're going to give up. The purpose of the post is to reach people before they give up, and get them back on track.
100+ Blog Ideas for Travel Bloggers – This post was so fun to write! I always have tons of ideas to share, and knowing I can inspire and help others blog more efficiently always makes me happy. Blogging is my passion, so any time I can help someone else blog and make money, I'm going to do it!
In each of these posts, you can hear my voice. Even though I used PLR for the Catalina post (find out how I did that here), it's still ME. I still wrote all of it and it sounds like I'm talking to you when you read it.
Create a Blog Content Plan
Planning can be used as an excuse not to execute, so do not get stuck on this part. Use a Google Doc or Sheet (whichever you prefer) to map out your ideas. Spend an hour or less on this process, then move on to writing the posts.
Write Evergreen Posts
Write blog posts that will be relevant today and next year. That's what evergreen means. 🙂
Brainstorm blog post ideas by:
- searching Amazon eBooks and books for ideas in your niche
- searching your niche on Facebook to find groups and pages
- signing up for Google Alerts for topics you write about
- use the alphabet soup method (VIDEO COMING SOON)
Take a Bird's Eye View of Seasonal Content
Look at the next 3 months. What's coming up during those months that you should write about right now? If it's August, you should be writing about Halloween and Christmas (assuming they fit your niche). If it's November, you should be writing about New Year's Resolutions, weight loss and fitness, healthy recipes, etc. Obviously fit these ideas into your niche but you get the point.
If January is coming, everyone is going to be thinking about creating a “new” version of themselves. They want to move more, make healthier food choices, maybe start using a planner (that they'll stop using by February), etc.
TAKE ACTION: Write out at least 10 ideas that will fit with seasonal content coming up in the next few months.
Once you have a “bird's eye view”, so to speak, it's time to get specific and list out your exact blog post titles. Don't stress about this step too much, because the titles aren't set in stone and can be changed.
Need ideas? I'm happy to help! Check out the 100+ blog post ideas for travel bloggers, and tweak them for your niche. I'll be adding posts for other niches soon.
TAKE ACTION: Write out at least 10 specific blog post titles. Then, write at least one of the blog posts. Leave a comment here with the link to the post.
Write in Batches
For some, batch writing saves a ton of time. Set a timer for 20 minutes, an hour, two hours, however long you have set aside to write. If you finish a post you had previously started during this time, keep going and write another one. Don't worry about images or anything like that while batch writing – you can do batch image creation later.
If you have blog posts on the same topic, write all five of them at once and turn it into a series. I'm doing that with my blog post idea posts (that's a mouthful!); I plan to have 10 posts with 100+ ideas each, then I will write a “roundup” style post that links to all of the ideas in one spot.
Writing a series is a lot of work; you aren't going to get it all done in one writing session or even in one day, but it's an action plan you can execute.
I like to write when the mood hits, but you can't really build a business that way unless you just love writing all day every day like I do.
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Successful Blogger?
I firmly believe everyone can be successful with blogging if they put the work in… but are you willing to do that or do you just want to sit around coming up with ideas all day?
I've outlined for you exactly how to write better blog posts in less time. Follow this post and you will be well on your way to your next 1,000 (or 10,000!) words. I want to see the posts you write!
It's time to execute! What are you working on first? Let me know in the comments, then COME BACK to this post to let me know you finished a project/blog post/whatever.