Do you write for a living?
Do you need to write more efficiently?

If you get paid to write blog posts, articles, or other content, time is money. Sometimes the blog post you’re getting paid to write requires a decent amount of research with cited sources. This kind of post can take a while to write, especially if the word count is 2,000 or 3,000 words.

So how do you deal with meeting a specific word count and still make the piece amazing without wasting hours of your life on research?

Here are some tips on how to write a blog post quickly without compromising your time or the quality or your writing reputation:

1. {Research as You Go}

booksDo you do your research first before you write?
You really should… but what if you actually researched the topic as you go, too?

I am tasked to write two blog posts a week for a software company. The marketing director wants each post to be no less than 1,500 words. Each post needs to include links to reference stats and case studies.

The first few months of writing for them was a bit daunting. While I enjoyed writing and researching the content, I found that I would sometimes spend up to six hours on one post.

Are you kidding me?
I am not, no.
Six. Hours. 

The posts are very much SEO driven. But there’s no need to keyword stuff the posts, because many of them are written on the same topic, only with new language and new links. You might think this makes my job easier.
It doesn’t.
It actually makes my job harder.

But I figured out a way to cut my writing and research time in HALF:
Write the idea or sentence (or concept, whatever) FIRST, and
 then research it to find a reputable source to link it to.

What do I mean?
If the topic I have to write on is “Why People Love Video on Social Media,” I do a quick search on the topic, scan an article or two, and then begin writing based on what I’ve learned and what I already know.

I may write something like, “The majority of us prefer watching video over reading a blog post.”

Do I know that to be true? Not really. I mean, I have a pretty good idea that it’s true, but what are the SOLID facts?

By doing a quick search on Google (percentage of people watching video on social media), I hope to discover in seconds WHY people like it, and WHAT PERCENTAGE of people like it.

The first link that comes upcomputer is from Hubspot, which offers 31 video marketing statistics. It’s an infographic with LOTS of stats that can help me. I give it a quick read, choose a stat, and then restructure my sentence a tiny bit to fit my source:

“The majority of us prefer sharing video over sharing a written blog post. In a study published by Hubspot, it was discovered that 92% of mobile users share videos with others. Why is this?”

Now this moves me to a space where I can expand on this concept some more. I might Google:  what percentage of people share blog posts? I would also look to discover what kinds of videos are being shared and why.

When I Google: psychology of why people watch video, I get an article from Psychology Today: Video vs. Text: The Brain Perspective.

I give it a quick read, find the information I need, and then write a bit more, adding the new link:

The majority of us prefer sharing video over sharing a written blog post. In a study published by Hubspot, it was discovered that 92% of mobile users share videos with others. Why is this? It could be because videos are processed by the brain  60,000 times faster than text. We are a culture that expects instant gratification, so this makes perfect sense.”

You follow?

Creating an interesting and informative paragraph like this took me 2 minutes to write, read and research. If I had done all of the research first, I would have been overwhelmed by too much information and it would have taken me much longer to write.

This process has enabled me to cut my writing time IN HALF.

Instead of painstakingly searching for information to write a post, I write a paragraph FIRST, and then search for sources to support it. I’ve found this process to be enjoyable, too. It gives me more creative control over the content while still meeting the requirements of the client.

 

2. {Use Synonyms}

twinsSynonyms need to be your best friend. Not only do they keep you from being repetitive, they make you sound magical.

I search for synonyms typically while I’m copy-editing myself. I don’t have a physical dictionary, but some writers do. I Google: industry synonym. Or whatever synonym.

The software company I write for sells their product in a variety of industries. So instead of a sentence reading:

The retail industry would be best served using this kind of technology, now knowing that the restaurant industry has been wildly successful implementing these kinds of strategies for years. Both of these industries are at the forefront of a breakthrough.

You could search synonyms and change a sentence to:

The retail industry would be best served using this kind of technology, now knowing that the restaurant industry has been wildly successful implementing these kinds of strategies for years. Both of these sectors are at the forefront of a breakthrough.

Repeating the same word often doesn’t allow the text to flow. It makes it clunky. I kept the words the same in the first sentence, because it doesn’t seem repetitive until the third time. It still works. If I tried to change the second word to something else, I think it sounds “disconnected.”

The retail industry would be best served using this kind of technology, now knowing that the restaurant niche has been wildly successful implementing these kinds of strategies for years. Both of these sectors are at the forefront of a breakthrough.

Play with the synonyms. Move them around. Every sentence should flow.

 

3. {Make Lists}

_listIf you want to write a blog post quickly that gets lots of hits and shares, give readers a list to browse and put a FREE printable with it. Why, you ask?
1) These kinds of posts are fun to write.
2) They provide actionable information fast.
3) They write quicker than your average post.

I did a blog post called 9 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Older. It got more hits and shares than any post I’ve written yet. It also gave me lots of opt-ins on my site, which was nice. And it took me no time at all to put together.

 

4. {Read Outloud}

read outloudHow do you know if your post flows? You probably read your posts in your head when you look for mistakes or clunky language. I encourage you to READ YOUR COPY OUT LOUD.

I don’t pay anyone to copy edit my own personal posts. But I do pay them to copy edit other big works. So in order to deliver the most effective posts with minimal error, I read my copy out loud. I catch a LOT of mistakes this way.

(For example, the last sentence above started out, I ready my copy out loud….I didn’t catch that I wrote READY instead of READ until I actually read this post out loud to myself.)

I read out loud and slowly, like a 4th grader might. When I do this I catch articles I missed or participles I should have used.

I also use Grammarly to catch any misspellings or other grammatical errors.

By reading out loud and using a tool like Grammarly, you save yourself tons of time by not having to read your copy over and over again.

 

{in a word…}

googleYou can find virtually ANYTHING on the Internet today. ANY kind of information you seek exists. That’s why the research as you go method works so very well. I’ve started writing posts that have changed for the better, simply because I use these tips.  

Your time is precious. You need to make every minute count so every dollar counts. Having said that, never compromise the integrity of your research or your writing just to skate through something. That’s not what this is about. 

There will be times you will have to research something more thoroughly. These tips aren’t a replacement for that process. But they can help you write a great blog post in less time without compromising quality.

What tips can you offer to write a blog post quickly? To write any kind of content quickly?

 

Joleene Moody is a former television reporter and anchor turned freelance writer, blogger, and speaker, based in Central New York.
(No, not New York City. Not even close. 🙂
 )
Learn more at 
www.takeyourvoiceback.com