If you’ve ever tried to write a blog post fast, you know how time-consuming it can be. But what if there was a way to speed up the process? In this article, I’ll channel some of my recent experiences and things I’ve learned in my years of blogging. We’ll explore tips on writing blog posts fast and using AI to reach the completed-first-draft stage sooner.
What is a Blog Post?
A blog post is a piece of content published on a blog. It can be in text, images, videos, audio files, or a mix of all four. A blog post usually has a title and a date and may also have tags and categories, depending on how the site owner organizes their content.
But you knew all that because you’re here looking to write faster and with more energy, not learn the basics. Something to think about, though, is how a blog has morphed over the years.
The History of Blogs and Why It Matters
In the early days of the Internet, blogs were mainly personal sites where individuals would journal about the day’s topic, the goings on in their lives or with their families, or opine on something random and technical that only they cared about. Being able to write stuff down is a great way to remember it.
Today, blogs are powerful tools used by practically billions of people. Businesses and individuals use blogs to convey fresh, meaningful, and up-to-date content. Some still write about highly technical things–some software companies have engineering blogs dedicated to that purpose–but a blog can be about anything.
Because of that open-ended nature, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what to write about and how to write it.
I often suffer from writer’s block, though I know I have a lot I can say once I get going.
Benefits of Writing a Blog Post
You’re not alone if you’re wondering how to write a blog post fast. Many bloggers are in a similar predicament, especially when first starting.
I’ve struggled with this myself for years. It’s helpful having the better part of 15 years of writing stuff on the Internet (though everything before 2014 is lost to the digital ether, sadly), but I was never a sit-down-and-write person.
Here are a few tried-and-true methods to help speed up your content creation process, injected with personal experience.
Think about blogging from a holistic level for a second. One of the most significant benefits of writing blog posts–and doing so regularly–is that you start to think differently about ideas in your head that you want to share.
When you have a half-formed idea, it’s probably still highly jumbled up and not very cohesive. If you’re struggling with expressing your thoughts, writing them down might be a great way to help hone that skill.
Regularly practicing your writing can hone your craft and help you become a better writer overall. You start to understand through usage how things sound when written a certain way, how to avoid things like passive voice and know when to use certain words to add that punch to your text.
Another benefit of writing blog posts is that they can be an effective marketing tool. By sharing your expert knowledge and insights on your blog, you can attract new readers and followers interested in your offer.
Writing about content relevant to your business can help bring in folks who have never heard of you, see the knowledge you share, and understand that you’re an expert (or at least are playing one well enough on TV) to be worth hiring. In turn, this can help increase traffic to your website or blog and generate leads for your business.
Finally, blogging can also be a great way to connect with like-minded people and build relationships. We followed each other and the goings-on in their lives by following their blogs. This is more or less how large parts of the Internet started and existed for many years.
By engaging with other bloggers and commenters on your blog, you can develop a sense of community and gain valuable feedback and insights from others.
Tip 1: Create an Outline for Your Blog Post
Assuming you already have a topic in mind for your blog post, the next step is to create an outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and structure your article in a way that is easy for readers to follow.
Here are some tips for creating an effective outline:
Start with a catchy headline. This is one of the main components of a blog post that connects it to people searching the Internet. Having matching keywords is excellent, but that’s only part of it. Pique their curiosity, get them wondering what the magic sauce is, and make them regret not checking out what you have to say.
Write a brief introduction that gives an overview of what the article will be about. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it. You have but a few seconds to explain what you’re talking about to the Internet Rando on your site.
Have a list of the main points you want to cover in the body of the article. A theme I learned in school growing up was that every story has a beginning, middle, and end. Most storytelling entertainment follows this exact format because it works. In television and cinema, it’s called The Three-Act Structure.
In Blogpostland, we’re not writing a screenplay destined to win awards, but we’re still responsible for creating engaging content that fulfills the reason someone clicked a link and visited your site.
The Beginning (Act 1) is the introduction and why. Bring the reader in and convince them to keep scrolling.
The Middle (Act 2) is the meaty content (the how-to, the reviews, etc.). You have them hooked, now lay it on thick.
The End (Act 3) is the conclusion, the final pitch, and maybe an FAQ if it’s relevant. You’ve given them a lot of information to think about. Help them boil it down, or take the final swing on your sales patch.
Break up each main point into several smaller ideas. Nothing kills a reader’s momentum like a massive block of text. Breaking up the topics into smaller chunks with subheadings helps keep them engaged and makes it easier to read.
Include examples, case studies, or stories that support your points. If you can illustrate what you are saying with real-life examples, case studies, or stories, you should include them in your outline. This will help to add another layer of depth to your post and make it more interesting for the reader.
End with a conclusion and call to action. This is that Act 3, now-or-never part I talked about above. Your conclusion should be an overall summary of what you’ve talked about in the article and why it matters to readers. If it’s relevant, include a call to action here. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media.
Tip 2: Break Up Your Writing Effort Into Sections or Stages
Breaking up your writing effort can help you move more quickly through your content and get it published faster. It sounds counterintuitive to create more work for yourself by taking a single task of writing a blog post and turning it into 15 mini-tasks, but you have to trust me for a sec. We’re getting somewhere with this.
First and foremost, unless you can sit down and crank out pages and pages of text–which, if you can, I’m jealous–don’t even think about writing the whole way through and seeing what happens.
Every heading is a fresh writing experience independent of the others. Chances are, you’ll forget things you want to say, spend too much time figuring out how to word something, or get sidetracked because your research was incomplete.
If it helps, think of your blog-post-writing endeavor not as “I’m going to write a blog post about diesel locomotives” but “I’m going to write three paragraphs on the modern hybrid-electric diesel powertrain.” I’m sorry I’ve picked what is probably an incredibly boring example for most. I think you get the point.
After a while, you start changing gears in your head quickly enough that you almost forget what you previously wrote about. The scenery has changed frequently enough to keep you engaged and the creative juices flowing.
Take a break after a while. Seriously. Get up and walk around or do something else for a few minutes before coming back to write some more. There’s nothing more mind-numbing and mentally draining than realizing at the end of the day you never got up off your couch for more than a minute. Prolonged writing sessions can take a toll, physically and mentally.
Please get up. Stretch. Walk the dog. Do anything else. Heck, come back the next day.
Create time limits for your writing. This will help you stay focused and not get bogged down in one area. Change the scenery if you’re spending too much time trying to get the words on the page. I like spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one topic.
Keep the end goal in mind. Remember why you’re writing this piece and what you want to achieve. You’ve come up with this idea for a reason. It never hurts to remind yourself what you’re trying to accomplish while writing.
The general premise is that you’re creating a bunch of subtasks in place of the über task: writing the entire blog post. When you see it as individual steps that you’ll do one at a time, things start falling into place, and before you know it, you’ve cranked out a few thousand words.
When I wrote the 13 Best AI Writing Tools for Bloggers and Jungle Scout review posts, I had to do it this way. At over 9,200 words and 4,300 words, respectively, I had a lot of things to say about every tool I looked at, but the only way to manage the process was to write about one tool or section at a time. Even then, I had to break up each tool’s section into small sub-sections and only focus on those words. The lesson: break it down as much as you need to for things to feel manageable.
Tip 3: Use Spreadsheets to Hold Data and Stats
If you’re writing a blog post reviewing a product or sharing a 10-best list, keeping track of all the data points you’re considering can be challenging without some organization tool.
How you go about doing this is up to you, but I have a few tips:
Don’t be afraid to have many columns. Collect as much data as you think you might need later. You’ll have it all in one place. Modern computers are incredibly fast when working with data, and working with text and numbers in a spreadsheet is nary but a breeze of effort.
If you’re feeling adventurous, write full product descriptions in the spreadsheet. If we’re talking about writing blog posts with a lot of stats or using a lot of information collected from different sources, you might find it worthwhile to write everything in a spreadsheet. It won’t look neat, but being able to copy-paste your content into place section by section is excellent.
I did this when I created by How to Start an LLC in Every State resource; I didn’t create each of those pages by hand. A lot of the data came from cells in a spreadsheet that I then plugged into place.
Use the built-in sorting functionality to help rank everything automatically. Take advantage of Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers, etc. native ability to sort data. If you’ve come up with a list of 47 vacation destinations in the United States, it makes sense to organize the list by something logical like State, alphabetical (provided your sheet has the State as a column). Let your tools do the menial work.
Tip 4: Use AI for Fast Drafts
This is where things get a little wild. If you had found me six months ago, I would have laughed at using AI tools to help write a blog post. The tools of the before times are great for writing a blog post fast, but we can take it a step further.
In all seriousness, it’s understandable that AI creates hesitation and concern about its ability to produce content. We’re firmly in uncanny valley territory, and some examples are getting too good (the related Hacker News post; archived).
With that said, what I’m looking for here isn’t AI’s ability to write entire blog posts from stem to stern (the analogies are top-notch today). I’m leaning toward more of the “let the computer do the menial stuff” part.
There are several AI writing tools available that can help you create a draft of your post quickly. I mentioned it earlier, but I highlighted 13 tools that I think are great at writing long-form content while still leaving the exercise of making it top-notch, chef’s-kiss-awesome to you, the creator.
For better or worse, all of the AI writing tools on the Internet have one thing in common: they’ve amassed billions of pages of content from the Web.
When you ask ChatGPT: “was French Polynesia always called that?“
It comes back with: “no, silly, didn’t you pay attention in school?”
How did it do that? Some of it is information aggregation, and some of it is interpreting what you’re looking for from the words in your question. Since I asked if French Polynesia always went by that name, I’ve given it parameters to draw a boundary around the work it has to do and what it produces.
In this case, ChatGPT only had to look up what it knew about French Polynesia and see if it knew about any former names. If it finds them, then expand on that former name and the change.
There’s another discussion on using ChatGPT to replace education and research. These massive (and I mean massive) models also move slowly. ChatGPT doesn’t know anything beyond 2021. Both a blessing and a curse, it’s not up to date on current events or knows much about what happened in Rome, Italy, on January 19, 2023. At some point, that’ll likely change, though.
To write blog posts, I find AI shines in two areas: making me sound more intelligent and giving me a content template to work from.
The former often comes in the form of paraphrasing or rewriting existing text. You can ask tools to expand on an idea, look for different ways to say a thing, or simplify the thought because you spent about six sentences too many rambling about the regulator/rectifier in a diesel locomotive (had to use that example one more time).
The latter comes from the billions of content pieces it’s consumed. It’s seen its fair share of how-to posts, so don’t be afraid to ask it to write an outline for “how to wash a dog at home.” Some tools will try to write the entire article for you, which is helpful, but we’re happy with a base outline.
With an outline, AI tools can give you a gentle nudge if you’re still stuck in the form of writing opening paragraphs or taking a stab at writing more on the topic because a single sentence in the “get the soap” section won’t do.
Here’s where I throw a wrench into this plot: this blog post was partially generated using an AI tool. I wrote this tool with Copymatic. I asked it to create a blog post outline for “how to write a blog post fast,” and it came up with some ideas. In a few spots, I asked it to take a swing at writing out content for those sections.
It sounds pretty natural. Some of the content I left (maybe 10%), some I re-wrote to fit my voice (about 80%), and some I deleted (the remaining 10%). You don’t always win every time, but because of its effort, I cranked out this blog post from end to end in a couple of hours, the time it took my daughter to nap in her crib.
My Favorite AI Writing Tools
Tip 5: Editing and Revising Your Posts
AI helps write a blog post fast, but once we have content produced by the all-star team of an AI writing tool and you, we need to go back and edit it.
Editing and revising your posts doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. It will, though, because if you’re like me, you’re a perfectionist and will spend way too much time trying to make things sound perfect.
Following a few simple tips, you can streamline your editing and make sure your posts are ready for publication.
Read your post out loud. This will help you catch any errors or awkward phrasing. What sounds good in our heads when we’re writing might be trash when said out loud, and that’s fine. Speaking text is a surefire way to look for any inconsistencies in flow or overly long sentences.
Let your device talk for you if you cannot speak: use text-to-speech. It might not be as good as the human voice, but again touching on these AI tools for a second, AI voiceover is getting pretty damn good. See my next point below, too.
Have someone else read your post. A fresh set of eyes can (and likely will) spot errors you missed. Also, ask them for their opinion on flow, information density, and if the content is easy to understand.
Don’t be a hero; use spell check. These tools are invaluable for catching mistakes. I rely on Grammarly (it’s my favorite spelling, grammar, voice, and tone checker) heavily because I know I could never entirely figure out how to sound more confident all the time or put commas in the right places.
Take your time. It’ll be there tomorrow. Don’t rush through the editing process to get your post published quickly. A few extra minutes of editing can make a big difference in the quality of your writing. If you have a deadline, then by all means, work appropriately, but the quickest way to burn out on blog posts is by writing non-stop blog posts.
Tip 6: Improving Your Writing Speed
We’ve covered how to structure your content and workflow–using AI where appropriate, too–to help speed up the content creation process and create a blog post fast. That’s only so helpful if your typing speed leaves something to be desired.
Before I cover these tips, let me be clear: no minimum typing speed is necessary to write a blog post fast. How fast you can type well is only a multiplier on how quickly you’ll work through the project. Whether you’re typing at 15 or 100 words per minute, you’ll be cranking out content quicker than you thought possible.
With the length of this blog post as an example, typing at only 15 words per minute equates to about 4 hours and 20 minutes of typing.
Find your optimal writing environment. Some people prefer complete silence, while others need background noise to focus. Find the best environment for you and try to stick with it as much as possible. This will help your brain get into “writing mode” more quickly.
I like to sit and write in two spots: my office–where I can close the door and put on headphones–and a semi-reclined chair with an ottoman in our front living room.
I jokingly call it my “drinking chair” because it’s across the room from and facing our liquor cabinet. I often have a beverage with me while I’m in this chair. Because it’s a purpose-built location, I find my focus much higher than elsewhere in my home.
Consider putting your writing time on the calendar or at least have a routine. Once you know when you’re going to be writing, it will be easier to get started and stay focused. If possible, try to write at the same time each day so that your brain gets used to sitting down and getting work done during that time.
It can be as little as 30 minutes if that’s all you can devote in a day. Maybe that time is after the kids go to bed or on Saturday mornings when you have your home. Remember the days before the pandemic? Venture to a public space and write there. The goal is to create the ritual. Once you have that, your mind will follow.
If you have a longer scheduled session, set a max word count. Having a specific goal in mind will help you stay focused and Write faster because you’ll know exactly how much you need to get done to reach your goal. Try setting a timer for yourself and see how long it takes to write 500 or 1,000 words, then work back from there. If you get done early, reward yourself.
This is a distraction-free zone. This one is important! It’s almost offensive how easy it is to be distracted by something. If you work from home, you might have an easier time finding and maintaining a distraction-free area to work, but not everyone has that automatic affordance.
With that said, if you want to be productive when you write, you need to eliminate anything that might distract your attention from the task. That means no TV, social media, or Internet–anything that might take away from your concentration needs to go. Software exists that can help minimize distractions if you find it necessary.
Take a typing course if you feel you need to improve your speed. Free online classes from Typing.com, learntyping.org, keybr.com, and others exist to help boost your typing speed in a way that’ll stick. While it’s OK to get good at pecking fast, using your whole hand to hit the keys makes a world of difference in speed, accuracy, and comfort.
Writing blog posts quickly doesn’t have to be a grueling task. We talked about various techniques, including creating an outline and creating sub-tasks for your writing to break up long posts into manageable sections. With the help of these tips, you can streamline your content creation process and become a more efficient writer.
Utilizing tools like spreadsheets to collect and manage relevant data and content in the post, as well as leveraging AI to get the monotony of the first draft out of the way, take things to the next level. Still, editing and revision take the cake for high-quality content.
At the end of it all, don’t forget to manage your time and space. You can master all of this, but it won’t be helpful if you don’t find the time or the focus.
These ideas are good to do on their own, but when put together, you’ll find yourself able to write a blog post fast and wonder how you managed to live without these skills. So if you’re ready to speed up your content creation and write blog posts faster, give these techniques a try!
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