You don’t need another guide on how to structure a blog post. There’s plenty of excellent articles about that out on the web.
But as an entrepreneur, it might be difficult for you to find the time to constantly create new content. It doesn’t have to be. If you take the right approach, you can get your writing done in no time.
I use a system I call the 177% process. I write a 500-word article in about 30 to 45 minutes from start to finish. I rarely spend more than an hour on them.
I’ve found that one of the keys to creating killer content quickly is to “budget” the time. Give yourself a narrow window to finish the task, and your mind will start spewing out the words.
But this only works if you know how your budget is going to be appropriated:
1. Generate the Idea – 10%
Ideally you should have a bank of ideas sitting and waiting to be written. But I’m going to assume you don’t, or you’re struck with inspiration.
Spend 10% of your “budgeted” time ensuring that you can come up with enough material for your post (and maybe find a source or two in the process).
2. Brainstorm and Outline – 25%
Most people create outlines in a linear, chronological fashion. I spend most of this time spurting out ideas using a mind-map format, and a little at the end organizing and curating them. The key is to not hold yourself back by thinking too much.
3. Headline – 15%
The headline is arguably the most important part of your post. If it doesn’t compel your audience to click though, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on your article or how great the content is.
A good way to get the most out of this time is to have templates (like the ones available from Jon Morrow and Chris Garrett) handy. After all, there are certain formats that are proven to be more effective.
4. Write – 40%
Once you have your outline (loosely) organized, it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks. You’ll probably find that the outline will form the backbone for the heading structure.
The easiest way to write fast is to talk to yourself while you’re writing (make sure no one’s around though otherwise you’ll look crazy). Just bounce ideas off yourself. You might even consider dictating the whole post and then transcribing it.
5. First Proof – 25%
We’re already at 100%. Most business bloggers would stop right there (or at least give the remaining steps minimal attention). These are the steps that’ll ensure that you’re writing great content.
Taking a few minutes to just read over your post will expose errors you missed in the heat of writing. Reading it out loud works even better.
6. Final Edit – 25%
You should do a final proof/edit a day or so before you publish. The longer you wait the better. Looking at the post with fresh eyes will open up things that you don’t like and will give you another round of ideas. Plus you don’t want to put something out with a bunch of silly mistakkes right?
7. Curate – 25%
Professional bloggers know this, but as an entrepreneur you might be unaware of how important it is to be around to promote your post and answer comments immediately around the time you publish.
And that’s it! It’s really as easy as that.
And the extra 2%? I just wanted to throw you off. What techniques do you use to blog more efficiently? Let me know in the comments!