I’m always on the go. If I’m not rushing to a meeting with a client, I’m rushing to a meeting with my staff. If I’m not buried in work, I’m hurrying to see family and friends. Yes, indeed; my life is pretty busy. Add in the articles that I write for the blog, guest posts and… well, you get the idea.
I know I’m not alone. I know some of our readers personally, and I know most of you are like me, constantly juggling your time. You’re trying to stuff 30 hours into a 24-hour day and getting frustrated because time won’t cooperate with you.
Are You Sacrificing Quality?
Quality writing takes a ton of time, research, planning and – let’s face it – a lot of inspiration. Some writers I know need to be “in the zone” before they can even begin to write. Has it gotten to the point that you groan when it’s time for another article to come out? Is it a frantic race to publishing time, or a slow, pleasant stroll? Here’s the big question. In all your juggling, are you *gasp* sacrificing quality for quantity?
No one wants that: your readers, least of all. You certainly don’t want to put some half-baked, unedited, obviously-unloved piece of content out there. So what do you do? Well, if you think about it, there are really only three things you can do when pressed for time:
- Put off writing until you have enough time
- Invite guest bloggers to write for you
- Find a way to write more efficiently
In looking at the possibilities above, I’d suggest you find a way to write more efficiently. Look, I know we all wish we had that magic wand to wave and presto, our next blog post just appears. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.
6 Tips to Streamline Your Writing Workflow
Is there a secret formula to writing faster and creating better blog posts? No, not really. However, what will work is adopting habits that make the writing process faster and more efficient. Here are seven tips that can go a long way toward streamlining your writing workflow:
#1: Prepare a content calendar
The task that eats up most of my time is thinking about what I’m going to write. Keeping a content calendar will help you cut your writing time in half. Tie this idea into monitoring your social media streams and blog comments. When an article topic catches your eye, write it down and put it on your calendar.
#2: Keep a notebook handy
Have a small notebook with you all the times and write down any ideas that hit you. Often, ideas will come to you at the most unexpected times. It can be while speaking with a client or while reading a comment from a blog post. Creating a topic list will shave lot of time off your workflow. If you have a smartphone and don’t particularly care to carry around actual paper, you can use apps like:
Android – FreeNote, ColorNote Notepad
iPhone – Awesome Note, AudioNote
#3: Give yourself a deadline
If you’re new to writing, give yourself a deadline to complete each article. The more you write, the better you’ll get at gauging how much time you’ll need to finish a given topic, and make adjustments as needed. The important thing is to set a deadline and stick to it. If you think you can finish a meaty post in an hour, make sure you stay on task and stay in your seat until it’s finished. Which brings me to tip number 4.
#4: Stay focused
After giving yourself a specific number of hours to write your article, sticking to your deadline is the real challenge. You’ll need to cut out all distractions. Get off Facebook and away from Twitter. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent mode and do everything in your power to stay focused until you’re finished. You’ll thank yourself later, and a happy you is… well, a happy you.
#5: Write Write Write
After you have all your facts checked and your research done, you’re ready to write. Let it flow. Write, write, write! Let your thoughts run their course. Don’t edit or check for spelling or grammatical errors. Just write. Nothing will distract you more from staying in a good flow than editing in the middle of your writing. Save that until the end.
#6: Edit only after you finish writing
Once you’re happy with your article you can go ahead and edit. Make sure you read your article aloud. Doing so will allow you to see if your writing makes sense and flows the way you want.
*Bonus Tip: Read your post out loud, amazing the mistakes you can hear when it’s not well written.
You can also do a final fact check as well as choose any images you may want to include. Make sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. It’s also a good idea to take some time away from the computer and come back later to review your article again with a fresh perspective. Better yet, ask a trusted friend to proof for you. Having your work reviewed with a fresh pair of eyes will do wonders for your writing.
There you go, six tips that can help you write faster and create blog posts. Do you follow a different workflow? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I always end up having to let my outline and word choices stew away in my head for a few days. I feel like when I do let it settle for a few day the quality vastly improves. I’m also alway done in 20 mins whenever I do this.
I know the feeling Joseph…Btw, next time you’re looking for that push take a look at these articles we’ve written to help bloggers, content strategists, and copywriters alike. Writing & Blogs ideas. Love your Gravatar 🙂
thank you very much for this list. You definitely touch base on a lot of points that I deal with on a daily basis when it comes to writing content. One of the hardest things for me is coming up with a spin on the topic that I’m writing about to differentiate it from other content found around the web.
the other part that I deal with is what you mentioned with staying focused and giving yourself a deadline. I often find myself running multiple articles at the same time, and finding that my mind has turned to mush and I have five articles in front of me that are not completed. I think I shall be taking your advice.
heii, I have a content calendar, but I find it difficult to focus on writing for other jobs that desperately need me. Do you have a solution for me ..?
thanks for share
Hey Dedy, take a look at our Content Development Category page… we have tons of great ideas. 🙂
This style of writing is very similar to rapid writing method which I agree with you to be more effective writing. Thanks for the reminder.
Still don’t know why keeping a time limit is still a hard thing to accomplish for me. Because each time I keep a time limit, I never meet the deadline. Do you have any good strategy which you use to surpass the time limit you set?
What sort of time line are you giving yourself? Maybe you are being too hard on yourself. Attainable goals are just as important as the goals. If you give yourself too little time then you will be disappointed, and vice versa. Actually try timing yourself next time you do write a post. Then you can see what’s a reasonable time frame. Then slowly shave 15 minutes away, from that time…Hope that makes sense. 🙂
Ok Gabriella, I’ll try your suggestions out. But do you have any time frame for a writer who’s just starting out? I usually write a 1,000 word article within 1hr. Is that too long a time?
Awesome tips in an outstanding blog!
thanks for sharing this great post
another tips to write better content is to read and read a lots of posts daily and notice how the use the language
this is a great way to improve your writing skills and become a better writer 😀
thanks for sharing this awesome post with us 🙂
I think the bonus tip is the best tip you gave. Reading something out loud almost always reveals an error I glanced over. I usually save this for a next-day read, so you’ve got that fresh perspective you talked about.
I love the content calendar idea. We started to do that ourselves now. Cheers!
Having a full preparation before writing something is the only thing which can affect the article and one can make planning to write effectively.
I am really struggling on writing a good blog post so I always end up giving psd freebies instead in my website to avoid content writing. I guess I really need to exercise discipline if I want to succeed in blogging.
It does take a bit of discipline, but you can get through the struggle! Sometimes I like to sit outside and use the recorder on my phone. I’ll just talk through the post, without worrying about getting it just right. Later, I can listen back to what I said, and the post will be much easier to write. The basics are already there. I just have to add the bells and whistles.
hmm.. I guess you missed out #6 when writing the bonus tips.. it sounds weird
“*Bonus Tip: Read your post out loud, amazing the mistakes you can what you can hear when it’s not well written”
But thanks for nice 6 tips, especially on the reading out loud part..
Ha ha ha! Pretty sure a gremlin must have snuck those extra words in that sentence AFTER I read it out loud. Thanks for catching that. We’ll fix. 🙂
Very helpful article.I waste a lot of time because I keep on editing my article while writing it.Now I will write first and then review(edit).
A blog post very close to my heart… and one I will share with my colleagues.
I think it is also worth remembering that not all posts need to be “meaty” – fast and furious posts are also worthwhile, give a richer texture to the blog, and leaves us with a huge feeling of satisfaction for a job well done!
Hey Susan, indeed. Thanks for taking the time to drop us a line. 🙂
Great Tips! I especially like #6 – sometimes its easy to over tweak a post more than it needs.
When I began my blog a little over two years ago, I tried to post a significant piece twice a week. Within a couple of weeks I realized that that was unrealistic, and I changed to one a week. A few weeks later, I changed to one every 10 days, and now I post a major piece every two weeks. I’ve never been willing to sacrifice quality for quantity, and I’ve found that I can produce my best work at a rate of two per month. Pacing yourself is an important part of blogging. Readers don’t care if you post every day. What they prefer is to view something of value each and every time they visit your site.
I think that all are here to make a blast with blog posts but i also want to add one thing here and that is Dedication.If we have not then all strategy can be worst.
Despite going through the hurdles if one looses focus then writing a good content will face problems.And having these problems affect your professional front will only ruin it.So staying focused and managing the time for everything is the key to success.