What? There’s a process?
Yes there is and usually it begins with an idea and finishes with a published blog post, but it’s the stuff in the middle that takes time.
Sure it’s easy to come up with a blog post idea when you’re having a shower, or just before you go to sleep because all it really takes is a still mind and your ideas will start flooding in.
Or you cheat and just grab an idea from a list.
Likewise, it’s easy to hit that publish button moments before you move onto that next thing.
So how can we find the time to actually create the blog content meat in the sandwich?
Finding Time for Research
Yes, good research takes time, and if you aren’t an authority in this space you’ll need to start Googling. Fortunately, most stuff has already been talked or written about, so you just need to start absorbing new content.
Look for an authoritative figure currently working in the niche you’re interested in and learn from them. Read books, blog posts and watch youtube videos when you have spare minutes in your day.
Instead of playing Facebook games when you’re bored, watch a short youtube video.
Instead of reading the news, read a blog post.
Instead of watching the news, watch a longer youtube video.
Instead of watching a movie, watch a youtube channel on your topic of interest.
If you don’t even have time for these things then get some ear buds and start listening to videos, podcasts and audio books. You can even grab one free book from Audible and cancel your membership before you start paying money.
When you use your ears for research, you can get on with other mundane things like – housework, driving, cooking, walking or anything else that usually takes up your time.
And the great thing about these audio learning tools is they can be speeded up. Yes, you’ll still understand what they are saying at 1.5X speed or even 2X speed so doesn’t consume these at normal speed. Get results faster.
There’s no point in trying to memorise all the things you’re learning from the research so make sure you take notes along the way.
Carry a notepad and pencil or use mobile apps like Evernote or Google Keep to take down things of note. I use a voice recorder app on my phone to capture my thoughts from the moment. You can also just text yourself a message.
Although a notepad is small and handy, typing stuff into a mobile app will save you time transcribing later.
Taking notes allows you free up that space in your mind, and opens it to new information.
Structure Your Post
Chances are you won’t have the time to sit down and write all the blog content in one sitting so start by creating some structure for your post.
Create headings and sub-headings that you’ll flesh out later. Remember to take your readers on a ride and when you’re finished bring them back to the start.
These sub-headings are also great for the skim readers who also don’t have the time to fully read your entire blog post but may be interested in using your post to fill in a few knowledge gaps they have.
Start Writing or Talking
So with the structure in place you can concentrate on just one section at a time. Organise your notes into the various sub-headings then cut and paste to save you even more time.
If you are extremely time poor then, just write down a few sentences when you can. Even people without touch typing skills can pump out 20-30 words a minute. So that’s a few sentences even if you just have a brief moment to sit down.
This is where the structure of your post will start to pay dividends, as it’ll allow you to come back to your content time and time again without having to read the blog post draft to get back into the flow. Again this will save you valuable time.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect as editing comes later.
If you don’t have time to sit down then you can always just dictate.
When you are on the go, you can always talk into a phone app and record what you have to say. Again get your thoughts down as best you can, editing comes later so just get as many thoughts out as you can in the available time to you have. Then simply purchase a $5 gig on Fiverr to do the transcriptions for you.
Better still use my referral link and get yourself a free gig. https://www.fiverr.com/s2/58c87e0046
The important thing when writing is to remove your distractions, so close all those browser tabs, including email and enable Distraction-Free writing mode in your WordPress Dashboard. It’s that little icon in the top right corner, under the ‘visual’ and ‘text’ tabs.
You’ll save time if you can focus even if it’s just for a short while.
Save Time and Edit Last
If you’re the sort of person that edits as you go then you’re wasting valuable time and might not get all your ideas out in time. Thoughts flow through us and if you don’t catch them as they pass by, they may be lost and are hard to get back.
Have you ever lost your concentration and then forgotten what you were about to say?
Those memories are still in there but got bumped to the bottom of your memory stack because you told your brain you had more important things to concentrate on.
Your right brain takes care of your creativity and flow, whilst your left brain is working on language and thinking. When you’re constantly switching into editing mode, you lose your flow and have to force the words out.
Always edit last.
I use a tool called Grammarly to help me with my editing. I can turn it off while I write and then when I’m in the editing stage I turn it back on and it identifies all the spelling and grammar mistakes I’ve made.
I usually fix these mistakes before proceeding to the proof-reading stage to ensure the words flow and there is consistency in the message.
If you’ve been short of time during the blog content creation process, you’ll have more editing to do but editing is easier to do in chunks. Just try to find 5 minute blocks during the day.
Even if you’re wrangling some small children, I’m sure they won’t mind if you read your blog post out loud to them. Let’s face it, you were probably going to read to them today at some stage anyway.
Work on Your Headline
Writing your blog post is only part of your job. You now need to find a headline that’s interesting enough to get people to click to see your work.
I’ve written about this before ‘Are Your Blog Headlines Awesome Enough‘ so I won’t waste any time repeating myself.
Try writing a few headlines, walk away and then come back to see it they ‘pop’. If your headline doesn’t catch your attention then how can you expect it to catch someone else’s?
Find a Few Good Images
Finally, you need to find a few good images for your blog post.
If you’re super organized, you’ll already have a stockpile of images you’ve collected from the various royalty free stock photo sites on the web but if you’re running a little low then just fire up Canva.com and grab a professional photo for free or at worst, $1.
Time is money, and money can also buy you time. So if you are short of time then pay a few dollars to get something that looks professional.
Usually, you’ll want to include a few images per blog post.
If you find yourself continually running out of time, then work in small chunks and nibble away at your blog post.
Sure it’s not ideal, but getting a blog post out is better than giving up because it’s too hard.
Blogging is a long game, but you need to be playing along the way.
Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the perfect opportunity to enter the arena isn’t going to help you achieve your goals.
Bonus Material: How long is one minute?
A simple experiment…
Set a countdown timer on your watch for 60 seconds, start it and then stare at a blank wall until the alarm sounds.
Yes, you need to do it to experience the sensation – don’t bother reading on otherwise.
So what was your experience? Maybe @
20 seconds you could feel time pass
40 seconds you were becoming bored
50 seconds you were wondering if you’d started the timer
55 seconds you were sure you didn’t
59 seconds you were wondering when this would end
60 seconds you were amazed that one minute was such a long time