Everybody’s always waving productivity tips and blogging advice at you.
They tell you to start early in the morning, or spend half an hour outlining before you draft, or meditate before you touch the keyboard.
Whatever, right? You’ve tried some of those ideas –the ones that didn’t sound too silly– but they didn’t make a huge difference in your blogging productivity. So you keep on truckin’ doing what you do.
Good for you. But… bad for you, too. Because there are 3 incredibly simple steps to faster, better blogging, and right now you’re ignoring them.
That means you’re spending time agonising over a blog draft when you could’ve been finished already and watching the comments come in.
It’s this easy to blog faster and better than before:
Step 1: Know Why You’re Blogging
If you blog on a Wednesday because your calendar says to blog, stop.
There’s no point writing a blog post unless you have a reason for it. So, if you really want to blog on Wednesday but you don’t have a reason beyond “that’s the day I blog”, go and get yourself a reason!
Look around you and find inspiration, in the real world or on the internet. Find a reason to blog on this day, about this topic. Find something that you need to respond to, or something that you need to reveal. As soon as you give yourself a “why”, the “what” will start to take shape almost by itself.
Step 2: Know What You’re Saying
Whether you write it out with care or simply put it together in your mind, get a rough idea of what you plan to say in each section of the post.
Most important, how can you show your audience that you understand them as well as the topic? Opening your blog post with empathy and a clear sign that “yes, this is the right post for you” will encourage readers to keep reading.
Think about the reason you found in Step 1. What’s the best way to explain that to your reader? Do you need to start by laying out facts for the uninformed, or can you safely assume that your target audience knows what you’re talking about?
How can you convince your reader that you know what you’re talking about? Do you need to establish your expertise before they’ll trust you enough to read the rest of your post?
Now for your message. How will you talk your reader through your advice or argument? What points will you need to make, and what’s the best order to present them?
Round it all off by knowing what you want your reader to do when they reach the end of the post – if you don’t tell them, they won’t know!
Step 3: Know When to Publish
When you’ve finished writing your blog post, don’t hit the Publish button yet. Yes, I know it’s Wednesday and you want to publish on Wednesdays, but this is important! You still need to edit.
Leave it alone. Go away for at least an hour and do something that doesn’t involve reading or looking at a screen. Then come back and look at it again with refreshed eyes. Correct any typos or other errors you notice, and resist the urge to change too much else. You can do that next…
Switch to a different font: use a serif if you were drafting in a sans-serif font, and vice versa. Make the size bigger, too. Now read it again. This time, pay attention to any places where your phrases or sentences don’t flow logically and smoothly. Make any changes you need to make it feel natural, and try reading it aloud to spot patches of awkward language.
That’s all there is to it. 3 steps. Will you take them?
Let me know if you’re going to give it a try!
Image: Tsahi Levent-Levi