So, how much spare time do you have?
A lot? Enough?
If you’re a writer, marketer, entrepreneur, member of a family, or part of a social group, the answer is probably a resounding–NOT ENOUGH!
There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that you want to do and sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do. So if there’s a way you can shave a few minutes (or more) off a task you do often, that can represent a big change in your life.
Writing for the internet is one of those things that can be done in a lot less time than we usually give it.
Here are five ideas that can help you slash your post-writing time. (And probably make the posts a bit better, too!)
Hammer Out Your Angle
The worst thing you can do (that we’ve ALL done) is sit down in front of a blank page and wait for inspiration to strike.
You need to figure out a few things first.
- Who you’re writing for, and
- What they’re interested in reading.
You can do this by figuring out who your ideal reader is, and researching the type of blog posts, articles etc. that they most frequently enjoy. Look at other blogs in your industry, and see what style of writing, and range of topics perform the best.
Draft Your Outline
After you know your audience and angle, spend some time drafting your article.
Write an exciting, attention-grabbing introduction, and then create the sub-headings you’ll be using to divide your writing into chunks. This will save you a huge amount of time when it comes to writing your piece, because you already know what belongs where – all you have to do is fill in the blanks.
Make sure your headings are interesting and give a good indication of the content you’ll be discussing in each section. If you think you’ll need it, you can also add a few notes about the important points you’ll cover in the section.
Jot Down Brilliant Thoughts As You Go
Have you ever thought of an excellent way to say something, swear to yourself you’ll write it down as soon as you get to the right place, and when you do – it’s lost in the ether of your mind?
This often happens when researching, reading or outlining – pretty much any time that’s not a great time to develop the idea further.
Yep. It’s so frustrating. Sometimes you remember it, but usually only after the piece has been published.
If you try to develop the ideas as you have them, though, you’ll derail yourself from concentrating on the rest of the piece and you may get one great line in, but the overall quality of the piece will suffer.
Save yourself the pain by keeping a running list of pithy observations, stirring conclusions or mind-bending opening lines.
Prepare Dazzling Quotations
Other people say lots of wonderful things that illuminate a point you want to make. That is why we quote.
Whenever you notice a line, a paragraph or a thought that speaks to you, dump it (with a reference link) into a text or word file on your computer.
Having these on hand is amazingly helpful when writing posts because you won’t have that “someone said something about this – it was so good, who was it?” moment that happens to avid readers.
Prepare Your Useful Links
Finding and adding links is one of those simple tasks that can eat up time really quickly.
Not every post requires external links, but plenty of them do. After the thing is written it’s simply a pain in the butt to go through and find everything you want to link to, then go find the right links and then go back again to insert them.
Just do it first.
And Bring It All Together
Once you have your prep work done, you’ll be amazed at how fast a blog post can come together.
Everything just runs smoothly and the end result is clear, concise and filled with fantastic tidbits that your readers will love and respond to.
This is especially true when you use a proven and effective formula. Everyone who has tried it says that the Write Like Freddy training program has sped up their writing (sometimes by huge margins) and allowed them to get in front of much, much bigger audiences to loud applause. ;-)
Danny Iny (@DannyIny) is the co-founder of Firepole Marketing, the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”, and the co-author (with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, and many others) of Engagement from Scratch! (available on Amazon, or as a free download). The latest and greatest thing you can get from him (for free, of course) is his Naked Marketing Manifesto, about marketing that really works!
Image: Speed by BigstockPhoto
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