So, you started a blog. At first, it was kind of fun and new and exciting, but now the reality has set in – “How in the world am I going to find the time?” Well, science hasn’t yet been able to alter the flow of time, but here are some tips you can use to write your posts faster – and make them better too.
Always with the Ideas
Keep an idea file so you don’t spend time agonizing over a topic. Ideas will come to you at the strangest times so be ready for them. Write them down to keep them from evaporating into the ether. I know from sad experience that you won’t remember even the best ideas that come to you while driving or brushing your teeth. The only thing you’ll hold on to is the frustration of not quite being able to recall the idea that you know is fantastic.
Carry a small notepad and pencil with you, jot those brilliant thoughts down and put them in a folder. My idea folder is a box with a motley assortment of notepaper, clippings from magazines and newspapers and napkins and scratch paper with virtually illegible scrawl on them. It works for me.
If you spend a lot of time at your computer (who doesn’t anymore?) or find inspiration online, keep an idea file there as well. Make it simple so you won’t have to fumble around for it to jot notes and copy links. Mine is a notepad file on my desktop with an unsorted jumble of links, article ideas and possible titles.
Lay it Out
It’s OK to take the quick way out when you format your post. Take a look around popular and widely read blogs and you’ll see that the list post is a favorite now. It’s also the fastest to organize and write.
Start by setting down your key points and adding a paragraph or two of explanation for each. Three is an appealing minimum number that offers compelling information but doesn’t seem too long for the reader to tackle. More than ten defeats your purpose of writing faster but can be useful for longer posts. Here’s a great example with 50 items.
There are others, but here are some ways to begin your post:
- Pose a Question
- Use a Quotation
- Offer a review
Get your idea clear in your mind and start writing. Write as fast as you can. Don’t worry about how it sounds or reads or if it’s too long or stupid – you’ll fix it later. Once your words are on the page, let it rest a while.
Now, shape it into a proper post. Click here for the post checklist with tips on doing that.
Blogging isn’t rocket science – or even science fair science – so don’t give up. How’s the writing going for you? Let me know what’s working and what’s not – I’d love to hear from you.
If you need help, let me know – I’m available now for edits and content management that bend the space-time continuum so you don’t have to.
Image: Creative Commons