If we only needed to string words together to write a blog post I would agree with the meme “being a writer is 3% hard work and 97% not getting distracted by the internet.” But as we all know, there is much more to developing excellent marketing content than avoiding distraction. But, just because something takes skill and focused time doesn’t mean it needs to take hours to accomplish.
At SMA, we intentionally create content every day. We have high standards for each article we publish whether it is on our blog or a client’s site and we don’t stop there. Every email, landing page, special offer, and web page we write content for is researched, edited, proofread, and edited again before sending it for final approval. We also incorporate SEO best practices along the way.
These steps take time and attention to detail. I’ve learned that the best way to effectively execute content development is by continuing to improve my writing skills as well as implementing a few shortcut strategies when possible. But here’s the thing. I have high standards for my writing. I don’t want churn out words. So while “write fast hacks” are great, they alone will not help you to create excellent blog content consistently. That’s why you need to learn to write better content even if your goal is to write faster blog content.
Quality over quantity is a luxury a content writer cannot always afford. Blog articles, special offers, and emails all require word count totals to optimize search engines and Buyer Persona preferences. It is challenging to write a great blog article that is at least 800 words when you feel you’ve presented your point in 350. Including headers and bulleted lists will allow readers to skim and catch the main points you are making, (and are great for SEO) but you still need to consider what the data says about the benefits of longer blog articles when trying to implement strategies to help your content rank in search.
Under no circumstances should you add fluff to your post to hit a word count. Depending on the type of content you are writing you may need to consider broadening your topic or doing additional research to expand the number of points you present.
On the other hand, the challenge when writing emails is to convey your point in fewer words. By utilizing images, headers, hyperlinks, and bulleted lists you can market your message effectively with fewer words, but this makes the words you do include all the more important.
Regardless of the type of content you are writing, the best articles are those tailored to your Buyer’s Journey. Your blog should only include information relevant to your persona. Writing better blog content begins by knowing who your reader is and then developing clear and helpful articles focused on their needs and interests as related to your niche or business.
Finally, whatever the word goal you need to reach, implement the KISS method (Keep It Straight & Simple) to ensure your message is clear to your reader.
Writing content faster begins with knowing your personal preferences. You need to arrange your calendar to accommodate productivity, so if you write best in the morning, you need to schedule client meetings for afternoons.
Distraction is an obstacle for everyone. If your surrounding tempts you to avoid writing, you need to eliminate the problem. Fortunately, removing distractions is easy. There are social media filters and apps that block other apps. While most writers I know prefer to type out content, I do know a few who write first drafts in longhand on paper and then transfer to a computer as they edit. Bottom line: figure out your top distractions and eliminate them.
The quickest way to derail a writing groove happens when you have to stop to do additional research. The speed of my writing increased drastically by implementing a separate research task into my work day. For me, research is interesting and often inspires the direction of my article, but it can also lead me down a path of distraction as if I find a large variety of opinions on a subject.
You may be wondering how I know what research is required before I write. Well, that alone is an excellent reason to develop a content calendar. But our research at SMA is also tied to the information we gather about keyword rankings, Google trends, our buyer persona, and observing what topics our client’s competitors have featured.
The best thing you can do as a writer is to understand that research will always be necessary, so take some time and develop a strategy and then plan a time to execute it often.
Read more about my strategy in the blog article How to Always Have a Writing Topic Ready
It’s likely that someone else has already written something similar to the blog content you are developing. There are millions of websites, each with an index of pages. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help your reader is to take an outdated blog post and write it better.
The great thing about this strategy is that you often have at least part of your outline started as well as some research, so you can sharpen the article and add additional information to make it current. To be clear, I am not suggesting you plagiarize. If you pull a quote from your inspiration blog article, you need to cite it accurately.
There is a wide gap between utilizing a published blog article to inspire content and taking credit for someone else’s work, but there is also a clear line. I suggest you look for content that presents older information, and either update it to reflect current trends or write a post with an evergreen slant on the same subject.
Another way to execute a write it better strategy effectively is to expound on someone else’s content. By writing a post that either agrees or disagrees with a blog article you can often develop thoughts that are in response to something rather than starting from a blank page.
By developing a content calendar that incorporates a few “write it better” articles throughout the quarter you can decrease the time it takes to write some of your blog articles. This can help you create margin for blog articles that take a little longer to complete.
Developing superb content marketing blog posts, emails, offers, and social media posts will set your website apart amongst all the internet noise, but it takes time to do well. By committing to writing better, and implementing a few strategies to help you write faster as well, you can continue to implement inbound marketing to support your business or niche goals.
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