When you create content for a living, whether for yourself or someone else, you have to be quick about it. After all, time is money and you’re not going to make a whole lot if you can only do one or two pages a day.
When I first started, it would take me all day to write one blog post. (Sometimes it still does, but that’s another story!) Fortunately most days I’m a little quicker than that, and I’m continually working on getting faster. My goal for this year is to write between 5,000 and 10,000 words a day. I know that seems like a lot, but when you factor in blog posts, articles, web page copy, books, PLR for sale, and all the tweets and status updates across social media platforms it’s not as bad as it seems.
I’ve also learned a few tricks over the years that help me create content quickly when I need to.
1. Start by writing what you know.
It’s a lot easier to write quickly when the topic is something you know well and are passionate about. It’s a lot less stressful too, when you don’t have to worry about a ton of research.
2. Keep a notebook handy.
You and I both know that one of the worst things that can happen when you absolutely have to write a post or an article, or worse, something for a client, is that you sit in front of a blank screen and can’t think of a darn thing to write.
If you keep a notebook handy, or even a piece of paper, and write things down as you think of them, you’ll never run out of things to write about.
I actually learned this tip from my father. He was a composer, and he always kept a folded up piece of manuscript paper and a pencil stub in his pocket. You’d often see him in the coffee shop relaxing with his friends, and in the middle of a conversation he’d stop talking, whip out the paper and pencil and write down whatever he’d just heard.
3. Make an outline to work from.
Whether you are a planner or a free-writer, you should start your writing session by making an outline. I’m definitely a free-writer, and it’s really hard for me to see the whole thing before it starts to flow but lately I’ve taken to even setting one or two words on the page and working from there. It definitely helps to keep things focused.
If you do a full outline complete with bullet points, you can write much more quickly because all you have to do is expand on those points. It’s a little like filling in the blanks.
4. Write without stopping.
The most important part of writing, whether it’s a blog post, article, or a book, is to get the first draft done. It’s so much easier to clean up a draft than it is to continually start over because you don’t like the first sentence.
While you’re working on that draft, the best thing to do is put a muzzle on your inner editor and write without stopping for as long as it takes to get what you need to say down on paper or screen. If you think it will take too long, set a timer. You will be surprised and amazed at how quickly you can get something finished when the clock is ticking.
5. Use pen and paper.
This is my all-time favorite way to work. There is something about the physical act of putting pen to paper and seeing my thoughts become real as the ink flows across the page that really gets me going. I find that it’s too easy to get stalled when I’m on the computer.
Nine times out of ten I write the first draft by hand and then type it out afterward. I can then edit as I’m typing, and by the time I’m done I have a finished post.
So there you have it, my best tips for creating good content quickly. Try these the next time you need to create a blog post in a hurry, and please do let me know how they work for you!
What do you do when you have to create content quickly? Share your thoughts in the comments.