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Hiring a Blog Writer? Here’s What to Look For

Hiring a Blog Writer? Here's What to Look For

You’ve got a blog. You’ve written six posts, but now the inevitable time crunch is happening.

You know your blog is a great way to attract interested prospects and build a list of valuable followers.

But, a week goes by, and then another…and

no blog post.

Two more weeks and despite your best intentions…still no blog post.

We see it all the time: abandoned blogs. They still command a place on your menu bar, but nobody’s home.

Over time, you’ll start to see the consequences of an abandoned blog.

Your readers need to be well-fed! They’re not going to keep coming back if there’s nothing new to come back for…

Not to mention, a regularly updated blog is great for SEO. But more on that another time…

For now, let’s focus on what you can do about your abandoned blog.

One solution? Hire a blog writer.

Sounds simple, right?

You hire someone to write your posts. You sit back, the posts come in, you get more engagement and more business.

But, whoa there Silver!

There are a few things to consider before going down the freelancer highway and starting to read resumes. First, there’s one big question to ask:

Should you hire a blog writer?

As tempting as it might seem to hire a blog writer, you should first consider how important it is to use your own voice in your blog posts.

If you have a content blog sharing great advice, maybe it doesn’t matter so much who wrote it, as long as the content is unique and the writing is high quality.1Two good examples of this are inkbotdesign.com or contentmarketinginstitute.com.

On the other hand, if you are the brand, then maybe having someone else write your blog isn’t the best idea. A freelance writer is unlikely to accurately mimic your style of writing or humour and certainly can’t match your knowledge.

It IS possible to find a great match with freelancers. After all, ghostwriters have written many of the best-selling autobiographies. At BlogWorks we take the time to develop a complete profile, including your ideal customer, competitors, and business objectives.

But it could also mean higher costs and a longer search process.

A common strategy we use at BlogWorks is to write content pieces, not personality pieces.

A good example of this is Jon Morrow, who writes brilliant posts about his take on blogging, life after his accident, and “living in paradise.”2Jon Morrow talks about how to quit your job and get paid to change the world in this post: www.problogger.com/how-to-quit-your-job-move-to-paradise-and-get-paid-to-change-the-world You’ll also find many freelancers contributing great how-to content to Morrow’s SmartBlogger blog.3Morrow’s Smart Blogger blog is packed with tips to help freelance writers succeed

Hiring a Blog Writer? Here's What to Look For

What to look for in a blog writer

Before you start posting your job or searching forums for writers, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

Just like shopping for groceries, if you don’t start with a list it could be an expensive trip to the store.

Your list of requirements will be unique, based on the content expertise you are looking for, but here’s a good list to start with:

  • Writing skills: As basic as it sounds, there’s nothing more frustrating than bad grammar from a “professional writer.” If you really want to test if applicants are detail-oriented, in your next job posting insert this instruction: “Please mention ‘Blue Moon’ in your application.” If you don’t see “Blue Moon” mentioned in their application it could mean they won’t pay attention to details in your work.
  • Basic knowledge: As a minimum, your freelancer should have proven experience writing similar posts and basic knowledge of your industry.
  • Confident writing voice: It’s great to be accurate, but a big challenge for any blog is to stop readers from clicking away. Look for a unique writing style and the ability to improve your writing with examples, analogies, and metaphors.
  • Commitment to quality: In your interview process, give some feedback. How your freelancer receives your advice is one of the best measures of how well they will work out.

How to get started

We published a detailed post about job posting boards, forums, and even searching for Twitter to find freelancers. If you’re ready to find that perfect writer, that’s a good place to start.

Adding to that post, there is, of course, the Mack truck of freelancing, Upwork4UpWork is our go-to source for hiring market researchers, graphic designers, and hiring for other long-term and one-off jobs.. At BlogWorks, we use Upwork every month to hire freelancers for market research, graphic design, and other one-off jobs.

Want to learn more about finding writers on other job boards? Check this out.

The tip we most often share about using Upwork is to use the applicant filters. There, you can individually invite the freelancers you are most interested in working with (as opposed to letting Upwork send you applicants.)

Invite the right applicants to write

For example, if hiring a blog writer, I would follow this simple routine:

  1. Post the job. You can start with this being a one-off job and set the price level as “intermediate.
  2. When you move to “Invite freelancers”, immediately open “Filters” and start selecting the criteria you are looking for. You can even select your country of choice.
  3. Once you have selected your filter criteria, Upwork will start displaying the freelancers that fit your criteria. This is where you invite the best applicants to apply.

Check out the video below for a step by step guide on using Upwork.

The most remarkable aspect of Upwork is the speed at which you can go from job posting to communicating with qualified applicants. And because you’ve posted a one time job (as opposed to an ongoing contract), your risk is pretty minimal.

Another option? Hire BlogWorks to write high-traffic blog posts that attract more readers and convert more business. We take the time to understand your unique blogging goals and to customize our approach to every article. We also track your blog article performance and conversion on articles. Our goal is to give you a turn-key solution that drives more traffic to your revenue pages.

Oh, and of course we can promote your blogs too. Our team of local writers uses the best of your blog content to write and post daily announcements on social media. Click here if you’re dying to know more.

Want to write articles yourself? Download our Ultimate Writing Template.

Whether you hire a blog writer or commit to writing all of your posts, either way, committing to a consistent schedule of publishing is important. The worst option is to have an orphan blog on your site collecting dust.

Your readers want to learn from you and be inspired. Now, get publishing.

Did you like learning about what to look for in a blog writer? You won’t want to miss these posts either:

7 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd by Being Different
11 Blogging Statistics That Might Surprise You
9 Big Blogging Mistakes You Need to Avoid in 2020

This article was originally published on February 6, 2018, but we spruced it up in May 2020 just for you.

11 Highly Productive Things Small Business Owners Should Do During A Crisis

highly productive things small-business owners should do during a crisis.

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”
Henry Kissinger

There are some things you simply can’t fully prepare for. Like being a first-time parent, the start of a new small business, and a worldwide pandemic.

At some point, we can all look back with time-earned wisdom and find lessons in these life events. In the meantime, we need to respond. Take action – as unplanned and responsive as it might be – we are moving forward.

Like all cycles, we will get through this and there will be “the other side.” And like all cycles, some will be prepared and ready, and some will take much longer to find their feet.

This happened during the devastating influenza pandemic of 1918, the great depression in the 1930s, all the recessions in the ’80s and ’90s, the sub-prime slaughter of 2007/2008 and now during the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19.

As small business owners, we have a double responsibility. To our own health and families and to our responsibilities with our clients, employees, and suppliers.

When I was building Adventure Network I had all of those responsibilities, plus the weight of massive unsecured debt and crippling monthly bills (it’s not cheap to run 4 airplanes and the ground and aircrew to make it all happen.) I had to keep moving forward.

At BlogWorks I have employees and contractors. And, of course, I have our wonderfully loyal clients to think about. Shrinking back and waiting for the inevitable tide of world events to pass over me, like holding your breath waiting for the ocean to dry up, ain’t an option.

You have to keep moving forward.

Here are 11 things you can be doing now to keep your business vital and growing and prepared for the other side of a crisis.

1. Keep communication open

When a crisis hits it’s time to increase your communications. Keep your employees, contractors and suppliers included in any changes you are planning. The more people know about what is going on the more they can prepare and support you.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we started a weekly email to our clients and weekly updates to our team of 16 employees and contractors. The goal was to be proactive and share news about what we were working on. We also launched a survey to our list to learn about their blog preferences (the results will be turned into a blog post) and our writers to learn what writing skills training we can offer.

2. Kill some costs

This is a great time to review monthly expenses for your small business and look for areas to cut costs. One of my monthly routines is to run a highlighter over my company credit card statement, looking for any subscription charges.

I keep a running tally of subscription costs for Infusionsoft, Onehub, ScheduleOnce, Zoom, Feedly, Apple, Google, Dropbox, Siteground, etc. plus office rent, phone, and internet. Then I divide that total by the average income I get from clients—that’s how many clients it takes just to keep the lights on. The short-term pain of cutting one subscription can free up much-needed cash and leave more in your pocket.

3. Write more

People have more time to spend online, to read and to discover new solutions to old problems (some Internet sites are experiencing double their normal volume of traffic). Set aside time every morning to write and, if you have a blog, publish more often. Here’s the template I use for every blog. Remember, not every piece has to be a massive, epic treatise – consistency is often more important than word count.

Use a template to quickly move your mind dump of ideas into an organized flow.

4. Share your thoughts.

Maybe this is the time to get personal. Share your thoughts and what your experience has been with this crisis. This might be a departure from your small business’ normal topics (like this article) but it could also be well received by your followers and fans. After all, people buy from people they know, like and trust and this could be your time to build that relationship. You might get inspired by thought-provoking articles about coronavirus on medium.com.

5. Update your website

You know that thing that hangs out on the Internet that you swear someday you’ll update. Yeah, I’m talking about your website. If you’ve been putting off updating your website I have news for you…it won’t get any easier with time.

Not sure how to start? Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Update your contact page: is it inviting? Does it offer a simple checklist of options?
  • If you’re a keynote speaker, consultant, author or coach, start with your “About” page. The “About” page or “Our team” pages often get lots of traffic (people want to know who they are buying from).
  • Check the little copyright notice web designers love to put in the footer – does it show the current year?
  • Low-traffic pages don’t do you or your small business a service. Remove (in WordPress you can change these to Draft status) any pages that are no longer needed.
  • Set up Google Analytics to send you a monthly dashboard report on traffic. You’ve spent good money to build your site, now you need to know what it’s doing (or not doing) for you.
Google Analytics is important for tracking your small business website
In just 2 minutes you can create a monthly dashboard report sent to your email.

6. Connect more

Follow-up to emails, thank people for commenting and respond to social media followers. Your response might come at the perfect time to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Keap Founder, Clate Mask was quick to kick off emails to clients offering support and grant money during the COVID-19 crisis.

7. Strengthen your body

Long hours watching Netflix is a bad recipe for good health. You have fewer excuses and a whole lot more time to get out for a walk, jump on your bike or bliss out with guided meditation.

The good news is that as little as 20 minutes of daily exercise that gets your heart rate up and works your muscles can make a big difference. Just like writing, it’s more about quality than volume. Make it a morning routine and your body and mind will thank you. This 5-day series designed for busy people is a good place to start.

Martin Gibala explains how HIT training can give you big returns with very little time commitment.

8. Learn how to host online meetings

If your small business has not dived into the world of online meetings maybe now is the time to learn. I use zoom.us daily for meetings with staff, customers, and webinars (and now family). It’s surprisingly easy and robust. You might even have a client willing to move a planned event to online. A free plan allows for 40-minute calls – plenty to get you started.

Zoom is a great tool for small business owners working from home
Zoom makes it easy to jump on a quick call with your team or plan a webinar for clients.

9. Read more

Now is a great time to dig into the pile of unread books by your bed, and expand your thinking (and get off Netflix). I’m deep into The Choice by Edith Eger a breathtakingly beautiful work about “our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others” (Desmond Tutu), Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant, and Zero to One by Peter Thiel.

“The future is uncertain… but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.”
Ilya Prigogine

10. Launch a survey

Now could be the perfect time to reach out to your followers with a needs assessment survey. Maybe you want to know how they are using your product or service (do they order online?), is there a demand for new products or what topics they want you to address in future webinars. Survey Monkey makes it easy to create, launch and promote a survey (you can also use their app to run surveys in Slack to your team.)

If you are going to launch a survey, here are a few tips:

  • Keep your survey to 12 questions and if the survey only takes 2 minutes to complete, tell them in the invitation, like this: “Here’s the survey (2 minutes).”
  • Start with easy multiple-choice questions, like: what services have you used in the past?
  • Keep personal questions to the end (remember if you don’t ask for their name you won’t be able to match responses to respondents.)
  • Limit open-ended questions, which are harder for people to answer, to 1-2 questions.
  • Offer an incentive. A trick I use is to include a link to a free download in the Thank You message.
Set up a survey for followers of your small business
Survey Monkey makes it easy to include an incentive at the end of your survey.

11. Look ahead

I’ve been taking time every day to work on my planning. As I’ve shifted the focus for most of my working hours to BlogWorks I’ve realized a number of areas where I need outside help. Maybe you need to be looking at outsourcing some routines, like your blog, your marketing, your website updates or graphic design. This could be the perfect time to learn how to post a job on Upwork or other freelancer sites like Freelancer, TopTal, or WorkHoppers.

When a crisis hits, like COVID-19, it might be the perfect time to invest in strengthening your small business and yourself. As my Mom used to say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Enjoyed this muse? Here are more of my thoughts about being productive – enjoy!

How to make your blog stand out by taking a risk!
How to attract more readers to your blog today.
21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year.

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

9 Writing Tips to Clarify Everyday Communication (From a Professional Editor)

Writing Tips to Clarify Everyday Communication

When you write an email or even a text message, do you find that certain words trip you up? 

Have you ever had someone misinterpret your message because of a small spelling error or even using a slightly different word? 

Read on for some expert writing tips from professional editor (and all-around excellent person) Barbara McNichol

“That” versus “who” 

If your subject is a thing, use “that” if it’s a person, use “who.” 

Example:  

“My friend, the one who did me that favour, is amazing.” 

“Breath” versus “breathe”

Breath, breathing, breathe…well they’re all slightly different variations on the same concept. 

Breath” is a noun (a thing), and “breathe” is a verb or the action of taking breaths. 

Examples: 

“He is breathing just fine on his own.” 

“He took one breath, then another.”   

“Allude” versus “elude” 

When you “allude” to something, you essentially refer to it. 

But “elude” refers to escaping or running away. 

Tip: You can remember “elude” because it starts with an “e,” just like “escape.” 

For blog writing tips, check out 11 Insanely Powerful Words for Your Blog

“Affect” versus “effect”

Affect” is an action word, a verb, referring to something’s ability to change another thing. You can remember it by subbing in the word “influence.” 

For instance, you could say that “…his words affect (influence) me in a good way.”  

Effect” by contrast, can mean either “bring about” or result. 

Example: “The story has the desired effect.”

“Alter” versus “altar”

Altar” is a religious structure, a thing, and “alter” means to change, as in “alternate.”  

“Everyday” versus “every day”

If you’re going to pay heed to any one of these writing tips, let it be this one!

Everyday” is an adjective that describes something that is common. For instance, “here are a few everyday words which are spelled wrong.” 

By contrast, with “every day”, we are referring to a group of singular days. So you might say “I see her spell something wrong every day.” 

Tip: If you’re stuck, try sticking the word “single” in between the two words and see if it makes sense. It should make sense in the “every day” example.  

“Famous” versus “notorious” 

Famous” refers to someone who is revered, who people like. You can remember “famous” by thinking of another “f” word, “favourite.” 

Notorious” on the other hand, usually refers to someone who is known for unfavourable reasons (remember this because it starts with “no”). 

Example: 

“The young actress became famous for her Oscar-nominated role, and then became notorious for her drug use and underage drinking.”

“Ado” versus “adieu” 

Ado” refers to trouble or problems — think Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing or the phrase “without further ado…” 

Adieu,” on the other hand, is a phrase you might utter in the case of a long-term goodbye. 

“Lead” versus “led” 

When you use the word “lead” you are referring to an action, and that is a verb. 

For instance: “He had a fun time leading the group last Saturday.” 

But “led” is simply a past tense of “lead.” 

So you might say “He led the group with such passion, he was the best volunteer for the job.” 

Note: Lead is spelled the same as the element lead, but the element lead is pronounced “led”.  

Want more expert writing tips

There are many other points of contention we probably didn’t mention in this list of writing tips — what are some of your troublesome words or phrases? 

Want more conversions from your blog? You should read: 7 words that make your reader stop and take action

When we’re clear with our message and intent, we have a much better chance of being understood by our colleagues, clients, and friends, too. 

If you want to add value and clarity to your professional communications, or you want something to help guide you as you learn to write more clearly, sign up for Barbara’s Word Trippers program and get weekly writing guidance straight into your inbox!   

Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative and business professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips Advantage Program so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. 

Visit https://wordtrippers.com/ for full details.

Want more writing tips? Check out these articles too! 

90 seconds to become a better writer
5 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer

 

11 Insanely Powerful Words for Your Blog

11 Powerful Words to Improve Blog Engagement

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a compelling blog post?  

Or found yourself clicking over to a website that you wouldn’t normally be interested in?

When it comes to your content, a carefully chosen statement using one or more power words can make or break its “click” factor. 

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” ~ Mark Twain

Think Emotion, Trigger Action 

When blogging, it’s important to choose words that inspire action (think sharing a Facebook post or making a purchase) by evoking an emotional response. 

A title that prompts us to “see” or “guess,” for instance, is a little mysterious, evoking our curiosity and prompting us to click. And a button prompting you to “purchase this item today and get an instant 15% off” can easily create a sense of urgency, prompting you to decide to buy where before you may have previously been on the fence.

Here are 11 examples of words you can use to kick your content into high gear! 

1. Discover

When you use words that prompt people’s curiosity and offer some sort of promise about what can happen if they … (fill in the blank).   

2. You/your

As a writer, you want to put yourself in your audience’s shoes (see what we did there?). 

“You” is appropriate and useful if you are trying to establish a personal connection, but try to avoid using it in a demanding or overtly sales like way. 

For instance, 

Don’t say: You should buy X now!

Do say: Do you ever wake up tired when you know you got enough sleep? 

Use phrases that show the audience that you can relate to them, and make it clear that you are focussed on them and their needs.  

3. Imagine

Here’s another in our list of powerful words which evokes people’s curiosity and creativity, perhaps prompting a question like: 

What possibilities will open up for them if they use your product or service? 

This might appeal to people who are looking for a way to achieve their goals and dreams (…which, let’s face it, is most of us.) 

The point here is that you encourage them to get clear on where they are now, versus where they could be. 

4. Surprising

Amazing, surprising, fascinating.  

Why do these kinds of “ing” words work? 

Because they are action words. 

You want to get your reader moving somewhere, not let them sit and stew. Move their thoughts, change their minds, stir their hearts. 

5. Uncover

Again we are talking about one of the most powerful words for sparking curiosity. It’s like going into a shop with a bunch of little drawers…don’t you always want to open them to uncover the little mystery of what’s inside? 

6. Magic(al)

This might seem a bit fluffy at first but it can help to encourage people and make them feel brave. 

“Magic” can empower readers to understand that something that seems “impossible” is, in fact, possible.  

In this way, using terms like magical can essentially reassure them that an action can be completed.  

7. Improve

Again, this is another “promise” word that offers your audience a glimpse of what they could be in the future if they use your product or service. 

8. Challenge

This is one of those powerful words which can inspire action simply by recognizing a limitation or pushing someone to another level altogether. 

9. Success(ful)

We all want to be successful in some area of our lives, and the word “success” will have different meanings for some. 

No matter what you’re selling, chances are that they are reading because they want to make something easier, they want to make more money, or they want to be successful in some area of their lives. And you can use this to, again, help them envision themselves as more successful in the future. 

10. Now

Time-related words can create a sense of urgency and scarcity. Using terms like “now” helps to remind people of certain scarcities, such as time or money.  

11. Results

This is another one that conveys strength and progress by acknowledging that the reader most likely wants to get from here to there. 

Example: Try this Simple 5-minute Daily Exercise and See Results in One Month

Here we have a set of powerful words which, when combined, offer a concrete promise via a time-related statement. 

This encourages the reader to essentially visualize something that they are aiming for: a simple exercise that works. 

But we won’t tell them exactly what it is, because what’s the fun in giving it all away in the headline? 

How do you know what words to use? 

First off, the ability to use powerful words effectively in your content is an art, not a science! So don’t worry if you end up having to try and test a few headlines or taglines before you find one that fits (we all do).  

You don’t have to be an English major to improve your writing, but improving your vocabulary through frequent reading is a great way to practice.

What’s most important is that you keep in mind the reader’s cognitive response as you string words together. 

  • Use active wording 
  • Use words that match your writing style and tone 
  • Use words that reflect the intentions of your product and audience 

The idea here is to gently direct the reader towards your call to action. 

A great blog post has a few other specific components — we can help you with this!   

**

Liked this blog? Here are three more you might enjoy: 

21 Clever Ways to Attract More Readers and Boost Blog Traffic This Year
How To (Finally) Make Money With Your Blog
5 Brilliant Tips On How To Start A Blog Post With a Bang

Photo by Anton Repponen on Unsplash

5 Books Guaranteed to Make You a Better Writer

How to become a better writer: lessons from 5 amazing books

One secret most successful writers agree on is if you want to become a better writer you have to…read more.

And if you want to write for business, you should learn from the masters.

Even if you have been writing for years, you can learn better ways to keep a reader’s attention or how to move them to action.

In this piece – our first post about books we recommend – we have collected 5 of our favorite books about writing skills.

Each of these authors are skilled at their craft and bona fide experts at writing words that sell. We’ve learned from them—now you can as well.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft — Stephen King

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King

Stephen King is undeniably royalty in the world of writing. He’s the master of suspense and is one of the most successful published authors of all time.

He also wants to tell you how to become a better writer via his memoir On Writing.

This powerful book covers everything from pointed life lessons through to practical tips. Like that in writing, you should “…kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart…”. 

On Writing is the perfect book if you are ready to take a sharp knife to your writing and deliver stronger sentences that move readers to action.

Alternatively, you can let BlogWorks handle the writing for you.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life — Anne Lamott

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life …” – Anne Lamott

Writer Anne Lamott is a vocal advocate of the need for a “shitty first draft”.

Picking up Bird by Bird means getting your hands on a heap of practical tips about the writing process and being a writer.

You’ll learn about the necessity of first drafts and how to know when to publish your work.

Her cutting wit will have you in stitches just as often as it will have you analyzing your experiences. Ultimately, you’ll be led to the conclusion that to be a great writer, you’ve got to write. A lot. 

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Ann Handley

“Because at some point, you do have to rush your own art. Otherwise, your art sits on its butt on the couch eating chips and salsa.” Ann Handley

Ann Handley has established herself as one of the leading experts on writing in the digital age. 

Everybody writes is jam-packed with actionable tips that’ll help you become a better writer and to retain customers through thoughtful content. 

It also considers the value of (reliable) data, editors, and rewrites. Elements that are often overlooked by fledgling writers. 

But my favorite pointer (spoilers ahead) is that your content isn’t a one-off piece. You need to keep your eye on the big picture (aka your content strategy and goals) at all times. 

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It – Stephen Pressfield

“When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated.”

Steven Pressfield, of ‘The War of Art’ fame, wants to help amateur writers navigate the tangled path to professionalism. 

He also wants to swear. A shitload. 

This book is the lovechild borne of those two desires. 

Amidst Pressfield’s anecdotes and musings, you’ll find truth bombs that’ll change the way you look at writing. Of course, there are plenty of tips and tricks that’ll save you time and heartache too. 

The book’s tongue-in-cheek lessons are easy to digest. Plus, it’s written in bite-sized chunks that are perfect for busy writers. 

Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience – Pamela Wilson

“The “lazy” approach means developing labour-saving techniques for getting things done so you have more time for other areas of your life” – Pamela Wilson

Building on the success of her own startup, Pamela Wilson became one of the most prolific bloggers at Copyblogger (aka the bible of Copywriting). 

Her part DIY, part self-help book Master Content Marketing tells you how to become a better writer in the digital age. The strength behind the book is her ‘keeping it real’ attitude. She promotes the ‘lazy’ approach to content marketing. 

 

If you need some help with the writing while you’re busy reading, check out BlogWorks. We can handle the writing for you.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you

How to Write Your Blog Posts Faster and Better
How to Start a Blog Post: 5 examples that really work
A proven 3-step method to finally overcome procrastination and get it all done

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Tips on writing a blog post faster and better

Write blog posts faster and better

It can be a grind to write a blog.

You have to come up with clever ideas.

Find the time…write a draft…edit…add images…

Here’s what helps (and helps with any business):

You need a system.

When I started blogging I assumed ideas would pour from the heavens and my fingers would fly effortlessly across the keyboard pouring out publish-ready prose flocks of salivating followers would fall on.

Nah, didn’t happen.

As the reality of researching, writing, editing, image selection and publishing became clear my motivation started to slide.

…and slide…

…and slide…

Pretty soon, I was missing publishing deadlines.

Then there weren’t any deadline.

Then my blog routine became a random game of chance.

Enter the system

It took some time to realize that without a system blog writing was going to be painful. Later I learned the value of a system for that day when you want to outsource parts of the publishing process.

It took some time to realize that without a system, blog writing was going to be painful. Click To Tweet

The system I’m going to share is simple – it has to be – it’s designed to be repeated for every blog.

And it starts with finding the ideas. With a steady supply of fresh ideas you are halfway there.

1. Finding the ideas

In my post “How to never run out of ideas ever again” I shared sources for blog ideas. I also explained our process for republishing older blog posts (like this one). This is a strategy we’re now using with most of our clients and having crazy-good results. Read that post here.)

I’ll add you should be looking for micro ideas – not big, scary, all encompassing ones.

For example, this post is just about a writing system.

I could have also talked about researching, choosing the perfect topic, or how to use the WordPress editor. But, that’s too much width for a quick-to-read blog post.

When you tackle a micro topic it’s easier to complete the post and, I think, easier for the reader to quickly get value they can turn into action (without getting overwhelmed with advice).

Now that you have the ideas, it’s time to…find time.

2. Finding the time

The best way to find time for writing a blog is to not have to “find it” in the first place.

I recommend having one block of time for writing. For me, it’s the first thing I do every morning. For you, it might be 8:30-10:00, 3 days a week – whatever it is, make it a routine.

The best way to find time for writing is to not have to “find it” in the first place. Click To Tweet

At first, you might want to post this time for a month on your calendar to help develop the routine. You might also need a reward for your efforts, like crossing the task off a list, or marking your calendar with minutes spent writing every day.

The less you have to work at finding the time, the more likely the work will get done.

Now that you’ve found the time, you need to get started. Check out these tips on writing a blog post faster.

3. Sitting down and writing a blog

writing a blog post without distractions

I need to have a clear desk, a full cup of tea and a quiet room to write. I can edit on a moving train full of goats (still haven’t tried that), but writing requires complete concentration and no distractions (or goats).

Commit to a block of time. If you are writing at 8:30 in the morning, you might want to work for 90 minutes with quick breaks every 30 minutes – but commit to the time. That means Facebook and email are closed, papers are cleared away and your phone is put away or on airplane mode.

Whatever works best for you, create that situation every time.

Next, you need a template

4. Use a template

I can hear it now “But, I’m an artist and artists never use paint-by-number formulas.”

Bullhooky. Even artists use a template of sorts to organize their thoughts – certainly authors do.

Every blog posts (with exceptions to recipe blogs or vacation journal blogs) needs to take the reader on a journey. Usually that journey is from problem to solution.

My template for writing a blog (hundreds of public speakers use this template) is very simple. I follow it for every post (like this one) and the reader never complains.

Here it is:

  • The Problem – what problem does your reader have?
  • Personal – what is your experience with this problem?
  • The Promise – what are you giving the reader?
  • The Solutions – your solutions to the problem
  • A Call to Action – what do they need to do first?
  • Final thoughts – motivation

Like most books that follow a template for every chapter, we’re too busy enjoying the content to care much about the structure.

Template ready? Time to get the first draft done.

5. First draft

Your first draft will not be great – expect it. Anne Lamott famously calls it your “Shitty first draft” and for good reason.

When I’m writing an 800-1,000 word blog post, I like to crank out a first draft in about one hour. After that I let it simmer while I go for a run, do some other work, or read – but I don’t think about it.

When I sit down to finish the post, it’s amazing how obvious all the problems are. The run on sentence or weak arguments jump off the page and are much easier to fix.

Plan on two sittings and it takes the pressure off and allows you to write more freely for that essential first draft.

6. Ship it

At some point you need to admit this is only a blog – not a novel – or, as Seth Godin says, ship it.

“Shipping is fraught with risk and danger. Every time you raise your hand, send an email, launch a product or make a suggestion, you’re exposing yourself to criticism. Not just criticism, but the negative consequences that come with wasting money, annoying someone in power or making a fool of yourself. It’s no wonder we’re afraid to ship.”

More time fussing over semi-colons won’t get you more readers or more social shares, it just burns up more time.

Your goals should be to help the reader reach their goal faster and better than they could on their own.

Once you’ve done that, your job is done.

Now, get writing.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for your entertainment, education and just because.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about writing blogs:

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love