Is it taking you ages to write blog posts?
You’re not alone…
Whether you’re new to blogging or you’ve been running your blog for a while, the time commitment can be really overwhelming. Just getting one post published each week can be a struggle, especially if you’re focused on producing high-quality long form content.
Even if you’re not a natural writer, there are lots of ways you can speed up your writing process. Writing faster means you can publish more often—or you can spend more time on other vital activities to grow your blog’s traffic.
First, let’s address a common worry about writing faster…
Faster Writing Doesn’t Mean Slapdash Writing
One of the worries that some bloggers have is that by speeding up the writing process, they’ll compromise on quality.
I don’t believe that’s true. Sure, some methods for speeding up might affect the quality of your post – if you decide to shave time off your process by skipping editing completely, that’s probably going to result in posts that have typos or other glaring errors. And if you simply hand the whole process over to an AI tool that can whip up an entire blog post based on a one-sentence prompt, you won’t be producing something of your usual quality.
But in many cases, working more effectively improves the quality of your finished posts. Let’s say you speed up by cutting out distractions when you’re drafting: your post might flow better as a result, with smoother transitions between sections. Or how about you speed up by nailing your outline before you start writing the post—you’ll have a well-structured piece that covers all the most important points.
With each step we cover, we’ll be looking at how to write faster and better. Along the way, we’ll take a look at some key techniques that top bloggers use to consistently produce high-quality content.
How to Speed Up Your Blogging Process from Start to Finish
Whatever type of posts you write, and however long or short they are, you’ll be going through these different steps of the blogging process:
- Coming up with an idea
- Outlining your post (you might be doing this in your head / as you draft)
- Drafting your post
- Editing your post (you might be doing this as you draft)
- Publishing your post
Each step is important, and by recognising each of these as distinct parts of the blogging process, you can look at how to speed up and write even stronger posts.
We’ll take a look at ways to be more efficient and effective at each step … but before we dig into that, let’s tackle a huge issue that’s probably on your mind as you think about writing fast.
Should You Use AI to Speed Up Your Blogging?
As a freelance writer, I’ll admit to some mixed feelings about AI (artificial intelligence). On the one hand, I think tools like ChatGPT are very cool—I’ve had fun playing around with them. But I’m also keen that the machines don’t put me out of a job!
The good news for me is that AI really isn’t at the point yet where it can replace a skilled blogger (or freelancer, author, or journalist). I don’t think it’s a good idea to “speed up” by simply handing the whole blogging process over to AI. You might get a technically competent piece of writing, but it’s not going to be as engaging and well-written as a post produced by a human.
But AI definitely has a role to play, and it can help make your posts stronger. I like to see AI as a bright intern. You wouldn’t hand over full control of your blog to an intern … but you might ask them to carry out some preliminary research or to write a rough outline for a post.
As we go through the steps, I’ll give you some ChatGPT prompts you can use if you want to speed things up using AI. If you want to go further, I’d recommend using a premium AI tool aimed at bloggers—some good ones to check out are:
- Jasper (formerly Jarvis): one of the best-established AI tools out there, with a huge range of different features, the ability to learn and match your brand voice, a wide range of AI templates, and the option to create AI art too.
- Copy.ai: a fully-featured AI tool, similar to Jasper in its features. It’s a slightly newer tool but also comes in a bit cheaper, and includes lots of sales tools as well as marketing ones.
- RightBlogger: a smaller and newer AI, with an impressive suite of tools specifically aimed at bloggers. It doesn’t have any credit/word limits, so you can experiment without worrying that you’re using up your monthly budget.
Step 1: Coming Up With Ideas – That Work for Your Readers and Search Engines
The first step of the blogging process is to come up with an idea. You can’t get very far without one!
To write a really good post, you want an idea that works for both your readers and for search engines. That means doing some keyword research if possible, so you can figure out something that people are searching for online, and write a post to meet their needs. Obviously, you also want to choose a topic that’s relevant to your readers.
If you’re struggling, here are some great ProBlogger posts to help:
- The Only Blog Post Idea List You’ll Ever Need
- How to Come Up WIth More Than Enough (Great) Ideas for Your Blog
- What Can You Blog About When All the Good Ideas Are Already Taken?
What Chris Garrett Says About Coming Up With Ideas Faster
Some of my best articles have come from reader questions. They work well because if one reader wants to know a particular answer you can guess many more do too. If you can’t find anything useful in your own comment area or inbox, go look at another blogger’s comments or a forum.
(How to Generate Post Ideas When You Are Stuck, Chris Garrett, ChrisG.com)
Using AI to Power Your Ideas
There are plenty of AI-powered keyword research tools out there. ClickUp has a great list here.
Give me [X] blog post ideas for a blog about [TOPIC]. The audience is primarily [A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR AUDIENCE]. For each idea, tell me the primary keyword to optimize for.
Example: Give me 10 blog post ideas for a blog about personal finance. The audience is primarily people in their 20s and 30s who feel a bit daunted by getting on top of their finances. For each idea, tell me the primary keyword to optimize for.
Step 2: Outlining Your Posts – And Giving Them a Rock-Solid Structure
Once you’ve got a clear idea in mind, it’s time to craft an outline for your post. This is such a tempting step to skip, especially if you’ve got a title that gives you a pretty clear picture of how your post is structured. 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine, for instance, is clearly going to be a listicle.
But spending just 10 minutes outlining your post could make a massive difference to how quickly you can draft it. Those 10 minutes might save you an hour or more … and result in a much better finished piece.
When I’m outlining, whether that’s for my own blog or for a client piece, I like to include:
- A sentence or two about the introduction: what’s the “hook” for this post? What needs to be said in order to set up the rest of the post?
- All the key points the post is going to cover: usually, I’ll write these as subheadings and include a short list of bullet points for each little section. This makes drafting the post so quick and easy … I’m just fleshing out what’s already there.
- The conclusion to the post: how am I going to round things off, and what will I prompt readers to do at the end of the piece?
Some posts are easy to structure, like listicles and how-tos. Others are a bit trickier, like an A vs B comparison review, where you could give all the information about product A first, then cover product B … or you could do a point-by-point comparison of features, pricing, and so on. Even a list post can be tricky as you need to decide on the best order to present your different points.
The advantage of writing an outline is that you can experiment with structure until you’re confident you’ve got something that works and flows well.
What Neil Patel Says About Outlining Faster
A good outline gives you a holistic view of how your article will come together.
Aim to be as thorough as possible. The research process is key to ensuring that you have as much detail as possible.
This way, you can knock out each point without having to divert your attention away from writing.
Using AI to Power Your Outlining
Either use AI to create the outline first, then edit it to add/remove points—or write down your key points, then create an outline with AI to help you spot any ideas you may have missed.
Write a detailed outline for a [XXXX] word blog post titled [“TITLE”]. Give a suggested word count for each subsection. Include a call to action at the end to [CALL TO ACTION].
Example: Write a detailed outline for a 1,500 word blog post titled “Zero-Waste Vegan Kitchen: Sustainable Cooking and Eco-Friendly Tips”. Give a suggested word count for each subsection. Include a call to action at the end to download my free vegan cookbook.
Step 3: Drafting Your Posts – Without Procrastination and Writers’ Block
The stage of the blogging process that takes the longest is drafting your content. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of staring at a blank page on the screen, trying to figure out what to write: if so, you should find it much easier to draft now you have a solid outline in hand.
But even when you’ve got a clear outline, it can be hard to stay focused when drafting. The biggest problem that trips bloggers up here is getting distracted and going off-task. This can easily make a one-hour writing task take three hours … and it may also end up with your post seeming disjointed at the end of the process.
Here’s what you can do to dramatically improve your focus:
- Turn off distractions when you’re writing. Silence your phone, close unnecessary tabs, switch off the TV. It’s basic, yes, but it really does work.
- Write somewhere away from home. If you’ve got kids, roommates, or a spouse who keeps interrupting, pack up your laptop and head to your local coffee shop to write.
- Set a timer while you’re writing. Challenge yourself to stay focused for 30 minutes: you might be amazed how much you can produce in that time.
- Focus just on drafting and moving forward. Don’t go back to edit or look up facts. Put in a comment so you can come back later to any sections that need more work.
- Listen to music that helps you get in the writing zone. Some writers I know love movie tracks for this; others like music specifically designed for focus. You may even find ambient noise tracks work well for you.
What Linda Formichelli Says About Drafting Faster
I use a writing tool called TextExpander — which expands custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently used text — for common copy, like my email sign-off, bio, mailing address, book titles, HTML codes, and words and phrases I often use in my writing.
(How to Write Faster: 10 Quick Ways to Hit 1,000 Words Per Hour, Linda Formichelli, SmartBlogger)
Using AI to Power Your Drafting
I prefer to draft without AI, but you may find it helpful to use AI to kickstart your writing – particularly your introduction, which many bloggers struggle with.
Write a [XXX] word introduction to a blog post titled [“TITLE”]. The tone should be [TONE].
Write a 150 word introduction to a blog post titled “10 Common Blogging Mistakes Holding You Back (and What to Do Instead)”. The tone should be friendly, supportive, and encouraging.
Step 4: Editing Your Posts – Polish Your Work and Catch Mistakes Easily
If you started out with a solid outline, you’ll have found it much faster to draft your post. You’ll also save a lot of time when you edit your post, too. The fundamentals of your post will all be in place, and hopefully you won’t need to make any really major edits (like cutting out or adding in whole sections).
Most likely, your editing will involve:
- Reading over your post to check for any extra points you want to include or links you want to add in (e.g. to related posts on your blog).
- Making sure that all facts (e.g. statistics, quotes, sources) are correct – this is especially important if you’ve used AI to produce some/all of your text.
- Checking for stylistic issues, like clunky phrases or run-on sentences.
- Looking out for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and typos.
AI can be a great help with points 3 and 4 here. I’d also recommend reading slowly through your post yourself, of course, but AI may catch things that you didn’t realise were wrong (lots of bloggers confuse it’s and its, for instance) as well as typos that you failed to spot simply because you’re so familiar with what you thought you wrote.
You don’t need to spend hours editing or aim for absolute perfection. One of the great things about blogging, compared with some other forms of writing and publishing, is that you can quickly and easily go back and correct mistakes.
What Sola Kehinde Says About Editing Faster
Some writers think the best way to create outstanding content is to write a few sentences and then stop to edit all the errors in it. But at the end of their writing session, they may still be stuck reading and editing the same few sentences over and over without making any progress. […] To increase your writing speed, do yourself a favor and ignore all the typos and errors you observe while you’re still writing.
(9 Tricks That Can Boost Your Writing Speed, Sola Kehinde, Craft Your Content)
Using AI to Power Your Editing
My favorite AI tool for editing is Grammarly: it does a great job of spotting not just errors (like typos and spelling mistakes) but also sentences where I’ve been too wordy.
ChatGPT is rather inconsistent (sometimes spots mistakes that aren’t mistakes at all, and sometimes misses mistakes) but you can give it a go for checking your text, using the prompt below.
Check the following text for spelling and grammar errors. Please highlight errors in bold and give a recommendation to fix them. Do not give a recommendation that’s identical to the original text.
[TEXT OF YOUR POST]
Choose One of These Techniques to Put Into Practice This Week
Writing faster while also producing excellent content means getting more efficient at each stage of the writing process. Whether you’re coming up with ideas, crafting outlines, drafting content, or editing efficiently, you can speed up—and get better results.
Experiment with AI to improve your efficiency and blast through writer’s block, but remember that you have the final say over everything you publish (and the responsibility to make sure it’s accurate).
Pick one of the ideas above to try this week … and pop a comment below to let us know which one you’ll be incorporating into your blogging process. If you’re already using some of these tips, let us know which are working best for you.