Impossible, you say? It may feel that way, especially if you tend to freeze under pressure. But, I am here, as a compulsive over-writer, to tell you that it can and SHOULD be done – at least on occasion.
A few weeks back I told the world I was going to attempt it. I got overwhelming positive support, which then turned up the pressure to get it done. Well, it took me nearly an hour to choose a topic, so the whole thing ended up taking closer to two, but it went over great. I think it was partly the fact that the topic was compelling and partly that it wasn’t overworked. That leads me to the first “write a blog post in an hour” tip.
Keep a Stash of Blog Post Topics
Nothing clears all good ideas out of a person’s head faster that this thought: “I have to write something, now!” So, don’t do that to yourself. During the week, you are sure to come across ideas that really speak to you, questions you know you can answer, topics you want to explore.
Keep a list of these ideas. I prefer to start a new blog post and just add my draft title and any inspiration that lead me to the topic. Then I can do further (brief) research and cite my sources. Some like to use Evernote, Trello, or just shoot an email to themselves as a reminder.
If you can’t think of anything at all, and your stash is empty, think about your last customer conversation. Did he or she have questions you could address in a blog post? Still have nothing? Check out HubSpot’s brand new Blog Topic Generator.
Turn off the Distractions
If I had followed this bit of advice, I would have finished this in under an hour! Turn off chat programs, close email and Facebook, turn off signal notifications and silence your phone.
Don’t Edit as You Write
Just let it flow. You probably won’t hit your stride until the third or fourth paragraph. Write the entire thing and then mercilessly slash, trim and tweak to your heart’s content. This applies to the title as well. Keep it flexible and adjust after the article is complete, if needed. For instance, never start out with “Ten Reasons You Need to Be on Twitter Now.” “X Reason… ” will allow you to add as many as you need without imposing that minimum. It’s amazing how much pressure disappears when you employ that simple technique.
Find an Infographic
Infographic creators are often eager to have their images shared far and wide. For that reason, they often invite bloggers to use the image in their own blog posts. This is a super-shortcut, as the data is all there (just make sure it’s accurate) and it’s presented in a simple, appealing way.
Make sure you add enough of your own observations and commentary to make it worth reading your post and send it out! In this case, you don’t even need to add another image. Is no one sending infographics right to you? Just Google “share this infographic.”
Keep the Images Simple
The visual aspect of a blog post, if it’s enjoyable to you, can easily take as long as the writing. When you only have an hour, give yourself 5-10 minutes max for image creation. Don’t spend too long looking for the perfect bit of clip art. If nothing pops up right away, create your own text graphic with Canva.
If you’re going for perfect lighting, sound, script and props, video can take a tremendous amount of time. If, however, you’re just sharing a quick tip or screenshare, it can be done in a matter of a just a few minutes.
When a Blog Post Should Take Over an Hour
If your subject requires extensive research, interviews, A/B testing or time-intensive tasks, then you might not be able to pull it off. Of course, you could compile all the needed data first and then impose a one-hour limit for the actual writing.
Did I leave out your favorite time-saving tip? Please share in the comments.
- Content Marketing Hacks – 34 Time-Saving Tips and Tools (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Create Your Own $140 Video & Photography Studio (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- How to Write Faster (marieforleo.com)