How to Write an Article or Awesome Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less
This is a guest blog post from one of my heroes online, Terry Dean.
You may have seen Terry's amazingly thorough response in my Expert Briefs blog post the other day “How to Get Other People to Promote You“. If not, click on that. It will open in a new window so you can read it later. It's awesome.
If you're newer to the scene, Terry is an established marketer who I respect and enjoy very much.
Here's his official bio so you can be suitably impressed. 🙂
Terry Dean started his online business from scratch in 1996. He went from delivering pizzas for a living to building a million dollar Internet business promoted primarily through the Internet. Within a few years he was also consulting with home based businesses, local companies, and million dollar corporations. His original company and websites were sold in 2004, and he founded MyMarketingCoach, LLC. which is dedicated to coaching entrepreneurs in the 10 key principles of success in business and life.
I am a paying member of his Mentoring Club – and I love the content.
Click here to Check out Terry's Mentoring Club
Be sure to check out the bonuses on that page. They. Are. RIDICULOUS!
Now that you know that we have a rock star in the house, read on for an awesome article.
How to Write an Article or Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less
by Terry Dean
Content is currency online…especially when it’s attention grabbing and entertaining.
The more great content you publish, the more likely it can be shared, attract your target eyeballs, and build a relationship with your audience.
Here are 10 quick ideas to help you produce content quickly and achieve better results consistently.
1. Fill a notebook with ideas.
A blank page is a painful experience. So never start with one.
Look for ideas constantly. Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas for your articles, videos, podcasts, and any other form of content.
I’m a little old fashioned and keep a small notebook and pen handy whenever the ideas comes.
You can also use the digital recorder on your phone. The point is to capture the concept when it’s fresh.
When you sit down to write, you have a collection of ideas ready to go.
2. Keep an eye out for stories and metaphors.
Everything that happens in your life is potential fodder for a story.
For example, I regularly share marketing concepts from my dogs. They’re a part of my life.
We live in the age of the celebrity. You become a “mini-celebrity” in front of your audience as you let them peek inside your life.
The key here is to always relate the stories and principles back to your message.
3. Write first. Edit later.
Don’t confuse the two. Write first. Come back and edit it later or the next day.
If you’re trying to do both at once, it’s like writing with the brakes on.
You’re not going anywhere. If you find yourself constantly editing while you write, you can even turn your monitor off to keep from distraction.
And don’t even think about trying to write with your browser open to other sites and distractions.
4. Use a series of tips.
A tips article like this one is much quicker to produce.
It only takes a couple of paragraphs about each tip.
Plus, these types of articles are easy to read as well.
I’ve done anywhere from 3 tips up to 21. A bonus to the 21+ tip articles is they can often become series as well.
5. Create an ongoing series.
Break up your content to multiple days. It becomes part 1, part 2, and part 3.
That one idea quickly morphs into a week of content or more.
The best use of this is when you have a large topic that needs to be broken into easy to follow bite-sized chunks.
6. Batch content.
You already have ideas in your notebook. When you have a quiet writing session, such as in the early morning, churn out multiple pieces at once.
Once you’re flowing, don’t stop. Keep going. As soon as the first article is done, start the next one. And keep it up until the inspiration is gone.
Getting the momentum going is the hard part. You’ll get much more accomplished if you just hold on when it’s already moving for you.
7. Concise is better.
When you shooting for 30 minutes or less, you’ve got to keep it short.
You’ll not going to produce a monster sized 2,000 word foundational post for a blog in that timeframe.
But the majority of your content doesn’t need to be that anyway. Most of my articles hover at 500 words or less.
There’s nothing wrong with 150 words if you can get your message across in that time frame.
People have a short attention span today.
8. Paste extra ideas in another document.
As you’re writing, other ideas will bounce through your head. Don’t veer off in the wrong direction in your current piece, but you don’t want to lose the idea.
Anytime other ideas pass through your mind, toss them over in another document or idea file. You can work on that idea for the next article.
9. Look for Q&A opportunities.
Here’s another of my favorites. People likely ask you questions by email or social media.
Use those questions as launching points for future content.
If one person has the question, others will also. Publish the question (or the relevant portion) and answer in your article.
10. Become a reader.
The more you read, the easier it is to write.
You should also expand your reading outside of just “business materials.”
What other interests do you have? Read on those subjects as well. You’ll expand your knowledge base and your idea file.
Can you see why I love this guy?
I will give you a few of my tips, but first, let me remind you about Terry's Marketing Mentor Program, so you can see if it's right for you.
In my opinion, this is for people who have already gotten past the initial hurdles and are ready for some serious butt-kicking.
Should you buy it?
NO. I would not recommend it for you if you're brand new and don't even have a blog or list yet.
YES! – If you're already building a list and you have a product under your belt, then this can DEFINITELY help you to grow your business.
Here's the link to check it out again, if you think this is something that can help you.
Click here to Check out Terry's Mentoring Club
So, what else can help you to be a prolific writer? Three more tips from me.
I have three tools in my arsenal that I use. A ding, a draft, and a doodle. (Cute, eh?)
1. A ding.
I have two timers on my desk at all times. Setting a time allows me to brain dump an article quickly, rather than taking my sweet time in writing it. The quality of the article (after editing) is pretty much equal whether I write it in 20 minutes or 2 hours, so using a timer gives me more time to enjoy life.
I do need to upgrade my timer, though, after seeing this little owl timer! I SO need him! Isn't he adorable?!
2. A draft.
Whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I click on “Add New” in my blog's dashboard and I start a new blog post with that title. I then save it as a draft. That way, the next time I run into writer's block, I can open my drafts and see if anything catches my attention.
3. A doodle.
When I'm stuck in writing a longer piece, like a report or ebook, I doodle. I grab a notebook and start bubbling out my entire piece. That pen on paper action, combined with the freedom of linking things together while scribbling really helps me to make sense of the way that I want to teach something.
Here's an example of one that I doodled before a presentation that I did about Outsourcing.
What about you?
- What are your best tips for writing quickly?
- What are your biggest frustrations with creating content?
- Got any questions for me or Terry?
Let me know in the comments below.
PS. If you are not ready for the Mentoring Program, check out Terry's free reports here -> Terry Dean's Internet Lifestyle Manifesto
PS again. Terry and I are not related nor married, by the way, in case you were wondering. (People ask all the time.) 🙂
I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.
moniqueOctober 2, 2012 at 10:50 am
I just start writing, but it’s probably easier for me since, as a review blogger, I already have the topic. On my newest blog (writerista.com) I might run into trouble, so I’ll keep these tips in mind. Thanks for sharing.
I agree, too, that I can produce the same content in 30 minutes that I can produce in 2 hours.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm
I’m so glad you’re a prolific writer. I still have to work at coming up with ideas and writing quickly – even after 8 years at this. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by Monique. Come back soon!
James ArtreOctober 2, 2012 at 11:08 am
Another idea I personally like, is the “Press This” tool in the admin area of WordPress…
Whenever I see something I like on the net, I will press it from my toolbar, save it as a draft in my posts under a category name, then re-visit it later as part of my research material.
This works very well for me, since it works seamlessly with WordPress and also because it is fast.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm
Great tip, James! Thanks, as always, for commenting.
I appreciate you.
TawraOctober 2, 2012 at 10:50 am
We pretty much do all the above. Our problem has never been enough content.
I have enough down already to keep going on our webiste for 1,000 plus days without having to “come up” with any more content. 🙂 I guess mom and I just have too many ideas. 🙂
Great post! It’s good know we are doing something right and are on track with content. 🙂
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm
Well, if you ever want a ghostwriting gig to write some cooking PLR… you know where to find me. 😀
Thanks, as always, for commenting, my friend!
VioletaOctober 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm
Great great tips, Terry and Nicole! I am really a slow writer, it takes me much longer than 30 minutes to write an article. Going to implement your suggestions.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm
Let us know how it goes, please. 🙂
ChimicaOctober 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm
In 30 minutes I write two articles. I type fast and like noted above — I have three note books filled with ideas. I can even write a 10 page report is an little as 2 hours.
One really good way to write part by part articles is to use mind maps. They make it so much faster and allow you to export a completed article so quickly it’s amazing.
You can also record your article and have it transcribed which saves a ton of time!
I use a timer as well and I have a system the tracks my progress…
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm
I have tried the online mind maps, and I just can’t brainstorm in them. I have to brainstorm on paper first, and then transfer the ideas into the mindmap for organizational reasons.
I wish I had your talent. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your tips!
Bill DavisOctober 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm
I like #2 from Terry. I use my children 🙂
As for making drafts…I am NOT good with that. I’m a spur of the moment kinda guy and if I allow myself to leave a draft, there is a good chance it will never get written 🙂
Finally—here’s an idea for your “doodles” — use them as your graphic for your post. Upload them to the post you’re writing. That way, you a) have a graphic (mucho importante today), b) can use it to post a link back from Pinterest, and c) it’s original (i.e., free of copyright – except your own!).
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm
GREAT idea, Bill. I’d never thought of that.
ooh. I can doodle more, and also have pre-made graphics.
Watch for a doodle-explosion!
Mena JoOctober 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm
When I first started writing online it would take me hours to produce one article (I’m not even going to mention the word count because that’s just… well embarrassing). And I have a typing speed of 60wpm!
This was totally because I was guilty of editing and proofing as I went along. Nightmare!
Now I just write the article and don’t bother to edit until I’m done (ok maybe I still pick at a the odd words – I have perfection issues :)).
The thing that really helps me get an article moving, is timing myself.
I never quite got the grasp of the Pomodoro technique until a few months back. Thanks to my persevere with it, I can now write an article in 30 minutes. Which is pretty good going for me.
Great tips, by the way!
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm
Congrats Mena Jo! That’s a huge accomplishment.
Come back and visit again soon. 🙂
Alice CoaxumOctober 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm
For blogging, when I have ideas, I like to create partial posts or just jot down ideas in draft that I can expand later into full posts. I may try using a timer and see if that helps cut down the time I spend writing. I’m working on not multitasking while I’m writing. Sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions when I’m writing so I need to focus on that only. I notice I get done much faster when I do.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm
Alice, I am the worlds WORST multi-tasker. Seriously. Like, it makes me want to cry. I don’t know how people can listen to podcasts and write. I can barely remember to breathe and write at the same time.
Try the timer method. But, if you do, stick to it. You can’t cheat. 🙂
Let me know how it goes.
RhondaOctober 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm
I’m slow at writing because of my own “perfectionism”. The best thing that can do is write a quick outline, set my timer and just write as much as I can without stopping. I then do my extra research later.
As far as ideas, I do find plenty of those from topics that are being discussed online.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Amen, sister. But you know the thing?
You will NEVER be perfect. I hate to break the news to you. None of us can ever be.
Speed + Quality = Profits.
So, work fast, be proud of what you’ve done, and move on. 🙂
Hugs and appreciate your stopping by.
Kim PhoenixOctober 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm
I can get stuck when writing, because I want to make sure that I don’t leave anything out. I find that what happens in my everyday life is a good way to stimulate ideas, and somehow link it to what I’m writing about.
NicoleOctober 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm
If it’s an epic blog post, then that makes sense.
In that case, try to be a week ahead, so you can just reread and edit it before you hit the publish button instead of being pressured to go from start to finish on it.
Hope that helps.
Brandy RobertsOctober 6, 2012 at 3:02 am
Awesome tips. I love how you say to keep writing when your motivated. I could get so much more done if I take this advice. Your tip on writing drafts in WordPress for later inspiration rocked my world, I never thought of that. I definitely will be doing that ASAP =)
AndyOctober 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm
Great tips. I guess we all end up finding what works for us.
I don’t write enough articles and just need to be more consistent.
Keeping going when on a roll is a great idea.
I have found that a lot of my best articles started as email replies to people asking specific questions. Maybe I should imagine I am writing an email to a friend when I write a post?
RobertOctober 8, 2012 at 7:50 am
I just recently started carrying a notebook around with me to put ideas in. I also like the idea of an ongoing series. Thank you for this great content!
CharlesDecember 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm
I like the way you present this post. I had very hard time when I was trying to get a “regular” article. It took me sometimes more than 1 hour because I “tried” to write and edit at the same time. also as other explain above I’m very slow in writing. but I found a place “No Writing” that help me a lot with my papers.
Paula SlaterMay 31, 2013 at 11:53 am
I am planning to start a blog, but I do not write well and I can’t type. Soooo I use Dragon Naturally Speaking. Has anyone tried this? Hopefully I will start a site.