I used to find writing very difficult and boring. I used to think that I’ll never be able to stick to it for a long time. My aversion to writing negatively impacted my business, because it prevented me from generating content that delights and helps my audience, which in turn hurt my chance at getting to know my audience and make effective sales.
But now I find writing very enjoyable and crucial to my self-development journey. As a result, I am much more comfortable writing to communicate with my customers and my audience. While creating the Infinite Planner blog, I have developed a system that makes blog writing as effortless as possible. Therefore, I do it more often, and I get better at it.
One crucial thing I want to emphasize first is that there are million posts out there with a title like “10 steps to write a perfect blog” yada yada. I find very little value in reading those posts because ‘what to do’ is just half of the battle when it comes to blogging efficiently. The other half is ‘your mindset’ when you are working on your post.
So the very first step of my blogging workflow requires getting into an environment that facilitates writing. Whenever I write, I use FocusWrite app, which allows you to write in a completely blank full screen mode [for example, the image below is my screen while I am cranking away at this blog post].
When I decide to work on a blog post, I make absolutely sure that there is no distraction. I turn off all communications on my phone and think about nothing but the blog post I am writing. Avoid multi-tasking as it guarantees to make the writing process so much slower and so much harder.
Another important thing is to instill the habit of writing. I set a challenge to myself to write 1000 words every day and write first thing in the morning. So when my coffee is ready, it’s time for me to get into my post. Daily writing routines help me establish my voice and my writing skills which then ultimately help me write faster.
So if you have all these things set up, then it is not hard to crank out a premium blog post in an hour. Now let’s get to the actual process.
- (10 minutes) Make a list as fast as possible to outline the content of a post. If you struggle to make this list, it means that you may not have done enough research for this blog post. The best thing to do is to go back and complete the research first. During this step, you will be making lots of bullet items and then moving the bullets around to rearrange the flow of your post. Use tags such as [insert image] and [insert link] for places that need them, but do not bother inserting anything yet, just write. If you are not sure how to arrange the bullets, it could be because the idea in each bullet is not yet detailed enough to make outline decisions. Try adding more words into each bullet. I usually do not spend more than 10 minutes on this step, even when I am writing a 1000-word post. Make sure that it is absolutely clear in your head which ideas are going into the blog post and in which order. I found that the speed of writing depends very much on your knowledge and mental clarity about what you are going to write. It would be foolish to start diving in head-first and spend a lot of times fiddling with word choices, while figuring out what to write simultaneously!
- (15 minutes) From the outline, write a very quick and dirty first draft. If you have added lots of details during the outline step, you’ll find this step very easy. While making the first draft, you should not be editing your language, grammar, or word choices. Try to be as rough and as fast as you can. I usually try to slam the keyboard non-stop. You may flesh out some of the ideas further or insert funny jokes and clever puns, but put them in as they come to your mind, and don’t try to force it. The point is SPEED, not perfection. If you still feel like writing is difficult for you in this step, try this. Make it a game to write the shittiest draft possible. Make it comically shitty (or just simply shitty in a bad way). Do whatever it takes to reach higher number of word counts. Do not care so much because perfect is the enemy of good. After ploughing through the keyboard, you might find out that your clever blogging spirit has come back to bless you again with better content ideas. If not, just take a break and come back to it another time.
- (30 minutes) Go through the draft another time and write the actual blog post. Fleshing out your rough draft and add more ideas and details to help your readers understand the post better. Add more clever jokes, if it’s your thing. Also this is the time to choose words that are more impactful and maximize your blog readability. Insert the actual links wherever you need them.
- Let the content sit there for a day. During this time you can prepare the images for the posts, post promotion material, etc. If you have a co-author or an editor, you may send it off for them to edit.
- After the let-it-sit period, proofread your blog one more time, insert images, and other search engine optimization stuff. Hit publish.
The blog writing process can be tough, especially for beginners. You have to get a lot of things right to create a striking blog post. My process is designed to break this complicated task down to small, non-intimidating subtasks that make it easier to go through them quickly. Once you’ve broken down the mental barrier, you will be able to produce high-quality content naturally.