In an age of Google alerts, RSS feeds and trending topics, industry news travels faster than ever. Chances are, you or your company have been hit with a breaking news blast and needed to jump at the opportunity to keep your online community in-the-know. Or, your superb inbound strategy has been bringing in so many leads that you simply don't have more than an hour a day to keep your blog updated.
In short: there are times when you need a blog post, and you need it FAST. Regardless of the reason, speed-blogging is a valuable skill to have as a resident of the Internet's content kingdom. Next time you feel the pressure to produce quick blog content, consider the following strategy.
5 Minutes: Get Ready!
Starting is often the hardest part, especially if you're not a contemporary Tolstoy.
First, remove all distractions, open all necessary programs, go to the washroom, turn off your phone - do whatever you can to avoid interrupting your flow of genius.
5 Minutes: Topic & Title
If you're writing about something timely, like a piece on breaking news, you probably already have a topic in mind. If not, start a backlog of potential blog post ideas specifically for your blogging power hours and choose from this list.
If you're really stuck, consider the pain points of your target audience: What problems might they be facing? What question(s) have you been most recently asked? Or, consider the time of year (summer, winter, back-to-school, long weekend, etc), and/or what has inspired you recently.
Once you've found your topic, keep your title simple - people want to find what they expected when they click on your post.
5 Minutes: Takeaway Message
Now that you have your topic, come up with the key "takeaway" message of your blog post. Why should people care about what you're writing?
For example, I hope your main takeaway from this blog post is "Blogging is important, but it doesn't have to take hours. Here's what to do when you need a blog, fast."
This is kind of like a thesis statement (except much less complicated and far less stressful). Come up with a way to introduce and conclude with your takeaway statement to ensure your blog post stays on-topic.
10 Minutes: 2-3 Points Supporting Takeaway Message
You wouldn't make a recipe without ensuring you have all the ingredients first, right? Before diving into your blog post, give it a bit more structure.
Depending on your time management thus far, come up with 2-3 main points that support your takeaway message. These are the reasons WHY you're writing about your topic of choice.
Write them out in simple sentences or point form.
25 Minutes: Fill In The Rest
With 25 minutes to go, you should have:
- A title
- An introduction to your takeaway message
- 2-3 points supporting your takeaway message
- A closing takeaway message
All you have to do is fill in the rest! Expand upon your supporting points. Show off your expertise! Just get it down on WordPress. Remember, blog posts don't have to be long - in a time crunch, 400-500 words will do just fine.
10 Minutes: Edit, Publish & Promote
Blog writing power hour is almost complete! Be sure to read over your post and correct any spelling, grammar or "flow" issues (I find that reading it out loud helps). If you're not confident with your writing, have someone on standby to do a quick read-over. Don't forget to add a photo - keep some originals on file or do a quick Google image search.
Final steps: Hit the "Publish" button, and don't forget to share on your social networks! If the timing isn't ideal for promoting, schedule it to go out at another time using a social media dashboard tool, like Hootsuite or HubSpot.
And you're done! Although it can be enjoyable to spend hours crafting the perfect blog post, there will always be times when you need a fast and furious content refresher. Next time you're in a pinch, don't stress - all you need is 60 minutes.
Do you have any blogging time-management tricks? Let us know what works for you in the comments!