How to write killer content quickly
Every blogger has experienced moments of dread when it comes to writing content. We want to write supremely insightful and useful content, and we want to do it on a rapid-fire basis. Regularly producing content that is consistently high quality is expected of us. It’s content marketing 101. However, we don’t want the process of creating the perfect piece of content to consume all of our waking hours.
Here are 5 steps to creating killer content quickly.
1) Keep a stash of good ideas up your sleeve
For a writer, there’s nothing worse than sitting down in front of your computer and having no idea what to write. Especially with a deadline looming, it’s nearly impossible to come up with the right topic on the spot. That’s what brainstorming sessions and backup lists—of even the craziest suggestions—are for. Make it a point to sit down with your team at least once a month and throw around ideas for potential blog posts. Derive inspiration from current events, changing industry trends, predictions for the coming year and even what your competition is doing. What are they writing about that maybe you should give your own opinion on? You can add to the list yourself as things come to you, but it’s true what they say, two heads are better than one. The most important thing is that you never let your well of archived ideas run dry.
ADDED TIP: Evernote—which is cloud-synced and can be accessed on a PC or Mac, a desktop, laptop or tablet and even on your smartphone—works great for this purpose.
2) Do the legwork ahead of time
Accumulate possible sources for every content idea before you get around to writing the final piece. You should know good sources relevant to your industry and look to them for research, reviews, statistics, quotes, opinions, etc. on the topic. Once your reference material and external links are in order, you’ll breeze through the writing process. Plug in your own thoughts and conclusions, add appropriate visual content and click publish.
A content calendar is another essential preparation step for producing killer content quickly. Look at the big picture instead of focusing solely on your next post. This will ensure you don’t miss any special events, holidays or other time-sensitive subjects that need your blog’s attention. Knowing what content needs to be written for the month will also give you time to find those aforementioned sources and ponder the subject matter a bit. No one expects all your brilliance to manifest in an instant.
3) Keep it simple
The Advanced Content Marketing Guide written by Neil Patel and Kathryn Aragon states, “Each piece of content should have one point. Only one.” You don’t want to give too much detail in too little space. You want to stay on a one-way road to the main point of the content. So, if you find yourself drowning in references and your content has begun to branch off in unruly directions, consider yourself lucky. You’ve just found a way to turn one post into a series.
A blog series is a number of organised blog posts that cover different aspects of the same subject. Each individual post is straightforward and easy to read, but when considered as a whole, the series gives elaborate insight into a complex topic.
A major benefit of a blog series is the opportunity to write more content quickly. No need to constantly sift through your stockpile of ideas if you have one great idea that can be expanded on. Developing one idea further, delving into the intricacies of that topic, will convince your audience of your expertise and show them things you are passionate about. This strategy can also increase SEO value by establishing a deep-rooted association between your blog and the chosen keywords for the content in the series. In any case, a blog series is bound to draw attention to your site. Readers will wait in anticipation for your next post, craving more and more information. They may even click on the most recent post multiple times to quell their excitement or click around to older posts with different themes to occupy their time.
4) Listen to your biological clock
Everyone has a different natural rhythm to his or her creative life. Some people get their best writing done with the sunrise and a cup of coffee, while others can’t string two sentences together until after noon.
This is what scientists refer to as chronobiology—basically your internal biological clock, which has hard-wired you to be naturally more productive and creative at certain times of day. Don’t fight this inner urge. Instead try to organise your schedule so that you get trivial tasks out of the way when you’re least effective, leaving your creative peak time free for you to write like mad.
5) Eliminate distractions
Close your email. Log out of social media sites. And put your phone on silent. Seriously. Try not to let the myriad of distractions, in either digital or human form, interrupt you after you’ve started writing.
Academic studies have found that office workers are interrupted and forced to stop their train of thought roughly every three minutes. Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine says that once thrown off track, it can take some 23 minutes for a worker to return to their original task. You have to train your brain to stay focused and not worry about being rude when you tell your gossipy coworker to go away because you’re in the middle of something more important than who she heard is sleeping with his secretary.
Once you get these steps down (and anything we didn’t mention that works specifically for you), they will become your content writing habit. This habit will drive your productivity and creativity up exponentially until you are the expert in writing killer content quickly.