According to Ignite Spot, 77% of Internet users read blogs, 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, and 12 million people blog via social networks.
As Inbound Marketers, blogging is clearly an important tool – but for many of us writing doesn’t come easy. So, it’s not surprising that the same question keeps coming up: “How long does it take you to create a blog post?”
The short answer is that it varies, it depends on what I’m writing about, how I’m feeling at the time, and my deadline. Blogging isn’t a science and the time it takes to create a blog post depends on the person and the content. There are some simple steps you can follow that will get you started.
Like anything in life, you have to practice consistently and time you’ll find a formula that works for you.
Here are some simple things that have helped me along the way:
1. Creating Buyer Personas
Understanding your audience is really important. What are they interested in reading? What will resonate with them? This means creating buyer personas, semi-fictitious characters based on your customers. When you’re writing, it’s like having a conversation with a person – your tone is conversational and you feel like you’re sitting opposite the person explaining an idea.
2. Brainstorm with Your Team
Coming up with new blog ideas and topics isn’t always easy. One technique that works well for me is to brainstorm ideas with people at the office. Get some folks together over a cup of coffee, identify common customer questions and challenges that your sales staff and support staff are encountering. Take one of those challenges and brainstorm some answers. In all, it takes about 30 minutes to come up with a topic and jot down a list of solutions. Armed with this, you can go off and create a valuable piece of content that will resonate with your audience.
3. practice makes…well Nearly Perfect
When you start blogging, it’s going to take time to create new posts – at least for most of us mortals. Over time you’ll get into a rhythm. When I got started, it felt like every blog was taking forever! I set small goals, one blog a week and slowly it became easier and I got better. It just takes practice. Try setting achievable goals – just one blog a week. Once you’re hitting that goal push it up a notch, before you know it you’ll be knocking out 2-3 blogs a week comfortably.
4. Give Yourself a Time Limit
One of the best blogging tips I’ve come across is “The Laptop Trick.” If you’re on a deadline, go write somewhere without your power cord. Set the time it takes your battery to die as your time limit to finish your blog.
5. Lose the Distractions
Switch off your email, your phone, notifications and anything else that’s going to distract you. This is serious stuff, you need to focus and create remarkable content! We live in a super-connected world with constant distractions, so block them out for a little while and create something really valuable for your audience.
6. Find You’re Creative Sweetspot
I learned about sweet spots when I tried my hand at golf – didn’t really go well – however it works for my blogging. I’m not really an evening person, my creative juices are pretty much exhausted by late afternoon. I’m most creative early in morning and I have a sales call at 8.45 am. So, I combine a time constraint – the sales call – with my most creative time of the day and that’s my blogging sweet spot. Find your most creative time of the day and create awesome content.
7. Don’t get Hung up on Grammar and Formatting
Don’t get me wrong, grammar is really important. Just don’t get hung up on it on your first draft – get your thoughts onto paper. Try using a full page view without any grammar or spell check functions. This will help you get into a flow and put your thoughts onto paper.
If you do get stuck, there’s a “Hot Pen Technique” you can use to get your thoughts flowing. The trick is to leave the editing for later. If you don’t have excellent grammar skills or a full-fledged editorial staff, you can still find someone who has a good grasp of grammar and asks them to look over your stuff so you’re not flying solo.
8. Write about a Topic you Know
It helps to write about a topic you know really well. If you aren’t an expert then try to enlist the help of somebody who is an expert. If you’re writing for a complex dry industry, you have the opportunity to simplify and educate. Chances are your audience is looking for simple explanations without all the industry buzzwords and jargon. Take the opportunity to use your knowledge and experience to create content they love.
Want to learn more about Business Blogging? Download a free copy of our Introduction to Business Blogging eBook.