If you write content to boost your SEO campaign, fuel your newsletter, and/or satisfy the needs of your Social Media followers, then you know the pains of continually having to constantly turn out content. By following these tips, not only will you be able to write faster, but you will be able to provide your readers better, more well thought-out content. Try these 7 tips, and you will find that you will be much more productive when it comes to productivity.
1. Keep an idea list.
Many times, half the battle is knowing where to begin and what to write. There will be times when an idea for a great article hits you at an inopportune time such as a meeting or while you’re driving. Write it down. This will reduce wasted time trying to remember it or even having to think of a new idea later. If, however, you do not have any ideas, then draw inspiration from other industry news sources to fuel your potential idea list.
2. Let your ideas incubate.
If you’re behind the 8 ball and need to get an article out right away this tip won’t help, but for future reference, if you want a great article that you can write quickly, meditate on your ideas. Experiences, things you read, and conversations will all slowly build your ideas and help you develop an excellent article. If you slowly build up an idea in your head, it will definitely reduce the time it takes to put it to paper. Research takes a lot of time, but if you’re proactive, then the research will happen naturally, and you’ll be able to put your own spin on the topic.
3. Edit before you start
If you’ve been meditating on the idea, then you have a lot of extra info that needs to be thrown out. The fact is that your readers want to you to get to the point quickly. Edit out the unimportant points, and you’ll come up with a concise document without having wasted any time writing down unnecessary information.
4. Use bullet points
These make articles not only easier for your readers to grasp the main points quickly, but they increase your ability to quickly write each part as you jump from point to point. In fact, when developing the article, start by laying out each bullet point first.
5. Keep it short
If you want to finish an article quickly; let’s say in less than 20 minutes, then try to keep it under 450 words. The main point here isn’t to reduce the quality of what you’re writing; it’s just to be concise.
6. Come back later
Many of us like to be efficient and follow the acronym O.H.I.O. (Only Handle It Once). However, we all suffer from writer’s block at some point, so understand this fact, and don’t bang your head against the keyboard. Forcing the idea out isn’t going to help you or your readers. Sometimes the best way to write quickly is to be efficient with your time and come back later when you’ve fully incubated the idea.
7. Avoid Perfectionism
If you want to be a fast writer, you can’t spend all day editing. Spelling/grammar checking software will do a decent job. You should definitely skim through your work and address major errors, but your article is of best use published and providing value to the world, so don’t get hung up on the
little details. (Besides with “grammar police” around every corner, someone is bound to let you know when you’ve made a mistake. The great thing is they’ll do the work and you can always go back and edit it out later!)
Good luck putting these tips to use, but the main point is that you will be able to write a great article quickly if you plan ahead of time. So go ahead and plan out what you’d like to write about and incubate these ideas before ever putting pen to paper or, in this case, finger to keyboard.
Written by: Michael Knorr, Manager of the Marketing Advisor Department