Want to write a 30 minute blog post, but you’re not a writer? Do you struggle with getting anything written in under an hour? I once knew a PR professional who couldn’t write a press release in less than three hours, yet I wrote the same release in 20 minutes.
Because most of this stuff, like it or not, is formulaic. Formula doesn’t mean boring or lacking quality. But it does mean following a few of the same steps over and over and over. The end result doesn’t have to be formulaic, but the process does. And if you can get the process down, you can write a blog post in 30 minutes or less.
Here are three ways you can write a 30 minute blog post.
1. Write When You’re Not Writing
Good writers write all the time, but they don’t necessarily do it with a pen in their hand or a laptop under their fingers. You can do write while you’re driving, showering, standing, sitting, commuting, cleaning the house, cooking, or staring out the window. In fact, staring out the window is a great way to write.
The Lance Mannion blog (which is the macho-est dude’s name since Dirk Facepunch) had a great description of what writing is.
“Standing, that’s working. Sitting is working. Pacing is writing. I do my best thinking then. Looking out the window, that’s writing. Brushing your teeth is writing. Anything’s writing,” Rob says. “The hardest writing is showering.”
Just turn off your radio or TV and start writing your next post in your head. I wrote this post while I was driving to lunch today.
2. The List Post
Bloggers everywhere are rolling their eyes at this, but tough shit. List posts are awesome. List posts are easy. And whether you like them or not, list posts bring in readers. (You’re here, aren’t you?)
Chances are, everything you want to say about a particular topic can be summed up in a few key points. After all, we’ve been taught to write and speak with three main points. And we’ve been trained to skim and read in bullet points by USA Today and many magazines (check out Cosmo the next time you’re in the supermarket checkout line). Like I always tell people, “I’ll quit doing list articles the week after Cosmo does.”
So break your post into 3, 5, or even 10 reasons/secrets/tips/tricks. Write them in outline form, and then give a brief explanation of each point, and move on. Later, develop each point into its own blog post and explore the idea more thoroughly.
3. Write an Email to Your Mom
First of all, you have to stop writing for posterity. You have to stop writing as if your blog posts will be pored over in 100 years by scholars as evidence of your great thinking. You have to stop writing as if you’re going to say something profoundly awesome that will change the face of your industry.
(This is also true of people who buy new notebooks, write two pages in them, and then abandon them.)
Instead, write an email to your mom.
We all love our mom, but she never quite gets what we do. She sort of does, especially if you explain it in simple terms without all the jargon and insider knowledge.
So start your blog post with these 10 words: Dear Mom, Let me tell you what I learned today.
Then, explain what you want her to know in language she’ll understand. It’s even better if you can explain why it’s so cool, too. And keep it short — 300 – 350 words — she doesn’t want to be mired in the details. Save that for a future email.
Then, go back and delete that 10 word opening. You’ve got your blog post.
So, there you have it. Three ways you can write a blog post in 30 minutes or less. As long as you keep it short and simple, and use basic language, you should be able to get it done.
Photo credit: avlxyz (Flickr, Creative Commons)