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As any novelist will tell you, it’s hard to write consistently on a day-to-day basis. There are times when inspiration hits and you can turn out page after page of great content, and you feel on top of the world. Then there are long periods where you can barely draft a paragraph, where you think you might just throw in the towel on this blogging business.

Regular writing requires work and patience, but developing a routine that structures your writing can make it a lot easier. Producing content for a blog can feel time consuming at first, but blogging is an effective source of leads: marketers who use blogs have 67% more leads than those who don’t. As you get used to your routine, you can start creating engaging content in under an hour.

Here are five easy steps to increase your writing output:

1. Keep Track of Blog Post Topics

Staring at a blank page, wondering how to start, is the bane of writers everywhere.

A lack of inspiration can keep you from touching your keyboard for hours, and might even spoil your entire day.

Tracking potential topics and ideas for blog posts will save you a lot of time: instead of thinking up something new within your 45 minutes, you can log any ideas that come to you in advance.

Keep a spreadsheet with rough ideas you’re considering, and polished ideas you know you want to work with. Schedule specific dates to write all of your prepared topics.

Don’t be afraid to go and jot down ideas in your spreadsheet throughout your day: after meetings, while conducting market research, during a coffee break. Anything that you can imagine writing about, can go into your ideas spreadsheet.

2. Write While Researching

As an entrepreneur you probably already know a lot about your field and your business. There’s information you already know that can help you structure your blog post.

However, you want to have reliable, informative, and recent data to back up your content. That means doing research. More than that, it means letting your research structure your content.

When you find an incredible statistic, study, or article that backs up an important argument, consider whether it could inform a subsection of your post: could you write a subheader and a couple paragraphs on this point alone? Can you see a natural progression from point to point?

Make sure to write down the data that stands out to you, and to note your sources. You don’t have to start writing full paragraphs yet, but plan out a draft of your argument: what you want to bring up in the intro, body, and conclusion of your piece.

3. Take A Break and Come Back

This is a little secret of writing: taking a break is a great way to evaluate your content clearly. When you consciously focus too much on one task, your brain can get burned out and stuck in ruts.

When you take a break and engage in simple, undemanding activities (making a cup of coffee, doodling in a notebook, folding laundry) you can go into a mental state known as the “default mode network”. This is where we stay active enough to not get bored, but we can focus on our uninterrupted stream of thought in a relaxing way. You might know this as the “shower thoughts” state of mind—when you get sudden insights doing something that seems trivial.

Taking a break and meditating on your writing in a calm space can refresh your mind and give you a new perspective when you come back to your draft.

4. Predict the Future (Within Reason)

That’s right, the actual under-an-hour writing starts at step four. All of that prep sets you up to have the right information and structure at your fingertips to write your blog post quickly and effectively.

Pull up your research document and your draft. Then, it all comes down to taking it step by step. Think about the specific point you want to make to your reader in each section as you are writing. Don’t worry too much about thinking ahead, focus on the topic at hand.

First, you want an enticing hook, and an effective headline, that will interest readers. Keep in mind these basic rules:

– Be specific: you’ve already done your research and gathered data. Hit the reader with a fact, a statistic, a report that is unexpected and new. A vague hook suggests you don’t know what you’re talking about.

– Highlight a problem: What is a mistake that the reader should fix? What opportunities are they missing out on? What information do they lack?

– Promise more: You’ve identified the problem, now you’ve got advice, solutions, steps, to help the reader take the right action. Don’t give readers everything at once in your intro, give them a reason to keep reading.

Incorporate your hook into a short, snappy introduction paragraph. Keep it concise, but don’t be afraid to use anecdotes and emotion to capture the reader’s attention.

5. Tell Your Reader “But Wait, There’s More!” (Without Actually Saying That)

This is where you add some real meat to your article, and it’s where you’ll spend most of your time. Start from the research you compiled and start to cut out unnecessary and tedious information.

When writing your body paragraphs, make sure:

– To use facts and emotion together: your post should be informative, but it’s not a financial report. Add examples and personal stories to keep readers engaged.

– To offer achievable steps: if the readers can’t actually implement your advice or use your information, they won’t have much reason to keep reading your blog. It’s like watching a cooking show that assumes you have expensive, specialized equipment for every recipe—you’ll start looking elsewhere when you actually want to cook something for yourself.

– To build your unique voice: it can take some time to figure out your style when you’re writing. But it’s important to find the vocabulary and tone of your piece. Figure out which keywords you want to emphasize in your post, as well as terms or phrases you want to use across your website. Try to build a one-on-one conversation with the readers of your blog.

6. Finish With a Strong Conclusion in 10 Minutes

There are only two rules when it comes to conclusions:

– Don’t skip it: It’s tempting to think it’s unnecessary because you’ve already told the reader all the info they need to know, but online readers like to skim. Conclusions can reiterate important details and tell skimmers how to take action.

– Include a call to action: Readers a fickle bunch. You can give them a step-by-step article and they’ll still feel unsure about what to do next after reading it. Since you are promoting your services and products, your conclusion should have a clear call to action that connects the reader’s needs to your business.

You’ll figure out if you prefer your conclusions to be a couple of sentences or a couple of detailed paragraphs. Don’t let your conclusion get too lengthy (you’re wrapping up after all), but find what feels comfortable to you.

There we go, a fresh blog post! When you get started, you’ll probably go over 45 minutes, and that’s okay. The expected time limits for your intro, body, and conclusion are goals. 

As you track your time, you can see where you’re getting bogged down. If you’re getting stuck somewhere, consider whether you need to prepare more research for that section before you start writing. See if you can get into the habit of researching and structuring a future post, taking a break, then finishing an article based on yesterday’s research, every day. You’ll be writing up a storm in no time!

Need some help brainstorming blog topics, or keeping your content flowing? Schedule a call with us today!

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