Creating content is loaded with benefits. Well, it has got to be- blogging alone helps companies generate 55% more visitors on their website?
If this isn't enough to convince you of the goodness content marketing has to offer, be ready for a mind-boggling statistic – blogging increases your chances to get found by users on search engines by a whopping 434% – i.e. 434% more indexed pages!
However, the whole scenario isn’t as perfect as it seems.
Content creators are struggling with producing consistent content, meeting deadlines, and having enough posts to create an impact on traffic – Guess what the leading cause is behind this lag? You guessed it right; it's time management.
In fact, in a study, more than half (51%) of B2B marketers admitted that lack of time and not enough bandwidth was the major hurdle they're facing especially when it comes to producing enough content to see some marketing results, i.e. ROI.
This brings me to my point – it's the need of the hour to find a solution that helps content creators produce excellent content in less time to maintain consistency.
That's precisely what this article is about. Read on to get the hang of some strategies that'll help you with your time-management struggles.
Pro Tip: A quick easy way to write good content fast is by using Grammarly. Check out my review of whether Grammarly pro is worth it to learn more. Also, Grammarly offers student discounts which can make it a great option if you're (broke) a student.
How to Write content faster and better
0. Learn Content from the best
Before diving deep, I want to make one thing clear: You need to study good content.
With me, I regularly consumed several online courses, reverse engineered great content, and followed several podcasts to get better at content.
Why? Because to get (really) good, you need to first learn from the best.
If you're more into audio, I recommend using Audible which has a wide variety of audiobooks you can listen to in order to hone your skill.
You now have no excuses.
1. Block those Distractions
Internet is a massive distraction on its own. You have a constant urge to check social media notifications, click a bookmark link to your favourite website, have a look at your search engine ranking or website traffic.
Distractions also mean kids making noise, someone talking over the phone, or a temptation to grab a snack – especially if you work from home.
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A team of psychological scientists from George Mason University has found that interruptions don't just take up time; they also degrade the overall quality of people's work. This can be a massive cost if you're already struggling to produce consistent content.
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Now, while you can't just get over all of these, you can get rid of a few that can incredibly boost your writing speed.
For this purpose, you can use browser extensions that block certain websites or desktop apps that hide everything except the active window – Freedom and Cold Turkey Blocker can be used for blocking the websites distracting you for a specific period of time.
There are even some apps that gently prods one from bad behavior – for example, Mindful Browsing. It gently nudges the user away from time-wasting websites.
If you're more of the stubborn kind, you'll need something aggressively to stop you from going down the rabbit hole. To cater to this, RescueTime is a bomb! It tracks productivity and blocks distracting sites.
On another note, Krisp.ai is a great noise-canceling app that helps channel out noise when writing content. I've created an in-depth Krisp app review. Check it out for more information.
Pro tip:If you're working in Google Docs, hide your bookmarks bar by just right-clicking any space in the bookmarks bar and unchecking “show bookmarks bar.”
However, if these blocking technologies are not your thing, I’ve got something for you up to my sleeve! You can enhance your productivity through focus boosting soundtracks.
This is even backed by science – according to a study conducted by Dr Lesiuk, people who listened to music completed the job more quickly and were able to produce better ideas overall.
For all the music lovers, Brain.fm is the ideal choice! It can help you with some top of the line focus boosting soundtracks.
2. Create a Well-Researched Outline
Once you're done with researching content and preparing some stats, you can't write without one thing, and that's structure.
Without structure, you will have to write from intuition, and the whole thought process involved in it can consume a huge chunk of your time. Also, a lack of flow is something you should be expecting.
This structure/outline doesn’t have to be anything formal – you just have to arrange all the facts and ideas into an order (read: bullet points or numbered list), just the way you'd like to have in your final piece.
You can then divide the information you collected among these different points.
Don't waste time in creating an outline that's free of grammatical errors or has complete sentences. It should just have a logical flow from one idea to the next and help you have an idea of how you're going to deliver an article that fulfills the promise made in the headline.
An outline should include every subtopic and detail under a major topic that you can think of – that'll help pinpoint the places where you need more research, or where you need to be more specific since these are the places you're a little fuzzy on the details.
One way to write a quick yet efficient outline is by implementing the skyscraper technique. This technique involves researching competitor articles and figuring out what works for them (read: structure, keywords, word count, etc.). That'll save time and help you create content that's better than the existing one since you can now fill in the gaps.
Pro tip: Link out relevant research and references under different sections of the outline, so you don't have to spend time looking for them in the future.
3. Write Content in Clusters
Blogs usually involve some technical labour work – for example, looking for photos, uploading them, adding photo credits, and figuring out headlines. What’ll save you a lot of time is getting done with a whole cluster of these basic tasks ahead of time. I recommend using a photo editing software in order to improve your content's visuals.
Now, when you sit down to write an entry in the future, you won't have to hunt down images one by one. Instead, you can upload the whole batch at once (since you've already got them at hand).
An even better technique would be to plan ahead for a couple of different articles. You can have the images looked up and installed on the posts even though you’re currently not writing those entries.
That'll save up a lot of time once you sit down to write those entries anytime in the future – it'll make you feel like your post is already half done.
That’s because taming such administrative tasks will prevent the flow of your writing process from breaking. You won’t have to stop to look for relevant images or tweak the headline.
Also, once you’re in that zone of writing, get done with several entries at once. This saves time as compared to starting from scratch in every sitting and constantly trying to reclaim the groove.
Pro Tip: Apart from clusters, I recommend thoroughly checking your content for plagiarism. Check out my Grammarly's plagiarism checker review for a detailed analysis.
4. Stay in Sync with your Biological Clock
There are people out there who’re writing machines – it’s a piece of cake for them to think of an idea and pound it out in an out of this world article.
However, this isn’t the case for most – certainly not for those whose google search results landed them on this article.
Writing can seem like a slow grinding task to most of us and make us feel like we’re not creative enough.
However, it’s just that you aren’t in sync with your own chronobiology aka your innate biological clock.
The concept of chronobiology states that each human has a unique rhythm to their creative thought process. This means you don't lack creativity compared to the writing gurus – you're genetically hardwired to be creative at certain times of the day.
That's probably why some people write their best pieces before breakfast, while others have to be night owls to display their best shot at creativity.
In a nutshell, don't go against your natural chronobiology. Write vigorously in your most-productive time periods – that'll help you do the same amount of work in less time and higher-quality results.
Pro tip: Make sure these highest-productivity time periods are free of distractions, appointments, and emails.
5. Write-Ahead of Deadlines
The pressure of deadlines leads to a build-up of severe stress and anxiety, ultimately reducing productivity and quality of work.
According to the statistics provided by a workplace productivity survey by ADAA, 56% of the workers (more than half) reported reduced productivity as a result of stress and anxiety.
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What's more, frantically writing a post just a few hours before the deadline means you'll technically be submitting your first draft aka rough draft. That's not your best work!
You'd even compromise on the most effective tool to craft a top-notch post – the chance to proofread it the next day with a fresh perspective.
To be brief, you’ll torment yourself to squeeze out a crappy quality draft just to hit ‘send’ before the deadline.
On the contrary, you could have managed to utilize the same amount of time and produce a top-notch post if it weren’t for the time pressure.
So, don’t be a self torturer – finish up your work at least 48 hours before the deadline. Now you can take a day off and revisit the rough draft with a fresh mind after a day, and fill in all those gaps you unintentionally left missing.
Pro tip: Use the desktop reminder to manage tasks and help you remind a few days ahead of the upcoming deadline.
Winding up on writing faster
As Vincent van Gogh quotes:
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Use this as an inspiration to tweak up a few habits and adopt some strategies – then bring it all together to have the perfect recipe for high-quality content in less time.
Also, never think that you're not good enough compared to those blogging gurus – it’s just about identifying that specific time when you’re hardwired to be brilliant.