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Marketing / Business writing

5 simple steps for writing one blog post a week

Struggling to find the time to fit blogging into your schedule? Here are five simple steps that will have you writing one post per week - with your morning coffee.

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So you’ve made the commitment to start blogging, it’s time to sit down to write, now what?

Well the dreaded flashing cursor on the screen is usually the first thing you’ll encounter! All writers experience this from time to time, seasoned or professional. You know what to write about, but how do you go about the actual writing process itself, without it taking up too much of your already busy working day?

Well, your writing process doesn’t have to be a painful nor does it have to be too time-consuming. In fact, I bet you could write one post per week with your morning coffee.

So let’s break down exactly how. And if you have trouble again, bookmark this page and be sure to come back and re-read this post to keep you on track.

Morning 1: Spin popular headlines

Head over to BuzzSumo and enter a theme close to what you want to write about. You’re looking for articles with a relatively high number of social shares 50-100 or more. Make a list in a spreadsheet.

"Your writing process doesn’t have to be a painful nor does it have to be time-consuming. In fact, I bet you could write one post per week with your morning coffee."

This shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.

One of the hardest parts of blogging is coming up with a headline. Now that you’ve got a list of articles that have performed well on social media, you’re going to keep rewriting variations of those headlines until you come up with a topic you want to write about.

Again don’t overthink this step, keep writing until time is up, 10 minutes.

If you get stuck use Kate Toon’s perfect headline writing formula …

Number or Trigger Work + Quirky Adjective + SEO Keyword + Promise

For example:

5 simple steps for writing one blog post a week.

Now write the outline for the rest of your post, the main points you want to cover in the introduction, body and conclusion. Use descriptive sub-headings that let you break up the content into easily scannable chunks. Time 10 minutes.

For example:

  • Introduction
  • Morning 1. Spin popular headlines
  • Morning 2. Write your introduction
  • Morning 3. Fill in the blanks
  • Morning 4. Edit, format and refine
  • Morning 5. Publish and promote
  • Conclusion

Total time spent so far: 30 mins.

Morning 2: Write your introduction

After the headline the introduction can be one of the hardest but most important sections to write, which is why you’re going to dedicate one sitting to it.

Your introduction is important because it  tees the reader up for what they are about to read and provides context to the rest of your post.

As a simple formula I like to break my introductions down into four main components.

  1. Start by trying to grab your reader’s attention: you could ask a question, be empathetic, shock the reader with crazy stat. Whichever route you go, keep your opening sentence short.
  2. Now present the reason for the post’s existence, your post needs to have a purpose.
  3. Next, present the problem and why it’s important to solve.
  4. Last explain how the post will help address the problem, tell the reader exactly what the post will provide, and why it’s valuable to them.

Time 30-60 Minutes.

Morning 3: Fill in the blanks

With your headline and introduction written, the body of your post should be the easiest part to complete.

Spend 60 minutes filling out the remainder of your article. The key here is to write as quickly as possible, don’t stop, don’t edit, tweak or take a breath 😉

Don’t worry about typos, spelling mistakes or rearranging things yet, just get your thoughts down quickly – you’ll come back and massage tomorrow.

Time 60 minutes.

Morning 4: Edit, tweak and refine

Now you’ve got the bones of your post written, it’s time to finesse it for flow, format, spelling and grammar.

Start by editing your article until it flows nicely, adding anything you feel will strengthen your article and removing anything that doesn’t.

Add key facts to support the main points (a quick Google search and you should be able to find a few articles to help you). Link to those articles that support what you have to say.

Improve the formatting for web by making sure your subheadings are in the same font as your headline, just in smaller size. Also make sure to break up longer paragraphs – no one wants to read large blocks of text on the web. And include bullets if you can, to break up the content further.

Time 30-60 minutes.

Morning 5: Publish and promote

Before you hit publish you’ll want to add an image (I prefer to use a full width image at the top of my posts). The best way to start is by using Facebook’s open graph image size (minimum of 560px x 292px) this will ensure your image looks good whichever network it’s shared across.

If you’re stuck for places to sources images check out photopin and stocksnap.

If you’ve written your post in your website backend/CMS great. If not you’ll have to copy and paste it into your editor and tweak the formatting slightly.

Once you’ve published your post, share it on your social networks and email it to your email subscribers.

Note: If you really want your content to help you attract and scale traffic this should only be the start of your content promotion.

Time: 30-60 minutes

Conclusion

There you go, you should now be able to write one blog post per week – with your morning coffee, lunch etc.

The first time you try it, it will likely take you a bit longer before you can do everything in the time, but once you’ve done it a few times, you should be able to write a blog post with the time frame easily.

And now, over to you. Do you have any favourite writing processes that allow you to blog regularly?

Stephen Mayall

is a marketing consultant and coach at New Edge Marketing. He helps creative businesses generate more leads, create more opportunities and drive more sales through simple step-by-step solutions to grow their business.

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