How long does it take to write a blog post?
Based on a survey of 1000 bloggers, Orbit Media Studios found that nearly 48% of the bloggers surveyed took 1-2 hours to write a post.
The survey also revealed 3 out of 4 bloggers had an average word count of 1000 words or less. Moreover, less than 20% of the bloggers surveyed had an average word count of 500 words.
That’s right – the 500-word article that once was the norm is all but dead now.
Your audience is now looking for in-depth, research-oriented content pieces that offer credible and insightful information. Certainly, it’s difficult to achieve it within 500 words.
As a matter of fact, you should write detailed posts with sufficient proof to make your audience believe in what you’re saying, and create a positive experience for them.
However, with a hectic content marketing schedule, how do you write authority posts faster?
This is exactly what I’m going to address in this content writing guide. From creating an outline to writing your first draft, this guide tells you how to write an authority content piece – be it an eBook or blog post – faster.
So, let’s get started…
Write a Magnetic Headline Fast
A catchy headline persuades your target audience to click on it and read your article.
This is an effective way to stand out in an otherwise crowded SERP’s. In fact, an article with insightful content may lose out on many prospective readers without an appealing headline.
However, a catchy headline doesn’t mean that you should resort to a click-bait strategy. Instead, you should try to create a couple of headline variations and choose the best of the lot.
According to Neil Patel, a renowned marketing strategist, 8 out of 10 people will only read your article headline, whereas only 2 will actually read the rest.
Coming up with a creative headline is hard; doing it quickly is harder still. The good news is there are tools available to make life easy for you.
If you are having a hard time creating a better headline quickly, and/or confused among the headline variations, Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator is a great tool for you.
Similarly, the Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule tests your headline quickly and tells you how good it is.
Conduct a Quick Keyword Research
If you’ve been in the SEO industry for a while, it’s a no-brainer – a great piece of content with poor SEO is less likely to compete well with others on the SERP’s.
In other words, optimizing your article with the right keywords is vital.
Sure, there are many exhaustive guides to conduct keyword research. But what if you want to do keyword research quickly?
Here’s what you need to do:
Use Google’s Related Search Feature:
When you enter your base keywords of your title, e.g, “write content fast” into Google’s Search Box, and hit the spacebar, you will see Google’s related searches. Those are long-tail search phrases that many of your target readers use to find your content.
Therefore, by optimizing your content with those keywords, you are giving the best shot for your content to compete with others on SERP’s.
Use Popular Keyword Research Tools:
Moz recently released a keyword research tool which is pretty handy and can allow you to research up to 3 keywords without even logging into their site. The reason why I like it is that it tells you if a keyword is worth optimizing.
Use Data on Google’s Search Console:
Did you know that you have a better chance of ranking faster if you included the keywords your website is already ranking for?
But how does it work?
If your website is already ranking for some search terms, it means Google already trusts your website to be an authority in the specific domain.
Go to Google’s Search Console and click on Search Analytics under Search Traffic. You should see the search queries your website is already ranking for. Try to incorporate those keywords into your articles to rank better and quicker on SERP’s.
If you want to conduct extensive keyword research, you should use keyword research tools such as:
- Google’s Keyword Planner (FREE)
- Moz Keyword Explorer (FREE Up to 5 Keywords)
- SEMRush Pro (FREE Trial)
Make a Quick Outline
Creating a proper outline is an important part of your writing strategy that gives your writing the right direction. A well-planned outline refers to creating a sketch of your entire article with essential features in bullets and brief sub-headings. In fact, this is often considered an ideal solution to prevent writer’s block.
The outline may vary depending on the topic of your article, but essentially it should be inline with what your title promises. If it’s a how-to article, you might want to add all the necessary points to make it complete and comprehensive.
Julie Neidlinger from CoSchedule offers some quick and useful tips in the article “The 10-Minute, 10-Step Solution for The Best Blog Outline”. This is a must-read if you want to create your blog outline fast.
Pro Tip: Divide the entire article in 4-5 parts and work on each part at a time. For example, you can split your article into opening paragraph, body with subheadings and ending paragraphs. Pick any one and make sure it is complete in all respects.
Collect Info for Your Article
According to Neil Patel, your readers want proven and reliable solutions to their problems. Therefore, your writing has to be well-sourced and credible.
The point is you must cite your sources to back your claims in order to establish yourself as a thought leader. Gathering information for your article is imperative to writing a great post.
Authority content usually has the following features:
- They offer insights into the current events/developments
- They cite their primary sources to back their claims
- They share case studies or survey statistics to make a point
Before writing an article, base your opinion on some industry developments, research, studies or surveys and then take it from there.
Curating industry-oriented content is a very useful tactic which helps you to cite your sources to boost the credibility of your content.
Pro Tip: Neil Patel recommends using Issuu.com to research your industry. A simple Google search will also reveal many facts from authority sources, which you can use for your article content.
To better understand this process, here’s a case study by Belle Beth Cooper on Buffer’s Blogging Process.
Save Time on Writing the First Draft
The problem with many content writers is they tend to multitask while creating their first draft. Simply write according to the outline you have created and move with the flow, without worrying about the errors or typos. You can fix those during proofreading.
Here are some quick tips on how to write the first draft faster.
Stick to a Deadline:
Assign specific time slots for different segments of the article and try to finish each part within the allotted duration.
Honor your Content Calendar:
If your content calendar says you need to write three articles every week, simply stick to it.
Remove All Distractions:
Although it’s hard to remove all distractions, you should try your best to avoid the ones within your control. Try putting your cellphone on silent mode and/or disable its WiFi.
Start with the Conclusion:
What is the easiest part of the article you’re working on? Is it this conclusion or the opening paragraph? Start writing your article with it. It’s much easier to write an article faster with the part you’re most comfortable with.
Avoid Editing while Writing:
The problem with all of us is that we tend to fix our errors (typos) on the fly. While this is a great idea to write a flawless article, it can also slow us down.
Avoid the tendency of moving back and forth between fixing errors and writing your draft. You’ll be surprised with the amount of time you saved.
Optimize Your Article for SEO in a Jiff
While writing authoritative content is the key to boosting your brand value, optimizing it for SEO is even more important as it improves your content’s online visibility.
Here’s a quick SEO cheatsheet for your article:
- Include the keyword in your title
- Include the keyword in your sub-headings
- Include the keyword in the first paragraph
- Maintain a keyword density of 2-3%
- Optimize the image alt-tags with keywords
- Use descriptive anchor texts and link to relevant sources
Pro Tip: Don’t over optimize your article with keywords. Maintain a natural flow and don’t resort to keyword manipulation. If you blog is running on WordPress, use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your articles.
Proofread Your Content Quickly
Once you have finished writing the first draft and optimizing it for SEO, it’s time to proofread the content for spelling errors, grammar and flow.
Your article should read naturally and the best way to ensure this is to ask your friend to proofread it or read it aloud.
Always run the spell check first and look for the spelling errors and grammar suggestions.
There are a couple of content proofreading tools that help you improve your content. For example, Atomic Reach allows you to choose your audience types based on their intelligence and then tweak it for grammar, vocabulary and flow so you can achieve a better score for your content.
A higher score for a particular audience segment means your article is better designed for your target audience and therefore, more likely to succeed.
With tons of content being published online, ensure your article is expertly designed for the target audience and super optimized for search engines at the same time. While this seems like an uphill task, the above content writing tips should give you a head start.
What are some of the best tips and tools you know to write content quickly? Please, share your thoughts in the comment below.
About The Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter:@sushantsahoo