This post was originally written in May 2016. It was updated in January 2021.
A freelancing friend of mine astounds me with the sheer amount of words he’s able to write in a single day.
He tells me that, on average, he can produce 2,000 to 3,000 words a day, which he says amounts to 7 to 10 individual pieces of content every day.
I consider myself a decently fast writer, but I have to say, producing that much content every single day is a bit out of my comfort zone.
How do you keep up a pace like that?
After all, marketers constantly have too much to do and too little time to do it. It’s for this reason that I started looking into steps to speed up my own content creation. I’ll share those steps with you.
1. A CONTENT TOPIC LIST
Idea generation is arguably the hardest part of content creation. Personally, I know I used to get hung up trying to find a specific incredible post idea or lamenting that I don’t have many ideas for the topics we cover.
At this point, those days are behind me.
I stumbled across a tip on Reddit recently that said if you want to have good and creative ideas, sit down and come up with 100 ideas. Sound daunting? I rarely hit that many when I do this exercise but even the 30 to 40 ideas I do get down last me for quite some time. The other thing to remember here is that not all of the ideas have to be good. In fact, a lot of them are going to be bad. Don’t worry about it.
The fact that you’re getting them all out on paper means that the bad ideas will likely no longer hold a place in your mind. And the good ideas will really stick out through the load of crap that they are often going to be surrounded by.
Keep a running list at all times, adding to it constantly and making sure to sit down and spend some time with it when it gets a little thin. The only time I struggle for content ideas now is when I let my list get a little too limited.
I also keep a running list in my own private Slack channel of ideas for my next posts, conversation, or series.
2. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Figure out when you write most efficiently and make sure you write during that time.
For years, I worked best at night, a side effect of an over-packed schedule and a student’s “sleep ’till noon” mentality. But nighttime isn’t always the most productive time for me to work.
Waking up early in the morning and sitting down to write is by far the most productive time period for me (so long as I sleep enough). I get more done in a 30-minute block between 7 and 10 a.m. than I might get done during the whole rest of the day.
The exact time that you are working isn’t important. You might be a slug in the morning but a rabbit at night. Choose times when you are a rabbit and you’ll find more work gets done. There are also tasks for slugs and days where you are less productive overall.
Nighttimes and mornings are often the most productive because there are fewer distractions.
Block out specific times to focus and write. Close out your chat windows and social media feeds for an hour. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done when you’re focused on just one thing. Multitasking does absolutely nothing for productivity.
3. STAY ON TRACK
You can lose focus even while you’re physically pounding your fingers into the keyboard and producing words. Don’t let yourself get off on a tangent or try to focus on too many areas in your blog posts.
It gets messy fast, it will slow you down and it ultimately destroys the quality of your post.
4. USE A TEMPLATE
Getspokal had a great point when the author of this piece mentioned that most content can fit into a template. They listed these types of posts:
These are great. Have an idea about an article you want to write but don’t know how to frame it?
Fit it into one of these post models and you’ll likely find it easier to crank out a post for just about any topic.
5. ORDER OF OPERATIONS
There is a lot of discussion about whether or not you should write your introduction first or last. What about your conclusion? Some say write the introduction first, you can just go back to it later. Some say write it last when you have a better idea of what the article is about. I think there’s a much better solution than declaring that you should write it first or that you should write it last.
Ask yourself this question: Do you have an idea how some part of the blog post starts?
If this answer is yes, then start there. I like to set up my posts so I’m just filling in the blanks for each section so I don’t feel like I need to start at the beginning and write to the end. I often like to write the body and conclusion, then go to the top and write the hook.
These tips should get you on track to be the fastest writer possible. While you may not be as prolific as my friend, you should see a marked increase if you implement any number of these tips.
Make sure you tell us what you do with all your spare time now that you’re a writing speed demon:
- Do you write more blog posts?
- Do you kick back and relax?
Let us know in the comment section.