What is the most valuable skill of a blogger?
Most people say being able to write well. While this definitely is a very valuable skill to have, there is one variable that is often overlooked, and that is being able to write fast!
If you are only able to write one blog post every solar eclipse, it will take you an eternity before you can be considered a successful blogger, or get better for that matter. You dont have that much time. This is why i recommend to write at least 500 words every single day, and do so within one hour or faster.
Here’s my method to writing fast without messing up:
Create The Outline First
If you create the outline before you start writing, its a little like ‘connecting the dots’. You never have to be stuck with your writing because you already have a ‘writing map’ to show you exactly what to write next.
Also, each heading is like its own little chapter, so if you dont know what to write for a particular one, just move on the the next one. You can always find more resources later. This way you don’t get stuck with writing.
Write Your First Draft Fast
Unlike people regularly think about writing, the first draft does NOT have to be your final one. Please don’t rewrite the same sentence 5 times over until it resembles something that looks good.
I recommend you write your first draft fast. Because as you might have noticed, your inner critic is always lurking and telling you things like ‘hmm..this sentence is not right’. Please tell it to shut up, and move on with your writing.
Because here’s a secret: even the best writers do not spontaneously come up with the most fascinating analogies and sentences that glue you to the page, practically forcing you to read it all. Very often they start out with a very bland sentence, and edit it after the first draft is done.
1. Mike walked in the door holding a pistol.
2. Mike smashed the door open holding a revolver.
3. Mike smashed the door open, with his finger on the trigger of a loaded revolver.
Do you see how you can make it feel more exciting, make it feel slower or faster, by playing around with the words?
Remember: relax, people will only see your post once your press *publish*.
Always Have Plenty Of Content Ideas And Use The Power Of Your Subconscious Brain
Thinking about something to write each time can be nerve wrecking. The thing is, by the time you have thought about one good subject, your idea machine (aka your brain) is already warmed up. Why not come up with multiple content ideas in one ‘brainstorm’ session?
Where do you get your content ideas from? Well, the answer is: where do you not find content ideas?
For example, i was reading a book the other day and it quickly mentioned the high-probability of low-probability events.
This means that for example the chance of an earthquake happening near your home is fairly low. The probability of getting in a deadly car accident is also fairly low. So is losing your job, or breaking up with the wife you’ve been with for 12 years. But the chance of one of these things to happen is actually quite substantial!
When i read something like this, i like to make notes and try to think of an interesting connecting i could make to entrepeneurship.
Another great content trick is to start with the headline. Make a really bold promise. Then, put in all your effort to live up to it.
– How To Grow Your Twitter Account In 5 Minutes A Day
– The Essential Guide To Accounting For Entrepeneurs
– What You Should Do To Become A Successful Blogger
Here are some other ways to find great content ideas:
- Use BuzzSumo to find out which content gets shared
Just type in content marketing for example, and it will show you content with lots of shares. This will teach you what kind of content gets shared on a particular subject, so you can create something that has the potential to get shared, as well.
- Check out Reddit.
Here’s the deal: Reddit is awesome for content ideas. People vote on what content is worth seeing (in their ever-so-humble opinion ;-), so if you search on a particular subject you get to know what the Reddit users like. Most of the things you’ll find will be interesting at the very least. When i searched for SEO, i found that content with these headlines were very successful:
– Does SEO Really Work In 2015? (inducing curiosity)
– A List Of Free SEO/Backlink Tools For Broke SEO’s (e-ve-ry SEO loves free tools, seriously)
Here. This is pure writing gold. Download it. Don’t procrastinate. Do it now. You won’t regret it.
Personally, i don’t keep a whole list of content ideas, but about 3 or 4. When i do this, something else starts to happen. My subconscious is already thinking about the content ideas, and it starts to get form in my mind. By the time i get to writing, i already know what i want to teach in general terms, and might even have made some notes in an Evernote file.
Learn to use the power of your subconscious by keeping it busy. Give it orders. Literally. Just tell it ‘please think about these content ideas and start organizing them’.
You might say, “you’re crazy Jasper, that doesn’t work!”
But hey, it works for me! You might as well give it a go…
Work On Multiple Articles At The Same Time
This sounds crazy and counter-productive, right? Well, it isn’t and i’ll tell you why.
Sometimes, i write one blog post from beginning to end, without touching another one, like this one. But some blog posts are very tough for me to write, and if i want to prevent myself from killing my writing spirit, i need to write 2 at the same time. Because if you want to be a writer, there’s no doubt about it. You’ll need to write. Daily.
If you have iron willpower, and you crush through hard-to-write posts Navy SEAL style, this recommendation is not for you. This post is for people who want to start writing fast and ship often, and sometimes you do this by staying in your lane, writing something that flows easily.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t challenge yourself from writing about subjects you are not yet familiar with, because you learn a TON from researching books & blogs, and the retention from teaching is remarkably high!
Get Some Distance From Your Writing
The pleasure of a post done being written.
It always feels like a little accomplishment, and it is.
You just want to press *publish* and see all the visitors, retweets, likes to prove that they are in awe of your beautiful post.
But your baby is ugly, you just don’t know it yet.
You just love it so much because it really was like a child-birth, with all these hours of work, sweat and tears you’ve put in.
So keep some distance, let it sit for a little while. A day or 2 if you can. The world can wait. They won’t know you were cleaning your ugly baby, before showing it to the world.
They will always think it was born this way, and that’s all they have to know.
If You Really Can’t Write, Read
Reading is one of the most productive things you can do, besides writing. I recommend to read one book per week and plenty of blog posts, my recipe. This allows you to grow and learn a lot, practically making you into a human information and creativity machine that runs 24/7.
Writers have conditioned themselves to love learning. They love that it gives them the power to grow from it, apply it, and teach others. So pick up a book, or buy one on Kindle now and start learning, because you’ll feel a lot more empowered and confident to help others.
Got any other kick-ass writing tips that i didn’t mention here? Come on, don’t keep em for yourself.
Leave a comment below, and impress us 😉
This is just my personal method, i’d love to know other peoples tactics or mind hacks to help you beat procrastination and writers block.