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Friday, May 7, 2010

How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes

Writing content for the web can be enjoyable, satisfying, fun and hopefully profitable but it can also be hard work at times. Every writer experiences those occasions when their output slows to a crawl, and the finish line seems to drift further into the distance. I've been there a few times, so here are my tips on how to beat the block and produce a new, quality post in less than half an hour - and to prove my point, I'll write this in 30 minutes.

Get into a Positive Mindset
OK, first up is your attitude. If you have a defeatist approach, you'll likely be defeated. Look at the facts - you're only trying to write 500 words, not a novel. It doesn't seem that intimidating now does it?

And remember - in less than 30 minutes you'll have a piece of work that can start earning you money. So be positive, and get thinking.

Pick a Subject
Next part is perhaps the one you consider the hardest - the topic. It's always easiest to write about what you know, especially if you want to write quickly. Research and fact checking can take time, so you're best sticking to opinions or advice. By the way, I've taken 10 minutes to get to this point.

Sketch out Your Headings
This is the bit I find the most constructive, as it allows you to see a mental path to the finish. By listing 3 or four headings, you'll be halfway towards a completed post as you can expand on each one for a paragraph or two.

Add the Flesh to the Bones
Now go back through each section and think about why you wrote that header. What point were you trying to communicate, and can you express it concisely to your reader? After all, they probably want to read as quickly as possible so be brief and succinct.

Check and Correct
Finally once you have your finished draft, read through it. Assuming your post is around 500 words this should only take the last 5 minutes or so. You're checking for the obvious spelling and grammatical errors (which your spell checker should help with), but also for any problems with the flow of the text.

At this point you also want to try to make the article as user friendly as possible, so you could perhaps add some bold and italic highlights to help your readers to scan. And at that point, you're done! And so am I, 444 words in 28 minutes from start to finish. I thank you.

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