Brilliant quality content woos the readers and continues to make profits for you in the long run. Anyone into blogging or content marketing space strives to write better and write fast.
It is not always easy to produce quality content at lightning speed but there are ways to speed up your writing and creating brilliant content.
Can you write an article in 45 minutes without compromising with content quality?
15 minutes for the first cut draft, 25 minutes for content editing, 5 minutes for content organization and SEO.
Here are the 10 smart tips for speed writing while keeping the content quality in control.
1. Three Iterations - Speed Writing and Content Quality
This is what works best for me. I write every article in three iterations, in the first attempt I pour everything out of my head on to the word pad. It is like preparation and gathering the raw material for the content production.
The raw post almost always has double the word count than the final content. Speed is the key while writing the first iteration, write fast and write everything that relates to the topic.
Second iteration is about eliminating repetitive content, framing the sentences and selection of right words. This iteration takes most of the time but takes the article close to the final version.
I spend almost double the time on second iteration as compared to the first cut draft.
Third iteration includes content organization, spelling and grammar check, inclusion of images, inclusion of relevant keywords, working on title, meta tags and a final proof reading.
2. Five Articles - Speed Writing and Content Quantity
This is another strategy that works really well for me. At any point of time I keep five articles running in parallel. As soon as one of the five articles runs past the final iteration, another one is added to the list.
The reason for this strategy is that ideas do not popup all of the time to complete one article in one sitting and often we end up struggling for words or for framing right sentences.
What works best is to switch to the other article as soon as you are stuck with the current article without wasting any time.
It always helps to complete first cut draft of multiple articles in a very short span of time. There might be cases where you are too involved in the subject while writing and are able to complete the first cut draft in one sitting, which offcourse is great.
A side benefit of keeping five articles running in parallel is that one doesn’t get bored looking and iterating over just one article for the whole day.
3. Avoid Tough Topics - Comfort Writing is Speed Writing
A topic is tough if you don’t know much about it. It is common to start on such topics when you either run out of ideas or tend to expand writing horizon to include topics that you generally do not write about.
Tough topics eat up your time without real output because with tough topics, chances of overdoing the research are highly likely. You end up making too many iterations to ensure that the content is right and makes sense.
Always write articles or blogs on the topics you know well about or do thorough research before you start writing the article.
In my earlier days of blogging, I used to pick up topics and start writing without having much knowledge and spent hours reading and researching on the internet after writing just few lines.
This was a time killer approach which I changed later and the new way is to do research thoroughly and be comfortable with the topic before writing a single word.
4. Focus - Write First Time Right
Speed writing needs focus and full attention. Going back to my earlier days of blog writing, I had tendency to go online and search for hints to better structure my sentences.
I realized that it was eating up a lot of my time, my creativity was getting suppressed and the speed with which I produced content was damn slow.
Internet is a big distraction while writing, specifically if we talk about speed writing.
You can always restructure your article in the last iteration, if required, with a bit of research on the internet.
Avoiding other distractions like TV and phones also help keep your creative juices flowing and result in clean content rather than junk and repetitive sentences that take extra time editing.
Keep quality time aside for yourself specifically for writing if you are serious about content marketing and blogging. It cannot be a by-product of your idle time.
5. Keep it Simple - Simple Content Attracts Masses
“Simplicity is the best policy” and it perfectly applies to the content writing. The classic content appeals to only a limited set of readers and may not connect with masses.
The content that everyone is able to understand across different cultures and regions in the world should be the target. Here are few tips that help keep your writing style simple -
Use Basic English words with limited vocabulary Keep sentence short and crisp Do not switch between 1st, 2nd and 3rd perspective Write in active voice Commas tend to be confusing. Use periods wherever possible.
It always benefits to go through the article one last time as a third person to ensure what you wrote is clear, simple and understandable.
6. Use Images - Images Enhance Content Appeal
Any piece of content is not complete without at least one relevant image.
Effective use of images adds to the visual appeal of your blog post, evoke a sense of curiosity, connect with readers feelings and reflect emotions of the blog post.
There must be one master image that relates to the title of your blog, you can add more images throughout the content, as required.
Adding relevant images also means that you have to write lesser which additionally saves time.
Selection of image can be a task at times, if you are struggling to figure out the right images, just focus on the article title and see what kind of image conveys the title.
7. Organize the Content - Involve Readers
Organize your content well, use bullet points wherever necessary. Structure the content with short paragraphs.
Add one-liners and use questions in the content to involve your readers. Once you are done structuring, ask yourself below question –
Is this article visually appealing and well organized?
If the answer is no, then leave it for some time, come back again and read it holistically and make necessary changes.
8. Formatting and Grammar - Stick to Basics of Writing
This looks simple but is important when it comes to making an impression on your readers and influencing repeat visits. Minor spelling and grammatical mistakes can completely turn your readers off.
Ensure that you run the article past spell checker and look for any grammatical errors.
Appropriately formatted article enhances the visual appeal of the webpage and increases the readability, be consistent with the fonts, colours, bullets usage and header tags.
9. Title and Meta Description - Ensure Clicks
This is one area where you should spend good amount of time. Title and Meta description appears on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Even if you have written a great article that manages to appear on the first page of the search results, it is worth only if someone clicks and opens it to read further.
Ensure that the title is catchy and evokes sense of curiosity or surprise and influences people to click and open the link.
Meta description should consist of those few relevant words that carry the essence of your article and carry enough weight to involve the readers.
10. SEO Optimization - Get Discovered
A great article is worth, only if it is discovered. While spending time on making the content brilliant is absolutely necessary, making it search engines optimized is equally important.
Ensure that you use the right keywords throughout the content and further ensure that your article is discovered for the keywords that you target and not for other keywords.
SEO has many aspects but fundamentally, SEO can be divided into two categories, on page optimization and off page optimization.
To rank higher on the search engine results page, you need to take holistic approach and target both areas of SEO.