It sounds so exciting, doesn’t it?
You start a blog, start writing consistently, build an audience, and begin earning passive income all in the comfort of your own home.
It’s the ultimate laptop lifestyle, we all dreamed of.
Before that is, you sat down to write, and realized that it’s just taken you most of the week, to write your average run of the mill blog post.
And you start to wonder, how are you supposed to write the kind of in-depth ‘epic’ content you need to stand out. Whilst juggling a business and spending time with your family and friends.
You’d think it’s impossible, but it’s not. You just need simple process to follow.
1. You are a writer
New bloggers are full of excuses.
“I don’t have time”.
“I’m not sure where to start”.
“I’m too tired”.
The list goes on.
But the truth is. If you want to make a living as a blogger you’ve got to take responsibility and stop making excuses.
There is no doubt that writing quality content takes time. But instead of letting excuses hold you back, let the benefits inspire you to take action.
And it’s true not everyone can be a poet, a playwright or fiction writer. But if you have the experience and ability to help a specific group of people you can blog.
Marie Forleo says that if you want to write faster, you’ve got to “flip your script”. Believe that you can do it and you will do it.
You are a writer!
In high school I failed English first time around. “If only Stephen would apply himself”, my English teacher used to say.
It’s never been my strong point.
But I new if I wanted to start an online business, I’d need to learn.
To help, I read every day. On the subject of copywriting and other topics I’m interested in.
And most importantly, I write.
I’d like to think it’s helped. Go easy on me 😉
2. Get your facts ready
Before you sit down to write, you must be prepared. One of the reasons people struggle to write a 2,000 word blog post. Is that they’re not prepared with the resources to develop their post.
And so the time they should be writing is spread between researching, reading and gathering information.
Which is very time consuming.
And I get it. For the first year I started blogging I did the same thing.
I’d start writing and shortly after realized I needed a reference to support what I was saying. So I’d open up a new tab in my browser and spend time sourcing and reading the most relevant content to drop into my post.
Preparation begins before your research. Now I begin planning my my content 6 months out.
I put it in my editorial calendar, and begin researching and reading before I even think about writing. I make notes in an appropriate Evernote note, and save relevant articles in Pocket.
3. Show up ready for work
Writing is a job.
And like any other job you have to show up.
And not just squeeze it in here and there when you have some spare time.
If you want to get that post written without it taking up too much of your already busy schedule. You have to write on a schedule, like you would any other task.
For 2,000 word blog post you’ll need at least 4 hours. You may need more to start with, that’s ok, with practice you’ll improve.
I schedule my writing time for my own content along with guest contributions in my Google calendar.
And I stick to it.
4. Eliminate distractions
“There’s no such thing as focus. There is only an absence of distractions”. – Jon Morrow.
Your biggest enemy, when you write are distractions, which could come from anywhere.
Your family, TV, answering your phone or responding to Facebook comments.
Yes it’s hard especially in today’s connected world. But if you want to stay focused – eliminate all distractions around you.
Turn off your phone, to prevent you answering it or responding to texts or other notifications. Turn off your TV. Seriously how do you expect to write your next blog post. If you’re writing in your living room with the TV on.
You could also consider switching off the internet. But that has always seemed extreme for me, and something I don’t do. But I do use Tomato Timer (based on the Pomodoro Technique) which also allows you to block domains, to prevent you from wandering over to Facebook.
You could also use Freedom which blocks internet apps, websites and social media.
5. How to write your first draft
When you do finally sit down to write, aim to write a first draft as quickly as possible.
Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or editing. Because when you edit you’re using a different set of skills.
Writing slowing is the result of reading your words and sentences whilst your typing.
So editing whilst you’re writing distracts you and slows you down.
Don’t worry if your first draft isn’t perfect, it’s the process of editing afterwards that will make it great.
“The first draft of everything is sh*t.” – Ernest Hemingway
Start your writing process by creating an outline for your post. Which includes the points you want to cover in your introduction, body and conclusion.
Once you’ve created your outline, break these down into sub-headings that describe what you will cover.
And with the outline written it’s time to fill in the details.
Do this as quickly as possible, don’t correct spelling mistakes or grammatical errors and DON’T EDIT. Type as quickly as you can until your article is complete.
Now you have finished your draft, it’s time to edit it.
Add any points you feel with strengthen your post, equally remove any that aren’t strong. Add any references or sources of information to support the points you are making. And link externally to those sources to back up those points.
And obviously correct grammar and spelling errors.
Next time I’ll outline how I edit, format and publish each post and introduce you to all the tools I use to help me manage my writing process efficiently.
Have you found any useful tips through this process? What other ways do you use to streamline your writing process? I’d love to hear them.
Let us know in the comments below.