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How to Write a Great Blog Post in an Hour OR LESS…

14 February 2011 No Comment

black woman cheering in front of laptop


Step 1 | Know What You’re Talking About…

I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many blogs lack coherence, direction, structure or any other indicator of purpose and clear thinking…take a second to search around the “blogosphere” and you’ll see what I mean.



If you don’t know EXACTLY what you want to communicate, you’re going to vacillate (keep alternating) between points, ideas, titles, etc. etc.



So know what you want to say and say that thing precisely: don’t drag along about it because people don’t even like reading these days anyway.



And don’t try to rationalize being all drawn out and verbose because you think you’re mega-deep or whatever (you’re probably not). Just make the point and get on with it. People will appreciate you for that…trust me.


(If you’re really not sure about how you should say something, just walk away and marinate on it. Decide what you’re going to write about the day before you need to write the first draft, and then let your subconscious work on it during sleep.)



So now on to the more practical stuff….




Step 2 | Segment the work & Concentrate on ONE SEGMENT AT A TIME…

Here’s my example:

African american male using laptop>> First, write the first draft

>> Then put the images in

>> Then do all the links/videos, and

>> Then do the overview



It’s not that complex: just stop multitasking the various phases of the process…this is what helps you to concentrate on finishing one section of the job at a time.



Again, stop multi-tasking the job. Think assembly line and work on one part at a time.




Step 3 | Automate EVERYTHING…

The easiest way to do this is with another example. Everything in my blog posts, from

>> the facebook/twitter integration

>> the “more science” section at the end

>> the font style

>> the image placement and zoom feature,

etc. etc. is – to some degree or another – completely automated.



When I’m doing a post, the only thing I really have to do is type the first draft and make the links. There’s a little bit of work for the images, but nowhere near what you think.



I basically have ONE website I get all my images from: www.ImageSource.com (creative, huh?), and whenever I use their images I have an automatic embed code I for the cool zoom effect and everything else. It looks like this:


HTML lightbox wordpress plugin code



(I know his is web-code html, and you might not be familiar with that, but if you’re blogging, you should be. Go learn it. Since the images all come from the same place, there’s really only two sizes they can come in – portrait or landscape – and I know the “dimensions” for that beforehand.)




Conclusion

So because I know what I’m going to say, because I focus on one element at a time and because I have an automated routine, blogging doesn’t take too long at all



…Don’t get me wrong, my first few blogs took me a total of 7 hours or so to get together, so I know how you feel, but I stuck with it. (See a classic post like that here.)



That’s the thing: when most people work on something and it takes “too long,” they go “Oh…nah that takes too long, bump that” so THEY NEVER PRACTICE to gain the actual skill and experience needed to do it at an agile speed.



African american drumming playing snareI used to play the drums (marching percussion) and one thing the old heads would always say at practice is “If you can’t play it slow, you can’t play it fast.”



They focused on that idea because all the beginners would hear something cool and try to play it super fast like the veterans could, instead of taking their time to learn the basics and get the skills…



So remember that – if you can’t play it slow, you can’t play it fast.



Don’t get discouraged because it’s taking you longer than you think it should. Realize that you’re learning a skill that’s going to be an asset to you in the long term (especially in this digital age), so all the time you’re putting in is actually an INVESTMENT.



You’ll be able to do all types of things crazy fast if you just keep at it…it’s called persistence.



Also, listen to this blog talk radio session I did on Self-Discipline a few months back: it goes more in-depth about the basic principles of productivity, time-management and a lot more.


African american male using headphones

Tomorrow I’ll talk about handling criticism and overcoming the fear of rejection (which is needed for blogging or anything else where you’re putting yourself out there).



Peace,
+B



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