How to Create a Great Blog Post in Less Than an Hour

By Sarah Brodsky , last updated January 12, 2012

Most people have to squeeze in blogging around those pesky things called regular jobs. You might check blog comments in the morning, blog after work, and handle site maintenance on the weekends. You don't have all day to mull over a new entry, so you need to write posts fast. It's possible to trim your writing time to less than an hour if you stick with this schedule. You know you're going to cheat and check Facebook, so set a timer!

5 Minutes: Find an Idea

This isn't much time for brainstorming, but if you're going to produce a finished post in under an hour, you can't afford to spend extra minutes coming up with topics. The secret to finding a subject in seconds is to do some work ahead of time. Keep an idea bank that you can turn to when you're blogging with tight deadlines. You can list ideas for posts in a document on your computer, or you can go the old-fashioned route and write them in a notebook. Some people like to send themselves emails with ideas. Plan on spending a few minutes each day reading newspapers, blogs, or magazines for inspiration. If you get in the habit of collecting topics, the ideas will be there when you need them.

10 Minutes: Gather Links

Perform some Internet searches to find content to link to your post. This accomplishes two things: First, you learn more about your topic. As you skim relevant websites, you'll come across information to include in your post. You may also find some viewpoints you disagree with; you can address these disagreements when you write and explain any misconceptions you uncover. Second, you identify websites to link to in your post. Blog readers expect each post to contain several links to related content, and you'll cut down on your blogging time if you grab those links at the start. This research phase is also the time to decide on any images or video clips you'd like to embed in your post.

10 Minutes: Outline

Write a short outline of what you're going to say. Your outline should consist of one-sentence summaries of the paragraphs that will make up your post. Figure out the order in which they'll appear (you don't necessarily have to write them in that order). If you want to bring up major examples or insert particular quotes, jot them down in your outline.

20 Minutes: Write

Now, write your post! Twenty minutes is just enough time to flesh out your ideas and construct a brief post; a good length is 400-500 words. It's not enough time to revise your outline, switch to a new topic, or hunt down entirely different links. Changing direction mid-blogging is sometimes productive, but it's not feasible when you have only an hour till to you publish.

5 Minutes: Proofread

You may be tempted to skip this step, especially if you're running late and approaching the one-hour mark. But it's important to read through your blog post at least once. Readers won't take your writing seriously if they find grammatical or spelling mistakes, and they're unlikely to share an error-ridden post to social networking sites. That would be like telling all their friends that they read poorly edited content. Besides, readers who discover typos in your posts may leave comments pointing out the problem, and then you'll have to go back and make corrections. Proofreading before you publish can save you blogging time later.

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