In our Facebook community, you’d think content was the bane of our existence.
There’s constantly questions about:
- How to write content quickly,
But even though I’m a content creator, I get it.
I stumble over making sure I have enough content created for my own blog too, and I’m a writer.
I love writing, but I love the business (read:profit) side of my business even more than I love the writing side.
And there’s nothing worse than realizing on Friday afternoon that you’re due to send your promised weekly email to your list on Monday.
Except you haven’t written a damn thing yet.
At that point, you’ve got one of three choices:
- Drop the ball completely and send them nothing.
- Half-ass it and get some major unsubscribes.
- Say goodbye to your weekend.
But because we care about our niches and the people in them, for most of us, the first two options really aren't options.
And while there’s a certain glamour to the whole working-yourself-to-the-bones thing for the sake of your new business, I’m over it.
I'm only 28, but I’m already too old for working on the weekends. I prefer to have a life.
But beyond adding blog writing as weekly to-do list item, we still need a real solution to the content problem.
This is where batching—my blog posts and my YouTube videos—has really saved my ass.
I sit down and bang out months worth of content all at once and schedule all the posts.
Then, because it's done, I know I don't have to worry about wasting my weekend with a blog post and I don't have to worry about it on a week-to-week basis. Which totally frees me up to think about and act on bigger-picture plans.
So today I’m going to walk you through how to take three days of work to batch together and create two full months of blog posts at once.
That way, you won’t find yourself in that dreaded Friday afternoon content conundrum and you'll have good content you can feel confident about.
What You'll Learn
- What to do every morning and afternoon for three days while you write your content quickly.
- Where to get ideas for your content.
- A tip on where to write your outlines and first drafts that'll save time while scheduling your posts.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
Brainstorm Ideas - Day 1, Morning
Before you start writing, you need ideas on what to actually write about.
Assuming you know a good deal about your niche and are at least a little more “expert” than the people in your audience, ideas shouldn’t be a problem.
One of my favorite ways to come up with content ideas when I’m in a crunch is to look at my keyword research and think of interesting articles to write on those topics.
This kills two birds with one stone:
- It gives you ideas on what to write about.
- You know you’re being smart with your SEO.
I’ve mentioned Answer The Public before, but I’ll mention it again.
It’s the perfect place for content ideas that your target audience is actually searing for.
Best of all, most of them are questions you can simply answer.
If you publish every week, you’ll need eight topics for two months.
If you publish every other week, you’ll only need four.
Don’t worry about picking the “best” or the most effective topics to write about.
You’ll be in business long enough that you’ll be able to answer all of them, so just pick the ones you can answer quickly.
The goal here is writing and scheduling a lot of content, not spending hours on research.
This is the quickest step, and shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes.
Write Your Intros & Outlines - Day 1, Morning & Afternoon
This is the place where the most of the heavy lifting happens.
For each topic, identify a pain point your target audience has and write an intro around it.
Then, with the keyword, title, and intro in mind, outline the major points you’ll address in the post.
And under each point, make two to five smaller points you need to fully answer the question.
For example, when I was writing a short piece of content on the term "copywriting for startups," my outline had one major premise and looked like this:
Copywriting for Startups
- Need to make money to stay sustainable
- Two sources of startup income: investors & paying customers
- Money from customers is what will sustain you in the long-term
- Need messaging focused towards customer pain points, not investor desires
- Have two landing pages: one for investors, one for customers
- Site 1
- Site 2
This will take you some time, so don’t get frustrated when you don’t get all your outlines done instantly.
Aside from the idea brainstorm that takes you 20 minutes or less with Answer the Public, your entire first day is dedicated to this process.
Hint: Write your outlines in WordPress, creating a new post for each outline. When it’s time to write your posts, just write them over the outlines. This will save you a lot of time in back & forth copy/paste edits when you’re ready to schedule the posts.
How to Write an Intro
If you're new to writing blog posts, writing an intro and getting over the hump to actually get started can be the most daunting part.
But it doesn't have to be. Believe me.
Here's two of my favorite ways to write an intro when I don't know what to say that get me unstuck every single time.
1. Start with a story.
I'm assuming you've got a little bit of experience with the niche you're working in. Even if it's only slightly more than your target audience, it's something.
And believe it or not, that something is really worth grabbing onto in your introductions.
For example, I'm a business owner. And even though I've only been and official business owner for less than a year, that experience has given me some major stories to share with my audience of fellow business owners.
I had one piece of content I was aiming at business coaches, and since I've never done any business coaching, I was stuck on what to write in the intro.
But, I had hired a business coach to help me before, so I told that story.
I talked about how I used to struggle to get clients, but how my business coach swept in and saved the day... and how now I'm turning work away.
It wasn't an overly practical intro, but I did build affinity with my audience of business coaches for that piece of content, thanking them for their work, and breaking down their barriers so they trusted me more.
2. Spell out a frustration.
Another way to write a killer introduction is to side yourself with the reader immediately.
Particularly if you're writing a post to answer a question from Answer the Public, you can assume it's a burning question they're just dying to know the answer to.
So put yourself in their shoes and imagine you were trying to solve that problem without the information you're about to give them in the post.
What thoughts are running through your mind? What happenings are you getting frustrated over? And what are the problems that you just can't solve?
Write them out. And write them out in detail. Don't hold back. Really get into the nitty-gritty of it.
Go back and read the intro of this post and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Write Your First Drafts - Day 2, Morning & Afternoon
Day two is the writing day.
All day long you’ll fill in the sections and sub-sections in your outlines with actual sentences.
And though writing is often looked at as the “fun” side of business, when you’re grinding out blog post after blog post, it can get old fast.
The best way I’ve found to do this, though, is to come to a hard, solid stop when I finish writing half of my blog posts.
Half in the morning, half in the afternoon.
And especially if you’re working your way through eight posts, treat for yourself after you finish each half.
It gives you something to look forward to and motivates you to push through and finish it... even if it’s as simple as eating your favorite food for lunch and watching your favorite movie that night.
The sooner you finish your writing, the sooner you’ll get to enjoy those rewards.
And even if you’re lucky enough to finish early, go ahead and stop for the day.
Pro writers agree that for writing and editing, it’s best to let your writing sit overnight before you try to edit it, which is the next step.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
Proofreading & Editing - Day 3, Morning
Now is when you sit down with a cup of coffee and look at all the blog posts you wrote the day before with a fresh set of eyes.
You’ll notice typos you need to fix, sections that need more proof, and transitions that don’t make sense.
Read each blog post carefully: word by word, sentence by sentence.
When I do this, I always find misspelled words, run-on sentences, and bad transitions.
The key here is to take your time and read carefully.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but I’ve made a fool of myself by not doing so.
Once, I’d “proofread” a blog post twice before I sent it out to my list. Unfortunately, I did the proofreading too quickly to notice a handful of spelling errors.
I’d used a movie as a reference to prove my point, and every single time I’d intended to type “movie” in the post, I’d typed “move.”
Needless to say, readers called me out on it, and I felt like an idiot.
I was trying to be taken seriously as a professional writer, but I couldn’t even spell a common five-letter word correctly. (So please, take your time proofreading.)
Schedule Your Posts - Day 3, Afternoon
This is the fun part.
Now that your posts are written and edited, you can load them into your site editor and schedule them to go live.
In WordPress, it’s as easy as copying and pasting your text into the editor, using the “Preview” function to make everything looks good, confirming that your links work, and picking the date and time you want the post to go live.
You’ll also want to make sure each post’s SEO grade is good to go.
If you used Answer The Public to come up with your topic ideas, insert that specific keyword into your SEO plugin (I suggest Yoast for WordPress users), and make adjustments based on the suggestions until you get the green light.
It’s not hard to do, I promise. Plus, I wrote an entire post walking you through the process here.
Once you get into a groove from scheduling your first two posts, this process goes really quickly.
Even if you’re working with eight different posts, you’ll be done before you know it.
I Dare You to Try This At Least Once
I dare you to try this at least once.
Set aside three days to create two months of content, write it all, edit it, and schedule it.
I think you'll be amazed at how much of a stress relief it is.
I know I probably won't go back to writing a new blog post every single week after experiencing this.
And if you want to take your content you write to the next level, I'd check out Stuart's Viral Content Hacks.