Sometimes it can take days or weeks to write a blog post, especially when you have to do research. But, if you want your blog to start picking up some organic traffic from the search engines, get noticed in social media, and get some regular visitors, you have to be consistent with your articles and create a lot of content, which means more than one a week.
Of course, you don’t want to put out crap! You can’t put 300-word or 500-word articles out consistently and expect to find success. People want longer articles that answer more of their questions and give more insight.
According to OkDork, long form content gets more social shares than short form content. [Source: http://okdork.com/2014/04/21/why-content-goes-viral-what-analyzing-100-millions-articles-taught-us/] This gives us insight into the fact that people are looking for value, not quick answers, so make sure that you focus on writing articles of value on your blog.
This article will not be focused on using pictures, quotes, or video in your article. It will be focused on putting together a blog article that you can add those things to later. Once you have the article finished, and have a feel for what kind of pictures, quotes, or videos you want to add, you can easily go ahead and plug them in where they seem most appropriate. So, let’s get started!
It Isn’t Going To Happen Today
Just some fair warning. The art of writing an article quickly for a blog is not something that you will master quickly. As with anything, it takes some practice to put together an article with a long list of tips, insights, or information. But, the more you do it, the better you will become. What once took you all day to write (or more) will start to take you a few hours.
Blog About What You Know
This is really worth mentioning if you want to write quickly. Blogging about what you know helps you pull together an article very fast. In fact, you should have picked your blog topic around something you are passionate about for this very reason.
I’ve tried blogging around topics that didn’t interest me, and writing articles for those blogs felt like pulling out my own teeth. I didn’t want to do the research. I didn’t put all my energy into the articles. I’m sure that was conveyed in my writing.
When you are passionate about the topic your blog is focused on, you will not only be able to draw from your experience, but you will also spend time educating yourself around the topic because it is something you enjoy learning about. The more you know, the more wealth of information you have to pull from and offer your readers.
When you blog about what you know, it’s like talking to a friend who is interested in what you are talking about. It comes easy. You get creative with your examples and insights. And, you can easily talk about it for hours, days, or even years, which is important for making your blog last and attracting a devoted audience.
If you are struggling to write a blog post – and struggle with most of your blog posts, then this is a point you definitely have to think about if you want to be the one writing for your blog.
Pick A Topic And Get Inspired
Back in the old days, it was wise to write around keywords. For instance, if you were to write on a dating blog, picking keywords for an article that had ‘dating’ in it was a top priority. Next was picking Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords (LSI), which are keywords that are related to the main keyword. Adding them all together in an article was the best way to get indexed in the search engines and found for the topic of your choice.
Now, there is a lot of debate about how many keywords you should put into your blog article. All of the blogs that got hit during the Google updates have made this a huge issue. However, I have found that blogging around keywords with common sense is the best way to get noticed without getting penalized. Writing as you would talk to a friend instead of writing as you would talk to a search engine is the best way to get indexed and found. You will naturally put in LSI keywords that will make it clear to the search engines what your article is about.
Finding a keyword is important because it helps you decide which direction you want to go with an article. For instance, the keyword for this article is ‘the art of writing’. I could have gone many ways with this topic.
– The art of writing a resume
– The art of writing letters
– The art of writing a love letter
– The art of writing an eBook
– The art of writing a thank-you note
If I’m not sure which direction to take for the topic, I use Google search. By plugging my keyword into Google search, I can see what people are looking for and get inspiration on which way I want to take my article. I do this by plugging in my keyword in and then going through the alphabet for suggestions.
For instance, I’ll put in ‘the art of writing a’ and that will bring up some suggestions, such as ‘the art of writing a scientific article’, and then I will put in ‘the art of writing b’ and that will bring up some new suggestions, such as ‘the art of writing business letters’. I’ll keep going through the alphabet until something hits my interest, and that is usually how I come up with the topic for an article.
I find this simple technique is often enough for inspiration, and I get a lot of search traffic to my blogs just by doing this because I’m focused on what people are searching for.
Not Sure What To Write? Get On Social Media!
You may already have a complete article in your head – like I did for this one. When you have the experience with what you are writing about, you can easily start to write from beginning to end without the need for an outline or inspiration. At the most, you will need to search for quotes or sources to back up anything you are pointing out in the article, but that always isn’t necessary either.
If you don’t have the article already completed in your head, then go to social media for a ton of inspiration. Social media can be a blogger’s worst enemy (procrastination), but if you stay focused on your topic, it can also be your best friend.
First, go to Twitter and type in your keyword. The feed for that topic will come up and you will find a lot of inspiration in it as well as sources to point to. In fact, you can even embed some of the tweets you find in your article to back up your points. Then, simply send them a message on Twitter about using their tweet to get some extra exposure for your article.
You can also open up Facebook and type in a keyword there to bring up a feed that will inspire you. I find that Twitter usually has more up-to-date information than Facebook does, but it is definitely a place to go if you can’t find anything that inspires you on Twitter.
Lastly, go to Stumbleupon and select the interest that your article is going to be around. For instance, ‘the art of writing an article for a blog’ will be focused around the ‘writing’ category. Start stumbling through the category and you will find some things that inspire you quickly.
How About The Library?
Books can offer you a ton of inspiration, but it takes a while to find what you are looking for. Online, you can type in a keyword and find it within a second, which goes a long way in writing an article for your blog quickly.
However, some people enjoy the act of looking through books, and some people just don’t feel like getting online and dealing with the negative news, images, and comments that come up. If you are in that kind of mood, then head out to your local library and take a break from the faced-paced internet. Just remember that it will take longer to write your articles.
Put Your Ideas Into An Outline
As you get inspired, you are going to come up with headlines for your article. Plug them into wherever you are writing from (on your blog, in Word, or somewhere else) and that will help you form the outline of your article.
For instance, the outline for this article is:
– It Isn’t Going To Happen Today
– Blog About What You Know
– Pick A Topic And Get Inspired
– Not Sure What To Write? Get On Social Media!
– How About The Library?
– Put Your Ideas Into An Outline
– Fill In The Blanks
– The Introduction And Conclusion
Those are exactly the way I wrote them out the first time, but often I will change the way I word the headings later on in the article to better reflect what the information in between them is talking about. That is done in the proofreading stage of writing an article, so don’t concern yourself with that in the beginning. Just write down some topics that you want to discuss and create your outline so you can get going on them quickly.
Fill In The Blanks
Take the first heading, research it online, get inspired, and then write. Depending on the article, you can research through other articles, studies, forums, or even go back to social media.
For instance, the first heading in this article is ‘It Isn’t Going To Happen Today’, which means that the art of writing blog articles quickly takes some practice! For this article, I knew exactly what I wanted to say about that point, but usually I’ll go and get some inspiration from the Internet to help me put together a complete thought that makes sense by typing in ‘why article writing takes time to master’.
At first it may take a while to do this, but once you get good at it, I promise that you will be able to quickly find want to know so that you can fill in your article. This took years for me to excel at, and I’m really good at doing it now, but it progressed slowly at first.
As you move through the outline, you may find yourself going back and adding or deleting points under headings. This is part of crafting an article, and with time you will instantly know where you want to put new thoughts in and take other thoughts out.
The Introduction And Conclusion
Don’t write an introduction until you have finished writing your article. Chances are you will want to go back and change it when you’re done the article anyways, so save yourself some time and just start filling in your article body first.
You can choose to write a conclusion or leave it out. Often I will leave it out because it is just a summary of the article body, which I find redundant and exhausting to write and to read, especially in a list article or a how-to article.
You need to proofread your article. No exceptions. This means going through your article word by word, sentence by sentence, and looking for mistakes in spelling, grammar, and clarity – three big aspects of a good article.
You will find yourself reading sentences that don’t make sense. You will find yourself deleting and adding sentences. And, you will find yourself moving paragraphs around the article to put them in a place where they are better suited.
It takes some time to proofread, but it is so important. It promotes an easier read and helps you make your ideas clearer. Proofread slowly and do it at least once – twice if you are just starting out.
And if you are really tired, and you’ve been writing all day, you will find that you need to proofread it three to four times, which can be a drag, but it is worth it. Writing blog articles takes a lot of energy, and if you’ve been writing all day, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your mind is not working at full power and there are spelling and grammar mistakes hiding somewhere in your article.
Proofreading doesn’t guarantee that you are going to catch everything. So take a few extra moments to throw your article into Word and do a spelling and grammar check. Also, put it into an online spelling and grammar checker, such as PaperRater, just for good measure. You will usually find a few mistakes while doing this, and it helps you get clear on what your common mistakes are so that you can correct them while you are writing instead of after. In the end, there may still be mistakes in your article, but you have spent the time to do everything you can to correct them.
The very last thing you should do is run your article through Copyscape. This ensures that it is original, which means it will be more likely to be picked up by the search engines and give you a payoff for your hard work.