If you are a blogger who wants to make a living from your blog, then the skill of writing is one of the most instrumental assets you can have in terms of the growth and success of your site.
Regularly published quality content is king when it comes to building your blog, so with this in mind you have probably already surmised that writing will be something that you will need to do in some capacity and for an ongoing period of time.
You can of course hire a writer to do your article writing for you, but for most people starting out online or doing it on the side, the best cost-effective option is to get into the habit of writing the articles yourself to begin with.
Apart from not having to pay writers, the other benefits are that your writing skills will improve and you will learn a lot more about the topic you are writing about and you will also hone your research skills.
When you are able to write well and fairly quickly, you will find that this single skill can pave the path to your online success very rapidly. Good and fast writing skills will enable you to consistently churn out many quality articles for your blog but it will also give you the skills to produce numerous eBooks and scripts for video presentations or audio podcasts.
Below are 6 steps which will help you to increase the speed of your writing:
1. Allocate a suitable time during your day which is devoted unconditionally to writing
- Choose a portion of your day where you usually feel most energized and focused and when you will not be interrupted. Set aside this period for your writing.If you’re not sure which time of the day is optimal for you, then try out a few different periods and see which is most effective for you.
2. Put some thoughts or ideas down in a blank text document irrespective of how useful you think they might be
- This will help you to quickly get a rough sense of direction in which you want to go with your article.
- It will also help you to administer a possible final topic category for the article in case you were struggling to settle on what you want to write about.For example, let’s say you think you want to write an article about making money online but you’re still not sure what to write. In your blank document you might start brainstorming whatever pops in your head,eg:making money online
As you brainstorm, you will get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and onto paper (or computer screen), and the reason why this is good is because once you have these thoughts written down you will have negated the possibility that your mind will wander and cause you to either forget them or persuade you that it isn’t a good idea. Remember it doesn’t matter at this stage whether you think something is a good idea or not. Just write it down.
- Now go through the rough list from the above and see if you can link any of the items together or drill down into sub-topics. For example, affiliate marketing may be further broken down into: affiliate marketing -> amazon products, digital products (clickbank). By doing this you will eventually see a topic which stands out that you could write about.
3. Go online and find 3 to 5 articles or pieces of information pertaining to your topic
- This is the research part of the writing process.
This is also where quick (speed) reading skills come in handy. At this stage what you want to do is not read each article you find in depth but simply scan it quickly with your eyes to determine if it contains portions which will be useful for your article topic.
- After you’ve found a handful of articles, open another blank text document and paste relevant paragraphs or bits of info (verbatim) that you think will be useful for your article into the blank text document.
This should only take around 10-15 minutes and by the end of this step you should have a notepad document with plenty of snippets of information from your research and a separate notepad document with your own brainstormed notes.
4. Before writing, eliminate any potential distractions
This step includes closing all browser windows including email and chat programs and turning off cell phones (if possible).
You should only have the two documents you created from steps 2 and 3 opened in front of you.
5. Start writing and don’t worry about editing
- Now you are ready to start writing your article’s initial draft.
In order to maximize your focus on the task at hand use a timer or set some kind of an alarm to ring after 40 to 50 minutes.Spend the 40 to 50 minutes focused only on your article writing and nothing else, ie, no emails, or reading the news or other time-wasting activity.Take a 15 minute break after the timer sounds and resume your focus again for 40-50 minutes.
- Firstly read through each of the snippets of researched information you pasted into one of the text documents and then start to write in your words your interpretation of what you have read for each snippet.Write directly underneath your brainstormed notes and do not fall into the temptation of editing as you go along.At this stage you don’t want to get bogged down into worrying about the order of paragraphs or grammar and spelling because the act of editing so early in the life of your article will slow down your train of thought and creativity. (You will get to edit and re-order your paragraphs and sentences at a later stage)
- As you write, you will find that you will naturally begin to expand on your sentences and words will quite often begin to flow more easily.Keep writing until you feel you have written enough to express what you wanted to say about the whole topic.
6. Edit your final version
- Once you have written enough, spend some time editing your draft with a critical eye. For instance delete your brainstorming notes and if required, chop and change the order of paragraphs or fix up spelling mistakes, or change words and etc.
- If you don’t feel confident about grammar or spelling at least use a spell checker or ask a friend to quickly proof read for you.
Try out the above techniques for the next month and you’ll be rolling out your articles much more quickly and it’s quite likely they’ll be better than ever.
Writing your own articles even on topics which have been very widely covered need not discourage you. As you improve your writing skills and speed up the rate at which you write, you will quickly build the content and authority of your blog, but just as importantly you will stamp your own fresh perspective on the topics which you write about.