You can always find a debate about the frequency of blog post publication, length, and the like, but when you get right down to it – I feel it’s far more important that you do write once a day than only when you need to.
Writing once a day, even if it’s just a few hundred words, keeps your mind sharp. It can be your notes, a journal entry, a blog post, or your ramblings. It’s good to get those thoughts onto the screen (or paper).
The focus for this post is what you’d expect … writing blog posts.
Throw aside the notion that you have to publish every day. That every post should be between 600 – 800 words (or whatever). That it really needs a defined topic.
Let’s just get you into the mode of writing 500 words a day – that’s all.
Once you make this a routine – 500 words will feel like nothing. You’ll jot that down in an easy 15 minutes if you’re doing it right.
And so here’s what I’d recommend.
There are only 3 main “elements” I’ve found that turns you into a content machine:
A. Keep a list of ideas
Always keep a pen & paper around (or whatever you use to jot notes) so you can write down ideas because it’ll spark at any time – when you’re sitting at the coffee shop, when you’re driving in the car, when someone mentions an interesting point.
- Your knowledge – what you know
- Your enthusiasm – what you want to know
- Your insights – what you think they want to know
Use your knowledge to come up with a list of topics related to your industry (use keyword tools to verify if people are searching the phrases). Use your enthusiasm to write what you’d want to read. Use your gut feeling of what you think others want to read.
Combine all these and you should have a healthy mix of work that is semi-business related, fun, and sometimes edgy for the community.
B. Write it out in batches
Break down your work and flow like reading a book.
Here’s my routine:
- I write the title and sit back for 5 minutes thinking what I could cover
- I write the main bullet points of the piece (then collect resources for each section)
- I write the introduction to set the tone and direction of the piece
- I step back and wait a while, let my mind rest, then come back and do a section
- I wait, again, to let things settle
- Repeat for other sections
- Then I write the outro
The routine isn’t anything special. It’s having those little breaks that matter.
When you’re writing just get those ideas onto the page. Do a brain dump. Put as much info as you can into the work because …
C. Make the edits later
Working in those batches lets you compartmentalize the writing process.
When you sit down to write these 500 words it won’t feel like 500 words.
Instead – it feels like 100 for the intro, 100 for a section, 100 for another, 100 for one more, then 100 for the outro.
Thinking it this way, letting your words flow without interruption, will keep a consistent momentum. However, stepping away from each section also has its benefits because it’s like being held back from a fight – you want to get back in there and give it your all but while you’re restrained you get hyped and excited – you can use that to then pound out your thoughts to the page.
… that’s really it.
When you’re first sitting down to write it’s going to be a challenge but like with any skill – the more you practice the easier it becomes. Give yourself a challenge where you write 500 words every day for a month. By the end of that month you should have no trouble keeping up with your daily writing.
Your business will grow from this consistency. You’ll clear your noggin’ of all those thoughts. You’ll certainly toss out some of the work but ultimately you’ll find your flow.