Everyone who has ever written a serious content piece in his or her lifetime, knows that blogging isn’t really a quick process.
Nope. In fact, it tends to become quite time consuming.
In order to craft a serious and compelling piece of content that will be adored and shared like crazy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, one must invest more than a few hours into its production.
I remember, back in the day when I first started blogging for money, it took me more than two days to write a single blog post that my clients would consider worthy of posting on their website.
At that rate, the whole content writing game wasn’t really profitable for me. I either needed to speed up the whole process and write at much faster paste, or get out of this industry and focus my energy on something else.
It took me some time, but I managed to level up my skills.
Now, I can tailor any type of 1500-2000 word-long text in no more than 4 hours. Of course, there are always exceptions, but you get the drift.
In regular circumstances, I need no more than 240 minutes to create something relevant and engaging for my clients, from zero to hero.
So, how do I do it? – Easy. I have a system.
First Hour: The ABCs – Ask The Right Questions and Provide Killer Answers
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a blog post or a case study, in this content marketing game, every single text serves as an answer to one or more questions.
You’re always solving something for someone. If not, well, then content probably won’t help you increase your sales and bring in new quality leads to your website.
When it comes to choosing an actual topic to cover in your post, there’s no better way to find what your audience wants then by looking for long-tail keywords in Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
Although this tool usually does the job, if I’m not satisfied with what I find here, I skip on to topix.com.
This site is great for generating content ideas. Once you enter a certain query into it, topix will instantly produce results that include news articles, forums, question-and-answer sites and blog posts that are related to your keyword.
Once I find my lucrative set of words and figure out what topic I’ll be covering with my content, I move on to the essentials.
Before I even start to think about writing, I ALWAYS answer the following questions:
What’s this blog post/case study about? What’s my headline? What are the pain points? What problems does it solve and for whom am I writing it for? What are the secondary issues that I need to cover in this piece? Have I rationed my approach well, or did I miss out on something that could be of value to my readers? – You should be able to answer all these questions before you even type in the first paragraph of any text.
This particular trick actually saves me hours and hours on writing. I always use it.
If you’re, for xy reasons, not able to answer some of these questions: you can always create topics on Quora and LinkedIn Discussions, or even Google Discussions, and let other people give you a hand with your troubles.
Second Hour: Stuff Your Piñata With All Sorts Of Yummy Sweets
Once you have your and your audience’s interests in mind, you can focus on the bulk of the content.
Here, in this “fat and juicy” part of your content, is where the reader will want to know is why other solutions or approaches didn’t answer their questions already.
Having this in mind, it would be quite wise for you to seize this opportunity and provide some descriptions and statements from related work by others, but also your own commentary on the matter.
What did other people do? Did they try to answer the same question or something related? What mistakes have they made along the way? Why weren’t their outcomes suitable? – Cite references, and, if possible, present pictures and screenshots to back up your their claims.
But, before you can even think about doing all that, you must find relevant information and sources to write about and showcase in your work.
Every piece of content that you write needs to have a purpose and a solid background, which puts all your thoughts and conclusions into something real and meaningful. Without it, as far as your readers are concerned, you’re just typing in random words into your CMS.
If you’re interested in finding something truly incredible to write about, the chances are – you’ll have to get your hands dirty. You’ll have to pull up your sleeves and, metaphorically speaking, shovel through all the dirt and mud to reach that shiny piece of gold.
Most of my content ideas are fueled by the numbers I find in my Google Analytics account. Learning how to translate your audiences behavior on your website into your content marketing strategy is of crucial importance in this business.
Third Hour: Writing The Content Neatly and Using Google Docs for More Than Just That
Once you good all the ingredients right, cooking up a killer piece of content shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time. Ok, let’s say an hour and a half, depending how good of a writer you really are. All you need to do here is reorganize your already writing content into something readable, something that has a story, and link everything properly in your CMS.
Ok, let’s say an hour and a half, depending how good of a writer you really are. All you need to do here is reorganize your already writing content into something readable, something that has a story, and link everything properly in your CMS.
All you need to do here is reorganize your already writing content into something readable, something that has a story, and link everything properly in your CMS.
However, you can save a ton of time here, if you use Google Doc’s built-in search option. I don’t know why, but a lot of people don’t use GDocs in full. This amazing online word processor is filled with a lot of great, but often ignored, features and shortcuts that allow people to search for sources and apply links directly without ever having to leave the app itself.
All you need to know is how to take advantage of a simple Ctrl+K command, and you’ll save a lot of time on bouncing all over your tabs and Google to apply links to anchor, internal and external sources.
Bonus Round: Check Your Resources
There’s no hack to this. Checking the credibility of your resources is a boring and slow job, but it needs to be done. This is where I waste at least 30 minutes of my time, but it’s worth it.
Once you find what you’re looking for, you need to spend some additional time on checking how actually valid your new sources are. There are a lot of made up things online that pass as fact only because people don’t really investigate their sources. I used to write for this one satirical website, and we used to create all sorts of different ludacris statistics which all types of media channels interpreted as hard facts, without even checking our About page.
Don’t be like them. Don’t be an idiot who doesn’t question things he or she reads.
Borrowing from bad sources or piggybacking on information that isn’t backed by real facts can seriously affect your credibility. Using dated statistics or quotations that are full of bull can easily destroy your reputation.
Having this in mind, I suggest that you don’t look for shortcuts here. The Internet is a dangerous field with all sorts of awful content. Better take your time and stay safe, then rush everything and end up with nothing.
After that is over, after you check your sources and determined if they’re worth citing or not, all that it’s left to do is figure out how to incorporate that newly found intel into your content, in an organic and meaningful way, and click publish.
Thank you so much for sticking around to read my latest blog post from top to bottom. If you have any questions on this matter – I would be more than happy to answer them for you. All you have to do is write your thoughts down in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.