How long should it take to write a blog post?

jo gifford blog

A client recently asked me: “How long should it take me to write a blog post?”

But, the real question is whether there’s such a thing as “should” when it comes to blog writing.

(watch the video below, watch the replay of the Facebook Live stream or read the post below.)

There are different ways in which I create blog posts and in which I teach my clients.
This is because blogging depends on so many things.

It depends on whether you are someone who writes naturally, or whether you prefer to record audio to get your content together. There are so many different ways to start creating a blog post.

Working out a way that is easiest for you will really help.

For me, my approach varies depending on the type of post I’m creating.
 

Long-form posts

A long-form post is more of a value-added, deep dive post that I might choose to do as a content upgrade. If I’m working on a long-form post, I’ll treat it almost like an academic piece of work.

I often use Airstory to help me, which is an app that helps you move your notes, research and ideas around and turn them into a written piece. You can map out exactly where you’re going with your post.

For me, it helps to see things visually mapped out.

I like to use big sheets of paper and my tin of trusted Sharpies to write down all the main headings that I want to cover. I’ll photograph this and put it into Evernote so that I can upload it to Airstory or Google Docs, where I will type up the section headings and work on each one at a time.

The whole process for long-form posts might take me 2-3 hours for 1500-2000 words.

But not all at once!

I find it useful to work in chunks because I’m someone who gets overwhelmed easily. I like to work on one section at a time in a really linear, calm way and I have to build in breaks.

I set my Pomodoro timer. There’s also a Chrome plugin available that will help you work in 15 minute chunks, or just use the countdown timer on your phone.
 

Shorter posts

Now, I don’t create epic long-form posts all the time.

I quite often tackle shorter posts by voice recording the content straight into my phone. I sometimes do that by using DropVox, which is a brilliant app for recording audio as it uploads straight to a dedicated folder in Dropbox.

I do this when I’m out on a walk. I’ll do it when I’m driving the car (only if my phone is safely mounted and I’m in a quiet traffic area!). I record as I’m going. In fact, I recently recorded three blog posts on the way to pick up my weekly shopping.

To turn the recordings into blog posts, I get them transcribed using rev.com. Or, you can dictate straight into the Rev app itself where you can pause your recording so that you don’t have to come up with the whole post at once. Recording in the Rev app will send your transcript straight to Rev to be transcribed, which costs something like a dollar per minute and will be sent back to you as a document that you can edit in Google Docs.

Or, I use Facebook Live. I jump on, share with my audience and then turn the Live into a blog post. I can have it transcribed, embed it on my blog and share it on social. It’s a really quick way to create some content.

So, this process for around a 500 word blog post might take me just 5 minutes to record. Allow another 15-20 minutes for editing the Google Doc then a bit more time for formatting, adding images and call to actions etc. In total, this would take around 1 hour.

But, bear in mind that I’ve been blogging for a long time and have had a lot of practice at creating content efficiently.

So here’s the thing, there’s no “should”.

If it’s taking you a little while to get started, that’s fine.

Often, when you’re finding our own voice, it can take a bit of time to discover how you love to communicate. The good news is that the more you play around with creating content, the simpler it becomes.

I encourage my clients and my audience to create content every single day; the more you output, the easier it becomes to find your voice and make it a daily habit.

When you go through the writing process, it helps your brain synthesise all the information that you know and apply it for your clients.

A really crucial part of the process is learning how to combine all your knowledge about your field and apply it to what your customers really need to know in their business.

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Repurpose that content!

Think about the last question you were asked that would be of real value to your audience.

Now, how can you share your answer in a way that’s easy for you?

If you’re super busy, you could do a Facebook Live, or a really quick Q&A on a livestream on Instagram, or even on Periscope. Record something in 5 minutes then get it transcribed and into a blog. It’s become repurposed content that you’ve got constantly working for you while you’re off doing your amazing things.

It all started from taking one little question that was asked to you personally and thinking about how you can share your answer more widely with your audience.

Don’t forget, there are tools that can help you. I have a really handy workflow set-up with repurpose.io with different streams that do some of the heavy lifting for me.

Workflows are great.

For example, I use one where every time I create a Facebook Live, a workflow is triggered as soon as I end the broadcast. The Live is saved as an audio file and also automatically stored on Dropbox where I can send it off to be transcribed. Additionally, the Live gets shared straight to YouTube as a video and is tweeted on Twitter.

If you’re super short on time, working smarter makes a lot of sense.
 

It takes as long as it takes.

You’ll find it easier and faster to create content when you find a way to work that feels natural to you.

Don’t panic if that’s taking you a little bit of time, some experimentation and tweaking.

Remember that it’s okay if you’re someone who can jump straight to it and get cracking. But, it’s also fine if you’re someone who needs to sit down with a coffee and a candle and switch off from everything else to be able to write.

When you do find your own tone of voice, you need to be really confident in everything that makes you special and unique.

This is part of the process that I call “Map and Go”.

It’s where you really get in touch with your approach, your expertise, your experience and your personality. All of that becomes a lens through which you project information to your clients with confidence.

Once you’ve found your lens, you’ll find it easier and easier to write your blog posts.

What do you get super stuck with when it comes to creating a post?
What is it that holds you back from pressing play and getting started?

Jo GiffordComment