When it comes to writing I think I struggle more than most, and it takes me longer to get my ideas clearly explained and down on paper in an acceptable amount of time. I realize that acceptable for one person might not work for another, but for me I’ve set my daily limit at 1 hour for publishing fresh content like this piece and it generally takes me an hour to research, write, edit, and post.
Using a timer
There is something about a timer that helps us get our tasks done more efficiently and on time. I think it’s knowing that there is a set “end” time and once that arrives we’ll be able to move on to something new. I personally use the timer that comes built into Sage Act software and stays on top of whatever screen I happen to be focused on, and serves as a constant reminder of where I am in a given process.
Alternatively if you happen to have two monitors you can open up www.online-stopwatch.com and set it either as a timer, or as a stopwatch to keep you on track.
Following a routine
Often we get into a rhythm with our writing and for some writing at the same time of the day can help with creativity any issues you might be having. Your body and even your mind will become conditioned to respond to events that take place daily or follow a regular schedule.
Writing in batches
A great system that I’ve seen some writers and bloggers use is batch writing, and the premise behind it is that when you’re in a creative state why not write a weeks’ worth of content vs. a single post. You’ve got all the tools you use open and ready to go so you’ll be able to save some added time that way as well.
Try to avoid writing in batches when you find yourself struggling to string to paragraphs together and instead focus on those times when the words just seem to flow as if of their own volition. Creativity (at least my own) doesn’t respond well to prodding and tends to come when it will. It’s up to us to take advantage of those times and get as much content on paper as we can manage. Wouldn’t it be nice to find yourself creative on a Sunday, and have the entire weeks’ worth of content already written and scheduled?
Using Images for Inspiration
I have a folder with a couple thousand images I’ve purchased for use on my blogs and as you can imagine they are all tied in closely with the theme and topics I blog about. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I’ve found that to be true more often than not. Whenever I’m stuck for an idea, and can’t seem to get in gear I flip through my images until inspiration strikes.
It’s amazing the power an image can have, and the ideas that can spring forth from it, but if you aren’t using this method to generate ideas I’d highly recommend it.
Paying attention to Industry News
No matter what industry or niche you’re in there is likely something happening fairly regularly that you can talk about with your readers. Even better if you happen to find a problem everyone is facing and are able to come up with a solution you’ll have all the traffic you could want that day and likely many to come.
If you’re going to blog about something currently taking place it pays to get on the ball quickly because this is a very popular technique and the one all the news outlets use and will quickly spread and become diluted fairly quickly. That said don’t just rush a post out, maybe it’s simply a matter of getting up super early and getting your piece written and then heading back for a few more zzz’s.
Go through your old material
If you’ve been blogging for any length of time (If you haven’t you can always use someone else’s) you’ve likely got a huge stockpile of posts from the very beginning to current and unless you started out exactly at the same place you are now with the same knowledge and skills you likely could do a better job on that topic today than you did three years ago.
Go looking for articles that you could write better, and write them up with more detail, and information as well as make them current (things change) so that they can be applied today. Just because you wrote 500 words on “Twitter Marketing” 2 years ago doesn’t mean you couldn’t do ten times the job of it if you put your mind to it today!
Solve problems for people
This one takes a little foresight on your part, but I’m sure you’ve all had many, many times when you came up against a problem and struggled to find the solution to it online without digging through 20 pages of search results.
What did you do? Give up? Outsource the solution? Keep digging for some insane amount of time until you figured out the issue and applied the solution to your own blog or business? (Probably) Keep a list of those issues you come across, or even go out looking for them online and jot them all down in a text file.
Spend some time outlining the solution and make sure you’ve used a likely keyword combination that people will likely use to look for articles like yours. “Fix your image issue” won’t do you much good if someone is searching for “Duplicate images in my RSS feed” (last problem I had).
People will appreciate the time and effort you invested in providing them with a quick and easy solution to a problem plaguing them and will be much more likely to comment and share that particular piece.
If you’ve got a method that works for you, I’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments section below!