November 25, 2013

9 time-saving tips to write more blog posts

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Target audience: Bloggers, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists.

John HaydonOne thing I’ve learned from years of blogging is that a blogging process saves time and headaches. My approach uses creative momentum at the beginning to blow through tasks that require linear thinking.

Above you’ll find a 6-minute video demonstration of exactly what I do, step by step, for each blog post:

  1. Make an outline – Assuming you’ve selected useful topic to write about, all you need at the beginning is a basic framework to support the copy. I use MindMeister to map out an outline.
  2. Dictate copy – I use the built-in speech translator in my MacBook Pro to write copy. Begin with a brain dump, and then edit what you’ve written.
  3. Edit the copy – Eliminate as much copy as possible without eliminating your voice. Write like you speak, but keep it short and sweet.
  4. Transfer the copy – Copy the content from your plain text editor and copy it into your blogging software. Most people use WordPress.
  5. Tweak SEO – It’s my belief that when you write content that’s highly specific and useful to your audience, the SEO takes care of itself. That said, here are a few bonus tips on ranking higher in search.
  6. Add tags and categories – Next, select the appropriate categories and tags for your blog post. Categories should represent the larger topics within your blog, and tags should represent specific elements that are within various categories.
  7. Add images – Images are honey, your readers are bees. Photos, illustrations or infographics should trigger an emotional response from readers to stick around and read more.
  8. Add links – Depending upon your goals, you might link to internal pages or link to external pages. For example, if you’re trying to promote an event, you might write a series of blog posts linking to the registration page.
  9. Schedule the post – Finally, schedule the blog post for a morning within the next day or two (bonus points if you know what time is best for your community).

What’s your process? What chu got?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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