How I Wrote a Year’s Worth of Blog Content in Five Weeks : Under30CEO How I Wrote a Year’s Worth of Blog Content in Five Weeks : Under30CEO
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How I Wrote a Year’s Worth of Blog Content in Five Weeks

| January 16, 2013 | 5 Comments

BloggingBlogging is essential to building your brand. We all know that. It builds credibility, positions you as an expert in your field, and well, it makes you a better writer.

I’ve struggled for several years to write something that makes sense. It’s not easy. But, after writing over 100 articles, blogs, and guest posts in 2012 – plus reading other amazing writing, I think I’ve got the hang of it.

You may be looking at the title of this article and thinking “no way he did that!” Well, I did, and I’m going to tell you how, step-by step.

Yes – it is overwhelming.

A year’s worth of content is A LOT of writing. Posting weekly means 52 posts. And it’s not 52 horrible posts, it’s 52 shareable posts. Content people want to read.

Writing this much takes a ton of time – countless hours. Write. Edit. Revise – and repeat. It’s a monotonous process. And frankly, one that I was not a big fan of, initially.

You have an endless amount of knowledge to share with the world (who doesn’t?). This should make coming up with a list of 52 topics easy. If you’re struggling, I’ve got tips below.

Step 1: Meet Your New Best Friend- The Editorial Calendar

What if there was a place you could dump all of your post ideas and go about your day? In 2013, there are plenty of apps, let me help you sort through the mess. Here are my three favorites:

I’ve used the WordPress plugin on several web properties. However, Google Docs spreadsheets work best for me because of cloud collaboration with your team.

With an editorial calendar picked out, you’re now faced with the hardest task of all, brainstorming topics. It’s not a one-and-done operation. There’s one big mistake people make when they brainstorm, they discard ideas before they say them. Don’t be afraid to put every single thing down on paper, even if it’s irrelevant. You can always use the idea for another part of your business. If you’re stuck, here are a couple of ways to jumpstart the editorial calendar process.

5 Ways to Fill Your Editorial Calendar

  1. Look to Google’s Instant Search
  2. Get Inspiration From Other Blogs
  3. Ask Current Reader’s What they Want
  4. Do Videos (sometimes quicker than writing)
  5. Collect and Post Quotes (this is a last-stitch effort)

These are just a couple of ideas. I would use your own knowledge before you hit this list.

When you’ve got your articles listed out, it looks like all you’ve got is a busy schedule, right? Now, the challenge becomes actually writing the content.

Step 2: Harness Momentum from Writing One Post

When I broke this down, I started with one post. After the first post was complete, I moved to the second one. I found myself writing a string of five posts in a matter of hours.

Pro-tip: Forget editing. Just write. Write with errors, grammatical snafus, and incomplete sentences. You should sleep on your writing anyway and edit it the next day.

Step 3: Schedule three more writing blocks

With a several posts under your belt, schedule your next three writing blocks. Set them in stone. Don’t schedule meetings, conference calls, or errands. It’s your time to sit down and write. It’s the only way you’ll get through a pile of posts in a short amount of time.

Also, pay attention to length. Don’t feel the need to draw your point out into several paragraphs, when it can be said in a sentence. I’ve read powerful & inspirational posts that were less than 200 words. Make every word count.

Congrats –Your posts are complete!

I wrote a year’s worth of content for my employer’s blog. I’m working on doing it for me personal blog as well. I don’t write full-time. In fact, I prefer being swallowed up by brand strategy and analytics over writing. What I did do was write like a bat out of hell during my allotted writing blocks over five weeks. Occasionally, I’d take the full day to write, but not often.

 Step 4: Automate everything

I would have never done this if I couldn’t automate the entire process. Not only did I write everything, but I also scheduled every post in WordPress and automatically posted to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You want to do it to? Here’s how:

  1. Write and format posts (include pictures) in WordPress.
  2. Get a Buffer account and download the WordPress plugin (Buffer is basically social media while you sleep)
  3. Sit back and relax

I kid you not – that’s it. You’ve officially setup your blog to run itself for an entire year.  Want to step up into pro status? Use this as a starting point – a foundation of content. Add as much content as you can. The more content, the more Google is going to like you.

Stuck again? Add timely content like current news and your reflections on industry happenings. Make it look like you’re not a robot. Even though robots are awesome.

Good luck with total blog automation!

Michael Adams is a start-up junkie, branding fanatic, and maple syrup chugging Vermonter. He writes about entrepreneurship, marketing, and wellness at micadams.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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  • http://twitter.com/EatingPlaces Liz

    Great read and I feel very encouraged to produce some writing now! I struggle to post consistently, so I look forward to using some of these tips. Two thoughts:

    I write about the food world, but this applies across any discipline – there are always changes/improvements/current events/etc that should influence writing. Who knows what will be happening or what mood you’ll be in (again, for more personal platforms) a year from now? The beauty of easily-accessible social media is that everything can be instant and current, which seems like the opposite of scheduling out content for an entire year.

    Building community and allowing user comments to influence content is also huge with blogs and, if I scheduled everything for a year, I would probably forget to check in. Do you recommend any techniques to avoid this?

    Thanks for the article!
    Liz

  • micadams

    Hey Liz,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

    In an industry where there are always updates, you’d be crazy not to write about them. Timely fresh content is gold to the search engines.

    I also agree with your second point. I wrote a year’s worth of content for several reasons:

    1. If I fell behind with other commitments, I’d have content going out on the blog

    2. This content was only to lay the foundation for more content. After all, a blog is like a house. You have to build the foundation before you put up the frame and eventually sell it to the public.

    As for tips, I’d recommend continuing to write after you’re five-week sprint, in blocks, just as I described. Write everyday, and put more time into promoting and building your audience with the 52 articles you’ve written. Building a community of commenters is just step 1. You’ve got to get your content out there!

    Hope this helps. Thanks again for reading!

    Michael

  • Adrianne Munkacsy

    Hi Liz, so many bloggers say the same thing—that they struggle to post consistently. Do you find it hard to find the time? Or do you lack topics to write about? I’m curious about the obstacles you run into.

  • http://twitter.com/WrightAaronM Aaron Wright

    I also have problems posting as much as I would like to. My biggest problem is finding topics to write about.

  • Adrianne Munkacsy

    Hey Aaron, what industry are you in? Are there a decent amount of blogs, magazines, or books based on your area of expertise? If so, it’s a good sign that there’s plenty to talk about. The next step would be to consider what your particular audience is looking for and offer them that. If there isn’t a lot of existing content, though, it’s possible that your market might not be big enough to sustain your business.