We’ve all heard stories about an author, blogger or thought leader in your industry that manages to turn out multiple pieces of content each week. You want to think that they’re using a ghostwriter, but believe it or not, there are some writers who write thousands of words per week all on their own.
As someone who accomplishes this endeavor most of the time, here are my favorite tips for writing more content faster than you previously thought was possible. You can use all these tips at once, or pick and choose your favorites, but all of them will help you get into a better writing habit that will make content creation and marketing projects seem less painful and therefore easier to do.
Use Voice Typing
I found that the best way for me to write fast is to say my content out loud instead of typing it. I type quickly, but the spoken word is often three times faster. Google Docs has a free voice typing tool (under Tools in the top menu bar) that is pretty accurate and will correctly type out what you’re saying as you’re saying it. I use this when I am feeling unmotivated or stuck and can’t seem to get myself writing.
Once you write your piece, go back and fix all the errors. Clean up the sentences that need to sound better than when you spoke them. I have found that speaking my content and then going back and making improvements is still faster than manually typing it out. If you don’t use Google Docs but have a PC, Dragon voice software is really accurate and you can also build in voice shortcuts, like saving your documents as you’re writing.
When it comes to content, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can take content that you’ve already created and turn it into something new. For instance, if you have a lot of great older pieces that are still getting traffic, why not go through and revise them? You can update them to make sure they’re still high quality or branch off a popular topic into something more detailed.
In addition, if you’re also creating content in different formats, like a podcast or a live streaming video series, you could take these recordings and have them transcribed by a service like Rev.com to turn them into written text for a blog post.
Do Video Content Instead
That being said, not all content has to be written. If it’s easier, try creating video content instead. You could do live streaming on Facebook Live; or just record the videos using your webcam, and then upload them to YouTube and your social media profiles.
To get fresh content on your blog from the videos, create a new blog post with the embedded video, and write a short bullet point list below summarizing the content. That still counts as fresh new content, just in a different medium! This is a great way to beef up your content plan.
I always write faster when I outline my articles first. Write the title and then the H2 and H3 headers of your main points. From there, if you’re feeling internal resistance to writing a specific section, you can write the sections where you’re not feeling stuck. You can come back to the more difficult parts and fill those in after the easy ones. After this is done, you can go through in your final editing pass to add transition sentences or connecting segments that make the sections flow better.
Improve Your Typing Speed
If you don’t want to use voice typing, you can always improve your own typing speed. There are dozens of typing games online (such as Keyhero.com) that can help you type faster, without looking at a keyboard. Increasing your typing speed is the quickest way to write faster. Spending five to ten minutes a few times a week on articles will show major improvement in your content output.
Get Ergonomic Accessories
I do my best writing when I’m using my ergonomic keyboard and chair that are set at the right height specifically for me. If you’re using a mouse, keyboard, desk or chair, that doesn’t properly fit your height and size, then discomfort may be affecting your ability to write quickly or for long periods. Use an ergonomic tool to make sure that all your measurements are correct.
Working in an office with other people can sometimes be extremely distracting. But the opposite is often true as well: working at home can also be distracting, as you think about laundry to do or see your dogs that you should be walking. To get away from both, try to leave the office to write.
The library is a great choice because it’s free and filled with other people that are trying to get things done. If you don’t want to use the library, try a coffee shop or co-working space. All of these options have good ambient noise that isn’t necessarily distracting but makes you feel in the mindset to start writing.
Brainstorm Topics All at Once
If you want to write regularly, like a bi-weekly blog post, it may help you get these done faster if you brainstorm the topics all at once. Every quarter or few months, sit down for an hour and come up with all the topics you need for until your next planning meeting.
For instance, if you write two blog posts a week Monday through Friday, then you need about 12 topic ideas per month. If you plan these out every quarter, this means that you’ll need 36 blog post ideas every quarter.
If you set aside dedicated time to brainstorm these, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming and saves you a lot of time when it comes to writing. All you need to do is look at your assigned topic for that day and write the post.
If you’re a competitive person, a good way to motivate you to write faster is to time how long it takes you to do a specific writing task. I found that over the years, I’ve gotten much faster at writing simply because I paid attention to how long things take.
I like constantly improving and looking at a timer counting down helps me stay motivated and on task. Of course, this only works if quality doesn’t suffer in favor of getting things done. Use a Pomodoro timer or stopwatch that you can look at while writing.
Related: Time Management Strategies & Tools
Write While Traveling
Finally, if you’re someone who travels a lot for work or personal reasons, these can be great opportunities for high output writing. While you’re on a plane, there’s often not a lot to do besides read, nap, or watch a movie.
Instead of doing these activities, try completing some of your writing exercises instead. You may find that the isolated space on the plane forces you to be more productive and write faster than you would at your regular desk.
The best way for you to write faster is to simply try some of these tactics and tools to see what works best for you. While white noise might be an amazing focus tool for someone else, you might find it distracting. Set a goal for how much writing you want to do within a certain time period. Constantly reaching for improvement is the only way you’ll get better.
What are you going to do with all that new content you’re producing? How can you schedule it and track its impact? Writing is a project and if you’re managing a blog, ProjectManager.com can help. With our cloud-based project management software you’re able to schedule with online Gantt charts. You can also track and report on your work with our real-time dashboard. What are you waiting for? Take the free 30-day trial today!