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Writing: My Daily Word Output
On a given day, I probably churn out between 5,000 and 10,000 words when you take into account interacting on social media (I have an affiliate marketing group on FB, and participate in several other groups). So I write – a lot. For me, writing a 1,000 to 2,000 word blog post is all in the course of a day’s work. And, as Google rewards long-form content, it works to my advantage because I tend to be a wordy writer.
FYI, this post was inspired by two comments I received recently. One was via email; the other was on a blog post. The reader who sent me an email wrote: How do you find time to write books, a blog and SEO clients? Do you have and article on time management or how to write for clients and write books?
The commentator on the blog post asked, “I was wondering, what is your best tip or technique in writing? I wanted to hear your expert opinion about it.” FYI, you can see my response to her in the comments section of the post.
My business runs on words – if I don’t write, I don’t eat (ie, earn any money). It’s that simple.
Luckily, I love what I do and am able to consistently turn out voluminous posts in a relatively short period of time. Following is my method for doing it. I’d love to know yours!
1. Blog Post Document
The first thing is, I have a document that I keep to jot down blog posts in.
I tend to keep this document open all day as I’m working, so if something I read or come across in research sparks an idea for a post, I’ll quickly jot it down in that document.
This way, I don’t lose ideas. Also, it means I have a ton of handy ideas for blog posts on those days when my brain turns to mush and I can’t think my way out of a paper bag!
Usually, when I jot down an idea for a post, I also list a few points that I want to cover. The reason I know something is a good post in the first place is when the idea comes to me, it usually presents a few bullet points that need to be covered, so I know I’m onto something.
This way, when I sit down to write, I already have a jumping off point.
3. Brain Dump
As I responded to the commentator on the blog post, I “… do a brain purge first. As in, if you have an idea for a topic, jot down an outline. Then, when you start to write, just write and get it out of your head first. Don’t worry about proofing or editing at this point. You can do that later.”
When I sit down to write a post, I dive in head first. My brain works much faster than I type, so I’m typing away and usually write 500 or so words before I know it – often in about 15 or 20 minutes.
I like doing a brain dump because it gets everything I want to stay out of my head and onto paper. Once I’ve exhausted these ideas, then I move on to the next step to flesh out, fill up and add more “heft” to a post, if you will.
4. Conduct Research
For example, for this post, I went to Google and typed in “How to Write Faster.” A few articles popped up and I started reading.
I ran across this one I linked to here the popular Life Hack blog, which gave some great ideas. I loved it because it not only supports how I write (never knew I was “on to” something), but it gave the following little ditty of a tip, which is one of the reasons that contribute to me writing relatively fast:
… if you want to be a writer. … writing every single day doesn’t only put you on a fast track to actually writing something good, it helps you warm up for other types of writing. Think of it as a way to get the “junky” writing out of the way before you get to the good stuff.
I remember when I started writing SEO content back in 2007. That was when I really started writing goo gobs of content regularly. One day I wrote something like 18 or 22 (I don’t really remember which) 500-word articles for a client who put a rush job on a major order. That’s between 9,000 and 11,000 words.
Yeah I was exhausted, and no, I don’t recommend doing this on the regular.
SEO writing honed my writing speed significantly – and nowadays, I reap the benefit of that because I do have to put out such a large amount of content.
After I finish writing, then I go back and proof/edit.
I have to say, this is one area that I definitely have to get better in. Invariably when I publish a post, when I read back through it, I find errors – minor stuff, but enough of them to make me go, “Hmm, why didn’t I catch that when I proofed it?”
It’s hard to proofread and copy edit your own work, and it’s something I’m putting a lot of effort into these days. I know I’ll never have 100 percent perfect content all the time – especially as I publish so much stuff – but I’m trying to make it as error-free as possible because I want this blog to be the best it can be.
Note: This is the point where I “SEO” my posts, eg, doing some keyword research to hunt down a few high-traffic phrases to stick in the copy. I usually just look for two or three high-traffic ones and move on.
The following aren’t part of a “process” as much as they are insights into why/how I write fast.
6. Typing Speed
I type somewhere between 80 and 90 words per minute probably. The last time I was tested was eons ago, so I can’t be 100 percent sure what my typing speed is these days, but I mention it because it is something that definitely helps me to produce content quicker.
Free Typing Test
FYI, here’s an online typing speed test that will divulge how many words you type in just 60 seconds. If you type too slow, practic your typing, then go bac and test again until you get it where you want it to be.
7. Niche Knowledge
I tend to blog about things that I know about; so I’m dispensing information I’m intimate with. That means less research.
8. Conversational Writer
Finally, I’m also what I call a “conversational writer.” I tend to write like I talk; it comes more naturally to me, which makes getting the words down on paper easier. With nothing to interrupt the flow, there are no speed bumps to slow me down when I write.
For the most part, I actually like blogging – because I’m usually dispensing helpful information that others in my niche want to know about. When you enjoying something, it comes easier to you. And again, this helps with writing speed.
Would you consider yourself a slow writer or a fast writer? What’s your writing process? Have any tips you care to share on how to write faster? If so, leave them in the comments section below.
FYI, this post is around 1,200 words, and it took me about an hour and 15 minutes to write, proof and edit.
P.S.: Speak Instead of Typing Your Blog Posts. It’s Quick & Easy with This Writing Software. It’s one trick this freelancer uses to write (much) faster.
P.P.S.: I’m Ready to Put These Tips to Use and Start Earning $100-$250+/Day as a Freelance Writer.
I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job.
Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!
SEO writing changed the trajectory of my freelance writing career. It can do the same for you!