If you need to get somewhere quickly, you can powerwalk. If you need to blog quickly, I like the term powerblogging. Let’s face it – sometimes we just don’t have time for long 1000-word op-ed posts full of research and links and the like. Sometimes, we’re really busy, but still need to update readers. At times like that, we need to powerblog, racing against the clock to finish work.
That doesn’t mean that your post quality has to go down. In fact, my argument is that if you can’t write something high-quality, you’re better off not writing anything at all. It is possible to write posts quickly that are of a high quality, though. Here are my ten best tips:
1. Keep a list of topic ideas on your computer.
At any given time, I have 20 to 30 ideas in a Word document, just sitting on my desktop waiting to be used. Some of these ideas aren’t very well thought out. Others are. In any case, coming up with a solid idea is one of the longest parts of writing a blog post, at least for me, so when I need to powerblog, I go to my ideas list and start there.
2. When you aren’t busy, get some drafts started.
While I have titles and ideas waiting for me on my desktop, I also have a few posts completely outlined and waiting in WordPress for me. Again, some of these drafts are more thought out than others, but when I’m not busy and have time to outline posts, it really helps me when I’m short on time.
3. Post a picture round-up.
People love pictures. Unless you talk about photography, you don’t want to make every post just a group of pictures, but it’s a quick way to create a post from time to time. Point in case – when I was at BlogWorld, I wanted to do a post about our co-located partner, Book Expo America, but I didn’t have a lot of time. So, I took a ton of pictures and posted those instead of doing a length wrap-up. You could also post pictures around a specific theme that makes sense for your niche – for example, if you blog about gardening, use Flickr’s Creative Commons to find pictures of beautiful roses or the most delicious-looking vegetable gardens.
4. Pose a question to your readers.
Sometimes, it’s okay to let your community create content. Post a question relevant to your niche, answer it yourself in a paragraph or two, and ask your readers to leave comments with their answers.
5. Go with a list format.
While list posts can take a long time to write too, when you go with this format, it’s a little easier to outline your ideas and fill in the information about each point. For example, this post, which is in list format, probably took about half the time as a non-list post of the same length.
6. Post something for beginners.
Not all of your readers know as much about your niche as you do. In fact, a lot of your readers might be completely new to the topic. Create a 101 level post for those members of your community. If you’re experienced in your field, it shouldn’t take long to write a post for beginners about a specific topic – and they’ll thank you for the information.
7. Do a link round-up of your own posts.
Doing a link round-up isn’t necessarily the quickest kind of post to do – unless it is a round-up of your own posts. If you’ve written a lot about a certain topic, take a moment to compile these links in a single post. This is an especially good idea if you’ve been blogging for a very long time and have relevant posts that are years old, since it brings new eyes to these old posts. A good example of this is the round-up Nikki did on BlogWorld Twitter posts. Just make sure that the topic you choose lends itself well to being a link round-up. Don’t choose a topic that is out of date quickly.
8. Revisit an old topic.
Have you written a topic about a topic in the past that is somewhat out of date? Revisit this old post and post an update. Since you already wrote about it, you aren’t starting from zero, you’re just adding your updated opinion, so it doesn’t take so long to write.
9. Tell people about something you love.
I don’t know about you, but I always find it much easier to write about something I love. When you’re passionate about a topic, the words typically flow more freely and your opinions are already very formed, rather than a work in progress. Think about something that you love and that you want to tell your readers about – a product, another blogger, a service…whatever it is, take a post to tell your readers why you love it.
10. Focus and get the work done.
Lastly, when you have to powerblog, turn off the TV, shut down Twitter, stop answering the phone, and work. It can be hard to focus, especially if you’re excited about going on vacation or busy with other work (or whatever is causing the need for powerblogging), but if you tune it out and just get the work done, it will go much faster than if you’re constantly stopping in the middle of the post to do other things.
Your turn – what are your best powerblogging tips?