“SpeedBlogging” is a term I use for a four-step system I work with to write better posts or articles in less time.
And no, I don’t mean just for articles under 300 words, I mean this system works for much longer articles or posts too. Articles that engage, inform, and entertain your blog community.
So here are the four steps each guided by a traffic sign:
Step 1 – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Yes, your article is now “Under Construction.”
Most people dramatically reduce their productivity and efficiency because they are busy trying to chase down their muse. So the goal is to always have inspiration at your fingertips. I recommend starting an “Idea Bank.”
An “Idea Bank” is a paper file folder where you keep your ideas and photos or images that come to your mind. Also have a second “Idea Bank” in your computer—”Idea Bank 2.”
What I mean by this is that you write all ideas down ‘as they come to you’ when your muse whispers in your ear. Because ideas are fleeting they must be recorded.
So, carry around a small notepad and pen, keep it in your pocket, backpack, purse or briefcase. For some people, they get ideas in the middle of the night—if that applies to you, then put the pad and pen nightstand next to your bed.
Then, simply tear off the notepad pages and put them into your “Idea Bank” folder. This is also a perfect place for newspaper or magazine clippings that inspire you—whether for an idea to write about, or research for an article, or an image idea that would be a good accompaniment for an article.
Your “Idea Bank 2″ is when you type down ideas into a computer file folder when you are already at the computer. Or, if while you are working at the computer you get inspired by a particular graphic or photo—then record where it was, and later you can see if you can purchase the use of that graphic or photo and check out all copyright laws pertaining to it.
You will be very surprised as to how many ideas you quickly amass with this step. Then later, your Blog Editorial Calendar will be jam-packed with articles that you gleaned from your two “Idea Banks.”
Step 2 – ONE WAY
For blogging, “list articles” are currently the most popular article format, and they happen to be the fastest to write. It’s only one of many ways to do it, but it’s quick and easy.
Just write out 5 to 10 key points related to your topic. Then write a paragraph of explanation for each point.
You can begin the topic for the article in numerous ways; here are a few:
- Pose a question
- Begin with a quotation
- Offer a review
- A “Top 10 List”
- A synopsis of a breaking-news item
- Discuss pros and cons to an issue
- Say what problem you will solve for the reader and tell them how to do it
Step 3 – YIELD
Forget that old-school linear-thinking outline for your next article. Here’s the secret: Instead use a more fun, efficient, and hip way to do your outline that enhances your mental performance—a mind-map
A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.(Source: Wikepedia.)
Mind-mapping is a fast, easy, fluid, organic process that promotes creativity. Mind-maps show the shape of the topic in a two-dimensional structure that illustrates the way in which facts relate to one another while prioritizing individual points. A mind-map presents information in a visual format that shows the overall structure—a “map” if you will—of your article subject.
Mind-mapping brings freedom to bloggers because with this tool, they don’t worry about where to begin, they just begin! Mind-mapping is an especially freeing tool for bloggers who tend to be perfectionists and procrastinators who have a hard time beginning a project. Mind-mapping works well for them because it doesn’t feel intimidating like a traditional outline often does.
By using the mind-mapping technique, these bloggers know they don’t have to worry about a particular order, and that worry (fear) no longer blocks them from beginning nor slows down their progress, since they feel confident in that they can always add more branches to their map!
To learn more about how to mind-map you can easily find websites, books and even new software that explains the mind-mapping technique in depth.
Step 4 – NO PARKING!
That’s right, no parking—you heard it—move on. That is, write and finish! There is NO SUCH THING AS WRITERS BLOCK.
Writer’s block feels real, but it is just the mask hiding the fear of the person ‘experiencing’ it—they’re scared that if they write something down and show it to the world then that means they are vulnerable to others people’s opinions—and that what they wrote down is now “committed” to paper or blog and now they are open to possible ‘failure.’
Forget people-pleasing—that is a no-win trap. Just write and commit. Click on “Publish.” And then start writing your next post.
There are no stop signs or red lights on your road now; it’s a “green light” all the way.
About The Author: Mara Rogers writes Secrets For Money, a personal finance blog that gives you tips to make more money, save more money, and manage your money.