How to Write a Blog Post in 70 Minutes or Less

Blogging is an important part of my life. It the primary way I have built and communicate with my tribe. However, it is not the only thing I do. I’ll bet it’s not for you, either.

A Hand Holding a Stopwatch - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/slobo, Image #7465953

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/slobo

If you are like most bloggers, you are trying to squeeze it in between your job, your family, and a thousand other activities. It can be really tough to be consistent.

After writing more than 1,000 posts, I have gotten better and faster with practice. Now, on average, it takes me 60–70 minutes to write and format a single post. I thought I would share eleven of the tricks I use to write more efficiently.

  1. Start the night before. I try to determine what I am going to write about tomorrow before I go to bed. This allows my mind to begin engaging with the topic in advance. It’s like putting a roast in a crockpot and letting it simmer overnight.
  2. Use downtime to think. I run or workout for 60 minutes almost every morning. During this time, I listen to an audio book for 30 minutes. This often provides raw material for future posts. Then I turn it off and just think. I primarily focus on what I am going to blog about that day. I usually create my main premise and outline in my head.
  3. Go offline. When it is time to write, I go offline. Sort of. I can’t be completely offline, because I need to be able to use the web for research. However, I don’t need to be checking email, Twitter, or Facebook. Enter AntiSocial. This little program enables me to turn off email and all my social networks. I can’t get back to them without rebooting my computer. If you are a PC user, Cold Turkey is similar.
  4. Turn on some music. Years ago, I discovered that certain kinds of music put me in my “zone.” I have a playlist of music in iTunes that I call “Background Music for Writing.” It consists mostly of soundtracks like The Bucket List, Seabiscuit, and The Horse Whisperer. I also occasionally listen to Lifescapes Music.
  5. Set a timer. Writing is not difficult for me. The challenge is getting started. I can find an endless array of distractions. Starting a timer for 70 minutes creates a sense of urgency. I am very competitive with myself, and I find myself engaging immediately and racing the clock to finish. I simply use the timer on my iPhone.
  6. Use a template. This helps, too. I use a formula based on the SCORRE method taught by Ken Davis at the Dynamic Communicators Workshop. (If you haven’t attended DCW, put this on your bucket list. It’s one of the best things I have ever done professionally.) I start with an Evernote template and then actually do the writing in ByWord, a stripped-down word processor.
  7. Create an outline. In case you haven’t noticed, I like lists. This makes my posts highly scannable, which also makes them easier for my readers to digest. It also makes it very easy for me to write. I know the overview before I begin. It then almost becomes an exercise in fill-in-the-blank.
  8. Write without editing. Don’t try to write and edit. If you do, you will drive yourself crazy. Worse, you won’t make much progress. Writing is primarily a right-brain function. Editing is a left-brain function. Switching back and forth between these two hemispheres slows you down. You don’t really get into the grove like you should. Instead, I just write continuously without stopping.
  9. Now edit and format. Once I have a first draft, I begin the editing process. I read back through my post a few times, cleaning up the spelling, grammar, and syntax. I also try to shorten everything I can. I want to use simple words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. This is one of the most important things you can do to make your posts read faster.
  10. Add graphics, links, and metadata. Once I am happy with my post, I copy and paste everything from ByWord to MarsEdit. (This is my offline blogging software.) There I add graphics, usually a single photo from iStockPhoto.com. In addition, I add internal and external links and the all important metadata (e.g., category, post description, key words, etc.).
  11. Publish a draft. Once I am done, I set the publication date and time in MarsEdit and publish the post. Technically, this creates a scheduled post. It won’t be live on my site until the appointed date and time. Now I go into my WordPress Admin panel and run the post through the Scribe Content Optimizer. Once I am happy with the score (I always shoot for 100%), I update the post. I’m done!

Sometimes it takes a little longer than 70 minutes. Sometimes it takes less. For the record, this post took 69 minutes and 20 seconds. But I find that I get more written when I focus on these short deadlines than when I don’t. This sense of progress encourages me to write more.

Questions: How long does it take you to write your typical blog post? Any ideas here that could help you be more efficient? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://twitter.com/leaderEx Sachin Kundu

    Excellent ! Thanks for summary. You are as good a leadership expert as a blogger.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks!

  • http://femmefuel.com/ FemmeFuel

    Also important is to stick religiously to a schedule–daily blogging, weekly blogging, etc. Within that macro-schedule is to stick to a specific posting time. For example, all of my weekday blog posts are up by 9am every morning, rain or shine; good, bad, or ugly.

    Invaluable insight, AS ALWAYS.

    Happy Thursday, Hyatt Tribe!

    –JM
    http://femmefuel.com/

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I totally agree!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I still to a rigorous schedule, too. My blog posts go live at 4:00 a.m. every day. This forces me to finish the night before.

      • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

        Michael, what’s your reasoning between scheduling your posts for 4 AM instead of 12:01 AM or 1 AM, or something earlier in the morning? 

        Also, I think you’ve said before that you want your post to be the first thing that is in someone’s Inbox in the morning for them to read.  I don’t get your post in my Inbox until a little after 6 AM.  Do you know what the reason for the lag between the post’s scheduled publish time and the emailing of the post?

        • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

          Robert, there’s lots of possible reasons that you receive your notification around 6. I just checked and I receive mine around 6:30AM. Here’s some possible reasons –

          The notification is sent out in batches
          It may get stuck in your email host’s spam filter for awhile
          The list may be so large that it takes over 2 hours to send to everyone

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          The main reason is that I don’t want it buried too far down the list in a person’s RSS reader. I’m tying to connect with those readers on the east coast that get up at 5:00 a.m. (4:00 a.m. CT).
          With regard to the email, that is spun off a separate server. It is set to go at 6:00 a.m. I don’t have a lot of rationale behind that.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      I agree with both points. My posting time is after 9:00 in the evening. I may work on the post anytime but don’t post before 9:00. Having deadlines and/or posting goals seems to focus the writing energies.

  • Sherri

    My posts are almost totally ‘written’ in my head before I start to actually put them on paper, so to speak. I have the ideas and general outlines and just need to flesh them out and then edit. My goal with blogging now that I’m becoming more comfortable with it, is to have more of a schedule that allows me to plan ahead and write ahead of time. I currently almost always write my post the morning that I publish it. That’s been okay, but doesn’t allow me time to add in links or pictures, which I’ve been wanting to do. 

    It’s another baby step for me. How far in advance do you typically plan out and write your posts before they are published? 

    Thanks for a very helpful post. 

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Same here! I don’t write a post unless I have kinda written it in my head first. Great thoughts!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t plan them very far in advance, usually just a day or two.

    • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

      I usually have an idea in my head for a post, sometimes days or weeks in advance, but I don’t have it all written in my head.  I don’t have the content written down usually until I sit down to write it.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      In some cases, I’ve already written the post but haven’t published it yet. That’s the case of my current planned post for tonight. I wrote it a few weeks ago but didn’t want to start a new thread. I read “Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me” a few weeks ago and want to now do some reflection based on the book.

      In other cases, I write something that just struck me in the last 24 hours. That happens more often than not.

      In all cases, I stick to a theme.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great overview of the process, Michael. Your technique sounds a lot like mine. I’m a big fan of working in 48 minute time periods. On my usual workday, I have a couple of hours in the morning set aside for writing, before I have to go to work. This gives me two 48 minute periods of focused productivity. On my usual day, I’ll spend one period writing a post, and then spend the twelve minutes of free time to upload the post, run Scribe, and make any final edits. This leaves me with an additional period to respond to posts (like this one) and catch up with social media. For more complex posts, it will take both periods to do one post, and I’ll use any additional time that I have to respond elsewhere. 

    I’ve found that pre-planning the week helps. I’ve been experimenting using weekly themes where I pick a theme, break it into 3 to 5 pieces, and create and outline of topics. I collect links, references, and graphics and store them in Evernote. I do this on the weekend, so that my daily writing time is optimized. Using this technique, I’m trying to see if I can do a post in 24 minutes. This will allow me to do two posts in one focused period and then 12 minutes to upload the posts, run scribe and post.

    I wrote a post about this last week called the Minimum effective post. So far, I haven’t been organized enough to pull this off, but I’m getting better. It is fun to race against the clock. I’m fine tuning the procedure and will write about my results in the next few weeks.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      That seems like a good schedule. I always try not to post too much. I don’t want to overwhelm others and myself. For that reason, I usually post M,W,F. Sometimes a little more…

      I really like the idea of the weekly themes. How’s that been working?

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        The weekly themes have worked well as long as I have some time on the weekend. I’ve done it for six weeks now with a wrap up post at the end. The secret for me is to set a general theme up front but have the freedom to be creative with the posts. I’m trying some experiments on pre planning to speed things up. My goal is to get the process down to no more than one hour per day for most posts.

    • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

      John – that level of detail in your thinking and working is hyper-organised to me!  

      Never mind me attempting it – I don’t even know if I would survive it!   

      It’s great to see – in others!  :-)

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Organization doesn’t come easy for me. My right side “creative” brain
        conflicts with my left side “linear” brain. If I can contain my right
        side in a focused manner (48 min ) then things go well. If I give it free
        reign, it can take days to do a post.

        • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

          Nice example of balancing the two sides John.. thanks.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          I understand completely!

        • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

          Sounds like a good plan, John.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent, John. Thanks for sharing your process.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      John, my head hurts just trying to figure out your optimum writing schedule. For sure, your schedule sounds very tight and organized.–Tom

  • http://chriscornwell.org Chris Cornwell

    My biggest struggle is always finding the time and then subsequently how much time I spend doing it. Trying to balance my life and not exclude my family is a huge concern. 

    I find it best if I schedule when I am going to do it. For instance I will intentionally take two hours every weekend at some point to just work on blogging. The time is blocked out and the expectations are there so I can focus on blogging. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Time-blocking or scheduling is a great technique. I pretty much do this, too. I allocate my mornings to writing. I push all my appointments into the afternoon.

  • http://kathyfannon.blogspot.com Kathy Fannon

    It usually takes me 60 – 90 minutes to write a post, even when I think it’s going to be a quick one.

    I use most of these same methods, but until I actually start writing, I get very distracted by social media. Once I get in my zone, I’m good.

    I like the idea of music in the background. We love movie soundtracks at our house so I have a good selection to choose from (“Inception” is one of my favorites.), along with a couple of LifeScape CDs.

    • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

      Kathy, Michael offers a great solution in this post regarding the removal of social media distraction. Anti-social(http://anti-social.cc/) will block social networking sites and keep you focused.

    • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

      Kathy, the Anti-Social program appears to be for Macs only. So if you’re a Windows user, you can try going Cold Turkey – http://getcoldturkey.com/

  • http://twitter.com/johnlambert John Lambert

    Thank you for posting this.  I am no where near this type of discipline, but I am preparing to move into this direction.  

  • http://defton.blog.hr Defton85

    Nice advices, thank You. I starter reading Your blog a few days ago on recommendation from my future boss and I’m stunnished of how much great stuff you can find here and i’m a suscriber. For me, it takes ussually 90 min to write a post. I do think about my posts alot before writing it. Your technics helped me to be more efficient.  Have a nice day and God Speed!  (Sorry for my bad english, i’m from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia! :) 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Welcome and thanks for commenting!

  • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

    Great post, Mike—I thank you, but more importantly, my wife will thank you! Balancing a full-time job, a marriage and soon-to-be 3 kids 4 years old or younger, any efficiencies I can find for blogging are most welcome. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Right now the picture is usually the most time consuming part of my post. I hate that. I know some (very successful bloggers) have gone the way of no picture, but it’s such a powerful (and enjoyable) piece of the post for me.

    2. I’m excited about trying out some of these apps—especially Anitsocial. Brilliant idea.

    3. One thing I do is keep a running list of topics in Evernote. I’ve got it with me wherever I am and I’m constantly adding to the list of ideas and concepts for posts. I have learned that ideas have a shelf life though—so strike while the iron is hot or risk wasting time trying to resurrect an idea that your muse has left cold and lifeless.

    Thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with your third point. Ideas go stale. Thanks.

  • http://toppup.com Russ Pond

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing your blog creation workflow. For my two blogs (http://russpond.com &  http://season.org), I use much of your workflow. I don’t use outlines as much, but I do usually start a few days before by thinking through the message I want to communicate. My Season of Peace blog has been going on for years now, but only recently have I been able to get into a consistent pattern of publishing and supporting the blog.

    Michael, how do you find the topics you write on? Do you build a list of ideas and topics months in advance and then create a list of blog topics to write? Or, do you “wing it” a bit and find the topics only a week before you write them? I’ve tried both ways, but nothing really settled for me. Both were just as creative.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I was wondering the same thing…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do both. I keep a list of topics in Evernote. But about 75% of the time, the idea comes from something I notice or think about today.

  • http://twitter.com/marinermktg Sally Phillips

    When an idea or concepts hits me, I dictate it into my phone (there’s an app for that – I use Tape-a-Talk).   Like Sherry, when the idea hits me, it begins to write itself and if I don’t capture it, it might be lost forever.

    • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

      Nice point Sally – that reminded me of an Earl Nightingale quote – he said something like “ideas are like slippery fish – if you don’t gaff them with the point of a pencil they’re soon gone..”

      Dictation is a great way to capture and retain the creative stream..  Thanks.

    • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing your use of the Tape-a-Talk app. Just downloaded it to try it out!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Awesome tips! I typically write a blog post in 30 minutes. If it is something extremely deep, it usually takes an hour. I type fast so that always helps.

    I usually just post straight into wordpress. Is this something you would advise?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If it works for you, do it!

  • Anonymous

    Loved this, though I wish the title was “How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less”. :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I wish that were the title, too! I actually timed myself over several days to figure out how long it really takes. Maybe I will get faster with practice. ;-)

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Awesome.. thanks Michael. Rich with subtle points and wisdom.

    This highlights for me – the importance of having a framework within which to express our creativity.

    Without a framework, we’re no doubt active, but are probably unfocussed and therefore less productive than we might be. 

    Frameworks can be anything which provides structure and direction. A plan, a template, a routine, a clear goal..

    I also see that you have a clear and inspiring purpose – and the framework with blogging is the vehicle for achieving and manifesting that purpose..

    Really enjoying your daily posts..

    Great work – I was going to say ‘keep it up’ but that’s a given :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for you encouragement, Paul.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    I’d say that about sums up my blogging. I usually keep a notebook nearby in case a television program or something I read inspires something. I also blog better around people. Somehow the chaos people bring with them inspire posts.

  • http://twitter.com/DaddybyDefault DaddybyDefault

    I tried marsedit, but just can’t get into it. It seems like a few extra steps to get a post up there. I love your article on Evernote and the Scorre method though. I used a similar template in mac pages and when its ready paste into wordpress. Seems to work for me.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cool. The most important thing is to find tools that work for you.

  • http://desertverde.com nan fischer

    These are great ideas, and I’ve bookmarked this post! I research and take notes, then, like you, let it percolate while I go for a walk or bike ride. By the time I sit down to write, I know enough about my topic how I’m going to present it, so the rest is somewhat easy. The distraction is social media, for sure, but I double my work by getting two or three posts out of the research. I definitely need to get faster, though, and get offline. I’m looking into Anti-Social. Thanks!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    That’s all a little too advanced for me. First I must learn how to compose and format a comment like this one in 70 minutes or less.  I suppose, though, that some of the same principles apply. 

  • Dan Ryan

    Michael,

    Great suggestions!  I appreciate the links and will try some of them as I continually refine how I blog.
    I use LiveWriter to feed my blogs and have had good success with that.

    Thanks!

  • http://fruitinseason.blogspot.com Christine- Fruit in Season

    Great post!  I think I’m the opposite extreme.  If I’m not inspired to write, I don’t write.  But when I do it takes usually 30 minutes because my mine and fingers are flying.  Maybe I need a balance so I can be more consistent in my posting.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      In my experience, consistency is key to building traffic.

  • Calum Henderson

    I tend to spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes on a post depending on topic and length. But I also post when I can.

    Thanks for the insights!

  • Dukedillard

    Michael,
    thanks for this. I am starting a blog and am using your advice (over many posts) extensively. I love your layout/design and appreciate how you’ve documented your process and method. You did a post at some point about using Evernote to write your posts. In this post you now say that you use Evernote and Byword. Can you explain what you changed. The Evernote post seemed really extensive with photos and all. Have you changed since then? Also, if you ever choose to do a post on the details of how you use MarsEdit, that would be great as well.
    thanks you,
    Duke Dillard

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I am using ByWord just for the drafting, because it is a little less cluttered than the Evernote record. I will consider a post on MarsEdit.

  • MaryAnn Diorio

    Thanks for another great post, Mr. Hyatt.  Your posts are full of helpful information.

  • JLJ

    I’m need to get in the grove!

  • Anonymous

    How long? Too long. But I keep pressing on, due in no small measure to your encouragement and practical tools. Will put the Evernote template to use right away. Thanks as always Mike.

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    It takes me longer than it should because I don’t shut down social media. I know. Bad me.

    But I used to begin with paper and pencil – I’ve gotten away from that because I never have it when I need it! I may jot down ideas, but I stopped outlining them on paper. I really need to learn better focus. Plain and simple.

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    I actually only take about 30-45 minutes to do all of that. I use tools like Workflowy and Evernote to jot down and organize those one-off ideas that could be posts. That way, when I get to writing, half of the brain work is done. 

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    I have scheduled posts for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Knowing the topic and time frame in advance helps me. I’ve become more efficient with this schedule than when I just posted randomly on different days and topics. Each topic that comes to my mind during the week I fit into a slot and then work it out at the appropriate time. If I have a topic that doesn’t fit on one of those days, I add it as a random post on Wednesday or Saturday. I appreciated hearing your process, good habits to learn from.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Evans/100000393627133 Mike Evans

    I appreciated your reference to music. When I was working on my Masters, I began to listen to movie sound tracks. I am not referring to Musicals, but the music set into the movie to help set the mood of the movie. Sound tracks don’t distract you from your may purpose. You will not find yourself from singing along or playing a little ‘air guiter’ while trying to maintain your focus onto the job at hand. Since this was new to me (while I was working on the Masters) I joined into different music streaming programs to get an idea of the variety of sound tracks. I am now listening to the music from movies I have never seen. I made different playlists depending on the activity I happen to be doing. I have a playlist for computer work and a couple for the gym. Some of my favoite tracks came from the last King Kong movie; please don’t laugh. I also like the sound track from The Fountain, and even the Bourne movies. Experiment by listening to various background music to learn which is most appropriate to the task at hand.

  • Rsr777

    Michael…I love this post…it is so helpful not only to those who blog but I feel will be helpful to pastors preparing sermons, those who write articles etc…Thanks for including number 8….I personally needed to hear that.  I am one of those who get frustrated because I try to edit and write at the same time…hoping that…it will be complete when I move to the next paragraph.  Excellent post.  
    Thanks so much,
    Sharon Roam

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1668056249 Christine Molloy

    I use many of the techniques described in this post. I formulate ideas while I am driving or doing some other mindless mandatory task. I cannot have people talking to me or have the TV on. I write with music on or with silence. The most important thing I have learned is to NOT edit when I initially write the blog, like you mentioned. that way my thoughts are freeflowing. So all in all I would have to say you have great advice!!

  • Anonymous

    Great article! A nice alternative to iStock photos is http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

    First, I have to say… That is one WEIRD looking stopwatch in the photo. 

    Seems to be missing a few numbers. :)

    My advice to people starting out is that like any activity, blogging is a skill that you get better at with practice. Early on, it took me almost 3 hours to write a blog post. It now takes me about 90 minutes.

    Practice makes you productive.

  • Loree Huebner

    All great tips.

    I do start writing the blog during the week when I have time. I think about it when I’m at work.  (I only post once a week so I have more time) Although, sometimes I jam it all in on the night before. I’ve written some of my best posts under pressure.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • http://peterpaluska.com Peter Paluska

    Michael,

    The image of the roast simmering in the crock pot is one for the ages. I can practically smell it! Also, I find your point in #8 incredibly revealing and useful. Write then edit – assume the role of the artist first, then the craftsman.

    As for the time it takes me to compose, edit, and publish a post, that varies – anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.

    Thank you, as always, and God bless.

    Peter

  • Beyondchatter

    Number five tops my list.  My use of timers has provided for much laughter in my family.   The getting started is the hardest part.  Thank you for your post.

  • http://hoop.la Rosemary ONeill

    I love that you didn’t say “write a blog post in 5 minutes.”  You always deep-dive, and that’s my favorite part of this blog :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Rosemary. I wish it only took 5 minutes!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    I can write a post under 500 words in about 30 minutes. My meatier posts that are 800-1000 words typically take at least 2-3 hours. Depending on the subject matter (e.g. theology topics) it can take me a few weeks to research and edit my essays.

  • http://dustinstout.com Dustin W. Stout

    I definitely needed this list. Lately it’s been taking me between 1-3 hours to finish a post. It may be that I’m so meticulous in crafting my own visuals, or maybe just because of the amount of research involved. Either way, this post is definitely helpful!

    Thanks Michael!

  • Mischelle007

    Sometimes it takes me 3 hours. Other times I can get it done in an hour. It depends on how well I know the topic.

    When I first started, I had my next post in my head the night before. I definitely need to go back to that. Thanks for the great tips.

    http://www.reformed-health.com
    http://www.icubook.wordpress.com

  • http://stephenalynch.tumblr.com Stephen Lynch

    I took a tip from Jon Acuff and now write blog posts in batches. Granted, I keep my posts at a 150 word maximum, but expanding your mind on a single subject leaves it open for a much quicker second, third, and fourth post if you schedule your time accordingly. All the posts tend to have congruency as well.

    Interested how it would apply to posts with lengths like yours. As always, great tips Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Mine are typically too long to do much batching. The most I can write is two a day.

  • http://www.charlesspecht.com Charles Specht

    Very helpful content.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael.  I am not very old in blogging.  Your points are very informative and they will sharpen my skills.  I am not a very frequent blogger.  You counsel is very insightful

  • Msflecha

    Thank you for sharing your “recipe”. It not only shows your effort, but your discipline and commitment. Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.facebook.com/theresa.i.froehlich Theresa Ip Froehlich

    For me, writing a blogpost and get it scheduled or published within an hour is not the issue. I need to learn so much more about keywords and SEO to optimize the effect of what I produce.  Michael, your mention of Scribe caught my eye. Thank you for sharing this tool.

  • Saly

    Hello dear Michael,
    Thanks for your valuable posts, they are really inspiring.
    I’m facing a problem writing my personal statement. I need your advice.
    Thanks in advance,
    LL

  • http://soulstops.com Dolly

    Thanks for the practical tips!  The post ideas that I let simmer on the back burner of my mind are often the easiest posts to write.  This is because I am writing from my heart and mind as I think about what I care about.

  • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

    When it comes to using a timer, I’m a big fan of using the Egg Timer. It is free, online, and useful in all sorts of scenarios (for the record, I’m in no way connected to whoever owns the website, that I know of). Here’s a blog post I wrote about various uses of the online Egg Timer (I find it interesting that I used the same istockphoto picture as you used in this post) titled: “How to Accomplish Goals with an Egg Timer.” Find it here: http://bradandlindsey.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/how-to-accomplish-goals-with-an-egg-timer/

  • Isokari

    Thanks for the helpful ideas.

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I think for me it depends on the post. I also think it’s different for everybody (I know that’s an obvious statement, sorry). Marty Chamberlin says to spend at least 2 hours on each post with his blog twohourblogger.com

    Sometimes for me it takes longer but sometimes I see something and get really inspired and just pound out a post.  I will definitely use some of these tips Michael, thank you

  • Alisa Lagroue

    Awesome post. I’ve only been doing blogging for a few months. I set a goal for myself to post once a week. I want to eventually do more, but I’m not really making my goal now. I find myself procrastinating. I think it’s for some of the reason you listed: not using down time to think, trying to edit and add pictures while writing, being on line, not using music to help with the muse. Unfortunately, I think I’m doing almost all 11 things wrong. Well . . . maybe not wrong, but your way seems more efficient.

  • http://hereiblog.com/ Mark

    Thanks for sharing. Seminary has started again so I have three classes, a job, a family, deacon duties and then there’s the blog. I have an idea and put a draft title/topic in a WordPress notes plugin. I may think on something for a day or two and then sit down and write.

    I really should do time blocking. I have been through the week long SCORRE training, but have not used it to blog yet. Maybe I should give it a try.

  • gecm1948

    Great information!  When I first started blogging, I thought I could belt things out in 20 minutes or less.  How wrong I was!  I have tried my best not to edit until I’m finished, but I just can’t work that way.  All those errors on the page drive me crazy until I fix them.  I’m going to work at it though.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    I typically take about 45-60 minutes to draft and publish a post, but the quality of content isn’t as solid as yours. Thank you for sharing your writing process.

    I already use Evernote, but I need to implement templates. I tend to follow a general format/layout, but it could be structured more concretely instead of winging it.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Also, I didn’t know writing and editing were on separate sides of the brain. That actually makes a lot of sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lori-Tracy-Boruff/1630483795 Lori Tracy Boruff

    I want to be like Michael Hyett when I grow up!  Great post!!  You may want to title your next post  “How to add a COMMENT in 7o minutes or less”  because I’m so slow at writing BUT…#8 explained it all.  I’m very right-brain and realize from your post that I switch back and forth, write/edit/write/edit….slow process.  I feel like you gave me a fresh wind in my sails. God Bless!

  • http://joshuamonen.com Joshua Monen

    I like what you said about starting the night before. I’m going to experiment with this and see how it works for me. I also want to start doing some sort of exercise in the morning too because I feel like that would help get my creative juices flowing. Good stuff, Michael.

    Oh and it can take me between 1-2 hours to create a typical blog post.

  • Joni Hannigan

    I was about to sign off for the night when I checked Twitter, saw this, and decided to write a quick post. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been trying hard to discipline myself to blog more. I didn’t actually read this until after I finished posting. Very useful things I’ll incorporate in the future–the first of which will be to begin thinking at night and write in the morning. I’m WAY too fuzzy right now :–) Thanks again.

  • http://twitter.com/TesTeq TesTeq

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  • http://twitter.com/plantedinchrist Brandon Weldy

    I was wondering, is this the kind of format you would follow when writing a chapter for a book? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Not exactly. It doesn’t translate in quite the same way. But it is definitely similar.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Great summary of how you do things!  I find my process very similar, a few of the steps are varied, based on the plugins I have and use, or the content I’m writing about. 

    I usually can write a post and have it ready to go in about an hour.  But I probably should take a bit more time with some posts, and refine them even more.

    Thanks for the input!

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    It takes me considerably longer to write a post than 70 minutes, especially if it’s an in-depth, analysis post.  I do some of your steps already.  One that I like that I think I’ll try is #2… “Use downtime to think.”  Using my running time to prepare a post outline is something I think will help me.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

    Great information! It will help me when I start my blog, which should be very soon.

    I must say, I’m a bit surprised at how long it takes to write a blog post. I would have guessed maybe half an hour to 45 minutes. However, looking at your outline, a lot of things seem to be post writing(editing, running it through Scribe, etc).

    Thanks for sharing your technique!

  • elise

    Very helpful thanks. I really appreciate your intentionality and obvious organization skills. Do you run your day by a timed schedule? In other words, have an exact time when you run, followed by the writing time, etc.? And is this all laid out for each day? Or is it more loosely a morning of writing, followed by afternoons reserved by appointments? I am actually relieved to hear how long it takes people to write their blogs. I feel like mine take too long, but thinking, writing, editing well take time!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, it is very loose for me. I have a general outline, but I just let it flow. Thanks.

  • http://www.betterhealthtoday.co Kay Wilson

    Michael, thanks so much for this, I do find I put off my writing so hoping this will help keep me on track.  I write a couple of blogs so cannot procrastinate or get distracted by other daily chores.  I am also a health & nutrition coach, thus the link to inform my current & prospective clients.

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  • Andrea @MoneyMastered

    These are great tips! I think developing a routine is the most important step – it doesn’t really matter what order you go in or what software you use, you just need to figure out what works best and do it that way every time. 

    I spend some time each week with a pen and paper, jotting down ideas for future posts. I have a huge list now, and while I’ll probably never use them all, it’s great to have some suggestions in case I’m having trouble coming up with inspiration.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are exactly write. The main thing is to figure out a workflow that works for you.

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  • sushil pandit

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  • http://www.rocksandroads.com Jeremy Green

    Thanks for this workflow list.  I’m already using it for my next blog post.  I used your Evernote Template and already have a growing list of blog post drafts in my new “Blog Ideas” notebook!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    My process involves a lot of what you’ve outlined here. I write at night when it’s quiet and to prepare for the day ahead. In the mornings, I”ll edit my post. I’ll write and re-write as necessary before hitting the publish button. 

    What helps me along the way are two things: 1.) a timer to keep me focused and on track, and 2.) some music (without lyrics). Somehow, music gets me in a creative mood. Not sure why, as most people tell me they find it a distraction. 

  • http://AlphaDogTheBook.com WingGirlKim

    My best and fastest writing happens on the subway ride to the office.

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  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    It usually takes me 90 minutes or less. I generally post twice a week. It helps to have a focused theme running through the posts. I filter books, life experiences, other people’s stories, etc. through that theme. I tend to notice things that apply more often to the theme because I’m thinking about it a lot. It’s similar to being more attentive and noticing picturesque scenes more often when I have a camera in hand.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I appreciate the link to  Lifescapes Music. Just a quick glance makes my ears tingle. I like the eclectic offerings. I too find music helpful in writing. Since I often go to a public spot to write, I like my own music preferences over the restaurant/coffee shop choice.

  • Christine Gerbehy

    Awesome post!   The time crunch thing is so true.  Work, social networking, family, that leaves you at 3am, lol!  Blog post in 60 mins.?  I’m ON it, lol!

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  • Melindatoad

    Great article! I needed the SCORRE method for a speaking engagement I have in 2012 so I am thankful to you for that! If I start thinking the night before on something, I will never go to sleep. My mind won’t let it rest until I write it. I need to keep a journal and reading light next to my bed as some of my best articles come at night. Thanks so much for all you put into your readers! I learn something valuable every time!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    Another great post and resource.  I will try this out!  Thanks

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  • http://www.facebook.com/shon.ridenour Shon Ridenour

    I’ve been preparing to start a blog all summer, and during that preparation I stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for putting out such quality content. I just launched my blog this week, and your “stuff” is helping me get my stuff together. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. I am so glad I can be of service.

  • http://dailyblogtools.com sai@dailyblogtools

    11th point save as draft is really helpful for bloggers and content writers

  • http://www.swindonsilicon.co.uk/ IC Design

    I hope this will try for my new blog. This post inspired me to write again.

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  • http://spusht.blogspot.com/ Nisha

     Great post, succinctly put.
    My husband has been telling me to give myself certain time limit too, because me visiting blogs, leaving comments, writing my posts, replying to comments, clicking pictures, and everything else – takes anywhere from 1 day to about a week [mostly because I’m still pretty much a beginner].
    As a housewife I don’t have anything else to do, but the amount of time I spend on doing all of this, literally all day, really annoys him!
    I’m going to start better time management now, like, seriously!

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  • Daisy

    On Bloggerand WordPress (and on most blogging platforms), you can preview your draft before posting. This makes the errors more visible than if you try to look for errors in the text box.

    I take about one and a half hours, because I spend time looking for images for my posts. 

    • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

      Finding images takes up a lot of my time as well. I could definitely use some suggestions to help expedite that.

  • Elaine Dayton

    I am about to start blogging, your article has some very useful ideas which I will put into practice.
    Elaine
    http://www.romanticevenings.co.uk

  • David Fye

    Thank you so much for this great post! It has helped me get over hurdles as a beginning blogger. I have a question though, how do you have Scribe analyze your posts when using the Standard Theme? This is the current hurdle I’m facing.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

    Great post. I recently began blogging, and I estimated I could write & edit one post per hour. It hasn’t happen yet, but I feel when I get more comfortable w/Wordpress and editing the post then I can get it done closer to that hour. It currently takes me at least 2xs the time for editing as it does to write the rough draft.

    Implementing many of your tips here will be a great help. I love the idea of using a timer. Hopefully I will be writing posts in 70 minutes or less soon. Thanks for sharing this info.

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  • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

    Mike,

    Thanks for your music recommendations. I recently found this post while searching through your archives and it was very helpful. 

    I write new content each day at work and journal when I get home at night. The Seabiscuit and Horse Whisperer recommendations enabled the creative side of me to engage so I could get through a tough writing project this past week. I also listen to the soundtrack from “A River Runs Through It” and a podcast entitled “Music To Pray By” on iTunes during my workday.

    Steve 

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    Hi Michael,
                            Simply awesome points. Time  is very important for everyone. Crisp & Clear article.Thanks for the post Michael.

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  • Chad Seeber

    Very helpful information Michael. An artist at heart, I tend toward distraction. Truth is I am supposed to be offloading cards from a video shoot but your post notification interrupted that process with one little …ding… I wandered from there to find this.

    Perhaps I might actually find that a timer could be my friend. The verdict is still out though, some of my greatest finds were off the beaten path. Your constructive input has been one of those great finds.

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  • Yolanda Clay Triplett

    This is as always good information Mr. Hyatt. Your quick list and useful resources help me improve as a writer, blogger and resource for the masses.

  • Daniel Bunker

    I know I’m a little late to the party but this post was super helpful for me! I’m launching my new blog next week and I’m trying to establish a writing routine. Can anyone explain to me the benefit of using an offline blogging software instead just wordpress?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The biggest one is that you can write … offline! And, if you lose your connection or inadvertently move off the page, you don’t lose your post. Thanks.

      • Daniel Bunker

        Thanks Michael!

  • josi

    Very well! I’ll print this and attatch it on my desk in front of me. I’ll also put a copy of it on my night stand so I can fall asleep looking at it. I’m not a blogger yet! I need more confidence in my writing since English is my second language. Great thanks!

  • http://www.about.me/chelseanicole Chelsea Social

    Not the typical “Write Blog Posts Faster” article. Lots of useful tips here. Thanks!

  • danna

    thank for suggesting i will try to follow your advice no matter how hard i have to try

  • dkotomanova

    Hello Michael. Really appreciate what you have shared with your readers. It usually takes me about 2 hours and 15 min. to write, edit and publish a post. I know this time is pretty much, but after reading your tip to use a timer, I will push myself to be more concentrated and determined. Great blog! Thanks!

  • http://wmblogger.com/ Vishwajeet Kumar

    Thanks for this article Michael. I have also implement few of your guidelines or steps when writing my own blog post.