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 ©, Image #7465953

Photo courtesy of ©

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 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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  • Sachin Kundu

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

    • Michael Hyatt


  • 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!


    • Brandon

      I totally agree!

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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

        • 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.

    • 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. 

    • Brandon

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

    • Michael Hyatt

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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.

    • 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!  :-)

      • 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.

        • Paul Coughlin

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

        • Jeff Randleman

          I understand completely!

        • Robert Ewoldt

          Sounds like a good plan, John.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Excellent, John. Thanks for sharing your process.

    • TNeal

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

  • 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. 

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • Joe Lalonde

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

    • 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 –

  • 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.  

  • 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! :) 

    • Michael Hyatt

      Welcome and thanks for commenting!

  • 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!

    • Michael Hyatt

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

  • Russ Pond

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing your blog creation workflow. For my two blogs ( &, 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.

    • Brandon

      I was wondering the same thing…

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • Joe Lalonde

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

  • 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?

    • 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”. :-)

    • 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. ;-)

  • 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 :-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for you encouragement, Paul.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Michael Hyatt

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

  • 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!

  • 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


    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.


  • 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.

    • 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

    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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Peter Paluska


    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.


  • 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.

  • 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 :)

    • Michael Hyatt

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Michael Hyatt

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

  • 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!

  • 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,

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • Isokari

    Thanks for the helpful ideas.

  • 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

    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