5 Practical Tips to Write Blog Posts in Under 30 Minutes
Last updated on February 7, 2023 by Cameron Sheppard
Have you ever stared at an empty blog post, wondering how 1000 words are going to magically appear before your deadline? That’s the wonderful thing called Blank Page Syndrome (or writer’s block), which all writers experience at some point in their careers. Heck, it still pervades some of the most seasoned writers out there. But for those looking to complete blog posts in under 30 minutes, some defense against the dark art is needed.
You can’t expect to spit out words on paper like Eminem freestyling on stage, but there are still some things you can do to write blog posts faster. I’ve collected 5 practical tips that will get you started on the path from 30 hours to 30 minutes.
You want the benefits—just without actually writing. Don’t worry, I got you covered.
1. The obvious: practice
We’ve all heard it a thousand times: practice makes perfect. As true as this is, it can be put better: mistakes make practice, and practice makes perfect. If you’re looking to write a good blog post in under 30 minutes, you’ll need time to find your style and what works best for you. Remember, success takes time and effort, and here are some of my favorite ways to get started on that path.
Creating an outline is one of the most cited tools to write faster under the pressure of time, and for good reason. By organizing your ideas for the blog post before actually sitting down and writing it, you have given yourself a defense against writer’s block and will be able to write with confidence.
To hone your outlining skills, try creating outlines for different headlines. Here’s an example outline I created for the headline 4 Tips for Brand Growth in 2023:
Compelling hook (funny, emotional, mind-provoking?)
Introduce the tips to be discussed in the post
II. Tip 1: Define your brand identity
What is brand identity? Why is it crucial to growth?
How to establish a memorable identity
III. Tip 2: Find your target audience
What is a target audience?
Some methods to pinpoint target audience
IV. Tip 3: The new age of digital marketing
Discuss digital marketing trends in 2023
Digital marketing strategy implementation
V. Tip 4: Make data-driven decisions
The importance of data in brand growth
Types of metrics and how to collect them
Summarize the post
Final thoughts and encouragement
As you can see, an outline doesn’t necessarily have to be packed to perfection. Simply jot down key points to capture the big picture, allowing you to concentrate on the finer details while drafting the main content. By mastering the skill of outlining, you will never have an excuse to stop writing, and your future self will thank you.
For further reading on outlines, I recommend Grammarly.
Freelancing is a great way to practice writing, whether for free or for profit. Not only does it provide you an opportunity to brush up on your writing skills, but it also allows you to gauge expectations of the person you’re working for and people in general.
Freelancing sounds good on paper, but where do I start?
There are a number of ways you can start freelance writing. You can find contract work on freelance marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr, or even start your own WordPress or Wix blog. Just choose one and start writing! Getting your work out there will help you build a portfolio and develop the skills necessary to write under the pressure of time.
Those options do require some setup, though. Luckily, there are a number of websites that will let you start writing immediately, including Medium, HubPages, and Steemit—which has a built-in cryptocurrency feature, if that’s what you’re into.
What are some freelancing niches?
Freelance writing is really an umbrella term for the specialties that lie under it. As you go further along the path of your freelancing journey, you may decide that business-to-business (B2B) writing is best for leveling up both your writing and business skills. Or, you may prefer copywriting, which is an entire niche dedicated to making the reader take a desired action. If you fancy variety, business-to-consumer (B2C) writing may be best for you.
Whatever the case, freelancing is an unparalleled opportunity to get yourself out there and start practicing, while also learning to work under the pressure of both time and your boss. Start freelancing now and hop on the train to writing blog posts in under 30 minutes.
Participate in a 30-day writing challenge
As the old adage goes, commitment leads to action. Participating in a 30-day writing challenge such as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a great way to commit to tight deadlines and fight procrastination. Plus, you become a part of a community that encourages you to write at your best.
A challenge like NaNoWriMo may be intended for novel writers, but it is also great for blog writers. By attempting to meet the 50,000-word mark for a novel of any topic you choose in 30 days, you will learn a lot about time management and fending off writer’s block.
Or you can choose a 30-day variety challenge where you write about a different topic each day. One day you may brainstorm the memorable qualities of your hometown, and the next day you may write a tale about your personal dragon hoard. What a way to expand your horizons!
It sounds great on paper, but any one of us who has attempted one of these challenges knows it’s daunting the first few days. That’s why it’s important to prepare beforehand: create an outline and write the introduction to keep the main ideas flowing through the entire product. Overall, 30-day challenges are a great way to practice writing and get you on the 30-minute blog post party bus.
2. Set your environment up for success
Your environment is an important factor in the decisions you make. This is clearly seen in waiting rooms—relaxing layouts with comfortable chairs to make you stay—and weight loss—smaller plates for portion control. If you’re looking to sit at the same desk writing for countless hours daily, your environment will need to be sustainable and promote efficiency.
You may not be 100% conscious when you make decisions based on your environment, but your subconscious self certainly is. A good writing environment makes writing a natural thing to do, turning it into a consistent and productive habit. That being said, here are some measures you can take to set your environment up for success:
Choose a space dedicated to writing
If you have enough space, dedicate an entire room in your house to just writing. This way, you will be able to set up your environment just the way you like it and work without worrying about any duties unfulfilled.
However, sometimes it’s not that easy. For the most of us who can’t manage a space just for writing, creating a nook in the corner or up against the window is the clearer option. To illustrate what I’m talking about, here’s a wonderful stock image:
As you can see, the writing environment is definitely present. A clean modern look with some smooth wood here and there is all you need. Natural light is said to boost productivity more than working under a lamp, and the greenery just adds that finishing touch. Who wouldn’t feel motivated working right by a window with cute little plants?
I could create a whole blog post based on the little details that science has proven to be a boon to productivity, but in general, just design your space how you like it. Don’t be afraid to use friendlier hues or purchase that expensive yet comfortable office chair your body has been needing for the past few months.
Again, the goal of this is to create a habit when in your writing environment. If you used the same desk for writing as you use to play video games or watch TV, is it not obvious that you would be thinking about these activities and how it’s a few clicks away to indulge? By dedicating a space solely to writing, your brain will learn to forget about anything else you could be doing.
Tidy desk, tidy mind
Writing a blog post in under 30 minutes is hard enough, but having a hundred things on your desk makes it even harder. I won’t go into much detail on this one, just organize your space and you will organize your brain. Put objects where they belong, and the words in your blog post will be put where they belong.
Plan, plan, plan
Now that you’ve optimized your environment for success, you need to start using it, so carve some time out of your schedule when you can write without anything coming up. You don’t need to cancel your dinner plans or block out a whole day, just allot a small chunk of time every day and you’ll be on your way to building a consistent writing habit.
Overall, writing in an environment that minimizes distractions and maximizes productivity will keep your brain set to writing mode—a crucial factor in whether or not you can write entire blog posts in under 30 minutes.
3. Know what you’re talking about
Blog posts are typically written to provide knowledge for the reader (yes, I recognize the business benefits as well), so you don’t want to present false knowledge. Among the benefits of increased credibility and trustworthiness with your audience, research also helps you write faster.
The writing world is often plagued by an incorrect stigma: that research takes hours on end to ensure perfection. No, you don’t have to ‘hit the books’ or come up with your own hypothesis just to write a blog post. Sometimes all you need are five minutes to gather your ideas and maybe some sources to support those ideas.
Take advantage of Google operators
Searching for something on Google can feel like another Where’s Waldo? puzzle, except you have to comb through hundreds of billions of webpages. No one in the world has time for that, and that’s why Google has search operators to make standard searches more capable. Here are some of the best operators for blog post research:
intitle: & allintitle:
The intitle: operator gathers search results with any of the terms listed after the colon mark. The allintitle: operator further condenses these results to include all of the words that follow the colon mark. For example, if you’re searching for a blog post with the words “professional blog writing services” then you would write allintitle:professional blog writing services in the Google search bar.
intext: & allintext:
The intext: operator operates similarly to the intitle: operator, except it searches the webpage content for the terms instead of the webpage title. Using the same terms in the previous example, “professional blog writing services”, you could write allintext:professional blog writing services and Google will display results that contain those exact words somewhere in page content.
OR & AND
These operators are helpful for identifying results related to one or both terms listed in the search bar. The OR operator is used like x OR y and the AND operator like x AND y, where ‘x’ and ‘y’ are two different terms. For an alternative to the OR operator, you can use the pipe (|) operator.
The “” operator fetches webpage results that contain the exact content between the quotation marks anywhere, including the description.
These are just some of the Google search operators that you can use to effectively research for your blog post, and you can find a complete list here.
Don’t exclude the competition
Sorry, I have to say it: you’re probably not the first one to write about the specific topic you’re researching for. But that’s completely fine, because another blog post is an excellent source of inspiration. (I’m not giving you a free pass to plagiarize, kids)
Don’t bend over backwards and read every single word your competitor has written. Simply skim through the post and take notice of the headings to spot any big ideas you may have missed. Also, while you’re there, make sure you’re approaching the topic from a unique angle.
Connect the dots into an outline
Once you’re confident with the amount you have researched, the next step is to create an outline. Cover the big ideas and add some little things you can go into detail about in the blog post. Make sure to include the links to any sources you might be using so you can quickly reference them while writing.
Research is a simple concept that goes a long way when trying to write blog posts in under 30 minutes. By spending a few minutes to gather your ideas beforehand, you can potentially save hours writing, along with your well-being.
4. Stop trying to find the perfect word
Writing a blog post in 30 minutes is all about the flow of your mind and the words on screen. However, one very common disruptor of flow is trying to find the perfect word, thinking it’s right on the tip of your tongue. I know you’re guilty of this in some way, shape or form, but don’t fret—every writer who has ever lived knows how it feels.
The next time you find yourself pausing to search your brain for the perfect word or phrase, just ignore your brain and note the basic idea. It doesn’t matter if it looks like a first grader wrote it, because any retouches can be made in the editing stage. You can’t write a blog post in 30 minutes and expect to have a final draft of Stephen King’s newest supernatural horror novel.
You may not grasp this idea immediately, but keep trying to notice where you pause and don’t just sit there, keep writing! You’ll have an uninterrupted writing flow in no time.
Beyond recommending you to avoid pausing, there’s not much I can do. The biggest thing you can do to help yourself is to pay attention to what works for you and what doesn’t. Find yourself in your writing, and you will find how to write blog posts in under 30 minutes.
5. Write in a state of deep work
Deep work is a concept introduced by Cal Newport in his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Basically, it’s distraction-free work that pushes cognitive boundaries, produces value, and is hard to replicate, which is directly opposite of the other concept in the book, shallow work. Newport believes that this method is becoming increasingly rare in society, and thus more valuable.
But how does deep work relate to writing?
Any writer can tell you that writing is a cognitively demanding task—such is where writer’s block originates. Many find themselves distracted, whether it be taking a glance at their phone or even staring at the words they’ve just written. Deep work is like a lifeboat that can take you to shore, saving you from the rage of the currents. The ability to enter a state of complete focus is seriously beneficial and will help you crank out words faster than you’ve ever done before.
How do I start deep working?
According to Cal Newport, there are four rules for deep focus in today’s digital world:
1. Work Deeply – decide beforehand when you’re going to work deeply, what you’re going to do, and how long you’ll be in that state. Initially, just try to focus all your attention on one topic for 15 minutes, then increase the time as your deep work ‘muscle’ grows. It helps to make deep work a habit to ensure productivity in the absence of motivation.
2. Embrace Boredom – boredom is a craving for distraction. Try to devote most of your time to focusing and take breaks for distraction. It can’t be the other way around: if you’re trying to eat healthier, would you eat keto one day of the week and spend the other six days stuffing your mouth with fast food?
3. Quit Social Media – the internet is like a toolbox, filled with tools that can only be given the designation of positive or negative based on what they’re used for. Newport’s ‘craftsman’ approach to downloading a new app denotes the importance of weighing the pros and cons according to your purpose. Instagram will help you become known on social media, but will it help you write a blog post?
4. Drain the Shallows – stop going through out your day on autopilot. Schedule every minute of your day to be more intentional in performing deep work. Remember, consciousness is a prerequisite to focus. Say no when someone asks you a favor and you know it’s shallow, such as travelling or answering a follow-up email.
I practice what I preach and wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think it would be valuable to you as a writer. Entering a state of deep work has enabled me to create higher quality content for you, faster. Even though this may sound like a poor YouTube sponsorship, it’s real.
Writing a blog post in under 30 minutes is, hands down, an art that takes a lot of patience to master. But once you smash that goal, you’ll feel awesome and churn out content like you’ve never done before. Thank you for reading, and I’m confident you will make it soon.