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Do good things really come to those who wait?

Posted by Dan Hatch on 10th November , 2020 in The Write Fit
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This is an excerpt from the 31st edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.

 

I know what you’re thinking: “Wasn’t this newsletter due last Tuesday?”

Well, yes, it was. But like certain other events of last Tuesday, it took a little more time than normal to get to the result. So, thank you for waiting around.

In fact, taking a little more time is what this newsletter is all about. I have a question for you.

How long does it take you to write a blog post?

According to Andy Crestodina’s latest Blogging Survey, the average blog takes three hours and 55 minutes to write. That’s quite a bit longer than it used to take, as you can see in this chart.

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Obviously, there are many factors that affect how long it takes to write a blog post — everything from the word count to the skills and inspiration levels of the writer come into play. And, indeed, the blogging survey shows that blog posts are now, generally, much longer than they used to be — up to 1,269 words in 2020 from 808 in 2014. But that’s not the point I want to make here.

I have another question for you.

Who really wants to create average content?

There’s a lot of average content out there. Do you want to add to it? Or stand out from it?

Creating average content isn’t going to supercharge your business, create brand advocates and generate leads. Average is barely worth the effort.

Andy’s survey shows that the bloggers who report the strongest results from their writing efforts are the ones who spend six or more hours writing their content. There’s a direct correlation between work and rewards, he says.

And that’s the point I was getting at: giving yourself more time to write will deliver better results. That extra couple of hours between average and extraordinary can make all the difference to whether you achieve your business goals.

I have another question for you.

How would you spend those extra couple of hours?

Those extra two hours aren’t about sitting at your computer, burning incense, drinking ginseng tea and waiting for inspiration to hit. Sure, you can give yourself some extra time to construct a more creative intro or come up with a better article structure, but those two hours are actually for working very hard.

Here are some pointers on how to spend them:

  • Doing deep keyword research, so you know what terms to include in your text
  • Reading the top-performing content on the internet on the same topic and working out how you can beat it
  • Going deeper on research and finding credible sources you can reference (and link to)
  • Brainstorming and testing potential headlines to find the best one
  • Sourcing extra images and writing keyword-rich captions and alt-text
  • Creating social media posts, email copy, etc., to promote the content
  • Carefully editing your work and checking the spelling and grammar, before finally sending the piece to your editor or proofreader.

As writers, we need to be a bit like those election officials counting ballots across the US: taking a little more time to get the job done properly, while not wasting a second of the time we have allocated to doing it.

Dan Hatch
10 November 2020

 

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The above is just one small part of our fortnightly newsletter. It’s jam-packed with excellent advice, tips and news for anyone who writes for their business. Get your own copy here:

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