Think about the articles you write. They’re good. People like them. You’ve been published in a few places.
Now, what if you could double that?
What if you could write twice as many articles, write twice as many guest posts, get published on twice as many websites, make your articles twice as long, get twice the visibility, make twice as much of an impact, get twice the page views, site visitors, traffic, and conversions?
Wow. That would make a huge difference, wouldn’t it?
The more you write, the more of all the other good things in life come to you.
But how can you write more? Here are a few of the writing hack techniques that I use. If you pick a few of these, you’ll definitely be able to write way more than you do right now.
1. Have a list.
The number one thing that helps me write faster is this. I already know what I’m going to write about before I even start.
A lot of the time that people spend “writing,” isn’t actually spent on writing. It’s spent figuring out what they want to write about. This kills your productivity!
Before you ever sit down to write, you need to know exactly what you’re going to write about.
Write down your titles ahead of time. When you’re ready to start writing, just pick the next title in the list and nail it. Instantly, you can save anywhere from 20-45 minutes.
2. Choose topics that you’ve mastered.
If you try to write on unfamiliar topics, it will take you a long time to write. The best topics for you are the topics you’re already good at.
If you’ve mastered a certain topic — like PPC example — then you have experience to draw on. Write about PPC. You’ve done this before. You know the terms. You understand the concepts. You don’t have to do as much research. All you need to do is write.
This can save tons of time. If you as a PPC expert tried to write an article on, say, hreflang for SEO, it would be tough. You’d have to do a lot of research. Basically, you’d have to teach yourself about the topic before you can explain it to others.
You should challenge yourself occasionally. But don’t purposely pick out tough articles. You’ll just waste your time and get frustrated.
3. Type fast.
Typing speed is crucial for writing fast. If you’ve never taken a typing class, you may want to do so. Using the proper hand placement is an important part of learning to type quickly.
Unfortunately, some people still rely on the two-finger pecking method to type. You may be pretty fast, but you definitely won’t be as fast as you could be.
Here are some sites that will help you to improve your typing speed:
4. Create a routine.
Routines are what make you more productive. Turn your writing time into a routine.
- Write at the same time each day.
- Write for the same length of time each day.
- Do the same things before you write.
- Do the same things after you write.
When you create a routine, you’re teaching your brain to do something better and faster. The routine forms a muscle and neural memory, kind of like a well-worn path. The smoother and wider the path, the faster you can run down it.
If you try to write in a different place every time, you may be slightly more creative, but you won’t be more productive. The same music, the same coffee, the same desk, the same time — all of these will increase your writing time.
5. Pick your peak times.
If you asked me to sit down and write an article at my non-peak time, it would take me a very long time — maybe 2-4 hours.
If you asked me to sit down and write an article during my peak time, I could do it in 45-60 minutes. No problem.
The difference has everything to do with peak times. The human body operates according to cycles called ultradian rhythms.
We can focus best in cycles of 90-120 minute cycles. Our minds are most alert during certain cycles. We don’t say 100% alert all day long.
Writing is a mentally demanding task. You should do your writing during your most productive time of the day. If you do so, you could turn a two-hour article into a one-hour job. It makes a huge difference.
- Some people are night owls. They should write at night.
- Some people are morning people. They should write in the morning.
- Some people hit their stride in the middle of the day. They should write in the middle of the day.
Choose your most productive time, and use it for writing articles.
6. Limit your research.
It’s easy to get distracted by doing a lot of research. Of course, your article should be well-researched, but you should also know when to stop.
I recommend doing your research before you do your writing. If you’ve done all the relevant research, then you possess a deeper understanding of the subject. You can write intelligently, and spend less time clicking between different tabs and searching for more information.
7. Set up your workstations.
The best way for me to write an article is on my Macbook. I just need one screen, but I open two browser windows — one on the right and one on the left.
The window on my left is for writing. The one on my right is for research. I can easily switch between the two without having to close windows, move programs, or alt-tab between them.
Some people might want more workstations and monitors.
Find a format that works for you. If you’re a two or three minotor kind of person, then make sure you’re all set up before your start writing.
8. Use a comfortable chair or standing desk.
If you’re uncomfortable while you write, it will take you longer to do it. Instead of writing, you’ll be adjusting in your chair or trying to get situated.
It’s worth it to invest in a nice chair and desk.
Get into a comfortable position, and write.
9. Make your time sacred.
Don’t let anything intrude on your writing time. That means no Facebook, no appointments, no email, no phone calls, no nothing.
It’s easy to give in to others’ demands for our time and attention. Whenever you do, you’re giving up crucial writing time. Protect your time.
10. Take a planned break.
We all need breaks. If you’re not taking breaks, your mind is going to get worn out. Plan your breaks. If you prefer, you can use something like the pomodorotechnique to plan periods of productivity followed by a brief rest.
One of the best forms of breaks is a quick walk. You can stimulate the brain’s activity centers to make you think better when you sit down to write again.
11. Drink caffeine.
Caffeine helps to boost mental focus and improve your alertness. It does, of course, have other side effects.
You probably don’t want to get addicted to coffee, but be aware that it’s there for you if you want to use it in moderation.
12. Outline, then write.
When I was first writing, I discovered something that completely changed my approach.
At first, I would try to just sit down and write an article from point A to point B. It took a long time and was mentally grueling.
Eventually, I discovered that if I wrote my introduction, then my conclusion, I could write the rest of the article a lot quicker.
Then, I discovered something else. If I wrote my introduction, conclusion, and outline, I would go faster still.
Basically, I was writing the article in my mind before I typed it out on the screen. This simple technique saved me hours of time. Within fifteen minutes, I had the entire skeleton of an article on the screen. All I had to next was fill in the blanks.
I recommend this approach, especially if you’re unsatisfied with your current approach to writing and would like helpful writing hacks. Here’s what I suggest:
- You already have your title and topic.
- Write your introduction.
- Write your conclusion.
- Write your outline.
- Fill it all in with more copy, images, and discussion.
13. Focus on one thing in each point.
I can write a whole lot better if I know exactly what I’m going to say in each point. This is why I make a clear outline. Every point has a purpose. I simply need to explain the point, and then move on .
14. Hire a copyeditor.
Editing takes a lot of time. Plus it’s hard to edit your own work, especially if you try to do it right after you finish writing.
I use editors and proofreaders to keep my work free of errors. You can hire a friend or family member, or you can even purchase services off Fiverr. It doesn’t cost much, and they will probably be able to do the work quicker than you can.
15. Set a deadline.
Most people work faster when they know that they have a deadline looming over them. If you can set realistic deadlines, you’ll probably be able to boost your writing time.
16. Give yourself a reward.
Dont’ forget to reward yourself. Writing is hard work. You’ve earned a break and a bit of a reward.
Rewards help to keep the brain in a loop of productivity. It’s the same cycle that builds habits.
Obviously, you shouldn’t go out and buy a new wristwatch or handbag every time you write an article. Instead, you can eat a snack, visit your favorite website, or chill on social media for a while. These small rewards are the little hacks that keep you pushing towards your goal.
17. Put on your headphones.
Any distraction can derail your productive zone. Many times, the background noise of a busy coffee shop or even an airplane ride can help you focus on your tasks. Other times, these noises are distracting.
Find out what works for you. If it helps to put on noise-canceling headphones, then go for it. I’ve experimented with white noise, trance music, classical music, and everything in between.
Once you find a good source of focus noise, then use it.
The more you write, the faster you’ll get.
I would never recommend that you do something quickly and sloppily. That’s not the point. The point is to get faster and better. Ironically, some of your best articles will probably be the ones that you wrote the fastest.
What writing hacks do you use to write faster?