Why That Guest Post Took So Long To Write?

Why That Guest Post Took So Long To Write?

Blank Screen

Blank screen and a ticking clock.

This is the combination you hate – yet, this is what you are experiencing right now.

You figured that you could write a guest post for a big blog before going to work, but look what happened: after 20 minutes, you are staring at your laptop’s screen without any idea what to write about.

Your mind is just wandering around. When you think you have written a great starting sentence for your post, you delete the line quickly as your internal critic is telling you that the sentence is no good.

Needless to say, you are angered and frustrated over this experience and wonder how these other top bloggers are able to write such awesome posts with seemingly much less effort.

As you ponder this, you take a look a quick look at your watch: it’s already time to go to work.

You feel depressed because you couldn’t get anything done and you blame yourself for your inefficiency.

Not a great way to start your day.

Taking action without planning

I’m willing to bet that many bloggers have experienced the same thing as in the example above.

Yes, me too.

When I analyzed the situation further, I realized that my way of working wasn’t as effective as it could be.

First, even if I had a topic to write about on my mind, I didn’t still “get” it: I didn’t understand the complexity of the topic I was writing about.

The same applies to you too: no matter if you get a fancy idea to write about, do you honestly know what type of knowledge is required to produce a decent blog post in a decent period of time?

Well, I didn’t understand this part of writing at all and as I occasionally spent a lot of time in writing a post, I made the assumption that I was failing.

But let’s face it: if I wasn’t knowledgeable about the topic I was about to write and I had to do some research in order to create the post, was it any wonder that it took so long to create that piece of content?

Nope, it wasn’t.

Second, I didn’t prepare myself for the writing event itself. Sometimes I just turned on my computer and started figuring out what to write when instead, I should have known this information in advance.

This was yet another weak point for me and it can happen to many other bloggers too: wasting time on pondering what to write rather than knowing that in advance and getting started with writing – as soon as your computer is up and running.

Finally, when I wasn’t fully rested, my focus was lost. My mind was just wandering around and I couldn’t produce anything meaningful – no matter if I had the time to do the work.

These are quite a few of obstacles to deal with – especially if you want to create your guest posts in a decent time frame, don’t you think?

Did you forget this important habit?

Planner with clock

When you aren’t doing any preparation for your guest posts in advance, you are clearly weakening your possibilities of writing your next masterpiece in a decent time.

The planning should be a daily habit and as a result of this action, you should have a rough outline of your guest post ready – before you hit the bed.

When you fail to do this small activity (which takes 15-20 minutes at the most), your writing focus weakens. It’s no wonder that your mind is wandering around when instead you should be banging your keyboard with words and sentences.

Without any structure and a plan to follow, you have “all the options open” when you start your writing work. This increases the likelihood of lacking the focus and wasting your time.

What about your writing environment then? Is it noisy? Do you get interrupted a lot?

If you answered “yes” to either one of those questions, then that is yet another reason to put you off track and cause you to lose valuable time.

No matter if you are ready to do your writing – the environment should be right as well. Otherwise you are not able to concentrate on your work, which may lead to frustration, self-blame and sometimes even anger.

Get your next guest post done without time waste

To get that next guest post done without any delays and time wasting, check out this advice that I’m about to tell you.

First and foremost, get mentally ready for the writing event. If you know that some additional research is required, then prepare for it. This sets your expectations right away and you don’t feel like blaming yourself, if you didn’t produce that guest post in a decent time.

Then, set all your working equipment up and get it ready for your writing. Make sure that your computer is waiting for you on your desk, as well as getting your other material (for example books, notepad, pens …) you might need and making sure it is also available during your writing time.

Next, do some planning in advance.

This planning comes in two parts. First, know what posts you want to write on a weekly basis. Have some idea what posts you will write, when you will write them and put those tasks into your task list for the coming week.

Second, the night before the actual writing, create a rough outline of your post – before going to bed. This puts the topic and other ideas into your subconscious as your mind starts to process them further.

As a result of this process, you might get some new insights and ideas for your posts – something you didn’t realize before.

Lastly, if you think that you environment is “haunting” you, then take appropriate steps to fix this. Isolate yourself physically if need be for the writing time. This improves your writing focus and eliminates the time wasted.

Step-by-step plan for creating your next guest post fast

1. Brainstorm on the go

Do you know how I get my best post ideas? While I’m on the go!

Nope, I don’t stare my computer screen and try to figure out what to write. Instead, I shutdown my laptop and do something completely different than work related stuff. This keeps my brain working in the background and I get ideas about what to write about – all the time.

Brainstorm on the go and have note taking equipment with you, so that you can capture your ideas as soon as you get them. Then, create an account in any cloud-based services (Google Docs, EverNote …) and maintain a guest post idea list there.

2. Use a system

To speed things up, I recommend that you follow a system to write your guest posts.

I’m using the Write Like Freddy (WLF) approach, where every post follows this simple structure:

  • Hook
  • Problem
  • Root of the problem
  • Solution
  • Implementing the solution
  • Call-to-action
  • Byline

In fact, I have taken this idea a bit further and I created a WLF template (which I have stored on Google Docs) which I use for my posts. This helps me to structure and outline my posts faster.

If you want to learn more about this system, check out Danny’s post on CopyBlogger for more information.

3. Have a weekly plan.

I plan my coming week in advance.

Every Sunday I decide the guest posts I’m going to write about the next week. This helps me to mentally prepare for the topics in advance.

4. Outline the post

Once I have decided the topics to write about with a solid system, I outline my posts the night before the actual writing day.

I take my WLF template I mentioned in step 3 and start filling in the blanks: I create my hook, problem description, root cause and solution in advance, so that it’s easier for me get started with the actual writing part.

This simple activity takes 20 minutes at the most, but helps me a lot the next morning when I start to write my guest posts.

5. Set your mindset right and prepare to investigate

Sometimes it’s not possible to finish a post in a short time frame. I just accept the fact that some posts take longer to write, while others are quicker ones to create.

You may need to investigate your topic further and this is just the part of the writing process. If you are not sure about the facts you are writing about, it’s your responsibility to make sure to check them before going live with the post.

6. Make sure the environment is ready for you

Make sure that the environment is ready when you write.

If your home environment is noisy, wake up a bit earlier so that you can write without interruptions (I wake up around 05.30 every morning).

You can also decide to isolate yourself temporarily by writing in a public library, coffee shop or outside in the nature.

Some get work done in solitude, while others are more productive in a noisy environment. You’ll just have to test things and see which environment is perfect for you.

7. Work with a timer

To improve your writing focus even further, I recommend using a timer.

I’m using an application called Cool Timer (for PC), but there are other (online) alternatives available as well.

A timer gives you an extra focus to your writing. It’s like setting a mini-deadline for your task, which you are trying to complete in a given time frame.

Conclusion

There are many obstacles on your path when you want to become a faster writer. However, with some preparation you can improve your performance a lot.

Just make sure that you understand that not all the guest posts are created equal. For some posts it takes hours and hours to finish it, while on others you can create in less than an hour.

However, with these steps I mentioned above, you should be able to create your posts faster than before.

Finally, realize that this information can be used for regular posts as well. I just wanted to reveal how I have been able to write over 40 guest posts already this year, so that’s why the focus was on guest posting.

Over to you

What are your tips for writing posts faster? Do you follow a system when you create a guest post?

Share your experiences and comments on the comment area.

And if you found this post useful, please share it in your social circle. I’d appreciate that; thank you!

Guest Blogging ChampionTimo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to improve your blogging productivity, grab his free e-book, 61 Ways for Supercharging Blogging Productivity.

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Comments

  1. Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says

    Very interesting post indeed, Jane, especially since it goes so well hand in hand with this post I wrote recently:

    http://weblogbetter.com/2012/10/01/5-productivity-tips-every-writer-should-implement-one/

    I never had the problem of sitting stuck when I write a guest post though, as usually before I pitch a host for my post, I have already done the thorough research and outline of the post. It hasn’t happened yet, but I figured that should they not approve of the article then I am going to write it for my own sites anyway, so doing the prep work is never for nothing.

    II do plan on focusing a huge portion of my time from now on just on guest blogging, so these will most definitely come in very handy.

    Again, thanks a million!

    • says

      Hi Ruan!

      Thank you :)

      Just wondering … how do you handle the situation, when you submit a post and you don’t hear anything back? In my case, I have several posts submitted to big blogs and I’m not getting any answers back?

      Cheers,
      Timo

  2. says

    I don’t think so it will happen with them who all are expert in writing because they know very well how they should manage their time with their talent.

  3. Aditya says

    Planning should be there before getting on anything as it helps to maintain the balance between your current post and the next post you are going to write.If a person has no planning about the time and the work he is going to do it may prove bit difficult to carry on things with ease.

    • says

      Hi Aditya!

      Yes, planning is very important.

      I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my pace either, if I wasn’t planning my stuff in advance.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  4. says

    Hi TimoKiander ,

    Excellent tips. I have been using guest posts for marketing and I have seen that it is taking a lot of time for me to write a guest post. I do write a post, Blog owners always takes out few problems in it, then I have to edit the post and it takes a lot of time. I guess i need to work on your methods.

    Thank you for your post.

    Mike

    • says

      Hi Mike!

      Thank you :)

      With the current pace, I’m writing at least 3 posts per week (sometimes even more).

      So sure, please go ahead and give my strategy a try and let me know if it helped you.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  5. Junniper Madison says

    I have had quite a lot of blank screen moments when I want to post something on my blog. Sometimes the ideas about what to write lies within the things around us. For instance friends, the environment and so on.

    • says

      Hi Junniper!

      Yes, I get majority of my ideas when I’m doing something else than being on my computer. I think that when I’m doing something physical activity (for e.g. exercising), that’s when I’m getting my best ideas.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  6. Bhushan says

    Hello there,
    I think that Environment is the main factor to handle for a good post which are catching and eye attractive.
    Time management also effect here so one should be punctuate.
    I am on the way to write and work myself so this post will help me in my future.
    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Bhushan!

      That’s great to hear :)

      The environment is an important factor – especially when it comes to focusing.

      I like to do my writing in a quiet environment – before the rest of my family wakes up.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  7. says

    So far i havent used any particular system
    But I do use timer to count how much time Im taking on each post. But I have never done any thing to reduce it
    I will follow these tips

    • says

      Hi Reeja!

      I’m saying that having a system has helped me tremendously. This way I have a certain structure to follow and I’m able to provide valuable content for the readers.

      Although one might think that having a system is restricting, in my case I haven’t found that. In fact, it’s liberating, since I’m focusing on stuff that work.

      Cheers,
      Timo

      • says

        Yes Timo
        Following a system adds value but it is some what difficult

        • says

          Hi Reeja!

          I guess it depends on the system.

          Especially if the system is something you create, you can define how it looks and feels – and tweak it if necessary.

          Cheers,
          Timo

  8. Trevor says

    Well said, Timo!

    Preparing to write is the most important step to success.

    I schedule blocks of time (30-60 minutes) to improve productivity by ignoring potential interruptions.

    This month I created a challenge for myself: write something every day. Topics vary, but my intent is to practice writing without self editing in an attempt to develop better habits on creating my first draft. Once the pen starts, I keep writing, focusing on keeping words flowing rather than creating a final draft of a masterpiece. That’s what editing is for!

    • says

      Hi Trevor!

      Great tips, thank you :)

      Yes, planning plays a big part in writing. Also, I find myself guilty of editing the post while I write it, but I’m trying to get change my habits :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  9. Robert Koenig says

    Great advice but mental preparation before writing is the hardest! I avoid the mental preparation which means I end up delaying the delay (if that makes any sense).

    • says

      Hi Robert!

      I guess that the way I mentally prepare for the post is to outline them in advance. That way it’s easier for me to start writing, because the topic is somewhat familiar with me.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  10. Abdullah Khan says

    Guest post is very important for all blogs and all online business, I love this article TimoKiander
    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Abdullah!

      Yes, I have been doing a lot of guest posting and current I have 60+ guest posts published around the web.

      It’s the one method I rely on when building my e-mail list and my audience.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  11. says

    Very thoughtful post Timo,
    I also think It’s time waisting when writing and editing at the same time, It’s better to finish writing the rubish, then come back and edit latter.
    I believe in every other tips you’ve outlined here too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Hi Theodore!

      I definitely agree with you. In fact, I have been trying to get away of this nasty habit myself. So instead of editing as I write, I edit and proofread the post on a different day than when I write it.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  12. Prakash says

    For writing a guest post we must already have an idea in our mind and a complete knowledge of that topic. Wasting time in doing some research and if we haven’t any idea about what to write then it will take a lot of time to complete the guest post.
    Nice post….Really like it…..

    • says

      Hi Prakash!

      I agree. It helps a lot when you know what to write about. This way you can get started with your writing right away.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  13. Praveen Soni says

    Hello Timo Kiander,
    You are right that Guest Post Took So Long To Write Because we want unique guest post so for this we have to search it out. For collecting points we have to spend time so Guest post took so long to write.
    Nice sharing mate :)

    • says

      Hi Praveen!

      Thank you for your comments. I’m happy to hear that you found the post valuable.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  14. says

    ” I created a WLF template” I also have a template, it has made a huge difference and it keeps me focused on the one article at a time.

    I can really only write when I have complete quiet, I am too easily distracted other wise!

    • says

      Hi Lori!

      Yes, me too!

      I need silence to focus on my writing. Also, templates are a great way of improving your workflow. That way you have a standard way of doing things.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  15. says

    Hey Jane,
    These are a great pointers. I inherently follow some of the tips mentioned in this post such as keeping a timer, brainstorming while writing, planning the manner in which the post should shape up and these tricks work excellently for me. I will try to incorporate other tips which you have mentioned to enhance my productivity. Thanks for the share.

    • says

      Hi Aayna!

      Great to hear this post was valuable to you!

      Just implement the tips gradually and see if they work for you as is – or adjust them according to your own needs.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  16. jawad zaib says

    Great points you mentioned above i am totally agree with this Jane, some times my post took me more time than i expect it to be complete it in my expected time, next time writing a guest post i will keep these points in my mind thanks for this great post and keep up the good work…

    • says

      Hi Jawad!

      That’s great to hear :) Put these tips into a test drive and let us know if they worked out or not!

      Cheers,
      Timo

  17. says

    good post. And actually a lot of these points I use in just getting my own weekly blog posts out; the planning ahead, the thinking, while doing other stuff, the most mundane, laundry etc.

    • says

      Hi Sandra!

      Yes, these same tips work for your own blog posting too.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  18. says

    These points would really help to write fast ! Keep up the work!

    • says

      Hi Parigyan!

      Thank you for your comments!

      Yes, they do work for me, although I’m always looking new ways to improve my writing speed.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  19. says

    What a complete system to get your Guest post written to the max, without wasting too much time!

    I don’t usually have a problem with coming up to write something, but I always try to be as unique as possible and ask the blogger on “what” he is looking for.

    Thanks Timo for the article!

    • says

      Hi Samuel!

      Thank you for your comments! Now, put the system to test drive and tweak it for your personal needs :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  20. Olga says

    Hello!
    That’s a very useful and informative post. People tend to forget that planning (no matter to what it relates) is vital. Not only does it increase our productivity but it also boosts the quality of our writing. Guest posting is nowadays a great solution and thus it should be done in the best way possible.
    Best regards!

    • says

      Hello Olga!

      You are absolutely right!

      Without planning, I wouldn’t be able to produce the amount of posts I’m producing right now.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  21. Richa Shrivastava says

    Guest post really takes time, more than what we put in writing post of our own blog. Actually the fear of getting rejected force us to take time to write things lucrative and also in well format. And it is worth to do as you not only get the backlink from it but also the popularity which you look for.

    • says

      Hi Richa!

      Yes, guest posting should be done because of backlinks.

      It should be done to expand the visibility of your blog, your expertise and building relationships with the author and others.

      Eventually, guest posting is a great way to build your e-mail list too.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  22. Nancy says

    Guest post really takes time, more than what we put in writing post of our own blog. Actually the fear of getting rejected force us to take time to write things lucrative and also in well format

    • says

      Hi Nancy!

      You’ll just have to start out by submitting your posts to smaller blogs – and then move to bigger ones.

      This way you are getting more confidence when you start and you’ll realize that you can actually do it.

      Once you get past the fear, writing a guest post becomes easier :)

      Cheers,
      Timo

  23. Emilia says

    It’s really important to situate a nook that is completely conducive to writing and doing research, this way we can successfully veer ourselves away from distractions. A well-founded post is often based on research so it would also be best to come prepared before working on a draft. Thanks for these great tips!

    • says

      Hi Emilia!

      Preparation part is important – I agree. Also, doing a proper research on a topic is a foundation for a good post (whether it’s a guest post of a post for your own blog).

      Cheers,
      Timo

  24. Sarah Park says

    Writing a high-quality guest post is not easy as it seems to be. Preparation and good research are very essential.

    • says

      Hi Sarah!

      I agree … it takes time to write a quality post.

      Then again, it get easier the more you keep writing.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  25. Disha says

    Hi Jane,
    Great advice for Writing as long time. I’m favor of “Use a system” actually its a big reality proper & right systerm always work better & well.

    • says

      Hi Disha!

      Yes, I write my posts based on a system. Some parts of it are borrowed, some parts of it are created myself.

      Anyway, with a proper system you can create quality content in a fast manner.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  26. says

    Creating and following a plan that one can strictly follow is indeed very necessary. Also the approach should be clear. I really liked the WLF approach you mentioned here. Thanks for all the nice tips.

    • says

      Hi Mahaveer!

      You are welcome :)

      Yes, having the plan and the system in place helps you to write posts faster and easier.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  27. says

    Hey jane,
    Excellent post. I think if we write a good post and then make changes according to the person who is going to do guest post then we can make it worthy !

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Mike!

      Sure!

      And also, figuring out in advance what posts are more likely to perform better before you write them, by looking at the popular posts on the target blog.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  28. says

    Very helpful tips, Timo. But the hardest tip for me is to write the guest post within time limits. :-)
    But now onwards, I will try to work with a timer.

    Thanks, Timo.

    • says

      Hi Veer!

      Sure, timer has the ability to improve your focus when writing. Naturally, if you are more comfortable to work without one, then that’s fine too.

      I have noticed that when I write against the timer, I become more focused in what I do.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  29. Jessica says

    Timo, I can totally relate to this post! How often has this happened to me. I had not heard of the WLF approach before but I really like it and I think it will help me to focus better in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Jessica!

      That’s great to hear!

      Yes, I love the WLF and it works. I’m writing at least guest posts per week using the system.

      Cheers,
      TImo

  30. says

    Hi Timo.

    Well before writing the guest post it is necessary to find the best topics which the blog owners which accept in a realtime and also finding the best time to submit it.

    Usually writing a guest post takes more than a post to our blog as we are writing for other blog and it is necessary to provide quality to them if only it will be accepted. However i’ve learned some new tips for providing guest post.
    thanks

    • says

      Hi Rajkumar!

      It’s true: You should do proper research, so that you get best results back.

      At the same time I have noticed that guest posting is actually faster than posting to my own blog.

      I don’t have to worry about SEO, adding images, tagging or anything like that when I write a guest post.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  31. says

    Very neatly and clearly explained post related to guest post. I am newbie blogger and found this post while searching linked to guest post. Just now I started to write guest post for other blogs of same niche. I learned a lot here and understand that the proper planning with timer would yield good result. Thanks for sharing this beneficial information Timo, keep writing for newbies.

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