How to Write Blog Posts Faster: Use Stories, Article Templates and Ingredients
Rocket Media’s designers, developers and our CEO all have one thing in common: It takes them forever to write a blog post.
And because of time constraints, that often discourages them from contributing to our blog.
That’s not a knock against them, though. It’s not their job to write.
But we want everyone here to share their ideas with the interwebz community and boldly solve problems that no one has solved before (at least competently).
Maybe you also work at a company where you blog to get more traffic to your website.
Maybe you’re a writer that’s struggling to get others in your company to write blog posts.
Maybe you’re the one struggling to write.
Whatever your circumstances, I want to help.
In this article, I’ll give you resources that will help you and others quickly write quality blog posts. When you finish reading you will be able to:
- Organize your ideas and main points with simple fill-in-the-blank story formulas (it’s not what you think)
- Structure the blog post with an article template
- Write each part of the blog like a pro
- Edit the article with ease
We’ll give you all that in 5 steps.
Step 1: Organize your thoughts using a story formula
Before anyone starts writing a blog post they must know 3 things:
- What the topic/idea is
- Who the article is meant for (aka, the intended audience)
- Why the reader should care about your topic/idea
The best way to organize your thoughts with those 3 things is with a simple fill-in-the-blank story formula:
“I am going go (action verb) (target audience) to (article topic) so that (problem solved/benefit gained.)”
Example: “I am going to teach (action verb) non-writers (audience) to write blog articles faster using story formats, templates and ingredients (article topic) so that they can quickly contribute to their company’s blog with less stress (problem solved/benefit gained).”
To fill in each part of the story formula, answer these 3 questions.
Question 1: What do you want to write about? Narrow the topic and be specific.
Usually your topic will be related to something you’re passionate about that is both:
- Related to your business
- Helps solve your reader’s problem.
Question 2: Who are you writing for?
Think about your intended audience. What are their needs and problems? What jargon or ideas do they not understand that you need to spell out?
Question 3: Why does your target audience care about your article?
Does your article solve a problem of theirs? What benefit do they get from reading your article? Before jumping into writing your article, imagine your reader is asking, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM).
Answer that question, and you’ll see if your blog is even worth writing. Or if you need to take a different angle.
Step 2: Brainstorm your main points with story formula #2
It’s easy for non-writers and writers alike to stray from the original topic while writing. So instead of just outlining your main points, use this second story formula:
“In order for (audience) to understand (blog topic) and (gain the benefit/solve the problem) they must know (list your main points).”
Example: “In order for homeowners shopping for a water heater to understand the difference between a tank water heater and a tankless water heater they must know:
- The physical differences between the two water heater types
- The pros and cons of each water heater type
- The general cost of each water heater type
- How to choose one water heater type over the other (mainly depends on price and location)
- How to find an installer to properly install either for them (link them to the contact page)”
You’ll do your research here if you’re unfamiliar with the topic and are not sure what your main points should be.
This story format helps you link what you want to talk about with how it specifically helps your target audience.
It also forces you to ask yourself, “What do my readers already understand and what do they need me to explain to them?”
Step 3: Structure the blog post with an article template
Now that you’ve got your main points, how do you organize them all?
All articles usually follow this structure:
- Headline—Gets the reader’s attention.
- Introduction—Provides context, describes problem and offers a solution.
- Body—The meat of the article that explains your solution and divides your main points by subheads.
- Conclusion—Summarizes the article and gives a call to action.
Sounds simple. But organizing the body part is where things get tricky. That’s where article templates come in.
These are different structures/skeletons that give the article a predictable format to speed up the blog writing process.
Here are 12 article templates from Neil Patel at Quicksprout that give you several structures to organize your article’s main points:
- Point-illustration explanation
- Thought leadership
- Inverted pyramid
- Link post
- Book review
- Product review
- How to
- Case study
- Media post
If your article idea does not seem to fit a template, that’s fine. These are tools, not rules.
You may end up creating your own template that works for you.
Step 4: Add meat to the skeleton with blog post ingredients
OK, so now you have your basic thoughts and a template/skeleton to organize them.
Now it’s time to add some meat to the bones of that template by actually writing your blog post. What better to do that with than with ingredients.
To learn the nitty gritty of writing blog posts, explore Copyblogger’s 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs.
Here they are in all their glory. (Note: I would suggest reading these articles only as you need them so you don’t get overwhelmed. For instance, if you’re struggling to open your blog, read the “open with a bang” article.)
- Craft a magnetic headline.
- Open with a bang.
- Use persuasive words.
- Write damn good sentences.
- Insert killer bullet points.
- Create exquisite subheads.
- Tell a seductive story.
- Keep attention with internal cliffhangers.
- Choose an arresting image.
- Close with style.
- Be authentic.
Step 5: Sculpt the blog post with efficient editing
Once you’ve written your blog, cut off unneeded flab to sculpt a tighter, stronger blog post.
Here are editing resources/tools that help you do that:
- Hemingway app—Visually shows you long sentences, passive voice, adverbs.
- Paramedic method—Gives you quick advice for stronger writing.
- Thesaurus—Empowers you to find stronger verbs.
- Rhyme zone—Helps you write with bite.
Get your 5-step blog post writing template
I know I’ve conveyed a lot here. So I’ve put everything summarized into a Google Doc so you can use quickly organize every blog post you or a co-worker writes.
Here is your 5-step blog post writing template.
Is there anything I’ve missed from this guide you think I should add? What are some other ways you can get others in your company to contribute to the blog?
Let me know by giving us a shout on Facebook.