This post originally appears on RenegadeCommerce.com.
One question I’ve been asked a lot lately is how to create content. This is mainly because I preach content marketing a lot (yes, Its Royal Majesty, Content remains king), and content is a huge part of the social selling strategy I teach (in my new book and in the #SSFreeTraining).
As the title says, I want to give you a simple method/formula for creating quality content every time you need it. And guess what, you’ll be creating it in 20 minutes or less (assuming it’s 500 words).
How To Write a 500-Word Article Under 20 Minutes
Yes, that is very possible. You can really craft quality content of high standard in less than 20 minutes. This is something I learned and put into practice, and it works well. In fact, this article is almost a product of it (‘almost’ because I had to stop half-way to attend to other things).
Note however: The kind of writing I’m trying to teach here is not the kind that requires research; it’s either your research has already been done, or your proposed topic is one in your area of expertise for which you need not much research.
Writing could be fun and enjoyable. Staring at a blank sheet in a bid to write, however, could be the hardest hurdle to cross. The latter should never be the position.
If finding a topic is no longer an issue, but to settle down to write, or maybe to do a lot of client work in limited time, then I think this article is for you.
No matter how hard it might seem, and no matter how much you might believe in writer’s block, I want to tell you that any writing can always get done, and done fast – without sacrificing quality for speed.
I want you to be able to write so much content in short time (especially when you have to) without getting frustrated, but with a lot of energy and excitement instead.
Here’s how to write a 500-word article (high-quality article) in under 20 minutes:
The 4 “5 Minutes”
I will outline the steps to take in writing an article within 20 minutes by categorizing them into four ‘5 minutes’. But before I go ahead, you must know that just like any other art, writing takes a lot of practice to achieve perfection.
For a start, I’d like you to first practice the lessons in this article before you begin to use them in your real work. I’d advice you just choose any random topic you can think of, but know a bit about; it doesn’t matter what your topic is.
Now that you’ve chosen a random topic, follow along:
First ‘5 Minutes’
Firstly, think about your chosen topic; think of everything you could possibly think about it. Now, out of those things you’ve thought about, think again about those things you’d love to say about this topic. Whatever comes up doesn’t matter; you are just mining your mind for ideas. Finally (in this first step), make a list of the ideas that come up.
[Edit] For example, if I want to write on “The Beauty of Having a Baby”, after thinking so much about having a baby (especially now that I just had one), I might come up with a list like:
- Babies make you happy
- Babies are lovely to carry
Second ‘5 Minutes’
Start asking yourself questions from your listed ideas.
Turning your ideas into questions will make you answer almost without giving it a thought; it is always easier to answer a question than to answer a blank page. Ask few questions and write out your answers.
For example, if you were to write about social media marketing, you might ask questions like ‘How can Social Media aid marketing?’, or ‘How effectively can one’s social media activities influence his marketing?’ you can probably answer these without thinking.
[Edit] From my baby example, it’s easy to ask – and answer:
- how do babies make you happy?
- what makes babies lovely to carry?/why are babies lovely to carry?
Third ‘5 Minutes’
Set a timer and start writing (start writing the answers to the questions formed earlier).
Do nothing but write.
If you’ve spent the past 10 minutes effectively, then doing the main writing at this stage should be a lot easier. Do not stop or slow down, and do not allow your brain to edit as you go.
Turn off that self-editor in you, just as you don’t edit when speaking. This will help you write faster and better.
The last ‘5 Minutes’
Spend the last five minutes cleaning your copy. Go back over everything you wrote, editing as you go.
The good part of this whole process is that if you did a great job brainstorming and turning your ideas into questions, your writing would be seamless. You’ll then need less editing time than you would normally need for the same word count.
There you have it: exactly how to write a 500-word article in under 20 minutes. Now go ahead and try it, and let’s see how it goes. And do not forget; practice makes perfect! I mean, keep practicing till you get very good at this skill.
It will change your marketing. It will change your business. It will change your life!
P.S: What do you think about this post? Is it helpful? Is it something you’d try? Let me know in the comments.
If you’ve ever written so much in less than 20 minutes, kindly share your experience with me – and other readers – in the comments also. And finally, do not forget to share too; sharing is caring 🙂