How to Write FAST: Killer Content In 3 Easy Steps

how to write fasterYou know “content is king”…

… and to skyrocket your traffic, you must continuously produce new, interesting and – above all – USEFUL content for your readers.

But it’s never that easy.

Posts drag on with no real focus… distractions eat away at your productivity… and suddenly your travel blog isn’t growing half as fast as you’d like it to.

“Fast” is the key here. The truth is, you should be producing twice as much content as you are now – in the same amount of time and of equal or higher quality.

Let Me Show You How

It began during one of my guest post frenzies. I was struggling to write four posts a day and soon realized I needed to step it up.

So I experimented with a few writing techniques… mixed and matched them together until I found something that worked.

And guess what?

This Writing Technique Literally Doubled My Productivity

While it used to take me all day to publish four posts, now I was finishing them by lunchtime. Suddenly, I had four extra hours each day to focus on other things… like taking on other jobs, working on my blog and (of course) publishing more content.

The following system WORKS… so long as you actually DO it.

Here’s how it works:

Step #1. Organise Your Writing Schedule

There are a million productivity tools out there… but many take too long to set up and ultimately waste more time than they save.

That’s why I use this free desktop organizer. It takes a minute to set up and is brain-dead simple to use.

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like:

I create folders on the left hand side. You could create one folder for each website you’re working on, then create sub folders such as “Writing,” “Marketing” and Web Design.”

Then under the “Writing” subfolder, write down the article headlines you’re going to write for the day. This accomplishes two things:

  1. It gets your ideas out of your head. This leads to increased clarity and focus, two things which greatly improve your writing speed.
  2. It makes you accountable. Seeing your “To Dos” listed there – with a due date of TODAY – helps keep you on track. You’re less likely to get distracted by other tasks.

Step #2. Use the (10 + 2) *5 technique

I first read about the (10 + 2) *5 technique on 43 Folders.

In a nutshell you:

  • Write for ten minutes straight (no interruptions)
  • Take a break for two.
  • Repeat five times.

This results in five intense focus sessions of writing in each hour. And the two minutes of rest lets you purposefully focus on something else (though I usually just stare at the wall).

Wanna check Facebook? Stretch? Harass your cat? Go for it… but for only two minutes. Then get back to writing.

And during these focus periods, don’t worry about editing. Just get your thoughts on paper. Then move on to…

Step #3. Edit

After four or five ten minute sessions you should have a reasonably complete 600 – 800 word post. But it’s still flabby… so it’s time to “trim the fat.”

In other words: edit.

Here are 15 words you should cut:

  1. That
  2. Quite
  3. Perhaps
  4. The
  5. Just
  6. Really
  7. Basically
  8. Slightly
  9. Somewhat
  10. Arguably
  11. Very
  12. Extremely
  13. Whatsoever
  14. Well
  15. Also

Just by focusing on these 15 words, your writing will be leaner.

What You Need to Do Next

  1. Create a list of writing assignments. Then use the (10 + 2) *5 technique to write the post in under an hour. Once you’ve written the post, remove as many of those 15 words as possible.
  2. Leave a comment below with your own “writing hacks.” How do you write better/faster? What struggles have you had?
  3. Share this post. Know other writers who could benefit? Let ‘em know about it!
About adamcosta

Adam Costa is co-founder and Editor in Chief of both Trekity.com and TravelBloggerAcademy. He currently lives... um... somewhere.

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Comments

  1. You are missing the screenshot for the desktop organizer. I downloaded it and have started to use it but still don’t fully grasp how useful it could be. Can you go more in-depth or point me to a good tutorial?

    I forgot where but I used to do three 20 minute sessions with a 4 minute break.

    I like your 10 minute strategy better. It is like high intensity interval writing. I charge ahead at full speed for 10 minutes than jog for two. It has really helped me focus my energy into what I am doing IN THE MOMENT and eliminate distractions.

    The list of edit words are sold too. It is helpful for people who need to translate their spoken lecture into a concise and fluid article.

    • Hi Zach,

      Thanks for pointing that out – I’ve added the screenshot above.

      As you can see, it’s a very simple tool (which is why it works) that lets you organize your tasks for the day.

      In the screenshot, I’ve got one for folder for each website: TravelBloggerAcademy.com and Trekity.com. Then, under each folder I have a list of “To Dos” which are the posts I need to write today.

      I like this tool because it keeps me from getting distracted. At any point during the day I can review my list and see exactly what needs to get done TODAY.

      Then I go do it ;)

      If you have further questions, let me know. And by the way, what type of content would you like to see more of here at TBA?

  2. fruit mocking party says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  3. Really great tips – you are too right about editing out those words. May I add ‘So’ and ‘Then’ to the list? I remember being told NEVER to start a new sentence with ‘then’. Cos there’s ALWAYS a better word :) What I do from time to time, iis just WRITE, pen on paper, don’t let the pen stop. I’m always really surprised at how much I’ve written, and how much good content there is to edit. It’s like I’ve been in a trance! I’m looking forward to using the (10 + 2) * 5 technique. Nice!
    Katie.

    • Hi Katie,

      Nice additions – however, I learned as a copywriter the need to keep things moving. So using effective transitions keep your reader engaged ;)

      While it’s not “proper” or even “powerful” writing, transitions personalize your writing.

      Eugene Schwartz (one of the world’s best copywriter) swears by the use of “If/Then” as a logical construct. So you can say something like “If you’re tired of reading about the same five things to do in London, then this post will be a revelation.”

      The If/Then construct is a logical argument, which is very easy for readers to follow. So it works ;)

      However, you are correct that starting a sentence with “Then” is usually not using this technique – which makes it sound basic, flabby and ineffective.

      Keep the comments coming!

      Cheers,

      Adam

  4. JoAnn Donahue says:

    Hello Adam,
    Helpful post indeed! The free desktop organizer is intriguing to say the least.
    I use a Mac and went searching and not sure which would be my best choice?
    Any insight here?
    Thank You!
    JoAnn

    • Hi JoAnn,

      Thanks for stopping by. An online tool which works pretty well is called Simpleology. Skip all the training stuff and just use it as a planner (that’s what I do).

      simpleology.com

      Hope this helps!

      By the way, what type of content would you like to see more of here?

  5. Definitely need to shorten the time I take writing! This looks like an idea that is easy to do and implement. Will definitely give it a try. My problem is I make a list of topics and then decide they aren’t interesting. Probably need to stop second guessing myself and just get it done!

  6. Thank your this information particularly the words to cut. I have a habit of using many of them and have been removing these words after I proof read. Working on disciplining myself to write without using these words. Proof reading really helps I do not publish without doing so.

  7. I would be doing a great job of writing after gleaning all these tips- the only problem? Your articles keep me addicted to the internet!

  8. Nice advice!
    However, I don’t think that it works for any type of blog. I never finish a blog post in just an hour or so. I usually need at lest 3h to finish a blog post. I include a lot of photos and a lot of background information about the places I visited, so while writing I need to do a lot of research as well.

  9. Thank you so much for this post! Good tips and a good list of “words to go”. “Just” is a word, I try to avoid again and again. For one, I once read, that women use “just” to sort of “excuse” themselves to be there and also, it sounds like a filler! However as the commenter before me said – in my new blogging experience-. I am a bit between posting (or wanting to) more pictures and background information spending almost 3 hrs today!

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