Bloggers August 8, 2020

How long does it take you to write a post?

Robbie Bouschery @RBouschery

Hey IH!
I'm trying to pick up writing and would love to learn a bit about your process and best practices.

  • How long does it usually take you to write a blog post?

  • Do you write it all down in one "session"?

  • Do you structure writing into distinct phases (i.e. research / structuring / writing / editing) ?

Thanks in advance for sharing some of your experience!

  1. 3

    Hey Robbie,

    I tried to answer this question recently, so I measured the time it took me to write my 15 last blog posts! ⏳

    It takes me approx 1 hour to write 500 words, +30 min for review and fine tuning.

    My process is the following one:

    • I capture all my ideas in a list (60+ and growing)
    • Before to start, I write the main message I want to share and the key ideas
    • I write the content in a row (1 hour or 2 hours session)
    • I use Grammarly and Hemingway app, I'm not a native English speaker so it helps to figure out the mistakes
    • I directly publish it (to have it indexed as soon as possible)
    • I sleep on it
    • The day after, I read it out loud, and I fine tune for 30 min
    • Then I start to promote it (Twitter, syndication on other platform, etc)

    For instance, I just published this post on how to become a lead developer. It took me almost 2 hours, still a bit of fine tuning to do, so 2h30 for 850 words.

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing your process!

  2. 3

    I write 5-15 blog posts per month and edit many more. Most are 1500+ word, in-depth, technical content, so my numbers might be higher than some:

    • It takes me 4-12 hours to write, edit, and prepare a blog post for publication. I usually generate a unique image too.
    • Almost always no. I work in 2-4 hour "blocks" so it's rare that I get a whole one done in one sitting.
    • My phases are: research, outline, write, create images/screenshots, edit, publish.
    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing - is writing one of your main tasks or do you do this on the side?

      1. 2

        I do it full-time as the founder at draft.dev

  3. 2

    It depends on what type of post I'm writing.

    Am I writing a staple post (very broad topic, 1,000+ words). 2-3 hours

    Or am I writing a response post (very specific question, 300-500 words). 45min - 1hour

    I made those terms up for myself (staple posts & response posts)

    it doesn't take me too long, because I've had years of experience about my topic. And with that experience, I can already make assumptions on how users would like the blog to be structured.

    1. 1

      I guess that's a very important factor - writing about something you have a lot of experience in already vs. something you need to research in depth before writing.
      Thanks for sharing!

  4. 2

    For me, It is a weird process. I give myself time of 2-3 weeks to write a blog post but then I slouch so much that when the date of publishing has less than a week left, I finish up the whole article in 2-3 days!

    This is not a good practise but works for me.

    1. 1

      When you say date of publishing - is that a boundary/goal you set yourself?

      1. 2

        Sort of boundary, yes. I tell myself that I am not supposed to delay it further than that.

  5. 2

    I think you should also look at: "are you a perfectionist or not?" because sometimes that's what's holding people back from writing faster. Quality is subjective, so if you let yourself go, you can write something even in an hour or so :)

    For me it takes 1-3 days with around 1-2 hours spend (research, revision and drafts). As I started writing longer essays (3-5k)

  6. 2

    It can take me 3-5 days to write a 1000+ blog post, as I don't like to write all in one go. I have to write for a block of time, leave it alone for a while, and then come back to it with some more clarity. I've always been like that with all of my writing.

    Here is my process:

    • I keep a Trello board with a backlog of topics that I constantly add to or scrap
    • For topics that make the cut, I move them into a column where I then add a checklist of things to do for each post (draft, proofread, featured image, seo, schedule, and promotion)
    • I then plan out a calendar for when they will be posted (more feedback from @karlhughes)
    • They then get added to separate columns as "In Progress", "Review & Schedule" then "Publish & Promote"

    I always post on LinkedIn and Twitter, but then based on the topic I decide whether it will be posted on other platforms like IH and Dev.to.

    1. 1

      I love the idea of putting writing into a structured (and repeatable) process. I think I might try adapting something like this for myself.

      Sidenote - Are you 100% happy with Trello to do this or do you see this having potential for a dedicated "Writing Planning" tool?

      1. 2

        So far Trello is working really well for me on the writing front, but I also use Trello for so many other jobs and tasks. One of the best parts is assigning due dates to your posts and turning on calendar view to see when you are releasing posts and can adjust as needed.

        I don’t really know of any other writing tools, but I do use Grammarly to draft and edit all of my content for clarity, readability, etc. Grammarly is one of my must haves for business in general.

  7. 2

    I take about 2 hours to write a 1,000 word-article (including editing).

    For articles above 1,500 to 2,000 words, I usually take two sessions to complete it.

    I do keyword research prior to writing, and I have a decent hitlist. Any time I come across an uncommon topic or a question related to my niche, I'd write it down.

    1. 1

      Do you structure your notes in any way? / What tools do you use?

      1. 2

        Microsoft Word (in no particular order), and I'll strikethrough the topics that I've written.

  8. 2

    My posts are aroung 500-1000 words. I usually write the first draft in one sitting that takes an hour or so. Then I revise over a few more shorter sittings.

  9. 2

    I hope someday I can hire a ghost writer for my blog. I want to share my ideas with the world, but I can easily sink 15 hours into a small mediocre blog post. Writing is just not something I’m good/quick at.

    1. 1

      You should check out draft.dev from fellow Indie Hacker @karlhughes

      1. 1

        Thanks for the shout-out!

        My service is definitely a good option for blogs aimed at software engineers and managers. If you want to hire a writer for less technical writing, I hear good things about AudienceOps.

        You could also find a freelancer on Upwork, but either way, plan to invest some serious time writing a good content brief. Transferring your goals to a writer unfamiliar with your company is the hardest part.

    2. 1

      Interesting - would you share your notes then with the ghostwriter or just let them come up with everything from scratch?

      From what I've heard from others it seems many compare writing to building muscle. You just have to do it to become better at it, there's rarely a shortcut.

      1. 2

        This is more an idea in my head. But I hope I could Zoom with them for an hour and they could turn my thoughts into a well written post.

  10. 2

    Depends what the blog is about I guess.

    Steps

    • Topic/Title (choose one)
    • Content (can take 2-4 days depending on how in-depth you go) Explain the problem out there, then provide a solution at the end. But build-up to it.
    • Infographics (take half a day to 2 days, depending) lots of websites out there that provide free infographics
    • Post it on a number of platforms
      1. 2

        Youre more than welcome, connect with me and msg me if you have any more questions

Recommended Posts