How to Write Blog Posts Faster With a Checklist or a Template

Recently I was wrapping up a blog post, trying to make sure I had all the t’s cross and and i’s dotted. I thought to myself, I really should make a checklist of all the things I need to do to streamline my blog post writing process, in case I need to hand off something to someone else.

So I did just that: I made a list of all the things I have to do to get each post out the door.

If I can just jump into what I need to do instead of spending a bunch of time thinking about it, I can do things a little faster. Use my energy making the thing instead of figuring out how to do it.

So a checklist or a template can speed up that process even though it is something I do a lot. I’ve been blogging for a while now with this format, but there’s always something that I might forget to do until after it has already been posted.

My own checklist

  • Headline (this changes a lot)
  • the post itself (duh)
  • excerpt/meta description
  • SEO keyword(s)
  • category
  • Featured Image: 980 x 440 (with 440 x 440 square in middle clearly visible). Might contain title?
  • Shareable Image: 1000px wide – should contain a hook-y statement that resonates with people to be shareable.
  • support images/illustrations

Michael Hyatt’s 6-part template:

Naturally, Michael Hyatt, template master extraordinaire, has a template for writing blog posts. He has a video that covers the following tips:
  1. Headline: write something that will pull people into the body of the post. He recommends the book Writing Advertising Headlines.
  2. Lead paragraph: immediately relevant, explains what people will get in the rest of the post.
  3. Relevant image: Pictures catch the eye and pull people in.
  4. Personal story: Nothing works quite like stories. They connect with people and pull them deeper into the content.
  5. Scannable content: short paragraphs, short sentences, simple words. Use bulleted lists. Help people feel a sense of progress.
  6. Ask a question: Invite others into the conversation, ending with an open-ended question. And then participate in the discussion.

Social Media promotion schedule

On Pinterest the other day I discovered this schedule for publicizing your blog post on Twitter. I think I saw it on my friend Kyle Reed‘s feed. (If it wasn’t you, Kyle, it should have been. ;-))

  1. On publish: “New Blog Post: (headline)” – sent when blog post goes live
  2. Same day, 2-3 hours later: Ask a question.
  3. Next day: Cite a fact
  4. Next week: Share a quote
  5. Next month: Add intrigue. “See how…” “Why…”
  6. Next _____: Optionally, additional messages can be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond

What do you do?

I’m always interested to see how other people write. Do you do anything like this to speed up your process? I’d love for you to leave a note in the comments.