How do you guys produce content so fast?
I'm producing content for my new site too slowly. I've published 5 articles on my site so far and they each took about a week to write (10-15 hr). They are high quality posts, but I feel like I need to be producing a lot more content and doing it quicker if I want to get this site off the ground.
Keyword research isn't really a problem and I have a list of keywords to write about in my niche, but doing the actual research for a post takes me a while and I've always been a slow writer due to perfectionism. Some suggestions I've found online include setting strict writing deadlines, and forcing yourself to publish content even if it's crap.
Any other suggestions? What do you guys do to keep up a high pace of writing. I see other case studies on here from people producing 20k-40k words a month for their site. Are these guys just pumping out poor content?
Sometimes you just get into a flow and write up several articles at once or in a short amount of time. Don't be excited to release them all at once; you will burn yourself out that way. Instead, most content managing systems will allow you to publish the article in the future so you have content coming in on a consistent basis and you don't fall into the dreaded "I have no article for this week" dilemma of trying to rush work out just to meet a quota.
I write several articles when it fits my schedule then use those as buffers/fillers for when articles take longer to write.
I use Wrike to organize my articles and publishing schedules since it functions like my own personal project manager and each article is it's own project, so I can keep tabs on all the activity I do on each article until it's published.
Stay focused the quality of your work. Always try to put your best work forward. If for nothing else, than to keep your fans happy and new visitors engrossed.
If you have analytics on your articles, look at your bounce rates and try to figure out why your audience isn't as engaged and try to correct that or keep that in mind for your future work.
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll keep them in mind. I wish I had the ability to write several articles in one sitting, but I do occasionally hit flow when writing. Hopefully I will get to that point once I'm an expert in my niche.
Outsourcing is my main way to generate content quickly. Still using it to grow out my latest round of sites but I am a big fan of it. I currently use UpWork but it seems to be integrating cash grab after cash grab making it a less effective site but for now, it still works.
It can take some time to find good writers and even more time to find good cheap writers but it maybe worth looking into.
Also, the term poor content is a relative term, what you deem as poor maybe excellent to someone else, what you deem as excellent maybe poor to someone else.
For example, say I search "Best hat under $20." Your site what 2000 words of content all laid out in an order you think is excellent. The other site has 500 words of content you deem as poor. All I want is a recommendation for a hat under $20 I don't want to skim a 2000 word article looking for it, so the 500 words maybe better in that situation. Not sure that's the best example to get my point across.
One thing you could do is check your visitor stay duration of your analytics. Most if not all of my sites are under one minute and I doubt anyone is reading 2000 words in one minute. I would imagine most people click through to my site, look for the comparison table or products and click through to Amazon to see their ratings or read the reviews there.
Another thing I see a whole load is western writers spreading a whole bunch of crap about content to try and keep their income safe. You see terms like "Native writer" or "University Educated" in their job ads or sales pages for them to try and justify their fees of $100-$250 for a 2000 word article.
The British Empire controlled a whole bunch of countries and many of them still have English as a first/official language. Also, there are many university educated people in these countries who will freelance for additional income.
Back in the day, I bought the whole native writer crap and was paying $100 minimum for 2000 word articles. It took me a while to find my current money site writing team but I pay $25 for 2000 words and in my opinion, it is just as good, if not better than the more expensive content.
Solid advice. The bit about the 500 word article being better really resonated with me because it's something I need to work on. After I pick a topic and start researching I tend to tell myself "yeah, I could write 2k words on this", but for some keywords that misses the point. The purpose of an article is to serve the reader, and sometimes less is more for that.
I do plan to outsource eventually, but I think I'm going to stick to writing the content myself until I have a better understanding of my niche. But I appreciate the heads up about sticking to paying less than $100 for 2k words. It's a trap I would have likely fallen into.
Strict writing deadlines could work for you, but I'd probably advocate strict goals for time dedicated to writing instead. In other words, I'd rather say "spend 10 hours writing this week" versus "finish this article by Friday no matter the cost."
• Don't force yourself to publish content even if it's crap.
• Just because someone's case study says they produced 20k-40k words in a month for their site doesn't mean it was valuable content.
• I'm not sure how familiar you are with your niche, but if it's something newer to you then there's going to be a learning curve.
Things you could try to improve the speed at which you produce content:
• Improve your typing ability.
• Spend some time developing standardized formats for different content types (e.g. best X, single product review, etc.) so you can just paint by numbers instead of recreating the wheel every time.
• Try to publish series of posts that are similar. As I've mentioned before in other comments I like to do things like "Brand X Review," "Brand Y Review," "Brand X vs Y." After doing the first two that last one is super easy to write and generally very helpful content with a strong buyer focus.
• Continue to learn about your niche.
Plus, at the risk of tooting my own horn, my site is ~6.5 months old with 80 published posts and 130,000 published words, and I'm on pace for my first $1,000 month. That's not a small amount of content, but it's not a ton either. A small amount of good content can (and almost certainly will) have more success than a large amount of bad content.
You're only 5 posts in. As with anything new, there's going to be a learning curve. Just stick with it and produce quality stuff and I'm sure you'll have success.
Thanks for the tips. I needed a reminder on the learning curve bit. Since I'm new to both my niche and to writing in general, there's bound to be a learning curve, but that doesn't mean it won't get easier. In fact, just from writing these 5 articles I've noticed an improvement in the way I can organize thoughts into words. Congrats on your site. That's a major accomplishment and I hope to be there myself in 6 months.
There are many sites with just 10-30 really good articles that gets huuge traffic. Just because they add value, have a rigid backlink strategy and are exceptional copywriters (or have them hired).
The thing is not to churn and burn – it's to write something that actually matters.
That said, we are not all exceptional every time (at least I'm not) so try to outsource articles.
I tend to write the buying guides myself (like 6,000 words) and put ALOT of attention to details (10-20 hour work from blank page to edited and designed piece). After that is done I know that topic better than 99% of everyone else. I can easily write down the bullets people would consider and look for when they go buying. Then I find the products I want to review and outsource them.
I tend to start with 10 product single reviews, and order a new review every month.
So for my current site I'm building, I add 2 buying guides a month and then add like 20 new (mixed reviews and informational content) from writers.
So far the site is 2 months old and gets like $50/month. No outsourcing, only content building atm. I'll do outreach in a couple of months.
I'm a professional writer. I do copy and content, primarily in the "marketers marketing marketing to marketers" niche.
I have ghostwritten for someone rather well known, whose surname starts with a P.
Anyhow, I've written far, far more than my fair share of content. I've been at it for several years now, and I've found a primary niche and forged a more actionable vision of what way I want to go with my career.
But like most content marketers and copywriters, I did my time in the content mill trenches, writing about anything and everything for a couple of pennies a word.
Here's the misconception most people have about content writing.
If you're a good writer, the kind who doesn't make many straight-up grammatical or orthological errors, then yes, researching and writing a basic 1,000 word article on, say, how to bathe your dog, is "easy."
So when you don't do the writing yourself, and don't have experience with it, you think, "Wow, this is pretty easy stuff."
When people with affiliate sites (or content marketing agencies) post gigs, they talk about "easy." "This should be easy," they say to us.
And that is not a disingenuous attempt to trivialize the work in order to justify low pay. It's the truth.
Writing one of those kinds of pieces of content is, indeed, "easy," provided you're a decently skilled writer. And on the surface, it looks like a great deal, too. You can crank out 500-1000 words in like half an hour. Theoretically, even if you got only $10 for the piece, hey, that's $20 an hour. That's pretty good.
But here's the thing.
Try doing that all day, every day.
Try writing 5, 8, 10, 15 pieces of content, of variable length, 5 days a week.
Seven days a week.
More than 40 hours.
And for hard mode, each piece may be on a totally different and unrelated subject, introducing a big of a cognitive task switching element.
You just finished writing 2,000 words about influencer marketing. Cool.
Now, start immediately on a 1,500 word piece on dental implants. And you know absolutely nothing about that topic, so before you even start, you need to learn what the hell you're talking about.
And you need to do that fast. Like, half an hour or less. Because the content agency you're writing for pays like $0.02/word, and both they and yourself need to pump out quantity to make any money. Turnaround times may be tight, too, on the order of just a couple of hours.
The point I'm trying to make is that content that's "easy" to write occasionally, in small quantities, becomes absolutely mentally exhausting when you do it constantly, all day, every day.
So can you, and should you, really put out a prolific amount of content in the course of a month?
I see other case studies on here from people producing 20k-40k words a month for their site. Are these guys just pumping out poor content?
Possibly. When it's your own project, your own brainchild, it's arguably easier to stay motivated.
But that brings me to my next point.
Some people are better writers than others.
As for quality, writers come in different skill levels. Some of us have a bit of a knack for it, but for others, it's just not their thing.
In high school and college, I did SAT tutoring, because I'd gotten a perfect 800 on both the reading/vocab section, and the writing section. (This was 2007-2009, and the essay was mandatory.)
Tons of other kids in the IB (international baccalaureate) program I completed were absolutely brilliant. Young luminaries. Actual mathematical geniuses, whose understanding of mathematics and the physical sciences was absolutely breathtaking.
But some of them just weren't that great at sitting down and writing an essay — despite having a rich, sophisticated vocabulary and being almost preternaturally well-spoken. They just weren't good writers.
At the same time, I myself scored a meager 590 on the math section of the SAT. (Though I did manage a 32 on the ACT science section, and a 4/5 on the AP Biology exam and the AP Statistics exam. My IB test scores were in the same range for those subjects. Go figure.)
I mention this because you can be absolutely brilliant, a true intellectual, a man of ideas, and still be kind of a shitty writer.
Writing ability does not reliably scale linearly with global intelligence.
The point is that even if writing is kind of your thing, and you're naturally good at organizing concepts and ideas into a cohesive whole, what's easy in isolation is very tiring in bulk.
As such, I can't imagine how much of a colossal PITA writing content must be if writing isn't your strong point.
So can people really write 40k+ words in a single month, and still produce something that doesn't suck?
So those guys putting out tens of thousands of words a month, they're working super hard.
Maybe the work is poor, maybe it's not.
I mean, there's "poor" like hardly readable, like the textual equivalent of a shitty MS Paint drawing.
But then there's mediocrity.
And that's a lot more common. Content written quickly in bulk has a tendency to be passable, but far from exceptional.
This comes in several shapes and forms. Sometimes, it's the prose that isn't that great. It's not bad, it's not riddled with errors, but it's amateurish and bland.
But then, there's content that's mediocre in terms of its ideas. Something can be written beautifully, while still being shallow, low-value, and lacking in a sense of genuine expertise or understanding. (This can happen if a good writer does a piece on a topic they know nothing about, and need to research on the fly.)
One certainly could put out 20-40k words of genuinely decent content. I mean, if you're doing that and you have an unrelated day job, then my God, man, do I have an unbelievable respect for that.
So what about you?
If you write slowly, you write slowly. In a lot of cases, you're better off with quality, even if it takes time.
You can spend two weeks of research and editing to create something genuinely awesome, that actually has something new to say, and that your audience actively wants to read.
In terms of affiliate marketing content strategy, this is arguably a much better plan of action than trying to crank out as much as you can all at once.
The burnout. is. real.
Sometimes, good things take time. Maybe you'll find yourself spending months on end putting the pieces in place before you reach the point where your site is capable of really taking off.
And maybe that's okay.
A lot of this depends on you. What works for you, and what doesn't, might be drastically different than what works for me.
My advice would be to set aside some time, on a regular basis, to work on your content.
I'm fond of the Pomodoro technique, myself.
Maybe you get a wild hair every so often, then spend hours and hours on end writing. But then that doesn't happen again for weeks.
Or, maybe you work best if you block out just a little bit of time, as little as 20 minutes, to write — but crucially, you do this consistently, on a regular basis, over a substantial period of time.
I wrote way too much here, but TL;DR:
Writing content seems easy in small doses, but it gets exhausting in bulk.
It's okay to take more time to produce something of quality.
Not only will you provide your audience with a lot more value, but you'll also avoid the burnout that can come with writing high quantities of content.
But above all, experiment and find what works for you. These things are highly individually variable.
You don't necessarily have to pump out tens of thousands of words a month. It's okay to take it more slowly, provided you're willing to be patient, and you understand that it will be some time before you start to see the fruits of your labour.
But when those fruits ripen, nothing could be sweeter.
Awesome comment. Completely agree with this.
And for hard mode, each piece may be on a totally different and unrelated subject, introducing a big of a cognitive task switching element.
This is what held me back for a long time. A lot of niche site owners are trying to manage like 10 different sites, and I understand why they do this, but it can kill your momentum if you're constantly switching between different niches.
I saw my biggest growth when I started to focus on just one or two projects at most. Now, I refuse to take on any more projects than that, because I'll just end up with mediocre content.
Absolutely! Considering how mentally fatiguing it can be to just write about tons of unrelated subjects in quick succession, I imagine it must be even more overwhelming if you're actually running the sites, not just writing up someone else's content.
That's part of why I made a decision over the last couple of years to specialize, rather than marketing myself as a generalist.
There are people out there who market themselves as such, and who are financially successful and fulfilled that way. So it's definitely a viable long term option, not just a temporary early career phase you move on from later.
But I feel that I do my best work, and enjoy my work the most, when I write about what interests me. Writing tons of content on dozens of topics — content that needs to exist, but doesn't have to be great — is a lot more of a grind than putting more effort into insightful, thoughtful pieces that take more time to research and write.