Excellent question. It’s one we discuss a lot here at Scribewise (because, hey, that’s one of the Big Major Things we do).
If you’re in content marketing, you’ve probably got someone on the inside scribbling, er, typing away for you, or you’re paying someone on the outside to do it. You’ve asked this question, right?
Sonia Simone, a writer at one of my favorite, favorite websites, Copyblogger, just wrote about this question. Now I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a Copyblogger fangirl. It’s one of the few blogs I’ve been reading religiously for years.
So I was curious: What does it take to write a consistently great blog?
In Copyblogger’s case, it takes five to seven hours per post on average, including researching, writing and editing. I think it shows. (Case in point: I call myself a fangirl and know way too much about some of my favorite writers at Copyblogger, like Brian Clark and Demian Farnworth.)
In the survey that Simone was discussing, it was revealed that 54 percent of bloggers spend fewer than two hours on a typical post. You know what? I think that shows too. (Case in point: I would not call myself a fangirl of at least 54 percent of the blogs I’ve read. I don’t know the names of the people who write them either, never mind what they had for breakfast.)
Can FAST be GREAT?
So this got me thinking about what makes a great blog. Is it possible to pull off a stellar blog in less time than Copyblogger does it? What about Seth Godin, for example? His blogs are often darn short … sometimes just a paragraph or two. If you know Seth’s work at all, you know that his genius is taking a complicated issue and boiling it down to an elegant, insightful and often undeniably true sentiment.
I found this piece in which Seth discusses his writing process.
How many hours a day do you spend actually writing (excluding email, social media etc.)?
Do you mean typing? I don’t know, fifteen minutes. I can type fast.
Leave it to Seth to break the model!
But wait … we have to look a little deeper here.
How much time, per day, do you spend reading or doing research?
16 [hours]. I’m not kidding.
The Point Is This
So here’s my takeaway for content marketers: It takes time to make something great, something memorable … something worth coming back for again and again.
Everyone spends that time differently. Maybe you can’t think unless your fingers are moving. Maybe you sit down and vomit out something nearly perfect in the first draft. Maybe your backspace key is worn down like the marble steps at Independence Hall. (Editor’s Note/Confession: I don’t know if Independence Hall actually has marble steps. I leave for vacation tomorrow and I’m trying to get this puppy done. Let’s just pretend that I researched it and found out that it was totally true. In any case, you get my drift, right?)
The point is this: There’s no formula. Everyone does it differently. There can only be a commitment to quality.
But don’t take my advice, take it from these guys (yes, “guys” includes women, too … we Philly peeps can get away with using “guys” for both genders).
Here are some tips from Copyblogger on how to make sure you’re spending your blogging time wisely.