You’ve been staring at your computer screen for an hour and you’re not any closer to finishing this #&%^$ blog post.
Meanwhile, your inbox is filling up with the usual requests, you’ve got a big deadline coming up for a client, and you need to call the bank before you forget—again.
Being a business owner is hard enough without trying to sit down and craft a heartfelt epistle every week.
But you know you’re supposed to be blogging. All the experts agree. So, you continue to tear your hair out, letting the important work of your business fall by the wayside.
It feels awful, right? To sacrifice one part of your business for another? To feel like the things you “have to” do push out time for the things you know you need to do to serve your clients and keep your sanity.
I’ve been there.
I’ve spent hours upon hours crafting blog posts. In many cases, only to realize that what I had written didn’t end up on the topic I was even trying to cover in the first place.
I’ve poured my heart out onto paper (well, computer screen) and ended up with posts that were definitely heartfelt, but were also so rambling, long, and disjointed that I actually had to scrap them!
That means I poured all that time and creative energy down the drain.
I kept doing this until I discovered the one thing that makes the difference between drowning in a blog post, and being able to bust out a decent draft of it in just 25 minutes: templates.
My first introduction to a blog template was from blogger and content strategist Lacy Boggs. I started using her Perfect Blog Post Template and my mind was blown.
All of a sudden I could write a blog post in a reasonable amount of time! I was finishing in an hour instead of four. (Yes, I had seriously been spending up to four hours on single blog posts—just on the rough drafts!)
But I noticed other benefits as well. Since each section of the template had a specific purpose, I started being choosier about what I wrote. It was easier to just say “No” to long tangents.
It was also easier to know the value I was giving to readers. This made it easier to do everything from choosing a title to selecting a stock image because I knew what my posts were about and what they were giving readers.
The coolest thing that started happening, though, was that I started getting two-for-ones, or even three-for-ones. I would be writing along in the template and realize that my idea was too big for it.
Instead of scrapping the whole thing, I would break up the topic into a series of two or three posts! If you blog regularly, realizing that you’ve got a series on your hand is like Christmas! It means less planning.
And, since you’ll have the momentum of thinking about the whole topic, it’s likely you’ll be able to write the whole series in one go. Or at least outline all the posts at once. The more you can “batch” your writing in this way—by doing several of the same kind of task together in one sitting—the more efficient you’ll be.
The real magic happened when I adapted the perfect blog post template to fit my own writing style.
I really like to tell stories and use examples, so I incorporated room for that. I also like to give action steps when I can, so I added that as well.
The original template was great for how-to posts, but I don’t always write those, so I created several different templates to match the specific type of post I’m writing. Sometimes I even mix and match and create hybrid templates.
The fabulous thing about a template is that it’s a recipe. So you can tweak it and make it your own, but you know that as long as you leave the key steps in tact, it works! It gets you a good result.
If you’re spending too much time, energy, and sanity writing your blog posts, a template will be a game-changer.
You can make your own and experiment with what works for your writing style. But here’s a great place to get started. Download my 5 Must-Have Blog Post Templates. These are the recipes that I use to create the 5 Must-Have Blog Posts that every website should have.
And let me know how they work for you. In the comments below, tell me what it was like writing from a template. Did it make the process faster? I’d love to hear your experience.