Behind every word you read is a thousand more you cannot see. That’s why many new blogs fail: as new writers get going they realize how time-consuming it is to run a blog. I call this “invisible time.” These minutes are the ones you, the creator, experience in crafting blog content, but the audience never considers.
Reader, consider the work behind the code on this page. Besides the words, work for just this post included:
- A carefully crafted header
- Time outlining and revision
- Proofreading through an automated grammar check
- Sourcing and editing images into the right format
- Adding alt text to images for SEO
- Using a widget to program SEO, including writing a meta description and header
- Adding appropriate related inlinks
- Proper formatting with headers and for mobile devices.
- Promotion on social media
This blog is a 500-ish word anecdotal style. There’s no deep research or outlinked posts. No interviews with thought leaders. No photo shoots. All those extend the time behind creating a single post.
Let’s break down exactly what “invisible time” could include.
A great blog starts with preparation. For a typical 500-word, quick-spin content blog, I budget 25 percent of the work time to research. This means finding and reading multiple sources, including ones that don’t contain relevant facts needed for the writing.
Preparation means verifying statistical information. Sometimes this is tracking down the original source of the data from a mention in another blog. Others times, it’s finding a second reliable source with the same information.
All this gathered data must be organized into a form that makes sense. That means an outline, even in a loose form.
Writing the Blog
The first draft is the easiest step. Take the outline and just write. Don’t dwell on quality. Occasionally, information gaps become apparent. Then it’s back to research.
Sometimes I use voice dictation to save some time.
Polishing the Blog
After drafting comes revision. Good writers re-read their work for awkward phrasing, active voice, and general proofreading. Again, this takes time. Sometimes revision identifies gaps in information that could require more research. I budget the most time for revision work.
Additional Blogging Duties
What else goes into blogs? Beyond planning and revision, there might be:
- Keyword research. This helps identify topics mostly likely to resonate with your audience and search engines.
- Imagery. Blog search engine rankings, readability, and social media promotion benefit from high-quality related images. You’ll have to find relatable image(s), make sure they’re free to share, or purchase the rights.
- Social media promotion. Different platforms require different content styles to maximize their reach.
- SEO optimization, which could require more copy revision if not accounted for in the beginning.
- Uploading. The act of uploading requires more time than you think. Something could go wrong with the formatting. In addition to the copy, upload means programming categories, tags, links, related posts, meta and summaries. The time adds up.
All these steps account for the “invisible time” that makes blogging a more time-consuming effort that you might not consider when launching your blog.
Need help with your blog? I help real estate professionals brainstorm topics and draft their posts! Let’s talk.