We’ve all thought it:
“If only there were more hours in a day!”
You could get so much more done, including writing more articles.
Well, I’m afraid I don’t have a blueprint for a time machine, but I do have some tips that will help you write your blog posts faster.
Using these tactics, you’ll plan your posts faster, write faster, and edit faster too.
I’m sure you’re excited to get started, so let’s dive in with tactic #1.
Note: I’m using the new default editor in WordPress. Yours will look different if you have the Classic Editor plugin installed.
1. Use the quick select menu to add blocks
This is by far the most important tip for writing faster with WordPress.
When you hit the Enter key, the editor creates a new “block,” but it’s technically not a Paragraph block until you start typing.
Before you type anything, enter a forward slash to open the quick select menu. Then type the name of the block you’re looking for to pull it up in the menu.
You can use the up/down arrows keys to navigate if you need to, then press Enter again to insert the block.
Adding blocks by clicking the “Add Block” button is so much slower in comparison. Once you get used to the quick select menu, it’s all you’ll use.
2. Outline thoroughly before you write
Getting words (or blocks) onto the page faster isn’t the only way to speed up your blogging.
Another way to write posts faster is to avoid waste.
If you start writing without outlining your post first, you’re likely to spend time writing content that you have to delete or revise extensively later.
Outlining your post first can help you avoid waste, making your time spent per article much lower.
There are three steps to outlining a post:
- Create a list in the post for each major section in the article
- Rearrange the sections into the the most logical order
- Add at least 3 sub-items to each section covering what you’ll write about
Then when it’s time to write, you can simply fill out each section. This will keep you focused and prevent you from writing off-subject content you’ll later need to delete.
Tip: you can use each bullet point as a new heading. Using frequent headings is great for writing web content that performs well.
3. Create an optimized workflow
One way bloggers slow themselves down is by forgetting to document their process.
For instance, you might forget to do your keyword research before writing an article or publishing it without selecting a category.
Mistakes are easily avoided by using a clearly defined process.
And when it comes to creating a writing process, there’s no better tool for WordPress bloggers than Strive’s Post Checklists.
With Strive, you can create a custom writing process that all authors on your site will follow. You can add as many tasks as you want and edit them whenever you need to.
Over time, you’ll refine your checklist as you find ways to optimize your process and write your posts even faster.
Even with a process defined, there are still ways to end up losing time on your posts.
4. Save frequently with cmd+s
Note: As a Mac user, I will be using “cmd” in the keyboard shortcuts below, but if you’re using a Windows machine, replace the Command key with “ctrl” instead.
There’s nothing worse than losing your writing. It’s a huge waste of time and morally draining.
And that’s why I save frequently when writing in WordPress.
But moving your cursor all the way up to the save button and back can break your focus and get surprisingly annoying when you’re in the zone.
Instead, use the cmd+s keyboard shortcut to save your post. This saves your post without needing to move your cursor out of the paragraph you’re working on.
It’s a small tip, but it really helps when you want to save without losing your place.
5. Use keyboard shortcuts for formatting
Highlighting text with your cursor and then clicking the buttons in the toolbar is incredibly tedious compared to the alternative.
You can apply formatting styles much faster by using keyboard shortcuts.
To select a few words quickly, hold down both the Shift and Option keys and then use the left/right arrows. This will let you highlight entire words at once.
Then you can use the following shortcuts to apply formatting styles:
- Bold: cmd+b
- Italics: cmd+i
- Link: cmd+k
Those are the three I find myself using the most, but there are a lot more.
Open the options menu by clicking the three dots in the top-right corner of the editor, and then select the Keyboard shortcuts option.
This will reveal the full keyboard shortcuts menu.
As you can see, there are a ton more for you to learn, and each one will help you write even faster in the WordPress editor.
Tip: try using cmd+z and cmd+shift+z to quickly undo and redo your changes.
6. Automate image alt text writing
Another trick for writing blog posts faster in WordPress is to automate the writing of image alt text with the Format Media Titles plugin.
The way it works is simple.
Format Media Titles will take your image’s filename, convert it into more readable text, then add it as the image’s title attribute. You can enable an option to use the title as the alt text too.
For instance, you could name an image “man-typing-at-computer.jpg” and Format Media Titles would automatically format this as “Man typing at computer” and add it to the image’s alt text.
Alt text is an important part of image optimization for SEO, and it also helps visually impaired visitors understand what your images are showing.
I recommend you review each image’s alt text even when automating this step, but as long as you name your images carefully, they should come out great on their own.
7. Set a default category & time
When you add a new post, WordPress assigns it the Uncategorized category and sets the publication time to the current time.
While it doesn’t take long to change these settings, you can automate them.
In Strive’s settings menu, you can set a new default category for your posts as well as a default publication time.
The default category will work no matter where you create the post, but the default time will only apply when creating posts in the Content Calendar.
Even better, now that you have a new default category set, you can visit the Posts > Categories menu and finally delete the ugly Uncategorized category.
This will help you skip a couple of steps and also ensure you don’t accidentally publish a post at the wrong time.
Write your blog posts faster than ever
Using the tactics above, you’ll be writing your blog posts faster than ever.
These techniques will make you quicker at every level of content creation, from optimizing your process to minimizing your clicks and keystrokes.
Here are the seven steps one more time:
- Use the quick insert for blocks
- Outline thoroughly before you write
- Create an optimized workflow
- Save frequently with cmd+s
- Use keyboard shortcuts for formatting
- Automate image alt text writing
- Set a default category & time
Feel free to screenshot this list or bookmark this URL to revisit it again.
And if you want to create a process for your writing, we have a video tutorial and detailed steps for creating checklists with Strive here:
Thanks for reading this guide on how to write blog posts faster, and please consider sharing it with someone else if it helped you out today.