Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How long does it take to write a blog post?

However long you’ll allow it to take. There’s always one more edit we can do. One more hour of research or reflection that’s “needed.” It can go on forever if we let it.

And then we are are disappointed that the post that took us 30 hours to produce didn’t go viral.

Don’t get me wrong. Some posts take time and super in-depth posts do need the time. But not every post needs to be a huge production.

Most of my posts on here (500-700 words usually) take about 30-45 minutes on average to write.

Here’s how I usually do that:

I think about them, research as needed on the go and then sit down (usually between 6:45-7:15 in the morning) and spit them out. I also blog on my phone while doing cardio at the gym. Other times, I blog on airplanes. Travel time is not down time.

So I maximize my time and find shortcuts (which of course we call hacks nowadays).

When I first started writing I certainly couldn’t finish things that quickly and blogging on phones didn’t exist 15 years ago. So there’s a ramp up time and sometimes we need new and better technology.

So, the thought process for blog posts might take hours, but the actual production for my own, first-person posts takes usually under an hour.

That likely is longer if you use a ghostwriter. And there’s nothing wrong to use a ghostwriter if you can afford one and do it authentically. A ghostwriter shouldn’t be a marketing copywriter.


Having a ghostwriter doesn’t necessarily make stories inauthentic 

Why we should stop vetting stories

When you work with a ghostwriter, here’s how that process likely looks:

  • Ghostwriter and you document story ideas
  • Meet and discuss
  • Ghostwriter interviews you (they can’t google for the content for your unique stories)
  • Ghostwriter writes in your voice
  • You review, edit – let’s hope not much is needed – and approve

Just that process takes longer. Maybe 5 hours if it runs smoothly. Whatever runs smoothly, right? So it’s likely 10.

If other people have to review and approve the content you can likely double or triple that time for the back and forth.

So, writing blog posts can take anywhere from 1 to 30 hours depending on skills, workflows and approval layers.

It’s okay to be slower when you start writing or working with a writer, but keep in mind there are ways to cut time. You just have to be willing to give up some things. Some are easier to give up than others and some just happen because that’s how it’s been for years.

One last thing to remember is this: The amount of time it took to produce anything is not necessarily an indicator of how successful it’ll be.

Some of my most read and shared blog posts are super short, highly unique and took 15 minutes to write.

Here’s to producing highly relevant and useful content in the most time efficient way, without it becoming stressful.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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