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16 Tips For Writing Faster Without Sacrificing Quality

writing faster

Too few resources, too much content to produce, and too little time. Sound familiar? Probably. Many tech startups run into this problem with one of two outcomes:

  • They end up producing little to no content because their teams don’t have the bandwidth (or the budget to outsource)
  • Their already-spread-thin teams rush to create content, which often means cutting corners on quality

Neither outcome is ideal. So, it’s a good thing you don’t have to settle for either if you must tackle content development yourself. Simply by writing faster, you can ease the pressure and consistently create content that drives business growth.

16 methods of writing faster so you can publish sooner

Here are a variety of writing tips you can use to cut down on your writing time and increase your output.

1. Write when your mind is sharpest

When do you feel most focused and energetic? For many people, it’s in the morning after a good night’s sleep. While it might be different for you, ultimately, it’s best to write when you have a clear head. Your thoughts will come more naturally, and ideas tend to flow easier, both of which translate into speed.

2. Find a point of interest

Not every topic will be your favorite, granted. Some may be outright boring. However, you can usually find:

  • A question you’d like the answer to
  • An interesting angle you’d like to explore
  • A link to something you are interested in

These can give you a much-needed motivation boost, making it easier to tackle the topic in front of you. The bonus is that when you enjoy what you’re writing, it shows in the quality of your work. Your audience is more likely to enjoy consuming the content. And the longer they willingly engage with it, the higher the chances it’ll have the impact you hope for (e.g. generating leads).

3. Build a custom library of content

Along the lines of finding points of interest, it’s helpful to build a personal library of those points. I would call it a “swipe file” but your library can and should include more than just content you admire. It can include content you disagree with that could inspire content that explains your viewpoint. Or helpful resources such as:

  • Links to interviews or podcast episodes with subject matter experts
  • Relevant research reports
  • Notes from industry events you’ve attended

Sometimes what slows you down the most during the writing process is figuring out where to start. Having a wealth of hand-picked information that you know will kick your mind into gear is invaluable. Plus, by compiling sources before you need them, you can save a lot of time on research.

4. Create detailed content briefs

Just like researching while writing, planning while writing can cost you hours. The solution is to develop in-depth content briefs before you start writing. They can include details like:

  • A description of the audience you’ll be writing for and what your content should help them accomplish
  • Your target keyword, any secondary keywords you’d like to rank for, and the search intent for those terms
  • A list of key points you plan to cover and audience questions to answer
  • Links to helpful sources so that they’re always handy when you need them
  • Links to owned content you’d like to incorporate and drive traffic to
  • How your content will be better than existing content on the topic

Having a game plan to refer back to anytime will keep you from getting off track, allowing you to write more in less time.

Pro tip: To save time and ensure you always have the info you need at hand, create a reusable template. Or, even easier, grab the SEO content brief template we use for free.

writing faster
Omniscient Digital SEO Content Brief Template

6. Let the outline do the work

Research done? Check. Clear plan for what you’ll write thanks to your content brief? Also check. With that, you have all the fundamentals you need to write faster. You just have to assemble them into an outline.

Write your headings. Then, for each section, jot down the main points and takeaways for the audience. Paste in the data that supports each of those points and make note of what it means or how it’s relevant to your arguments. This way, by the time you start working on your first draft, a lot of the heavy lifting will already be done. You’ll just have to expand on your outline and give it a little spit shine.

7. Use dictation

What about ways to make the actual writing go faster? If you talk faster than you type, one option is to dictate your content. Google Docs has a handy dictation feature, for example. You can turn it on in any doc by selecting “Tools” and then “Voice Typing.” And because you can also dictate punctuation like commas and periods, you won’t have to spend as much time cleaning up the text afterward.

8. Try artificial intelligence (AI) content generators

When used properly, AI content generators like Jasper can make you more efficient by generating unique text for you. Just remember that these tools are not meant to be replacements for human skill and expertise. They’re best used as assistants.

Using even the best AI writing tool isn’t the same as hiring a professional writer. You still need to do the work of:

  • Researching your topic (and fact-checking AI outputs)
  • Adding up-to-date statistics and supporting evidence
  • Infusing your brand personality and personal experiences into content
  • Getting input from internal and external subject matter experts
  • Ensuring that content is optimized for readability and, if you’re doing SEO, for search engines
  • Improving, trimming, and expanding AI outputs as needed

Without the above, it doesn’t matter if a solely AI-generated piece of content is 100% unique and written in flawless English. It’s not truly high-quality, which can impact its ability to contribute to your overall content marketing ROI.

writing faster
Jasper Chrome Extension Improves Writing Speed

In short, use AI writing tools wisely. Use them to beat writer’s block by helping with brainstorming and outlining. Use them to get a basic first draft down that you can then enhance with your writing skill. Know what you want to say but let the tools present you with options for how to say it. This is how you save time without compromising quality, not by pressing “Generate” and publishing whatever the AI spits out.

9. Set a timer

Not feeling motivated to write? Or find that you’re going at a snail’s pace?

Set a timer, start writing, and don’t stop until it goes off. This is a simple but often effective way to get yourself started, keep you focused, and optimize your writing speed. Typically, the less time you give yourself, the more of a motivator the ticking timer is.

Of course, this isn’t to say you should set your timer for 15 minutes when you have a whole blog post to write. But you could give yourself 15 minutes to draft one already-outlined section. Or 45 minutes to get through a few sections.

Whatever period you choose, the time pressure you create needs to be balanced. The time limit needs to be short enough to challenge you but not so long that you risk getting distracted or mentally drained from non-stop focused work.

10. Gamify your writing sessions

Similar to the idea of racing the timer, you can also turn your writing sessions into mini-games or challenges for yourself. For example, you could do “dead battery sprints” where you unplug your laptop and write as much as you can before the battery dies. Or you could try a quantity-based game. Challenge yourself to create a certain amount of content within a specific time period (e.g. ideal word count per day or number of social media posts written before lunch).

No matter how you choose to gamify writing, ideally, you should reward yourself when you accomplish what you intend. Think of something that feels like a treat for you. Maybe your favorite dessert, a peaceful walk on your favorite trail, or a lazy evening binge-watching your favorite show.

Whatever it is, designate that as your reward, decide what your writing challenge will be, and only give yourself that reward if you hit your writing goals. If not immediately, you’ll notice yourself writing faster over time.

11. Put a barrier between you and your biggest distractions

Distractions can come from anywhere and everywhere. From folks chatting you up in the office or family popping into your home office. From social media, text, and email notifications popping up on your devices. And even from websites you visit as you’re trying to be productive and get some writing done.

The first step to avoiding these distractions is to identify the ones that commonly knock you off track. If you don’t have that self-awareness, very few of the other methods on this list will lead to significantly faster writing long-term.

Once you’re clear on where intrusions typically come from, you can take steps to block them. When working from home, this could mean writing at a time of day when the house is typically quiet. Or, in an office setting, letting colleagues know when you’ll be doing focused work, so they don’t disturb you. 

writing faster
Forest App

As for digital distractions, use airplane mode. There are also apps like Forest, which block apps and websites that would send you spiraling into the rabbit hole of unproductivity.

12. Don’t edit as you write

Next, remember that writing and editing are two different tasks. To write quickly, you need to turn off the inner editor in your head that’s constantly questioning or critiquing every sentence you type. Rough drafts are called “rough” for a reason. They don’t need to be the picture of perfection. They simply need to exist for you to get to a final, publishable draft.

True, letting go of perfectionism is tough, so it will take some effort. But be determined. No rewriting as you go, no pausing to fix typos, and no fussing over the perfect word or phrase. Instead, let the writing flow—as imperfect as it may be—and only go back to make revisions after you’re done.

13. Take breaks regularly

Additionally, don’t forget to take breaks. Especially as you begin to write more quickly, you may feel excited by the prospect of getting more done. But take it from me: Ignoring your need for rest and overlooking signs of impending burnout never ends well.

If you find yourself struggling to stay focused, engaged, and productive when writing, it’s likely because you need a break. Give yourself permission to step away from the computer every now and then. 

Even better, build it into the way you work. Perhaps you could try the Pomodoro technique where you do several periods of work followed by short periods of rest throughout the day. This will help you avoid hitting mental walls and enable you to write high-value content quickly and consistently.

14. Repurpose your existing content

Next is a method that’s not talked about enough. Why start from scratch when you likely already have content on whatever topic you plan to write about? It’s not the best use of your time.

Instead, repurpose content you’ve already written. For example, recycle text from your ebooks when creating blog posts or from your blog posts when creating social media content. Repurposing content in this way will both save you time and help keep your brand messaging consistent.

15. Collaborate with others

Don’t tackle the writing process alone. If you can split writing duties with others on your team, go for it. And, whenever you can gather input from subject matter experts—either internal or external—do so. This way, there’s not so much pressure on you to come up with 100% of the content. Some of it will be provided for you and, using the other tactics here, you can quickly draft the rest.

16. Do typing practice

If you’re not as efficient as you’d like to be simply because your typing speed is low, typing practice can help. 

writing faster
KeyBR Typing Practice 

Whether you practice solo or leverage multiplayer options to learn faster, websites like KeyBR can help you write more words per minute (WPM).

You can become a faster writer

Ultimately, writing speed comes down to four key factors. They are:

  1. Practice. Developing a writing habit can not only make you a faster typist, but it trains you to stay focused during writing sessions.
  2. Workflows. What you do (or don’t do) before starting your first draft can dictate how long drafting will take. Creating briefs, doing thorough research, and creating detailed outlines all set you up to cross the finish line faster.
  3. Motivators. For those days when you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, have incentives in place that can give you a reason to work efficiently.
  4. Guardrails. Have restraints in place to limit distractions from your physical or digital environment. And set rules for yourself (e.g. no editing while writing) to prevent slowdowns.

All of the above can increase your speed and decrease the time to results. The sooner you publish, the sooner you can start driving traffic, engagement, leads, sales, and so on. That is, if you balance your need for speed with the need to deliver engaging, practical content to your audience.

How do you strike that balance? Check out The Long Game podcast episode with content pro Brad Smith. You’ll get an abundance of practical tips on how to produce top-of-the-line content of this kind.

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Nia Gyant

Nia Gyant is a B2B SaaS content writer at Omniscient Digital. With an affinity for martech, she specializes in writing product-led content that generates leads and revenue. She also loves tackling thought leadership projects on rapidly-evolving topics like AI and lives in San Diego, CA.