When you write a blog, your goal shouldn't be to plop out as much content as possible. Instead, your goal should be to create compelling content that gives your readers knowledge every single time they check out a blog post. It can be challenging to write long-form content, after all, you may not even be sure you know 1,000+ words about a topic. Trust me, you do. I know you do because I can write 1,000+ word articles every week and I am no expert (just a girl who loves to learn.) Let's get started writing lengthy content by reading a lengthy piece about creating lengthy content. 😉
1. Brainstorm (A Lot)
Brainstorming in a lot of ways is the best way to start thinking of new ideas. Especially when you are just beginning the process of making long-form content, I would brainstorm at least once a week. Take some time (10 minutes) to write out as many content ideas as you can think of. The more content possibilities you have, the better because you can pick and choose the best ones. It's hard to write lengthy content when you feel swamped by all the work to be done, and you feel pigeonholed to a topic you don't genuinely love.
Last week I published a pretty lengthy guide to all things brainstorming, so if you are stuck on how to brainstorm content ideas, check out that blog post after you finish reading this one.
2. Get Comfortable With All The Various Ways You Can Share Content
So many people get so caught up in the content that they write that they don't consider what the real intent behind providing lengthy content is. The true purpose is to provide valuable content. Some people talk a lot, but they don't say anything worthwhile. There are many ways to share content so that you create value for your readers that aren't straight 1,000+ word pieces. Share content in whatever way feels more comfortable for you.
Some people are master storytellers and they are able to weave stories into their posts with precision. Reading their content never feels like work because they break it down and share their heart on every post. Your post can be more loosely based around a story if that makes more sense for what you want to accomplish.
I love listicles, in case you couldn't already tell since most of my blogs revolve around lists. In my opinion, lists are helpful because they help you stay on track and are easy to outline. If you are writing long-form content in list form, it's difficult to go completely off the rails because your list can bring you back to reality.
If writing is not your thing, you can provide a lot of value through video. You can film a great video and then transcribe it yourself or pay someone to transcribe it for you. Once you have your transcription, you can share your video along with the exact transcription (or a cleaned up version.) You can also share a short synopsis of the video below it as a video is inherently valuable.
If video is not your thing––try audio. You can do the same thing with an audio file as far as transcription or sharing a short synopsis of the audio below it on a post. Everyone loves a good podcast so if blogging is hard for you, feel comfortable with the fact that you could use your voice.
There are so many speech to text tools out there. Consider using something like Google Docs or Apple Pages to write while you talk. You can even use dictation anywhere if you use Google Chrome. Just got to your main window bar choose Edit-->Start Dictation. It's a pretty nifty trick if you want to use text to speech directly in your blog.
3. Learn Something New Every Day
Consistent learning is critical as a blogger. You should strive to learn something new every single day so that you can create long-form content that is valuable and helpful to your audience. There are many sites out there that are helpful where you can learn new stuff every day. Some of my favorite places include Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, and Quora.
Strive to learn something new every single day. This education can come from a post by one of your favorite bloggers, a step-by-step tutorial to recreate, or even a video on a topic that you're interested in blogging about.
Vary your learning style (especially if you aren't sure what you're learning style is.) It takes a while to understand if you should be reading, watching a video, or even doing the task that you want to write about. Once you figure out how you learn best, then you can lean into your new learning style.
Getting exposed to a variety of content and information is valuable, no matter what your blog topic is about. Every time you are exposed to a new concept or thought you are one step closer to getting new inspiration for a blog post or learning about an idea or thought you want to try in your own life. Those experiences with learning will help you create new, fresh, and lengthy content for your readers.
4. Make Writing A Habit
Consistency is vital when it comes to writing long-form content. If you stop writing for any period (even if you are ahead of your blogging schedule), this can make blogging a challenge. So instead, make writing a habit. Even if you don't write a ton of content every single day--make it a habit.
Make a small writing goal
Whether that goal is 500 words written every single day or writing 20 minutes each day--make it a target for every day.
A habit takes 21 days to form so my idea for you is to:
Make an initial goal of 500 words of writing per day or 20 minutes of writing each day for 21 days. At the end of that time, you will have 10,500 words written, or you would have written for 7 hours. This is a small feat, but it's a start.
After 21 days when you have formed this habit of writing every single day: re-evaluate. You don't have to stick to writing 500 words a day or 20 minutes per day. Think about bumping it up to 600 words a day or 30 minutes of writing per day--form that habit for another 21 days.
Keep increasing it every 21 days until you are at a comfortable pace for the amount of content you want to write on your blog each week.
If writing every single day is scary to you, consider a day of the week where you write a ton of content and make that day content writing day. For example, my content writing days are usually during the weekend. On Friday-Sunday I am generally pretty focused on writing a ton of content be it blog posts or newsletters. Have your content writing day(s) carved out of your week and keep them as consistent as possible week after week.
Once you start consistently writing your body will get used to writing consistently, and you will churn out better content over time because your body will begin to adapt to what you expect of it. Like you can get better at running by running, you can get better at writing by writing.
Related Reading: 3 Writing Goals You Should Set by The Write Practice
5. Read What You Write Aloud
When I am writing long-form content, I usually write a rough draft of that content and share as much content as I can initially think of. One of my biggest tips for writing lengthy content is to read what you write aloud. This is great for many reasons:
It Helps You Catch All Those Pesky Spelling/Grammar Issues
No one wants to publish a post with a million typos. Reading your post aloud enables you to catch spelling/grammar issues that your eyes may have gotten used to over time from scanning the article you are writing.
It Helps You Add Content
Often when I am reading a post out loud, I get new ideas for things to write in my post. This can be helpful as you are writing to get a new perspective because talking is a lot easier than writing. If you think back to being a child--children often know a lot about talking before they know how to get their feelings on paper. So talk out the various topics you are writing about to see if that gives you extra ideas. Then as you are reading your content aloud, edit your content to share those thoughts that you expressed verbally.
Often when we talk aloud, we can create new understanding and find extra content nuggets to share because of that so give your content some new light to see what is hiding in the content you can create.
6. Get A Writing Accountability Buddy
Finding an accountability buddy can help you in so many aspects of your life--and especially in making sure that you are sitting down to write every single week.
There are MANY ways you can get an accountability buddy:
Create A Local Accountability Group
Host weekly meetings with those in your area if you live in a big city. In these meetings, you can come together at a local coffee shop or library to write content together each week. Share the goal you want to get accomplished for the writing session and get to work creating content (and sharing your progress as you go.)
Use Your Followers As An Accountability Buddy
This is a perfect way to use Instagram stories or to use Snapchat. Let your audience know that you are having a writing day and use that time to keep them updated throughout the day about your triumphs or failures as you write long-form content for your blog. It is a way to get closer to your audience and also keep yourself motivated to get new stuff done.
Have An Online Accountability Buddy
There are so many Facebook groups out there that have "work with me" or collaboration threads. If you are looking for an accountability buddy post your message in one of those threads so you can begin to work with other bloggers every single week.
Get excited because you are well on your way to writing fresh, lengthy content weekly with the help of blogging friends or your audience on social media.
7. Take It Slow
Going from writing articles that are 300-500 words per article to writing posts that are 1,000+ words is difficult, don't push yourself too hard. Just like we discussed in the section on habits--it takes time to ramp up to writing 1,000+ word articles. So instead, make a schedule of content.
Start Where You Are
On average, how long is the content you are writing now? Think about that number, analyze your writing habits based on this post, and think about how comfortable you feel with that number.
For the next few blog posts you write, experiment with writing 100-200 words more per article than you already write. Experiment with that number and try to reach that number every single time you post for the next few weeks.
Evaluate Your last Few Posts & Up The Word Count
Once you have had a few weeks of writing more under your belt, evaluate a few things:
How did you feel as you were writing?
Did your audience have increased interaction with the long-form content?
Did you feel that the quality was excellent with your new posts?
Then depending on where you are word count wise and the answers to your evaluations–consider adding an extra 100-200 words to your posts for a few weeks.
Rinse & Repeat Until You Feel Comfortable
Until you feel comfortable with the word count and your questions on the evaluations are still all positive results consider adding more words to your word count every few weeks. Then once you have gotten to a comfortable blogging level, you can keep it consistent and write at that level.
8. Learn How Other People Write & Analyze Their Posts
If you have a favorite blogger--analyze the long-form content they write and see how you can use their writing style. You don't want to copy their style or rip off the content they produce, but you want to examine their content.
How do they structure their posts?
Especially if they create lengthy content--see how you can produce that kind of content too. What is the outline of their post? Do they open all posts in a certain way? Do they use listicles to teach? Are they storytellers? Do they start with a particular image? Do they use a call to action? What makes their content so unique to you and their other readers?
Once you understand how they structure your posts, you can see how this might transfer to the content that you write each week.
9. Bring Down The Content You Write Per Week
One 1,000+ plus article is going to be inherently more valuable than three 300 word articles. If you are writing short content many days a week, cut that down and promote the one post you write more.
If I wrote five days a week, I would not be able to produce the quality content that I create on a weekly basis. I would get tired, and my content quality would suffer. Finding ways to cut back on the content you produce so that each post that you put out is quality will help you so much as a blogger.
You may not want to produce one 1,000+ word article–instead, think about creating two 500-700 word articles each week. The most important thing to realize though is 1,000 words isn't as long as you think. This article is well over 1,000 words. I can usually reach my 1,000-word limit if I create a blog post that features an introduction, five supporting points with two paragraphs each, and a conclusion. If I do a listicle like this with ten supporting points, I am usually looking at an article that is 2,000+ words.
Writing once per week is helpful because instead of writing multiple articles, you can promote your content. Promotion is more important than spending all of your time in the weeds digging through your brain to write. If you aren't promoting your blog, you are just screaming into the air on the internet.
10. Don't Wait Until The Last Minute To Write Your Long-Form Content
Writing your long-form content in advance is a great way to make sure you are motivated to write lengthy content. If you are always writing your content last minute, it can be tough to write lengthy content. If you are sitting down on the day your post is due to write your post, you need to have a content plan that you stick with and follow through on.
When you wait until the last minute to write your article, you will settle for literally anything as long as it is complete. If you want to create long-form content that matters you have to give yourself time to build that content.
Consider batch writing your articles:
Write up all your blog post outlines one day so that you know exactly what you will be talking about.
Go in during one day, and batch write all the content that you will be sharing. Use the Pomodoro Technique to stay motivated throughout your writing session and add in the breaks you need to stay sane.
Edit your content and add in photos the next day.
Schedule all the social media content around that article the day after that.
Have a content plan and write in advance so you can do more with the time you have.
That's all for today y'all. I hope this post has helped y'all as you go through the process of writing lengthier blog content. Writing long-form content takes time and energy, but if you follow these steps your content is sure to be amazing!