A Blogger’s Guide To Writing a Five Minute Post

gear

You might be upset when you find out that I wrote this post in more than five minutes and less than 15. You might say that I am not meeting my obligation to deliver what I promised and I’ll say so what.

That is not because I don’t care what you have to say but because I want to know if you are missing the trees for the forest. My guess is that many of us are so wrapped up in our daily lives we lose sight of what is truly important. That is not a lead in to a rant or lecture about spending more time with family or focusing on what is most important.

Rather it is a reminder that there is no single path to success in blogging. If there is any one true rule to follow it is that you find success when you connect with readers and or provide solutions to their problems. That is it. Not complicated at all, at least in theory it isn’t.

What I Find Most Challenging

The two things that I wrestle with most are time and technical expertise.

I can compose and publish content faster than most people. Some of that is due to natural ability and some of that is based upon practice. Every post has a beginning, middle and end. All I do is fill in the gaps.

But that doesn’t relieve me of the challenge of trying to find artwork to go with these posts. I like to have more pictures in these things than I do. Sometimes it is a bit austere for my taste. Time constraints make it harder for me to visit and comment on as many blogs as I would like. They also make it harder to make some of the changes here that I want.

That ties into my second challenge, technical expertise. I am tech saavy and I know how to do a lot of things. Most of what I know is from tinkering around here and or watching/reading tutorials. But sometimes that leaves this joint looking a bit more worn than I want it to. Sometimes I wind up with some issues that I can’t figure out how to solve and that irritates me.

For example, I need to fix the archives page. There is way too much going on there and I want to clean it up. I am guessing that it is a relatively simple fix, but I haven’t figured it out. I bet that I just overlooked it and that when it is solved I’ll smack myself in the forehead, but that isn’t how I like to operate.

The pages don’t load as quickly as I want them to and there are other little details that I notice all the time. I have been able to make some improvements but not as many as I want to. Much of that is because I don’t have the time to read and tweak the way I want to.

Did I mention that I have broken my blog more time than I can count. Yep, I have caused it to melt down and then scrambled to fix it.

The Difference Between Great And Good Enough

In a perfect world I would have a crack team of  IT professionals working on the blog. They would take care of all of these details and I would be able to focus on my core strengths. In a perfect world you would read about my mistakes but you wouldn’t see them because I would have time to work out the kinks in advance.

That perfect world doesn’t exist but I am working on it.

Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

I am chasing excellence. I decided to create a newsletter for many reasons not the least of which is that chase. I am figuring it out as I go. There aren’t many subscribers yet and I haven’t sent out my first edition, but I am excited about it.

Excited and nervous. AWeber is supposed to make this easy for me and thus far it seems to be, but what if I screw up. What if I send out something ridiculous. Am I upholding my effort to chase perfection and catch excellence?

My answer is yes. My answer is that I am learning how to fly on the run and I am good with that. My answer is that there is value in learning by doing. My answer is that I fueling my fire and feeding my passion. I think that is contagious and that it is going to help me.

So I am going to keep running after perfection and I am going to keep testing out new ideas. How about you? What are you doing out here in the wild and woolly blogosphere? Are you having fun or is this just work.

BTW, it took me almost 13 minutes to write this. The time it took to write this doesn’t really matter to anyone but me. The real question is whether you enjoyed it. Ok, I am out of here, my bed is calling my name. See you in the A.M.

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20 Comments

  1. Pingback: How To Make Time For Blogging

  2. Jayme Soulati May 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

    OH. You are preaching to me…time and tech. HATE.

    • Jack May 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      You can find the time. You have the skill already to produce the content- tech is a different sort of animal, but this you can do.

  3. Christina April 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I wish I was as fast as you-! I miss out on the networking, which is what it’s about, because of too many tasks to maintain. I have no help, & the hours are long but worth it. Ever have a great post fade away just as you were falling asleep from exhaustion?! 🙂
    Thank you-you just helped me rethink my methodical madness~!

    • Jack May 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Christina,

      The primary reason I can compose and publish as fast as I do is because of hours of practice. That is the key to my success.

      I have lost many posts due to time constraints. I just don’t have time to write all that I want to. I try to take notes so that I don’t forget, but even then I still get stuck sometimes.

  4. Jens P. Berget April 30, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Hey Jack,

    It seems that you are getting better at the headlines, and this was a perfect link bait 🙂

    I am like you, and I am spending hours every single day to write content, and to break my blog, rebuild it, check out new plugins and try to make it load faster, and try to create a better structure. I am testing posts with images and without, short posts and long posts, personal and not so personal.

    The only problem is that there are an unlimited amount of things to test, and I always come up with new things. I wish I could just keep writing and that was it. On the other hand, it’s fun to test and find things that actually makes a difference.

  5. Frume Sarah April 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I am so guilty of spending enormous amounts of time on a single blog post. Of course, the same used to be said of my sermons, Torah introductions, bulletin articles, etc. I think it takes my genius a little longer to break free.

    • Jack April 30, 2012 at 10:21 am

      I suspect that much of this is personality based too. Those of us who are more methodical and meticulous about things probably don’t produce as fast as others.

      Just to be clear that isn’t a value judgment, just an observation based upon my family.

  6. seattledad April 30, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I agree that with practice writing post goes much faster. I can crank one out (500-600 words) in about a half hour now (not 15 minutes). Not great, but so much faster than I could when I started.

    You certainly have an impressive body of work. No wonder you can output a post like this in 13 minutes.

    • Jack April 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

      It is practice more than anything else that makes it easy for me to do this. I have been doing it for so long I don’t have to think real hard about it. It is part of why I am trying to mix things up so that I can push myself a bit harder.

  7. Collin Kromke April 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve recently disabled the email feed function from Feedburner on my blog in favor of an email newsletter, but I’m using Mailchimp rather than AWeber. Nothing to report yet, as I’ve only sent out one message. It’s a learning experience, so I’ll subscribe to yours so I can watch what you’re doing. Good luck!

    • Jack April 29, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Colin,

      I am pretty certain that I am going to do the same thing. I came very close to using MailChimp but decided against it but that is a different story altogether.

      I think it should be interesting to watch your experience too. I think we can learn together.

  8. JD April 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I can spend hours on blog posts, majority of that is making a picture to go along with it.. Anyhow if you want the page to load faster check out a plugin called Lazyload it worked out great for me.

    Cheers
    JD

  9. bridgetstraub.com April 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I don’t understand the newsletter. How will it differ from subscribing to your blog which I have already done?

  10. Stan Faryna April 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I wish I could dash off blog posts in 13 minutes, every time. I’ll do a five minute blog post every so often.

    For example: Is Google’s Drive just another Faustian app? http://wp.me/pbg0R-Nc

    But honestly, there was two hours of reading and thinking before I got to my five minutes of writing.

    Then there is the blog post that took me 300 hours of prep, hours of design, 3 hours to write, and an hour to format. But it has 100,000+ reads. [shrug]

    All of which to say is that I think you rock, Jack. You kill it like a pro.

    • Jack April 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Stan,

      Well let’s just say the mutual admiration society is in effect. You know what you are doing and you do a good job of making people think.

  11. Canadian Dad April 29, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I’m with Aweber as well and although I find it easy to navigate, I struggle with the time issue in preparing a proper mailout. I too worry about whether I am sending out a good product or if it looks ridiculous, lol. You are not alone my friend! Write on!!

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