When you have an online business, you do a lot of writing. Learning how to write faster is a very smart choice.
You’re going to be writing emails, blog posts, landing pages, descriptions for social media, scripts for videos…
It is a LOT of writing.
Even if you love writing as much as I do, you still want to be able to get the writing done as quickly as possible.
7 Tips That Will Help You Learn How to Write Faster
There’s a bunch of different tricks you can try to learn to write faster. We’re going to cover all of them and you can pick and choose which ones will work best for you.
Tip #1: Learn to touch type.
I know that the great majority of you are thinking, “You mean, like, type without looking at the keyboard?
Can’t everybody do that?”
No, in fact, not everyone can. So if you are one of the “hunt and peck” style of typists, invest some time in learning to type.
You will definitely be able to write faster and you will be so relieved to not have to peer at the keyboard while you are typing.
Plus, one of the most satisfying things about writing is the sound of the keyboard click clacking away at the speed of your fingertips.
Maybe that’s just me. The sound of typing is one of my favorite sounds.
It can’t be just me, can it?
Once you’ve mastered typing with all ten fingers and without looking at the keyboard, you can learn the keyboard shortcuts that will make things like selecting, copying, pasting, and a whole lot more, a lot faster, too.
Tip #2: Have the right equipment.
For typing you need a keyboard and working fingers. I don’t think you really even need the mouse for writing, but we’ll include the mouse as well.
Which keyboard is right for you is going to vary and is probably going to end up being a personal decision.
Some people are perfectly ok with typing on the keyboard built into their laptop.
I cannot stand doing that. It doesn’t feel natural and it eventually makes my wrists hurt.
I had a keyboard once that didn’t have a delete key. That was definitely NOT the right kind of equipment.
I like an external keyboard with good sized keys that aren’t slippery. Slippery keys lead to more typos. More typos mean more time editing. And almost no one likes editing.
A good chair and desk are also going to help you write more, if not faster. You’ll be able to sit comfortably for longer periods of time if you have a good ergonomic chair that is adjustable and just plain comfortable to sit in.
There are other bits of equipment that will help you write faster, too.
We use iA Writer to write all of our long-form texts (like this post). It’s a text editor that keeps distractions that you might find in WordPress or even Google docs at bay.
We also use Grammarly. Grammarly will not help you write faster, in fact, if you use it while you are writing your first draft it will probably slow you down.
But if you use it for your first round of editing, it will definitely make that process faster. It picks up all the pesky typos and grammar mistakes for you.
Tip #3: Write from your head first
If you are writing on a topic that you know even a little bit about, start writing from your head first. Don’t start with research.
This will help you write faster, but it’s also just a good way to write.
When you write from your own thoughts first and then go do your research, you already have fresh in your mind your opinions about the topic you are writing on.
This should then make your research faster, too. You already know what specifically you want to write about, so you can look just for the specific bits of the topic that you really need to research.
If I sit down to write a post on herb gardening and start from my head with what I already know about herb gardening, then when I’m ready to move on to research, I can just research the parts of herb gardening that I don’t know well enough to do from my head.
When you start researching without knowing what you want to say about your topic, you can go on a meandering research trip that may never end.
Tip #4: Outline
You might think that writer’s block slows down the writing process. I don’t really believe in writer’s block, but if it’s something you feel like you suffer from, then starting with an outline might help you.
Writer’s block to me is really just wanting to know the end of what you’re writing before you’ve started the beginning.
You can’t start because you haven’t figured out the middle and end first.
If you create an outline with the points that you want to cover, you can start writing and checking off the points that you’ve covered from the outline.
As you write, you will likely think of things to add. Either make a note and go back after to add them in or add them as you go.
Before you know it, you’re ready to write the end.
Similar to this, don’t think about writing your titles or even possibly your introduction until the very end.
You’ll do a better job on both of these when the article is completely written.
Tip #5: Don’t edit
This is one of those things that I can tell you theoretically, it is going to help you write faster.
But, in practice, I have a VERY hard time not editing as I write.
The best way to force yourself not to edit as you write is to set a timer for yourself.
I love Tomato Timer and I’ll set myself a 25 minute Pomodoro where I must just write straight through and I am not allowed to edit.
The more disciplined you can be about this, the faster you will get at writing.
Tip #6: Practice!
Just like pretty much every skill in life, practicing writing faster will help you write faster.
Makes sense, right?
I don’t mean practice typing faster, although if you aren’t a speedy typist, that’s a good idea to practice, too.
I mean, practice writing fast. Every day.
Commit to writing a certain amount of words every day. 500 is a great place to start.
Then set a timer for yourself. How long does it take you to write the first 500 words of a post? Or an email?
You can’t just type gibberish, it has to be somehow relevant to your business, of course, but soon you’ll see that you are getting faster.
Tip #7: Batch Write
There was a time not that long ago when I would tell you it would take me 3 days to write a post from beginning to end.
Today, I can write two a day. This very post that I’m writing right now, is the second one I’ve written just in this afternoon. And the first one was over 3k words!
I learned that by batching topics, I could write a lot more a lot faster.
This time last year I was working on writing for our blog Bogoten and I wanted to get out content as quickly as possible. Two posts a day.
I batched together posts with similar keywords and wrote them together. This works really well if you do need to do research on your topic. You can research once, write twice.
Ready to Test Your Favorite Tip on How to Write Faster?
Well, get to it!
Don’t forget to time yourself or else how will you ever know if you’re faster?