How much time?
Based on research from Orbit Media, it takes a blogger 3 hours and 21 minutes to write an average blog post of 1,151 words.
Considering that blog posts of 2,000 or more words generate the most Google search traffic these days, that means a high-quality 2,000-word post would take at least 6 hours to write.
It takes even longer for beginner writers and people who aren’t experienced, professional blog writers to write blog posts.
John McDougall of Authority Marketing asked 16 expert bloggers how long it takes them to write a blog post, and a common response was that they’ve gotten faster with more experience.
Prolific blogger Neil Patel noted that it used to take him four to five hours to write a blog post, but after seven years of blogging, he cut that time down to under two hours to write a 1,000-2,000-word post.
Kevin Lee of Buffer used to spend 8 to 12 hours per post but has cut that time down significantly. He told John McDougall that it takes him an average of 2 hours and 58 minutes to write a blog post.
Belle Beth Cooper of Buffer also reduced the amount of time it takes her to write blog posts over the years.
It used to take her one to two days to write a blog post for the Buffer blog, but she cut her writing time down to 4 hours per post.
Bottom-line, it takes longer than most people think to write a great blog post, and quality matters a lot in content marketing.
Key Factors that Affect Blog Post Writing Time
There are a variety of factors that directly affect how long it takes for a blog post to go from concept to published. In general, the blog writer is responsible for all or most of these factors.
If you’re thinking of writing your own blog posts, make sure you have the time to do them all well, and if you plan to hire someone to help you, make sure the fee you pay matches the time it will take to create the post and the quality of the content.
1. Come Up With Blog Post Topic
What are you going to write about? If you don’t already have a blog editorial calendar developed, then I highly recommend that you create one now.
It will cut down the amount of time you spend brainstorming blog post topic ideas every time you sit down to write.
2. Determine How Well the Writer Knows the Topic
If the person writing your blog post isn’t already an expert with authority on the topic, then it will take him or her longer to write it.
Always factor in the experience level of the writer in terms of the post topic and blog writing in general, because both affect how long it takes to write a blog post.
3. Research the Topic
No matter how well a writer knows a topic, there is always research time involved in writing a blog post.
Whether an expert on the topic searches for competitors’ posts to ensure the post they write is better or the expert looks for current statistics to include in the post, the truth is very few posts are ever written without some type of research.
For beginner bloggers or topic novices, the research time could be hours.
4. Strategize SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important to every website, and for some, it’s a top priority.
Every blog post should be written with SEO in mind, so time is needed to research and select keywords, links, image Alt-Tags, and formatting tactics to ensure Google includes the post in relevant search results.
5. Outline and Write the Post
With all of the pre-writing work done, it’s time to outline a structure for your post based on blogging best practices. That means you need to break down the topic into sections and sub-sections that you can format with H2 and H3 headings.
You need to plan to start your post strong and be concise using short sentences and paragraphs so it’s easy for mobile audiences to read your posts.
Expert bloggers take care of all of this for you, but if you’re writing your own blog posts, you’ll need to handle all of these elements as you write.
6. Write the Headline
With the post written, it’s time to write the headline, which is critical to increasing traffic to your post. It’s not unusual for bloggers to go through 10 or 20 headlines before they settle on a final version, and large blogs with big budgets invest in and test dozens of headlines for each post before narrowing them down to the best one.
Don’t underestimate how long it takes to create a great headline.
7. Add Links to Internal and External Resources
For SEO purposes and to provide a great user experience, it’s important to include links to helpful resources in your blog posts.
This includes both links to other content on your own website and links to other websites.
For example, if you mention a research report in your blog post, link to it within the post so people can read more about the study if they’d like to.
If you mention a topic you’ve covered in depth in a previous blog post, link to it.
8. Find, Design, and Add Images
Images have become more important in recent years as the web becomes more visual and people actively look for visual content.
Therefore, take the time to find high-quality images that you’re legally allowed to use on your blog or website.
If you’re designing images, make sure they fit your brand image and are consistent with your brand identity in terms of style and colors.
In addition, don’t forget SEO when it comes to images. Add keyword-rich image file names, descriptions, and Alt-Tags to boost search traffic to your posts.
9. Format the Post and Add Tags and Categories
With all of the parts and pieces in place, it’s time to format your post based on blogging best practices.
This includes making sure you use H2 and H3 headings, use bullets and numbered lists, use short paragraphs, and confirm that the post looks good when you preview it.
If your post isn’t aesthetically pleasing on desktop and mobile devices, few people will read it.
10. Proofread the Post
Finally, give your post a final proofread and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes. We’re all human, so if you don’t have an editor working for you, errors will slip by you sometimes. Don’t worry about it. Instead, apologize and fix the error.
Once your post looks great and includes no errors, go ahead and hit the Publish button!
Key Takeaways About Blog Writing
It’s easy to assume that writing a 1,000-word blog post takes less than an hour, but the reality is quite different.
Even the best bloggers writing about topics they know well need an average of 3 hours and 21 minutes to put together great blog posts.
That’s because blog writing isn’t easy – at least not when it’s done well, and publishing well-written, high-quality blog posts is essential to businesses that rely on content to build their brands and increase sales.
Don’t settle for less than the best.