How long does it take to write a blog post?
This is a question that many surf-centric business owners ask themselves at one point or another. And the answer can vary depending on a variety of factors.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss how long it typically takes to write a high-quality blog article, as well as provide you with a rough guideline as to how long it will take to write and post an article to your surf school, surf camp or surf retreat blog.
6 elements that determine the time it takes to write a post
There are a number of different elements that determine how long it will take to write your next blog post.
Everything from the subject matter to how much research is required to support your claims will play a role in how long the writing process takes. Here are 6 of the primary determinants of a blog post’s length.
Good research is the foundation of any well-written blog post. The amount of time you’ll spend on this element will depend largely on the topic you’re writing about and how familiar you are with it.
If you’re writing about something you know well, you may only need to do a quick refresher of the key points before getting started. If you’re covering new ground, however, you’ll need to take the time to learn about the topic before you can start writing.
Either way, give yourself enough time to do a thorough job of research so that your post is well-informed and accurate. You can also use this handy guide if you’re struggling to come up with topic ideas.
2. Blog length
In most cases, an article with a word count of 2,000 words will take longer to write than a 1,000-word post. This means that you’ll need to invest more time in developing and fleshing out your ideas the more words you use.
Articles with more than 1,000 words will also start to see some structural complexities. Playing around with headlines, bullet points and blocks of content will add to the amount of time it takes to write a longer post.
On the other hand, shorter blog posts can be written relatively quickly if you have a clear understanding of what you want to say from the start. These pieces will tend to be more straightforward and require less time spent on restructuring and editing.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, sourcing media for your blog post can also have an impact on how long it takes to write. This is particularly true if you’re planning on creating original content, like infographics or videos.
If you’re including these types of visuals in your post, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to create them. The process of sourcing images from a stock library and resizing them will also add a few minutes to your writing time.
Don’t forget either that you’ll need to add alt-text, captions and perhaps even citations to your images, videos or graphics if they’re from a third party. This can quickly eat into the time you have available for writing.
Some topics don’t require you to deep-dive into them, while others might demand that you break down the nuances of a particular product, destination or manoeuvre.
If you’re unsure how much detail to go into, consider your audience—will they appreciate an extensive analysis or are they looking for the cliff notes?
In most cases, the more general a topic is, the more scope there is for additional content later on. For example, if you’re writing about a surf school in Indonesia, you might write an article that covers the basics of surfing for beginners. But you could also write more specific articles focused on topics like “How to choose the right surfboard,” “The best surfing spots in Indonesia” or “How to surf without wiping out.”
By starting with a broad scope, you give yourself the opportunity to produce a variety of content down the road but you’ll need to be more selective at the beginning.
The best blog posts take complex visions, products or concepts and make them digestible for the everyday reader.
In order to figure out just how complex a particular topic is, you should consider how much time and effort you’ll need to spend researching it.
If you’re able to easily find information from a variety of sources, or if you have first-hand experience with the topic, then it’s likely that you won’t have any trouble breaking it down for your readers.
If the thought of writing about this topic gives you a headache though, then chances are it’s also giving other people headaches too. In that case, you might need to spend more time researching, or you might need to consider a different topic altogether. But trust me when I say that it’s worth the extra effort to help people understand a complex notion.
6. Search Engine Optimisation
The final factor that determines how long it will take you to write a blog post is how much Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) you need to do.
If you’re writing for a highly competitive market, then you’ll need to spend more time on keyword research and making sure your post is optimised for the search engines. However, if you’re writing for a less competitive market, then the amount of effort you put into SEO research will be less because there’s presumably less competition for the keywords you want to rank for.
In general, though, you should expect to spend at least 30 minutes to 1 hour doing keyword research and making sure your post is optimised before you publish it. This involves:
- Adding the appropriate keywords
- Writing a meta description/title
- Adding header tags (H1, H2, etc.)
- Writing image alt text/captions
- Linking (internal and external)
Estimated times: Writing and posting a blog article
While I can’t say for certain how long you’ll need to write a blog post, the rough estimate is that it will take you anywhere from 1 to several hours depending on how many words the post in question is.
This includes time spent on research, writing, SEO, editing and revision rounds plus posting. Of course, some people work faster than others, which makes it difficult to give an exact time frame.
Assuming you can write 500 words in an hour, a 1,000-word article would take you approximately two hours to write from start to finish plus another 2 hours for SEO, editing and posting. And that’s if you don’t need to do much research and you already have a general idea of what you want to say.
If the blog post you’re writing is longer, say 2,000-3,000 words, then it will take you closer to four hours just to research and write it plus an additional 3-4 hours for SEO, editing and posting. A solid blog post piece with high-quality images that run through an SEO program might take you a whole day.
Keep in mind that none of these estimates take into account the sharing of your article across social media platforms or any other marketing you might want to do once your post is live.
Just remember, these are rough estimates. Some people can write a great article in an hour while others might spend days on the same piece and still not feel satisfied with it. If you’re just starting out, the most important thing is to simply begin. You’ll quickly learn the do’s and don’ts of blog writing as you go.
So how long does it take to write a blog post?
Well, how long is a piece of string? It’s hard to say without knowing what is required for the particular article you’re writing. However, by taking into account the factors mentioned above, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how long it will take you to write your next blog post.
If you want to post consistent blog articles to further promote your brand or increase your Google ranking, you might want to consider hiring a professional. I offer affordable blog writing services that can take the burden off your shoulders. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can organise a time for a quick chat.