I Wrote 52 Blogs At 2.2 Hours Per Topic. Here’s My Data-Driven Method.
Struggling to find time for your passion in content creation? You're not alone.
I talked to dozens who enjoy writing, podcasting, or making video tutorials, but they struggle with time. Maybe you enjoy it and wish to create more content within your limited time? Or you want to save time from content creation for other activities. Here's a method with an example you can use to track and speed up your content creation.
After 3 years, I have become comfortable with writing. In 2023, I posted 52 blogs. This year, my goal is to write 52 blogs again. Same output, but, spend less time on each blog. I started by gathering data for a baseline: I spend a median of 2.2 hours per blog.
I started with a data-driven approach. I used RescueTime, a time-tracking app, to analyze my writing process.
In this post, you will find:
Process to find your time taken per content piece.
Anecdotes and examples from my data.
Tips to save your content creation time.
I spent 3 hours and 8 minutes writing this post.
Insights And Reflections From Statistics On Blog Writing
I published 52 blogs. Some were split into parts, so I grouped them for this analysis. This means I published 40 blog groups. From now on, when I say 'blogs', I'm referring to these blog groups.
I spent a total of 105 hours on writing.
On average, I took 2.6 hours to write each blog.
The longest was 10.5 hours on a three-part article about learning from consulting experts.
The second longest was 9 hours on a four-part article about making a storybook with AI.
Here are my reflections from the baseline data:
I found out I only spend about 2-3 hours on each blog. I thought it was more. This might be because of distractions like emails or waiting for AI output.
I had hoped my use of AI and practice of writing would make me faster over time. But, it seems I didn't get faster over time.
I also worked on blogs I didn't post. I want to complete and post them in 2024.
I have a goal of saving time in 2024, so I want to think about how to accomplish it. My content goals for 2024 include:
Time-Saving Ideas For Content Creation
The act of reviewing the data made me think about these ideas. But, I didn't come up with these time-saving ideas directly from the data.
AI: Use voice typing and AI for faster blog writing, for example, ChatGPT. Make a checklist or action list for each content piece, apart from writing and editing. I’ll make one and share it soon. You can use voice typing and AI to lower your barrier in sharing your thoughts.
Delegate: Delegate activities when possible. For example, I’ll continue delegating blog publishing to a freelancer I found on Fiverr. I also delegate data collection, web scraping, or data tagging to freelancers.
Shorter: Write shorter blogs. Most of my blogs are 2,000 words; I may focus more on shorter blogs.
Structure: For larger topics, have a structured approach to check your progress. For example, I need some structure when dealing with large posts, for example, I worked on this article over months: Here Is The Advice I Got From Consultants With 236+ Years Of Experience Collectively. I will try to create a working structure using the section headings.
Publish: Do you have pieces you stalled on? What is the minimum effort you can put into publishing it? Not polished, not your best, but published. For example, for unpublished works, like my business consulting learnings, I’ll use AI to speed up the process.
Habit Planning: Once you know how much time you need for a blog, plan for it in your day. Look at your calendar. For example, if you need 2.5 hours per blog and want to publish weekly, find 30 minutes each weekday. This time could be after dinner or before breakfast. Add an extra meeting to your calendar.
I wrote more tips here: Coping With 6 Challenges In Content Creation And Community Curation.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Get Your Equivalent Data
Here are the steps you can take to process your data:
Collect: Wait a few months to collect your data. For example, track your app usage or blog writing time for a month.
Export: Get your data from the time tracking app. Filter your data export to the apps you need, like Google Docs and Google sheets.
Clean: Prepare your data. If it needs human judgment, use ChatGPT. If the clean up more formulaic, use Google Sheets or MS Excel. For example, I mapped my time to my blogs with ChatGPT. My time tracking said I spent on a doc named “career decision blog” but my blog title was “The Consulting Detour: Does It Pave the Way to Entrepreneurial Success?”
Analyze: Look at your average, median, minimum, and maximum times. What stands out to you in your data? What confirms your existing beliefs?
Visualize: See how your time distribution looks. How does it change across each blog, blog topics, blog length, or over the year?