How long does it take to write a Blog Post?
I have been sailing and boating since I was two or three years old and I don’t get sea sick but sometimes I get a similar feeling when I am late getting my next blog post written.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could consistently write posts in one or two hours? Or should you spend longer to write deeper content?
According HubSpot’s survey of 4,000 marketers, most marketers spend 1–2 hours writing a 500-word blog post.
But for many, that is not what it feels like when we are faced with the task and we need re-assurance we’re not crazy or stupid for taking longer.
Another study by Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media Studios asked 1,074 bloggers the same 11 questions:
- “In 2014, we found 54% of bloggers spending 2 hours or less per post. This year, it’s down to 48%.
- A small but growing number of bloggers spend much more time on each post. 16% of bloggers spend more than four hours per post (up from 13%). 6% of bloggers spend more than six hours on a typical blog post.
- Time spent writing the typical blog post has increased 8% to more than 2.5 hours per post.”
There’s a lot of contradictory information about how long it takes to write a blog post and blogging in general but the following 16 experts should help put things in perspective.
Practice makes perfect:
“When I started blogging seven years ago, it used to take me four to five hours to write a post. Since then, not only have I figured out how to write 1,000–2,000-word blog posts in under two hours, but I’ve also figured out how to improve the quality of my posts.” Source
Here is a bit more information from blog comments where Neil discusses his blog writing process:
- Michael Hyatt — michaelhyatt.com
Another example of improving over time:
“After writing more than 1,000 posts, I have gotten better and faster with practice. Now, on average, it takes me 60–70 minutes to write and format a single post.” Source
- Jeff Bullas — jeffbullas.com
Focus is the key:
“If you are genuinely ‘writing without distraction’ you should be able to write about 1,000 words per hour.” Source
- Chris Brogan — chrisbrogan.com
Many writers are obsessive:
“I keep little text edit files open all over the place. I use Evernote a lot, too. I keep post titles in all of these places, so that when I have a moment or two (it takes me, on average, about 10–15 minutes to write a blog post), I’ll get another one done and schedule it via the editorial calendar plug-in.It might take you twice or three times as long to get out a post. That’s great. Here’s where I’m finding the time:
- I don’t watch TV.
- I don’t read blogs endlessly.
- I don’t wait in lines without doing two things at a time.
- I get up before my kids (if I can help it), and write while they’re at school.
- I don’t do phone calls or meetings if I can help it. If I have to, I keep them VERY brief.
- I’m trying out Dragon Dictate for the Mac (no review yet).
- I can type really really fast.” Source
- Kevin Lee — Buffer
Buffer has over 700,000 visitors a month on their blog, so their writers are great to emulate. Kevin Lee says:
“I write a Buffer blog post in an average of 2 hours, 58 minutes.”
Some of Kevin’s posts, where he analyzed the time spent:“Previously, I would spend 8 to 12 hours per post. It’s amazing to see how that time has shrunk as I’ve gained experience and confidence in writing for the Buffer blog.”
Here is how he breaks out each activity in terms of time spent:
Kevin also points out:
“The writers at Upworthy write 25 headlines for every post and then choose the best ones from the list to share on social media and test as the winning headline.” Source
And Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic has spent entire days just coming up with headlines. So some of this is all relative.
- Belle Beth Cooper — Buffer
Not everyone starts off writing fast, as you can see below.
“Depending on the style of the blog post and the topic, I would take 1–2 full days to write a post for the Buffer blog when I first started.”
After reworking her routine, Belle Beth was able to cut her writing time from 2 days to 4 hours and reports that:
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I’m generally able to focus on one task (writing a blog post) for a solid four-hour stretch.” Source
- Jon Morrow — smartblogger.com
When Jon was starting out, he spent 50 hours writing a guest post for ProBlogger.
“This was maybe the best article I’ve ever written,” he says. “This post has gotten…over a million page views. It’s the most popular post in the history of ProBlogger.” Source
Here is the post:
Jon also says:
“For me personally, it’s not uncommon for me to work on just the headline for two hours or more. That’s not the entire post. That’s just the headline.” Source
- Danny Inny
Danny is a master of guest posting and wrote 14 Posts and 17,481 Words in 6 Days:
“I had promised guest posts to eleven different bloggers, and had three more to write for my own blog. So I buckled down and wrote the posts. Three hours a day for six days. That’s eighteen hours to write 14 posts and 17,481 words. 77 minutes per post, and 971 words per hour.” Source
- Ramsay Taplin — The Blog Tyrant
Ramsay Taplin of The Blog Tyrant also spends a lot of time on just the headlines:
“On average I would say that my titles get re-written at least 20 to 40 times before I publish.
Sometimes the title will change because you realize that there is a better topic/angle for your overall blogging strategy, other times you just figure out better and better ways to say what you want.The main iterations of this post’s title went:How to Write A Blog Post Title
Why My Blog Post Titles Take Hours to Write
My Method of Writing Effective Blog Post Titles
How I Write Effective Blog Post Titles
Why Writing Blog Post Titles Can Take Hours
Why My Effective Titles Take Hours
How I Write Effective Post Titles (and Why it Can Take Hours)
How I Write Effective Titles (and Why it Takes Hours)” Source
Kristi Hines, an amazing blogger and social media expert, writes in half day chunks, while tuning out email and social:
“Some days are a little harder than others. I have toddler right now and I have one on the way so sometimes you just got to work whenever you get the chance to. Yeah, usually if I can ignore my email or ignore social media, just write a post that definitely flows a lot better. I usually try to schedule a little like four hours every afternoon to do all my writing.” Source
- Ginny Soskey — Hubspot
Ginny Soskey from Hubspot shoots for a couple hours jamming to Pandora:
“Usually when I write a blog post, I sit at my computer, put in my headphones, listen to my favorite Pandora station, and type until my fingers fall off. Hopefully a couple hours later, I have something that’s in great shape.” Source
- Meghan Keaney Anderson — HubSpot
Meghan Keaney Anderson avoids taking all day on posts by avoiding rabbit holes:
If I let them, single blog posts could take me a full day to complete. I could spend hours finding the right words for an introduction and punctuating each line with a “quick” break to peek at email or witter. The next thing I know it’s 40 minutes later and I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of side-topics and funny internet memes.” Source
- Joel Klettke — businesscasualcopywriting.com
Joel is clearly on a roll when writing 40 hour posts for top blogs:
“Some of my best posts as far as traction — both for me and my clients — took less than 10 hours. Some took as little as one or two.
Other times, like when I’ve ghostwritten for Moz or SEJ or Ahrefs or whatever, it’ll take 40+ hours because the bar is so much higher.” Source
- Brian Dean — backlinko.com
2 hours apparently won’t cut it when you are a walking link magnet!
“It takes me no less than 20 hours to write a single blog post. That includes everything except promotion (which is a whole different ball of wax).
That being said, in my experience, most people will see a HUGE benefit going from 5 hours/post to 10 hours/post. The extra effort shows.” Source
- Vitaly Friedman — smashingmagazine.com
Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine says:
“After all, almost every story (that they write) needs over 25 hours to be completed. Another reason for our popularity in social media is the simple fact that we don’t post too often — at most 2 articles per day appear on Smashing Magazine.” Source
- Seth Godin — sethgodin.com
Research is a major part of writing a blog post and in an interview with Seth Godin on CopyBlogger, he says:
“How much time, per day, do you spend reading or doing research?
16 [hours]. I’m not kidding.How many hours a day do you spend actually writing (excluding email, social media etc.)?Do you mean typing? I don’t know, fifteen minutes. I can type fast.” Source
While he didn’t exactly answer how long it takes him to write a blog post, it sounds like he spends most of his time researching and when he sits down to write it comes out in an absolute burst of a water hose in 15 minutes.
Seth writes daily and his posts are some of the shortest in the industry but also some of the most read. His writing feels more like looking at a Van Gogh painting, whereas most outstanding posts are like looking at a beautifully painted Victorian house.
There is no exact formula for how to write a blog post or precisely how many hours it takes.
Different people have different styles but you can learn to work more efficiently. In fact you must work in a more streamlined way, so you can spend more time promoting.
You also need to factor in your goals.
If your goal is to write a piece of epic content to get links, social shares and PR buzz or your first guest post on a top site, then you will likely be spending 10 hours or more, whereas your “regular” posts might be done in as little as 1–2 hours.
And hey, if you are Seth Godin or Chris Brogan you might be able to whip of some of the most read posts in the world in just 15 minutes!
If SEO is your goal, then you should also be aware that according to Searchmetrics, the average word count for a top 10 ranking page is 1,285 words, up from 975 words in 2014. So busting out daily 500 word quickie content stuffed with keywords, might not do as much as you think.
Regardless of how long it takes, learn from the best and be sure to develop your own God given voice.
Once you find your voice and can work “smarter not harder”, you will be well on your way to reaping the magnificent rewards that blogging and building authority can bring.
How long does it take you or your team members to write a 500 word or 1,000+ word blog post?