In my experience, one of the best ways to write great content is to make time to write great content.

I’m grateful that the team at Buffer emphasizes the blog as a means of helping others, spreading the word about Buffer, and sharing our learnings and improvements. This allows me to spend the time writing.

And how do I spend that time?

I’d love to show you.

We publish four posts per week on the Buffer blog, each post at least 1,500 words (and typically over 2,000). I write three of these posts. And for the past two weeks, I tracked every minute I spent on a blog post from research through promotion. Here’s how it all breaks down.

How to write a blog post

How Much Time It Takes to Write a Buffer Blog Post

I write a Buffer blog post in an average of 2 hours, 58 minutes.

The longest post took 3 hours, 33 minutes.

The shortest post took 2 hours, 23 minutes.

The post I’m writing right now took 2 hours, 42 minutes (I added it all up once I finished).

In total, I tracked six different blog posts. Here’s a breakdown of the word count and the time involved in each of the six posts from the past two weeks.

how long to write a buffer blog post

The times were really interesting to see as they’ve improved quite a bit from when I started with Buffer. Much like Belle’s post on how she cut her writing time from 2 days to 4 hours, I’d say that my writing time has decreased significantly also.

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.

How I Spend My Time Writing Blog Posts

From a bird’s-eye view, here’s a quick overview of how the three hours of time break down specifically, according to the different stages of my writing process. I’d love to get into even more detail on each of these stages below.

How to Write a Blog Post at Buffer

And a tip of the hat to the free time-tracking tool Toggl for helping me easily track and compile all these stats.

Research – 40 minutes per post

One of the hallmarks of the blog posts on the Buffer blog is the fact that they are research-backed, scientific, data-oriented articles with specific, actionable takeaways.

Because of this, it’s key to spend as much time as possible to come up with the research, science, and data to share.

My research process has sped up quite a bit as I’ve gained experience with social media and with the Buffer way of things. I’m able to pull from the past to write good chunks of articles now, with less switching back and forth between old articles and old threads.

To quickly find an article we’ve written about in the past, I do a site: search in Google.

site:blog.bufferapp.com keyword

To find resources to quote and dig into for social media stats or strategies, I do a lot of custom Google searches, both at google.com and at Google Scholar (tons of great research papers and scientific studies).

  • I’ll start with a series of keywords, entering each into a Google search.
  • I’ll refine the search terms, based on autofill suggestions and suggested searches at the bottom of the page
  • I’ll change the date settings to only show results from the past year

past year google search

In addition to these workflows, I also find that a lot of research can be done before you even start researching a blog post.

Seems a bit counterintuitive, right? Well, the way this has worked at Buffer is that we collect and store any interesting research in personal Evernote files or in our team Trello blog post board. I’ve used a method of highlighting and tagging articles in Pocket, or favoriting tweets that I might want to reference later for information.

However you choose to do it, this pre-research phase can be a great time saver when it comes to starting a fresh blog post.

Outline – 4 minutes per post

Some posts—not all posts—go through an outline stage where I’ll  take the research and organize it into a loose flow. It’s all very tentative and guess-heavy; I expect the final product to change a lot from the initial outline.

The outline is as simple as jotting down the sections that I’ll end up writing and the order in which I think they’ll appear, then moving the research, stats, and quotables into each section.

It helps to move things along for the writing stage (next).

Writing – 59 minutes per post

WordPress used to have this cool Easter egg when you switched to the distraction-free editor. The bottom of the editor would say, “Just Write.”

just write wordpress

And this is such good advice. At this stage of my writing process, just writing is the most valuable thing I can do. I close everything off, hop into the distraction-free WordPress editor, and let fly whatever comes to mind.

I always write the intro first, as it helps me focus on where the article is headed and makes it a bit easier psychologically to get stuck into writing the post since I’m not working from an entirely blank page.

As I write, I’ll keep in mind things like:

  • Varying sentence length
  • Varying paragraph size
  • Adding space for images (I use a placeholder text of “//pic”)
  • Reminders to come back and add stats or specifics (I leave an “xx” for missing info)

And beyond that, there’s not a whole lot else I’ll do. Just write. Even if it’s terrible. (Terrible is better than zilch.)

By the end of the writing stage, I’ll often have 2,000 or more words to work with.

Editing – 26 minutes per post

I give myself the freedom to throw a bunch of ideas, thoughts, and rambles into the post during the writing stage because I know the editing stage is coming. I’ll have a chance to clean things up.

And in a lot of ways, editing is quite a bit like Writing: Part II. There are times when I’ll cut out huge portions of what I’ve written before and start from scratch.

And one of the most helpful ways I’ve found to edit is to give the article some time to simmer, a couple hours or preferably a day. When I can come back to something with fresh eyes, I’m often able to see things from a better perspective.

During the actual editing process, I’ll do the following:

  • Tighten up the intro and make sure it includes a copywriting formula or hook
  • Double-check that the headings are descriptive and noticeable
  • Double-check that the headings are the proper sizes (in our case, H2 vs H3 vs bold)
  • Add links to past Buffer articles in the intro and throughout the story where appropriate
  • Add any missing info like stats or source attribution
  • Remove sections that don’t add value to the article; trim down super long sections
  • Add formatting like bold, italics, blockquote, indent, bullet lists, numbered lists
  • Proofread

Creating images – 30 minutes per post

Content with visuals gets 94 percent more views.

So we aim to be quite purposeful in finding and creating great visuals for each and every post.

I’ll typically find or create the following images for each new article:

  1. A title image made in Pablo, featuring the keyword of the post, a subhead, and an icon
  2. A main image to serve as the background for the article heading
  3. Screenshots
  4. Pinterest-sized graphic, vertical and 735 x 1102
  5. Miscellaneous graphics, as needed

For creating all this cool stuff, I’ve found a pretty solid go-to list of tools and websites. Here are the ones I visit most often:

Real quick, here’s a sample of what I do when creating the title image for blog posts. I’ve got this down to about two minutes of time.

  1. Enter the headline, set the headline to Open Sans font, Extra Large, Bold
  2. Click to add secondary text, set the text to Satisfy font, Large
  3. Find an image on UnSplash, abstract yet perhaps somewhat related to the post, e.g. a car dashboard for a post about metrics or an airplane for a post about growth
  4. Upload the image, set to Blur
  5. Find an icon at IconFinder, set the search to Flat Icons only
  6. Download the icon and upload to Pablo as the “Add a logo” option, resize as needed
  7. Center all elements
  8. Download to my computer

How to make an image with Pablo

SEO – 4 minutes per blog post

For SEO, a lot of it comes into place early on in our blogging process. In fact, it often happens before the process even begins.

The idea stage is sometimes the best time to consider the keyword you’ll be focusing on in the story. When you have a keyword in mind from the start, the SEO part of the writing process goes pretty quick.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the privilege of writing posts with clear keywords like “content promotion,” “collaboration tools,” and “social media checklist.”

Of course, there are times when the keyword isn’t quite as crystal clear. When I’m in doubt about which keyword to focus on, I’ll do a quick search in Google.

I go to trends.google.com and type in the keywords I’m considering. Here’s what Google Trends had to say about this post on how to spend your time writing a blog post.

keywords google trends

Also, another method is to open an incognito browser window, go to Google, and begin typing potential keywords and noticing the Autofill results that come up.

autofill results

For the Buffer blog, we use a WordPress plugin, Yoast SEO, to handle the specifics of implementing SEO strategy into each post.This makes it so that we have just a few small tasks to do on each post in order to set the SEO.

  • Choose a focus keyword
  • Write an SEO headline—used on Google, Facebook, etc.
  • Write a description
  • Edit the article URL

yoast seo

Occasionally, to make sure that the content is focused on that keyword or phrase, I’ll do a quick search inside the article (CTRL+F) to see how many times the keyword is mentioned or to rewrite any phrases that are perhaps similar.

Headlines – 6 minutes per post

Recently, I began an attempt at a sort of Upworthy headline challenge.

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.

I’ve been able to do 15 headlines per post so far, and it’s been a really awesome exercise.

Perhaps what’s helped me most with this is being able to reference a couple of articles on the Buffer blog that talk about headlines:

Having these close by is really useful for brainstorming the different options for headlines, and it’s helped me expand my creativity and openness to new headline ideas.

And not all of the headlines are winners! (In my experience so far, about 1/3 of them might be worth keeping.) For example, here is the list of headlines I brainstormed for the post that eventually was titled The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI.

Buffer headline challenge

Promotion – 7 minutes per post

There are so many cool tips and techniques for promoting your content. I’m keen to explore a lot of them further; at this stage, we do just a couple of things for Buffer blog posts.

What I’ll do is share each new post multiple times to social media, according to a sharing schedule we’ve iterated on here at Buffer: multiple times over the first few days to Twitter, once today and once later in the week to Facebook and Google+, once to LinkedIn.

social media posting schedule

And then each new post also goes out to our RSS email list (you can sign up here if you’re interested). And this process happens automatically. Each new post is grabbed by MailChimp and sent out at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

How my process has changed over time

One thing I’ve found about my writing process is that it routinely seems to change.

Things happen during the week that allow me to adjust the schedule and I’ll stumble upon a new system of writing—and keep that system until a new one falls into place.

I particularly enjoyed a system I used when starting out at Buffer: The 3-day Blogpost Process. It worked like this:

  • Day one: Research
  • Day two: Writing
  • Day three: Editing

And the idea is to stagger the schedule so that you’re doing one of each stage for three different blog posts each day.

3-day-blog-post-process

In this way, I was able to write up to five blog posts per week and felt great about the extra time to focus and reflect on the content that I was publishing.

(My schedule has shifted slightly to more of a one-day method of writing where I’ll get the majority done in one day and then do a final read-over on the day of publish.)

What does your blogging process look like?

It’d be awesome to hear how you blog, how you spend your time, and any tips you’ve picked up.

Feel free to share your experience in the comments or ask any follow-up about the way I do things at Buffer.

Image sources: Pablo, Startup Stock Photos, WordPress, Kapost

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Courtney

    Fantastic post Kevan! I’m going to share this with our (brand spankin’ new) in-house network of bloggers. I know a lot of them (myself included) have a hard time writing efficiently. It definitely comes with practice. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for sharing this one, Courtney! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Hello Kevan! Thanks for sharing this! I voted for it when you made a poll previously and I’m glad that you wrote it! It is really impressive that you could write such blog posts in about 3 hours!

    I did a 30 post in 30 days writing challenge recently. One of the main lessons I learnt is that rather than waiting for the feeling to write, it’s better to show up regularly and write. It’s better to write poorly than not write at all!

    Thanks, again! 🙂

    • Hi Alfred! Great to hear from you. Yes, I love what you said here about “show up regularly and write.” Such great advice!

  • Very interesting Kevan! Promotion only taking 7 mins is great! I spend as much time promoting my posts as I do writing them. But I’m not the might Buffer! 😉

    • Hi Mike! Thanks for the comment. Yes, I definitely feel honored to promote content to the Buffer community – and using Buffer to do so makes the social media side of things super quick and efficient. 🙂

  • You’re the man, Kevan.

    i think that Upworthy has a whole team of people working on their 25 titles per post. I usually have a few varieties and usually use a few of them eventually.

    I’ll try your system. 🙂

    • Hi Peg! Great to hear from you. I think you’re right, I’ve heard that multiple folks work together on the headlines, and I imagine this brings a lot of great perspectives in, too. I’d love to hear how the headline writing goes!

  • It takes me 3 to 6 months to write one blog post. Somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 hours. I typically need to read 30 science papers per post, with many hours needed to read each paper and pull its’ references. I also spend a long time doing the figures – I can redo them 3 to 5 times until they jive with the text. I have been blogging for since 2009 and I have completed 35 posts. My posts are a labor of love, and when they are finished, they feel like a work of art.

  • If there is any better word than “awesome” to describe this post i would do that 🙂 I just felt great to read this post today and going to follow them to bring down my time as well while writing my posts.

    Thanks for sharing Kevan 🙂

    • Hi Nikky! Thanks so much for the comment. Really glad you found this useful. Happy blogging! 🙂

  • Maham Shahid

    It normally takes me a
    total of around 2 to 3 hours (not in one go, though, as I usually get distracted midway
    and finish the post later on) to write a 1500 word blog post. Any tips on beating
    distraction?

    • jaz

      I have the same problem.

    • Hi Maham! Great question! There’s this interesting adage called Parkinson’s Law that says “work will expand to fill the time allotted.” I’ve found this to be true for me when I’m writing blog posts. If I give myself a set amount of time to get something done, then I’m usually able to focus in and work consistently throughout that window. Perhaps a bit of deadline pressure is in play here also?

      • Maham Shahid

        You’re absolutely right, Kevan! Thanks for the tip. Gave myself a 2 hour deadline yesterday, and guess what, finished over 2500 words! Woohoo! I feel so accomplished. Lol! 😀

  • I’m impressed! It takes me on average 12 hours to write a 2,000 word post. I write on brain and mental health related topics and usually spend 4 hours just doing research — reading what others have written on the topic including scientific studies. I cite on average 50 references and it all takes time. But you’ve encouraged me to see how I can speed the process up!

    • Hi Deane! Really great to learn about your process here. I definitely think that the way we do things at Buffer is specific to our niche, our industry, and our content strategy. I’d love to know if any of the tips we shared here end up being useful for you! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your process, Kevan! You always write the best posts and it’s great to see how you do that. I especially love that you just sit down and write freely when it comes to the actual writing process. I’ve always found the same to work best for me. Great share!

    • Hi Megan! Thanks so much for the comment. Great to hear we share some similarities in the writing process! 🙂

  • Vicky

    Wow, really insightful. I wonder – how much in advance are you writing? i.e. if you are writing a blog today, when does it usually go out? Do you have the topics for the entire month planned in advance? Or do they change week over week?

    • Hi Vicky! Great question. 🙂 A fair amount of the time, I’m writing a blog post today that will be published tomorrow. Occasionally, we’ll be ahead a few days and I can schedule content for the following week.

      In terms of our content calendar, we plan one or two weeks ahead, using a Trello board full of ideas. We’ll just drag the ideas over that feel worth writing about next. 🙂

  • What a fantastic and helpful post. I usually take 4-8 hours to write a decent blog post, but am going to see if I can cut it down using some of your tips.

    My process is similar – research, writing, editing – but sometimes I start writing some thoughts first in order to guide my research.

    Not sure if you answered this earlier but is blogging your main responsibility at Buffer? I’m asking because I find that the more you write, the easier writing becomes. When writing is something you only do occasionally, your throughput is likely lower.

    • Hi Amrita! Thanks for the comment! And really great of you to ask about the writing role at Buffer. When I started off, I’d say that blog posts were 75 percent of what I did here, and now that percentage has maybe shifted to 50 percent? Totally agree with your sentiment about writing consistently to speed up your output. 🙂

  • Kevan, I wonder how much time or how many blog posts it took till you get the down to just under 3 hours? I would imagine that it took quite some practice to get to that time and it wasn’t always like that.

    • Hi there Kosio! Thanks for the comment! Yes, you’re right. I’ve been blogging at Buffer for a little over a year (13 months), and I tend to create about 15 posts per month. So … (quick math) … 195 posts?

      • That’s a pretty big number 🙂

        How long did it USE to take you on the first maybe 30 – 50 vs now?

        • Hi Kosio, I’d say before I was writing a post in 8 to 10 hours. Definitely have made some strides since then!

    • I gotta learn to schedule and stop procrastinating! I always miss doing social media sharing which is a great help in boosting traffic.

  • Wendy Kiana Kelly

    My process is very similar but I do tend to spend more time in research & less time writing. I really appreciate your sharing this. I have been mulling over how to explain the blog-writing process to a few people, and the way you have laid this out is extremely helpful.

    • Hi Wendy! Great to hear from you. Really glad this post was useful for you. 🙂

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  • Carly Bonilla-Flores

    First of all – BEST POST EVER. I recently started blogging and I keep getting so bogged down with how to best approach the research, writing, editing process, that I feel like I’m going nowhere sometimes. This post really helped me put the process into perspective, so thank you. Secondly, where do you find inspiration for blog post ideas?

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks so much, Carly! Really glad that the info here might be helpful for you.

      Our idea process involves a lot of reading (blogs/tweets/RSS/etc), social media engagement (commenting/interacting/finding common threads or problems), and reflecting on our own experiments and processes. I will say that focusing on transparency is huge for content – it opens up a huge amount of potential topics!

  • Kirill

    Kevan, another solid post. I am curious if you, or someone else who blogs professionally, can talk about how you make time for blogging among other daily tasks. Do you set aside a certain time in advance? Try to capture a moment when you can and/or are inspired?

  • Thanks for this great article, Kevan, I’ve shared it with everyone in my team. One thought that cropped up as I was reading through this article though was: how long does it take to know what to blog about? When you have the topic my guess is that it’s fairly easy to follow your strategy but when you have a blank screen and no topic in mind…it might take a little more than 3 hours.

    • Great question, Peter! You’re right, I didn’t quite explain that in the post. In a lot of ways the “knowing what to blog about” happens during the idea phase in such a way that I can look at a card on our Trello board and have a pretty good sense for what that article might look like.

      I think the other big part of it for me is to have a sense for what blog posts I’ll be writing next, usually the day before I write, and letting my subconscious turn them over a bit before I sit down the following day. I can’t really describe any particular effects this has other than that I feel quite mroe prepared to write when I do it this way versus when I don’t. 🙂

  • This instantly goes to my pocket list 🙂 Content isn’t my only task at my current job so it’s easy for me to rationalize being late on blogging. But, I shouldn’t do that! If I can get to half of your productivity, I’ll be all set for success 🙂

    • Awesome! Great to hear this, Thibaut! Best of luck!

  • Matt Aunger

    Great post Kevan, thanks for sharing your process in such a deep level of detail. I’d be interested to know what your pre-writing process is like? What do you go through to come up with your topic? Is it a case of doing the research and finding something interesting, or are you setting out with a clear rationale?

    • Hi Matt! Great to hear from you, and love the question about the idea process. 🙂

      I think there are a few ways we arrive at topics.

      1) keyword ideas – wanting to rank for certain search terms that we’ve not covered yet (this was the case with “social media marketing strategy” and “social media manager”
      2) personal experiments/questions – if there’s something we’re curious about on the team, we’ll try it out and report back the findings
      3) customer questions – we’ll listen to customer conversations and see if there’s anything we can dig into for the blog (e.g., our recent story on social media reports)
      4) historically validated ideas – things like “latest social media stats” and “science of” and “psychology of”

      There might be some good info here as well: https://blog.bufferapp.com/idea-curation-get-more-ideas

      • Matt Aunger

        Thanks Kevan, that’s both a really helpful response and another interesting article you’ve linked. It’s refreshing to see a company that’s happy to be so transparent with their processes and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  • Great post as always Kevan! The biggest battle for any article is getting the topic, research and outline done. Once you have those things in place, you know in what direction you need to think and write about.

    • Great point! Thanks for this. 🙂

  • Wow Kevan, thanks for sharing all of your tricks! No matter what I do I can´t figure out how write a post in less than 5 hours. Need to keep up with you. 🙂

    • 5 hours is a fantastic time, Francisco! Keep up the good work. 🙂 I’ve worked my way down to 3 from previously around 8 or 10. You’re in a great spot. 🙂

  • Hey, you’re so fast!
    If I have everything I want to write in my mind, it will take 4-5 hours, I guess. But usually I spend much more time on researching and proofreading, and than it goes like 10-14 hours in total. It looks like a lot, and maybe I should work on my routine, but 2-3 hours of research is a must, I feel like if I spend less on reading, my post won’t be useful enough…
    But you manage to write extremely helpful articles in no time – my hat’s off.

    • Thanks, Ksenia! Love hearing about your process. I think the specifics of the writing for each person are likely to be unique, as we all write unique content for unique audiences! Really cool to learn how you get work done! 🙂

  • rvarbanov

    Kevan, what is your workflow to schedule the post to social media like you outlined in the image above?

    How do you schedule post on twitter:
    1. On publish
    2. 1 hour letter
    3. 3 hour letter

    4. Next day
    5. Next week
    6. Next month
    7. Two months

    Do you have a spreadsheet that you use to keep track of all your posts or is there a better way of doing that?

    • Great question! I can be a lot better about this process, but in general we just simply use our Buffer queues and schedule posts ahead for specific times. We’ll also sometimes go with a looser schedule where we’ll share the post multiple times the first day on Twitter, moving it around in the queue, then we’ll add the post to an evergreen “testing” account where we can re-buffer on and on into the future. 🙂

  • Wow, great post! Thanks for sharing your process – lots of great takeaways for me especially in the SEO dept.

    What are your thoughts on using the Buzzfeed method of catchy URLs to increase social sharing? http://www.inc.com/rebecca-borison/buzzfeed-says-to-throw-away-boring-urls.html

    • Thanks for the comment! This is a great question. 🙂 I think in my experience we have gained a lot of value in the long-term search traffic for posts, and we feel like having a short, keyword-rich URL is key for this. Love the way that Buzzfeed has thought outside the box with the way it structures its URLs. I think it’s a great strategy to test!

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  • I live by the 3-day method (research day 1, write day 2, edit day 3). I probably spend about 5-hours researching/writing a blog post. Editing and posting takes another 1-2). My CEO sent your post to me–is that a hint that I need to move faster? 😛 That’ll be the day. Lots of great tips in here! Especially like finding new, cool image sources–will be checking some of those out for sure. Cheers!

    • Thanks so much, Naomi! Your process sounds super smooth. Really grateful you shared it!

  • David S

    Thanks. I can use any tips in order to write a better blog post as this is always a challenge. I have had good success with some go content rewriters also that speed up the process undoubtedly 🙂

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  • Awesome blog about creating a blog! 😉 I’d say you put in much more time than the average blogger, considering my common clientele blog investment (I have a copywriting agency) – and it shows! Each blog is creative and high quality, I’ve been reading Buffer for a while now. Read and shared!

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Julia!

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  • Jay Ricciardi

    What sort of idea/keyword management tools do you use? I often find myself a little overwhelmed while juggling keywords and research. I’ve been using Trello, and that’s great, but even Trello can get crowded and jumbled over time.

    • Hi Jay! Yep, we pretty much just use Trello to track this. Our ideas and keyword management sits in the same board. Currently, our idea list sits at 79! I’ve taken to marking some of my favorite ideas with labels or team members, and I’ve been curious to test out the voting feature also to bubble up the best ideas. 🙂

  • That’s a great post, Kevan – it gives me hope! 🙂 I recently started writing content for customers on a freelance basis and it also takes me good 6-8hrs to research and write a detailed blog post.

    It makes me wonder whether there’s opportunity for scalability going forward, but the fact you found a way to cut down your writing time makes me optimistic. Do you have any actionable tips on how to improve your productivity?

    • Hi there Ilia! Thanks so much for the comment, and congrats on the freelance writing! I think the one thing that helps me move fastest with writing is cutting out distractions (no listening to music, writing in the distraction-free editor, moving my writing tab to a clear window/desktop) and blocking my day into writing chunks so that I can focus on the work. It can sometimes take me 5 or 10 minutes to ramp up to speed, so it’s great to not have to ramp up too often. 🙂

  • I’m seriously impressed! I’ve noticed that my blog writing process has quickened over time, but I’m still nowhere near your “3-hours-and-done”!

    At the same time, I don’t have such a structured process as you – so maybe I should work on that.

    Great post though 🙂

  • Love that you’ve started using Toggl, Kevan, I use the same tool! When I write, I block out a morning (usually Tuesdays) and go through with a writing session before I come back through to edit, and then find and edit a post image. Now, I always use Toggl when I write because it helps me stay focused because I know the clock is ticking!

    • Thanks, John! Yes, and I noticed that the time ticks in the site title near the favicon, too! So cool. 🙂

  • Hi, Kevan! I really like the flow of this post and all the research nuggets and tools you shared. I am new to blogging, so reading this post felt like I found the keys to the Kingdom of Blog. I am definitely going to spend time reading your other posts.

    • Really happy to hear this, Mary! Best of luck with blogging!

  • Thanks a ton for sending me this awesome post over email Kevan! It will help me to create my articles much faster.

    I just want to add that I use another time-tracking tool, which I consider more effective and easy to use. Is is adaptrm.com.

    Going to share your process on Twitter now 🙂

  • Anne Tumlinson

    This is so super helpful. Thank you. Great content. This is truly a keeper and reference guide.

  • dianesager

    Great post, Kevan! This was insanely useful. How do you guys go about deciding what to blog about? Our organization would love to incorporate a blog, however, we would need to plan in advance, and trying to imagine the process for coming up with quality topics is a little scary.

  • david

    Thanks for taking the time to share your process. I feel justified that the research, writing and rewriting I do takes about as much time. Now the SEO part… That’s something that I could definitely spend more time on.

    I really appreciate that you included the links for resources that help you with your images and headers.

    This was a great post.

    • Awesome! Thanks so much, David!

  • Kathleen Garvin

    My editorial team appreciates you for writing this post, Kevan (and I’m a little attempted to send it to management ;).

    • Thanks so much, Kathleen! 🙂

  • Hi, Very good blog post, I reshared it. Thanks for your good work.

    Just a small observation – the focus keyword on WordPress SEO plugin you mention in the article is for internal use only, it doesn’t give you a boost in rankings.

    It’s not wrong to add it, it’s just that it’s not bringing any value from a SEO persepctive. 🙂
    What’s The Focus Keyword in WordPress SEO by Yoast? : http://www.matteoduo.com/focus-keyword-wordpress-seo/

    • Oh, great point, Olivian! Yes indeed, this is a great distinction to make. The focus word helps score the content for us in a way so that we know how well a post is optimized. You’re right – no boost to SEO rankings!

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  • Conor Hyland كونر

    Really nice post Kevan and great to see you make such an effort to respond to everyone. I recently started to blog on LinkedIn and I see you mentioned above that you only ever post your blog once on LinkedIn. My problem is most of my target audience are on LinkedIn does this mean you only have one strike at the ball ? On average i am getting around 200 views with 10% linking it thus sharing it on to their feed. My question is how do I increase my reach if LinkedIn is my primiary focus?

    • Great question, Conor! My intuition would be that it could be possible to share the same blog post to LinkedIn more than one time if you make each of the shares unique – e.g., pull out a snippet or an image to share with each new update. I’ve heard great things about LinkedIn’s publishing platform also, in case that might appeal to you at all!

  • Jon

    This is great info @kevanlee:disqus! I’ve recently decided that I need to begin blogging more for our company but also personally. I’ve decided to do this to begin building more professional credibility. This article was just what I needed to read to get me moving in the right direction of developing some of my own processes. As always, thanks for the transparency and willingness to share.

    • Really happy to hear this, Jon! Best of luck with the blogging. Let us know if we can help in any way. 🙂

  • Rod Semple

    Great content . . . Thank You!

  • Yvonne Lemmers

    Thanks Kevan for this great post. I’m following you and read almost all your articles. I’m a Dutch nutrition who likes to blog a lot. To spread the low carb healthy word on my website Grip op Koolhydraten.
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  • Nathaniel Tower

    Kevan, this is a fantastic breakdown of the time it takes to write a blog post. Many people still don’t understand that a good blog post should take time. (And, of course, other people think a single blog post will take up their entire week!)

    Just curious…do you factor coming up with an idea or thinking about topics anywhere in here? Is that part of research? Or is that separate completely?

    • Kevan Lee

      Hi Nathaniel! Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂 Good question: Yeah, this breakdown does not include time for brainstorming content ideas. We typically add ideas to a Trello board as we go, so I can just grab one that looks good a couple days before, let it sit on my mind for a couple days, then go for it!

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  • Thanks for the article! I particularly enjoyed reading about how you determine your SEO keywords.

    Question: when researching, how do you balance between copying content from others site versus creating a point of difference and making your post better than other articles on the same topic?

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  • Great post Kevan. I was surprised by the proportion of time dedicated to promotion – I imagined it would be much, much higher. Is it because Buffer’s audience is so large and “faithful”? Do you have other people in your team doing promotion work? Other question, do you also write several guest posts each week? Thanks 🙂

  • Alex Salkever

    HI, Kevan: I run marketing at Silk.co and do a lot of our blogging (blog.silk.co). For me, I have a more linear flow – I don’t tend to break it up as much as you do and just do the whole thing in about 3 hours (like you). I do the image at the end, like you. I don’t worry as much about SEO – I find that can be a distraction from making sure you are sticking to your theme. We do a little it at the end, but not much.I have found that chunking up the post for Twitter and other social media is very useful. Have you folks tried that?

  • Amazing article, I love how detailed you are. Just running through your post to learn for now, will come back to answer another time.
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  • great post! Very informative and helpful. I was wondering how exactly do you go about promoting your posts for second or third time on your social media channels? Do you change the wording? Doesn’t it come accross as a bit spammy to share a link 7 times on twitter? Thanks 🙂

  • Mario Salgado

    Great post 😉 Love your stuff, as Julia said, read and shared!

  • Alyssa Rahn

    So helpful! I feel like I have a great plan going into my future blog posts.

  • With the new year just around the corner (which is insane to even type out), I was looking for insight on how to better organize my content creation – specifically my blog writing. This is perfect! Thank you for the insight!

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  • Prateek

    This is such a great insight, Kevan! Appreciate you detailing your workflow; a lot of the tools of which I wasn’t aware of. Thanks for sharing them. I like buffer for being so open about all the information. Great work!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Kevan. My blog writing up to this point has been solely based on inspiration so some weeks I can crank out 10 blogs, and other weeks I wind up with maybe 1 decent blog. I’m definitely going to try your process!

  • Love this post. The classic evergreen post – with superb tips that are always going to be beneficial. Thanks for sharing Kevan

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    My opinion on how to make a great content website has changed a lot. In the old days it was about creating as much content as possible and not worrying about the quality. I am about to start a new blog on how I earn a living from stock images and intend to just write 1 article a week but making every article special. I will spend 80% of my time promoting it across the web.

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  • Very detailed and informational post. At last someone did a breakdown of writing a complete blog post. Kevan, you really write a lot. My speed is somewhat 1/3rd of yours but the process of writing is almost similar. I need to work on the timing and 3 day process is what I will try. Let’s see what happens. Cheers!

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    Writing a blog post isn’t as enough as publicizing it.

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  • Great article. Your writing workflow is similar to mine, though for some reason I don’t write outlines. And often I find myself brainstorming article leads while taking a shower.

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