The Invisible Time Behind Crafting Blog Content

Behind every word you’re reading is a thousand more you cannot see. That’s why many new blogs fail: as new writers get going they realize how time-consuming it is to run a blog. I call this “invisible time.” These minutes are the ones you, the creator, experience in crafting blog content, but the audience never considers.

Dear reader, consider the work behind the code on this very page. Besides the words, work for just this post included:

  • A carefully crafted header
  • Time in outlining and revision
  • Proofreading through an automated grammar check
  • Sourcing and editing images into the right format
  • Adding alt text to Images for SEO
  • Using a widget to program SEO, including writing a meta description and header
  • Adding appropriate related inlinks
  • Proper formatting with headers and for mobile devices.
  • Promotion on social media

This blog is a 500-ish word anecdotal style post. There’s no deep research or outlinked posts. No interviews with thought leaders. No photo shoots.

Let’s break down exactly what “invisible time” could entail:

Before Blogging

A great blog starts with preparation. For a typical 500-word, quick-spin content blog, I budget 25 percent of my work time to researching. This means finding and reading multiple sources, including ones that don’t contain relevant facts needed for the writing. Preparation means verifying statistical information. Sometimes this is tracking down the original source of the data from a mention in another blog, others it’s finding a second reliable source with the same information.

All this gathered data must be organized into a form that makes sense. Usually, that means an outline.

Writing the Blog

The first draft is usually the easiest step. Take the outline and just write. Don’t dwell on quality. Occasionally, information gaps become apparent. Then it’s back to research.

Polishing the Blog

After drafting comes revision. Good writers re-read their work for awkward phrasing, active voice, and general proofreading. Again, this takes time. Sometimes revision identifies gaps in information that could require more research.

Additional Blogging Duties

What else goes into blogs? Beyond planning and revision, there might be:

  • Keyword research. This helps identify topics mostly likely to resonate with your audience and search engines.
  • Imagery. Blog search engine rankings, readability, and social media promotion benefit from high-quality related images. You’ll have to find the right image(s), make sure they’re free to share, or purchase the rights.
  • Social media promotion. Different platforms require different content styles to maximize their reach.
  • SEO optimization, which could require more revision if not accounted for in the beginning.
  • Uploading. The act of uploading requires more time than you think. Something could go wrong with the formatting. Add adding categories and tags, links and related posts, meta and summaries, and time adds up.

All these steps account for the “invisible time” that makes blogging a more time-consuming effort that you might not consider when launching your blog. Luckily, solutions like Power 10 Social with experienced writers exist to help busy professionals with crafting blog content for any medium.

9 Tips on Revising Real Estate Blogs

Revising: the torturous process that improves writing. All blog content deserves at least one thorough second read, but benefits from multiple reads. But what exactly are you looking for? Search “revision tools,” the web results are lacking. I’m not talking about grammar and punctuation, but sentence phrasing, organization, the idea “meat.” Every writer’s unique style and quirks call for different revision tactics, but these nine tips for revising real estate blogs apply to most drafts.

1. Wait time

All content needs to simmer. Write and let it go. Move on with your day. Stepping away from the first draft allows you to return with fresh eyes and better address the mistakes, reframe awkward sentences, or recognize gaping organizational holes. At Power10Social, I write in batches. This particular blog had three weeks between initial draft and its first revision.

2. Reread your old work

This might sound time-consuming, but I find it particularly powerful. Woman reading on tabletThrough re-reading, I discovered every draft I’d written had one sentence that started with an independent clause and the word “by.” As in, “By rereading my blogs, I discovered this trait.” Whoops. For another example, after a recent round of draft edits, I realized I’d fallen in love with the word “leverage.” Rereading reveals what special writing quirks to add to your personal “watch out” list.

3. Include SEO practices

Check your blog for basic SEO practices. Each blog should have a keyword that appears a few times, organically, during the writing. Ideally it should appear in the first and last paragraph. Some SEO optimizers like Yoast SEO will warn you if the keyword doesn’t appear in the title, first sentence, or header. Personally, I prefer natural writing over hitting every SEO strategy.

4. Active Verbs

Search and cut as many passive verbs as possible. Generally these verbs belong to the “to be” family, especially in past tense form: “was,” “were,” and “have been.” Stay present and active. Words “is” and “are” belong to the “to be” family, but cutting isn’t always possible for sentence structure or flow. As long the blog varies word choices and incorporates active verbs, no one will notice a few “is” and “are” verbs.

5. “There are”

Cut in general. There are many reasons why this phrase needs to go. There are some that say it’s unnecessary–just get to the point. There are others that cite the phrase signals lazy writing. Do you feel engaged in the writing? Let me redo the above sentences to illustrate the difference. “The phrase “there are” needs to go. Just get to the point. Using the phrase signals lazy writing.” See what we mean?

6.Work the introductions

Introduction definitely are tough. I typically cut the introduction I written in my initial draft; I just write something to get started. Spend some time thinking about hooking your readers. The first sentence challenges writers: it needs the right mix of SEO, selling the general topic, and engagement. Try various tactics like playing with words, asking questions, or launching into an anecdote.

7. Cut the transitional phrases

The best writers transition without transitions. “However,” “in addition to,” and “due to,” are some despised phrases whacked by writers. Note: some search engines and SEO optimizer do love the transition words. Decide what strategy matters most to you: organic writing or an algorithm bump.

8. Befriend the thesaurus

Stuck on a word? Sometimes in drafting real estate client content, some words naturally crop up, like “process” and “listing.” That’s when the handy-dandy thesaurus becomes mightily important. I’m not afraid to use it to discover a better way to rephrase the idea.

9. Call to action?

Somewhere your blog should hint at a call to action–usually towards the bottom, when you ask readers to visit other content or subscribe to your blog. Like this blog. I’m asking if you like this revising real estate blog, please share to your social networks! You can approach the CTA as a boilerplate, a button, or directly in text content.