Home > Communications, New Media > Say “No” to Rush-Job Blog Posts

Say “No” to Rush-Job Blog Posts

This post, in ten words: Don’t publish half-baked content. Why? True pros don’t do rush-jobs.

I recently read a blog post written in 2008 by Jim Estill (of Copyblogger) about how to write an article in 20 minutes. I find it fascinating that two years later, it’s still being retweeted to high heaven. Estill certainly brought up some good points, such as limiting your post to a single topic, and using lists. After I thought about it a bit, however, began to get a little concerned that inexperienced bloggers might take his advice too literally. In other words, I don’t believe that the “20-minute blog post” is for everyone.

What's the rush? Take your time.

Although Estill’s methods work for him (and a handful of others), I just can’t help feeling like some unlucky soul is going to take his words out of context and think that every post should be written in less than a half-an-hour. So I’m here to play ‘devil’s advocate.’

I’m going to encourage you to spend just a bit more than 20 minutes on your work. The “just a bit” is up to you, in terms of interpretation. Perhaps an hour does it for you. Or maybe you’re like me, and spend only a few minutes on several blog posts, coming back to them over the course of many days to add and change things. Or you might have an entirely different method.

But I will say that you owe more than twenty minutes of effort to your readers, your current and prospective clients, and most importantly — yourself. Your key stakeholders deserve your very best, and nothing less.

You wouldn’t spend just 20 minutes on a press release, would you?

Don't shoot yourself in the foot.

If the answer for you is “yes,” then you’re very lucky, but far and few. For the majority of us, the answer is no.

So why would you do that with your latest blog post, or on any of your social networks? If you take your time with traditional media, then take your time with new media, as well.

Remember, you can write up a post in 20 minutes, but how long do you really think anyone’s going to sit around reading it? Take your time, and people might spend more time reading your stuff.

Quality over quantity.

Just because can write a post that fast . . .

. . . Doesn’t mean you should. After all, blogging is a form of media; it’s broadcast directly to the entire Internet. Take pride in your work.

Your credibility’s at stake here, and the ‘reputation balloon’ is a hard one to blow back up, especially after it’s had a nine-inch nail stuck through it. Rush-jobs are inexcusably unprofessional.

Make every post count. Every one.

Not sure on that one fact?

Then don’t post the article.

Think you could have possibly gotten something wrong?

Then hold off on publishing that post for a while.

Waiting a bit won’t kill you.

When you publish half-baked content, your credibility goes out the window. You’ll lose the same readers you were rushing to get that article done in five minutes for. So take your time.

From now on, think of your blog posts as a Thanksgiving turkey. Season them well, carefully put them in the oven, and set the timer. Don’t take them out until the edges are golden and they’re ready.

Make a promise to yourself:

“From now on, my posts are “done when they’re done.” Not a moment before.”

Your readers will thank you. And you just might have a reason to thank me after that. :)

- Robert A. Burns, II


What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below.

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  1. August 13, 2010 at 9:42 am | #1

    Great Post, Robert. I agree that we should never “force” a blog post simply because we think we *should* be able to write one that fast. For me, some posts take several hours, while others take only 20 minutes. Those 20 minute posts are usually my quick thoughts, stories or rants that are relevant to my audience. Those are EASY to write. But, as you know, it’s important to mix it up with posts that require research, references and deeper dives. I applaud you for calling out the fact that blogging newbies may take the 20-minute advice out of context. Indeed, there is no magic time for every post. Just as your content should vary, so will the time required!

  2. August 13, 2010 at 9:52 am | #2

    Thanks for commenting, Deana! When I read your latest article a few minutes ago, I definitely anticipated that you might respond to mine with something along these lines. I had already been writing this post for the last three days, though. Haha.

    Like you, I’ve definitely had posts “write themselves” in 20 minutes. I have to agree, it’s a great feeling when you’re hit with a sudden burst of inspiration! This post was more directed to people who feel that every one will be just like that. As you have stated, and I know as well, many of them take HOURS. Good hours, but hours nonetheless.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

  3. August 13, 2010 at 10:00 am | #3

    I sometimes find myself in the trap to rush my blog posts. When I do, I always regret it and usually end up dumping them into the trash pile and off of my blog within a matter of hours. Great post.

  4. August 13, 2010 at 10:05 am | #4

    Completely hear ya, Josh! Been there. Done that!

    Yup, Robert, my post on Sunday easily took me five hours. It’s so important that those who are just starting their blogs understand that it’s impossible and completely unrealistic to expect to punch out every post in 20 minutes. In fact, those are the exceptions, rather than the rule! So glad you called this out!

  5. August 13, 2010 at 10:17 am | #5

    Josh, I can identify with that as well. I still scrap a lot of my stuff (I guess it’s the inner editor in me), but now I try to do so before I hit publish. I’m okay with deleting a lot, because I then know that the few words I DO publish are my very best work.

    Deana, upwards of five hours is the norm for me. Glad to know I’m not the only one! haha.

  6. August 16, 2010 at 7:22 am | #6

    Hi Robert

    This post is a great reminder for me – I am much more of a “writer” than an editor – but there is a lot to be said for putting your best work out there.

    One of the best tips on this subject came from Copyblogger.com (I believe) – where the author suggested putting your work aside for 24 hours before submitting it or publishing it. This one simple step practically guarantees dramatically better content.

    The trick (for me, anyway) is to create content in advance so I have a 24 hour cooling period before reviewing my work! :)

    Great post!


    PS Are you using a plug-in for your comments? I love how they look!

  7. August 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | #7

    Trish, you’re absolutely right. Thanks for adding the Copyblogger tip! Good advice too.

    I’m actually not using any kind of plugin for my comments. This site is loosely based off of WordPress’s iNove theme (http://www.neoease.com). I took the template, and hand-coded everything to get the custom look, including the comments section. If you want the code, I’d be happy to share it. Just email me. :)

    Thanks again for commenting!

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