How to Write Faster: 7 Speed Boosters for Freelance Writers

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 09/27/23 •  9 min read

If you’re anything like me, you didn’t get into freelance writing because you wanted to toil away in front of your keyboard all the time.

No, you became a freelance writer because you had a lot of things you wanted to enjoy in life — friends, family, travel, and hobbies. You wanted the freedom and flexibility that freelancing provides.

But, there may be something stopping you — your writing.

It’s slow.

You’ve got work, clients coming in, and you’re spending all your time typing, and you’re struggling to get the speed up.

You want to do more, take on more clients, and make more money, and write faster without losing quality.

So how do you learn how to write faster?

Keep reading. We’ve got some tips to help you learn to write quickly.

Writing Hacks: How to Write Faster Without Losing Quality

And if you prefer a video, click below to watch:

1) Plan Ahead to Write Faster

A big reason that you may struggle with writing quickly could be that you don’t do a very good job of planning. The more organized you are in the beginning when you sit down to write, the easier it’s going to be to start typing.

That means planning ahead.

I recommend a couple of things:

Just doing these can save you a ton of time.

Instead of sitting around trying to find data that backs up stats you want to use in your post, you’ve got a whole pile of papers in links that have the data there.

And if you have a couple of key pieces of data you use frequently, make a doc in your research folder that summarizes key statistics. Then it’s as simple as copying and pasting that info and links in your post.

We’ve got a whole video on how researching can help you write faster. These really go hand-in-hand.

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2) Create Templates for Clients

Once you’ve got your client folder set, you can add all sorts of time-saving info in there. That includes content templates.

Most clients rehash the same types of posts. You may have to write listicles, ultimate guides, or Q&As frequently.

If you do, then create templates for each style of post.

When you do that ahead of time, it’s so much easier to write quickly. You’ve got the basic outline of what you need, so you don’t have to think about that. Now, all you have to do is plug in your research.

Here’s a little writing hack for your templates. When you copy your template into a new doc, add this at the top:

These may seem small, but trust me, your clients will love them. And having that keyword research done and links you know you want to add ahead of time can help speed up your writing process.

If you do just the first two of these, you’re going to speed up dramatically.

But let’s keep digging into a few more tips for understanding how to write faster.

3) Remove Distractions

This one may be the most important (it is for me, at least). And that’s removing distractions.

The biggest thing that slows down my writing is distractions. I’ve got 1,000 tabs open, push notifications, texts, emails, you name it. It doesn’t take much for me to lose my flow.

So I have to take active steps to get my focus away from the other stuff and back to writing.

The first step is to figure out the distractions that derail you. Everyone’s different, but I’d bet that some combination of your phone, social media, and your emails are a big chunk of your problems.

how to write faster: remove distractions.

Probably the only place I can work distraction-free is in the middle of the desert.

But most of the time? The way I help solve these are to put on my noise-canceling headphones, go to the Spotify Peaceful Piano playlist, close unnecessary tabs, and turn on focus mode on all my devices.

That’s going to remove about 95% of my distractions.

If I’m home, I may make the atmosphere a bit homier and light a candle. When I’m out at a coffee shop or a co-working space, I’ll grab a coffee.

All those routines signal to my brain that it’s time to work.

4) Embrace outlining

Is it time to write yet?

Not quite.

We’ll get there — I promise.

The next step is my secret weapon: outlining.

Having your template and research ahead of time massively help with this to start. You’re already a chunk of the way there before you’ve typed a word.

I know the points I want to hit, and I’ve got my headings laid out, and my key points. What I do next is go through my template and start filling it in with bullet points.

I’ll add in my stats, the topics I want to cover, keywords, and where it’s best to link to those other internal client articles. Doing all this can help you review the flow of your post and ensure you’re providing data and backup information that hits all the points you want to make.

I make a pretty detailed outline, and that probably brings me about 90% of the way there. When it’s time to finish the post, I can bang out the rest pretty quickly because I’ve already done all the heavy lifting.

5) Defeat the Blank Page

The blank page has beaten many aspiring freelance writers.

I’ve been there, believe me. It’s an easy way to get derailed and slow down the entire writing process.

But here’s the good news, there are so many ways to get past the blank page today.

If you want something real simple, try one of these writing prompts.

Now, with AI writing tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, and Content at Scale, there’s no excuse to get stuck staring at a blank page. All you have to do is ask it a question about your topic or tell it to give you 10 headlines, and ideas, and even generate a basic outline and then you’re off to the races.

chatgpt writing samples

Once you’ve got that info to help get you started, it’s really easy to get more ideas and refine them. And, if you get great at prompt engineering for these tools, use them to create an outline for you and then build around that.

Just make sure you’re keeping your personality and voice in there. The thing that is going to keep setting you apart as a writer is your creativity and personality. You don’t want to have the computer do everything for you.

6) Learn to Batch

The last thing you can do to improve your writing speed is to batch your work.

And if you cover a couple of different niches or topics, batching can really help you focus and beat distractions.

So for me, I have my golf business, Location Rebel, and a cocktail site (among many other distractions). So if I’m trying to write an outline or shoot a video for LR, then come up with some golf topics, or test out cocktail recipes, it’s a lot bouncing between them.

And when I switch between these worlds, it’s so easy for me to get distracted and lose focus.

That’s why I started to batch. I focus on one business at a time.

As far as freelancing, let’s say you write about car insurance for one client and home improvement for another. Rather than switching between them, write all the articles for one client in a batch.

To make it easy, make it a 2-3 day process.

This way, you’re locked into this topic and it’s so much easier to get into a flow, remove distractions, and avoid having to constantly switch gears.

7) Start With Small Wins

That’s the larger-scale strategy for learning how to write faster, but there are a few more tactical little hacks you can do that will help get you better at speeding up your processes.

But I also understand sometimes you just want some small wins that will help you get some momentum. So let’s cover a few of these.

Learning how to write faster is a skill, and if you’re a freelancer, it’s a really important one. But that means you have to actively work on it.

Now You Know How to Write Faster. The Rest is Up to You…

Start implementing these skills, and you’re going to see your writing speed up pretty quickly. As you get into your processes, see what works and then tweak.

It may take a little bit of time, but finding the systems and workflows that work for you can help you take on more in less time.

You’ve got this.


Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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