Why high-quality blog content takes a long time to write

High-quality content takes a lot more time to write than you think

Table of Contents

Ever wondered how long it takes to write high-quality blog content for a blog post? Writing clear and engaging content can be very time-consuming; writing premium content takes even more time. Why is that?

Research from Orbit Media shows that writers spend just over four hours on average to write a standard blog post (1). Some can take a lot more, some considerably less. So why the variation?

There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes writing comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.

Ernest Hemingway

The fact is that writing trustworthy and authoritative blog content takes time. And there are many reasons why you still need content to achieve marketing success. The hours can quickly mount up with readers and search engines demanding deeper dives, novel insights, and consistent content.

Here are five specific reasons why it takes time to write high-quality content.

1: Understanding the audience

Before starting a blog post, a writer will outline an idea they think will resonate with their intended audience. Some writers specifically aim to address trending concerns, knowledge gaps, and customer questions. Others strive to write something original or surprising.  

Let’s say you’re a Greentech company and want to educate and encourage your audience to adopt sustainable systems. To gain a better understanding of the people they are trying to influence, marketing professionals and expert writers spend time looking through:

  • customer search queries 
  • competitor content 
  • SoMe trends 
  • Quora questions 
  • Reddit topics

These searches take time but ultimately serve as the foundation for original content audiences value.

2: Identifying keywords to drive the right traffic

According to Forbes, if you’re not in the top five organic search results, you’re missing out on 70.4% of traffic (2). Ouch. So, for companies who want to be found on search engines, your blog content must be optimized with the keywords your potential customers use. And yes – identifying these words can take a long time. 

magnet pulls keywords from a brain

Fortunately, the process of identifying keywords does not need to be repeated for each blog post. Once a writer or company has established a set of keywords it wants to target, it can build a wide range of content around those keywords.

Remember, the right keywords will lead to quality traffic, creating opportunities to convert the visitor to a lead or customer. So it’s worth the time.


Use keyword research tools like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to polish posted or new content.


3: Incorporating scientific and authoritative references

As explained our post about trustworthy content, companies need to back up their content with scientific and authoritative references to appear credible to their audiences. It is also good for their brand image and will help their blog content rank higher in organic searches.

Exploring credible sources can impact the time it takes for a writer in the research phase of writing. Writers with a scientific or academic background can have an advantage here. The quality of a blog’s content is often determined by the authority of its sources. So, do not underestimate the value of devoting two or more hours to finding that perfect reference.

What makes a reference ‘high quality’?

Imagine you are writing an article on how our current understanding of depression and pain affects how patients communicate their symptoms. Bringing in authoritative references about communication methods and technologies may give your post depth and insights that are new to your reader.

You might, for example, turn to these sources:

Moncrieff, J., Cooper, R. E., Stockmann, T., Amendola, S., Hengartner, M. P., & Horowitz, M. A. (2022). The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence. Molecular psychiatry. (3)

Galve Villa M, S Palsson T, Cid Royo A, R Bjarkam C, Boudreau S (2020). Digital Pain Mapping and Tracking in Patients With Chronic Pain: Longitudinal Study. J Med Internet Res. (4)

So what makes these references good sources?

Firstly, Molecular Psychiatry is ranked as the 6th journal among 156 journals in the category ‘Psychiatry’.

Secondly, if you look closely at the article’s authors, you will see that they are experts in the field, and the publication dates of the articles are recent: 2020 and 2022.


Read this article about using and source authoritative references for your blog content.

Writing high-quality blog content

Even when you’ve done your research, identified the keywords, and prepared authoritative references, the actual getting-words-on-paper-step is still waiting. 

For some, writing a blog post can be a long, painstaking process. In fact, scientific evidence shows that brain activity differs in preparation and brainstorming compared to creative writing (6). Many more areas of the brain become active during creative writing.

The good news is that these areas are all trainable. But the not-so-good news is that creating efficient brain networks takes time. 

Choosing which words and phrases, where to integrate the evidence, how to design the hook, finding relatable metaphors, and more must be considered. Indeed, the list is long, so the time it takes expands.

However, experience turns the average content writer into a maestro. As we outline in our elite writing article, when expert writers establish flow, they perform like elite athletes making swift keystrokes with autonomy and without self-doubt. The results can be astounding. 

5: Reviewing, editing, and polishing

The final stage of the writing process is the editing stage. And when something as apparently minor as a typo can affect your trust, credibility, and even company sales, this part can easily be the most crucial step. So editing is more than a few minutes and is best achieved with a fresh set of (human) eyes. 

As well as checking for errors involving spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word choice, this step is a chance to ensure substance, reviewing and sometimes rewriting whole sections. Which (again) makes the time frame a subjective matter.

So, how do you go about editing your work? CXL has compiled a great set of rules to follow (7):

  1. Read it backwards.
  2. Bring in a fresh pair of eyes.
  3. Read it aloud.
  4. Sleep on it.
  5. Use Software services like Grammarly or Writer.


And we would add one more thing to the list: ‘kill your darlings‘.

No matter how difficult or complex the topic is, the writer’s job is to make their content accessible and digestible. In other words, translating complex ideas and facts into terms most people can relate to or understand. It’s not a time to show off erudite vocabulary or to perform fancy linguistic flourishes. Less is always more, and simple is always best.


Make your life easier by reviewing how to avoid subtle communication slips.

How long is a piece of string?

From the seed of an idea to finally hitting the “publish” button, one can easily spend several hours, days, or weeks “writing” a blog post.

For this reason, many companies outsource blog content to a content writing agency or a freelancer who has acquired expert writing skills, niche expertise, and the ability to read and digest academic literature.

Quantifying the amount of time spent on a good blog post involves several factors. However, do not be surprised if you find that a piece that took you a few minutes to skim and digest took the writer a couple of weeks to create. In fact, the easier and quicker something is to read, the more effort and skill have likely gone into it. 

Looking for more?

Not to worry, we’re here to provide access to plenty of original content, vetted and backed by trustworthy sources for your content marketing efforts.

At ContentAvenue, we believe in the power of originality, quality, and integrity to help you engage your audiences and exceed your goals.

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  1. Orbit Media, New Blogging Statistics: Survey of 1067 Bloggers Shows Which Content Strategies are Working in 2021.  September 202.  Retrieved from https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/blogging-statistics/
  2. Forbes, Writing For SEO: Seven Tips To Rank Higher On Google Organically. November 18, 2020.  Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2020/11/18/writing-for-seo-seven-tips-to-rank-higher-on-google-organically/?sh=699a730019ef
  3. BrainyQuote, Ernest Hemingway Quotes.  Accessed July 28, 2022.  Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ernest_hemingway_395444
  4. Galve Villa M, S Palsson T, Cid Royo A, R Bjarkam C, Boudreau S. (2020) Digital Pain Mapping and Tracking in Patients With Chronic Pain: Longitudinal Study.  J Med Internet Res 2020;22(10):e21475, Retrieved from: https://www.jmir.org/2020/10/e21475, DOI: 10.2196/21475
  5. Moncrieff, J., Cooper, R. E., Stockmann, T., Amendola, S., Hengartner, M. P., & Horowitz, M. A. (2022). The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence.  Molecular psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01661-0
  6. Shah C, Erhard K, Ortheil HJ, Kaza E, Kessler C, Lotze M. Neural correlates of creative writing: an fMRI study.  (2013) Hum Brain Mapp.  Doi: 10.1002/hbm.21493    
  7. CXL, Are Grammar Mistakes Costing You Money?  September 17, 2020.  Retrieved from https://cxl.com/blog/grammar-mistakes-costing-money/
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