In today’s time starved world, the ability to create more quality written content in less time is a powerful skill.
But how do you achieve that?
To help here are 10 smart productivity tips especially for busy micro business owners who create their own content marketing.
1. Create an editorial calendar
To create efficiently, you need an editorial calendar. This simply involves brainstorming ideas then planning your marketing content in advance.
This approach saves time. Instead of thinking “what can I hinge my marketing approach on today?” you can crack on with a pre-determined schedule of content. What’s more, your subconscious will stay alert for the statistics, case studies and information you need to flesh out your content ideas and your writing will flow.
2. Plan before you write
That blank piece of paper is a writer’s nightmare. So save yourself a lot of time (and unnecessary pain) and plan in advance. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post of ten top tips. Instead of writing cold, brainstorm ten ideas the night before. Then sleep on it and allow your subconscious mind to process the topic. When you start afresh the next day, instead of floundering, you’ll have a solid structure to build on.
3. Build a swipe file
It’s not necessary to write 100% original content. In fact, the pressure to be original can drain your motivation and harm your productivity.
Of course you can’t plagiarise. But you can “steal” ideas, store them in your swipe file and adapt for your own business. Then, when you have a tough marketing challenge, sift through your collection of headline templates, angles and marketing ideas for inspiration. It’s a great time saver.
4. Schedule time to do your writing
This is crucial. If you don’t plan writing time into your diary your productivity will plummet. It just won’t get done because other stuff will crop up and demand your attention. In addition, timetable a start and finish time. This boosts productivity by keeping you time focused and prevents that blog post or sales letter eating up as much time as you allow.
5. Become an idea magpie
Avoid creating cold. Instead, grow an idea notebook that’s filled with raw ideas gathered from day-to-day experiences, conversations and inspiration from the media. You can even link this back to your editorial calendar.
6. Write and create more
It’s a paradox but the more you create and write, the more productive you’ll become. Writing and creativity is a muscle that gets stronger the more you do. And, as you gain experience, you’ll hone your style, instinctively know what works, and gain the confidence to experiment and take risks. Over time that writing challenge that used to take all day will be finished in a few hours.
7. Research more
The more life experience and knowledge you have to draw upon, the quicker you’ll be able to write and the more references you’ll have to draw upon to create that killer piece of marketing. It’s smart practice to read widely and read lots. Try the classics, fiction, blogs, business books, biographies etc. Learn how words convey emotion, intrigue and desire. Notice how characters and stories are developed and watch how the reader gets hooked in and persuaded.
Then continually fill your idea notebook with fresh ideas to use in your own work.
8. Keep that internal critic in check
Negative thoughts about your writing and the creative process can prevent you getting ideas onto paper.
You’ve got to silence this criticism and allow the initial words to flow without judgement. Just write anything and you’ll move through “writer’s block”. Your first draft will need work but if you allow ideas to flow, you’ll write quicker and have more content to edit into a polished, finished piece.
9. Have everything you need to hand
Getting started is the hardest bit and you’ll find yourself using every tactic to escape. So before you start, check you have everything you need to hand. Then you have no excuse to wonder off and faff. Aim to sit tight, stay focused and get on with it!
10. Banish interruptions
To boost your productivity you need to get “into the zone”. You’ll know when you get there because you’ll get a flurry of ideas; the words and ideas slip out effortlessly and it just feels easy.
Don’t allow yourself to be disturbed. Switch off the phone, take your email offline and close Twitter. In addition, tell other people you are not to be disturbed. Losing focus is really damaging for a writer. Not only do you lose your thread, you waste valuable time trying to get back into the zone.
Over to you
There are other productivity tips. This is by no means an exhaustive list but they are tips that work for me.
But what other tips do you use to boost your productivity when creating your marketing? Please let me know in the comments below.
Today’s Micro Action
The ability to creative captivating marketing that captures the attention of your target audience requires a constant focus to ensure you’re on the look out for ideas that will work. So how could you use these tips today in your business to help you improve the quality of your message?