Creating content can often be frustrating for marketers. Here are eight tips that you can put into practice today for how to make content creation faster, easier, and more fun.
Let's face it, creating content is not only time-consuming but also requires a great deal of concentration and thought. This causes a lot of frustration, headache, and wasted time by marketers who have busy schedules and a never-ending task list.
But you're in luck - there are ways to help make content creation quicker, easier, and more fun. Let's take a look at eight tips that you can start implementing today.
Tip 1: Put a Priority on It
Let's be real - it can be really easy to bump or push off blogging and content creation from our schedule when we get busy with other things. This is because writing not only takes a lot of time and energy but also doesn't necessarily show an immediate return like a banner ad does (it's a long-term strategy, not a quick fix).
The problem is this typically leads down the slippery slope where you will always be pushing off content creation, causing it to be very difficult to ever get the ball rolling on your content marketing efforts.
You must be disciplined to put a high priority on blogging and content creation and make it just as important as all your other marketing activities like email marketing, reporting, client meetings, or PPC. It's only until you have this mindset that you will truly be able to start efficient content creation.
Tip 2: Do It First Thing and Drink Coffee
Producing great writing is all about your state of mind. If you're stressed, tired, or sluggish, writing a 700-word blog can seem like a death march and probably result in a mediocre blog at best. To avoid this, plan your blogging schedule around when you're most alert, awake, and inspired to write.
For most, this is right away in the morning while drinking a big cup of joe (or three). I'd also recommend starting to write before checking email or voicemail to avoid possible side tracks. If you're disciplined enough to do this, you'll find you can write great blogs in a fraction of the time.
Tip 3: Turn Off Distractions
The way our human brains are hardwired, it is literally impossible for us to truly multitask. Every time an alert, message, email, or phone call is pushed in front of us, even if we don't check it, our brains have to shift thinking. This causes us to lose our train of thought and makes it much harder to focus and get in a flow when writing your content.
Before starting to write your content, take a minute to eliminate all possible distractions. This includes, but is not limited to, turning off your cell and desk phone, closing your email, quitting Skype/chat, and anything else that could possibly steal your attention away from writing. I'd even suggest disconnecting from the Internet just to avoid temptations for a quick email check.
You'll find this is probably one of the most helpful tips (and easiest to implement) when it comes to increasing efficiency in your content writing.
Tip 4: Put on Headphones
Whether you're in an open workspace or a room full of cubicles, there's a likelihood that you are working near other team members. This can pose a whole new set of distractions that are a bit out of your control. From your neighbor talking on a phone call to an interesting water cooler discussion, it's easy to get caught up in the ever busy dynamics of your work environment.
The solution is to block it out. Buy noise-canceling headphones and put on an energetic playlist to help drown out all the commotion going around you and amp you up to write. This will help you focus on the words you're putting on "paper" and ignore the water cooler gossip happening next to your desk.
Tip 5: Have Topics in Advance
One of the most time-wasting and frustrating things in blogging and content writing is to sit down in front of a screen and your mind goes completely blank. You have to write a blog, but even after scrolling through your RSS for ideas no good topics are coming to your mind.
Avoid this time suck by thinking of your blog topics in advance. This could come in the form of a well-organized content schedule and calendar, or as simple as having a running list of the next handful of blogs to write.
The bottom line is if you have the topics ready to go before you sit down, you will be able to focus and hit the ground running, avoiding the dreaded writers block.
Tip 6: Think About It on the Car Ride In
One tip that I have found extremely helpful in helping boost writing performance is to simply use your commute into work as a time to brainstorm and pre-plan the topics you'd like to cover. Think about all of the major points you want to cover and start thinking about how to structure your content.
By the time you make it to the office, you will already have a great game plan in your head and can quickly start translating to your computer.
Tip 7: Outline Your Blogs
Before you start writing, take a few minutes to outline your entire content piece in advance. Create a skeleton of bullet points for each of the main topics you plan to cover. Then run back through and add sub-bullet points for each point under each topic.
Once laid out, start tackling each bullet point and write down everything you'd like to say. This will make it pretty easy to edit it all together, add in transitions, and make sure everything flows together.
Most Important Tip: Have Fun
I think the biggest part about writing is to have fun with it. The more you dread and hate it, the longer it will take you to complete and the worse the end product. Find ways to make it fun and let your personality shine through either with the topic, tone, style, image, or including videos.
If you're not good at writing, think of it as a challenge that you can practice and learn about to overcome. Keep in mind the joy that the end reader will have when reading your thoughts and stay positive about writing your content.
Becoming a good writer isn't an overnight process. It can take years to really develop your voice and flow that makes writing fun and quick. However, if you follow these tips, you will become a more efficient content writer which will likely increase the overall quality of your work.
Do you have more tips? Please comment below with any tips or ideas you have for efficiently creating content for your content marketing strategy.
August 10-12: Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covers every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.
Luke is an industry leading inbound marketing specialist and an expert in progressive strategies integrating content, relationships, automation, and communities to drive lead generation and build brands people love.
He is the Director of Inbound Marketing at Savvy Panda where he helps lead web and marketing success stories for medium to Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, Luke is also the head instructor of Master Inbound, a comprehensive online inbound marketing training course. Find Luke on Google Plus.
US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.
E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.