We have all been there. We cram our days with goals and come evening, we still feel short-changed by time. We only have 24 hours a day and we need to sleep, eat and be social. We cannot magic up more minutes or reclaim our lost hours. No one wants to lock themselves away and when confronted with palpable problems, your content marketing strategy is often the first causality.
Many bloggers and writers have a list as long as their arm of ideas but little time to convert them into content. So just how can you create content when you have a thousand and one other commitments and tasks? The first step is always the hardest, but by adopting some of these tips into your writing regime you will go from a boring blogger to writing royalty.
1. Know your niche
Pick a few subject areas that you want to write about or focus on. It can be anything you like; what matters is that you give your blog consistency and clarity. Aiming to write on too many topics will make your blog look chaotic and cluttered. But how do you decide just what to hone in on?
First, start with what interests you have. The best thing about human beings is the infinite variety that exists within us all. Everyone is a giant nerd about something, you just need to find out about what.
People are passionate about everything from memorising railway platforms to dying dogs’ fur so they look like wild animals. Hone in on your weirdness; after all, the only rule of the internet is that if you find it interesting, you can guarantee someone else will too. How can you apply these interests to your company blog?
Secondly, by writing about what you know, you will naturally write with confidence and enthusiasm. These are key. Your enthusiasm will translate through the text and make your content more enjoyable and readable. Knowing your onions will make your writing more informative, which in turn will reinforce your reputation as an industry expert and make your writing process more efficient.
As your reputation grows, so will interaction with your blog. Through these responses you can start to craft future content. Ask yourself, are there any questions that your audience keeps asking? What do they respond best to?
2. Stay focused
Procrastination is productivity’s worse enemy. Interestingly, those who procrastinate tend to be more intelligent and creative, but what is the use in all those brains if you cannot get the words down on paper?
If you are struggling to keep your mind from wandering out the window or onto Facebook, extensions like Stay Focused (available on Google Chrome app store) are ideal. Stay Focused will only grant you access to blocked sites (such as Facebook, Twitter) for a set amount of time each day meaning once you are over the limit, no more cat videos for you.
Next – I am sorry to say – is that you need to put down your phone.
Scratch that, switch it off all together.
Okay, well at least turn off notifications while you are working. Yes, you may be waiting for an important phone call or email, but checking your Facebook every time you get a notification is detrimental to your work.
3. Read anything/everything
Regardless of what kind of writing you are involved in, the more you read and ingest the better your work will be. Inspiration comes from feeding your brain interesting stimuli. So eat up. Read anything and everything: signs, shampoo bottles, newspapers or novels. Make yourself a dictionary and record new words you come across. You’ll be amazed at just how much easier writing will come.
Read what your peers and competitors are doing and creating. Think of how you could do it better.
4. Get organised
You need to treat your content marketing like you would any other campaign in your company. Be strict with yourself. Integrate content into your schedule, allocate it time the same as you would any other task. Working quickly is difficult, but if you followed our first few steps, both your time management and efficiency should improve.
Set yourself targets, goals and give yourself a time frame to work in. Create concrete deadlines and actually work to them. Consider keeping a notebook (all the best writers do). Failing that, get a diary or calendar and set out what content you want to create and when. Plan it around your life. Are you busy three nights a week or work full time? That is okay – work around it. Wake up earlier or fit it in before bed. It does not matter how or when, but by having a clear plan in place you can begin to move closer to curating top-notch content.
Moreover, your old English teacher was right – you do need to plan before you start writing. Decide on what you want to say and which topics you intend to cover. If you make notes and create captivating headlines and sub-headings, the rest is simply a matter of filling in the gaps. Begin with the end in mind and while you are at it, start now. We could say to wait till next month or next week, but it is never too soon to start improving. You have to make time for it. Which leads us to…
Ask yourself, are you really short on time or are you just bad at using the time you do have? Like every rom-com in existence can attest: if you care about something you make time for it. Yes, I know – you have kids/a relationship/pets/hobbies/a pub to go to, but life will always get in the way and there are always a thousand reasons not to do something. So do it. Drag your dreams out of your head and turn them into something tangible.
Start writing your blogs in your head if you are really struggling for time. Write all you can, write about anything and on everything. Write on the back on napkins, up your arms or in that trusty notebook we told you to buy. Write while waiting in bus stops, sat on trains but never while driving (not even Hemmingway would condone that). And if you really want to take all of the romance out of it, most phones have a ‘notes’ section that is ideal for ideas on the move.
But, if you are really stuck, we do have a team of designated copywriters with pens (and keyboards) ready to turn your ideas into content. Contact us today and we can start building a strategy that is perfect for you.