“Productivity is never an accident. It’s always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
~ Paul Myer
Everyone talks about productivity, but it really takes a lot to follow through, to check those numerous entries on your to-do list and to meet your goals. As content marketing rises to the level where all businesses begin to embrace it—in all of its varying forms from blog posts to videos, from photos to podcasts—content creators need more than just a plan to “create content.”
You need the fire, drive and productivity levels to make it all happen. If you are wondering how, here are a few tips:
I’m sure you’ve encountered this one before. That’s because it works. Waking up early to create content is the best step you’ll ever take.
Don’t tell me you are not a morning person because I know of converts from all-nighters to early morning productivity ninjas. In fact, Carloyn Gregorie named some super achiever converts, including Barrack Obama, Margaret Thatcher and Vladamir Nabokov on Huffington Post.
Lisa Evans of Entrepreneur.com talks about how Michelle Gaas, president of Starbucks, wakes up at 4:30 and manages to do so much. If you want to learn how to make yourself a morning person, read Meghan Casserly’s post on Forbes.
Passion is powerful. It’s the spark that fires you up and allows you to run on all cylinders. It’s the fuel that pushes you to work harder but still not sweat it out. With passion, work is play. You could spend hours coding, writing, building, networking, talking, creating, speaking or whatever it is you are passionate about.
Bring passion into content development, and you’re sure to catch a ridiculous amount of energy that will enable you to breeze through a content creation marathon. You’ll never have to wipe your brow, regardless of all of those inhuman levels of content you have to create.
The only way to get better at producing content and doing it well is to make it a habit. Some of the greatest content producers, from Stephen King to the folks at companies like HubSpot, Unbounce, KissMetrics and Moz, have all made it a point to post multiple times a day, every day.
Give it your best shot while producing content, and do full justice to the subject matter. Stop worrying about traffic. Stick to the schedule. Build content for a purpose.
Create every day.
Writing is a creative endeavor. The better you want your writing to be, the more creative you ought to become. Awesome content is not mere “work”; it’s an obsession. It’s an addiction of sorts.
But here’s the clincher: Even the best of the writers who are passionate about writing on the topic they love burn out if they don’t take breaks. The best of creative work is usually done in bursts. Some content developers work in blocks of time, like 2-4 hours. Or they spend entire days writing, after which there’s no more writing until they are mentally ready again.
Now this isn't to say you shouldn't read. All writers should read quite a bit. But that is outside these specific blocks of time.
Thankfully, content marketing allows you plenty of wiggle room to plan ahead. Write in spurts by all means, but schedule your publishing regularly.
Developing content doesn’t have to be an arduous or expensive affair; there are tools available to help. Start with mind maps and flowcharts on how you like to approach your content marketing plan. Tons of productivity apps, calendars and tools are available to help plan your days, weeks and months ahead.
There are also online tools and services (most of them free) that can help you extensively in research. You just have to keep looking until you find the tool that works right for you and helps you get the information and reports you need for the topic on hand.
For instance, if you’re doing detective work on a website, Builtwith tells you what technology powers the site, Whoishostingthis helps you find hosting and server details, while SEMRush shows you data about search traffic, backlinks and so on.
While writing an article, you can use InboundWriter to optimize your WordPress posts for search in real-time without damaging quality. Thereafter, something like Papershare can help you in distribution—make your content work harder for you, so to speak.
After you are done, share your content on social media. The more you write and the more visible you are, the harder your content works to generate results for you.
No one wrote a book in a day. Many a time, even blog posts aren’t tackled in a day. Attack your content development plan sequentially, slowly, steadily. Let the words linger in your heard. Internalize what you are writing about.
While you don’t have to be a perfectionist and edit as you write (it’s better if you write and then edit), you can certainly “feel” what you write. You achieve two things this way: you’ll generate some solid content, and you’ll be able to get it all done within good time.
Yet, you still have to learn to “write better, and then write some more” as appath.com put it.
If all you did was create content, you won’t do justice to your efforts. You have to create, distribute, share, engage, discuss, respond to others’ comments and then write some more.
The content creation cycle never ends. It takes a lot to keep the content engine running, and it’s imperative you learn how to do that. It won’t be easy, but it’s certainly a lot easier than cold calling, barging into offices and meeting people all day long with nothing much to show for it in terms of results.
What are your content marketing productivity tips? Share them with us in the comment section below.
Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant. She works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself, with posts featured on She Owns It, Business 2 Community and elsewhere. She is @TracyVides.
photo credit: gothick_matt, tony newell, Ryan Ritchie