11 Useful Productivity Hacks For Your Content Writing Process
I realised recently that I haven’t written about content writing in a while. I also know it’s something you want more advice about, so here we are.
We all know the importance of high-quality, valuable content. That’s not what we’re here to talk about today.
But something I think a lot of people don’t realise is that creating great content actually takes a lot of time. And at the same time, you don’t always have that kind of time to work with. Working for different digital marketing agencies and then running my own business has taught me some valuable lessons around efficiency and productivity.
So keeping that in mind, I want to share with you some effective productivity hacks that will help you make the most of your content writing process. Let’s go.
#1 | ORGANISE YOUR INSPIRATIONAL MATERIAL
Generating new content ideas can take up a lot of time. Depending on how often you publish content, this is something that could be a frequent part of your process. It’s all about coming up with relevant ideas that your audience wants to read.
There are a few different ways you can organise your inspirational material:
Use an RSS reader like Feedly or Bloglovin’. You can build a list of blogs that you follow, and categorise them so you can save time. Once a week, go through your reader and make a few notes of potential blog post ideas if anything inspires you. You can create a category for yourself like “potential ideas”.
Type a few different keywords into Pinterest and see what other articles appear. If you feel inspired by any, save them to a private board for future reference. You could call this “blog post ideas.”
Like any tweets that inspire an article idea, then at the end of a day, go through the tweets you’ve favourited and write them down.
#2 | HAVE A PLAN
Staying organised is essential to your content writing process. That’s why you need a plan for each step of the process.
Make time in your schedule for when you’re going to come up with ideas, when you’re going to write content and so on.
This means that you’ll always know what needs to be done for a certain article and you’ll always be organised. I love using Asana to manage all my projects - you can even set yourself due dates!
If you’re not using a system like this to keep yourself organised, you’ll never be making the most of your process.
#3 | DON’T PUT THINGS OFF
Whether you call it putting things off or procrastinating, it needs to stop. Set a chunk of time every day (no matter how big or small) where you do something related to your content process. You’ll always find time to do other things unless you plan it out.
If you need something to “get you in the mood” then go for it! Make yourself a cup of tea, light a candle, get a playlist on - whatever you need to do to get those creative juices flowing. Just don’t put things off.
#4 | WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU LOVE
I absolutely love to write. And I know I’m most productive when I’m writing about something I love. It sounds obvious, but it’s true.
When I’m writing an article about how to work towards your next breakthrough with your online presence, the words just flow. This is because I’m passionate with what I’m writing about.
But if you ask me to write about the latest fashion trends for spring/summer, while I love reading fashion magazines, that’s just not my area of expertise.
If you start an article and the words aren’t flowing, put it to one side and move onto something else. The best articles you will create are the ones where the words just flow freely.
#5 | USE EVERNOTE TO CAPTURE YOUR IDEAS
Evernote is a tool that builds the foundation of my content writing process.
This tool can save you so much time for generating ideas before you even start writing. I see so many bloggers that come up with an idea and start writing before they even formulate a plan. If the post then doesn’t come together properly, you feel like you’ve wasted your time.
By using a tool to capture your ideas and doing some quick planning for each, you’ve got a much better chance of creating an even better blog post.
That’s why Evernote is so great, because you can create notes for each of your blog categories. You can write your ideas in a checklist and check off which ones you’ve used. And you can also write notes next to each idea so that when it comes to writing, you’ve got a great starting point.
I created a full video on how to use Evernote to store blog post ideas. You can watch it below.
#6 | LOOK AT WHAT YOUR READERS WANT
One content writing productivity tip that works really effectively for my business is where I crowd source new ideas. Essentially, I use social media in a strategic way. I look through Twitter, Facebook groups and even replies to my weekly newsletter to see what questions people are asking.
That’s exactly where the idea for this video came from - I got a question in my Instagram DM from a follower.
You can even reach out to your audience and ask them question or submit polls. That way, you’re building your content around their responses.
Involving your readers in your content writing process may also make them more inclined to share your work. If you’re answering a question someone asked you directly and it really helps them, they’ll definitely share that with their own community.
#7 | WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN
The first question I ask myself when I come up with an idea for my blog is: “would this make a good blog post idea?”
A few weeks ago, I was tracking all the important stats for my website for January. All of a sudden I thought that a lot of people don’t know how to do this or what it means. This would make a valuable piece of content. So I’ve decided to turn it into a monthly series.
What’s important to realise here is that this particular post wasn’t embedded into my content calendar. It was inspired through discovery. But it could’ve been very easy for me to not have written it at all.
Write down every idea you have, as you never know what might come of it. You might not want to create it now, but you could at a later date.
#8 | CREATE A FRAMEWORK FOR YOUR CONTENT WRITING
Content creation is all about the ability to consistently create new ideas. The purpose of these ideas is to make the most of the opportunity to talk to your audience in the right way.
Generating ideas is something you have to work on throughout your time as a blogger. Your blog or online presence as a whole is nothing if you don’t have the ideas to build the foundation of it.
There’s a skill to be learnt in turning a creative process into a structured one. This will allow your mind to be much more productive if you know the framework you’lre working from.
Before you write your blog posts, make sure you know your keyword, headline and how you’re going to structure the posts. An effective idea generation session isn’t just coming up with potential ideas. It’s about knowing how those ideas could turn into a full piece of content.
#9 | CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
I cannot stress the importance of creating an editorial calendar. Stick to it but be prepared to adapt to it.
Or, you could hire someone to help direct your editorial calendar ;)
Content is essential for building your online presence and you must be disciplined enough to execute this properly. It’ll pay off, I promise.
#10 | USE SPEECH RECOGNITION SOFTWARE
This is a great tool to use if you’re short on time. You can do this with Google Docs, which is exactly where I’m writing this post from now!
In Google Docs, you can speak, and the words are written on your behalf. It might take some time to get used to at first, but it’s great to use in the long run to increase your productivity.
#11 | HAVE A CHANGE OF SCENERY
You might’ve heard this before but stick with me! When you come across writer’s block, or you just can’t think of any other new ideas, you need to take a break. Leave your normal place of work, switch off from the internet and go outside.
Go somewhere quite if that’s what you prefer. Or go to a public place and listen in to different conversations. You never know where your next idea might come from.
Content writing doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s about making the most of your productivity. Take a look through these ideas and see how you can add them to your own process.
Have you got any other productivity hacks? Let me know in the comments!