Time-saving tips from a content writer
Time…there’s never enough of it and I know so many clients who end up pushing content writing to the bottom of their to-do list and end up rushing it.
There’s no “quick way” to create content – especially if you want it to be valuable and engaging. However, when you have been creating content for a long time, there are some things you can do to save time and make the most of the time you have.
Make creating content easier with these time-saving tips
Stop creating new content all of the time! If you are tight on time, take a look at what you have created before and see what you can re-use, update, change slightly or even steal from one digital platform and use it on another.
Consider changing the format of a piece of content too – sometimes writing isn’t the right thing…could you make a video or a series of imagery instead, especially when you have writer’s block.
Learn more about repurposing content.
Have ‘back up’ content
We all go through times when writing content and creating digital marketing seems easier! When you are in that mode, create some ‘back up content’. This could be just one or two social media posts, a back up blog, or an email.
When you are in the mood, create as much as you can. Even if it is in very draft format, it can really help when you are feeling overwhelmed if you have something basic to work from or finalise. There is a lot to create which will be ‘evergreen’, such as testimonials or top tips – so it won’t matter if weeks or even months pass before you publish it.
Also, don’t forget to schedule as much as you can when you are ‘in the mood’. There’s a nice feeling knowing elements of content are sat ready to be published without you having to lift finger. It can be very motivating.
No one wants formulaic content, but there is nothing wrong with templates and there is nothing wrong with consistency.
I highly recommend using templates for social media images. You can spend hours just creating imagery. Get a designer to create a set of 8-10 templates and stick to them. Don’t over think it.
Have templates for email marketing too. This means, on a regular basis, you are just completing the ‘framework’ with different content and you are not trying to re-invent something every time from scratch.
You can also have template pages for your website and for your blog posts.
Have a strong structure
You can’t create good content if you don’t know where it’s going. Start every blog post with a series of headings. Start every email with a outline of what you need to conclude. Start every new webpage with a series of sections you know you need. For every social media post, have a purpose or theme.
By the end, you may add a section or change the order, that’s ok – but it’ll save a lot of procrastination if you start with a structure that is strong and logical. You’ll know where you want to end up before you even start.
Decide on an absolute minimum output
I recommend the very basics of a content plan should be that you decide what is the minimum you will commit to. Literally, write down what you will do, i.e. post on Instagram 2 times a week; write a blog once a month.
Then, when you are tight for time, this is all you need to do….just two posts, just one blog posts. Cut your to do list right down so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Use the Pomodoro technique
Did you know that you can get so much more quality writing done in 25 minutes of focussed work than an hour or so of procrastinating? Personally, when I am struggling for motivation or a difficult content project, as well as being short on time, I set myself a 25 minute timer and see how much I can get done. That’s it…just 25 little minutes…not even half an hour! I turn off all notifications and get to work.
The reality is that often the timer buzzer goes, I ignore it and just keep going, because by then I’m in the zone. I’m using my templates or writing up the main elements of the headings I’ve plotted out…and getting it done.
If content writing is that hard…don’t do it…
One last time saving tip…if you have used any of the above techniques, returned to something two or three times…and it’s still not working, then there’s a chance that it’s just not the right piece of content for you and your business. Bin it and do something else more productive with your time! There are so many options. There are so many varieties. Move on…
Ideally, have a never-ending list of ideas to help with this and that you keep tucked away for just this occasion! Keep a notes list on your phone or special section in a notebook. Have it visible and easy to access. Add to it every time you see something you like by another business or influencer.