The ability to manipulate time would be a fantastic superpower for every entrepreneur and content creator. Imagine being able to pause time, go back in time, speed up time.
Well, sadly, no one can control time. Well, no one that we know, but maybe Beyonce knows something we don’t.
So, unfortunately, you can’t manipulate time. However, you can change the way you spend your time. And for entrepreneurs, this is the ultimate weapon you have. You have the power to manage your time efficiently and effectively. Maximizing your time is the real superpower.
Our community often tells us that one area that they wish they had more time for is content creation. We all know how important it is to produce consistent content but, really, how does anyone find the time?
You need ideas and research and even if you happen to have an endless stream of publication-worthy content ideas, you still need to sit down and write them. And sometimes a big blank page can lead to distractions. I’m looking at you, Twitter!
Luckily, there are some tricks we’ve picked up along the way that can help you manage your time, create content more effectively and actually end up with more and better content in less time.
Create a plan
Before you even get down to the actual writing or designing of your content, you need a plan for your content. First off, how often are you going to create content? The amount of content you create is less important than keeping consistency with the frequency of that content. The trick is not to publish something every single day. It’s to get your audience into a comfortable rhythm of expecting your content at a certain time. It’s better to send out one email newsletter on the first Monday of every month than to try to email weekly but be unable to keep up.
Once you know how often you’ll create content, the next question is what content you’re going to create. This is where a little bit of advanced brainstorming can save you hours of time staring at a blank page. You don’t need to plan out every detail but having a broad outline of the type of content you want to create will help you stay consistent and on message when the time comes for you to create your content.
There’s no right or wrong way to brainstorm your content. Do what feels best to you whether it’s using a tool like Trello, pen, and paper or throwing out ideas on a whiteboard. Just get those ideas out there!
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, we have two ideas to try.
Think of your content in terms of categories
You can divide the different topics you write about into content categories then you can get more detailed within each content category. For example, here at MeetEdgar, we talk often about social media marketing but we also talk about blogging, podcasting, email marketing, copywriting and entrepreneurship. So when we sit down to brainstorm, we make each one of those our “main categories” and we brainstorm ideas to talk about underneath them. Then we have a balanced, full content plan.
Another way to brainstorm content is to start with the keywords you want to be associated with. What are the terms or phrases people search for when looking for your product or service? What are the terms or phrases related to the problems your audience wants to solve? You can start by listing keywords and then creating content ideas based on them.
Want to plan out your content? Download our free 2020 content planner to keep your content organized this year!
2. Develop a writing routine
Once your plan is ready to go, now let’s talk about how you can really be a wizard and manipulate time while you write. Or at least manage it better 😉
Many people think great writers have some big magical secrets about how they get everything done. But there isn’t any. The best writers in the world create writing routines and they stick to them. Every routine is different of course but there are a few factors you can determine and plan for that will help you write best.
Find when you write best
It’s said that the majority of people are more creative and productive in the morning hours but that’s not a hard and fast rule. You’ll need to find your own natural rhythm for writing. Experiment with your writing times until you figure out what works best for you, whether it’s first thing in the morning, immediately after lunch or late at night.
Where do you write best
You can’t write with distractions and let’s face it, there are a lot of them. You sit down to write and suddenly your phone is lighting up with social media notifications, your kitchen really needs to be completely cleaned and every email needs to be read, right? You need to create a space in your office or your home where you can focus. For some people, this also means actually leaving your house and working from your local library or favorite coffee shop.
Decide how can you break up your work
You actually don’t need to write an entire 2,000-word blog post in one sitting because there’s one due. You can break up planning, researching and writing your content into shorter chunks of time. For instance, at MeetEdgar, I’ll break up content creation so it looks like this:
Day 1. Researching + outlining
Day 2. Drafting the content
Day 3. Editing + revising
Day 4. Formatting + publishing
This way, I don’t feel burnt out and I tend to move at a faster pace when creating content.
3. Use the right tools
Of course, you can rely on your willpower to write efficiently but there’s no need to! There are plenty of tools you can use to help you create more content.
Freedom is a great app for when you just don’t have the energy to stay off Twitter. Freedom blocks distracting and time-sucking websites for a set period of time so you can get work done.
StayFocused for Chrome and Leechblock for Firefox are two other tools that can eliminate distractions. These are browser extensions that you can set up to block specific websites for certain periods of time.
4. Upcycle & recycle
Finally, perhaps one of the best things you can do to create more content in less time is to stop starting from scratch. You probably have a large library of content, whether that’s blogs, emails or social media posts that can be turned into more content. Expanding on a piece of content or reworking something to be used in a different way is a super-smart method for leveraging what’s already working to create more content. Just like our third tip, your existing content is just another tool you can use.
Not sure how to upcycle your content? This post has some great ideas for you to try.
Sadly, we can’t control time but we can better manage it. When we’re able to do that, along with better planning, creating better habits and using every tool at our disposal, you just might find that in 2020, you really are creating more in less time!