My Tweet promoting Mike Murray’s excellent 54 Content Marketing Examples, Tools, Tips, and Resources, prompted many requests for me to share my favorite productivity tip.
Since my tip was too long to reduce it 140 characters, I’m posting one of my favorite articles that addresses the main aspects of my favorite productivity tip in greater detail.
Let me know if you find it helpful and would like to learn more about the topic.
Are You Tired of Last-minute Deadlines?
If you are, maybe you’re trying to do too much at the last minute!
Here’s an alternative to the continuous deadline-caused stress that undermines many marketing programs. It involves scheduling several short working sessions spread over several days.
Task-oriented versus project-oriented
The typical content marketing newsletter or blog post requires more than just writing. There are several steps (or tasks) involved.
When trying to do too much in a single, long session, fatigue quickly sets in—especially if you’re not seeing the results you hoped for.
Breaking your projects into smaller tasks that you address in short, i.e., 15 or 20 minute, working sessions reduces stress by replacing a big, hard-to-achieve deadline with a series of shorter, easier-to-achieve mini-deadlines.
6-steps to success
Here’s an example:
- Select the products you’re going to promote. Start Sunday afternoon, or perhaps, before going to bed Sunday evening. Select the topics and products you’re going to address in your next newsletter or weekly blog post. In addition, gather together literature sheets and links that you want to reference.
- Prepare the first draft as quickly as possible. The next day, commit to writing the first draft in a single session. Suggestion: set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes, and write as quickly as possible. Avoid self-editing while writing. See www.pomodorotechnique.com.
- Edit your draft. Editing involves two steps. First, spend approximately half your time refining your headlines so they will engage your reader’s attention and attract search engines. Then, ruthlessly cut unnecessary words, break long sentences into two, or more, shorter sentences, and look for long words you can replace with short words.
- Enhance your words with graphics. Today, graphics are a necessity, not a luxury. Look for story-telling stock photographs that can attract attention and look for graphics, like the flow chart shown above, that reinforce your message. These graphics will also play an important role in promoting your content via social media.
- Schedule your project’s publication. Never publish your newsletter or blog post immediately upon completion. Schedule it for the next day. This provides a final opportunity to review your work and allows you to schedule your social media message promotion for maximum exposure.
- Promote your content. Content needs to be promoted, no matter how helpful or relevant it is. Use social media to promote your latest blog posts and email newsletters. Promotion also involves responding to comments tracking the results (calls, sales, website traffic, downloads, etc.) of your content.
Creating your own productivity habits
The above, of course, is not a universal panacea. It’s an approach for you to try as a first step to escaping deadline madness. There’s no “silver bullet” that will work for everyone.
Experiment and see what works best for you. Over time, you should be able to complete each of the above steps in 20 to 30 minute. In the beginning, you may need more time. But, overall, your efficiency will quickly improve.
You may also become comfortable working on more than one project at a time, i.e. scheduling time to prepare graphics for one project in the morning while promoting previously-published content in the afternoon.
Finally, analyzing what goes into newsletters and blog posts opens the door to delegating some tasks to others.
Will this productivity approach work for you? Comment below or share your comments via email and I’ll send you some of my other content marketing productivity resources. If you have a different content marketing challenge or concern, share it with using my 2-minute survey!