I am so happy to share that I have been a guest on The Business Storytelling Podcast with Christoph Trappe! Christoph interview experts from around the globe who share content of interest to marketers, business leaders, and change agents. He was also a guest on Business Unveiled Podcast: to listen to the episode click HERE.
Even though COVID-19 happened I've had the opportunity to meet so many people virtually through Podfest and online conferences that I've spoken at. And I can say that Christoph is one of those people I've met that is really forward thinking in technology. I was honored when he reached out as he was celebrating his 400th episode and asked for tips for business owners and entrepreneurs. Congratulations Christoph!!
Here are a few of the features!
How Making Time For Writing Can Actually Be Accomplished
Making it a priority
It comes down to making the time, making sure others understand that we are writing and then sticking to the plan. I realize that’s easier said than done, so let’s dive into some tips.
But, do keep in mind: You have to decide that writing is a priority or even these steps won’t work.
I’m a big fan of blocking time to make time for writing or really any task. So my calendar looks like this:
Sometimes, things move ahead or I skip ahead to a task. For example, if I need a break from writing, I might fiddle with a podcast for a bit next. But in general, blocking off time is helpful.
I also try to batch things as much as possible:
- Writing in one big chunk or maybe even a whole day
- Meetings on another day
Batching by day isn’t always possible for some teams, but the more I can batch related tasks, the more productive I seem to be.
While you are planning ahead, be realistic on what can actually get done in a given amount of time. For example, I know roughly how long it will take me to write a decent blog post if I have the source material ready.
Give yourself some cushion. Also, don’t let the calendar put unnecessary pressure on you. For example, I’ve seen people say things like this before:
Let’s work as hard and fast as we can for 90 minutes and then we are done.
That might work if you are creating widgets, but it doesn’t necessarily work in the creative world of writing. Yes, deadlines can be helpful, but only if they are reasonable.
Prioritize what works
Some content will perform better than others. And while it can be a guessing game at times, do try to create more of what has been working and less of what isn’t.
For example, on the video content side of things I’ve had a ton of success with Amazon product review videos. My default often is to follow the Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) model, which could mean that I also put these videos on YouTube, Facebook and maybe even my website. In this case that’s a total waste of time when compared to Amazon, however, so I just stick with Amazon.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t always look for COPE opportunities. I do. But sometimes, the effort isn’t worth it. Or I have to prioritize.
You may find similar higher-value content pieces in your writing or even the type of writing. For example, once I see a trend of something that is working in an email campaign I try to follow that style. I’m not investing more time into email now, but I’m going about what I’m creating differently.
So at times, it’s not even about not doing one thing or another, but it’s about trying to make the content you have, fit into the container and style that you has worked so far.
Turn notifications off
I’m a fan of Slack and even social media notifications to stay in the loop and be reachable – especially in a world where remote teams are more acceptable than a few years ago.
But they can also stop the flow of our writing. Content creators getting into the flow of creating is a thing. It happens and usually that’s a good thing. Notifications and unnecessary interruptions can hurt that flow. Every time it’s interrupted, it’ll take a bit to get back into it.
The time block being long enough is also important. For example, let’s say you have a meeting from 9-10 and then again 10:30-11. While that’s technically 30 minutes in-between meetings, it’s likely not enough to get into deep content creation. Sure, you can probably do a few things, but the flow of content creation will likely not happen then.
Making use of technology
Technology can help us with making time for writing. Our options certainly have exploded over recent years.
- write on a keyboard
- use voice dictation on our computers
- write on our phones – I used to do this all the time and this picture has me filing a blog post while holding my young daughter.
- voice dictate on our phones
Using technology that is easy to use is also a game changer. For example, I’ve long been a fan and advocate of teams to write directly in their content management system. That way the content creator can see how everything works together, add the correct anchor text and links and we can avoid copying and pasting unnecessary formatting from Word or Google Docs.
What about smaller teams?
I’m not really a fan of companies building their content on just one network. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., might work today but if those are the only places you share content, the results can be disastrous when something changes on that one network.
But, we also have to face the realities of time – especially on smaller teams.
At the end of the day and it doesn’t matter if the team is big or small, making time for writing is a priority question. If it’s not a priority, it won’t get done.
See Christoph Trappe's full article here.