Tips and Tools To Get You Writing
The Best Laid Plans…
As the owner of a website, it’s highly likely that on New Year’s Eve “Write more content” was high on your list of resolutions but, as is the case with all good intentions, three weeks into January you might be facing the fact that you’ve made little or no progress. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over this – most other people are in the same boat with their resolutions too. As soon as things get back to normal after Christmas, life, work and everything that comes with them just seems to get in the way.
It’s easy to allow producing content for your website to slip down the priority list but the fact is that it is just as important as all of the other tasks you’re busily checking off of your list. A website that is regularly updated with fresh, informative content is not only better for your site’s SEO, it can also be a way to build a relationship with your prospects and clients and as a means of demonstrating your expertise. Your website is your digital shop front after all. Just like a shop on the High Street, you want to keep your display window looking interesting and freshly stocked.
So, given the importance of the task, here are few helpful hints and recommendations to get your good intentions back on track.
Set Time Aside
Treat writing content as a task that has the same priority as meeting with a new potential customer or sending your invoices and block time out in your schedule for it. Plan time to focus on writing on a regular basis. Aim to clear some quiet time with zero distractions for at least a couple of hours every two weeks. Put it in your calendar, tell your colleagues not to disturb you and get away from the phones in the office. Switch off your mobile, email, social media and get your head into the task at hand.
Gather Your Thoughts
Just because you’ve managed to set time aside to write, don’t expect that inspiration will conveniently strike at that moment. The way to make sure you don’t come up empty when your fingers are on the keys is to capture ideas, titles and themes constantly. Whenever a thought for an article comes into your head, jot it down. Your tool for the task could be as simple as a pen and notebook or there is a plethora of notetaking tools you can use on your smartphone or tablet.
Two we can recommend:
Evernote – This is a brilliant note taking tool that syncs across all devices – phone, tablet, desktop and web. The basic service is free and there is a premium version if you find you need more storage space. You can use it to make notes, record voice notes, capture photographs and clip from websites.
WordPress – The software your website is built on is a great capture tool in itself. Gathering your thoughts is as simple as using the WordPress phone and tablet application or even just emailing them to your site. Before you know it you’ll have built up a library of article ideas that you can then work up to completion and hit publish, all in the one place.
Get In The Flow
WordPress has the facility to automatically post your articles to a set schedule, allowing you to write your content in advance and post at some point in the future. This is useful as it is easier to write when you get in the flow. As long as you always make time to stock up by creating batches of interesting articles during your quieter periods, you’ll be able to have an interesting and lively website even when you’re battling other deadlines and have no time to write.
Editorial Calendar – WordPress doesn’t make it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. This plugin gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move your posts around, use the calendar to keep on top of when revisions are due and manage the whole thing.
Work Well With Others
If you’ve got a team of people around you – get them involved! Many hands make light work and maintaining a website can be a time hungry task. WordPress allows you to set each of your team members up with their own user profile and different levels of access to protect your website’s settings.
EditFlow – This plugin lets you collaborate with your team inside WordPress to move posts along from the ideas stage to full, published article. You can track what stage each post is along the way, set a story budget, allow team members to provide feedback to each other and for people involved in the development of an article to receive notifications when new comments have been made.
Try some of these tools, tips and tricks and see if you can get your good intentions back on track. Don’t forget that we’re here to help you get your plugins set up and if all else fails, we’ve got another trick up our sleeve – a subject we’ll be picking up on again in this series of posts over the next few weeks!