6 Tips to Create Content Faster
Writing isn’t easy. We all know it. Rarely will you find yourself satisfied with the quantity of your content output and, in fact, 44% of marketers will affirm that maintaining consistent content production represents a huge challenge.
Hard as it is, regular, high-quality content is a necessity for most ventures, so there’s really no choice but to get on with it, is there? Traffic-subscriber-sales; these are the steps we all have to march to.
· Ways exist of making production a bit less of a burden, such as:
· Expenditure increase i.e. hiring writers
· Committing more time to the work
· Simply writing faster
Circumstances may put option one and two out of immediate reach, but there’s almost always a way to get on with number three. Have you tried it? Could you imagine the difference to your operation doubling your article production times would make?
That’s the point of this post – I want to share six tips with you, and though some may seem a bit out there, I assure you, they can work wonders for your productivity.
1. Narrate, and then write
On average, people speak about 3 to 4 times as fast as they’re able to write. Moreover, losing your train of thought, as is bound to happen every so often, again steals chunks of time here and there as you struggle to get back on that train and continue writing. True, no?
Spoken word does away with these hiccups in fluidity. The idea here is that, before you begin writing out your article, you speak out loud your general ideas and points on the topic at hand. Do this while recording yourself on any of the available mobile apps or online and having done that, proceed to write it down. Pay no mind to continuity, coherence, or grammar at this point, all these things can be fixed up later on. With everything laid out is when you can go on to lay them out in an appropriate format, whilst editing to your satisfaction.
Give it a few tries, and see how well it works for you. The beauty of this system is how much easier writing itself becomes. You aren’t constantly trying to arrange and plan your thoughts ahead as you type, which makes a world of difference. If you want to take it a step further, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant, or transcriptionist, who could probably with a little initial direction, save you a lot of time and effort at minimal cost.
Incidentally, Google Docs recently came out with a voice typing feature. It’s by no means perfect as of yet but works surprisingly efficiently. They’ve even added voice editing commands such as: “select line”, “select next word”, or “select next paragraph”, from which point you continue to edit using the “cut”, “copy”, or “paste” voice commands. The whole array is there, from italicizing text to color changes. Pretty nifty if you ask me.
2. Limit your time-frames
There’s an interesting theory labeled Parkinson’s Law, which states that however little the amount of work you have, it will expand to fill the time you have allocated to it. Think about it, and I’m sure you can see the sense in it, probably from your own writing experience. If at the beginning of the week you give yourself a Friday deadline, nine times out of ten, you’re going to have a rough Friday night.
Make this psychological quirk, which we all have, work for you, not against you. By limiting the time you give yourself to whatever bare minimum is feasible, you will likely find that your mind engages into gear with intense focus, as opposed to times when you subconsciously know you have all the time in the world. Conversely, though, prudence might dictate that you always have a few posts ready to go, just in case you squeeze yourself too hard timewise - it never hurts.
3. Start at the end, then work your way to the beginning
Writer’s block is from the devil – it gets us all, even us in our non-fiction milieu. That blank page can sometimes loom so large you find yourself avoiding your workstation entirely. Staring at that page for thirty minutes as you wrack your brain for that elusive trigger-key thought to make its way to the surface is an undeniable waste of precious time.
Consider this; if your typing speed is the average 40 words per minute, an hour working at 80% capacity will produce 1,920 words! Who can honestly say they get anywhere near that when actually creating content? Nobody reading this, I’ll bet. That dead, blocked space contributes the most to this disparity between possible and real output. Sad.
A blank page represents endless possibilities, not barrenness to someone with a writer’s instinct, and they hesitate to rush and fill it with something instinct tells them could be much better. Go around this perfectionist’s failing by asking yourself at the outset – what is the point of this post? It is usually a simpler question to answer. Go ahead to loosely outline points in support of your central theme working back from your intended destination. It takes very little time to do this, but will likely save you loads of time on the back end, more so with longer posts.
4. Make your typing automatic
Typing is a skill, and just as other skills, is learned and improved with practice. This applies equally to everyone, including a lot of you who are bilingual or might not have grown up around computers.
The first step towards typing proficiency is to know what your typing speed is in the first place. Lots of free online tests exist for this purpose, with Key Hero being a good example. It only takes a couple of minutes.
A typing speed below 60 can benefit greatly from improvement. In typing, technique is key. Read that sentence again and see what I did there. The proper hand placement will have 4 fingers of both hands hovering above the home row of keys (asdf jkl;), with the thumbs above the spacebar. Following that, get yourself in the habit of not looking at the keyboard as you type, as it impedes your ability to work up to a good typing speed.
Got that down? Now, practice. Committing as little as 20 minutes a day to this might save you untold hours of content down the line.
5. Take a break. Seriously.
It might not make immediate sense, but studies have shown that breaks of as little as a few minutes can boosts productivity by nearly 10%. A few minutes every 30-60 minutes should have you set, but if you’re unsure what would suit you best, the Pomodoro Technique comes highly recommended. It’s simple: we kill the Batman…no, wait, it’s like this:
· Set a timer for 25 minutes
· Work until the timer runs down
· Take a 5-minute break
· This is one Pomodoro complete
· Repeat steps 1-3 (Pomodoros) four times, and then take a longish break of maybe 15 to 20 minutes, as you see fit. Most phones will have timers on them, or you can find one easily enough online.
The point with this is to keep you fresh and your mind sharp as you work.
6. Write first then edit later
I mentioned it earlier, but it won’t hurt to repeat this; distractions abound to bedevil the honest writer – random thoughts, figuring out the next line of thought, pondering your word choice, whatever it is, all this is tantamount to multitasking. Your mind is switching over from each of these various focuses, and this involves a switching cost. Switching costs might be negligible split seconds at a time, but they really add up as you count them in their thousands.
This constant shifting can decrease productivity by up to 40%, and is the main reason you shouldn’t make a habit of looking back on written sentences immediately to begin pondering edits. It just takes too much time.
As I always say, “The first draft of anything is garbage”. Well, Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest writers to have lived said it, but I’m always saying what he said, so there.
Put down your entire post so that you can have a total overview of the piece, in its entirety, because only then will you be able to pinpoint what doesn’t belong and what’s missing. Essentially, rather than agonizing before you put down every word, write down the first thing that comes to your head. That’s how the pros do it. That first thought is there because your brain feels it is the most natural progression available, and overthinking it might leave your post sounding strained and unnatural. Trust your instincts.
It might be a bit rough at first, but that’s what editing is for – to turn your rough ore into pure spun gold.
Content is essential for modern business marketing, but it’s always troublesome finding the time to produce quality material with consistency. Learning how to create content faster is the most elegant and least cost intensive solution to this predicament there is. I’ve shown you six ways to do so. Give one or two methods a go for now, and be back later for more. Gauge your times before and after, and glory in the difference.