Unconventional Tips for Writing
Content is what drives people to your site. Ask yourself, have you produced a satisfactory amount of new content in the last month?
Nearly half of all marketers include creating content as one of their most common challenges. Consistently developing high-quality content is difficult, but the benefits are worth it. Continually adding new, first-rate content to your site increases traffic and the number of people who subscribe to your site, both of which lead to a greater sales volume.
No matter what kind of content you need to create, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.
First of all, raise your budget. Hiring writers to create content for you allows you to get diverse perspectives on different topics, as well as use a variety of writing styles.
The second step is to spend more time on your writing. Oftentimes writing for work takes the fun out of it, and writers put it off as long as possible. Spend more time researching and learning about your topic.
Thirdly, write more quickly. Increasing the speed at which you write means you can produce more content in a certain timeframe. Higher levels of productivity will lead to more content for your site.
While you can’t always control the budget or how much time you have to spend on a piece of writing, the speed of your writing is within your control. Below are six unconventional tips to help you increase your productivity.
Verbalize what you want to write before writing it
Most people speak far faster than they can type or write. Saying aloud what you want to write down gives you the opportunity to get all of your thoughts out at the speed they occur to you, instead of at the speed you type. You’ll be less likely to lose your train of thought, which results in better quality writing.
When you’re speaking, record yourself using an online app or the voice recording feature found on most smart phones. Don’t worry about saying everything exactly the way it will be written. The intention is to get the general ideas recorded before you forget them. Use the recording to organize and outline, then fill it in as needed. It may take a few tries before you become comfortable with this method.
This will also make writing easier – since you don’t need to focus on choosing the perfect words, your sentences will flow naturally. You also won’t be distracted by what to write next.
There are a few things you can do to speed up this process. One option is to hire someone to write the transcription for you. This person will charge a small fee, and in return, he or she will write down everything you recorded, exactly as you recorded it.
Another option is to use Google Docs. A voice feature was added recently that assists users with speech recognition. To enable this on your computer, go to Tools, then Voice. There are some voice commands you'll need, so research those before you use this tool.
Limit the amount of time you spend on your writing
We’ve all had times where we’ve noticed that the work we have manages to fill up the amount of time we have to work on it. This is called Parkinson’s Law. It states the amount of time we give ourselves to work on something is how long the project will take, even if we could complete it earlier.
Estimate how long a piece of writing will take you. Be realistic with your estimate, and stick that amount of time. For example, if you estimate one article will take three hours, limit yourself to three hours. It’s a good idea to have some additional, completed articles on hand in case you underestimate the actual amount of time needed.
Start working at the end
Every writer has been hit by writer’s block at some point. Staring at a blank screen is not helpful, and wasted time accounts for the majority of time used to create content.
The first thing you need to do is figure out what the point of your writing is. Is it humorous, informative, or an opinion piece? Are you trying to convince someone of something? Once you know where you’re going it is much easier to get there.
Starting at the end, draft an outline of each section of your piece. The outline should be basic, and cover the general topics you want to include. Then, fill in the details. Although this method takes a few extra minutes at the beginning, it will save you time overall.
Make typing instinctive
The average typing speed is between 40 and 60 words per minute. Increasing your typing speed will directly decrease the amount of time you spend writing. One of the easiest ways to increase your typing speed is to practice.
First, test your current typing speed. There are several free tests online, including Key Hero. This test will only take a couple minutes. If your speed is less than 60 words per minute, you should practice.
Having the correct hand posture on the keyboard will drastically improve your typing speed. Start with four fingers along the middle row of the keyboard – also called the “home row” – and your thumbs over the space bar. Your left hand will only press the keys on the left side of the keyboard, and the same for the right.
Avoid looking at the keyboard when you’re typing. Focus on the words appearing on the screen. Continually looking down at the keyboard is distracting and will slow you down. Practice until typing feels like it’s second nature.
Take a break
Taking a few short breaks while working on something will make you more productive. If you focus on one thing for too long, it will become difficult to concentrate.
The Pomodoro Technique is extremely helpful for getting into the habit of taking a break. Set a timer for twenty-five minutes, and work for the full amount of time. Once the timer goes off, take a break for five minutes. Together, these times make one Pomodoro. Repeat the steps four times. After the fourth repetition, give your brain a rest by taking a longer break. This break can be anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes.
Don’t edit until you are done
Trying to focus on writing and editing at the same time is extremely inefficient. By flipping your attention back and forth, you are preventing yourself from properly focusing on anything. Complete your first draft before you edit. As you write, put down whatever comes into your head whether or not you think it is good writing. Narration can be very helpful for this phase.
As Ernest Hemingway said, the first draft of anything is garbage. Once you have the first draft complete, read through the entire piece checking for content, consistency, and flow. Then, read through it a second time to edit and make any changes. Be thorough, and check each sentence.
On the surface, going through your work twice sounds like a waste of time. However, taking your time and doing one step at a time will help you create higher quality content. In the end, the effort will be worth it.
Consistently producing content is necessary to drive visitors to your site and increase subscribers. Regularly creating interesting content can be time-consuming, which is why training yourself to write more quickly and efficiently is so important. These six tips are unconventional but effective. Start using one or two, and then try the rest. Keep track of the amount of content you produce, and soon enough you’ll notice the improvements.