3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly

Creating content isn't for the weak. It's so easy to get caught up when producing content for your brand. You may find yourself lingering on a sentence because you want it to sound perfect. Alternatively, you may be stuck on what to write to begin with. Today, we are going to cover three things you can do to write content quickly so that you can get to the best part of owning a business, connecting with amazing customers!

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Brainstorm Often So You Always Have Something To Write About

It's so easy to be stuck on what to write. You may feel like there will never be another topic to talk about or you may feel like there is so much to talk about that you don't know where to start. Either of these issues can be daunting for someone trying to get a blog post finished.

I am not too fond of the idea of starting fresh every time you write. Instead, I am a big believer in brainstorming often. Stop spending valuable time looking at a blank screen for hours. Instead, brainstorm when you feel inspired or excited and keep that content for a rainy day.

It's easy to brainstorm content and then rush to produce it and get tapped out again. When I was in college it used to be hard for me to keep up during the semester, classes would get busy, and I would always falter on my blogging schedule. When classes let out, I was a blogging machine. In hindsight, I know that I should have done that differently. If I had worked when I was inspired and then scheduled out content appropriately, my audience would have been much better served.

On the flip side, don’t think you should only work when you are inspired. This kind of thinking is dangerous because we are often not inspired. Most of the time, we aren’t feeling it at all. Action brings feelings of inspiration if you are doing it right. Have you ever noticed how once you get into the flow of working, time passes by quickly, and it’s hard to put your pen down? Don’t think that you need inspiration to work. Instead, work to get inspiration.

Related Reading: Never Run Out Of Blog Topics Again: 11 Ways To Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas

Always Start With An Outline

I cannot work without an outline. I am a somewhat disjointed writer. Sometimes I write pieces from start to finish, but most of the time I jump around to the part of writing that excites me the most. It's impossible to jump around if you don't know where you are going.

So, I start all of my writing sessions by creating a simple to follow outline. I don't get too specific. I list my main points. If I can think of any significant subpoints, I'll list those out too. If a sentence strikes while I am writing my outline down, I will also fill that in under the appropriate point.

Creating an outline of my work helps me understand where I am going. Instead of rambling about who knows what, I always know exactly where I am and where I need to go.

An outline also helps me understand if a topic is feasible or not. Sometimes I will get an idea in my head that I want to write, but once I start outlining it, I may see that it's not that easy. I may need to make the topic more specific or broad. Sometimes I need to scrap a topic altogether. It's all apart of the writing process.

Before you put pen to paper officially, I encourage you to test the topic with an outline. It will save you so much time and energy through prequalifying your subject and keeping you on task while writing.

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Stop Trying To Perfect Content

Last, but not least, stop trying to produce perfect content. One of my internet friends, who talks about video confidence on her site Hazel Haven, always says "done is better than perfect." I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

We get so caught up in the nitty gritty of our content when most readers don't analyze our content like that. Unless you are writing content for editors, most people won't notice tiny mistakes in your content. You should not lie about facts and figures, but stop being so nitpicky when it comes to content creation.

When I produce content, I don’t overanalyze it. I write my content, read it a couple of times when I am working (which I am trying to get away from), and then I edit it more thoroughly with Grammarly. I am not one of those people who looks over every word with care. As long as my message is clear, I am clear.

You’ve got to learn to let it go at some point. It may be time to hire a freelancer if you can't imagine being able to write content without being a perfectionist. In the content marketing game, we aren't trying to be perfect. We are trying to relate to our audience.

Think about who you are trying to attract with your content: are they more concerned with the lessons they learn from your content or the spelling errors you might have? Chances are, they are there to learn, not nitpick. We are often our own worst critics so don’t fret if you have a few mistakes.

Conclusion

Creating content doesn't have to be a lengthy endeavor. You can create content quickly and easily, but it takes time and practice to get content creation down to a science. I hope that today's blog post helped you rethink what content creation means to you and your brand.

What are your best tips for creating content quicker?

How Obsessing Over Traffic Is Stopping You From Building A Profitable Company

When creating a website, we are taught that traffic is king. We are always chasing after higher traffic numbers because we think that makes us successful. Today, I am going to talk about why you shouldn't obsess over traffic for your business. In fact, I am going to argue that obsessing over traffic is stopping you from building a profitable company.

How Obsessing Over Traffic Is Stopping You From Building A Profitable Company | Building a profitable company is not easy. We often turn to content marketing to solve our problems and bring in traffic, but is traffic the best goal for your business blog to have? Today on the blog I am sharing my thoughts on traffic and why you should lean on other goals to grow your business.

Traffic Doesn’t Build An Engaged Customer Base

Traffic doesn't build an engaged customer base. Just because people visit your site, doesn't mean you will have a bunch of customers banging on your door to buy from you. An engaged customer base comes from more than building traffic.

To build an engaged customer base you need to understand who your customers are, what they need, what they want to buy from you, and then you need the discipline to create that thing. More traffic isn't always the answer. The answer is being smart about understanding the potential customers you already have.

Let’s focus more on one statement, “what they want to buy from you." Your customers might be a group of mothers. You could sell them baby clothes in a boutique, but what do they want from you. If you are a career coach, they want career coaching advice. If you are a boutique, they want clothes. Don’t try to be everything to your audience, focus on what you are good at.

You Are Not A Lifestyle Blog

When I am not working with my clients, I am working on building my lifestyle blog The Happy Arkansan. On The Happy Arkansan, I am a stickler for numbers. I am always trying to get my numbers higher because that's what's important on that blog. If I don't have the numbers, I am likely not reaching my affiliate sales and advertising goals. Furthermore, if I am not reaching my numbers, it's going to be hard to convince brands to work with my blog.

On Amanda Cross Co., my goals are very different. I am not focused on the numbers. I am focused on building a community here that will lead to sales of content packages. I don't need thousands of views here; I just need the right views.

You don’t need all the views because you are not a lifestyle blog. Your goals are different.

I don’t want to negate the importance of traffic. More people coming in at the top of your sales funnel is always great, but don’t think that more traffic will increase sales automatically. You’ve got to do the work to sell your product and build your email list too.

Some Goals Make Much More Sense For Where You Are As A Business

When it comes down to it, some goals make more sense for your business and the content marketing that you do for it. Put a lot of thought into the goals that you have for your website so that you can put the right kind of effort into building your company blog.

5 Goals For Your Company Blog

Next, let’s chat about five goals that you can have for your company blog (besides traffic) that will make more sense for your brand.

Build Your Email/Text List

When it comes to marketing, you can't always make a sale on the first visit someone makes to your website. Sure, some people will purchase right away, but most people need time to decide if they'd like to buy something.

Building your email or text list is the perfect way to keep in contact with your potential customers and sell your services to them over time. You can continue to communicate with them as time goes on and promote your services, latest blog posts, et cetera.

If you want to utilize content marketing to build your email/text list, start with where you are. Write down your numbers in a document. Where are you when it comes to email subscribers today? Promote your email/text list across your website and on every blog post. Utilize lead magnets to build your list and get people excited about signing up.

Keep tabs on where your email list stands after every month. If you can dig deeper, figure out which blog posts are leading to more email signups. If a blog post is underperforming, go back and change things around until you optimize it for email list signups.

Schedule Product Demos

If you own a software company, you may want to schedule more product demos. Even physical product companies may want to schedule more product demos depending on your product. Start by getting your numbers down: how many product demos are you scheduling right now?

Create a plan of attack to promote product demos for your company. If you want to schedule more product demos, you may want to experiment with pre-recorded videos versus one-on-one demos. If you do switch to a more impersonal demo structure, create a way for potential customers to email you detailed questions or set up a system for your salespeople to email anyone who requests a demo video in a specific timeframe (say, within 72 hours of requesting the video demo.)

Product demos have changed a ton over time, and you can utilize your blog to schedule more demos today.

Related Reading: 5 Ways to Get More Product Demos For Your B2B Or Enterprise Software Service

Sell Products/Software Packages

Next, you can use your blog to sell more products/software packages.

We all know that the rule of seven can stop us from making sales right away. People want to visit your site and get to know you a bit before they purchase a product. That doesn't mean you should stop trying to make money on your blog, however.

Pushing certain products or services on your blog is okay. You don't want to avoid selling altogether, after all. You never know, someone visiting your blog might want to buy something right now, but what do they purchase?

Do you have a small item that you can put up for sale? Maybe you have an old webinar that you can repackage as a paid product or a trial that you can monetize in some way? When it comes to selling in your blog posts, keep it simple and never sell more than 1-2 products per post. Too many choices can give people anxiety and make them decide not to purchase at all.

Build Authority/Name Recognition In Your Niche

Another goal you may have is to build authority and name recognition. Being an authority in your niche will help you a ton when it comes to acquiring customers, speaking at the best conferences, and creating a company excels online.

Building authority is about more than pushing out content, though. It's about creating creative content that grabs people's attention and gets people talking. What will people say about the content you are producing on your website?

Create innovative content that puts a new spin on concepts in your industry. You don't need to produce content to cause controversy, but don't be afraid to make a statement. Don't regurgitate what everyone in your industry has already said. Your blog is your time to shine and showcase your company.

Related Reading: 5 Powerful Ways To Build Authority In Your Niche

Improve Search Ranking For Your Website

Last, but not least, one of your goals may be to improve search engine ranking.

Ranking in search engines is a great goal to have because it helps you find customers who might otherwise not know you exist. Being friendly with Google will never lead you astray. Many people think that search engines are complicated. They are not simple, but they are far from difficult to manage.

It takes discipline. You have to be willing to sit down and learn the best practices associated with search engine optimization. I rank for many keywords on my blog The Happy Arkansan. One of the most critical parts of that process for me was familiarizing myself with Google Search Console. Once I found out what Google Search Console was and how to submit my site on it, my ranking started growing steadily ever since.

Conclusion

Today, on the blog, we talked all about traffic and why obsessing over it is stopping you from building a profitable company.

Once we established that traffic isn't everything, I spent some time detailing five other goals that you could have for your business blog besides traffic building.

Traffic is still vital to the growth of your company, but you shouldn't obsess over your traffic numbers. There are better ways to build a successful company, and I wanted to help you realize that today.

10 Tools To Help You Collaborate With Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer can be a challenging, but exciting process for companies and entrepreneurs. Freelancers can help your company in a variety of ways. Your freelancers may help with content creation, social media management, data entry, et cetera. I want to help you improve the entire process of hiring and working with freelancers by introducing you to a few tools. I have tools in the following categories:

  • Hiring and Scouting Freelancers

  • Freelancer Communication and Productivity

  • Delivering Freelancer Work

  • Paying Your Freelancers

Hopefully, the tools I share with you today will help you create a better relationship with the freelancers who will help guide your company onward and upward.

10 Tools To Help You Collaborate With Freelancers | From hiring freelancers to paying them what they are worth, I have the tools you need to collaborate with your favorite people. Go through this list with your team so you know all the tools you need to look into before you hire your first freelancer.

Hiring And Scouting Freelancers

The first step to collaborating with freelancers is hiring the perfect freelancer for your project. There are a variety of ways to find the best freelancer including doing a quick Google search for freelancers in your niche. I have found that LinkedIn and Upwork are great places to sleuth out freelancers if you are looking to speed up the search process.

Related Reading: Seven Signs You're Ready To Hire A Freelancer

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Freelancer Tools

LinkedIn is a professional communication website that is also a great place for scouting potential freelancer talent. Many freelancers use the platform to showcase their talents, blog posts, projects, and more. LinkedIn provides many paid tools for connecting with potential employees and freelancers, but you can do a ton without paying for a costly LinkedIn Recruiter account. Of course, those accounts exist for a reason, and you get added tools with those accounts. You can do a ton of sleuthing on your own, though, to find freelancers to hire. Here are some places you may want to check:

  • Groups: Freelancers are quite active in LinkedIn Groups. You may be able to find a freelancer that meets your standards by seeing who posts in groups.

  • Hashtags: Hashtags are becoming increasingly popular on LinkedIn. The pound sign has become a great way to categorize information on the internet. Look for people using hashtags like #FreelanceWriter or #GraphicDesigner.

  • Search: It may take some time, but you can search for freelancers in specific niches. Since you don’t have a ton of information about these people other than the fact that the word “freelancer” is in their profile, you’ll have to dig deeper to see how they can help you.

Upwork

Upwork Freelancer Tools

Another great way to sleuth freelancers is by using a freelancing platform like Upwork. Upwork was built for companies and entrepreneurs to hire freelancers quickly and easily. There a ton of freelancers to cycle through on the platform. There are a few different ways to hire on Upwork:

  • Post a job on Upwork. If you post a job on Upwork, you will receive various applications from Upworkers across the platform. It will be your job after you receive these applications to go through them, categorize them, and decide who is the best fit for your open position.

  • Use the freelancer search tool to reach out to freelancers directly. You will still have to post a job on Upwork to invite that freelancer personally to your position. When you invite the freelancer you potentially want to work with, create a more personal invitation. Let them know that you have checked out their profile and you are incredibly interested in working with them. Freelancers get many invitations to random jobs, and it's always better when potential employers make more of an effort on those invitations.

Note: If you use Upwork to hire a freelancer, you cannot pay them outside of the Upwork platform. It’s against the rules and can get you, and the freelancer, banned from the website.

Related Reading: 10 Important Lessons I Have Learned Freelancing On Upwork

Freelance Communication And Productivity

So, you’ve found the perfect freelancer, and you are working on the project. Once you are in this stage, communication and productivity are essential. Your freelancers should always know what the next step in your plan is. Tools like Asana, Slack, and, Trello help you communicate effectively and get things checked off your to-do list!

Asana

Asana Freelancer Tools

With Asana it is supremely simple to keep track of your workflow and assign tasks to various freelancers and employees. The best part of Asana? This tool is entirely free for teams of up to 15 people. This means that your small, scrappy team can use Asana to become more productive, without spending a dime.

Now, there are specific tools that may make you want to start paying for Asana sooner. If you need to buy Asana, you need to buy it for at least five people. Most small businesses will probably only need to use Asana's free plan though.

Asana is a great tool to use because you can take it on the go with the Asana mobile app or connect with your to-do list on any computer. Your freelancers will always be able to see the content that you assign to them, and you can give them access to the calendars they need while removing them from calendars that don’t pertain to them.

Slack

Slack Freelancer Tools

Slack’s slogan is “Where Work Happens,” and this is the case for thousands of companies across the world. Slack is a communication tool that you can use to chat with your freelancers and employees. You can create relevant rooms so teams can work together, and you can message with people privately to get tasks done more efficiently.

The best part about Slack is its robust app library. You can add apps like Google Calendar, Zoom, and Dropbox which brings sites you already know into your team’s Slack. Alternatively, you can explore a bunch of smaller bots and apps that help with things like employee engagement and company culture such as AttendanceBot, Ally, or Disco. Slack has apps across a ton of categories.

Overall, Slack is an innovative application that will change the way your employees and freelancers communicate. Plus, you can access it on desktop and mobile!

Trello

Trello Freelancer Tools

I personally love Asana and use it to manage my freelance life, but I know that not everyone likes Asana's style. Some people thrive when their work is managed more visually, and that's where Trello comes in handy.

Trello is a card-based system of productivity. It’s highly customizable to fit the needs of your company. This flexibility is why so many people gravitate toward using Trello as their calendar management system. With Trello, you can create boards that are as simple as a few sections with your to-dos and dones, or you can build more complex work systems.

Trello lets you be very creative in how things look and run within the boards, which may be daunting for some people who want to spill stuff into a system and start being productive right away. For those who love the freedom, though, Trello can be a fantastic system.

Delivering Freelance Work

Once the work is complete and you need to see the finished project, it’s time to get the work delivered. There are so many tools for delivering work, and it depends on the relationship you’ve built with your freelancer.

Some freelancers will want to send you a preview of the work while not giving you the complete project until you’ve paid. Other freelancers may give you the work and bill you later or come up with a deposit that you need to pay before work is delivered.

Either way, they need to get the work from their computer to your computer. Tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and LastPass can help your freelancer deliver work to you when necessary.

Dropbox

Dropbox Freelancer Tools

One of the simplest ways to get your freelance work delivered is via Dropbox. Here is how that system might work:

  • Your freelancer can upload the file to their Dropbox and give you a link to the file from there, although, that may be just the same as them attaching the content in an email.

  • You can create a shared folder that will give them the opportunity to upload documents for you to view. This is a much better solution, and this will allow you to collaborate on and organize freelancer work quickly and easily.

Overall, Dropbox is a simple way to transfer files without making emails too bulky or hard to manage. Dropbox handles a ton of different file types which makes it ideal, even if you are getting more than a blog post from a freelancer.

Google Drive

Google Drive Freelancer Tools

When it comes to delivering freelancer projects, Google Drive is definitely the best tool you can use. Plus, Google Drive is a free tool that so many people already have access to if they use GSuite or have a regular Google account.

I create Google Drive folders for all of my clients. Sometimes I share a folder with them, while sometimes I share the links to individual posts depending on the relationship we’ve built together.

Overall, Google Drive is a great space to create and share documents, slides, spreadsheets, and so much more. Even if you aren't sharing Google Docs, you can also upload other file types for easy sharing to Google Drive just in case you need to share different file types or videos. If you are sharing documents, slides, spreadsheets, et cetera, you can usually download those documents in other formats like Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints.

LastPass

LastPass Freelancer Tools

Depending on the freelancer relationship that you have built, you may be doing more than just sharing documents. Some freelancers log in to the backend of your websites or into your social media platforms. If this is the case, you need to share passwords with them discreetly and safely. A great way to do this is by using the website and mobile application LastPass.

LastPass makes it easy to share a variety of passwords with freelancers. You can give them access to specific passwords, and they can quickly use the website, browser extension, or mobile app to log in to your sites.

There will be no more shuffling through emails or being asked for the millionth time to resend that password over to your freelancer. They can access the passwords from wherever, and when the relationship is over, you can revoke their access to your passwords so you can change them. Simple as that! I love this blog from LastPass which gives you more information on safely sharing passwords.

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Improve Online Security In Your Company

Paying Your Freelancers

Last, but certainly not least, you need to pay freelancers for their hard work. There are many tools for handling and sending invoices to clients. I’ve found that Freshbooks and PayPal are some of the easiest to use tools for your freelancers to set up and get paid. Work with your freelancer to find a solution that works for both of you.

Related Reading: Freelancer Not Free: 7 Things That Should Guide Your Freelance Pricing Strategy Every Time

Freshbooks

Freshbooks Freelancer Tools

There are so many ways that your freelancer can bill you. One way that's a bit more robust is by using Freshbooks. Freshbooks can sync with your bank so your freelancers can charge you for any expenses. It also makes sending invoices incredibly easy. You can pay Freshbooks invoices with a credit card or PayPal depending on how your freelancer has these payments set up.

One thing I love about Freshbooks is the ability for your freelancer to track their time using the Freshbooks website, app, and browser extension. No more wondering where the time went because your freelancer can track their time with confidence.

One downside that your freelancer may not like is that Freshbooks starts at $15 a month for just five clients. While it has some positives with it’s tracking abilities, most freelancers work with many clients, so five wouldn’t be enough. Luckily, the next plan up is just $25, and it allows your freelancer to work with 50 clients!

PayPal

PayPal Freelancer Tools

For a more straightforward approach to billing, you can see if your freelancers would like to use Paypal. Paypal has a ton of excellent features that help you use it as a business tool.

Ask your freelancer to send you an invoice using Paypal. They can quickly create an invoice that they can send to you via the Paypal interface OR they can grab the link and email it to you personally.

Paypal does take a small fee from your freelancer, but that can be written off as a business expense for them. This tool should help you better understand Paypal fees and how they affect your freelancers.

Overall, you can expect that most tools will take a fee from your freelancer, but most freelancers will likely be willing to take a chance because these tools are more easily trackable over a paper check sent to them in the mail.

My clients love how easy it is to pay PayPal invoices. I mostly use PayPal to send invoices to my clients.

Conclusion

Technology has changed the way that we work together. There are many fantastic tools that I didn't even get to touch on during this blog post. I know that you will continue to find amazing and helpful tools. I am excited to see what you find! Please don't hesitate to reach out to show me the latest, greatest tools. My inbox is always open via my contact page!

I cannot wait to see how these tools transform the relationships you build with freelancers.