How Can I Write More Efficiently?
As an adult, I have often been teased about being overly organized. When I was teaching full-time at an elementary school, every May I would send the first three math and language arts chapters, the first Social Studies and science units, and the September monthly worksheets to the district print shop. By June, my two colleagues and I were ready for the new school year in September!
I knew from past experience that the vast majority of teachers returned to school from their summer vacation and were not prepared for the new year. The print shop got backlogged and the principals would have a cow because of all the in house paper usage.
But my friends and I simply shelved our materials and were ready for the kids to come in on the first day!
While I am no longer working full-time outside the home, I juggle several part-time jobs and my volunteer efforts. This impacted my ability to be as prolific as I once was, so I had to develop ways to use the time I did have more productively.
Here is how I have been managing it all.
I Love My Spiral Notebooks!
I may be showing my age with this tip, but I love having a list of ideas that I can pull out at any time without having to log onto an electronic device. I have several spiral notebooks that are divided into niches. When I feel like trying something new, my keyword research is there and I am ready to go. I never suffer from writer’s block…only from a lack of time!
Setting Up Outlines
Creating a framework for when you do have time to write
Because I have been working more hours outside the home this year, I have not had the large chunks of time that I am accustomed to so I can just write and do nothing else. Instead of being negative about this and complaining that "I cannot write because of my work hours" (do you recognize yourself?), I decided to set things up so when I do have time, I can just get to work.
My writing on InfoBarrel is almost 100% geared for home page features, and that means research for resources, videos, and pictures. This is a time consuming task that, while necessary for contest articles, is not actually writing. I can do this activity at night when the kids are in bed and my brain is too tired to write sentences coherently.
I take this chunk of time to create outlines of what I want to write, without actually writing the article.
First, I create the article’s title, pick a category, fill in the summary, tags and create a new signature link. I create text boxes with headings and write a summary inside of what I want it to be about. I then find Youtube videos and Amazon products put them where I want in the article. I find pictures that I need and upload them so they need to be inserted, it is already there.
In a word processing document, I cut and paste resources with a notation as to why this is a good source and what information it will provide.
By doing this, when I do have the time to write a 1,000 word article, I can just get started. The framework is already completed.
Staying in One Niche Across Platforms
For articles that are geared towards products, I write a bit differently. I create outlines on other sites, just like I do here, but I only write about one topic. By staying in a singular niche, my brain is focused. Finding unique ways to say something similar is made simpler when I am not jumping from topic to topic.
I can write five or six articles in two days, across different platforms, by sticking to one area of interest. When I leave “the zone”, I find it harder to get back into it if my outlines are not already waiting for me. This also makes selecting the right Amazon products for each article easier. I do not want to use the same ones in each article, especially when a company has dozens from which to choose.
This method also lets me diversify my online portfolio, thereby increasing my opportunities to earn money and keep my eggs in several different baskets.
Work on One Major Task at a Time
There are times when I need to stay focused on one big task at a time. For example, I can spend hours working on my Girl Scout blog because I love it so much. It is very easy for me to write posts in advance, and by doing this, my blog can run itself. I try to write at least two posts a week, and when I need to add timely content, I can do that without it having to take up much of my time.
Setting up my websites has also been a major job, and I have to stay in the zone in order to complete it to my satisfaction. I am not a technical person, so once I learn how to do something, I need to keep at it or else I will forget how to do it. When I set up a site, this is the only writing that I do.
I use the same method when I am writing or revising my Kindle books. That is the only writing I do until the job is done.
Don’t let a regular job or other life commitments be an excuse for not earning passive income. Use these efficient writing tips to help you achieve your goals.