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Time Management for Content Writers

Updated on June 11, 2015
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How to Maximize Your Time for Lensmaking and Hub Building

If you are a content writer, blogger, or internet marketer, you know intimately the frustration of having more ideas than time. But to build up an online empire that will provide stable, passive income requires consistent investment in the writing task.

Whether you create lenses at Squidoo, write Hubs at Hub Pages, compose articles at Wizzley, or write articles for another site, the writer's task is the same:

  • getting that initial idea
  • brainstorming the details
  • researching keywords
  • pounding out the sentences and paragraphs
  • finding images, videos, and links to supplement your article
  • promoting your articles

I find that the first item in the list -- getting the initial ideas -- comes easy. The difficult part is making the TIME it takes to do all the other necessary things on the list. In my over three years of writing content online, I've learned some tips and tricks for helping me to make that TIME a reality.

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I highly recommend this ebook for  managing your blog.
I highly recommend this ebook for managing your blog. | Source

Another Site to Write Articles

Wizzley is a new publishing platform similar to Hubpages and Squidoo.

It is fast and easy to use. Revenue sharing is available with both Google Ad Sense and Amazon. Join Wizzley for free and start writing.

Revenue Sharing with Google and Amazon
Revenue Sharing with Google and Amazon | Source

Time Management Tip #1: Create Rather Than Consume

The key here is to use your working time to actively create content. It's too easy to sit in front of the computer and realize two hours have passed and you've not accomplished anything significant.

As a content writer, you should have some concrete goals established for your writing activities. Write those down, and consider the tasks necessary to reach them. Write those smaller tasks in lists.

Here are some things on my own writing list:

  • write 5 lenses (Squidoo) a month
  • write 10 hubs (Hubpages) a month
  • keep lenses updated to within 90 days
  • write blog posts
  • write articles for guest posts

When you turn on the computer, do something from the list before you do anything else. If you want to, you can "reward" yourself with a non-writing task after you've done a job on the writing list. For example, I compose a hub and then visit the SquidU forums. I then write some blog post drafts and read some of my own favorite blogs in Google Reader.

I find that without the disciple of a to-do list, I while away my computer time consuming content rather than creating content. I have found that focusing first on creating content keeps me productive. I know too well the frustration of sitting in front of the computer for a couple of hours and not having a sense of any accomplishment because I didn't focus on my writing goals.

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Time Management Tip #3: Grab a Pen and Pad

This tip is often given as a creativity tool. But it equally relates to time management.

Get a notebook that you can carry with you. That might mean small enough for a pocket or just the right size for your favorite tote-bag or purse. Carry that notebook with you at all times.

When an idea strikes, write it down as soon as possible. If you can capture those original thoughts, you save the step of having to re-think it later when you are in front of the computer.

Secondly, if you have the notebook with you at all times, you will never have wasted moments. You will have the notebook there to remind you to stay focused on writing. So in those little snippets of time that happen through the day, you can be creating content. And that leads to my last tip about magic times to write.

Time Management Tip #2: Don't Be Too Organized

I am a huge fan of organization. In fact, I find it hard to work or write at all when there is clutter around me. My thoughts need to be organized, and my environment needs to be organized. However, sometimes my desire for organization turns into procrastination.

Here are some examples of organizational behaviors that get me distracted from the real work:

  • labeling dividers in my writing notebook
  • re-writing notes more neatly
  • re-ordering pages of brainstormed ideas

If those tasks are truly essential for writing, then by all means do them. But if they are fluff added on to the real task of producing content, skip them.

Bottom line -- do only the organizing that is absolutely necessary to complete the task. Then stop and get to work.

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Time Management Tip #4: Don't Wait for That Magical Time

Every writer has one -- a magical time to write -- that perfect combination of a long stretch of distraction-free time and a high personal energy level. It's a joy to write during those magic moments.

But if you wait for those to happen, your productivity will falter and may even totally cease.

So don't wait for a two hour chunk of time to cuddle up on the couch with your laptop and a steaming cup of coffee (one of my own magical writing times). Write whenever you have time, even if that is only ten minutes at a time. If you cut out the preliminary organizational tasks and do something on your list or work on something you're already written in your notebook, those short ten minutes can be amazingly productive. Added up, those ten minute slots turn into completed lenses and hubs.

Your Feedback and Your Own Tips

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    • zoey24 profile image

      zoey24 6 years ago from South England

      This is a great hub and found your tips very useful, i too find it easy coming up with iseas for my hubs etc, it is the sitting down and actualy doing them i find the hardest part because i am easily distracted lol. Rated up and useful :)

    • Hope Wilbanks profile image

      Hope Wilbanks 6 years ago from Louisiana

      Great advice!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 6 years ago

      Great tips. It helped me to switch my homepage. Instead of a homepage with news items showing up (which invariably distracted me as I would start reading through them) I do better to get the blank Google Search page and then I just go straight to one of my writing sites and start writing. Heck, the news is too depressing anyway.

    • Norma Budden profile image

      Norma Budden 6 years ago from Nunavut, Canada

      I enjoyed this Hub. I have a book created which I refer to and update, time and time again. It really helps to maintain productivity.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      These are very helpful tips. I've looked at Wizzley and Squidoo briefly in the past. Just curious - do you have certain types of articles that you write for one verses the other - i.e., do some articles or content work better on one site versus another?

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Great tips! Reminds me to get back to work instead of sitting here reading... ;) Voted up and sharing!

    • JimmieWriter profile image
      Author

      Jimmie Lanley 5 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      Yep! I thank you for reading, but you really should get back to work! (imagine sound of whip cracking here) :-)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are great tips. I recently found myself without pen and paper and twenty minutes of free time. It was very frustrating. That create instead of consume rule is what gets me every time. Voted up.

    • JimmieWriter profile image
      Author

      Jimmie Lanley 5 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      Kris, sorry I missed your comment earlier. Great question about wizzley and squidoo. For now I have a large body of work at squidoo, but I'm not making more lenses. I will contact you in a message with more details.

      Millionaire, yep, I agree. It's all too easy to consume instead of create.

    • swathi180 profile image

      swathi180 5 years ago

      Great tips about time management Jimmie.Voted up.

    • whoisbid profile image

      whoisbid 5 years ago

      Wow this is amazing. I did not know you could comment from your feed but does that mean that people can comment without even reading the material?

    • JimmieWriter profile image
      Author

      Jimmie Lanley 5 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

      Whoisbid, yes, you can comment on a hub right from the feed. Your comment was there. Oddly enough, I have to visit the hub to approve it though. I agree that it encourages meaningless comments from people who have not read the hub. (when I had HOTD, it was obvious that many people did not read it at all.)

    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      I have geeky friends who look at me cross eyed when I pull out the little spiral notebook from my purse to write something down. Maybe they think I'm too poor to keep a calendar on an ipod:) These are great tips for keeping focused. I also like to write things I have to do the next day right before I lay down. Its like a brand new to do list that gets me through the groggy morning:)

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Well-written hub and voted up and useful.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      This is a great hub and I can relate to what you're saying here. I too have a tendency to over-organize, claiming I just can't work in clutter when I know it's really an excuse to procrastinate (which gets into a number of emotional reasons -- fear of success, fear of failure, insecurity, lack of confidence, etc etc).

      Like you, I have no problem getting ideas. My problem is the distraction of email. I'm involved in several organizations/other part time jobs that involve a lot of email communication.

      I am determined to improve my time management this year and I believe setting up a weekly goal list as well as writing up a list of what needs to be accomplished the following day so I know right away what I need to start will help. Thanks for this great hub

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 5 years ago

      Great Hub! I love that the first thing you pointed out was our common frustration at having so many ideas but not enough time to tend to them all. I thought I was the only one who had that problem. I was sure that everyone else was just way more disciplined, way more motivated than me, but I guess we've all been there. I'm going to bookmark this as a reminder to myself when I'm goofing off and not doing the work.

    • intriguewriter profile image

      intriguewriter 5 years ago from worldwide

      very good advice! I use some of these tips myself! so great great hub!

    • StephenCowry profile image

      StephenCowry 4 years ago

      Writing is an attitude, thus, it should not be taken lightly otherwise your articles would not be as quality as it should be. Time management is one factor that must be mastered in order to balance a good time when to write for great content.

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