As I build my online business, actual writing time becomes increasingly precious. Gone are the glory days in which I would wake up before sunrise, sip a lovingly brewed coffee, and casually spend an hour or so turning ideas into article fodder that may or may not ever see the light of day.
Content creation is no longer a “nice-to-have” when you’re an entrepreneur — it’s a must-have. And like many people, I have limited windows of time to pump out content. I imagine millions of professionals and parents alike are in a similar boat as we navigate the very blurry lines of pandemic work-life balance.
3 Blogging Tasks That Are Easy To Outsource - Post Outline
My goal for this year was to crank up article output and quality. What I found, however, is that to keep my publishing rhythm consistent, I had to spend a good chunk of my valuable writing time on granular, soul-sucking administrative tasks.
- In a typical writing session, sometimes only half or even a third of the time I had hoped to dedicate to writing was actually being spent on words.
- These detours were both distracting and soul-sucking.
- The latter is extremely hazardous to the health of your writing craft.
I wanted someone to take care of this for me. And I’m not alone: Research shows that buying back your time promotes happiness. But I didn’t want the burden that comes with hiring an employee and being responsible for someone’s livelihood. Where’s the happy medium?
You Don’t Need More Time To Write, You Just Need To Spend More Of Your Writing Time Actually Writing
This year, my process found a sweet spot because I began outsourcing a lot of my non-writing tasks to virtual assistants. Only in a virtual assistant job market can you hire someone for just a few hours a week or even a few hours a month. Upwork, Fiverr, and many other contractor marketplaces are great for finding someone who can lend you a digital helping hand.
I don’t have more time. It’s imperative that I squeeze more progress out of the time that’s allotted, because when 9am hits, a tsunami of Zoom call requests and emails begin rolling in.
Consider that you don’t need more time to write. You just need to spend more of your writing time actually writing. So here are three tasks you can outsource to free yourself up and spend more of your writing time in total flow state.
#1: Get Help Locating Research, Studies, And Statistics
I’ve written before about the importance of article research and how this process both strengthens existing articles and inspires new ones. Finding this research, however, can be quite the slippery slope.
Even if you can resist the constant distraction temptations that come with internet research, doing so will steadily bleed your willpower, and you need to preserve your attention and willpower for actual writing. Consider having a virtual assistant collect this information online for you and sort links and summaries into a spreadsheet for easy reference.
Pro tip: For any virtual assistant delegations, record a how-to tutorial from the start so you have it on file. I use Loom, a free web-based software, to make screen-recorded videos with voiceover. Even if you’re just writing on the side, creating tutorials along the way means you only have to teach the process once, and really comes in handy if you change assistants down the road.
Screenshot from the author. Loom video embedded into setup email to VA.
#2: Outsource Cross-Promotion And Repurposing Tasks
One of the reasons I pumped the brakes on social media and doubled down on article writing this year is that articles are great “source content”. Articles are easy to syndicate to places like LinkedIn and my website, and within a single 1,000-word article there are usually at least half a dozen tips or zingers that are worthy of their own social media caption.
That said, copying and pasting words from one platform to another deserves its own special place in hell. Character counts, formatting links, and platform-specific considerations vary widely and slow you down. Consider teaching someone how to organize and repurpose your article content, then have them spend an hour or two a week slicing and dicing your articles into bite-sized pieces of content.
- For line break formatting, I like using Flocked, which will insert invisible characters between your paragraphs for you so that you have more whitespace in your social media captions.
- For headlines and sub-headlines on social media, consider a font change to catch the eye. Meta Tags’ font generator is a user-friendly site that can let you easily plug-and-play different font options.
#3: Delegate All Non-Written Content
I could be better at this one. Nothing sucks me down the rabbit hole faster than non-written content nuances, such as looking for or designing the perfect image to use as my article banner. Yes, image headers elicit a feeling and are therefore a valid content consideration. But let’s not kid ourselves: Usually, these details are an excuse to distract from actual writing itself.
Have someone else find your images for you, or if you want to stick out and give your articles zing, consider hiring a designer or illustrator to prepare a batch of article images for you. Or just invest in a stock photo service. If a lot of your writing is technical and you want to up your chart or graph game, Canva has tons of drag-and-drop templates these days that can show off your data in a visual way.
Again, let your virtual assistant take the reins on this. Record a tutorial once, delegate ruthlessly, and stop overthinking the administrative stuff.
Getting work done through others takes practice and can feel creatively stifling at first. But once you’ve experienced the benefits and time tradeoff, you’ll never look back. Free yourself up from mental clutter, outsource nitty-gritty tasks, and watch as your increased free time leads to more words, more articles, and more results.
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