If you are a freelance content writer or someone who works and produces content for one company, meeting deadlines while delivering consistently great work can be a challenge. Even if your writing is always excellent, attention-grabbing, and highly optimized for search engines, clients will not be able to rely on those skills if you do not meet the most basic demand of all: the deadline. Here are some actionable tips on how to improve your content creation skills if you’re constantly falling behind your deadlines.
Create an Outline First
A content outline is the bare bones of information your article will include. By outlining your content prior to writing, you increase the effectiveness and flow of your article, as well as ensure it contains the necessary SEO elements.
Typically, outlines contain the article’s headers and subheadings (H2s, H3s, and so on). They may also include questions you should answer in the article or long-tail keywords you may incorporate.
If you get straight into writing, your thoughts may be disorganized. And you may have to spend a lot of time rearranging the material to make it look more presentable. Creating an outline beforehand helps you save time in the long run.
Do Your Research On Time
Anyone who wants to work on their content writing skills should also work on their research skills.
Proper research helps you pinpoint the most correct and reliable facts or statistics to use in your writing. It also helps you brainstorm ideas with yourself once you read related material that you can include in your article. Thus helping you save time during the actual writing process.
It is also a good idea to enlist the help of a social media manager to proofread what you have written and point out any areas for improvement, especially in terms of trending topics that you may be covering for the first time.
Leave Less Important Tasks for Later
An effective content writer that aims to put out great quality material while meeting all of their deadlines does not waste time on minor tasks.
A straightforward example of a less important task is figuring out how to incorporate a particularly inorganic backlink. It is nearly impossible to do this without having at least a general idea of what your final article will look like.
Therefore, aim to have the majority of your article fleshed out before considering how to include additional keywords or links.
Pro Tip: Think ahead.
Check the content calendar before getting your hands on the task. If a segment of your article will be covered thoroughly soon, you can go lighter on that topic at the moment.
In the near future, this will be the perfect opportunity for interlinking, so it’s a win-win for the website. Furthermore, structured content creation and devotion to the quality and optimization of the website can bring you closer to the top of your content department.
Gaining a deeper understanding of content marketing and how it works beyond writing will not only make you a better writer but will broaden your perspective on the why of each task you are doing.
Review Your Content
A good content review process in place can help you stay on top of your writing schedule.
Your editor and content marketing manager will have their own review steps to go through once you submit your material.
However, doing your own quality assurance will help you improve your writing skills and ensure you are delivering excellent work on time by accounting for this step in your writing process.
This step means giving yourself a break after staring at the same passages for hours on end and coming back to them with a fresh set of eyes.
Reviewing your written content involves examining all elements of your article and checking whether they tie in together as they should. This process includes checking keywords, links, facts, and quotes, and the basic hierarchy of your article.
You may even consider asking a friend or a family member to go through your piece and let you know whether what you have written makes sense or not.
Pro Tip: Work closely with the marketing team
One of the main roles of content creation in our industry is to serve as marketing collateral. This means most content that you provide will be the right hand of the marketing campaign.
Folks in your company that are in charge of brand development and launching new campaigns are those who set up the standards for content production as well. They navigate the brand voice, call to action, and writing style.
By working closely with branding and marketing departments, you will quickly pick up on what they are looking for exactly. This will help you level up your writing skills and represent your brand with every sentence.
This tip is particularly useful for writers who are in charge of social media, Google ads, and UX microcopy writing. However, due to the importance of brand consistency, all content creators should be involved in the goals of content strategy.
Continue Reading: How to Juggle Your Hectic Lifestyle as a Freelance Writer
Content writing is an incredibly fulfilling and creative job. However, it is also time-consuming and strenuous if you’re juggling several writing tasks at a time while racing against the clock.
Make your life easier by implementing the above advice. You will see both your content writing skills and your ability to meet deadlines improve.