Here's what I know about you. You're a content marketer, and you're a new WFHer. Or you've already been remote, but not like this (none of us have). Whatever it is, you’re in need of tips on working from home.
With so many elements out to get your productivity, it's tough to know exactly what to do next. Rather than hit you up with super basic productivity hacks that could work for anybody, we're diving deep into tips on working from home for content marketers specifically.
From content creation to process, to working through your emotions...
- Work with procrastination (not against it)
- Work on your mindset
- Remove friction from your content process
- Start your day with immediate content wins
- Use tools that are as simple as possible
- Master the art of content repurposing
- Make the most of your team meetings
Work with procrastination (not against it)
Procrastination is a real thing. Let's not pretend like it doesn't exist. Here's how to move through procrastination as a content marketer.
Do some fun multitasking instead of scrolling
So, you know those times when you're supposed to be doing X but you keep doing Y?
Like, you're supposed to be writing a blog post, but you keep opening up Facebook and mindlessly scrolling?
Instead, think of a fun content task you enjoy (for example editing photos, editing videos, keyphrase research...) Now open up the tab or program you use to do that task.
Go back to your main project (the ebook or blog post for example), and whenever you need a 2 or 3 minute break to let your thoughts collect before writing the next section, spend a tiny amount of time on your other task.
Sure, this won't work for everyone. But if you find yourself getting easily distracted, this little trick might help you still be productive when working from home.
Strategically fix the root cause of procrastination
Sometimes, procrastination isn't so easily solved. There might be some bigger issues at play.
There's a chance that the root cause of your productivity problem is a disconnect with the strategy.
- Does your strategy no longer prove relevant?
- Does the way you communicate with customers need an update?
- Do you secretly feel like you're working on the wrong things?
Take some time to rethink your content strategy and come to conclusions with your team. Doing this could very well help you feel freed up and unblocked to start creating the right content.
Work on your mindset
We could try all of the tools and tips on working form home in the world, but without some emotional exploration, nothing would work. That's because productivity challenges are often the result of larger problems.
Especially during a time of global uncertainty and anxiety, the issue could be largely emotional.
Later, we'll cover some more strategic and tactical ways to be productive.
But for now, let's go over one of the best ways to immediately improve your productivity from an emotional standpoint: gratitude!
Instead of wondering where the economy is headed, allow yourself to take a few minutes to feel truly grateful for the work that you have to do.
So take a deep breath in... and out... and remember that there is so much to be thankful about.
Remove friction from your content process
When you're not feeling particularly productive, any amount of friction or inefficiency can completely throw you off your game.
Your content process itself might be to blame for productivity problems.
At a time when many companies are revisiting their content strategies, it can be really smart to also take the time to improve your content process.
Here are some common issues you can fix:
1. Difficulty locating assets and projects
If it seems like you and your team are always struggling to find the assets and campaigns that you're collaborating on, then it's time to work on your folders system.
How boring! Yup.
But having a consistent way that you organize folders for each campaign (such as sub folders for raw assets, final assets, different channels, etc.) can work wonders. Also try uploading files into your task management software for that task, instead of dropping things in Slack where they get lost.
2. Collaboration happens in too many channels
If your team is commenting on tasks in Slack, task management software, emails, and Google docs, things get confusing really fast. Encourage everyone to comment on the task card, the StoryChief story, or where you want collaboration to take place instead.
3. Publishing content is more time-consuming than it should be
Does it take you hours to push out a new blog post and its social media content? Then your process is probably not as smooth as it could be. Use a tool that lets you one-click publish to multiple channels.
4. Your content promotion is inconsistent
Content promotion gets downplayed and de-prioritized when we get busy. This leads to randomness in terms of what's getting promoted and how much.
Create a standard process and levels of content promotion (light, medium, heavy), so you have steps to follow every time you release a new post. You might also want to explore tools that help you manage social and content promotion faster.
Start your day with immediate content wins
Success leads to more success. When you start your day off on the wrong foot, it's hard to recover.
To set yourself up for success as a content marketer, here are things to do and things to avoid during that first critical hour of work. With these tips on working from home, you’ll have an immediate great start to your day.
Avoid during the first hour of work (unless necessary):
- Checking email
- Checking social media comments and engagement
- Planning your day (you'll likely be more productive if you do this at the end of the previous day)
- Checking Slack threads
Do these things during the first hour of work instead:
- Edit a blog post from a freelancer
- Schedule approved posts to be automatically published on the right date in your content calendar
- Write the outline for your next blog post
- Write the script for your next video
- Run Surfer or Clearscope reports for the SEO content you're writing
Use tools that are as simple as possible
When you're not feeling super productive, complicated tools can slow you down even more. I mean really, who has time for endless menu items and long lists of settings? If the tools you use are making your eyes hurt, it might be time for some upgrades.
For example, consider using Adobe Rush to edit videos instead of Adobe Premiere Pro. Or Photoshop Elements instead of the original Photoshop, which isn't as easy to learn.
You might want to also consider a tool like Notion, which is a very intuitive way to collaborate on tasks and share assets and content guidelines.
If you haven't yet tried out StoryChief, then maybe now's the time. Get started by writing a story, which you can later distribute to dozens of channels with one click.
For more recommendations across different categories, check out all our favorite tools for remote work.
Master the art of content repurposing now more than ever
To improve your productivity as a content marketer, it's time to take content repurposing very seriously.
Yes, we've all heard about it before. But do we have processes around it? Or do we do it willy nilly?
Here are some smart ways to master content repurposing:
- Make different post sets for blog content (different concepts and creatives that is tailored for the networks you promote on)
- Work with a content repurposing freelancer who specializes in turning podcasts into blog posts and Instagram posts, for example
- Create a replicable workflow in your task management software so that repurposing processes always have trackable tasks
- Explore ways to increase the impact and reduce the effort by only repurposing for the channels where you have the most organic traction
- Make more native content for the different channels instead of just posting links
When productivity feels low, it can often be easier to tackle small tasks than big strategies or new content. Go with the flow and spend some time on repurposing instead of forcing yourself to create something brand new all the time.
Make the most of your team meetings
From what we hear from other companies around the world, remote workers are conducting even more meetings right now.
We need human connection. So yes, we need to see our team. And yes, sometimes we need to talk about stuff. (Hey, we're only human).
If you've also noticed that you're doing a bit more meetings than normal, that's totally fine. Just make the most of them.
Some basic ways to do this are to create a meeting agenda, take notes in one central doc or whiteboard, and to record and transcribe the calls so that you can capture exact snippets of the conversation to put directly into content.
And here's another thing you might not have thought of...
Maybe your remote meetings can become content?
We recently posted about the remote team-building exercises we're doing. Some of these are literally exercises! Yup, that's a recent bootcamp-session we did.
This concept might not be relevant to every audience, but it can work well for many companies.
Remaining productive through major life changes isn't easy, but it can be a healthy distraction. 😊 Hopefully, these tips for working from home will get you there.