Please Log in to view this content.
Please Log in to view this content.
Want to know how to write 30,000 words this month?
I conducted my own writing experiment in August and set a goal to write 30,000 words by the end of the month.
The results surprised me.
I hit my goal word count by August 27th, and by the time my experiment wrapped up at the end of the month, I had written a total of 34,332 words.
Sound impossible? Believe it or not, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
The key to my success was tracking my progress every day. I put a couple of simple measurement tools in place, then used them to steadily work my way up to 30,000 words.
Management consultant and author Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured, get managed.” That statement is true in many areas (like weight loss and family chores), and it’s particularly critical in your writing career.
Having a tracking system is the key becoming a better, more efficient writer. And since content creation should be the foundation of your entire online strategy, becoming a stronger, faster writer is critical to your marketing success.
Creating Your Simple Tracking System
Your first step is to set up your tracking system. You can use Excel, a Google doc, or even pen and paper – just make sure it’s easily accessible and simple to use.
In your tracking document, you need columns to measure:
- The number of words you write each day.
- How long it takes to write them.
- Any additional notes about what you’re working on (blog post title, chapter name, etc.)
- Totals for columns 1 and 2, so you can see measure your daily progress and see how close you are to your monthly goals.
- How many words per hour you’re writing. Keep a running tally of your average writing speed (in words per hour) so you can see your speed increasing over time.
Here’s a screenshot of a section of my writing log for the month of August:
My quick-and-easy writing log process
Here’s the simple and fast method I used to record key metrics during my writing sessions every day:
- At the beginning of each writing session, I looked at the clock and recorded the time at the top my document.
- I wrote until I reach a natural stopping point (usually about 20-30 minutes).
- I looked at the clock again and recorded the new time at the end of the document.
- I used my word processor’s word count tool to calculate the number of words I wrote during that session.
- I recorded the word count and time in my spreadsheet.
- I repeated 1-5 until I’d written at least 1,000 words.
I don’t rely on fancy applications or online tools. My Excel spreadsheet and Microsoft Word work for me, but you can use any system that suits your workflow and writing style.
Want a writing log template? You can download a free one (in Excel and Google Doc formats) here.
Unless you’re working on one big project (like a book), it’s a good idea to keep a separate document of all your content ideas, too. It’s important that you never run out of ideas for blog posts while you’re writing. If you finish one blog post in the middle of a writing session, you can simply start creating a new post by moving on to the next idea on your list.
Why a writing log can be your business’s new secret weapon
Developing a tracking system or writing log is the absolute best thing you can do to become a better, faster writer.
By the end of my writing experiment, I had doubled my writing speed. I can now consistently write around 1400 words per hour. I also wrote more blog posts (including some guest posts for prominent sites) during the month of August than the previous three months combined.
My writing experiment was the best thing I’ve done for my business in years.
Want to try it? All you need to do is set a goal, write a little bit every day, and track your progress.
Then get ready to see major results in your content creation efforts.
Beth Hayden is a writer, author, and content marketing expert who specializes in working with women business owners. You can get a free, customizable copy of her Writing Log Template on her website.
Chris Kirkpatrick joins us with Pete Nicholls’ LocalTag in Australia. He’s part of the Queensland crew and has just reminded me that this year is so quickly coming to an end. We should all be focusing on content calendars and goal-setting for 2016 soon. We asked Chris some questions to get to know him a little better, and this is what he said:
1) What do you hope to get out of Duct Tape Marketing?
As for what I hope to get out of Duct Tape Marketing is the understanding and the privilege of using of ‘World’s Best Practice’ marketing materials and tools to assist small and medium businesses to succeed beyond their imagination!
2) What has been your biggest personal or professional success so far?
My biggest personal success is marrying the right woman 39 years ago! We are happier and more in love now than ever! On a professional scale, I would have to say the successful building of a substantial Network Marketing Business around 15 years ago.
3) What personal and professional goals have you set for yourself for 2015?
My Goals for 2015, both personal and professional changed somewhat when I was introduced to Duct Tape Marketing and as we are approaching the tenth month of the year, I have switched to focus on setting new goals for 2016.
4) What are the 3 most recent books that you’ve read?
I have read several good books of late, notably;
- Duct Tape Marketing
- The Referral Engine, both by John Jantsch and
- Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard (Read originally around 10 years ago!)
Please welcome Chris Kirkpatrick to our team!
Most entrepreneurs look at the Internet as a mean to reach the global customers. While it is true that a lucrative market awaits you out there, let’s not overlook the local business opportunities you already have. And social media and search marketing, used properly, helps you skyrocket your local sales.
Studies indicate that there has been a tremendous growth in the local, mobile search volumes over the past few years. Google too confirms that more than 50 percent of mobile queries are local. They further claim that 4 out of 10 online users prefer to “Research Online Purchase Offline.”
Therefore, it makes sense to use your social profiles to connect with your local buyers and provide detailed information and your products and services through these platforms.
Social Media Platforms to Leverage
When it comes to social media marketing, you basically have three major content types in your arsenal, including
The following are 6 types of social platforms that can help you improve your local sales:
1. Twitter & Facebook
These two social media sites remain at the top in the social landscape. Using customer-focused and value-rich updates help you connect with users and establish a broader conversation with them. Content, timing, and engagement are crucial to access to a tremendous scale in these platforms. In fact, it is content and engagement you need to focus on:
- Post photos, questions, insightful stats and facts, links to thought-provoking articles
- Show off your products with large images
- Run a timeline contest
- Utilize “Boost Post” feature on Facebook
- Put your phone number in the “About” section as well as in your posts
- Run a “Facebook Offers” and use “Twitter Coupons”
This is a great platform for B2B marketers, provided they know how to leverage its innovative features, such as:
- Use LinkedIn advertising to reach the decision makers
- Publish your content to your network directly
- Improve your LinkedIn newsfeed
- Create LinkedIn persona strategy. For example, ask questions on this platform instead of pitching as it invokes curiosity. The best strategy is to “Ask, listen, engage and find common ground” to resolve pain points.
Twitter and Facebook have no contribution to your SEO efforts, at least directly, confirms Matt Cutts. But Google+ has and therefore you need to be active on this social platform by:
- Sharing photos, videos and content on Google+
- Interacting with target audience via hangouts and chat tools in order to foster robust discussions
- Filling up your basic information such as phone numbers, operation hours, map and website URL in G+ Local page
4. Pinterest & Other Photo-Sharing Networks
This is a great tool for B2C businesses, especially those from fashion, lifestyle, travel, and hotel and food domain. However, B2B businesses are also leveraging this tool to connect with consumers. To use photo-sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Visual.ly etc. you need to follow a few simple guidelines:
- Images posted must add a visual angle to your brand
- B2B business need to focus more on marketing infographics via these platforms
- Encourage your followers to share their wish lists
- Tell your stories with Pinterest boards
5. YouTube & Vine
If you have video content in your arsenal, start using them to connect with your local customers via video networks like YouTube, Vine, Instagram Video, or Vimeo. Using these platforms you can:
- Showcase your product or unveil a new product
- Cross-promote video content via video oriented tools such as LinkedIn featured videos and Twitter Cards
- Use both scripted and unscripted videos to create sales copy, video testimonials, introduce your staff/workplace, share industry expertise, user manuals, and how-to’s
6. FourSquare & Location-Based Platforms
Location-based social networking tools like FourSquare provide great opportunities to promote your business to local customers. To tap onto this network you can use tools like special offers with check-in, loyalty points and rewards, and giveaways, etc. to attract your local customers.
The most crucial point that you need to understand from this is post is that “one size fits all” kind of an approach does not work for social marketing. Each social platform caters to a different category of users. Using audience insights and real data is the key to select the right network to boost your local sales. For example, a B2C business is in a better position to attract quality leads using tools like Facebook Offers. A B2B business, on the other hand, needs to focus more on LinkedIn and niche networks dominating a space to reach its target audience.
Vivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization, organic search tactics, and social media marketing strategies. You can find him on twitter: @vivekrpatel, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.