How to find more time to write for your business

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You’re probably a marketing manager or small business leader. You feel you’re ok at writing your marketing stuff. Never enough hours, though - things get in the way. So, at the end of the month, you STILL haven’t written what you’d planned.

Familiar? This frustration came second in a poll I carried out with my email community. So, here are some ideas to help you carve out time and GET. THAT. THING. WRITTEN.

 

What’s stopping you?

First, be brutally honest with yourself. Why are you struggling to write? Maybe it’s NOT simply down to lack of time. Do any of these resonate with you?

You don’t have a plan. You want to constantly create new articles and social posts, for example, but you’ve not documented your structure, frequency, or content ideas.

You lack clarity. Sure, you’ve created working titles, but you go blank when you open a page to start typing.

You’re overwhelmed. The website needs a word refresh but it seems like a humongous job.

Actually, you don’t like writing (or don’t feel confident) but you feel you must do it.

By understanding what’s REALLY going on, and not hiding behind a blanket ‘lack of time’ excuse you’re more likely to put this right.

 

When's the best time for you?

I’m a morning person. I know my best work will happen before lunch. That’s why I create much of my client copy earlier in the day.

How about you - time aside, when would you write at your best? As the birds welcome the new day? After lunch with a coffee? It could even be during the evening if you’re a night owl.

Find your time and acknowledge it. Because trying to write when your brain doesn’t want to is so much harder. Believe me. Work with your brain, not against it.

 

Creating a habit

You know, I understand your frustration. As a business owner, I have to find time to write my own stuff in between client projects. I must create a constant stream of articles (like this one), emails, and LinkedIn posts to build my brand and nurture prospects. I get it.

So, I’ve created a few intentional habits.

For example, I devote Monday morning to my own writing. It’s a great way to start each week and clients tend not to be in touch until lunchtime anyway. They’re doing their Monday thing too.

So, every Monday morning I write countless social posts and usually an email too. I work to my plan, then it’s always clear what I’m doing next. I don’t waste (much) time deliberating!

You might struggle to find a morning to batch-write like this, so an alternative is to block out an hour (or two if you can) each week. What about Friday afternoon? It’s often a quieter time. Or one day at 5pm for an hour.

Maybe you’d write better at home, or when the office is quieter. So, consider your location too.

Initially, your writing habits might not be sufficient. That’s ok. Do what you’re comfortable with now and grow from there. When you see progress, you’ll want to develop your habit.

Momentum comes from consistent bite-size actions. I honestly know this from first-hand experience. And regular writing demands momentum.

 

Handy hacks

In no particular order, these ideas should help you find more space to write. Be open to trying new things because something might just stick.

Walk and talk

When you write an article, for example, you want to plan your structure and ideas first. You could do this on a daily walk. Try recording yourself as you talk your way through the topic.

To get the most from this, use a recording tool that also transcribes. You’ve got notes in a document then.

Don’t walk? How about your drive to the office? (just keep your eyes on the road too!)

Breaking a writing task down into planning and writing is great practice. Few can type effective words from scratch.

Communicate the priority

Your colleagues may downplay the importance of writing. Help them join the dots between those words and your brand building. Even your lead generation.

When everyone around you appreciates the importance of writing, they’ll support you finding time for it.

Break it down

Whatever your project, don’t get stuck with the size of it.

Refreshing your website copy can feel like a big ask. Daunting. So first, break it down into smaller tasks. For example:

  • Your initial review of what you have
  • Talking to others to help you assess it
  • Keyword research
  • Clarifying your messaging and tone of voice
  • Creating a refresh plan (page by page)
  • Writing each page
  • Approval and updating on your website

From this point, you can guesstimate the time you’ll need for each task. Now block it in your diary. That might look like a full week, a day a week, or even a few hours every week. Whatever works for you.

Treating a larger writing task like a formal project gives you more chance of achieving it. So, get planning and break it into chunks.

Share the load

Do you HAVE to write everything yourself? Could others get involved?

If you have a list of articles to create, ask colleagues to list ideas they’d include. If everybody made some quick notes for one… Before long, you’ll have a bunch of rough article plans to write from.

Better still, can anyone else write too? Just be mindful of ensuring the same quality of output and a consistent tone of voice.

You can always share the load with a copywriter, of course. How that works is your choice. Focus on creating your plan and rough content, leaving them to create the drafts, or hand over the whole damn lot!

 

Nobody can discover ‘bonus’ hours for tasks like writing. Not even a ‘magician’ copywriter like myself. But with a little thought, you CAN get more written. So, stop concluding you don’t have enough time and see whether my ideas give your copy a welcome boost.

Need a hand or got a query? I’m over here.