Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time Management for Article Writing - 5 Tips That Work

I've been writing a lot this year, mostly for my full time day job. Time management is essential to produce high quality content in a timely manner. Therefore a time management process is equally essential. I just finished a training manual with 17 chapters and some 39 thousand words. This project took two weeks to finish besides other projects and responsibilities. It dawned on me that the method I use to write manuals may be just what some of you need to write your articles more quickly. You can use any word processing, or slide deck program to organize your process.

I call this process my outline to output work flow. This is a 5 step process that can be used as a template to use over and over again. If you are publishing online and want to rank your article with search engines, make sure to target specific key words that readers are looking for.

The process goes like this:

  1. Plan Ahead - Keep a topic journal just for your article writing. Any time you think of a topic write it down. some people like paper journals or notebooks. Others prefer electronic tools like Evernote or Springpad. The really important thing is that you have access to your ideas at any time. The other tips will be helpful on their own but this is really the most important step to me. There are so many times when I am working on a project and an idea for and article comes to mind. Or, I may realize that just a portion of a manual or piece of training content would make a great article. I use Evernote on my iPad or smart phone to capture ideas and subject matter for my writing. However you decide to capture your ideas it needs to be immediate so that your ideas don't disappear before you have a chance to develop them. I think you will find that this method will generate more topics than you will be able to keep up with.

  2. Turn Your Ideas Into Outlines - It is so much easier to organize your thoughts into an outline format. I actually got this idea from Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog. He explains on his blog how he writes his e-books by first creating an outline from a topic he wants to write about. I didn't realize that's what I've been doing for along time when I write training material. I like to use PowerPoint to create my outline because it makes it easy to use bullet points and numbering for my outlines.

  3. Expand the Points From Your Outline - Once you have your main points arranged into the bullet points of an outline, it becomes simple to turn those points into sentences and paragraphs. Research your topic and take unique notes from your source material. Rearrange your notes to create interesting content. Remember to use key words that those looking for your topic will naturally use in their searches. If you find a source that inspires you, use quotes to add credibility to your own opinions. If your publisher allows it, link to these sources for great outgoing links.

  4. Turn Your Outline Into An Article - This point is a great time management tip. All you need to do is turn your your outline bullet points into article headings or numbers tips that your readers can easily follow. How to articles that teach an object lesson are very valuable and will build your audience quickly.

  5. Proof it and Read it Aloud - Most article submission sites have good quality standards in place to assure original content that readers will enjoy. Make sure to save time by proofing your work thoroughly. One of the most important time management principles is to remove actions that waste time. I have found that reading my work aloud helps me catch mistakes that I would otherwise miss. Another great way to proof your articles is to have someone act as editor.

I hope you have found this article helpful. I'm sure if you follow these simple tips your writing productivity will improve. Always partner with a quality article publisher like EzineArticles.

After you try these tips let our readers know how they worked. Come back and leave a comment with your suggestions for improvements.

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