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From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Steps to Outsource Content like a Genius

There’s no doubt, online content rocks! But creating it is another ball game.

Why? This is because on the internet, there are only two types of content: crappy content and EPIC FAIL. Crappy content is created with little to no research, poor grammar and is keyword stuffed. You can even smell the keywords from the article. EPIC FAIL on the other hand has much more time and work put into it. That’s why it’s epic in the first place.

So, as an entrepreneur who wants to create content that converts into traffic, subscribers or sales as the case may be, you need to know how to create content that rocks. But with the little time on your hands which should be invested wisely, you also need to know how to outsource that content and still get the same results or better as if you did it all by yourself.

But is outsourcing content all you need?

No!

You need to know how to outsource content like a genius, to a team that produces nothing but results for you. So, here are 5 steps to outsource content with little to no effort from your part.

1. Know the Purpose and Create Targeted Content

When the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable. And there’s a lot of online content that’s been abused. The first step to creating epic content is to know its purpose. You need to know the “why” of the content (that is, why are your creating it?) before even thinking about who you will outsource it to.

Online content is written for different purposes: clients, traffic, sales, engagement, etc. Content that’s created for engagement must always appear interesting and should speak the language of your audience.

Content written for traffic should be optimized with specific keywords and should be of high quality, especially if it is a guest post. Content written for clients and sales must subtly sell your services or products to the reader while still giving out maximum value. Your services or products would just be an option or a faster way to solve the problem you stated in the content. All this would help you have a clear Call-to-Action that converts.

Outsource it: Knowing the purpose of every piece of content you create is very important. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you’ll be able to make things easier by saying, “The purpose of this content is to attract potential clients to my services page. So, ensure you write in a tone that gives me authority and credibility.”

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2. Know Your Audience and Streamline Your Language

Every industry has its language. If your audience is a bunch of tax consultants, mentioning words like tax, auditing, equity ratio, allocation, etc is acceptable. But please don’t use those words when writing for Work-At-Home moms.

You need to know exactly who your content is aiming. Once you know this, you’ll then need to speak or write in a way that they would understand. The aim of every piece of content is to get the message across in the simplest way possible. Don’t make things complicated for your readers by using technical language, all in the name of appearing professional.

Outsource it: Specify that you want the content to include the language used in a specific niche. This way, when giving your content team instructions, you can add that, “This content is written for people in the tax industry, precisely tax consultants. So ensure you use words that they use every day and that directly speak to them.”

3. Know Your Competition and Use Them as Leverage

Every business has competition and the goal is to not only be better than your competition, but to be different. Why is it important to know your competition? Well, this helps you and your content team know what qualifies as “quality content”. Here’s what I mean;

Communicating ideas with others can sometimes be hard because they may not understand what you qualify as a good result. What you need to do in this case is look for a quality piece of content created by your competitor that is worth emulating. This piece of content, which could be any of the different types of online content, must be the kind that you propose would bring the results you want.

The next step would then be to make yours’ different, using your competitor’s content as a benchmark. In other words, the quality of content you would create must not be less that of your competitor. This gives you some form of leverage for you because you’ll add something to yours’ different or better.

Outsource it: Do a little research to find content that’s extraordinary. It may not even be from your niche. This way, your content team would have a defined direction and know what you qualify as a good result when you add, “Use this guest post by company XYZ as reference for this content. Look at how it was crafted to suit their audience, the content structure, length and tone. I want you to create something like this but make it unique. Show that I offer solutions in a way that’s different from others.”

4. Use a Content Framework to Save Time and Effort

Every piece of content on the internet has the most basic form of a framework which is: Headline, Introduction, Body, Conclusion and Call- to-Action. However, if you want content that converts, you should go deeper than that and define each part of the framework.

After studying the content from your competitor, you would be able to outline the content framework used. You can easily do this by simply answering some specific questions such as, “What headline formula did he use?”, “Does the introduction include a story that outlines the problem or is it just engaging?”, “Is a pattern interrupt or cliffhanger used? If it was used, where?”, “How detailed are the sub points?,” “Is the conclusion actionable? If it isn’t, how can I make mine more actionable?,” “Did the Call-to-Action blend in with the content?”

Outsource it: Using a framework gives your content team a more detailed overview of how the content would be created. You can add to your instructions, “See how a story was crafted to show the problem that tax consultants face when auditing large firms. Ensure to include a pattern interrupt at the beginning of the body that hooks the reader to read the sub points afterwards. Although the conclusion was not actionable, make mine actionable so it takes the reader one step forward toward solving his problem.” Once the content is studied and a framework created, you can then assess it, make corrections and move to the next step.

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5. Use a Draft That Leads To Smashing Finished Content

The purpose of drafts is to simply guide you on what to write. It also makes content creation super easy because it allows you to just “fill in the gap” when creating the final content.

As an example, let’s pick the basic framework one after the other.

The introduction

After the headline, the introduction is the second most important part of an article. Miss it here and you won’t get readers to go through the rest of the content.

So, the best way to capture readers in the introduction is to appeal to their emotions. How?

1. Through stories.

2. By relating with their pain and giving them a solution.

Whichever one you choose, the main aim is to get the reader connected.

The draft could have an introduction like this:

————————————————————

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State the pain associated with [subject of article].

————————————————————

Afterwards, your introduction should also contain the solution; the magic pill that the readers want. But you don’t just state this directly. Saying it like, “the following are 20 ways…..” can make the reader lose interest. The best way to say it is using the “Pattern Interrupt” if this is the way you want to go.

The Body

It’s in the body that you directly state what the reader is about to learn.

As for the points, you must have thought them up even before creating your draft. Also, every point comes with an explanation and an actionable give away. However this could differ depending on the content framework and kind of article.

————————————————————–

1. [Point 1]

This is where we show the reader how to …..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 1].

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2. [Point 2]

We show the reader how…..

Next, we give an actionable way the reader can implement [Point 2].

————————————————————-

[Point 1] and [Point 2] will actually be replaced by the actual points.

This is just assuming that we’ve 2 points in the article.

The Conclusion and Call to Action

Here, depending on the framework, you summarize everything you’ve discussed so far. But most importantly, you end the story that you started in the introduction. If your story, in the introduction, states the pain the reader faces and the solution you are providing, the conclusion would show how the reader’s life would turn out if he/she implements your points in the article. Remember, you are writing to appeal to the emotion of the reader, and not just their common sense.

Outsource it: Request for a draft from your content team. You can add something like this to your instruction, “After studying the content framework of the guest post, send me a draft of what you would include in the final content. This draft should give me a brief overview of just what you would write in each part of the article. Once I make any necessary corrections and approve this, you’ll be able to create the final piece faster.”

It’s almost impossible to receive crappy content after following these five steps. Outsourcing content has its headaches because not every team member can easily translate what you qualify as quality. Therefore, you need to give them something to work with.

By knowing your audience and creating a content framework that speaks to their needs, you’ll receive outsourced content that brings the results you want. The good thing is you don’t have to do the work yourself. This ultimately saves you time and gives you a better Return on Investment. Just ensure you outsource content to someone who can get the job done!

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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