The pressure of online content writing brings heat to the degree of fire at times. Deadlines, audience demands, lead potential and pending revenues scream for you to curate more and more copy. Battling this natural element of the creative process threatens to overwhelm, even defeat. Fortunately, surviving this heat is more than possible.
Not long ago, an old barn needed de-constructing on my in-law’s property thanks to a mighty winter wind which knocked it partially down. In the tradition of hard-working men, this project involved large machines, plenty of sweat equity … and fire.
Walking near the flames became difficult. At times, I literally felt the waves of heat push me back into the yard. As the fire blazed, I gained a new appreciation for firefighters and their ability and willingness to enter into that heat.
Similarly, I find myself wanting to circumvent life’s heat as well. Avoid difficult people. Opt out of potentially tumultuous or pointless meetings. Procrastinate, or better yet delegate, unpleasant tasks. Ask challenging content assignments to be reassigned.
Unfortunately, withdrawing from such pressure keeps me stuck. It holds me back from what the fire has to offer on the other side. Certain gifts are left hidden in the ash beneath the flames should I choose to never enter into them.
Heat comes in the forms of blessing and difficulty. Yes, even a job promotion or a child graduating add stressors along with joy. Whether based on success or defeat, I must face and battle through the trials of online content writing to grow personally and for excellent content to be laid bare.
Firefighters endure the heat for one purpose, to save lives. And, while the pressure of creating online content falls below this level of nobility in its purpose, content writers certainly impact the lives of readers for the good or the bad.
Let’s chat about how to bravely battle our personal heat for greater results. Will you join the discussion? (I would love to see your comments below.)
The Heat of Online Content Writing
Structure fires occur every 65 seconds in the U.S. according to the National Fire Protection Association. This equates to a fire department response every 23 seconds to the heat of flames engulfing a home or business. While spread across the country, a consistent response is vital.
But, how do these facts apply to online content writing? After all, literal and figurative heat are different matters, and truthfully, the danger is not the same.
With 88 percent of the North American population alone using the Internet (196 percent growth since 2000), the audience of marketers awaits. For emphasis, the year 2017 rang in the milestone of half the world’s population engaging with the Web. Booms in social media and mobile use add punch to these figures.
The source of the heat in writing online content comes with this growing readership and their demand for more quality, relevant material to consume. Consider these statistics.
- Data shows that the length and visual appeal of blog content continues to increase by about 19 percent. Plus, these longer forms produce nine times more leads than their shorter counterparts.
- Infographic demand increased by 800 percent in the past year. And, sharing and liking of these visuals occurs three times more than any other content type.
- Seventy-three percent of marketers expect their content to increase this year. An increased investment in content marketing by 75 percent of these creatives backs this belief.
- Lead quantity and quality increase with content marketing according to 74.2 percent of companies.
- As to confidence, 87 percent of marketers confess to sweating content production which engages buyers. Rising use of ad blockers among the online population raises organic content marketing needs over traditional advertising.
- Audiences prove to engage with consistent, high-quality, relevant content.
What do all of these facts and figures add up to? (And, this list is extremely limited.) The sum indicates not only the value of content marketing but also the need to do it well if your business is to survive and thrive. In other words, these pressures begin to define the heat Web word weavers must face.
Compounding the need are the skills and time required to curate content at a high-speed and quality. Feeling the heat now? So, what is the best way to battle these stressors?
What it Takes to Battle the Heat
Firefighter basic skills exercised consistently and constantly breed habits which improve safety, efficiency and effectiveness. In short, practice makes perfect. Battling the heat requires the disciplined practice of needed skills.
Under the stress of creating online content, these practical habits prove useful in battling the heat and achieving optimal results. Put them in your toolbox and take them out regularly to hone your skills and courageously walk through the heat.
Assess Your Behavior
Surprisingly for some candidates, part of the interview process for firefighters includes a survey of their past. The reason? Past behaviors tend to indicate responsibility, honesty and other character traits on the job or quite the contrary. While change can occur, proof is often reflected in behavior.
Past actions affect your performance in creating a content campaign as well. Previous experiences and behaviors color perspective and tend to be go-to solutions in times of stress. Plus, qualities of integrity developed over time enable you to battle the inevitable heat without fanning the flames or creating an additional rise in temperature.
Open space in your day to reflect on your character and meditate on your natural responses. Identify your behavior patterns and evaluate their health. Consider potential “heat” scenarios and pre-determine healthy behavioral responses. While this pre-practice is often encouraged for teens facing weighty issues, we are wise to practice it as adults as well.
Be Prepared to Act
Responding to structural fires requires action on the part of firefighters with little to no time to think. Decisions must be automatic, nearly a reflex. Taking even a second or two to process leads to greater danger for a firefighter, his or her crew and those in need of help.
While not a life or death decision (other than to your marketing goals), knowing your stuff when it comes to online content writing reduces the impact of the heat. Keeping current with SEO strategies, consuming books and other well-created media, and the like give you an edge.
Training. Courses. Webinars. Experience. All increase your ability to think on your feet and respond appropriately in times of stress. Professional content creation services also help bolster your knowledge by providing copy, tools and innovation as you get experience under your belt.
Gauge Your Response
Firefighters quickly learn that different fires require different materials to put them out. The inexperienced deem water the cure-all for unwanted flames. But, electrical and grease fires grow more out of control with this solution. In fact, few fires respond well to water alone.
Similarly, your response increases or decreases the flames of stress and the impact of heat. Emotions allow us to fully experience the highs and lows of life. Unfortunately, they make poor decision makers. And, actions based on feelings tend to reap consequences of their own.
Discipline yourself to channel emotions and react in ways which promote your content objectives. Berating a team member for a failed project or a lost account does nothing to achieve your marketing goals. Additionally, adjusting your methods according to the heat source boosts your success.
In training, firefighters learn to move quickly but with necessary and wise caution. After all, the buildings and homes they enter grow more unstable as the fire continues to eat the interior. Learning to test stairways and flooring in burning structures avoids missteps which could cost their lives.
Again, while the price is not life, missed steps in content creation lead to loss of revenue, derailed campaigns and even job termination. In the land of the living, these stressors indeed feel close to death. So, taking precautions before the heat sets in proves wise in content creation as well.
To bolster your safety, be versed in copyright law, do thorough research, check your facts and maintain your integrity. Honest mistakes produce enough heat. You do not need stress from those cases in which you knew better.
Safe rescue is a firefighter’s primary focus in the face of heat and flame. This motivation drives his or her actions and inactions. If another factor such as fear threatens to replace this singular focus, lives are at risk. Trained for rescue, firefighters make this their sole mission.
While remaining lock-gazed on the flame threatens to render you ineffective, a focused approach to dealing with the heat of content moves you forward. Wisely eliminating extraneous variables including fear to address the core of the issue keeps you away from tangents.
A powerful means of remaining focused is to review your content marketing objectives. The ultimate goal is to move in that direction. So, all decisions and actions should reflect that mindset. If you lack a content marketing plan, develop one before you go any further. This filter gives you a steadying eye in the midst of the heat.
Firefighters know when to pull out of a burning building. They understand that they cannot help anyone if they are weak or down due to the effects of the heat. Fellow firefighters replace them for a needed break. Or, teams may withdraw from an especially dangerous situation to regroup.
When overwhelmed or even slightly dizzy from the heat of content creation, get out of your head. Back off from the heat for a moment. Toughing it out at all costs sets you up for fatigue, visual disturbance and the risk of running low on oxygen.
Solutions come easier when we remember to breathe. Get a fresh oxygen tank by talking with mentors and coaches. Follow their counsel. If your team is stuck, pull back and regroup. Or, take advantage of a change in scenery. Volunteer, read, travel, exercise, break for lunch or anything which allows you to experience life and be rejuvenated.
The Surprisingly Positive Role of Heat
Heat, even flames, possess the ability to do good things. But, you must be on guard and observant. Watching the behavior of the fire and learning from it bring valuable results to the courageous. And, trust me, you stand among the brave.
Consider that fire and extreme heat:
- Expose problems.
- Reveal gaps.
- Birth innovative perspectives.
- Strengthen character.
- Build skill.
- Earn wisdom.
- Purify and refine.
And, each of these benefits grows you individually and corporately. Managed well, heat also develops problem-solving skills and creativity. After all, standard methods refuse to work with new stressors. Innovative solutions fit for the situation are required.
In other words, heat forces you to view strategies from novel angles, through innovative lenses. And, the experience causes you to wonder, “Why hadn’t I thought of the before?” Plus, the impact on results is likely to surprise as well.
Let this be your encouragement. There is no need to turn from the heat. Tackling online content writing is possible for those investing the time and energy. And, the promise holds that you will emerge with greater confidence, stronger resolve and sharpened skills.
Winning the Battle for Effective Online Content
Can I offer you one more tip before closing? Approach the heat, walk through the fire with someone. Firefighters are not lone renegades. They have a team, a crew. Each department member watches out for and supports the others.
Knowing you possess this type of help in times of trouble, boosts your confidence. Plus, someone has your back when success or trial threatens your content creation. But, just as with a fire department, this crew is intentionally formed.
At Copywriter Today, we offer support or full out rescue with content which gives you the tools to battle the heat of copy creation. We would love to be part of your team. Give us a call today to set up your free consultation.
P.S. Please continue the dialogue! What strategies work best for you in facing the challenging heat of online content writing?