Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Monday, June 05, 2006

2nd Half of May Content Writer Challenge...Results...

Well, about halfway into May I decided to challenge myself to make the second half of the month as productive as any full month recorded so far this year. In other words, I sought to double up my output while maintaining or improving quality.

The results?

I did it, basically. "Basically?" you may ask... Well, officially, I fell slightly short in terms of my financial objectives--sort of. If you count only received income, I missed the mark. However, if you count the $205 worth of invoiced work that has not yet been paid and the $30 e-check that didn't clear by 5/31, I made the mark with a few portraits of the GW to spare. Either way, it's so close that I am going to claim it as a success.

Now, that just covers the financial side of things. The real benefit to the challenge was actually discovering overlooked time-sinks and finding more efficient ways to handle business. That is why I felt the challenge was a massive success.

During those two weeks, I found several means by which I could operate more productively. Some of that involved things that are probably unique to my operation--file sorting and storing systems, etc. Other parts may have some value to other freelance content writers, so I will share them here.

Setting up a more precise daily schedule was great. Not only did it give me a better chance for legitimate time management, it also forced me to do some of the small things that are often overlooked while not allowing me to spend hours of semi-wasted time on aspects of the business that are secondary. It took a little while to get into the swing of things, but setting up certain time blocks for certain tasks helped me a great deal.

It wasn't so much that it forced me to work faster. Instead, it's primary advantage seemed to be that it naturally led me from one task to the next without a great deal of downtime in between. It helped march me through work days without those infamous ten minute lulls of lollygagging on the net.

I also learned that it wasn't just bearable to do more work--it was actually enjoyable. The "challenge" aspect of things imbued my efforts with a "game show" feel and inspired me to stay on track. As I mentioned in another post, knowing others were playing their own "home version" of the game helped in that regard. So, a hearty "thank you" to those who joined in on the challenge. Additionally, it became incredibly rewarding to see mountains of work vanish throughout the course of a well-organized day.

Some practical specifics: I limited my chat time (even with clients). I set aside limited and specific time blocks to read other blogs, do professional research, etc. I set aside one block of time per day for prospecting and marketing. I handled all non-essential email on a daily basis late in the afternoon instead of handling it as it came. The main thing, though, was simply making the commitment and being dedicated to seeing the process through.