In this article, I’m going to show you how I’m able to pump out tons of content every day while the average content creator is busy sipping coffee and rewriting a title 15-times.
Unfortunately, this is not going to be an instant transformation; but, if you follow the steps I’ve laid-out for you here, you should notice an enormous improvement over your current productivity in about three weeks.
Getting Ready to Create Content
If you’re one of those “hunt-and-peck” typists, I recommend you take the time to learn touch-typing before you proceed.
If you’re going to create your own content, and you’re serious enough to make it your profession, it only makes sense to hone the skill you’ll be using every day. The faster you type the faster you’ll create content.
Also, it helps if you find an isolated room or place where you won’t be interrupted while you’re creating your content. In order to train ourselves to become prolific content creators, there’s going to be some life-changing work involved. It’s too important for constant interruptions.
OK, if you’ve got those two things handled, you’re ready to begin your transformation into a blistering-fast content creator.
STEP ONE: Find out what you’re capable of doing in 10-minutes
OK, so open up your favorite word processing application and let’s rock.
Set a timer for 10-minutes. I personally use a physical timer I can wear around my neck because I use it for a lot more than just product creation. But, productivity—whether online or offline—is my “thing,” so, for me, a physical timer is essential.
For working online I suggest you set the countdown timer at http://www.online-stopwatch.com for 10-minutes. It will sound an alarm when 10-minutes are up.
Start the timer then immediately go back to your word processing app and start typing one long, non-stop paragraph by following these rules:
- Type whatever’s in your head without thinking.
- DO NOT stop to think about what you’re writing.
- DO NOT stop or backspace to correct any mistakes.
- DO NOT hit “enter” or otherwise start a new paragraph.
- If you don’t know what to write, type “blah, blah, blah…” until something comes up.
- Keep your fingers moving until the timer goes off.
The idea here is to find out how productive you’d be if you didn’t have to think about what you were writing. In other words, if it just flew out of your head as fast as you could type, how much content would you be able to produce?
You need to find this out for two reasons:
- You need to know the current limits your productivity.
- You need to measure your improvement over time.
Although it’s important to know these parameters, they’re not the main reason you’re doing this step. The main reason is to train yourself into the habit of prolific content production and to eliminate stumbling-blocks associated with writing.
When the timer goes off STOP WRITING IMEDIATELY… even if you’re in mid-sentence. Write down the number of words you finished with (your word processing app should tell you).
Do this five or six times in a row (should take about an hour) and write the word-count down each time. Your highest total is your current productivity limit.
Now, do this first-thing every morning until it becomes natural to type without thinking. Unhook your brain and stop judging yourself. Instead, amuse yourself with what your fingers produce. Let it happen.
Really work at it! You need to make this a habit by the end of the first week. It’s critical.
Once you get there, keep practicing.
Keep measuring your progress and notice your increase in typing speed and the ease in which you can produce words.
I did this every day for over a year and I still do it once-in-a-while if I feel my natural state of productivity has tapered off. It’s a great exercise.
DO NOT PROCEED UNTIL YOU CAN CONSISTIENTLY SIT DOWN AND TYPE NON-STOP FOR 10-SOLID MINUTES WITHOUT THINKING.
STEP TWO: Train yourself to work in Focused Time-Blocks
Now it’s time to add some focus. So far, you’ve been writing whatever comes out of your brain indiscriminately without stopping to fix mistakes or change anything.
The rules haven’t changed. You’re still going to keep your fingers moving and type whatever’s in your head without fixing any mistakes along the way… the only difference is now you’re going to consciously attempt to guide your writing along a specific topic.
If you start to veer off-track, just write something like, “Oops… got to get back to my topic…” and continue writing about your topic.
Try to choose a topic you know something about. If you start to run out of ideas while you’re typing, then write about what you don’t know—or what you’d like to know—about the subject, but stay on topic and keep your fingers moving.
An alternate idea is to spend 10-minutes “pre-researching” a subject. Pick a topic you think you’d like to write about if only you knew more about it, then spend 10-minutes writing about all the things you think you’ll need to learn before you could produce actual content.
Later on, you can use this technique to build usable content. Spend 10-minutes “pre-researching,” then go do some research based on what you just wrote, then come back and spend 10-minutes writing about what you now know about the subject. Keep alternating back-and-forth until you have enough material to create an actual piece of content.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
This is incredibly important! Get to where you’re able to hold a specific topic for the entire 10-minutes and put out focused content.
You’re NOT trying to create a finished piece, you’re NOT trying to have proper paragraph breaks, and you’re NOT trying to produce anything useful; you’re just trying to hold a topic successfully for 10-minutes.
Making this step a spontaneous habit should be your goal for the second week (or sooner if possible).
Once you can do it consistently, you’re ready to begin working.
STEP THREE: Produce a perfectly crappy first draft
The next thing you’ll need to do is abandon the 10-minute time-limit and start working in content sessions.
I know… I just had you get comfy with the 10-minute sprint strategy, but that was only an exercise to help create the habit of working in a constant state of motion.
Believe me, it was not a waste of time; it’s the single most important trait you can adopt when it comes to content productivity.
And, if you actually practiced what I showed you, it worked… didn’t it?
Anyway, now that you know how to keep yourself in a constant state of motion it’s time to attempt some actual content.
The way you should do this is to start by allowing yourself to create a perfectly crappy first draft.
Now, if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re somewhat of a perfectionist and the idea of writing crap on purpose goes against your very nature. But, you’ve got to overcome this curse.
In order to do that I’ve come up with an ingenious idea: Instead of fighting with your perfectionism, use it to your advantage… focus on creating a perfectly crappy first draft.
Hey… it’s not just crappy, it’s perfectly crappy!
Learn to amuse yourself with its crappiness.
Go ahead and bust-out a quick outline if you want… that’s what I do for the more involved articles and blog posts (such as this one). However, if you do create an outline, make sure you do it fast. Use the same non-stop word-blast techniques you’ve already learned.
Personally, I think having a set outline procedure for your content is a major advantage, but if outlining isn’t your style or if you don’t really know how to do it THEN DON’T DO IT! You’re only going to add more confusion and slow yourself down. That’s the LAST thing we want.
Write your crappy first draft. Go ahead and spit it out. Amuse yourself.
Utilize some of the writing rules you learned earlier:
- Don’t think… just write.
- Keep your fingers moving.
- Don’t disrupt the flow by fixing mistakes or typos… FIX IT LATER!
You should also adopt these qualities as well:
- Don’t stop writing to look up details; instead, use brackets to leave yourself a note and look them up later:
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in [What year was it? 1492? I’m not sure… look it up].
- Don’t stop writing to think about what you should write. Again, use brackets:
So, in conclusion, I’d like to say… [add more stuff here]
The idea is to get through a first draft as quickly as possible. At least get the framework of what you’re trying to produce finished quickly. Do all the editing, spell-checking, rewriting, detailing and fact-checking later.
Usually, it’s the beginning stages that slow you down and take up all the time. Get through this crappy first draft and the rest will happen much easier.
STEP FOUR: Turn it into a “non-crappy” first draft
Now’s the time to go through the mess you’ve just created and salvage what works.
Add content, remove content, rearrange, add sub-heads, fix convoluted sentences and make sure the piece makes logical sense.
Also, you’ll want to check the bracketed notes and fill-in-the-blanks by looking things up and adding unfinished paragraphs. Still, keep your fingers moving and just work through it as fast as possible.
Add structure. Perform whatever reconstructive surgery you need to get it to a legitimate “first draft” stage. In other words, it should take the shape of a complete piece ready for editing and polishing.
Do all this without stopping to ponder or meditate! Keep speed of execution foremost in your mind. Remember, this is still just a first draft.
STEP FIVE: Finish it up and release into the wild
Here’s where the perfectionists in the crowd are going to blow the whole deal.
Look… you’ve gone this far so just do as I say and no one gets hurt, OK?
Edit your work. But, do it like this:
- Read your piece and fix any obvious typos, misspellings or nonsensical sentences.
- Read it again OUT LOUD. If you verbally stumble on anything there’s a good chance you should rewrite whatever sentence you stumbled upon.
- If you feel yourself sighing during the reading, mark that spot because it might mean that section either needs a little more excitement or should be eliminated altogether.
- Take one last look and rewrite anything you just can’t live with. Leave everything else alone.
- Publish the darn thing! It doesn’t have to be perfect; you’re not trying to win an award. Just move on to the next one.
Learn to let things go when they’re less than perfect. You will NEVER get it perfect. If you try, you’ll be rewriting forever. DON’T DO THAT.
At first, maybe you should give yourself a half-hour for editing (set your timer) and then squeeze it down to only 10-minutes after you get better at it.
Don’t give up! This stuff can be life changing!
The first few times you do this it’s going to be ugly, but as you do it more and more and become accustomed to these techniques, you’ll find a pattern emerging for attacking your writing projects.
Your “crappy” first drafts won’t be as crappy and you’ll find less and less need for reconstructive surgery. The more you produce the better and faster you’ll get.
If you follow the steps above and really work at it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t become a content producing machine!
In fact, those were the exact steps I took to free myself from the familiar writer’s block/general stagnation that plagues so many writers. It changed my life.
Taking it to the next level
If everything I’ve shown you so far makes sense and you’d like to take it even further, why not expand upon what you’ve learned to create full-blown digital products you can sell online?
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I’ve created an advanced training to help you actually make money doing this!
You can get the full scoop here, but here’s a quick overview of what’s covered:
- A simple process for creating high-quality eBooks that sell so you can finally get paid for what you love to do.
- An ingenious new way to use Google to instantly find in-demand product ideas in any niche so you can create a product someone wants and is willing to pay for.
- My top-secret outlining templates so you can stop wondering what sections to include in your eBook and what to write in each of those sections.
- My 5-step speed-outlining procedure so you can blast through the outlining process faster than a jackrabbit.
- A bonus section on how to descramble your brain so you can stop being overwhelmed and start producing products.
The training itself is contained in a single 64-page eBook (along with two supporting text files) detailing every aspect of product creation with plenty of step-by-step examples and illustrations to guide you along the way.
Look… I know this training isn’t for everyone. Some of you will be happy enough with the content productivity techniques you learned in this article…
But, if you’ve ever wanted to make money with your writing, or just want to have a go-to system for finding ideas and turning them into high-quality eBooks, then you’d be silly not to get immediate access to this right now.
Either way, thanks for reading and I hope you found it useful.
P.S. Just in case you’re one of those people (like me) who jump to the end before you read the page, here’s what’s in the above article:
- A five-step plan to increase content productivity
- A fast way to get ideas out of your head and into articles and blog posts
- An advanced training for creating digital products you can sell online. (If you want to skip the article and check out the training, you can do that here.)
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