Why you should create evergreen content and how to create it

Evergreen content

Evergreen content is just like an evergreen movie or an evergreen song – something that you can experience and enjoy irrespective of when you watch it or listen to it. Evergreen content never goes stale. It’s like the immortal wisdom of great philosophers; it is timeless, it is fundamental, it can be applied in any age. No one says about evergreen content that it is out of date or irrelevant.

Why should you create evergreen content when it is always recommended you create topical and contemporary content? Both have its value but the benefit of creating evergreen content is that it is always useful. A blog post that you write in 2014 will provide the same value to a person who reads it in 2018. Maybe the examples that you use won’t be relevant, but the inherent message will still be.

A good example of evergreen content would be, writing a blog post on the importance of headlines. Catchy and compelling headlines will never go out of fashion. They were used to grab attention back in the 1700s and they’re still being used to grab attention these days. Their fundamentals never change.

Similarly, writing something about nutrition can be evergreen (they are just examples, you may have your own example coming from your own industry, realm or subject). Can eating nutritious food be ever irrelevant (unless there is no need to have food and we can simply swallow a capsule or tablet or even use a one-time shot to do away with the need for food, forever)?

Why publish evergreen content on your website or blog?

  • To keep your content relevant for a very long time
  • To make your content appropriate for long-term content curation
  • To encourage people to link to your content without worrying about it becoming irrelevant after a while
  • To enable your content to generate revenue for a long time rather than for a short time
  • To encourage people to share your content with each other without worrying about irrelevancy and outdatedness
  • To focus on quality rather than quantity and timeliness – when you prepare evergreen content you are in a more relaxed frame of mind and you are able to focus on the quality rather than worrying about missing the deadline
  • To create a portal of knowledge – with more and more evergreen content on your website or blog comes to be known as a portal of knowledge for your particular niche
  • To improve your long-term SEO – evergreen content not just enjoys good search engine rankings, but lasting rankings. This is because as people share your evergreen content more and more the relevancy of your content for the search engines keeps on increasing

How to create and publish evergreen content?

  • Mind your niche: First of all your content needs to be niche-specific. There is no sense creating evergreen content for a dating website that talks about how to survive in the Sahara (unless of course there is a connection). So make a list of topics that you think will draw people to your website in relation to your business rather than as a random occurrence simply because at that particular time they happen to be looking for how to survive in the Sahara.
  • Pack as much information as possible: Long form content fares better in search engines compared to shorter articles and blog posts. People tend to curate comprehensive, detailed content because it contains the information they need, in detail. Don’t be so detailed that one piece of content goes on and on. Use your own judgment. Try to think from the perspective of your reader. Don’t assume he or she knows what you know.
  • Lists are better compared to unformatted paragraphs: Take for instance “15 things that make your content go viral”; it is better than “How your content goes viral” or “How to make your content go viral”, followed by long streams of text. People want to know exactly how much they are going to learn.
  • Write about occasions and seasons: You may feel that writing about Christmas, Diwali, Ramadan or the Valentine’s Day are once-in-a-year of occurrences and hence might not be evergreen. But they definitely attract yearly traffic if you have written something like, “20 ways to avoid post-Christmas depression” because people need such articles every season. Similarly you can write “50 items to stock in order to survive a long power cut during winter”. Or something like “5 things you should immediately do during an earthquake”.
  • Create a “Regularly Updated” section: This is a section that, as the title suggests, you update regularly and since you update it regularly it is constantly having fresh content and hence you can call it evergreen. In order to seek fresh, useful content, people are going to visit that section on an ongoing basis. Your business blog can be one example.
  • Create an FAQs section: When people use your product or service they constantly need to know about it. Sometimes they have technical questions, sometimes they have existential dilemmas, whatever, whenever they have a doubt, they head to your FAQs section.
  • Create an online forum: Having an online forum is a great way of creating evergreen content because people are constantly posting questions and answers. If you notice, even posts and answers created in 2004 may appear in search results sometimes.

This is no way a comprehensive list because every business need is unique but this list gives you a basic idea of how to create evergreen content for your business that generates ongoing traffic for a long time.

The apps that I’m using for productivity these days

Wunderlist

In order to be productive (there are different definitions of productivity for different people and different situations) it is very important to track what is being accomplished and what is being delayed, and if you need to perform multiple tasks, it is very difficult to manage without making lists and without being able to mark their completion or postponement. If nothing else, marking a task as completed gives you a sense of accomplishment and you don’t feel lost by the end of the day wondering what exactly you have been doing.

Another benefit of using a calendar or a tasks list is that during the day when you feel lost and your energies seem to have been sapped, you can revisit the things that you need to do and get the focus back.

For a couple of months I used Google Calendar. In terms of looks and features it’s a minimalistic application but I could access it on my PC as well as my tablet, so it was quite convenient. Everyday at night, before switching off my computer, I would quickly enter all the things that I needed to do the next day. My only problem with Google Calendar was that my schedule is not time-based. It is tasks-based. There is nothing wrong in assigning various activities to various time zones of the day, but if – call me obsessive-compulsive – I have marked an event for 10:30 AM and if I cannot work on that event at 10:30 AM it gets on my nerves. You can create tasks in Google Calendar but they look very ugly.

Wunderlist is something that I had tried I think, a year ago, but then got distracted to something else. These days I’m using it with great regularity and in fact I’m also encouraging my daughter to prepare her tasks lists using it on her new iPad Air – solving 3 estimation problems, practicing 5-digit subtractions sums, practice singing – and she’s quite excited when she marks the tasks as done. I tried my hand at Any.do, but something is missing or I’m not comfortable with the way the tasks are managed. Although I’m not fully satisfied with Wunderlist, and

maybe I require my own app, but for the time being I’m using it everyday to create the list of tasks that I need to achieve, and it is helping me a lot to remain focused or get re-focused.

Along with Wunderlist I’m also using ToDoist, not to manage my tasks, but to manage lists, or steps. For instance, I have to work on 15 blog posts of a client. I create a new project by the name of that client and add all the titles of the blog posts to that project. Then, while working on a blog post, I mark it as light blue. So even if I’m working multiple days on a single blog post, I know on which blog post I’m working, for which client. Once the blog post is finished, the client has reviewed it and accepted it, I mark it as dark blue (this feature is present in the interface). So I know which blog posts, webpages and articles are work-in-progress for which clients, and which ones are already completed. I could have used a single application for that, either Wunderlist or ToDoist but both these apps arrange information differently, visually, so I’m using them for different objectives.

Recently I have also switched over to Word Online (One Drive) from Google Docs. I have also started using online Outlook instead of Google’s default Gmail interface to manage my email although I don’t know whether it is a progress or regress. I like the new interface and maybe I was looking for some change. Also, formatting is a bit easier in the One Drive applications with almost the same number of functions available in Google Docs.

Basically, these are the tools that I’m using these days for writing and managing my tasks.

How to find the killer content writer for your website or blog

Killer content writer

Once you have decided to create quality content for your website or blog it is very important that you find a killer content writer for the job. I know I’m using a clichéd phrase, but what I mean is, you need a person who understands your business, understands your audience, knows what language to use, and then communicates your message convincingly, preferably, repeatedly, using the appropriate language, to your audience. I know, a long sentence, but you get the point, right?

So how do you find such a content writer?

You first have to decide whether you want to hire someone full-time, part-time or you would rather outsource the content writing job. Since I am a content writer, I’m going to write this from the perspective of someone who is looking to outsource the job. So with this settled, how do you find a content writer who can really deliver with a punch and build you a formidable business asset? Here are a few things you can do

Recognize, acknowledge and accept the importance of content writing for your business

What the heck does that mean? you must be wondering. Aren’t you looking for a content writer because you know that your website needs content writing? Many business owners think that way but still they don’t understand content writing and therefore, they expect their content writer to charge as low as $ 5 (just a ballpark figure to explain the trend) for “quality” webpage content or blog post. Just as you have to pay a premium for a quality computer, quality smart phone, quality software, quality web design, quality food in a quality restaurant, and a quality four-wheeler, you also have to pay good money for a quality content writer. If you don’t think that, you’re either not serious about getting content written for your website, or you have a different perception of the real world.

Acknowledge that the content writer you’re planning to hire is running a serious business just like you

Considering the amount of money some people want to pay to their content writer (for example, $ 5) they think that the content writer is just a good-for-nothing, out-of-job fellow who has somehow gotten hold of a computer and an Internet connection and is now trying to make a living off the Internet without having spent any money. I’m not saying such people don’t exist, but if you want to hobnob with such people, then maybe you also have the same sort of attitude and running the same sort of business in your basement, mostly surviving on freebies abundantly available on the Internet.

If you’re doing serious business, then you have to collaborate with a serious person. If you need business class services, then you need to get a person who is running a business. If you want professional content for your website or blog, you need a professional content writer who provides his or her services as a business rather than as a hobby or an in-between-jobs activity.

But how do you know that the content writer you’re contemplating working with is a serious business owner or at least a professional content provider? Here are a few things to consider:

  • He (or she) has a website with all relevant sections (homepage, services, about section, FAQs, contact form, etc.)
  • His website shouldn’t look as if it was designed back in 2003
  • He has clearly and convincingly described how he works and what procedures he follows in order to deliver effective content
  • He has good command over the language (the language in which the content is to be written)
  • He has a visible presence on the web – since there is a great possibility that you will be looking for a content writer on the Internet, you should be easily able to find him.
  • He should have a blog that is regularly updated. Being a content writer he should have lots of content on his own website so that you can get a fair idea of how he communicates
  • His fees and rates should be there on the website
  • He shouldn’t be one of those “professionals” who would go to any length vis-à-vis the pricing in order to get your work. If he is too eager to please you it’s an indication that he is not very confident and if he is not confident he won’t be able to apply his skills with confidence to your writing too.
  • He should reply to your email messages or phone calls or Skype messages within a decent time span. It doesn’t mean his replies should reach you within minutes because he is supposed to be working and not constantly monitoring the messages people send him, but a time gap of, let us say if it is not very urgent, should be at least eight hours.

Remember that these are basic traits and there might be many more characteristics that you may look for in order to find the right content writer for your business.

Have a clearly laid out plan for your content marketing campaign

There is a reason it is called “content marketing”. Hiring a content writer doesn’t mean your job is done and now it is up to him to do your content marketing. Have a plan. You should know what you’re trying to achieve by getting content written for your website or blog. You should know what topics need to be covered and why and what sort of effect they should have on your traffic as well as the people who decide to stick around your website for awhile. Remember that you are the one running your business. You know it’s nitty-gritty. You know more about your customers and clients than the content writer. You know there are various triggers (if you don’t, you need to do your research you need to hire someone who can do it for you) that motivate your customers and clients.

Once you have a plan you will know exactly what your content writer needs to do.

Decide what you want: a content writer, a content marketer, or both

A perfect solution would be a content writer who knows a bit or two about marketing too. This is because effective content writing has less to do with impeccable writing and more to do with convincing writing. How do you convince people? If you can market your idea in a compelling language. Remember that it shouldn’t be perfect language. It should be able to persuade people into doing business with you. A knack for marketing makes your content writer confident and lucid. He knows how to communicate the strengths of what you’re offering in an effective manner (to streamline your sales funnel).

Be ready to let your content writer do what he does best

In order to let the killer content writer create killer content for your website or blog, you will have to let him do his job the way he likes to do it (as long as he is delivering something that helps you grow your business). Once you’re convinced that he understands your audience and he is able to create content accordingly, don’t meddle too much. Don’t force him into writing something he is uncomfortable with. Don’t impose your ideas about how to write because it’s he who is in the business of writing content and not you. You might be a legal eagle but writing is not your calling (unless you are John Grisham, of course), so stick to your expertise and let the content writer do his job.

I sometimes prefer that my client has already worked with another content writer

“Dear Amrit, the content writer that I hired before contacting you totally botched up the project and I haven’t just ended up with lousy content my website launch has also been delayed by a full month because my web designer was waiting for the content writer to complete his job. I so wish I had found your website before hiring this content writer. By merely going through a few pages of your website I’m damn sure you are the content writer I need, and should have sought.”

It may seem like a self-boast, but I actually got this message recently from a new client and this is not a new phenomena. I mean, not all emails are so praising, but the message is more or less the same, that they have had a very bad experience with the previous content writer, they’re looking for a new content writer and they hope I can undo the damage to some extent.

I prefer such clients. I don’t mean to say that I cherish the fact that they have been shortchanged, that they have lost time, that someone did a lousy job, no, what I like is, by the time they come to me, they’re pretty sure what they want and what they don’t want and since they have already had a bad experience with their choice, they are more open to my suggestions. It makes easier for me to work on their projects. This doesn’t happen with great regularity, but I get at least 5-6 projects like these in a year.

Often the problem is not with outsourcing

I was just going through a rant in an email newsletter about why businesses, especially small businesses, shouldn’t outsource and why it makes sense hiring people in-house.

On the surface there is nothing wrong in the argument because how you get your work done depends on your personal choice whether you want to hire someone full-time, part-time or outsource.

The problem is, when people have bad experience outsourcing their work, they start talking about how outsourcing sucks and why people shouldn’t indulge in it. They rarely try to observe the situation from the opposite angle, that is the person who is outsourcing the work rather than the one to whom the work is being outsourced.

There are innumerable, hard-working, sincere and efficient people on the Internet. Here I’m not going to talk about myself, but almost 3 years ago my client Steve decided to hire a programmer from the Philippines using an outsourcing company and we have had a great experience. He does such a great job that recently when Steve was contemplating terminating the contract (because he felt the job for which the programmer was hired is almost done) I convinced him into not letting the programmer go just because it is so difficult to get such people. You may say I’m contradicting myself (that it is very difficult to get good people to whom you can outsource your work and hence, they are an exception rather than a norm) but I will just come to another point.

The problem is people are either too lazy to look for good talent, or they are simply cheap. I have been writing content for the past 12 years and 70% of the queries seek “world-class content” at “cheap rates”. They actually expect me to create 1000-word “high-quality” blog posts for as little as $5. By offering $5, how much time do you expect me to spend on your blog post?

More than that, how much value do you attach to building your own business assets?

As a content writer living in a Third World country, I (I as any other person) may have my own compulsions for accepting such low-paying assignments and eventually screwing up everything because it is not humanly possible to create enough content to make a decent living with such a rate, what is your excuse? If you cannot afford to spend $35-50 on a decent blog post, why in the first place you are in this business? Either create your own content or hire someone who charges decently, and does good work. If you think that your blog post is worth just $5, if you think that your content writer can be so cheap, then feel fine about getting a cheap deal. Don’t crib.

How to write persuasive content

Writing persuasive content

There are two reasons why you write and publish content on your website or blog – you simply want to express yourself, or you want to make an impact and persuade people into doing or believing something. As long as you are merely trying to express yourself – as long as you don’t offend anybody – nobody is bothered what you write and how you write. But if you want to make an impact, if you want to make people do something (which may involve paying you) then you need to pay close attention to how you write and what you write. Herein comes the importance of writing persuasive content.

There are four ways you can persuade people: by intimidating them, by misleading them, by catering to their greedy side and by convincing them that they are getting a good deal out of whatever is either happening, or is about to happen. Writing persuasive content deals with the fourth category among the above-mentioned.

Whenever people read what you have written, they don’t just read because they love you (unless they are your mother or your lover), they are reading because they are deriving something out of it. Maybe they are bored and your writing is amusing. Maybe they have a problem that your writing solves. May be they need some information that your writing gives. Maybe you have written something (for instance, a political opinions) they strongly agree with. Even if you are a celebrity and you have written an article or a blog post, people read it because they are enamoured by you and by reading what you have written, they can feel a connection and obtain pleasure out of it. In all the above cases, self-interest is the primary motive why they read your content. So whenever you are writing keep this in mind. Provide what people are looking for and you have got yourself persuasive content.

Once you have figured out what people are looking for, you have to provide it in a compelling manner. That you need to write well is an obvious fact. Write in a manner that it is easier to read. Aside from writing well, you can do the following things in order to write persuasive content…

Represent the entire essence in your headline

Your headline is one of the most important aspects of your web content. Whether people come across your headline on your own website or blog, or through search engines and social networking websites, it is the first thing that they see and get drawn to according to the words and expressions you have used. If the headline isn’t inspiring enough, no matter how awesome your copy is, it is not going to attract the right audience. It is like the billboard of your restaurant. People who know nothing about the sort of food you serve, get attracted towards your food joint after reading the message on the billboard.

Write for a well-defined persona

You can be more persuasive if you write for a particular reader persona. Then you know exactly whom you are addressing to. Otherwise your language becomes vague and you don’t sound convincing. It’s easier to talk to a person rather than simply talking to a wall. When you talk to a particular person, you take care of his or her needs, his or her language and you know how he or she reacts to particular stimulants.

Write as if you were talking

Adopt a conversational style when you are communicating your message. Use shorter sentences and every-day words. Avoid jargon unless it’s important to use it. Read more about this in my article titled Engaging your readers with effective content marketing.

If possible, use a first person account

Write about a product or service in such a manner that people think that you have used it yourself. Whereas as a professional content writer it is not possible for me that I should have used everything I write about, as a business owner if you are writing content for yourself, it helps to share your own experience because this sounds more convincing.

Write to achieve a purpose or solve a problem

Don’t simply write or create content to fill pages and flood the search engines. Every article or blog post you write must solve a purpose and provide answers to people’s problems. It should provide a solution. Only when you solve people’s problems you can persuade them into believing that it’s profitable to do business with you.

Well, I have never said that Content Is King

Content alone is not King

I’m not writing this to dispute anybody’s claim whether content is king or not because it is just a way of telling someone how important it is. I may have mentioned it in the passing that yes, content is king, that is, marketing doesn’t exist without content, but it isn’t just content that gets things going.

Content is like fuel. Without this fuel, you cannot run the engine of your business, that’s an established fact. Now, it is up to you what sort of fuel you want to use. You can use low quality or high-quality fuel. You can use fuel that wears your machinery down or creates lots of pollution. Or you can use good quality fuel that gives you better mileage.

Are you wondering why I’m comparing content with fuel rather than with King? No reason at all actually, I could have compared it to anything, as long as it is important. The whole point is, it’s not just content that matters. Your content needs to be backed up with:

  • High-quality
  • Regularity
  • Relevance
  • Distribution
  • Engagement
  • Publishing platform

The old saying, “build it and they will come” no longer works because there is so much of everything. So after building it, you need to get people to it. “It” in this case is your content. It is given that you need to write and publish high-quality content. Low quality content neither works with search engines nor with human readers.

Regularity is very important because millions of pages are being created everyday and and some of them are exceptionally well-written. You are constantly getting competition. Besides, search engines as well as people love new content. For instance, if I want to know what’s the latest happening in the field of content writing, I would rather check out something that is a few months old rather than something that was written back in 2011 (this is February 2014). When you post regularly it gives people a reason to visit your website or blog repeatedly (even the search engine crawlers visit your website with greater frequency if it is constantly updated).

Relevance in the context of content writing means you need to offer something people can actually use and benefit from. There is no use creating content that exists just for the sake of existence. It needs to solve a purpose.

How do people access your content? If your content exists in isolation then again, you’re just wasting your time. Content is published to make an impact and that impact can only be made if people actually make contact with your content. So you need to distribute your content. You need to use all available channels to you including social networking websites, blogs and online forums.

Engagement, although is a new buzzword, it has existed since the time immemorial. Engagement basically means two-way communication. You talk to people, and then people talk back to you, and then you talk back to people and engagement begins to happen. Without constant engagement it is difficult for people to remember you, and remember you for the right reasons.

You need to choose your publishing platform carefully because once you have chosen it, you will be spending lots of time writing and publishing content for it. For instance, it is a critical choice whether you publish a blog under your own domain name or you decide to use a third-party platforms such as Tumblr. Businesses these days are also using LinkedIn as well as Google Plus to publish long blog posts and articles. The only problem with choosing third-party platforms is that your content doesn’t belong to you. It will be sending all the traffic to those websites and then some of the traffic will come to your website. On the other hand, if you publish your blog under your own domain name than all the traffic will come to you. The benefit of using a third-party platform that is well established is that you can start getting traffic to your content from day one. Finally, the decision is yours.

These qualities and attributes collectively make your content the King. Without these attributes your content is just another piece of information aimlessly lolling around in the limitless wilderness of the Internet.

How to find your content writing voice

Finding your content writing voice

It isn’t just about website content, no matter what you are writing, you need to have a unique “voice”. What might that be? It is sort of a signature tune. When you hear a signature tune you can immediately recognize which song or movie it belongs to. Something similar happens with writing. When you read something, you should be able to make out who is writing this. In Hindi film music (mostly Bollywood) I can immediately recognize music composed by Naushad, RD Buran and the greatest among all, Madan Mohan. Among writers, I think I can recognize Garcia and to an extent also Charles Dickens.

Of course when it comes to content writing what it basically means is – having your own voice – expressing yourself in a language that you normally use when you talk to people. It gives you a natural flow and it also helps you make a connection with your readers.

Here is what you can do to find your content writing voice:

  • Don’t try to impress, at least not always: Trying to impress people can be cute sometimes, but it may stop you from remaining focused on your central message. Always remember that it’s the message that you intend to communicate that’s important and then, the impact that you make. Don’t use superfluous words and phraseology that is not only difficult to pronounce (verbally as well as mentally) but also difficult to comprehend – this breaks the flow and the person may leave your website altogether.
  • Avoid writing with search engine optimization in your mind: I’m not saying totally ignore the guidelines provided by search engine companies, but don’t bog yourself down with how many keywords you should use, what should be the frequency and such. I cover this aspect in this blog post titled Are you still creating content for machines?
  • Address the core issues faced by your prospective customers and clients: You need to empathise with them. You need to understand why they are coming to your website or your blog? What do they seek? Remember that nobody comes to your website or blog simply for the heck of it. They may stumble into your content unintentionally but if that is the case, they will leave within a couple of seconds. So provide answers in a clear, convincing manner.
  • Talk to your readers: This is something that I have already mentioned above but it deserves to be repeated as a separate point. Use conversational writing as much as possible. It doesn’t mean you have to incorporate the F*** word every second sentence (amazingly some people can do this beautifully) but talk in a manner as if you are talking to a friend, a colleague or even your own kid (I sincerely hope you don’t use the F*** word with your kid and if you do, shame on you).
  • Don’t try to suppress your natural style: Sometimes we feel that there are certain words or certain expressions that we use a lot but this should not be expressed in writing. “You know?”, “Yeah, right”, “precisely”, may seem annoying but if you can naturally fit the day-to-day expressions they can become a part of your writing, rendering unique voice to you.

Why is it important to find your content writing voice?

There are many reasons. The most important reason is that you are able to connect better when you write in a natural manner as if you are speaking to people. A holistic reason is that every person in this world is unique and we all have our unique ways of expressing ourselves. In order to stand out, you need to be unique (this sounds hackneyed, I know) and a great way of being unique is using your own writing voice rather than copying someone else. Just imagine, millions of webpages and blog posts are being added every day; how do people recognize you if you sound like everybody else?

Image source

Are you still creating content for machines

Content for Machines

Creating content for machines shouldn’t be taken literally – it simply means that creating content to improve your search engine rankings rather than making it more effective for your human readers. People often have this misconception that if they create content that caters to the whims and fancies of search engine algorithms they will be able to get better search engine rankings for their blog posts, articles and hopefully, business websites.

I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. Search engine ranking algorithms are not paragons of accuracy. You still get search results that make no sense but enjoy higher listings nonetheless. The world can be unfair that way and you can do nothing about it. This is a reason why you still find people creating content that caters more to the machines and less to the humans. Does this sort of content help you get more business?

Depends on your targeting. If your business involves generating ad revenue then yes, sometimes this trick helps, but not always. If your business involves direct sales or promoting affiliate programs, then it doesn’t help much because your visitors don’t feel convinced, because the language is not convincing.

So what do you do? Do you create a mix of content – sometimes for the machines and sometimes for the humans? I’m neither against nor for. But being a content writer I am more in favor of writing and publishing content for your target audience – your prospective customers and clients. When it comes to your search engine rankings you cannot depend on one single factor. Even if you have exceptional content most of your target audience won’t be able to find it unless you have got yourself a way to spread it across the Internet or at least across the places where your target audience can be found. Ideally your search engine rankings depend on:

  • The quality, quantity and size of your content
  • The number of high quality incoming links
  • Your authority as an author/expert
  • Your level of engagement on social networking websites, especially on Google Plus if you want to target Google
  • The age of your website

All these aspects have one underlying common factor – your content.

You will need some time to create a vibrant space for yourself on websites like Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter, and you can create this space by sharing highly useful and interesting content from all over the web but when it comes to getting targeted traffic to your own content, you have to build it brick by brick, and these bricks are made of your individual words.

Stop worrying about creating content for machines because even machines want content that is good for humans. They are far from it but most of the mainstream search engines are moving towards that direction. Sooner or later they will start ranking content that actually deserves to be ranked. Then all the manipulations that you have incorporated in order to make the machines happy will go down the drain and your time will be wasted. So it is better to think long-term, create high-quality human-friendly content so that by the time search engines learn to rank high quality content, you already have that content. This will be a massive advantage.

The importance of rewriting your schedule everyday

scheduling

Do you simply move your scheduled items to a new time or a new day when they are not accomplished on the scheduled day? I will explain what I’m trying to get at.

I have been trying many to-do apps as well as calendar applications to organize my daily tasks. Since I’m self-employed, having a clear direction of what I need to do is very important. Also since I work alone, I don’t feel motivated every day. So when you don’t feel motivated, and you still need to work, instead of fumbling around, if you have a schedule that you have already drawn, you can simply start working on the tasks rather than thinking what to do, or whether to work or not. You cannot realize the importance of this activity unless you try it yourself.

These days I use Google calendar. I create a tasks schedule, preferably the previous day, so that when the next morning I start my work, by just looking at the calendar entries of that day, I can start my work.

What if I cannot accomplish all the tasks (if you are wondering how I mark completed tasks in Google calendar, I simply append a smiley to the task text)? Do I simply drag-and-drop them under the new day or change their day settings? No, I leave them as they are, and instead, I’ll rewrite the task under the new date.

What difference does it make?

When you simply drag-and-drop tasks from older dates to newer dates, you may do it unconsciously without putting much thought into it, and the more you do it, the more irrelevant the task may seem. Instead, when you rewrite that task, you know that it’s important and that’s why you’re taking all that trouble to rewrite it. When you’re writing the task again, and again, it begins to nag you and the desire to complete it is heightened.

I was doing this unconsciously.

Inspired by the way I use the Google calendar to maintain my tasks list, my wife also decided to create her own schedule and also a schedule for our daughter. She isn’t much excited about using Android apps or even Google calendar. She purchased a small whiteboard. She made a list of things she needed to do on a particular day and she also made our daughter create her own list.

The first day they both were quite excited and made sure that all the items in the schedule were ticked off. The second day, well they created the list but the initial enthusiasm had worn off. By the third day, the whiteboard was lying on the floor somewhere in the corner and they had forgotten about it.

It’s not that my wife doesn’t want to do all the things she has listed on the whiteboard. It’s just that there is no active connection. When you are not able to tick off the tasks in the list, don’t simply assume that oh well, the tasks can be automatically transferred to the next day. This way you create a disconnect. There is no sense of attachment. There needs to be a constant communication between you and the task schedule you have created. It’s understandable that sometimes you cannot complete all the tasks. Don’t simply move them to the next day by leaving them as they are (when you’re using the whiteboard, for instance) or dragging and dropping them under the new date (when you’re using something like the Google calendar). If you are using a whiteboard, wipe it clean and ride the list again. If you’re using a digital tool, leave the items in the state of incomplete and rewrite them again for the next day. You will experience a marked improvement.