Anyone who’s involved in content creation, social media, Pay Per Click advertising, SEO marketing or just about any digital marketer desk-based job must try to ensure high levels of productivity without jeopardising on quality – it’s an essential skill to master and luckily it’s something that you can continually work on. Here at our SEO agency in Bristol, it’s everyone’s responsibility for producing high-quality content, on time and error free.

How do we achieve this? By adopting a disciplined, structured and stress-free way of working. Or as Cal Newport likes to call it, to discover “deep work”.

“If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive—no matter how skilled or talented you are.”

I am going to share with you 11 of my favourite hacks to become a more productive marketer whatever your area of expertise.

1.Get Outta Bed 30 Minutes Earlier 

I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this a lot during your lifetime. But take it from me, those first hours of the day, when everyone’s still asleep, can be a great time for productivity.

Set your alarm just 30 minutes earlier than usual, get up, switch on the laptop and get a jump start on the day.

wake up early

2. Create a Routine and stick to it!

We’ve already established that you’re going to get up half an hour earlier, but there’s no point in doing this if you’re just going to waste that time. A routine is particularly important for freelancers, and it can vary completely on what makes you most productive.

Personally, I find that by getting dressed early, immediately puts me in a productive headspace, compared to mooching around in my pyjamas until noon.

3. Time Your Morning Coffee for Maximum Impact

Reaching for a caffeine boost is high on most people’s early morning to-do lists, but according to Steven Miller, a PhD candidate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland, having your coffee too early in the morning can actually dull down the desired effects.

This is because most people’s levels of cortisol (a hormone that relates to your levels of alertness) peaks at around 8.00 – 9.00am, so you get a ‘natural caffeine boost’ at this time anyway. Because of this, he suggests that you have your morning coffee anytime between 9.30-11.30am.

coffee time

4. Make the Most of Free Marketing Tools

There are so many marketing apps and tools available that it can be a bit daunting trying to find the ones that will suit you best. Most will offer free trials, so it’s worth trying some out to discover what works for you. There are a few that I find really useful to boost productivity on a day to day basis:

For Social Media: Buffer

Buffer is great for those working in social media marketing as it lets you schedule social media posts so you can create a whole load in one go without having to worry about actually posting them on a daily basis.

It can help you to become more focused and consistent with your social media efforts and give you more time to interact with other social media users.

For Competitor Analysis: SEMrush

A multi-use platform that lets you identify relevant keywords for your website, check rankings and look at backlinks among many other valuable time-saving tools. SEMrush is also brilliant for competitor research as you can analyse your online competition in order to help inform your own marketing strategy.

For Keyword Research: Answer the Public & Ubersuggest

If you need some inspiration, Answer the Public is a free visual keyword research tool that lets you see what users are searching on Google. You enter your keyword topic and it will identify potentially related topics for you, breaking it down into ‘why’ ‘how’ and ‘what’ searches, among others.

Combine this with the latest version of Neil Patel’s “Ubersuggest” and you can brainstorm new content ideas in minutes. 

marketing tools

5. Listen to Podcasts in your Spare Time

There’s a whole world of marketing podcasts and by integrating them into your existing day you can find inspiration and information while carrying out mundane tasks like cleaning or laundry. Power to the brain!

Marketing School

Marketing extraordinaire Neil Patel and Eric Siu host a daily podcast where they cover a range of marketing topics. Each episode is less than 10 minutes long, making it the perfect podcast to listen to in tasty bite-sized chunks. 

Copyblogger FM

This weekly podcast is hosted by Sonia Simone and features a rotating cast of industry experts. It covers everything from copywriting, content and email marketing with recent titles including “Storytelling for Modern Content Marketing” and “How to Recognize a Great Content Idea”.

Content Matters: Content Marketing

Hosted by Marketing Copywriter Barry Feldman, each of these 22-minute podcasts explores a specific content marketing tactic and what makes it effective. Perfect for the walk to work!

podcasts

6. Know when to Quit

If you’re working on a piece of creative copy, design or outreaching to influencer but you’re feeling something is just not quite right, put it down and come back to it at a later time.

There’s no point wasting energy on something that’s just not going to happen. We all have creative times of the day, so the faster you can identify when these are, the more productive you will become. 

7. Keep an Ideas Log

As productive digital marketers, our role covers both creativity and commerce, so when creativity does strike, make sure you keep a note of it. You might think of a great blog idea just as you’re drifting off to sleep, or be inspired by a conversation you have on a night out.

Whatever it is, jot it down so you can flesh it out later. Your book or notepad will soon become the thing of legend! I also like to use Apples Notes, simple and easy to find with the search function. 

book of ideas

8. Write Daily Lists

I am a list maker, and I come from a long line of list makers. As list makers, we believe that breaking down anything, whether it be your life goals or daily tasks, as bullet points instantly make them more achievable.

Try this: in the morning jot down the things you want to achieve that day, and tick them off as you get them done. They can be as little or as big as you like but ticking them off can leave you with a sense of productivity that continues throughout the day.

At Nivo Digital we organise all our lists in Trello, this tool is an absolute godsend for individual lists and collaborating lists. No more searching through lost emails with this baby.

9. Time Yourself

By scheduling your day effectively, you’ll often find you get much more done. But why not go one step further and give yourself ten minutes less than usual to complete one of your daily tasks.

Do you usually spend an hour writing up a blog post? Try doing it in 50 minutes. It won’t work for everyone, but sometimes applying a little pressure to yourself can make you work harder.

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? If not you should definitely check this article out.

10. Don’t Forget to Breathe

If you find yourself feeling stressed, take some deep breaths. Here at Nivo Digital, we have a mantra: Pressure is good, stress is bad. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the pressure/stress divide, it might be time to look at your expectations and prioritise your health.

Look into meditation classes in your area, take up exercise and work out how to relax. 

11. Multitasking is Not Always Your Friend

We’re often bombarded with messages about how multitasking is an essential skill, and sure, it can be useful in the right context. However, more often than not, I have found that multitasking at work is a recipe for disaster.

With content marketing, it’s important that you give each project your full attention, otherwise it could end up half as good.

Summary

There’s no instant solution to becoming a highly disciplined, productive digital marketer – but I believe that if you implement even just a few of these ideas you will see a change in your levels of productivity and how you manage your time.

If you have any ideas on how to improve productivity while not jeoparding on quality we would love to hear them, post it in the comments section below…

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