Did you know that 82% of marketers actively use content marketing?
That’s because brands see the value of consistently publishing quality content for their audiences to consume. Investing time and money into content and doing it well is essential because your audience often seeks content that educates or informs. You can also use content to build thought leadership. And most importantly, it can convert someone into a paying customer. So, it only makes sense to apply your resources toward content marketing.
To provide their audience with the right content, at the right time, and via the right channels, many brands turn to content as a service to truly transform their overall content strategy.
But what exactly is content as a service? If you’re not sure what that means or the benefits this practice offers, you’re in the right place. This article will help you get started.
What is Content as a Service?
Content as a service, often abbreviated to CaaS, is a way for you to provide content on-demand to your audience. It works by storing the content you’ve produced as raw data in a content repository. When uploaded, it’ll have tags and metadata to categorize it.
Then, when the content is needed, it’s requested and displayed to your reader. And that content will be presented in a way that’s optimized for the reader’s device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone, or smartwatch. It can even factor in systems such as websites and apps.
Something like this isn’t possible with a single CMS (content management system). If you wanted to publish the same piece of content on another channel, you need to duplicate it. With content as a service, however, it’s basically like a headless CMS. It offers the ability to deliver content to multiple channels by using an application programming interface (API).
These days, offering an omnichannel experience (where you’re focused on serving and selling to customers across multiple channels) is essential. You should aim to reach your target audience where they’re at. And that’s why content as a service has become a popular move for many, as it allows effective management and repurposing of content across various channels.
The Benefits of Content as a Service
It all sounds appealing, right? Before you turn your content strategy upside down, you’re probably wondering how content as a service might benefit you. Since you know the time and money it requires, you need to know that making this move will be a worthwhile investment.
Here are just a few of the benefits that’ll make CaaS more enticing:
- It Offers More Flexibility:Wouldn’t it be nice to create a piece of content once and publish it everywhere without manually republishing it across multiple platforms? That’s what content as a service does for you. This will save you time since it won’t require additional effort while your content gains more traction across various channels.
- You’ll Gain Better Insight into Content Performance:When it comes to your content strategy, you need to know what works and what doesn’t to generate the desired results. Implementing this practice will help you better understand the content your audience is most interested in so you can create more of what they’re searching for.
- Content Can be Personalized to Your Audience: With more insights into your audience, you can tailor your content based on their demographics and interests. Then you deliver exactly what they’re searching for at the right moment. Personalized content is a great way to increase loyalty and drive conversions, so it pays off in the long run.
At the end of the day, you need to consider how this would impact your target audience. Is implementing content as a service going to improve their lives? Will it help provide a more user-friendly experience that’ll keep them coming back for more?
How to Implement Content as a Service for Your Brand
If you’re ready to switch to a more content-centric approach and want to implement content as a service, we need to discuss how to get started. Simply follow this advice to get the ball rolling.
1. Understand the Content Needs of Your Audience
Before you begin writing content, research your target audience if you haven’t already. Having a clear understanding of what your audience is searching for when opening Google will allow you to brainstorm relevant content ideas. It’s crucial that you create the content they’re looking for, or your content will go largely unnoticed. To get in front of your target audience, you must give them what they need.
This means you want to be strategic about your focus keywords and how those keywords are used within your content. It’ll increase the odds of ranking high in Google’s search results, ultimately attracting more people to your brand. Because if no one is accessing your content, the advice that follows will be useless.
Once you’ve generated some relevant ideas, you can begin writing. You can do this in-house if you have a skilled content creator on your team. Or you might want to consider outsourcing your content creation to a team of expert writers (more on that in a moment).
2. Determine How the Content Will be Made Available
First, you’ll need a content management user interface to host all your content in one place. There’s no need to worry about formatting or anything like that. Instead, you just want to focus on uploading your best content and tagging it with the appropriate metadata so it can be properly categorized. This will make it easier to access the content later.
But as mentioned before, you won’t be solely relying on a traditional CMS (such as WordPress) when pursuing content as a service. Instead, you’ll be utilizing an application programming interface, also known as an API. This is commonly done with a REST API, but there are other options.
It’s the API that will take your content and present it in whatever way is requested by your reader. That could be your desktop website, mobile website, or app. An API could even take portions of your content and use it to answer questions via a chatbot. The ideas are endless!
3. Outsource it to a Content Agency
Another option is to let the experts handle it for you. Realistically, not everyone has a knack for writing. If you struggle to create great content and don’t have someone on your team to assist with this, outsource your content creation to an agency instead of trying to figure it out yourself.
There are many benefits to investing in custom content. Not only will it save you time, but when you work with professional writers, you can feel confident that the job will be done well.
That’s exactly what we pride ourselves on at Express Writers. Content is our passion! And we love delivering high-quality content to our clients. With our Managed Services, we offer hands-off content creation at volume. Perfect if you want to free up your schedule to focus on other tasks to drive your business forward.
4. Review Data to Monitor Performance
Finally, it’s important to occasionally do a deep-dive into your analytics to see how your content performs. Google Analytics is a great indicator of which pieces of content are most popular and how long people are staying on your website. Not only does this give you an indicator of which topics to cover more often in the future, but it offers insights into your website’s usability. If people are staying on your site for a while, that’s a good sign you offer a positive user experience.
But sometimes the best thing you can do is go straight to the source. Pay attention to any mentions of your brand on social media to see if people say anything about accessing your content and how the experience was for them. If you don’t see any posts of that sort, don’t be afraid to ask. Survey your readers to ensure the content experience is going smoothly for them, and ask if there’s anything they would change.
Let the Experts Handle Your Content Creation
On the hunt for a team of writers you can trust? Look no further than Express Writers. Our expert writers can perfectly craft incredible content for a variety of mediums, including your blog. Plus, we’ll take extra steps to effectively optimize your content so you can rank at the top of Google.
Book a call with our client success team and learn more about how Express Writers can help you.
Are you a marketer, entrepreneur, or agency with content creation and publishing high up on your to-do list? You aren’t alone! Seeing your content rank in the top of Google is every content creator’s dream.
However, you can’t just write any old blog post and expect results. That’s because over five million blog posts are published every day, meaning it’s easy to get overlooked in a sea of content.
And considering the top three Google search results get 75.1% of all clicks, everyone is clamoring to get their content in those coveted spots. After all, ranking high on Google means more visibility, leading to more traffic. Ultimately, that traffic can turn into conversions.
So, how do you create content that lands on the first page of the SERPs?
Well, it’s all about implementing SEO content writing. This practice goes beyond just writing a blog post and encourages you to optimize your content effectively so Google will give it priority.
Google’s Top Factors for Ranking Content
Before we dive into the actionable tips on how to get started with SEO writing, we need to first understand what Google is looking for when ranking content. This way, you’ll know what to focus on before you begin creating. And Google has made it clear there are a few key factors they want every piece of content to have, so take this advice seriously.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Quality Matters Most: A poorly written blog post that lacks valuable information won’t look great to Google, and your readers might not enjoy it either. Luckily, Google has shared some insights into what quality content looks like. Essentially, it should serve a purpose and needs to be well-written, well-formatted, and well-researched.
- Content Should be Relevant and Useful: You need to have an idea of what your target audience is searching for so you can create the content they desire. You can then provide useful information that offers valuable takeaways.
- Your Website Needs to be Up to Par: Besides the content itself, Google also considers your website and its functionality. Sites need to be mobile-friendly, should have fast loading times, and need to be accessible to all visitors.
There’s even more to learn about what factors Google is looking for when ranking content. We cover this in-depth in our ebook, How to Rank in the Top of Google. Download your free copy to check it out!
The 7-Step SEO Content Writing Checklist
Now, let’s talk about bringing your content to life. To write impeccable content that your readers and Google will love, you can follow the seven steps in this checklist.
1. Study Other SEO Content Writing Samples
The great thing about the internet is that there’s tons of content to consume, and you can learn so much from other creators about what makes their content unique and valuable. Search a keyword related to your niche and take a look at the first three blog posts that appear in the SERPs.
Is there anything about those three blogs that stands out as particularly impressive to you? Maybe they had a catchy headline or an introduction with a great hook? Whatever it is, note what you appreciate about their content so you can produce the same kind of results with your blog posts.
Now, here’s the thing – you don’t want to copy these other creators. It’s much more important to focus on creating original work that stands out from the crowd. However, you can still draw inspiration from them by replicating the strategies that work.
2. Conduct Industry-Specific Keyword Research
A huge element of effective SEO content writing is choosing the right keywords for your blog posts. If you’re targeting the wrong keywords, it’s unlikely your target audience will find the posts you’ve worked so hard to create. This is where keyword research comes into play.
Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of your reader. What keywords are they typing into Google about your niche? Knowing what they’re looking for will give you a starting point for conducting research. If you’re struggling with this step, try checking out BuzzSumo to see which topics in your industry are most popular. It’s great for getting those creative juices flowing.
From there, you can use tools like the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool. You want to have a way to measure keyword difficulty, search volume, and how often a keyword has been Googled recently. Keywords that have a high search volume, are trending, and have low difficulty are great to target with your content.
Then, you can plan your content accordingly by writing about the topics that interest your target audience. Remember to include your chosen keyword in the post when you’re writing. This is when it’s helpful to know how to use keywords in your content because you’ll want to use them strategically.
Here’s some helpful advice:
- Use Keywords Naturally: Excessively incorporating keywords into your content is a turn-off for readers and Google. After all, Google’s algorithm knows when you’re keyword stuffing. That’s why you need to use them in a way that feels natural, so stick to 1-3x per 500 words.
- Consider Keyword Placement: Besides frequency, there are some key spots to place your keywords within your content. Always add them to your blog’s title, at least one subheading, and multiple times throughout the body of the post, depending on your word count.
3. Analyze Your Competition
You hear it all the time in business – know your target audience. And yes, it’s crucial to know who your audience is so you can expertly craft every piece of content with them in mind. Understanding the needs of your audience will help you generate endless topic ideas for your blog posts. Making it easier to create the content they’re searching for. However, it’s not enough to just know about your audience. You also need to know a thing or two about your competitors.
By monitoring what your competitors are doing online, you can see which topics they cover with their blog content. You can also learn which posts are getting the most traffic by the amount of engagement the post attracts on their website via blog comments and by what people are saying on social media. Consider putting your spin on the topics that appear to be a hit.
4. Consider Outsourcing with SEO Content Writing Services
But what if all of this just feels overwhelming? Well, you’re not alone. The reality is that SEO writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit. If you find yourself stressing about keyword research and struggling to write great content, there’s no harm in outsourcing and letting the experts tackle take over.
You can pay agencies (like Express Writers) to do your keyword research and outline a blog plan according to the topics that will generate the most ROI. Then, they can handle the copywriting, crafting a high-quality blog from start to finish. Just place an order and wait for a high-quality final product!
Professional writing services are well worth the investment if you’re ready to get serious about your business growth. Implementing SEO content writing and sticking to a consistent publishing schedule allowed us to see some pretty impressive results.
5. Pay Attention to Formatting While Writing
Quality is non-negotiable when it comes to SEO content writing, but there’s another thing you can’t overlook – formatting. A great blog post might get ignored if the formatting makes it difficult for a reader to consume. For instance, if a reader lands on your blog and is faced with a gigantic block of text, they aren’t likely to stick around.
The average time on a page is 54 seconds, so you can’t take a chance of sending people running from your site. The easier your post is to consume, the longer your reader will stick around, which is exactly what you want. So, it’s helpful to think about how your post will be formatted while creating the outline.
Here are some formatting tips you can use:
- Add Clear Subheadings: As mentioned above, readers don’t want to see one large block of text upon visiting your website. It just looks overwhelming. Instead, you need to break up the body of your blog post by adding subheadings that explain what each section of the post is about.
- Write Short, Punchy Paragraphs: Going off that tip about avoiding large blocks of text, you’ll also want to keep paragraphs on the shorter side. Short paragraphs make your sentences punchier, which ultimately makes your content more impactful and easier to read.
6. Take Time to Edit and Polish Your Work Before Publishing
Once your content is written, the next step is to take a few extra moments to review your work. While you may be eager to hit that publish button, it’s important to read through the post to spot any errors or other opportunities for improvement. This way, you can feel confident knowing that everything you publish is high-quality and will leave your reader with a great impression of your business.
Ask questions such as:
- Have I clearly stated the purpose of my blog post?
- Is the introduction captivating?
- Does the post contain any jargon?
- Is it free of errors?
- Does the content flow?
For more tips, PR Daily offers an 18-point checklist for proofreaders that’s worth checking out. Consult it whenever you edit to ensure your blog posts are always polished to perfection.
It often helps to read your content aloud to see how comfortable you are with the content. If it feels cumbersome to recite, you may want to touch up the copy a bit. You can also turn to tools like Grammarly to spot and correct any errors. Also, don’t be afraid to have a colleague read through your post because a fresh set of eyes can pick up on things you’ve missed.
7. Dive into Your Analytics to Track Results
The final step of SEO content writing is to make sure you’re getting your desired results. Do you see an increase in traffic? Where are your posts ranking in Google? You need to know how your content is performing so you can shape your content moving forward.
If your content is doing well, you’ll know to keep up the great work. But if you’re not seeing the traffic and rankings you hoped for, it’s time to make a change. This is your opportunity to tweak your strategy so your future posts will perform better. For example, if you’ve been using long-tail keywords and it’s not generating the best results, try shorter keywords. You can even try making formatting changes.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools to assist you with this process. Google Analytics is a tried and true option, as it provides tons of great information about where your traffic is coming from and which site pages are your most popular. BuzzSumo is useful for viewing social media shares. And, of course, Semrush is an all-around powerhouse option for all your SEO writing needs.
Want to Rank in the Top of Google?
If you’re longing to get your content noticed by Google and your target audience, you need to know the top ranking factors Google considers. In our free ebook, we’re sharing six content factors you need to know before you begin writing. Plus, we’re providing some real-world examples to show just how effective high-quality, valuable content can be.
Download your free copy.
This post was updated on July 12, 2022.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of technical writers is projected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030. This is faster than the average for all other occupations. Also, approximately 5,500 job openings are expected for technical writers each year.
If that data is any indication, technical writing is a lucrative career path if you have a passion for writing because the demand will only increase. So, if you’re interested in becoming a technical writer, that’s no better time than the present.
But what exactly is technical writing? How can you get started and become a writer who lands jobs with ease? This guide has all the information you need to pursue this career path.
What is Technical Writing?
Technical writing requires the writer to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way. This spans a variety of industries, including computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, robotics, and the medical and financial fields. However, it’s worth noting that nearly every industry uses technical writing in some shape or form.
It can cover a variety of mediums depending on what’s most appropriate for the topic at hand. For instance, technical writing can be reports, user manuals, instructions, documentation, and procedures, among other content types. As a result, writers need unique skillsets to have the ability and the confidence to craft accessible information.
Why Technical Writers Are in Demand
As mentioned above, jobs in the technical writing field are rising steadily, making it a worthwhile career path to pursue. But why is there such a need for writers in this field? One reason is that many jobs are becoming automated. It’s causing many people to worry about whether their job will become obsolete next.
However, robots haven’t perfected content creation. We still need humans to craft and review content to ensure it’s done properly. And, in the technical writing field, there’s no room for error, making human writers and editors essential.
Besides that, here are a few more reasons why technical writers are in demand:
- Their Skillset is Unique: Not every writer has a knack for technical writing. When a company is looking to hire someone to handle their technical writing needs, they want someone who has great writing skills, knowledge of these complex fields, and the ability to research and understand the topics at hand. Only a handful of writers fit those criteria.
- New Technology is Always Being Developed: The technology world is forever moving at a rapid pace. Every year, engineers develop new technologies and software, which means there’s a consistent need for technical writers to create content that corresponds to these new developments. That can include reports, instruction manuals, and more.
If you have a knack for explaining things concisely technical writing could be a good fit for your next career move. And, with practice and experience in the field, you’ll have a truly in-demand skill.
6 Technical Writing Tips to Improve Your Content
Technical writing is a great career path for those who love to write and are good at explaining complex ideas in simple language. However, it can still be a challenging field. Luckily, you can do a few things to improve your technical writing skills. Not only will these tips make your job more enjoyable, but they should help you land more opportunities as well.
1. Be Willing to Expand Your Knowledge
It’s safe to say the worst thing anyone can do these days is to assume they know everything there is to know about a particular field. The reality is, there’s always more to learn and room for improvement.
For that reason, you should be willing to expand your knowledge within your field by staying updated with the latest news and consuming other content in your industry. Doing this helps you better understand the topics you’ll write about and will boost your confidence as a writer.
Now, the great thing about technical writing is that you don’t need to have hands-on experience writing about your preferred field. For example, you don’t need to be a surgeon to write about medical-related topics. You can take the time to research and learn everything there is to know so you can effortlessly bring a high-quality piece of content to life.
2. Practice Your Craft
It’s not enough to just sit back and consume content from your industry. You need to put your knowledge and skills to use. That’s the only way you’ll become better at technical writing.
A great piece of advice you can implement is to read other technical documents, then try to figure out what makes them great or what improvements can be made to enhance the content. Being able to identify the qualities of a great piece of content will help to strengthen your writing.
From there, you can practice writing technical content of your own. You can even have a friend or a colleague review your work to offer their feedback. Because they likely won’t have experience or knowledge in the field you’re writing about, they can let you know if the content is easy to understand or if it’s still too complex for the average reader.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
Every great writer knows that you need to understand who your audience is before you can begin creating. This advice applies to everyone, not just those in the technical writing field. Knowing your audience helps you choose topics that they’ll find appealing. Plus, it ensures you write in a way that speaks directly to them and their level of knowledge on the topic.
For example, you’ll want to be mindful of the words you use. Instead of using specialized terms or complex jargon that will require your reader to break out the dictionary, use simple language they’ll understand without question. If you can’t explain something without the use of specialized terms, consider broadening your topic to explain it at a more general level.
An easy way to better understand your audience would be to learn directly from them. Where applicable, read any comments that have been left on a piece of technical writing. You can also read comments on different industry blogs. This will allow you to see what people are saying firsthand, so you’ll know whether they understand the content and if they enjoyed it.
4. Find Simple Ways to Explain Complex Topics
As you begin writing, focus on broad, basic facts so you can set up a strong foundation for your reader. They need to have a clear understanding of the entry-level details before you can go in-depth. If it helps, pretend you’re talking to a six-year-old. This requires you to cater to their smaller vocabulary, ensuring you present information in a way that makes sense to them.
You’ll also want to avoid complex jargon that the average reader wouldn’t understand. It’s also helpful to use shorter sentences and paragraphs, as it’ll be easier for your reader to consume the content and understand it. Bullet points and numbered lists can assist with that as well.
5. Include Graphics to Convey Information
Another way to easily explain complex topics is to incorporate graphics into your written content. Instead of using graphics merely for decoration, use them to convey information. Sometimes people are visual learners and need to see something to comprehend it. So, you should take the time to design quality graphics that complement your text or hire a designer to assist you.
6. Build a Strong Portfolio
When searching for writing jobs, an agency or publication will always ask to see some writing samples before hiring you. They want to know that you’re a skilled writer and can be trusted to deliver impressive copy that flows beautifully and has minimal errors. This is especially important in the technical writing field. However, it’s can be challenging to secure a job without experience.
So, what’s an aspiring technical writer to do? Well, you need to create your own experience. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll be hired without samples to back up your work, get creative and write up a mock piece of content.
Come up with a topic, a format, and determine who the target audience is. From there, you can begin writing. Take extra care to showcase your skills. Write a few different pieces of content and use them to create a strong portfolio that any employer would find intriguing.
Hire Our Expert Technical Writers
Did you know we have skilled technical writers on our team capable of crafting incredible content for your industry? These writers train in a variety of fields, including software and hardware development, finance, legal, and more.
Head over to our Content Shop to check out our services.
This is a guest post from our content manager, Korilynn.
Facts: An efficient workspace is more than just moving some papers and keeping your desk tidy.
In my role as a Content Manager for Express Writers, I juggle multiple tasks, manage a busy team of writers and editors, and entertain a three-year-old who is at home with me every day too.
There’s no way I could pull off my daily to-do list without implementing a few home office optimization techniques.
I am an organizational freak of sorts. Papers have a place, my desk cannot have a speck of dust, or it will annoy me until I whip out the Pledge and remove it.
I also have a checklist for just about anything and everything.
By staying so organized, I’m more efficient and productive at work, and I still get to enjoy the number one benefit of working from home: flexibility.
When you’re not glued to your computer working tirelessly to meet deadlines that are around the corner, life is so much easier. You don’t have to be OCD organized either. In my blog, I’m sharing my best tips with you so you can learn how to implement some home office optimization to maximize your productivity — and have more successful, much-needed “you” time.
10 Home Office Optimization Tricks to Implement for Maximum Efficiency
Home office optimization starts with your desk.
Your home desk setup is critical because this is your productivity hub. Once you sit down here, you are in “work” mode. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you can optimize using my tips for the best productivity setup regardless of where you are in the home.
I bought a large executive home office desk to fit my three monitors, but also have room for writing notes, paperwork off to the side, and everything else I need. I even have hidden sliders off to the side that I can pull out for those days my desk space isn’t enough (or if I need to place my Pumpkin Spice Latte somewhere safe).
Aside from buying a desk, you need to know how to design an office that focuses on how you work best. What works for me might not work for another, but you can use my home office ideas as a jumping-off point for your workspace. To get started, consider these essentials for your perfect home office, and see what works for your style and budget.
Tip #1: Get a Great Computer (My PC, aka The Blue Beast)
My PC was custom-built, because most ready-to-buy PCs do not meet my needs, plus I wanted the ability to run three monitors without my computer ever having an issue. It is quite a monster – almost as tall as my desk. However, it runs quietly, and all three of my monitors works flawlessly on it.
It has a bright blue light effect, which glows and at night looks like a big blue orb in my office; hence the name. I don’t dare lift it after we installed it either – takes two people to lift and move it.
I currently run:
- Intel Core i7 Extreme
- 32GB of RAM
- Windows 10 64-Bit
- Corsair Hydro Series Liquid Cooling
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti
There’s plenty more in there making the Blue Beast run, but those are the primary components.
Do you have to go as crazy with your system? No, but I recommend more than one monitor. With three, I can lay out my work without having to manage multiple windows or tabs in Chrome, and I have seen a drastic improvement going from a single monitor to three.
Before I had three monitors, I had two. I initially swapped to two monitors after reading a study that adding a second monitory could increase productivity by 20 to 30 percent. While skeptical at first, once I added the second monitor, I was hooked – and I dare say my productivity spiked higher than 30 percent.
Tip #2: Try a Mechanical Keyboard: The Only Real Way to Type
When it comes to keyboards, I love mechanical ones. Not only are they easy to work on, but the sound is quite soothing. They have so many cute options today – including ones that mimic typewriters. I love to buy those, as I am obsessed with typewriters and their sound.
Even better, mechanical keyboards last way longer than rubber keyboards. If a key stops working, buy a new switch, replace, and off you go. Most keyboards come with a few extra switches too.
I recently swapped to the Cherry MX Silent from Corsair because my old mechanicals was too loud for early morning work sessions – didn’t want to wake everyone in the house as I crazily typed away.
With mechanicals, you almost feel as though you are working harder when your keyboard is clicking away like crazy. Sure, it annoys everyone around, but it gets you in the zone — so don’t mind anyone who tells you otherwise. Just show them your checklist when everything is marked “done.” ✅
Tip #3: Consider a Treadmill Desk for a Change of Pace (Literally)
It is hard to sit at your desk all day, and it isn’t healthy either. Harvard Medical School mentions sitting for too many hours can increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and even deep-vein thrombosis.
I use a treadmill desk about once every other day. Don’t buy an actual treadmill desk. What I did was purchase a regular treadmill (so I can enjoy all the great features) and created a makeshift board across it that holds my laptop when I want to get in some steps while typing. Not only does it keep me healthy but makes sure I annihilate anyone I’m competing in Fitbit challenges for that week too.
The research is out on whether treadmill desks increase productivity, but it is still a functional home office optimization tip to consider. Just be prepared – it takes time to get used to walking and typing at the same time.
Tip #4: Clean Your Workspace – Clutter Is the Enemy
You don’t have to be a clean freak to notice that clutter on your desk creates a stressful working environment. One home office optimization tip you can’t skip is decluttering your workspace. Try to reduce the clutter by putting pens in a single pen holder, keeping your notes and paperwork in neat piles, and removing anything unnecessary to your work from your desk. Organize your drawers, so everything you need is within reach, but not taking up real estate on your desk surface.
Tip #5: Have Ready-to-Go Saved Work Tabs on Chrome
As a Content Manager, on an average day, I need three Chrome windows open and a total of 22 tabs. Finding and opening each of those tabs manually each day is a waste of time, and this is by far one of the easiest ways to optimize your home office.
I created pre-set tab categories by monitor, in the order I want them to open on my Chrome window, and all I need to do is open with one click in the browser each morning – taking a task that usually was 5 minutes of searching down to under 60 seconds.
Tip #6: Create a To-Do List and Track Projects in Asana (or Similar)
I’m a big to-do list junkie, and it is a home office optimization task you cannot skip if you want to get things done. I use a standard paper planner for regular to-do’s around the house in one color, and another for work-related tasks.
For bigger jobs and projects, I use Asana to organize it all. I also put all of my daily tasks in Asana – there’s so many, I’d forget without a daily checklist.
Asana has a great feature that allows a task to auto-repeat every set number of days/hours after you hit the checkmark.
So, for daily tasks, I have it repeat every 24 hours. When I hit the checkmark, it automatically reappears on tomorrow’s to-do list.
Tip #7: Use Focus Timers to Encourage Breaks and Maximize Productivity
Sitting at your desk for hours on end, focusing on a single project, makes you think you’re productive, but in reality, you’re wasting more time than necessary, which brings me to the next must on your home office optimization to-do list.
Your brain isn’t designed to focus for hours. Instead, you need small breaks every 15-20 minutes to refresh. After three 15 to 20-minute sessions, you should take one longer break to recharge.
The Pomodoro Technique, which is what this practice is named as, was created in the 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique works differently from how I like to break up my work but is a great place to start if you’ve never done a focus timer. In this technique, you do a 25-minute session, then break for 5 minutes. After you do four 25-minute sessions, you take a 15 to 20-minute break.
You can use an ordinary kitchen timer, but I have installed an app on my PC known as Focus10. You can customize how many work sessions you do, the time limit for each, and even the break amounts.
If you are a PC user, you can find Focus10 in the Microsoft Store under apps or search “Focus10” and the app will appear.
Microsoft Store has a few other timer choices, but after trying a few, Focus10 is my favorite. It is incredibly user-friendly, free, and simplified. Others were cumbersome and way too busy. I just wanted a timer that I can program and move on.
Tip #8: Utilize Gmail’s Built-In Email Organization Tools
Gmail is not user-friendly. They have so many features, but they make it impossible to find them at times. Only by accident did I stumble across labels and color-coding inside my Gmail. Who knows how long this little gem was there!
Mess around with your labels and filters, so that you have emails automatically deposit into specific categories. You can even have them skip the inbox and go into the category folder.
You can organize your desk, and you can follow every home office optimization idea I give you, but one you also should include is your inbox. When you’re done for the day, that bad boy should be empty. Every email pushed into its place, and if you want to go crazy, add color-coding.
Main categories have one color, subcategories another. That way when it shows in my inbox, thanks to the nifty labeling rules I’ve set, it automatically has a color, and I know what is important and what can wait until after coffee hour.
Tip #9: Start the Day with a Brain Dump
I cannot focus on work if I have thoughts running through my head. I often tell people to picture a hamster on his wheel running around like mad because that is my brain daily.
To tame the hamster and at least get him to take a nap while I work, I do a morning brain dump. While this might not specifically organize your office, having a mind ready to work is critical. With all the home office optimization in the world, when your brain is somewhere else, you’re not productive.
I sit down before I log in for the day, take out my journal and write. What do I write? Literally everything.
I will run on about how the kids have soccer that day, or how I really want to repaint my kitchen. Anything that is running through my brain, making that hamster wheel turn, gets written down, off my chest, and then my mind feels free and ready to tackle the day.
Tip #10: Consider Your Existing Home Office Design Layout – and How to Improve It
Your home office should be comfortable and operational for flawless home office optimization.
A good-sized desk is a great start, and if you have a dedicated space in your home for an office, even better. When I first started working from home, my office was in my living room. So, I’ve been there too.
Regardless of where, or how much space you have, you can make your workspace more efficient and comfortable by moving things around and creating “stations” for your work.
My current office, for example, seconds as my craft room. However, all crafts and work are separate. One side of my office is my dedicated craft area, with its own desk and all craft supplies stored neatly on shelves.
The other side of my office is the “work” area. Here you have my desk, my chair, printer station, and filing cabinets. When I’m on this side of my office, I’m in work mode. When I’m on the craft side, I’m in relaxation mode.
Organize your home office to what works for you. If you have a dedicated office without a craft room, then you can space things out more.
Just make sure you get plenty of natural light. The more exposure you have to natural sunlight, the better you will feel (health-wise), but also, the more productive you will be each day, according to Cornell University.
Now You Have the Home Office Optimization Tips You Need to Improve Your Game
Whether you are a freelancer working from home, a virtual assistant, or a content manager thriving on PSLs, the more optimization you do for your home office environment, the more productive you’ll be each day.
Getting your job done is rewarding, but getting it done quickly and efficiently even more so. After all, would you rather have the afternoon to get outside for fresh air, or stay stuck at your desk because you fell behind?
Now that I’ve armed you with what works for me, the next step is for you to go out and find what works best for you.