Can you believe this year is quickly coming to a close?

It seems like 2020 has flown by, but also gone by very slowly at the same time.

No matter what, it’s safe to say it’s been a whirlwind year for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and it required each one of us to change up our daily routines. We went from working in the office to working at home, we started going out less, and we’re all wearing masks.

So, we thought it was only fitting to do a #ContentWritingChat wrapping up 2020 so we could all reflect on just how much our lives (and businesses) have changed over these past few months.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Wrapping Up 2020

Instead of having a guest host, we opted for a community chat this month. We had some great conversations and received some insightful tips from everyone who participated. Let’s dive into the recap to see what some of them had to say.

Q1: Overall, how has 2020 been for you? Any big lessons you’ve learned?

As we’re wrapping up 2020, we definitely have some important takeaways that we’ll keep in mind as we move into the future. Here are some of the lessons our community members learned:

Michelle shared some great lessons that she’s taking away from 2020. Personally, it’s so important to stop taking things for granted, appreciate your loved ones, and live in the moment. And her business advice of putting your customers first is on point!

For Rachel, this year was all about evaluating her future. Looking at the big picture can really help you determine what you want life to look like moving forward.

Zala is spot on when she says that it’s more important than ever to focus on yourself, your health, and your overall wellbeing.

In terms of business, content is key! And Shawn knows that you can’t have too much quality content to share with your audience. It’s the perfect way to grow your brand and establish your authority in your field.

Also, building a personal connection with the people in your audience is key to surviving in business. It shows them that you really care about their needs.

And as Lexie said, many brands really saw the importance of an online presence this year. Since many businesses had to close down their physical locations, going digital was crucial.

How did the pandemic impact your business? Did you need to shift how you’ve been working?

Many companies had to make changes to how they operated. Some had to start working from home and relying on Zoom calls to stay in touch with other team members. And others had to completely pivot their businesses.

When it came to adapting to this year’s changes, having a supportive person in your corner was a game-changer. Rachel found herself essentially becoming a cheerleader to keep her students motivated.

Michelle actually saw a surge in business during the spring, as more brands started to realize the importance of being present online and social media. That’s a huge plus!

Lexie and the rest of the Netvantage team had to say goodbye to their offices in favor of working from home full-time. She also noticed that many clients had to pause their usual work. A lot of businesses had to scale back on their expenses to keep afloat, so it’s no surprise that many service-based companies lost clients.

Tweaking the content calendar to address timely topics (such as the pandemic) was definitely an important step that many brands took this year.

For Jessica, she found a bright side to 2020 because it turned out to be a very creative time for her. That’s definitely a win!

Q3: In January 2020, Google’s daily searches were 3.5 billion. Today, they are 6+ billion! How have you adapted to this change?

There’s no denying we all spent a lot more time online conducting Google searches and shopping this year!

As Michelle said, if you were already blogging regularly, you certainly had the advantage this year as search traffic increased.

And of course, that increase in searches only reminds us just how important it is to optimize our content. It’s worth putting in the extra effort so your content can rank highly in Google search results. After all, you want to be seen!

If you already had optimized, evergreen content on your blog, then you were in a fantastic position. Hopefully you saw some more traffic as a result!

Carla even noticed some of her blog content was ranking on the first page of Google. As a content creator, is there any better feeling than this?

Q4: How important was it for you to write timely content this year, as opposed to just evergreen?

Planning your content ahead of time is key for consistency. However, it’s smart to adjust your plan to discuss timely topics (such as the pandemic). Here’s what some of our #ContentWritingChat community had to say about evergreen and timely content this year:

Like Danielle said, sharing timely content was a way of showing your audience that you care. You were taking the time to answer their questions and addressing what was going on in the world.

Carla is absolutely right. People look to content creators for up-to-the-minute information. Don’t you want to be a source that your audience can count on?

Many people were looking for content that could be applied directly to what they were experiencing during the pandemic.

As Zala said, you always want to consider what your audience is searching for. Then, you can create the content they need and add value.

Just remember that high-quality, optimized content wins at the end of the day!

Q5: With many more people working from home, what tips can you offer on staying productive?

Working from home isn’t exactly as glamorous as some people may think! And there are many who realized that this year as they transitioned from working in the office to working remotely. Here are some tips for staying productive while at home:

Zala’s advice of finding your own workflow is key, as we all work differently. It’s smart to do what works best for you. And as she pointed out, clear communication was essential since many people were no longer chatting face-to-face and instead meeting over Zoom or discussing work via email.

These are all great tips from Michelle! It really helps to inform other members of your household when you absolutely cannot be disturbed.

Rachel suggests time-blocking to boost your productivity.

And don’t forget to take breaks once in a while!

During those breaks, make sure you get up and stretch. Being stuck in a chair, staring at a screen all day isn’t good for you.

Boost your energy and your mood with a morning routine. It could include things like meditation and exercise.

Don’t forget to actually set office hours for yourself so you know when you’ll start working and when you’ll stop.

If you can, implement Jessica’s advice. While not everyone can set their own hours, if you’re able to, you can work during your most productive times.

And don’t get sucked into Netflix at night! Make sure you’re still getting a good night’s rest because it’s important to recharge for the next day.

Q6: Will you be introducing new content formats into your strategy after this year?

Part of wrapping up 2020 is looking ahead to 2021. It’s the time of year where people still considering their content strategy for the new year. Will anyone be incorporating new content formats into their brands?

Julia definitely wants to feature more custom-made visuals and graphics from our team in 2021.

Danielle would like to create more interactive, visual content.

Vivek plans to double-down on live-streaming and podcasting, two things that were certainly popular in 2020.

Rachel won’t be adding new content formats herself, but she hopes some of her clients will.

After all, you never know how your audience might respond! They just might love to see something new from you, so it’s worth experimenting.

Q7: Which brands have stood out to you as successfully adapting to this year’s changes?

There are a few brands we can all learn from when it comes to how they handled this year’s events. These are a few you’ll want to draw inspiration from:

Being able to have things delivered from stores like Target via Shipt was a huge help this year with many people wanting to stay home and avoid the stores.

Julia really appreciated some of the local businesses in her area.

SEMrush and Grammarly were just a couple brands that did a great job adjusting this year.

Q8: What is your biggest takeaway from 2020 that you’ll bring into the next year?

And finally, we ended the chat by asking everyone to share their biggest takeaway from this past year. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

As Julia said, everything can change in a second. Are you prepared to handle that?

Michelle knows that it’s so important to show your audience that you genuinely care about them.

Kushlani said the key to success is flexibility. You need to be willing to adapt, whether that’s changing up your content strategy or completely pivoting in your business if needed.

And finally, Zala’s advice here is perfect. Don’t give up.

We’d love to have you join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

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