Business Owners: Outsourcing Your Content Writing Isn’t a Sign of Failure

two women having a content writing meeting

There comes a point for every business owner when they realize they just can’t do everything themselves. And, perhaps more importantly—they don’t want to do it all themselves. Part of the reason you got into business for yourself in the first place was because you wanted to be able to determine the kind of work you would do. And it doesn’t take long to realize as a business owner that there are tasks you’d rather not do.

Sometimes those tasks are just nuisances. Sometimes they are time-consuming, pulling you away from the tasks you need to be able to focus on. And sometimes they are simply out of your wheelhouse, and performing them is like pulling teeth.

Content writing can fall into any one of those categories for business owners, depending on their personal strengths and preferences. Whatever your reason, delegating the task of content writing can be a huge weight off your chest as a business owner. It can also be a strong business investment. A good content marketing strategy helps you get your message out to your ideal clients and convert leads into customers. It also helps you provide value to your audience, establishing trust in your brand.

5 Things that Might be Holding You Back from Hiring Out Your Content Writing

If content writing isn’t your thing, what’s holding you back from delegating the task? Here are 5 common reasons you might be dragging your feet on hiring a content writer:

  1. Feeling like a failure. I get it. As a business owner, it can feel like having to delegate a task is somehow a failure on your part. But I can assure you that’s not the case. Rather, being able to strategically delegate is necessary for growing your business and successfully scaling. If you have your hand in every aspect of your business, you’ll get to a point where you don’t have the capacity to grow anymore. You need to be freed up from some of the day-to-day tasks if you want to facilitate the growth and momentum to take you to the next level.
  2. Fear that your personality and voice will be lost. I absolutely understand this concern. You want your voice to come through when you’re communicating with your audience and your clients. You don’t want your personality to be lost in a bunch of salesy copy that doesn’t sound like you. That’s the great thing about working with a professional copywriter who specializes in customized, on-brand content. I’ll get to know you and your brand inside and out, before I ever write a single word of your copy. No cookie cutter, scripted content. I custom tailor every piece of content I create for your business to ensure it communicates your brand’s voice.
  3. Assuming you can figure it out yourself. Well, you probably can. In fact, you can probably figure out most things yourself when it comes to running your business. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. I could probably figure out how to take my own photos or design my own website. But when I analyze the time it would take me to do those things—and most importantly, to do them well—I conclude that it’s really not the best use of my time. It’s actually much more profitable for me to delegate those tasks to people who excel at them, and for me to focus on my areas of strength.
  4. Not considering your content a priority. Here’s the problem with that: customer-centered content is vital to establishing a good relationship with your client base and encouraging them to buy from you. You can spend hours and hours creating great products and offerings—but if you’re not engaging your target market, you won’t get those things into anybody’s hands. If you want to not only reach your ideal clients, but also obtain their business, you need to produce engaging, high-converting content.
  5. Concern about the cost. As with any other investment you make into your business, hiring out your content writing will cost you. However, the good news is that a strong content marketing strategy is a powerful business investment that will help you reach your target audience, convert leads into customers and ultimately grow your business.

Still on the fence about hiring out your content writing? If there’s something holding you back I didn’t list here, I’d like to hear what it is! Let me know in the comments. Or if you’re ready to talk about outsourcing some content writing, get in touch with me today!

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8 Life Hacks for Remote Workers

female remote worker making french press at home

I’ve been working remotely for five years now, and it’s been a huge blessing and advantage for my family and me. I love being able to create my own calendar, work around my kids’ schedules and still be able to do things around the house or participate in activities outside of work during the day.

That said, working remotely is no cake walk. It’s been a huge learning experience, and it’s something I still have to work at consistently if I want to optimize my productivity.

If you work remotely—or if it’s something you’re considering in the near future—there are definitely some strategies you can use to make it a successful endeavor. Here are some of my best tips for remote workers.

8 Tips for Successfully Working Remotely

  1. Schedule your time, and stick to the plan. Just because you work from home does not mean you shouldn’t have set work hours. In fact, it might actually be more important to have your work hours clearly defined when you work remotely. If you allow the lines between work and home to blur too much, you can end up working way more than you really need to, and work can begin to seep into areas where it doesn’t belong. You’ll be more productive, and your personal life will be more fulfilling, if you stick to set work hours. That also means only responding to work emails and calls during your workday. It can be tempting to answer them when you’re winding down for your day and you’re looking at your phone in bed, but resist. Responding at crazy times sets an expectation for your clients and/or colleagues that you’re available at all times, and that’s not a sustainable framework for your business.
  2. Set up your home office. If remote work is going to be your long-term gig, you need a separate space of your home to work. I get a kick out of social media posts from people saying they’re #workingfromhome, accompanied by photos of a laptop on a bed. I would be asleep in approximately seven minutes if I did that. And I would get about 10% of the things on my to-do list done. It takes a lot of concentration to be productive when you’re working remotely, so it’s vital that you have a designated space for working (and no, it shouldn’t be your bed!).
  3. Invest in your work space. Working from home doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality work materials. On the contrary, this is your opportunity to set up your ideal work space in a way that might not have been possible in a conventional office setting. Hate sitting all day? Get a standing desk. If plants make you happy, set them up around your office. Face the window if you prefer a view. This is your chance to create a space that makes you feel inspired and keeps you productive.
  4. Be on your guard against distractions. This is definitely the hardest one for me. With nobody keeping me accountable but myself, it can be tempting to play reruns of The Office in the background, or mindlessly scroll social media throughout the day. Working remotely means taking on the responsibility of policing yourself against distractions. You might want to turn off all your notifications during work hours, or block certain apps from your phone. Do what you need to do to stay on track.
  5. Don’t forget to get up and moving. By now, we all know how bad it is for us to sit in front of our desks all day. Schedule breaks throughout your day. Take a walk around the neighborhood, or go to the gym for an afternoon class. Whatever you do, don’t stay cooped up in your house for days on end!
  6. Get your creative juices flowing early. Research has shown that most of us are more alert and better able to make decisions mid- to late-morning. By afternoon, we are less alert and less able to make quick connections. We’re also the most creative and prone to ideas right after waking up—which is why writing and brainstorming first thing in the morning can be a great strategy for writers and other creatives. Save more menial, low-creativity tasks for mid-afternoon, as that’s when people usually experience a decline in focus.
  7. Do one thing at a time. I’m pretty sure multitasking is from the devil anyway—but it’s definitely a terrible idea if you’re working remotely. Figure out what your most important tasks are, and tackle them one at a time. This is so crucial. Don’t try bouncing all over the place and expect to get things done.
  8. Set realistic deadlines. Working remotely does not necessarily mean you’ll get things done faster. Err on the side of caution when setting and agreeing to deadlines by giving yourself adequate time to complete projects.

Bonus: If you can, find local friends who also work remotely! It can be so nice to break from routine and have a work date with a friend who also has a remote job. It’s also great to just get away from work and grab lunch out with another remote worker.

What are Your Tips for Working Remotely?

As more and more of us move toward remote work (the percentage of remote workers is steadily increasing), it’s crucial that we develop habits that keep us productive and also prioritize our mental and physical well-being. Do you work remotely? What are some recommendations you’d make for others who might be making the switch to remote work in the near future?

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What Makes for a Life Well-Lived?

A few weeks ago, the world lost a bright, burning light named Rachel Held Evans. Rachel was an incredible writer and speaker whose influence, particularly on people who felt ostracized by the evangelical community, simply can’t be understated. Her death—and, more specifically, the public response to her death—got me thinking about the incredible impact she made during her life. And that got me wondering, what makes for a life well-lived?

Like thousands of others, I’d never met Rachel—but the news of her death hit me like a ton of bricks. It was devastating to find out that this woman whose brave thoughts and words had moved me and challenged me so deeply was now gone. It was heartbreaking to know that her work on this side of Heaven was done. That her husband and small children will now have to go on without her.

What was it about her that made so many of us feel personal devastation at the news of her passing—that prompted thousands to take to social media and remember her with #BecauseofRHE? (If you haven’t, you should really go through some of these posts on Twitter or Instagram. You will be astounded by the impact she had on so many people.)

Love, Grace and Compassion: Fruits of a Well-Lived Life

I don’t think it was because she was immensely popular. Or because she had built some kind of empire around herself and her brand. It certainly wasn’t because she strove to please the masses. Rachel was constantly sparring with Christian leaders about hot button issues that she knew would make her unpopular among many mainstream Christians. And it wasn’t because she had tons of awards or accolades to her name.

I think what made her so dear and precious to so, so many of us was that her life really, truly bore the fruit of a person living out love, grace and compassion. There was just so much evidence of her sincere heart, for Jesus and for people—all of them. Especially the ones who’d been turned off from faith, who had been told they were unworthy and they didn’t belong.

She extended grace and fairness to everyone she came across, even those who completely disagreed with her views. No one was unworthy or unlovable or too far gone in her eyes. We were all worthy of love, dignity and compassion.

A Good Life is a Fruit-Bearing Tree

What makes for a life well-lived? At the end of the day, I believe it comes down to the fruits your life has produced. I don’t think it matters so much what degrees you achieved, what positions of power you held, or which important people you knew.

In the end, a life well-lived will be evidenced by its fruits. Did you make people feel loved—did you include, rather than exclude? Did you stand up for those who needed you? Were you for people, instead of against them? Did your words uplift and heal, rather than wound? Did love and grace leak out of you everywhere you went? Jesus says in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit,” and Proverbs 11:30 tells us, “A good life is a fruit-bearing tree.” The legacy of your life is in the fruit it produced. And that fruit overflows in the lives of the people you touched, long after you might be gone.

It’s hard for me to imagine a world without the wisdom, kindness, and generosity of Rachel Held Evans. It feels like she had so many words left to write, so many more lessons left to teach us. But I am so moved by the fruits of her well-lived life. I am so convicted by the ongoing outpouring of love from those she impacted. There is so much goodness and love in her wake, and her thoughts and words will continue to move hearts even in her physical absence.

Rachel’s Work

This is the kind of life I want to live. So that when all is said and done, the fruits of my life will speak to the kind of person I was. I’m so grateful to Rachel for setting the example.

If you haven’t read any of Rachel’s work, I strongly suggest that you do. You can check out her books and explore her past blog posts here.

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