Do you want to improve your writing business? Of course, you do – an inefficient approach to writing can send you to the poorhouse faster than you can say, “What the heck have I been doing all day?”
There are many ways to improve efficiency. You can wake your brain and body up with a little exercise, for example, or turn off Facebook and other distractions. Perhaps the best way to improve your writing business is to identify those things you do well and those things at which you stink. Tracking specific metrics can help you fortify your weaknesses and take advantage of your strengths.
Tracking metrics for even a short amount of time can provide mountains of information about your approach to writing and the results of that approach. After you keep track of your numbers for a while, you can determine if you are getting quicker or slower at creating content, if you are creating that content at a consistent frequency, and if you can make more money by producing more content. Tracking metrics can help you identify bottlenecks in the content creation process, areas in which you could spend more time, and the need for editing and reworking over time. You might even be able to recognize the need and benefits of outsourcing certain processes, such as editing or SEO work.
If you post to your own website, work with a content agency service, or otherwise have access to your work’s conventional metric information, such as unique visits and conversions, you may be able to take your metric-tracking efforts to a higher level. You might be able to figure out the types of content that pay more per hour of effort, determine if doing smaller pieces provides a bigger payoff than doing larger pieces (or vice versa), and evaluate the popularity of your writing.
Many writers use spreadsheets, timers and other tools to keep track of their metrics. Here are eight metrics you can track to improve your writing business.
Watch these 8 Metrics to Improve Your Writing Business
1. Total amount of time spent writing
Use an online timer to keep track of how much time you spend writing. Tracking your writing time can help you speed up your creative process and keep you focused on your work.
2. Words per hour
Calculate the number of words you typically write each hour. Keeping track of your average words per hour can shed light on a number of interesting trends – for example, I found that I tend to write fewer words per hour as the day wears on.
3. Parts of the production process
No two projects are the same – some require multiple drafts and intensive research, while others are heavy on SEO and editing. Tracking the parts of the production process helps you determine which tasks take up the lion’s share of your time.
For many writers, the most common production processes now include:
- SEO keyword research and integration
In the very near future, creating or finding ready-made graphics will likely become part of the production process.
Thinking of a whole project in terms of its individual processes, and having an educated guess as to how long it will take you to complete each process, can also help you estimate how long a project might take you.
4. Editing time
Do you spend more time correcting errors than you do writing? If so, turn to spelling and grammar checkers.
Knowing how many people read your article or blog is enormously important, but it is not always possible if you don’t have a website or access to that information.
Perhaps the best way to track your progress as a professional writer is to assess your financial rewards. Perform a periodic review of your past earnings – be sure to compare your income before and after integrating
Ask for feedback and record any feedback you receive. Look for important phrases, such as “Wow, that was fast!” and “Geez, what took you so long?”
8. Response time
Keep track of how long it takes you to respond to a client. Keep in mind that research shows perceived wait time among customers is often much longer than actual wait time. In other words, what seems like a quick response time for you might seem like an eternity for your clients, and this could hurt your relationship with that client in the long run.
To learn more about efficiency in writing, consult with nearly any writer at WriterAccess. The writing team at WriterAccess work quickly and efficiently to provide exceptional content for their clients.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for nearly 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.