Web and Social Content Creators

Minimizing Distractions for Writers

Yes, Hat Trick Associates provides all kinds of writing and distribution services. But there are lots of folks who write for a living who also utilize our blog, or even those internal company writers in similar working conditions that could use some tips on how to be more productive in their writing. Here are some tips on how to:

Minimize and Eliminate Distractions

No matter what your niche is or how experienced you are as a writer, you’ve probably come to realize that dealing with distractions comes with the job. Your ability to complete a piece of writing is highly dependent on how well you can block out things going on around you to focus and just write.

Some distractions will always be out there, swirling around you and constantly grappling for your attention. Others come and go. What you do to minimize or even eliminate those distractions altogether will play a big role in how productive you can be and how stressful writing is for you.

Remember, writing should be fun! To help you keep that in mind, here’s our Guide to Uninterrupted Writing. We hope you can use these tips right away and maybe even have a little fun along the way.

[Click here to view this video online]
Eliminating Distractions

* Control Your Environment – Whether you’re at home or out in public, pick a quiet setting where you know you can be productive. In your own home or living space, pick a room that’s semi-private and used sparingly by others. Out in public, look for a quiet area where there aren’t a lot of other people. Also, control your environment in cyberspace by closing down any browser windows or programs that aren’t absolutely essential to your writing. It’s really easy to lose track of the time on the Internet, so avoid those time-wasting programs.

* Use Plain Text Editor or Pen & Paper – You can simplify your writing experience even more by using a plain text editor, like EditPlus or NoteTab to get your thoughts down. Word processing programs are great for all of their features and tools, but it can get distracting trying to figure out what each particular tool does. Using a plain text editor will help you focus on what matters most – the words.

If you’re still struggling with distractions, try to get away from the Internet altogether by writing the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper.

* Turn Off Device Notification Alarms – Now, on the other hand, when you need to be on the Internet for research purposes, you can keep your productivity up by turning off all program notification alarms. That includes instant messenger, cell phones, push notifications and the like. Think about it, you won’t be able to focus on writing if your wife keeps texting you about tonight’s tuna casserole, or you’re getting Facebook notifications from your friend ranting about his sports team. Turn off the notifications on these devices so they aren’t constantly beeping and dinging at you.

Now, we understand that sometimes you can’t get away from every distraction. In those cases, there are a few methods to at least minimize those distractions so they waste a little less of your time.

Minimizing Distractions

* Shut Out Outside Noises – Wear headphones or earplugs to reduce outside noise. Put on some music to block out the rest of the world. At first, the music will drown out the other noises around you, but eventually even the music seems to fade so you can focus on writing.

* Minimize Clutter on Your Desk – Desktop knick-knacks may be fun to play with but they can be distracting and consequently waste a lot of your time. Tidy up your work area before you use it and make sure you clean it regularly.

* Write an Outline – No matter what type of distraction you encounter, you can quickly get back on task by pre-writing an outline. When you get distracted you can just consult the outline to see what you were in the middle of explaining and what you planned on writing about next.

Remember that distractions are a part of life, but they don’t have to control your life. Take these tips and apply them to your next writing session.

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Tagging Done the Right Way

Most blogging platforms let you apply tags to your posts. Tags help organize your blog so both humans and search engines can find what they’re looking for. They’re terms like “consulting,” “local” or “technology” that reflect the topics and content of the post.

Google tries to recognize tags and use them to prioritize your site in its search ranking for those terms. The tags are usually links to other pages on your blog (usually a backlog of other posts with the same tag), and like we said earlier, linking search terms to other pages on your site helps too.

So by all means, add pertinent tags to your blog post, but be warned that Google and other search engines are wary of sites that try to game this system. They will penalize you in the search rankings if you use so many tags that the web indexing bots suspect you might be attempting to associate your content with unrelated topics just to score extra traffic.

Most blogging platforms let you apply tags to your posts. Tags help organize your blog so both humans and search engines can find what they’re looking for. They’re terms like “consulting,” “local” or “technology” that reflect the topics and content of the post.

Google tries to recognize tags and use them to prioritize your site in its search ranking for those terms. The tags are usually links to other pages on your blog (usually a backlog of other posts with the same tag), and like we said earlier, linking search terms to other pages on your site helps too.

So by all means, add pertinent tags to your blog post, but be warned that Google and other search engines are wary of sites that try to game this system. They will penalize you in the search rankings if you use so many tags that the web indexing bots suspect you might be attempting to associate your content with unrelated topics just to score extra traffic.

The method for determining this is arcane, but a good rule of thumb from a pro blogger is that five to 10 appropriate tags are usually right in the sweet spot.

Web and Social Content Creators

Great Web Content Writing

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At one time or another, every successful writer asks themselves (or should) “What makes great email copy?”

We online marketing communication writers need to be ever mindful of the content we develop, its impact on those who read it (whether intentional or not), and how to make it better.
The fact is that marketers are human just like anyone else. And this means that even the best of us can forget the key tenet of marketing: understand your audience. This simple yet inevitable fact sometimes causes us to write content that may achieve our business objectives (of our own companies!), but may not be relevant to our audience.

The truth is, content matters, a great deal in fact. As more and more email fills the Inboxes of our target audience, we need to continually make our email marketing messages stand out even more. That means understanding our audience – their needs, wants, motivations, interests, etc. And, perhaps more importantly, we need to put our audience ahead of our own priorities at all times. Which also means never falling too much in love with your own writing, but in whatever is most meaningful to recipients.

The Three S’s are recommended when developing email marketing content. They are:

1. Subject – make the subject line (very!) appealing to the recipient so they’ll open the email, the most critical component of ANY piece.

2. Sender – make it a mystery that the email is coming from someone your audience knows or cares about, never make them guess.

3. Significance – make the email content relevant, and significant, to the recipients. If you were a recipient, how much would YOU care?


There are also 4 criteria that every web writer should keep in mind for creating relevant content. Make sure the writing is:

  • Branded
  • Urgent
  • Brief
  • Enticing

And focused on your audience, of course. Don’t allow your own preferences and opinions to affect what you write. It’s a constant struggle with our human urge to see our own needs met first, but content should matter more to our audience than it does to us, right?

How are you making content more relevant to your audience?

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