Effective Tips to Reduce Your Financial Stress

Effective Tips to Reduce Your Financial Stress

Financial stress can lead to poor physical health, as well as delayed healthcare. It can also lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. These are all because of the challenges that you are constantly trying to overcome when it comes to your finances. In this case, the tips below may prove to be beneficial in helping you reduce your financial stress.

Evaluate Your Spending Habits

One of the primary things that you can do to reduce your financial stress is to evaluate your spending habits. This means that you need to have a good idea of where your money goes by tracking your expenses. In this case, it will help if you list down the amount that you spend and the item that you bought each time you make a purchase. Alongside this, also keep track of the other things that you spend money on such as your utilities, as well as your debt payments.

Set Realistic Financial Goals

Once you have a good insight into where your money goes, the next thing that you can do to reduce your financial stress is to set realistic financial goals. For instance, if you have several debts that you need to pay off, then you need to set a specific timeline on when you intend to complete your repayment, depending on the amount of money that you can set aside for payments each month. This also means that you need to allocate a specific amount that you can save and stick to constantly.

Create a Budget

One of the best tools that you can use to be on top of your financial situation is a budget or a financial plan. In doing so, make sure that you prioritize your immediate needs as you are working towards your savings. This means that if you acquired an instant online title loan, then make sure that its repayment is part of your budget. This is also true for the other debts that you have such as your mortgage payments. Once you come up with a budget, make sure that you exert the extra effort to stick to it to minimize or potentially eliminate overspending.

Seek Extra Sources of Income

If you feel like there is too much load when it comes to dealing with your finances, perhaps what you need is another income stream. In this case, look for avenues where you will be able to create a passive income, such as investing in the stock market. Numerous online sources can help you generate a decent sum such as online selling or taking part in paid surveys. Otherwise, turn your hobbies into something profitable, such as selling the pastries that you love to bake. But remember that the extra income you generate should be directed to paying off your debts or going into your savings rather than on unnecessary expenses.

Start an Emergency Fund

As soon as you have a budget, as well as an additional income source, then make sure that you start an emergency fund. This will help you eliminate the need to resort to borrowing money in case of emergencies or immediate needs. Ideally, your emergency fund should be able to cover you for at least three months in case your main income stream is cut.

Get Support

Always remember that you are not alone in any of your troubles, including financial stress. There are always people that you can turn to for help and support. This means that if you are in a tight financial situation, make sure to involve all your family members so that each one will be able to help out in making ends meet. There is also the option for you to reach out to your relatives and friends who are willing to lend you the money that you need to pay for your debts without putting any interest on the amount that you have borrowed. In this case, make sure to pay them back responsibly.

Monitor Your Progress

Finally, make sure to monitor your progress when it comes to your financial situation. You will not be able to appreciate how far along you have come or which areas you can still improve without keeping track of your progress.

The tips above are only some of the things that you can do to relieve yourself from financial stress. Although you are not going to realize the effects of your efforts instantly, with consistent practice, you will soon attain financial freedom that will also steer you clear of the stress that financial trouble brings. Just bear in mind that you can do this.

How To Create Effective Website Content Templates To Scale Article Production

How To Create Effective Website Content Templates To Scale Article Production

I bet it’s one of two reasons:

  1. You’re just starting with content sites and need an efficient way to outsource content production to freelancers, OR
  2. You’ve had some success with SEO sites and need to find more time in your schedule to scale up.

Did I get it right?

Either way, you need an efficient method of assigning work to writers so that you receive publish-ready articles with as little time-input on your part as possible.

Content templates are the single, best way to scale up your article production quickly and easily.

What is a content template?

Template for content

A content template is a blueprint that writers can use to create a specific type of article.

Instead of training several writers to create your articles just the way that you like them, content templates allow you to go through this process just once.

These templates should include your desired article structure, format, explanations of what should (or shouldn’t) be included in each section, and examples that illustrate how a final product should look.

After it’s created, you can simply share this document with a freelance writer or content creation agency, and they will be able to get started writing immediately.

Benefits of content templates

You probably have yet to realize how much time is being wasted by NOT using content templates.

Content templates allow you to:

  • Achieve clarity in regards to your needs and expectations
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend assigning work and training writers
  • Create uniform articles in regards to structure, format, and voice
  • Use lower cost writers since you are removing high-level decisions from their plate
  • Quickly increase the volume of article development
  • Ensure core elements are not overlooked or left out of an article

The benefits you experience from using content templates will vary by usage, but you can expect to free up massive amounts of time so you can get back to growing your business.

Style guide vs. content templates

Style Guide Vs. Content Templates

SEO content site owners often confuse a style guide with a content template.

They are not the same thing!

A style guide is a document that defines your brand’s voice and writing style.

It lets writers know your standards and expectations for all articles on your site, regardless of the content type.

Style guides generally include rules for capitalization, source citations, image attribution, punctuation, and other similar writing elements.

While prominent publications tend to build their own style guide, content site owners like us can generally get away with using the AP Stylebook for our needs.

Writers will likely have experience with it already, and it helps you avoid reinventing the wheel.

Conversely, content templates apply to a specific article or type of article.

It will include rules specific to the article such as what sections need to be included, what should be included in each of those sections, keywords to use,  types of sources you want to be included, and specific rules for any media integration.

The bare minimum template

There are a few core elements that must be included in your template.

They include:

  • The required word length
  • The article title or a clear explanation of how to create the article title based on a topic
  • The target keyword and rules for its usage
  • Structure rules such as how subheadings, bullet lists, and other similar elements should be used
  • Instructions for how to integrate both internal and external links
  • Examples of existing live articles that you want to mirror or “beat”
  • A checklist that writers can use to cross-reference their article against quickly

These elements are all you need to get content production rolling quickly and efficiently.

The detailed template

The chances of your writers making a mistake drop drastically as you increase the granularity of your template.

Just keep in mind that your ability to use this content template for the creation of many articles will decrease as your instruction specificity increases.

The way I get around this is by creating a rather broad content type template and supplement that with a spreadsheet that has all of the article-specific information that the writer will need to meet my expectations.

By doing this, I can use a single template for the production of many, many articles that all follow the same rules.

At that point, the only thing I need to do is create a spreadsheet with article-specific information such as the exact title, keywords, and other article-level instruction that will then be applied to the broader template.

It works like a charm!

Being comprehensive vs. micromanaging

Comprehensive vs. Micromanaging

Ok, ok… this section is a bit self-serving being that I operate a content creation agency. But, it should be helpful for you when creating long-lasting relationships with your writers.

We get A LOT of clients that try to micromanage us through their content templates in an attempt to get us to create the exact vision that they have in mind.

We once had a client that provided us with a 46-page content template for a single 1000-word article!

Their templates become so detailed that they may have well just written the article on their own.

Let me explain why micromanaging doesn’t work.

Besides being counter-productive to your goal of scaling content production, you will never be able to get a writer to see the exact vision you have in your mind.

If you already have a predefined vision of what you expect to see in the article down to the sentence level, you absolutely should be writing the article yourself.

You need to leave room for the writers personal writing style. By trying to get them to write in the same way that you would, you’re essentially masking the writer’s inherent talents and forcing them to be something they’re not.

SEO content site owners do not have the full picture in regards to how Google evaluates content in their ranking algorithm.

Instead, we use the best practices available to us and run tests to see what works best in our vertical.

Knowing this, we all need to give writers a little more breathing room. As long as the article follows SEO best practices, you’re in good shape.

If you feel the need to be extremely specific about your expectations, the way to get the best results is to provide the writer with multiple examples of existing articles that exhibit what you’re seeking from the article they are creating for you.

You can even point out specific sections in those example articles and explain why you like them or why they’re important.

Try it out. I bet you’ll be surprised at the result!

Iterative improvements

Improvment

Be prepared for disappointment when you use your content templates for the first time.

While you may think that you created an iron-clad document that will be the answer to all your scaling problems, your writers may not interpret it the same way.

This is not to say that your new content template won’t work and your dream of scaling content production is doomed. It just means that some tweaking is in order.

Please don’t take it out on your writer if the article they created didn’t match your vision. Instead, remind yourself that you are a business owner, and it’s your role to manage this process until you achieve your expected results.

Feedback from your writer in the form of failure is an invaluable tool that you can use to propel your business forward.

Here is how to make iterative improvements to your content templates:

  • Create the first draft of the template
  • Order 10 articles using the template; one article per writer
  • Review the articles in detail and make a note of every “failure” you find
  • Create a log of each of these failures; notate what was wrong and why it didn’t meet your expectations
  • Update your template with specific guidance, so those failures do not happen again
  • Rinse and repeat

You will move closer and closer to the “perfect” article with each iteration of your template.

Keep maintaining your issue log and update it after every batch of content comes back.

Eventually, you’ll see clear patterns that signal to you what is confusing your writers. You can then adjust the template to alleviate that confusion.

It’s time to scale!

Scale Up

And, there you have it.

This is the exact process I use to develop my content templates as well as the templates we create for our clients at WordAgents.

Take the time to create a comprehensive content template for each type of article you publish on your website.

After a few iterations, you’ll be well on your way to pain-free content production at scale!

Vin D’Eletto

About Vin

Vin D’Eletto owns and operates WordAgents.com and has over a decade of experience building, operating, and selling revenue generating websites.

When he’s not glued to his computer screen, you can find him drinking Sake at his Japanese restaurant or having family time with his wife and German Shorthaired Pointer!

Effective Employee Training Tips for Long Term Success

Effective Employee Training Tips for Long Term Success

With more businesses and organizations changing the way they conduct business in the world today, it’s important for them to implement the necessary training and online accessibility that employees need to complete their daily tasks.

As we continue to see more businesses focus their efforts on ‘work from home’ and teleconferencing, the idea of including employee training through similar methods is catching on as well.

To better understand the importance of employee training within the workplace and how businesses and brands of all sizes can start incorporating such methods, we will be highlighting some of the many benefits and reasons why employee training is now more important than ever before.

Employee Training that Works for Your Employees and the Business

Before going live with your own internal training courses, content and videos, it’s important to know who you will be training, the key goals in mind and making sure that your material is going to work for not just the employees and team members in your organization, but also for the good of the organization as well.

As highlighted in this recent article from Entrepreneur, employee training shouldn’t just feel like a requirement, but instead another growth mechanism for the business in general.

Don’t implement a training program just to go through the motions. That’s likely a colossal waste of time. Instead, set clear goals for what each employee should know and be able to do at the end of the training program.

To best accomplish this, you will want to make sure you have clear goals in mind before getting started. These should largely depend on the state of your company, and the specific roles that you are looking to fill.

By knowing who your new hires and what they should be getting out of your training, will allow you to create course and training material that works best for the business and your employees.

With this same mentality in mind, you also want to tweak and improve your training material as the growth and focus of your organization changes over time. After all, you wouldn’t want to be training your new hires today with the same information as you would for new hires in a few years from now.

Employee Training Sets Everyone Up for Continued Success

While the idea of setting up such training and having your team members and employee go through such training might not seem that exciting to either side, the truth of the matter is that it works quite well.

This is especially true for larger businesses and organizations that will be hiring a lot of people to fill the same roles, while also preparing them for higher responsibilities down the road.

Through the use of online training or individual courses, the process of training employees can be replicated and automated, without the need to have another team member spending their valuable time in one-on-one training sessions.

This is also something Indeed has continually talked about in their training resource guides.

Training programs can also help prepare employees who are moving into higher roles and taking on more responsibilities in an organization. These programs will help them learn the skills that are required to function effectively in their new positions. For example, they may be trained in leadership skills or in a specific software they will use in their new role.

At the same time, with all employees and team members going through the same training, there is no excuse for everyone to not be on the same page.

In the end, the benefits of setting up online training and video courses for businesses and brands of all sizes, is a win-win across the board.

Training to Expand the Growth of Your Business Team

When Fortune 500 and Enterprise organizations are hiring, they are often looking to bring in new people that are going to grow with the company and not leave within the next couple of years.

Through the use of advanced training options, the process of improving the skills, knowledge and expertise of employees can grow and be implemented at a much faster pace.

By offering advanced training to team members and employees, this will not only allow for a faster and improved training process, but it will also allow for individuals to improve their skills and expertise on their own time and pace.

How to Get Started with Your Own Employee Training

As mentioned throughout this article, in order to create the best training possible, you need to know what your employee and business needs are before getting started.

With so much focus on this topic lately, Forbes recently touched on this process and recommended doing the following before getting started.

  1. Create a plan
  2. Host regular training sessions
  3. Use employees as trainers
  4. Cross train workers
  5. Set training goals

No matter what course material or training platform you intend on using, all of these preparation tips can be done before any of the content and training is created.

Lastly, in order to get the most out of your training course, platform and efforts, you need to provide your employees with the necessary tools and resources.

This means not just handing course material and training off to them and then leaving them in the dark, but also following up and providing advanced support and training in the months and years to come.