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How do I Save Time Updating My Website?

24th September 2018

Are you tasked with managing your company website? Maybe you’re the marketing manager, or comms manager, or another role, but your responsibility is to make sure the blog is up to date, recent case studies are online, and all the information on the site is correct. Sometimes, it can seem like these tasks always end up at the bottom of your to-do list and you can just never find the time. After having worked with managing and maintaining websites for over 10 years, I can provide some tips and tricks on how you can feel on top of everything website-related without it taking valuable time away from other tasks.

Make a list

This is literally one of my favourite things to do. So the only way to start to feel like you’re making progress is to make a definitive list of exactly what you want to achieve. Imagine a scenario 12 months from now. A colleague has just come out of a meeting with a potential new client, and they come over to you. They tell you that the potential client mentioned the website in the meeting, apparently it’s how they found out about the company and, not only that, it’s what convinced them to make the call. They tell you that the meeting went really well and they have a good feeling about it. First of all – congrats to future you for having such a great website! Now, why did that potential client like the website so much? What did it tell them, or show them, or make them feel, that convinced them to make the call? If you picture that website, the one the potential client saw and loved, what does it look like? What content does it have? Does it have completely new pages or sections? Does it have new graphics or photography? Is it a completely new website, or have there just been some choice improvements? Make a list. Add the things that you already knew you wanted to achieve on your website to the list. By the end you should have a definitive list of where you want the website to be in 12 months’ time. Granted, not all website content is necessarily designed to encourage potential clients to call, but this exercise will get you in the mindset of thinking big with the website.

Turn goals into actionable tasks

Go through your list and label things as small or big tasks. Small tasks are things you could do a few of in that beautiful part of the morning while things are calm and before things start cropping up that need your attention. Big tasks are ones that you’re probably going to need to specifically make time for, maybe an afternoon. Identify which tasks you just need to do once, and which ones you want to do on a regular basis. Some key tips here:

  • For the big tasks, it’s crucial to break them down further. Try to do this so much that you basically have a load of small tasks that make up a big task. It will be much easier to find the time to do these.
  • You should know definitively if you have completed one of these tasks or not. Take this one for example: “Look into new remarketing tools.” How do you know if you’ve done that? If you spend 5 minutes on it and then get interrupted, do you tick this off? Did you finish? How do you know? A much better task would be “Find 5 new remarketing tools that we could use.”
  • Prioritisation. This deserves an article in and of itself, but you’ll have an instinctive idea of what is the most important in your list. Move these to the top. Don’t worry about the less important bits, you may want to re-prioritise when you get to those anyway.

You should be left with a list of all of the things you want to achieve, broken down into tangible tasks. The main thing we’ve achieved here is turning a nebulous vision and general sense of “lots to do” into an actionable list of tasks where we can put a satisfying tick next to each one.

Make time

I know, I know. This article was aimed specifically at people who don’t have any time. I get it, and I’ve been there. Except, everyone has time. You have a certain amount of time that you work in a day. Whether that varies day to day or is fixed, it doesn’t matter. You do have time. The key is to start small. In order for you to move forward with your website, you’ll need to set aside a small amount of time each week. Even something as small as 15 minutes per week will allow you to start chipping away at those small tasks. If you’ve managed to break down the big tasks into smaller tasks, this will serve you in good stead here. The best way to do this is to schedule in website work at the same time every week. Try to identify which part of your day is usually the least hectic? Be realistic with yourself. Is it first thing in the morning? Is it right after lunch? Is it right before you go home? Is it sometime in the afternoon when everyone else is napping? Identify this, and then pick a day of the week where you could set aside just 15 minutes to start with at this time. Put it in your calendar. Book a meeting room. Do whatever you have to do to tell the world and yourself that this is legitimate blocked out time for a specific purpose. We spend 90% of our time updating other people’s websites for them, so it’s expected if not a little ironic that it’s hard to find time to update our own website. I do this by scheduling in an hour on a Wednesday morning. Same time, every week. When that time comes round, take your list, and just do the next thing on the list. Then the next thing. Then the next, until your time is up. Then stop and go back to your other work. After a few weeks, you will have got through more than you think.

Quick tips

There are a few more smart ways to save yourself time and energy while updating your website.

Templates and checklists are your friends

A lot of the work you’ll do on your website will be routine and repetitive. Adding a blog, updating pages, and so on. Do you have a blog template? To have something like this turns your task from “Write a new blog for the website” to “Fill in this blog template” which not only sounds a lot less intimidating, it will take you half the time. There are plugins out there for creating template posts in WordPress and then cloning them, instead of starting from scratch every time.

What type of content is quickest?

For many people, video content can be faster to make than written content. Can you write a script and record a 3 minute video faster than you can write a 1,000 word blog? When you’re thinking about which types of content to distribute to your audience, factor in how much of each type you can get done.

Use dictation apps

Dictation apps are a great way to pretend you’re a detective in a noir crime film, but also to quickly and easily note down ideas and thoughts without taking you out of your flow.

Is this unrealistic for you? Get help

If you genuinely don’t have time for all of this and just need things to start moving sooner rather than later, then delegate. You can get help with digital marketing in a few different ways:

  • A virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are a booming industry right now, and for good reason. A VA is an assistant that works for you remotely, a certain amount of hours per month. They’re perfect for routine and systematic tasks like maintaining social media or writing blogs.
  • An intern, part time or full time. Interns are an inexpensive way to help you out on routine tasks. This is one step up from a VA and means you’ll have someone in your office to manage.
  • A freelancer. A freelancer is perfect for specific skills like copywriting. Depending on what you need help with, a freelancer can be a great way to have someone highly qualified working on your site.
  • An agency. Naturally, you can hire an agency like us. We have monthly packages available where we can not only manage your website content on your behalf, but also put more dedicated energy into making sure the website is the best it can be in many different ways.
September 24, 2018
By Tom Parson