The pressure on people who run websites these days is substantial. Advice – even on my website – consistently says that having regular, fresh content is key to online success. You simply have to produce more web content than your competitors. As you read this, millions of people are uploading new articles, original videos, fresh presentations, creating webinars and publishing PDF documents online. That’s before we even consider the amount of material they are adding to LinkedIn or Facebook, or specialist profession or industry forums. Wherever you turn your head online, people are creating new content.
The benefits in terms of search engine ranking, for word of mouth marketing and general brand visibility are fairly obvious. But there is a disadvantage to the “content is king” game we are all playing.
The constant drive for more and more content is creating stress in the workplace. Not only do you have to do your normal 9 to 5, but now you also have to write articles, produce videos, run webinars and produce a range of documents. And that’s on top of all the social media activity you need to do.
Of course, if you are a big corporation you can employ people to do this. The problem is that the more people you and your competitors employ, the more content you all produce which leads to inevitable pressure on your staff to produce even more.
And if you run your own business just when you thought you had finished your day’s work, that little gremlin sitting on your shoulder reminds you that you haven’t written a blog post in a few days and you ought to produce a white paper before the week is out.
Self employed or employed, the web is piling on the pressure.
More content, more content, more content is the never ending cry from the way the web is forcing us all to work.
That relentless pressure to do more makes us feel out of control, as though the web is controlling us. And when we feel we are losing control that is when we become stressed.
Stress in the workplace rose slightly last year after a few years of steady falls. However, it remains the main reason why people take time off work, leading to around 23m working days lost in the UK. Accidents and workplace injuries have halved in the last 10 years, but stress and resulting anxiety and depression have proven largely resistant to change.
People do not like admitting to being stressed – they feel it is a weakness. But if they have an injury, their condition – such as a broken limb – is obvious and people sympathise, indeed they go out of their way to help. People under stress at work hide their problems and this makes the situation worse because no-one knows about it and therefore does not offer any kind of support or help, resulting in yet more pressure on the individual who then gets more stressed.
The constant demand for more online content only makes matters more troublesome.
Stress can also lead to burnout when you have so many physical symptoms caused by the psychological pressure that you simply cannot function effectively and really need rest and recuperation.
Avoiding this, however, is relatively easy to achieve. Timetabling.
Content timetables will inevitably help reduce the potential for stress. Stress occurs due to a feeling of lack of control. As soon as people start to exert control over their day-to-day life again, they start to feel better and less pressured. Hence to avoid the inevitable stress of the constant demand for fresh online content, setting up and sticking to a production timetable will have significant impacts.
Not only will this help you make sure you do actually produce lots of good content, it will also mean that you are less prone to that gremlin on your shoulder reminding you that you haven’t written anything in ages.
A content production timetable has a double effect – it actually makes you produce more content AND it helps you deal with the cause of content-induced stress.
So start today – set yourself a timetable of when you will blog or add content and stick to it, make it a habit. You’ll start to notice the impact after a couple of weeks.[box type=”download”]My Blog Content Planning Tool will help you organise your timetable[/box]
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+