As a content marketer, you know time a precious rare commodity. Your team and budget likely aren’t proportional to the tasks and goals you’re supposed to accomplish. That’s why it’s important to act as efficiently as possible to achieve that rare quality vs. quantity balance every company is looking for.

Here are a few tips I’ve found to help in your day to day activities to keep you on track and performing optimally:

1. Be in the know

Content marketing is all about providing relevant content, and you can’t do that if you’re not current in the latest trends and topics. I start each day spending 30-45 minutes reading the latest industry news, Google Alerts on competitors, and relevant blogs all while my morning coffee kicks in. If I come across something relevant to my company or current/upcoming marketing campaign, I’ll flag it to revisit later.

Whether you choose to read in the morning, afternoon, or just before bed, it’s a vital part of the job.

2. Maintain an updated and orderly calendar

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important to a content marketer than their editorial calendar. It’s the foundation for everything you do.

Often, as a gateway between content creators and content distributors, you’ll be asked when Blog XYZ is set to publish, or where eBook ABC is in the drafting process. Maintaining an updated calendar will serve several important functions, most importantly, keeping your sanity. I’ve found it best to make the calendar as public as possible to keep everyone in the know and also to enable them to find their answers on their own. Being bombarded with questions is a surefire way to lose focus on your current task. If you’re able to create a public Google Calendar, shareable calendar, or even keep an old school wall calendar I highly suggest it.

3. State clear goals

Measuring the efficacy of content marketing can sometimes be a murky task since the goals of specific content assets can serve a myriad of different purposes. Are those assets to generate awareness around a new product, are you looking to gain thought leadership around a subject, is the purpose for lead generation, are you enabling sales? It’s important to clearly state the goal of each asset or campaign prior to starting out.

As with any micro department, it’s important to self-market your wins through the wider department or company. Having clear goals and metrics beforehand will allow you to quantify your success to your boss, team, or department.

4. Be resourceful

As I stated above, you’re team is probably understaffed and underfunded for everything you need to accomplish. Despite all your bickering and complaining, this isn’t likely to change anytime soon, unfortunately.

It’s absolutely necessary to be resourceful in your function in a few ways.

First and foremost, getting the most bang for your buck. How can you stretch your limited budget to get everything done? Find cost effective vendors and freelancers. Negotiate an abstract, blog post, and a webinar from the person writing you that white paper. You need to find a way to squeeze $1.50 out of a $1, good luck.

Secondly, get the most mileage out of your content. The need for more content will never go away. Content consumers will never be fully satisfied. Therefore, it’s on you to slice and dice your content and repurpose it to gain multiples on the initial asset. Turn your ebook into a blog series, webinar, tweets, infographic, etc. Refresh the content every so often to keep it up to date and seemingly new.

5. Remember to be creative

Content marketing is competing against more than your direct competition; you’re competing against every single content provider out there. You content needs to differentiate itself from everything out there, cat gifs included.

Remember to take some time, be creative, and create true quality content. At the end of the day, you’re marketing to human beings just like you. Make something you’re proud of and genuinely find interesting as well.

6. Optimize

Numbers 5 and 6 are the left-brain, right-brain paradigms of a content marketer. Initially, it seems counter-intuitive to be a data-driven content marketer, however, with all the tools and analytics out there we’re now equipped to make decisions based on data.

Which topics or themes are performing best on your channels? Why? Should you double down on them?

What’s not performing well? Why? Is there something you can do to boost its presence?

A good content marketer should look at the data daily and make decisions based on the insights gained. Continual optimization will ensure quality performing content and a top tier content marketing operation.

7. Oh yeah, write!

Along with reading, it’s important to frequently write in order to hone your skills. I’ve found taking extended hiatuses from either makes me a bit rusty. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you find time to sit down and do it. Whether it’s a journal, random ramblings on Medium, maintaining a steady blog, or even writing letters to your friends and family, it’ll keep your talents sharp.

Did I forget anything? Feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.