Imagine never “losing” anything you wrote.
Imagine having a large database of your content that you can search to find relevant articles to link back to after your readership builds up.
Imagine having a “single source of truth” for any question you have about what you’ve produced in the past.
Airtable: The World’s Sexiest Database
I’ve been very bad at keeping a track record.
If you’re just starting out, begin tracking now!
Especially if you’re a freelancer writer, entrepreneur, marketer, or some modern hybrid of the three!
Otherwise, you’ll look around your desk 3 years from now and realise all your efforts have slunk into the mists of time… disappeared amongst the ethereal 1s and 0s of the digital world.
A few days ago, I discovered an exciting solution from Process Street: How Airtable Runs Our Content Marketing Behind the Scenes.
I’ve tried tracking on spreadsheets, but it was spotty, spread out across multiple files, and ultimately most of what I produced ended up being buried somewhere.
Yesterday, however, I finished populating my own Content Asset database on Airtable with every article that I have ever published for myself.
This is a “basic” base. I’ve only just begun by putting everything in one place (and it feel great!). I could add SEO stats, readership stats, and any other actual results that matter to me.
Not knowing the results of what I’ve produced in the past is one of my biggest professional regrets. I’ve been so focused on what’s next, I’ve neglected to properly document what’s passed, and how well it did. This has led to not knowing exactly how good I am at what I do!
As a freelancer or an entrepreneur, you don’t have a boss recording your results for you. Knowing the true results of what you create is as critical as it is emotionally challenging. Do it anyway!
The power of Airtable is in its ability to pull information from other tables, just like a “proper” database, as well as integrations with scores of other apps through Zapier.
My one has only one automation so far – a new row automatically populated with basic info whenever I publish a new post on my blog.
For Non-Writers, Track Whatever You Produce When You’re Being Productive
Whether it’s number of cold calls made each day, programming sprints completed each week, or some other discrete action that moves the needle on your career.
Perhaps for some professions, it’s not as easy to lay out what they do in a table. I’m sure it’s usually possible, though. Not tasks done, but “stuff” done, “things” produced, even if the “things” you produce are meetings.
Keep on trackin’,
– James (Self-Made Copywriter) Mathison