We know that providing great content is important to our online marketing strategy, but creating that content can be a burden. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 57% of content marketers simply don’t have enough time to create content. And when you are a small business owner responsible for running all aspects of your business, time is a precious commodity.
I envy those that write quickly and can generate new blog posts several times a week. But for most of us, creating content for our marketing efforts is not our main skill and can be painful and time-consuming.
Why do we create web content in the first place?
When you create web content, you realize major benefits that include:
- To provide information that solves a problem that attracts our ideal clients. Helping people solve their problems with no strings attached helps build trust.
- To educate our audience. When you publish content that helps solve their problem, they tend to come back for more, strengthening the online relationship that is building between you and your readers.
- To establish our expert reputation, raise our visibility and drive more traffic to our website.
Content marketing is an important part of our inbound marketing plan. We need to produce the right quality content that attracts our ideal client. Anything that can help us improve our writing skills to shorten the time it takes to create web content quickly and efficiently is appreciated.
Before I get into tips that work for me, here are some other useful tips on how to create web content faster:
- Maintain a topic list – it is best to never start with a blank page
- Develop a content calendar – always know what content you need to create
- Research before you write – eliminate disruptions that break your concentration
- Create an outline – keeps you on topic and helps the content flow more smoothly
- Eliminate distractions – close your email / social media sites and don’t answer the phone
- Write where you get inspired – outdoors, a coffee shop or quiet office; pick what works for you
Dictate your content rather than type
Did you ever start creating that blog post in your head while driving to a meeting or during your workout? That happens to me all the time, especially when I don’t have a way to record my thoughts.
Recently a colleague turned me onto a feature of Evernote on Android that converts speech to text. Dictate your content and Evernote will record your speech and convert it into a text note using Google’s text transcription service (which requires that you be connected to the Internet). It also saves the voice recording and attaches it to your note. When you need to create that blog post, just copy and paste the text and edit where necessary. I have started using this to record my thoughts while I am away from my desk to ensure I capture content when it happens.
Create content from presentations
Do you have a folder of presentations? Many of us present regularly and have many presentations that we’ve created for different audiences. Chances are you not only created the slides for the presentation but also have notes created to help you with your flow.
Repurposing content is a useful strategy for producing more original content that will appeal to different audiences. Take a presentation that you gave and turn it into a blog post, an ebook or a video presentation that can be published and shared. Using the material from the slides, your notes for presenting, the questions asked during the presentation and the conversation that occurred during the networking time, there is plenty of content available that can be turned into a series of blog posts using different media.
One thing we all need to do better is to consciously record questions, ideas and information so that we always have topics to write about.
Schedule time to write and set a deadline
If your goal is to publish one blog post a week, adding structure to your schedule is important. Pick a day to publish and schedule your time a couple days in advance to write the post. Without the deadline and the scheduled appointment to write, you will always have something more important to do. Time management when writing is a critical skill that we all must learn.
When you schedule your time in your calendar, treat this appointment with yourself as you would a client meeting. You wouldn’t arrive late, cancel it at the last minute or take phone calls while meeting with a client. Respect yourself as you would your client and do the same with this time.
Writing takes discipline
Any area of your business that requires consistent and regular implementation to realize a benefit needs a disciplined approach. Schedule your time, find your ideal location to write and start keeping a list of topics that your audience would appreciate and writing content will become less painful. Content published consistently will pay you back with increased traffic, new leads and ultimately, new customers.