You’re a time-crunched content creator, stressed out marketing director or a business owner wearing too many marketing hats. Getting the most out of your 24 hours each day isn’t the easiest feat. This is especially true for busy professionals who rely on content marketing to resonate with customers and generate leads. Luckily, there are a number of content creation tips to fill your calendar without losing quality.
Let’s take a look at the challenges that companies face when making content along with effective content creation tips and workarounds.
The Challenge of Consistent Content Creation
Why is it so difficult for companies to create content on a consistent basis? When the pressure to publish is high, it’s not surprising to feel as if your back is against the wall. You have to worry about writing the content, designing graphic materials, filming and editing video, editing your written work for errors, and the list goes on.
Throw in the scenario of having next to zero time to create content, and an entire year passes by without ever updating your blog.
These are several of the most common reasons why companies don’t produce content consistently:
Lack of Time
If quality blog writing is part of your plan, you’ll quickly find that it’s a time-consuming endeavor. This data from HubSpot shows how long it takes to write a 500-word blog post around the world, including Australia/New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and North America.
While there isn’t necessarily a correct amount of time to spend per post, you can expect to spend 1-2 hours on a short blog that is well-written and thoroughly researched. This doesn’t include any design elements if you plan on doing this yourself or in-house, and not to mention the promotion of your content. The general rule is to spend 20% of your time creating the content and 80% promoting it.
Lack of Blog Topic Ideas
Don’t we wish that we could turn on blog ideas like a water faucet? Unfortunately, even the most creative content marketing minds struggle in this area. Pinpointing blog topic ideas is by far one of the biggest challenges that I find with businesses throughout every industry, and it’s not a coincidence that the term “blog topics” yields 2400 searches each month on SEMRush.
If blog topic ideas are holding you back, the content creation tips in this post can help spark some inspiration.
Lack of Focus
Getting ahead on your blog without a goal in mind is nearly impossible. Add to the fact that blogging takes serious long-term dedication, it can feel like a neverending uphill battle to the top with no end in sight.
Content strategy plays a major role in the success of a blog post while keeping your blogging efforts on track.
Lack of Documentation
It’s a well-known stat around the content marketing community: 63% of B2B marketers do not document their content strategy.
Regardless if you’re B2B or B2C, documenting your content marketing efforts is a must. Otherwise, how are you measuring results? How are you adding value to your audience? What is your plan for developing standout content against the competition?
If you find yourself fitting into one or more of the above categories, take these content creation tips to avoid lulls in your editorial calendar.
Tip #1: Improve Your Blogging Productivity
One of the worst approaches you can take for your blogging goal, or nearly any goal for that matter, is to proceed without a plan.
Many productivity gurus emphasize the importance of planning for many areas of your life. For example, The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders emphasizes the importance of having a plan in place to get the most out of your morning.
It’s the same with blogging. An absent plan will quickly send your blogging downhill and leave you scrambling for new content.
Blog Productivity Content Creation Tips
You can’t always rush blogging, but these are a few shortcuts that I use to help move the process along:
Store Potential Blog Ideas on Your Phone
As an avid user of the Notepad app on iOs, I recently discovered Google Keep. This convenient app stores ideas, post-it note style, essentially on a digital corkboard. You can color code the notes and label them to keep things organized. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had blog ideas on the fly, so I load Google Keep on my phone and quickly note ideas to add to my blog planning calendar. You can also store voice recordings and images.
Make Publishing Dates Flow with Your Schedule
If you find yourself struggling to publish a blog each Monday, try moving it to a different day. If you are only publishing your weekly post on Mondays half of the time, perhaps Tuesday or even Wednesday will work better for your personal situation. While there is data to support the best days and even times to publish a blog, consistency is key.
Write Your Draft in Google Docs (Writing on the Go)
Yet another Google app, I recommend writing your blog draft in Google Docs. Since it’s Cloud-based, you can access the content from anywhere and work on the fly from home, the office, the beach – you name it.
Not to mention, nothing is worse than having a file stored somewhere and you can’t get access when you need it.
Write a Buffer Blog (or Three)
Sometimes you need to sit down and write out a few blog posts so you can truly get ahead of schedule. Yes, you will invest more time initially, but knowing that you are at least 1 or 2 blogs ahead of schedule can reduce stress in the long run.
Invest in Blog Writing Services
Time is money. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your blog, hire a professional blog content writer to get the job done. Due to its minimal costs. long-term durability (evergreen content) and impact on your audience, you can experience an exceptional ROI with this investment.
Tip #2: Don’t Get Overwhelmed with Word Count
You know the feeling—you stare at a blinking cursor on your computer screen, waiting for a word (or several thousand) to jump into the screen.
Knowing that you have a 2,000-word blog post due for publishing can send even the most committed writers into overwhelm, causing them to never begin a project at all.
While 2,000 words might sound scary, how about 500 words? A 500-word post is a one-page, single space document in Microsoft Word.
Break down your long blog post into 500-word chunks over the course of a week. This will have you wrapping up your post on Friday and you can post the content on the following Monday morning, assuming that any custom graphics or corresponding video is ready to go.
Your schedule will look something like this:
Monday: Write 500 words
Tuesday: Write 500 words
Wednesday: Write 500 words
Thursday: Write 500 words
Friday: Edit and format
Spacing out the blog over the course of several days can make it easier to fit into a busy schedule. That way you aren’t tied to your desk for 4-5+ hours in one sitting and you can carve out short bursts of writing throughout the week.
Tip #3: Stretch One Topic Idea into a Blog Series
If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to consistency and time savings, a series can help—at least when it comes to condensing topic ideas.
When you have a good idea for a blog post, brainstorm a possible angle where you can turn the content into a series. When you sit down to write, you’ll already have an idea of how to structure your blog since you’re working from the previous post. This strategy can help you save extra time since with strategizing and getting onto the content writing.
Content Creation Tips for a Blog Post Series
A blog series is different than standalone posts. Each post should connect to the other in some way with natural flow. Here are a few ways to achieve consistency with a blog post series
- Keep the blog post title consistent for each post.
- Keep publishing dates consistent and evenly spread out, just like you would with your regular blog content.
- Interlink the blog posts series so customers can easily go back and forth to sections that interest them. This can also be achieved in a “related posts” section on your blog.
- Tag and categorize the blog posts for increased organization.
- Include a preview of the next post in each blog. Even a short description of what to expect next will get your customers anticipating the next update.
A blog series can be short or indefinite. It can be beginner-style or advance. The point is that a series is flexible to work with most publishing schedules and provides multiple topics within one brainstorming session.
Tip #4: Leverage User-Generated Content
As one of the ways to help sell more products (or services) faster is to provide user-generated content. This can actually give you a powerful edge, since the competition can’t swipe customers that your content created for you—legally, anyway.
The angle is to create customer success stories all while saving you time with content. It’s one of the most powerful content creation tips you can use to make a big impact. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
Incorporate User Content via Storytelling
Who doesn’t love a good story? This approach creates an emotional connection where the customer pictures themselves using your product or service. According to Harvard Business Review, an emotional connection with a brand matters even more than customer satisfaction.
Consider including a quick Q&A if your users are willing to do an interview. Nothing is more authentic than an open dialogue. Think about doing this as a video or a live stream that you can use to beef up blog posts.
Social Media Content and Campaigns
User-generated content can certainly help you to create more social media content. You can make testimonial graphics, testimonial videos, or have users to submit photos instead of fielding them yourself—especially if you’re in a business that provides before/after photos.
FYI: We offer blog promotion and social media management services if you need more ideas.
Tip #5: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
It’s no secret that good content creation takes time. Gone are the days where you can whip up a blog post in 20 minutes and reap the benefits of blogging.
However, one of the best content creation tips for busy schedules is content repurposing. This is where you take existing content and turn it into a different medium, such as a blog post into a video or vice versa.
The example below from Neil Patel gives several examples of how you can repurpose your content depending on the content type and awareness stage.
Keep in mind that not all content is worth repurposing. You’ll want to choose some of your highest performing pieces to make into other mediums.
Not only can repurposed content save you time and fill gaps in your content calendar, but it gives you a chance to re-promote and get more email subscribers, social engagement, and leads.
Get Busy Blogging
Now that you’re armed with a few productivity techniques from these content creation tips, hopefully blogging becomes a regular part of your schedule. If not, Busy Blogs Plus is here to help. Busy is in our name and we can take your blog content creation to the next level.