It’s no secret that quality content is critical to successful digital marketing. Everything — SEO, social media, even paid ads — depends on content to achieve their potential.
The problem is that it takes time — and plenty of it — to create the quality content that is needed to drive your web presence. In fact, 67% of manufacturers who participated in the 2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing research report created by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs reported that lack of time was the top reason their marketing results have stagnated.
—Manufacturing Content Marketing Research Report
That’s just one industry, but undoubtedly time is a challenge that spans across all sectors of the business community.
Making Time for Blogging
Finding time is particularly difficult when it comes to the rigors of blogging. Because blogging consistently is necessary for success, it often becomes just another item to check off the to-do list. But simply just getting it done isn’t enough. Weak, thin content can actually do more harm than good.
So where does that leave us? You can’t half-a** it, and unless you’re Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you can’t freeze time while you hammer out your perfect blog post.
5 Ways to Create Quality Content Faster
Fortunately, there are some things, that us mere mortals can do to get both quantity AND quality out of our content.
1. Plan Ahead
When I’m expecting a busy, stressful day, nothing helps me more than having everything prepared the night before. Clothes laid out. Coffee ready to start. Lunch packed.
The same is true of your blogging. Don’t sit down with a stressed mind and expect to create a beautiful piece of content in half an hour’s time. Know what you’re going to write and have everything you need to do so at the ready.
This starts with writing down all of your ideas the moment you get them. Have a notebook or a phone app handy where you can immediately record any ideas you have no matter what you are doing when they pop in your head.
Periodically, take all of those ideas and schedule them out on an editorial calendar. Include the keywords you expect to optimize for, thoughts on images, the call-to-action you will use, and a list of any points you want to make. If you already know of some resources, record that information as well. Then when you sit down to write, the post will practically write itself!
Chances are, you have a lot of other content besides just your blog, especially if you’ve been in business for a long time. All of that content can be quality fodder for blog posts and will save you the time of having to come up with something from scratch.
Here are some types of content that can be expanded and/or reformated into blog posts:
- Old pre-digital age pamphlets and user guides
- Social media posts
- Emails answering customers’ questions
These are just a few examples, but you could probably come up with dozens more. Even old blog posts themselves can be turned into additional blog posts. Long posts are particularly ripe for this type of repurposing. They likely contain several points that can each be broken up, expanded on, and work as their own stand-alone blog post
Old blog posts can also be updated. Often, there are posts that still drive a lot of traffic and do well in the search engines, but they’re a little out of date. Spruce them up by updating facts, checking links, adding new information, updating and adding media such as images, videos, infographics, etc., and more. Then you can republish them with a new date. That’s what we did with our popular Total Usability series.
If you don’t change the url, these updated posts retain the authority of the original version, helping boost your search performance and get your content in front of a new audience.
4. Accept Guest Posts
Guest posts can allow you to get great content, add a fresh perspective to your blog, and help you reach a new audience, all with minimal work on your part. Just be sure to vet your guest authors carefully. You want to look for someone who can write well (duh), has sufficient expertise, and that has a decent and relevant following so that when they share the post, it will have legs.
Make sure you read other guest posts they have had published to ensure their writing is up to par and that their voice correlates with your brand. You also want to have a strict set of guidelines regarding what topics you’ll accept, post length, image usage, etc.
5. Share the Load
You don’t necessarily have to look outside your company to get a little help. Your own team is likely full of experts who could contribute a variety of awesome content to your blog. Each person has a different perspective and unique knowledge set. Take advantage of that by asking them to contribute to the blog.
Of course, not everyone is a writer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to offer. Maybe they can just provide you information and an outline of key points. That’s still easier than having to write a post from scratch. Or maybe they’re really good on video. Have them discuss their topic on video and write a transcript for the blog. Now you have two pieces of content in one!
Another option is to have different team members answer a common customer question from their unique point of view. We have done this with our Ask the Pit Crew series and even bring an outside expert into each post to provide even more valuable advice.
Create Better Content In Less Time
Writing quality content can be time-consuming, but there are ways to cut time without cutting corners. These tips not only help you save time but can actually make your blog even better, so give them a shot!