Out of the numerous challenges that comes along with quality content development, lack of time is almost always near the top of the list. The truth is that good content takes time, yet finding that time is out of the question for many small business owners. While no one expects you to churn out a 30-page eBook with the snap of a finger, there are a few tricks that can get quality content in the hands of your audience quicker than you’d think.
The Fast Lane For Kicking Content Into High Gear
The very first step to making the content process a snap is to have a plan. Although generating ideas on a whim might seem like a timesaver, setting time aside to plan your content strategy can help maximize your results. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot easier to sit down at your desk on Monday morning when you know exactly what you’re writing about.
The Editorial Calendar: Adding Hours To Your Watch
Setting up your editorial calendar can be done within an hour. Furthermore, it can be as detailed or broad as you like. Adding details or notes about your upcoming work will help keep you on track once it’s time to write. You can also plan out details for searching for stock images, and provide links for research for easy access.
Quick Formula For Writing Snappy Headlines
Headline writing is a bit of an art. Your headlines can determine both your click through and conversion rate, so you want to make sure your topic titles are top notch to encourage clicks. While there is no exact science to writing headlines, here are a few general formulas that you can tweak to suit your needs:
- Solve a problem: “Your Solution To Solving X With YZ”
- Give a statistic: “30% of People Look to X For Solution”
- Ask a question: “How Can I Write Headlines Like a Pro?”
- Involve Your Audience: “This is How You Can See Better Results With Your Content Marketing”
When writing headlines, be sure to focus on verbs. Verbs are processed as power words to your audience, which inspires them to take action. Action can ultimately turn to leads — and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Need a Foolproof Headline Even Faster? Try This.
Hubspot has great tool for generating complete blog topics in a pinch. To use the tool, add a few nouns that relate to your industry. At the click of a button, the blog topic generator will spit out several topics to get you going. If that’s not enough, you can download the generator tool as an Excel spreadsheet. This version can help you come up with an entire year’s worth of content. Talk about a timesaver.
Go-To Sources For Quality Content Ideas
In addition to shortage of time, lack of ideas also causes many blogs to fail. Like we mention before, being prepared for your upcoming and scheduled blog posts will help keep the process much smoother. If you don’t have time for a brainstorming session, here are several tricks to get your wheels turning. Some of them require the assistance of a professional, but you know what they say — time is money.
1. Invest in a keyword report. Although keyword reports generally don’t take a long time, the eye of an expert can help you locate the top search phrases for your website. Ordering a keyword report will have the best keywords sent to you on a silver platter. All the guesswork is done for you; all that you need to do next is put pen to paper.
2. Get a content audit. Content audits can help speed up your content process in several ways. First, they help you find missing information where content is needed on your current website. Next, they help you locate pages where content is too thin. Depending on your results, your content audit can help keep you busy for a while without running out of ideas.
3. Scan social media. We understand how 5 minutes on Pinterest can quickly turn into 5 hours, but keep in mind that you are using social media in order to save yourself time. To find a few quick ideas for your content, look into what your customers are chatting about on Facebook and Twitter. Questions can easily be turned into blog posts. Always keep your eyes peeled and engage with your audience for more input.
4. Do a quick search on social community websites. Once your keyword report is complete, you are ready to roll and search for your keywords on places like Quora and Reddit . Instead of guessing on a couple keywords that may or may yield results, your keyword report will provide search direction. Then, you can pull questions or comments directly from Quora and spin it into content material for your website.
Content Curation: The Epitome of Saving Time With Content
If you have yet to discover the timesaving benefits of curating content, your life is about to get a little easier. Content curation saves time by collecting all of the high quality content into one place. Although a human touch is always required for curation, it can be done quite quickly with tools such as Scoop.it. By searching your keywords, Scoop.it loads the most relevant and engaging posts on the dashboard. Within a few minutes, you will find a gold mine of high quality content that is super shareable with your audience. To give your content curation efforts an extra kick, add your own expert insight to the post. This is a quick way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build authority. Overall, building your brand online doesn’t get much faster than with by curating content.
Techniques For Speedy Content Writing
While speedwriting saves tons of time, it defeats the purpose if the result is low quality and sloppy work. With that said, there are several tips you can incorporate to write your content as quickly as possible
- Know your topic ahead of time. Like we discussed previously, don’t wait until you sit down to figure out your topic. Creating unique topic ideas can sometimes take longer than writing the content itself, especially if new ideas aren’t your strong point. Save yourself tons of time by knowing your topic first.
- General knowledge is required. If you sit down to write about a topic that you know nothing about, you are setting yourself up for failure in terms of writing quickly. Research takes time, and you always want to make sure that your content is both informative and factual. The more knowledge that you have about your topic, the faster you will be able to write.
- Write an outline. This might sound a bit grade school, but outlines have the ability to keep your mind focused at the topic at hand. Write out your sub-headers, then let your ideas flow as you go.
- Stay focused. One of the key points to writing your content quickly is freeing yourself of distractions. Turn off the TV and put your phone on silent.
- Set a timer. It’s time to put that stopwatch or timer function on your smart phone to good use. Sit down and dedicate to writing your content without distractions for a specified period of time. Start out with 15 minutes. Once you are comfortable, move on to 20, 25, and so on.
- Don’t get hung up on finding the perfect word. Have you ever been in the midst of a sentence but stopped dead in your tracks because of one word? If this is a regular hang up, it’s time to put any OCD tendencies to the side (for a moment). If you can’t put your finger on the right word, put an X or a couple of dashes in its place and keep writing. Once you do your rounds for editing, you can take a few more minutes to get that word just right.
Always Make Quality Your Priority
In a world of instant gratification, almost all of us wants to get our work done as quickly as possible — and content development is no exception. However, above all else, your content’s quality matters most. While you can certainly use these tricks to speed up the process of writing content, you must focus on quality to get the most out of your efforts. Engaging and informative content is worth the wait.
Don’t Sacrifice Quality: Hire a Pro
If you are not confident in your ability to produce content quickly and accurately, consider hiring a pro. You’ll have to spend a little bit of cash, but peace of mind is priceless, and so is quality content.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.
Hmm I’ve never heard the “set a timer” tip. I’m intrigued. My question is why do you choose the short time frame (15 mins.), and then increase to 20, 25? It would seem to me you would want to decrease the time frame as you become more efficient. You know better than I, since I’ve never heard this tip before.
Thanks Julia!! One perspective I feel passionate about is content curation. When I was in college, I had a sales job where I would give an ‘in home’ presentation. My ‘pitch’ included taking the customer shopping by showing competitor’s products and illustrating why my product was superior.
I think content curation is analogous. Using social media, blogging, whatever the channel may be, I can educate my audience or take them shopping to entice some type of conversion. As I research and choose content to curate, I too learn as well. I find it beneficial to formulate a collection of concepts to draw new insights which can be used for content creation.
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