When content creation is done the right way, it takes a lot of time. There’s topic planning, research, editing, revisions, the list goes on.
As a busy entrepreneur who has a ton on your plate, it seems impossible to get it all done without investing a large chunk of your time. Surely, there’s a way to optimize the content creation process.
The good news is: there is! There are ways to streamline the process and save time, while still creating meaningful content that will get you noticed by prospects and keep you top of mind with existing customers.
Here are my top six time-saving hacks for content creation so you can get back to the other tasks that come along with running a business.
1. Cut back on quantity
Remember: It’s about quality, not quantity. You don’t need to create mountains of content. You’re better off creating less, high-quality content than you are flooding your audience with lots of empty content.
You might try writing fewer, longer-form content pieces. These pieces take longer to produce, but provide your audience with much more value and have a massive impact on authority.
Along with quality, consistency is just as important. When you set a cadence for your content, you want to stick to it. Releasing content every single day and then going radio silent for a week and a half is not the way to build an audience.
Most prospects need to see a brand a handful of times before they even begin to think about doing business with them. If you can be a consistent presence in their inbox and on their social media feeds, you’re far more likely to get their attention than if you spam them with meaningless content for one week and then disappear the next.
2. Plan it out and create an Editorial Calendar
How do you ensure that you’re creating high quality content on a regular basis? Put together an editorial calendar, and compile multiple ideas at one time.
Don’t make the mistake of forcing yourself to come up with a topic on the day you’re going to write it. Set a plan and stick to it. It’s a much more efficient use of your time to sit down and plan out the month’s content in one fell swoop, rather than scrambling to pull it together piecemeal each day.
Set aside a few hours at the end of each month to plan your content approach for the following month. Centering your content around a particular theme can help you to create content that works well together and provides the depth of information that your audience craves. It also aligns with the strategy of creating hub pages for your content, which will empower you to continue to get use out of your content well after it’s been published.
3. Refresh Existing Content
Just because you’re sharing content on a regular basis doesn’t mean that it all needs to be brand new. Repurposed content is packed with value and can increase your traffic 300%. Refreshing old content is a great way to get additional life out of your content that remains relevant.
Some topics will never go out of style, but may need to be updated as the details change. Let’s say you own a business that handles home renovations. Perhaps you have a blog post about selecting the perfect kitchen countertop. While some of the principles of countertop selection will always be the same, some of the trends will change. You can refresh this content to reflect changes in consumer trends (acknowledging the shift from granite to quartz as the material of choice, for example). This keeps the content relevant, while allowing you to continue to benefit from the material meat of the original post.
4. Turn to Guest Posters
If you’re trying to create content on a regular basis, sometimes you know it will be difficult for you to keep pace. If there’s a week when you’ll be out of town at a conference, or a month when your business is launching a new product that will take up a lot of your time, this might be the time to tap a friend to create content as a guest.
Whether it’s a blog post, webinar, or podcast episode, guest content can serve a few important purposes. First, it frees you up to spend less of your time on content that week. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, it allows you to tap into the existing network of the guest poster.
Like with any strategic partnership, you want to seek out guests who are aligned with what you do and complement the work your business does. This not only adds value for your audience, but it also introduces you to guest posters’ fan base (and vice versa—it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement).
5. Create a Stockpile of Ideas as You Have Them
Don’t wait for a deadline to force your brain into being creative. Keep a running list or notebook for ideas. When things come to you, write it down. See an interesting article? Think of a catchy title? Add it to the list.
Even when you set aside dedicated time to brainstorm, you’re likely going to come up with new ideas on the fly. Take advantage of that by making a point to add it to your idea file. If you find yourself still struggling to come up with content ideas, doing these things will help you overcome writer’s block.
6. Consider Outsourcing
There are a lot of small businesses that aren’t quite big enough to build out their marketing department, but are a little too big for the owner or small team to handle marketing all on their own. This is when it might be time to outsource some of your marketing efforts and content creation.
Fortunately, in today’s highly connected world, it’s easy to find contractors who can work remotely to help you with content creation. Outsourcing allows you to put your marketing work in the hands of a professional, without having to worry about finding the resources to add to your permanent team.
Content Creation can eat up a lot of time and attention for small business owners. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you get smart about planning out your content and turn to others for help, you can continue to create meaningful, effective content without losing too much time in your day.
If you’re looking for help managing your content creation, check out our Certified Marketing Manager coaching program. We’ll train you or a member of your internal marketing team so you can get to growing, faster.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to SEO.