There are only 2 ingredients to successful content production: speed and quality. If you do well enough on quality, all that’s left to worry about is speed.
So how can you increase production speed without sacrificing content quality? Easy: you work smarter, not harder.
In this article, you’ll learn how to use your great content-writing skills to produce content more quickly. Use these simple strategies to make great content faster.
We’ll start with some simple steps to make your writing routine more efficient. Make these easy changes to your overall writing strategy to speed up production.
Overcome the Number One Writing Problem: Getting Started
The biggest and most common problem writers have is getting started. It’s so much easier to write an article than it is to start one. We often spend more of our writing time getting motivated than actually writing.
Well, that stops now. Once a routine is repeated enough, it becomes a habit. And just as you can form a habit of procrastination, you can form the opposite habit.
Start with structure. Because writing is typically freelance work, the lack of structure causes procrastination problems for many.
Give your writing time structure with a schedule. Give it a start time, an end time, and breaks. Use this time only for writing.
Schedule time before and after writing time for other distracting tasks, like meals and chores. Even give yourself a set amount of time to procrastinate. By allowing yourself time for these activities, they won’t interrupt your writing.
Yes, you’re right. Procrastination is sneakier than that.
You sit down on time for your scheduled writing and you’ve got no idea what to write. Your mind is a complete blank.
So here’s the second part of defeating this time-waster: write anyway. When your mind’s just not in it, you can’t think of a good topic, the creative juices aren’t flowing, just start writing something. Write anything!
Because here’s the catch 22: the act of writing is what starts your creative juices flowing.
Then, you’re in the zone. Then, it’s really easy to see exactly how to make your mediocre topic interesting or pick a better one.
Use Fewer Words
Let’s do some math. It takes you an hour to write 1,000 words and 5 minutes to find a relevant picture. If one picture equals 1,000 words, which method reaches 1,000 words first?
Clearly, this equation is oversimplified. But you get the basic idea: there are faster ways to convey a message than writing.
If you can cut your word count by explaining your point through images, videos, graphs, and infographics, you’ll save a lot of time and trouble. Depending on your skills, you can find such files for your posts or create them yourself. As a bonus, this strategy is also better for your search rank and bounce rate than all-text articles.
Delegate Anything You Can
Perhaps you could benefit by sharing the workload. Hiring guest writers is a fast way to increase content quantity. If you need a lot of content fast, check your outsourcing options.
You can outsource topic research, promotional efforts, etc. You can even automate certain aspects, like social media management, with apps.
Whatever goals you have for your content creation come with a lot of busywork. If you delegate this general tedium, you can spend more of your time on the parts you’re most talented at.
Quick Ways to Get Topic Ideas
Now, let’s look at some ways to come up with quality topics more quickly.
Answer the Questions Your Audience is Asking
What’s so important about the article you’re writing? Why would people care to look at it? In other words, how do you give your articles value?
The easiest way is by answering questions. Isn’t that why we use search engines, to find answers?
If you want your articles to be found, clicked on, and read all the way through, make articles that answer audience questions. Teach your audience something they may be asking about.
Better yet, find out what questions they’re already asking and answer those. We’re talking about keyword research.
Use the keyword research tool in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. Or, do your own Google search for something you might write. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see similar, popular searches people search for.
This doesn’t take long and it gives you a ton of keywords, and therefore topics, to write about.
Give the Audience Practical Steps to Apply
Make sure you’re teaching your audience and not just being bossy or critical. Along with the wisdom you give, provide practical steps on how to apply it. For example, if you don’t mind us getting all meta for a moment, here are some practical steps to adding practical steps to your content.
One way by is creating the post as a how-to tutorial. But for most writing, simply include a couple examples for each point, as we just did here.
Aggregate/Curate Awesome Content
This is the absolute easiest way to crank out tons of quality content fast. Aggregating or curating content means finding a bunch of great content on other sites and listing them together in a list article of your own.
An example would be “The 10 Best Search Engines of 2018.” This strategy also works great for crafts and other DIY projects.
Here’s the top-ranked Google result for “Thanksgiving crafts.” All they did was find crafts on Pinterest, link to them, and tell you about them.
This may feel like cheating, but don’t worry. As long as you give credit to the source sites and link back to them, it’s not.
In fact, you’re actually helping them. Creating backlinks to the other sites should boost their search ranking and their traffic.
The great thing about reviewing is you never run out of things to review. Plus, if you review new things, the content’s fresh and trendy. Whatever your niche, you can find things related to it to review.
Reviews work great for aggregated articles, too.
Update Old Content With Sequel Articles
If you have content that is a couple years old, it probably needs updating. Take a look at your old content and see what you can update as a sequel article.
This is excellent for time-sensitive how-tos, like “Top SEO Tips of 2017” or “10 More Essential SEO Strategies.”
What’s even more awesome is it gives you an excuse to link back to your older content. This gets more traffic to articles that haven’t gotten hits for a while and keeps visitors on your site longer.
Any content, old or new, can be repurposed into other formats. That means not only more traffic but varied traffic.
If you have a lot of blog content but not much else, you don’t need new topics to make new content. Start a YouTube campaign by turning your blog posts into videos. These videos can be something as simple as slideshows with music and scrolling text.
This also works in reverse if you want to turn your YouTube channel into a blog. Podcasts or infographics are also great media for repurposing.
And repurposing is one of the best tasks to delegate because the research is already done and the material written. If repurposing sounds like too much workload, give specific repurposing assignments to talented individuals. It’s a quick and easy way to double, triple, even quadruple your existing content.
Encourage and Listen to Audience Discussion
Make sure your content allows and encourages commenting. Comments let you see directly what your audience is thinking. If you need a topic, check your comments.
Social media listening works the same way. Engaging with your audience on social media lets you know what topics they want to know more about.
You can ask your audience directly, too. Posting polls on your website or social media help you learn more about your audience.
And in return, you can use the information you gathered in your polls to sound smart in your content. It gives you interesting things to write about that directly relate to your audience.
Be Original by Being Yourself
People probably know more about your posted topics than they know about you. So, one way to ensure content’s always fresh is to relate it to yourself.
Include your interests in your content, especially if it’s trendy. Name drop.
Do you like Batman? Compare Batman to a topic in your niche: “Lessons Batman Teaches Us About Entrepreneurship.”
Is there a new movie you like (or hate)? Use it as an example: “Marvel’s Venom shows us what happens when you don’t secure your brand voice.”
It’s easy to write about your own interests. So relating to them makes it easier to write everything else, especially topics that bore you.
You can also include anecdotes from your past. Your opinions and anecdotes are fresh information your audience and life and personality to your content.
Try These Great Content Production Strategies
With these content production tips, you’ll write great content faster than ever. Use the advice above to speed up your content production.
For more ways to make work easier, read Marketing Activities that Feel Easy and Work.
Strategic Optimisation + Growth consultant for lean start-ups and change-making entrepreneurs enabling them to grow their business in a sustainable and profitable way. My super-powers are business optimisation, CX, SEO, and leveraging data insights for business growth. #fuelledbycoffee