Time. We all want more of it. Quality, Google-friendly content. We’d like some more of that, too.
When used effectively, content marketing can drive more visitors to your website, help to generate leads, and increase engagement and brand loyalty.
But the key to an effective content marketing strategy is regular, consistent material that readers will love and share with friends.
Below, we’ve put together some of the ways you can save time when working on your content marketing campaigns, and produce even more high-quality, powerful content for your website.
Use a content calendar
If you spend every Monday morning staring hopelessly at an empty Word document, then it’s time to take a step back and develop a content strategy for your website.
Planning your content in advance, and knowing what material you’re going to be publishing on any given date, can give you more clarity and save you from the dash of writing a new article the night before.
To get started, come up with some blog post ideas that you’d like to try out, and add them to a spreadsheet or calendar to keep you organized.
Then, you can start to plan and prepare your content weeks in advance, safe in the knowledge that next week’s material is already formatted and ready to go live. Organizing not only saves you time but gives you peace of mind and reassurance.
Other ways that you can plan content in advance include reading new material, researching into the topic you’re going to be writing about, planning out the structure of your piece, finding the right images to use in your post, and creating graphics that complement your content.
Cut back on content
Unless you’re running your blog as a full-time business, the chances are that you’ll have more important things to worry about week to week than writing new content. With all of the will in the world, there’ll be times when you can’t turn in a post for the week. Don’t fret.
Although a consistent, regular content strategy will be most effective, it’s fine to miss a week or two; or change your strategy so that you post less often.
Some of the world’s biggest and most successful content marketers don’t post weekly; they post as and when they’ve got something to share with their audience. Follow this strategy if you want to save time and improve your blog.
According to WordPress, more than 2 million blog posts are published every day. No business can compete with the noise out there, and if you try to chase your competitors or blog every day, you’ll no doubt churn out short, mediocre content that won’t rank or convert.
When working on your content marketing strategy, think about quality rather than quantity. In simple terms, one awesome 5,000-word post a month will perform much better than weekly 500-word pieces with no research, insight or complementary content such as an infographic.
Go back to basics if you’re struggling to keep up with your content strategy. You might discover that your audience will be more excited by a monthly blog, encouraging them to share more and comment on your content, which will build relationships and increase loyalty.
Experiment with different posting schedules and releases to see which works – and determine which pattern works best for your busy lifestyle. You might just be surprised by the results.
Follow a template
One of the biggest obstacles for new bloggers is formatting their content and coming up with a structure that reads well to an audience.
In fact, many bloggers spend more time formatting and structuring their content than they do researching and writing, so it’s a common problem for beginners that can eat up time and demotivate.
With a content skeleton, all of that changes.
Rather than trying to come up with an outline for your post, take inspiration from a blogger or competitor that you look up to.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should steal their content and pass it off as your own, but using it as a foundation for your own material can be valuable.
If that doesn’t give you food for thought, you could opt for a popular and generic content format, like the listicle. ‘5 ways to …’ is a great starter for a new post, and you can add to and adapt the format and skeleton as you get writing, depending on the number of points you want to add.
As your confidence increases and you find it easier to structure content, you’ll naturally save time and churn out more intricate content formats. Until then, a skeleton will serve you well.
Experiment with video and other content formats
The world of content marketing doesn’t sit still for long, and if research on video marketing is anything to go by, us bloggers should be worried.
According to WordStream, by 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. That’s why it makes sense to experiment with different content formats – like video – to save time and get ahead.
As business owners and marketers, we all have different skills. While some may love spending their time on social media reaching out to customers, others prefer to write blog posts.
If you’re struggling to write content consistently on your website, then perhaps your marketing forte lies in video, instead?
Pick up your iPhone, press record and create a piece-to-camera giving an introduction to your business. You could even go back to your old posts and turn them into videos, giving people an introduction to a topic and asking them to visit your website.
Other content formats, like infographics, podcasts, and slideshows should also be considered. As you develop new skills, you may find that they’re quicker than writing a long-form article.
Open your site to guest contributors
Guest blogging is one of the oldest tricks in the content marketing book. Bloggers can pitch their ideas to other sites with engaged audiences, and write material that scores them a backlink and increased exposure.
If you’ve ever guest blogged on another site, you’ll know that it’s hard work, especially as webmasters are becoming increasingly picky about their guest blogging guidelines.
If you want to publish more content on your blog and save time, consider reversing the guest blogging strategy by accepting guest bloggers on your website.
Although content from strangers may seem strange, doing so can help you get your hands on some super impressive material that your readers and search engines will love. Oh, and the best part is, it’s free!
Rather than just accepting any old content, be sure to enforce some guest blogging guidelines before you start advertising for contributors.
First, make sure their content is of high-quality, and prohibit them from actively promoting their own products and services.
You may also want to impose a minimum word count if you’re looking for long-form, rankable content, too.
Once you’re happy with your guidelines, let people know by writing a blog, promoting it on social media and reaching out to bloggers and influencers to invite them to write for you.
In no time at all, you’ll have bloggers knocking at your door with fresh content, so you can sit back and relax.
Start writing material in bulk
If you’re the sort of person that goes through peaks and troughs with your content marketing, you may want to consider block-booking time in your calendar to work on material for your blog.
By the time you’ve read some other content, done your research, got into the writing zone and started working on your piece, you might have spent an hour or two. Doing this day in, day out can get repetitive and tiresome, so writing in bulk can help you to consolidate your time.
For example, if you run your own business and want to write a weekly post for your site, then you could cordon off every last Friday to spend the full day working on the next month’s content.
Sure, it’ll be a slog, and you might need some caffeine and a cupcake to keep you going, but for some, this will prove to be more time-effective method of writing great material for your site.
The unfortunate truth is that writing great quality content takes time, and it can’t be cheated.
But by following some of the techniques we have mentioned in today’s article, you will be able to up your content output and produce more valuable, engaging content that customers want to read and share with their friends. Give them a go and see what works for you. Good luck!
About the Author:
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a UK-based marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. When he isn’t working on campaigns for clients, he loves binge-watching Netflix shows and walking his dog.
Featured image taken from Pexels.com