Guest Post by Max Greene, Managing Director at Muffin Marketing
One of the biggest problems marketers and small business owners face when managing their blogs is time. Chances are, you have 101 ideas for new content for your website, but finding the time to sit down and put pen to paper is a whole different story.
There’s no getting away from the fact that content marketing is hard work and requires even more hard work and dedication to perfect. But there are ways you can produce more high-quality content in less time and keep your blog up-to-date every week. We’ve rounded up a few below.
Organize your blog by using a content calendar
Seasonal events can offer great content marketing opportunities, but if you’re not organized, you may end up writing your content at the last minute. To make sure you’re always in the know and get relevant, time-sensitive content on your website as soon as possible, you should consider a content calendar to keep you organized. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re planning to write every week, and you’ll be less likely to get distracted or procrastinate.
If blogging isn’t your full-time job and you run a small business as well, consider adding your blog post titles to your actual wall calendar or schedule the time to sit down and write by adding a reminder to your phone. Sticking to a routine can help you get in the zone and save time.
Follow a template or skeleton
If you’re new to content marketing, you may spend more time formatting and laying out your post than you do writing the actual content. To save time, consider writing content using a template or skeleton. You can design your own (for example, introduction, point 1, point 2, point 3, conclusion) or take inspiration from other bloggers you read. Practicing laying out your key points and putting together your content can help you save time and get you to a point where you can push out material without even thinking about its layout or composition.
Serialize your blog posts
If you’ve committed to writing a new blog post every week but you don’t have the time to put together a bunch of new articles, then consider serializing your content over several weeks. For example, if you run a bakery and you’re putting together a tutorial on how to host the perfect dinner party, you could split your new blog post into several separate articles. One could be on welcoming guests with canapes, another could be on what to prepare for dessert.
In fact, releasing content in this manner can be a great way to market your business. Not only does it encourage readers and customers to check back every week for the next installment, but it also allows you to create ‘content clusters’ that can help you rank on Google for more competitive search terms and increase your website’s structure and internal linking.
Explore other content formats
Research suggests that people form a first impression within just 50 milliseconds. If your content doesn’t stand out, you may struggle to convert readers into subscribers or customers. That’s where content marketing can come into play and help you save time when working on a strategy. Visual content marketing is on the rise, with consumers demanding more ways to view their favorite content – like through infographics, videos and audio content instead of just text.
The good news is that visual content marketing can be quicker and easier to create than a blog post, which can save you time and help you churn out even more high-quality material. Instead of a 3,000-word question and answer blog post on your website, you could host a live video chat where you answer questions from your followers and readers. Not only does this immediacy help forge new relationships with potential customers, but it also allows you to promote your products and services on another platform, whether that’s YouTube, Periscope or Facebook.
Other forms of visual content marketing, such as infographics, can be created in just an hour or two using free online tools like Canva or Venngage – you don’t need to be a graphic designer.
Accept guest blogger contributions
Unless blogging is your full-time job, there are always going to be weeks when you don’t have the time to write new material. Of course, if you’re organized, you may have a month or two’s content lined up ready to be published But most business owners and hobby-bloggers don’t have the time to commit so far into the future. Accepting contributions from guest authors is a great way to keep your blog ticking over when you don’t have the time to update it yourself.
Add a page on your website and lay down some guidelines for potential guest bloggers. Make it clear that writers can’t directly promote their own products and services, and let them know what sort of content you want to see on your site. You could even suggest blog titles or topic clusters for contributors to choose between. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone and fill out your content calendar without actually writing any content yourself.
There you have it – five ways to save time when working on a content strategy. Unfortunately, there are no quick-fixes or shortcuts to creating a blog packed with valuable information, and you must be prepared to put in the hours if you want your content marketing strategy to be a success. The tips we have offered in this blog post, however, should help to shave off some time and help you reclaim those minutes to put into other marketing activities. Good luck!
About the Author
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.