It takes a lot of time and creative energy to develop and launch a successful inbound marketing program. But even after you’ve unveiled your snazzy new website, robust social media presence and captivating email workflows, there’s no time to rest on your laurels.
Like a smoldering bonfire on a crisp fall evening, your marketing needs a steady supply of kindling to stay ablaze. And blog content makes the perfect tinder.
Unfortunately, that’s where many companies fall short. The idea of publishing even a few blog posts per month can be overwhelming for an already over-stretched marketing team. How can you possibly keep up the cadence without compromising on quality?
As someone who has been blogging for businesses for more than a decade, I’ve learned a thing or two about regularly cranking out large quantities of good content. And I’ve discovered it’s not only possible but something you can achieve without pushing your team to the brink of burnout. Here are seven tips for simplifying content creation.
One of the biggest mistakes marketing teams make when delving into regular blogging is biting off more than they can chew. Not every blog post needs to be a brilliant 3,000-word dissertation à la Neil Patel (Unless you have the time – in which case, knock yourself out!). Sure, it’s good to publish a few meatier posts here and there, but it’s not a requirement for sustaining a healthy flow of traffic to your site. Audiences visit blogs for content that answer one specific question or addresses a key concern. The more value you can deliver through concise, easily digested posts, the better.
As natural innovators, marketers have a habit of always seeking ways to reinvent the wheel. But here’s the thing: when it comes to blog content creation, attempting to consistently deliver 100% unique and unprecedented material can waste a lot of valuable time. While you should always seek new, original concepts to cover, it’s essential you get the most from a piece before you retire it.
Here are three quick-and-easy ways to repurpose content for your blog:
If you’ve found it challenging to keep up with your blog or don’t have any dedicated writers on your team, consider outsourcing at least a portion of your content to a freelancer or agency with experience in your industry.
Whether it’s an ongoing engagement or a way to fill a short-term gap while your team throws all their weight behind another project, it’s always better to outsource than to let your blog lay dormant (plus, a third-party can bring a fresh perspective that helps elevate your content.).
Not every blog needs to be text-only. In fact, some blog posts perform better when they’re visual-heavy — especially when you’re educating your audience on a complicated concept, or you want to highlight an interesting stat, fact or quote. If you don’t have easy access to a graphic designer, tools like Canva and Venngage can help you quickly create compelling, professional-quality graphics with little-to-no design experience.
This way, you don’t have to rely solely on a text-heavy piece to get your point across and can cut down on the time and effort it takes to create enticing content.
A few years ago, I read about a productivity method called “task batching,” or the practice of grouping similar tasks together rather than constantly switching gears throughout your workday. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite ways to create content.
Here’s how it works with blogging: Instead of spreading your content creation duties out across the month, set aside one or two days for dedicated blog writing. Block off your calendar, order lunch in, schedule regular stretch breaks — whatever you need to do to give yourself (and your team) space to create. Because meetings and other daily obligations can disrupt your writing flow state, it’s a good idea to limit interruptions as best as possible.
If you’re like me, your best ideas come to you when you’re nowhere near a keyboard — and that’s where smartphone dictation apps come in handy. Next time the creative juices strike, grab your phone and record the bones of your idea, even if it’s just a few bullet points. So long as you get the core concept down, you can flesh out the rest later.
You can also use dictation to compose the meat of your blog posts when you’re stuck in traffic, waiting on your curbside pickup order, or any other scenario when you have a few minutes to kill.
Don’t worry about making your dictations perfect. After all, when it comes to writing, it’s always easier to start with something (no matter how rudimentary) than a blank page.
If you haven’t yet created your blog, consider developing several weeks of content before you go live. This way, you’ll start ahead of the game, and if you find yourself falling behind on content creation during a particularly busy time of year, you’ll have a small safety net to prevent a publishing lull.
It’s also useful to create a “content repository” spreadsheet or Trello board where you and your team can drop ideas you know will delight prospects and customers, but that you’re not quite ready to tackle. This way, when you’re at a loss for new topics, you’ll have a list to pull from.
While quality always trumps quantity, maintaining a regular blog cadence is essential for developing and maintaining a steady stream of organic traffic to your site, and nurturing existing leads through the buyer’s journey. But creating a high volume of blog content doesn’t have to be as hard as it looks. Using these seven tips, you can help your marketing team work smarter instead of harder, and keep your inbound marketing fire ablaze.