Obviously we all want to produce high quality content for our blogs and websites.
By now, you are aware of the advantages of content marketing, and what it can do for your business.
But, you have undoubtedly discovered the one largest secret to creating high quality content – it is time consuming, and there are very few ways around it.
Over the years, we have produces thousands of pieces of content for clients, as well as for our own business ventures.
During this time, we have found a few ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to create blogs. In this article, we will reveal some of our best tips to help you save time and produce content more efficiently.
Best Ways to Save Time Creating Content
While we could probably think up dozens of ways to save time in the content creation process, these 11 techniques are some of the best ways that we have found to save time without cutting corners.
1. Create a Content Calendar
If there is only one thing you take away from this article, this should be it.
Creating a content calendar is one of the most important things that you can do for your blog and other channels.
This is a master sheet that links together all of your existing content, outlines, writers, goals, and more.
The goal of this helpful tool is to help you organize everything in one place, and make sure that you are on top of things at all times.
Believe it or not, this can save you hundreds of hours in time spent searching for things, or recreating things you may have misplaced. On top of that, they help you to map out your content marketing strategy far in advance.
This allows you to get things done in advance, and spend more time managing and planning than in the front lines producing content for your site.
Every successful content calendar should have at least the following elements:
- Publishing schedule
- Key topics to write about
- Links to articles
- Who is writing the article
- Main goal of the article
- Blogs you are competing with
- Keywords you are trying to rank for
You can choose to go more in depth if you want. But to start off, you should try to keep things as simple as possible, and just outline what you are looking to accomplish in the next 3-6 months.
2. Make Detailed Outlines
Without an outline, a blog has no direction.
The first thing we do when it comes to producing any piece of content – no matter how big – is to outline the topics we are trying to cover.
This helps to keep the piece on point and also helps with SEO, by identifying keywords and phrases which should be the focal point of your article.
While there are dozens of ways to outline your content, we generally prefer to outline our content in the best way we have found. The best content outlines should include:
- Keywords you are trying to rank for
- Detailed description of headings and subsections
- Goal of the post for your audience (conversions, informative, other…)
- Related questions you are trying to answer
- Problems your content is trying to solve
- Due date
- Blogs you are competing with
- Notes from the competition (what they did well, what they did not, etc…)
For a more detailed guide for how to outline your content, please check out this blog.
A lot of creating good outlines has to do with research. Let’s elaborate on what kind of time saving research you can do when producing high quality content.
3. Research, Research, Research
While research itself is time consuming, doing it the right way can save a lot of time while producing and planning your blog content.
So that being said, what should you be researching?
Well, this is a loaded question. We operate under the idea that there is never too much research to be done. Now, this obviously isn’t helpful, because you have a finite amount of time.
So, we strongly recommend that you spend time at least researching each of the following before writing your content:
- Competing blogs in your industry
- Similar blog posts about your subject matter
- Keyword research
- What content is shared most in your industry
- What your audience is looking for
In order to do this, you will likely need help from a few content marketing tools, which we will cover in the next section.
4. Use Content Marketing Tools For Research
To make the best of your research time, we strongly recommend that you use these tools:
When it comes for what to look for, we also made these resource guides to help you save even more time in the content production phase:
- How to Find What Keywords to Rank for With Your Content
- How to Build Better Content than Your Competition
- Find Out What Questions Your Audience is Asking Google
For those interested in even more help, we have our own Free Content Marketing Tools Suite that we recently created that can help you to:
- Come Up With Relevant Blog Content Topics
- Outline Your Content
- Optimize Your Titles Tags and Meta Descriptions
- Come Up With Fresh Content Marketing Ideas
- Find Out What Your Audience is Asking
- And More!
Be sure to check out these resources to save time producing your blog content!
5. Create What You Can In Advance
You never know what is going to come up in the future. Hopefully it will be nothing but progress, and one day your content marketing efforts will bring so many inbound leads that you don’t have time to produce content anymore.
Wishful thinking. Whatever the reason be that you have limited time in the future, you want to keep this in mind while producing content for your website, especially if you are a one man (or woman) team, or have a small team around you.
Sometimes, you will have to spend time with clients. Other times, you will have to spend our time focusing on paid marketing campaigns. Needless to say, it pays off to have content planned out and written in advance so when the time comes, you can simply plug and play.
This also helps you to keep a consistent content schedules, which is considered by many experts to be one of the most important factors that contribute to a blog’s success.
First, you want to keep a running log in your content calendar of ideas that you can capitalize on in a high quality blog post. From here, you want to outline them as you can.
There are a few ways that you can plan your content in advance that save a lot of time by combining multiple processes at once.
The next three points (6, 7, and 8) explain how to do just that in order to save yourself time.
6. Repurpose Your Old Content
The first way you can cut your processes down while producing content is to repurpose some of your old content on a consistent basis.
In fact, this is one of the major techniques we are trying to master with our own content moving into 2019.
Why? Well, put simply, it gets results.
Proof? We increased the traffic to this page by over 200% in just a week after taking notes from our Google Analytics and Search Console data and then putting it to work by revitalizing our content with some upgrades.
On top of that, Neil Patel recently touched on this in one of his most recent editions of Marketing School with Eric Siu, saying,
“99% of content marketers are not doing it, but everyone should be.”
Later going on to explain how this strategy has helped him and Eric to take effective blog pages from a few hundred clicks a month to a few thousand in just a year or less.
So which content should you repurpose and how should you go about doing it? Well, this is a question that really deserves its own blog entirely, which is why we wrote about it! Check out our guide.
7. Upgrade Your Best Performing Content
This is along the same line as repurposing your content, the difference being that repurposing largely focuses on switching your existing content into alternate forms such as ebooks, videos, email campaigns, etc…
This largely involves finding the information from Search Console and Google Analytics which can help you to easily find which pieces of content are performing best amongst your audience.
From here, you want to take the information you are able to gain from these platforms and use them to upgrade your content so that search engines will be more likely to rank them higher.
This usually includes adding more keywords with better distribution, tweaking headings, adding sections, and rearranging the order of your content.
Optimizing your introduction can also have a stunning effect on your content.
Next, you want to take the time to research a bit about your competitors, and then try to create your content to be better than all of theirs combined by providing more value and being more insightful.
The process of upgrading your blog content is something that is absolutely worth investing time in, as it has proven to provide extraordinary results across all industries.
As a result, we took the time to write an in depth guide to upgrading your content and how to do it in order to save yourself time and improve rankings.
8. Create Content That Can Be Used in Multiple Mediums
If you are going to go through the time to make the best content in your industry, you might as well do it across multiple platforms.
Think about it, you have taken all of the time to research and write about something. While converting this knowledge to additional mediums like:
- Email newsletters
- White papers
- Research findings
- And more…
You can drastically increase the amount of people you reach with your content, and also increase the strength that your brand message leaves with them.
By doing this, you also give your brand a much higher exposure rate to your target audience. On top of this, you can also save time using this technique by giving yourself much more content to work with in the future when you need it for additional campaigns.
Lastly, if you produce 4 types of content that are slightly different about the same topic, you can actually release them at the same time or different times, depending on what your goal is and how similar they are to each other.
Video content in particular is one of the most successful mediums to reach your audience through. By adding a video to a blog page or contact page, you can increase conversions by over 100%, and click throughs by over 50%.
If you are interested in creating content in multiple mediums, we strongly recommend starting with video to go along with your blog content.
For those trying to grow their video effectiveness, you must read this guide to growth hacking YouTube in 2019.
9. Use Your Analytics to Your Advantage
Google Analytics and Search Console should without a doubt be your two most frequently used content marketing tools in your arsenal.
While they are certainly not the only tools you need, they get most of the job done – especially when it comes to planning your content in advance.
This is something that can save you a lot of time while producing content because you can get right to the bottom of what is working and what is not.
Cut what doesn’t work, and enhance what does. You want to let your winners run and give them the best chance to succeed.
This goes back to repurposing, upgrading, and planning your content with proper research.
While these things take time in the process, in the long run, you will get much faster at them, and you will find that these tools will help you make much better content.
On top of this, you will actually save time in the long run because you will not be wasting time producing content that does not fit your audience’s needs and wants.
10. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Too many people try to come out and do the newest, coolest thing in content marketing. While there is certainly a time and a place for such a thing, you want to stick to what works most of the time.
This means blogging, making videos, podcasts, and combining your content with paid advertising campaigns.
You do not need to make content that has nothing to do with any of the competition out there. While being unique is something you should always shoot for with your content and value proposition, you do not need to separate yourself from the herd in a way that hurts your chances of being found.
In other words, if each of your competitors has a piece on “why content marketing is important”, rather than avoiding it completely, or paraphrasing it sloppily, you should try to find a middle ground.
This means that you recognize they all have a blog about this topic because it is a high traffic keyword, and it drives highly qualified leads, which are things you do not want to miss out on for “being different”.
Instead, find out what you like about the best ones, find out what you hate, do research to find content gaps on what you feel is missing from these articles.
Take all of this information and mix it together to make the best piece of content on the topic that will rank higher and generate more leads and social shares. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Make the wheel better.
11. Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Audience
Simple right? Well, you might be surprised.
At the end of the day, you will probably always like your own content, but will your audience?
There are plenty of ways to get inside the minds of your audience, a few being:
- Develop buyer personas
- Survey your audience
- Review your analytics
- Identify pain points
- Find out what they are looking for
- And more…
You want to make sure that before you make any piece of content that you take some time to think about how it will resonate with your target audience.
Who are they? What are their problems? What do they think of your brand? Is your article actually helpful to them?
Ask these questions and more.
Try to be consistent with your publishing, and also keep a similar tone in most of your content.
If you have multiple people writing content for your site, be sure to make note of that in the articles so that your audience can identify why it may not have sounded the same as some of your other content.
Lastly, be sure to ask for feedback on your existing posts. This can help you to identify content gaps in your industry, which can save you a lot of time in the content production phase next time around.
How to Produce Content Efficiently – Wrapping It Up
There will always be more content to make. Customer needs will change, business models with them, and content will consistently evolve as we become more attached to the internet as a society.
With it, you will continually need to evolve in order to remain relevant, and see positive ROI from your content marketing campaigns.
In doing so, you want to make sure that you take the steps necessary to save yourself precious time at all stages of the content life cycle, whether it be:
- Planning new content
- Developing new content
- Upgrading existing content
- Facing the competition
- Building your team
Or any of the other journeys that you take part in during your mission.
Just keep in mind these simple tips to save time while producing blog content in order to make sure that you are always efficient in your content marketing strategy.
We hope that this guide helped you to save time in your own content marketing efforts.
How Will You Apply What You Learned Today?
We always want to make sure that we are putting our best foot forward in providing our audience with the best content possible.
In doing so, we want to know what you are going to apply from what you learned today. Will you start by repurposing and upgrading some old content? Or perhaps take a more broad approach and refine your content calendar?
Drop us a comment below to let us know! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, we don’t mind constructive criticism, so leave us some arguments or disagreements you have too.
If you are looking to save even more time in your content marketing efforts by outsourcing it to an agency, we would love to work with you in order to develop a content strategy in a free content marketing consultation over the phone.