As inbound marketers, we are constantly producing new content to engage and entertain our followers. From blog posts to videos to status updates, we marketers must make sure we're creating fresh content on a regular basis. And as you likely know, creating content that is remarkable can take hours of thinking, writing, and editing. So how can you save some time in this whole content creation process? Here are 5 great shortcuts to produce remarkable content in a more efficient manner.
1. Keep Up With Your RSS Feed
While perusing your RSS feed, you will likely come across a lot of other relevant information that may inspire an idea for your own blog post or other content. Write down your content ideas as you scan the articles in your RSS reader. It can save you a lot of time up-front coming up with ideas and developing them. As marketers, we must constantly stay up-to-date on industry news, trends, and information anyway; getting into the habit of taking notes while you do so will only save you time in the future. The next time you have blogger's block, refer to your list of content ideas, and pick one to write about.
2. Outline Your Ideas
Even before you start writing your blog article or ebook, outline how you want to lay it out. Gather the content and data you want to include, and organize it into sections within your outline. Completing that before you start writing will allow you to quickly turn the outline into sentences and paragraphs. You may think that creating the outline will take more time, but organizing your ideas in a logical way in the beginning will likely make the project easier to tackle and save you some time in the long run.
3. Put it Aside and Return to it Later
Sometimes, writing a piece of content all in one sitting can be extremely difficult, especially if it's a more in-depth project or a longer form piece of content like a webinar deck, an ebook, a video, or a slideshow. In fact, sometimes even something as short as a 500-word blog post can be a challenge. When you get stuck, put the piece of content aside and re-evaluate it the next day. Stepping away from your content and taking a break can enable you to come up with fresh ideas, which can make the content more remarkable as a result. Don't force yourself to crank it out all at once. Instead of sitting for an hour with writer's block, taking breaks to edit and complete the post will save a lot of time -- and sanity -- overall.
4. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
This many seem like an insignificant one in the grand scheme of content creation, but learning shortcuts on your keyboard can save you more time than you might think. Being able to unplug your mouse and maneuver your computer with just your keyboard will end up helping you complete all your tasks and gather information for your content much faster. For Mac users, downloading Jumpcut to use as your clipboard for anything you have copied or cut from a document will save a lot of time. Even Google has its own list of shortcuts for Gmail to help users save time.
5. Maintain a Backlog of Ideas for Content
Great ideas for content will come to you sporadically, usually when you're not even trying to come up with them. You may be out with friends, on vacation, brushing your teeth, or lying in bed about to fall asleep. Like you did with your RSS feed, keep track of all the great ideas you come up with at odd moments, and when you are ready to sit down and write your blog post or produce your next viral video, check the list for ideas. Bloggers usually find that, in the moment, it can be tough to come up with a new content idea on the spot. In fact, one of the most common complaints for blogging and content creation we hear from marketers is the time it takes just to come up with great topics and ideas in the first place. That's why keeping a backlog will save you loads of time.
What other shortcuts do you use to help you produce remarkable content efficiently?
Photo Credit: Nic McPhee