Since our time seems to slip away quickly these days, I thought it would be fitting to present some ideas on how to speed up the content creation process.
These ideas apply to any type of content so l hope you’ll adopt as many of them as you can!
1. Start With a Content Strategy
Having a strategy in place gives you something to refer to so you can jump right in each time you sit down for content creation, planning and promotion.
It’s going to help keep you on track with your branding, content goals, the needs of your market, and what to do when.
It’s one of those things that I see my clients try to skip past often, but it really can make a big difference, especially toward speeding up the creation process.
Here’s a nice guide of 7 Key Elements of a Content Strategy if you’re not sure what to include.
I also have a post about creating a balanced content mix.
At the very least you should create a content calendar for the next 3-6 months. Once you have that down and are using it consistently, you can upgrade to a full on strategy. Do keep in mind that you are creating content for your audience needs the majority of the time.
Here are the columns I’m using in the content calendar example above…
2. Have Processes In Place
Developing content creation processes and sticking to them will give you the freedom to make time for what’s important (if this is truly a priority for your business) while drastically reducing that dreaded feeling of overwhelm.
If you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it you can say goodbye to excuses and procrastination!
You don’t have to have a huge amount of processes in place if you are new to content marketing. Here’s how to get started on a smaller scale...
First, map out an editorial work flow.
This is a simple and important thing to have to refer to so you are confident about what to do next or forget any steps.
If you have a team of multiple people working on the content you can assign steps to different team members.
Keep Track of Progress
Using a tool like Trello, Asana, or even Airtable, you can keep track of your content pipeline and the status of each piece. You can assign due dates, tasks to team members, and URLs of publications.
Use Checklists for Content Creation & Promotion Tasks
Create checklists for every part of the process, use them to refine and pass them on to team members. Here are some parts of the content creation process that this would apply to.
I know this may seem mundane but I promise checklists will save you time and allow you to delegate the work to others eventually.
If you are planning to remove yourself from the every day grind of running your business, this is a must!
And if you love working alone you will be glad to have checklists when you are pressed for time, and who isn’t these days!
Possibly more importantly, you won’t have to worry about missing steps and going back later to fix something.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING & USE IT TO CREATE SYSTEMS TO SPEED UP CONTENT CREATION
When creating your next piece of content, document all the steps you take. Use the workflow, checklists, and templates again and again to tweak them, making sure you are not forgetting to document important steps. Before you know it you’ll have it fine tuned and will be able to pass it on to a team member or whoever covers for you during that upcoming holiday.
Be sure to keep these items (content creation workflow, etc.) in a place where they are easy to find when you need them! We’re saving time here, not re-inventing the wheel because you forgot where you put them.. Or that you even had them. 😉
3. Create a List of Researched Ideas
First you’ll need to create a running list of content ideas that you’ll update with new ideas and remove those you’ve used.
Schedule a keyword research session on your calendar for the following month and use your content idea list to validate some of those ideas. Schedule the winning ideas for the next month or quarter.
4. Schedule Batch Content Creation Sessions
Take a look at that process map we looked at earlier and set aside an hour each morning to attack each step in the process and by the end of the week you’ll be swimming in content!
Here are some examples of ways to speed up the content creation process with batch sessions.
5. Use Content Generators
Here’s an idea that’s really hot right now with AI becoming more and more popular. I have mixed feelings about this one!
On one hand it can be a real time saver and provide ideas that help get the writing flow started and on the other hand I feel like if you want to improve your writing skills a better way is to practice regularly and use templates and outlines to get you started.
I know writing daily is not easy for many of us, including myself. If you get distracted, just get back at it as soon as possible. If content marketing is something you want to commit to, then creating that content is not something you can procrastinate on.
While I’m not a fan of using AI to create your content, I do think some of the AI tools are perfect for speeding up the content creation process.
Use them as an idea generator, a starting point.
Here are four examples I found that I think would be useful to you.
If you are determined to use AI to write your content, be prepared to do some fact checking and rewriting to have the content reflect your own voice and always check to make sure it isn’t plagiarized.
Check for duplicate content
AI content detector
6. Use Content Templates
Templates are another great way of speeding up the content creation process!
Anything you can do to speed up the process of creating content is going to make your life easier!
If you have certain types of content that you create often, consider creating a template you can use each time you sit down to write in that format in the future.
To create your own templates, write down every step, every element as if it were a checklist and organize it in the most efficient order.
Put it in your preferred document application and save it as a template. Simply save it with a new document name each time you use it.
Here are some examples for you...
Blog Posts Templates
When you create similar types of content on a regular basis, you can create starter templates for your content.
For example, if you do comparison posts, case studies or book reviews, what repeatable sections go into posts like that?
Create content starters that where you have predefined sections as prompts and then you just fill in those sections when it’s time to write.
Page Templates for Blog Posts
Much in the same way as using templates for creating content, you can do the same for building the content or uploading it to your website or platform.
Again, when you create content of a certain type on a regular basis, creating a post template for your website will give you a starting point to help building it out much easier.
This can be as simple as saving it as a draft that you make a copy of when it’s time to create a new post on your blog.
Ryan Robinson covers 10 of the most common post types and what sections to include in each so you can create post templates.
In some website platforms you can create re-usable content blocks like promotional blurbs or testimonials, or anything that you might repeat on different articles.
Templates for Branded Visuals
I like Canva for this and since I started using this tool to create featured images for blog posts it has saved me so much time! I have branded templates that I can use over and over again.
Use your favorite image resources for the background and just drop them into your templates, change the text where needed and off you go!
7. Re-purpose Existing Content
Here’s the best time saver of all! Great for making space for holidays or busy seasons of your business.
Go to your best ‘meaty’ content and break out pieces of it that you can use in different ways.
Some examples would be to …
Wrapping It Up
So there are several ideas for you here and hopefully you can pick a few and give them a try.
Reclaim your time and keep on keeping on.
Do you have any time saving ideas for content creation? I’d love to hear them in the comments!