Content creation is at the core of content marketing. Your business has to be a constant source of information, entertainment and useful tips for its followers. In time, they will build trust with your brand and start buying products from you. However, constant content creation requires time, effort and money. When you don’t have the money to hire a marketing agency to produce content for your business, what can you do?
Content Creation: It’s All About Working Smarter Not Harder
As a business owner you know that there are days when you simply don’t have a single moment to spare. The sales seasons, the tax season, annual stocktaking and other similar periods keep you on your feet from morning to evening.
So, where can you find the time to create content in these periods? Can you postpone it for a few days? In reality, you know it is not a good decision. You’ve done it before and you lost several qualified leads. They drifted away when they stopped seeing your social media posts, blog posts and educational newsletters.
The secret to balancing content creation with other core business activities is finding smart ways to identify great content ideas and streamline the writing process.
The Basic Rule of Scaling Content Creation: Keep a Calendar
The content calendar is the most useful tool for marketers and business owners. It helps you have an idea of the quantity of content you need to produce over a period of time. Ideally, you should have your content creation calendar ready for half a year. However, it is alright if your have your content calendar in place for the next 2-3 months.
Based on the overall quantity of content you need, you can use slow days to produce content for days and weeks ahead. Or, you can identify ways to cover for the content creation requirements during very busy days.
Here is our list of suggestions to help you scale content creation on a budget and during busy periods.
1. Keep Evergreen Content Ready
Evergreen content represents articles, videos and infographics that deal with topics which always interest your followers. How-to articles, tutorials, educational articles and cheat sheets are great examples of evergreen content.
To keep them fresh and avoid posting the same kind of content over and over again (Google does not like duplicate content), revise your evergreen content every once in a whole and update it. For example, add new elements to your cheat sheets. Or rephrase various parts in your tutorials to make them simpler and easier to understand.
2. Accept Guest Posting
This is probably the go-to method to generate fresh content for your blog with minimum effort. However, you still need to invest some effort in this method of scaling content creation.
First of all, you must create guidelines for your guest writers. These must refer to:
- Format of the articles they submit (long form or short form content, list articles, in-depth articles, etc.)
- Tone of voice
- Topics of interest for your readers.
Once the submissions start coming in, you must review them and make sure that they are a good fit for your brand voice. However, once you’ve finished with this task, you may end up with sufficient content for weeks ahead.
3. Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Quality is of paramount importance in content marketing. Instead of one big and boring article, break it into several shorter blog posts. It is actually a smart tactic to keep your readers engaged and looking forward to the next part.
Thus, do not waste long hours in the night working on the “complete guide” to something. Create a general structure, identify the key parts, and write quality content for each of them. This will help you generate more content starting from the same basic idea.
4. Use Social Listening and Find Curated Content
Content creation does not have to leave you exhausted after brainstorming for new topics. These topics are at your fingertips. Using social listening and monitoring what top influencers and thought leaders in your niche write about will offer you sufficient content ideas to fill your calendar for weeks ahead.
At the same time, every once in a while you can fill your content calendar with curated content. This means sharing high quality and very relevant content written by industry leaders or published by top level specialised journals and magazines.
5. Create Content Templates
Do you feel that various brands have a similar style in writing articles on specific topics? This is because they have a template for everything: interviews, listicles, tutorials, inspirational articles, etc.
You should do the same. When you have some time to spare, build templates for several types of content and use them whenever you need to put together an article. In time, you can update these templates and add to them, until you will have a valuable source of materials for content creation on a budget.