If you’re a marketer, you don’t need to be told twice that content marketing works. But let us give you an idea of just how important it is using some telling stats:
- Content marketing gets 3x the leads per dollar spent vs paid searches
- The company that blogs gets on average 55% more traffic than those that don’t
- Yearly growth in site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders vs. content marketing followers
And the list goes on…
But what stops some marketers from taking advantage of the many benefits of content marketing?
So, what if you could speed up the process of creating great content? What if you had a magical list of tips and strategies that could tell you how to write content faster?
I think you know where this is going…
We’ve compiled our very best tips for faster content marketing and writing that can help you maximize your time and efficiency, and start seeing the benefits of content marketing in your business.
In the name of efficiency, let’s get right down to it.
How to write content faster (when you’re the writer)
If you’re the lucky marketer who’s in charge of creation, don’t worry. You can streamline your writing process by following these 10 rules:
Know your audience before you start writing
Half the battle when it comes to writing is knowing the exact message you want to convey, the type of tone you’re aiming for, and the points that your reader will be most interested in.
All of those answers come from one thing and one thing only: knowing your audience.
Defining your audience in detail before you begin a piece will help you write so much more quickly because you’ll already have an idea in your mind of what you want to say, and how you should say it.
Treat content marketing as you would with any other campaign; by creating a persona. Then, as you start outlining your piece — keep that persona in mind.
Have a backlog of ideas
Sometimes, great content ideas pop into our heads at the strangest of times — on a walk, in the shower, or even in the middle of the night.
Whenever those ideas strike, write them down immediately! Make a note in your phone or jot them down on a napkin. Whatever you do, don’t lose it.
Having a running list of great ideas ready for you to write about is much more efficient than sitting down at your computer and trying to generate good ideas ‘on-demand’. Writing often takes some inspiration, and that inspiration can be hard to force. When inspiration hits, don’t waste it.
If you’re having a bit of a creative ‘dry spell’ (or even if you’re not) reach out to someone else and pick their brains on topics.
If you work in a team, even better. Often, the very best ideas for content come from the sales department, leadership or operations, and not from marketing.
Once you’ve tapped out your internal resources — outsource. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to give you some great ideas or if you have social channels, put your questions to the public.
There are endless opportunities for content if you know where to look. Don’t ever be fooled by your own writer’s block.
Always plan the content first by creating an outline before writing
As dogs are to man, outlines are a writer’s best friend. Writing a full outline of your piece before fleshing it out is the best way to:
- Organize your thoughts
- Be sure you’ve included all the points you believe are important
- Keep you from overthinking as you write
- Help keep you from repeating yourself throughout your piece
Have you ever written something with a killer intro only to realize it gives away too much of the ‘meat’ in your post? Outlines can prevent that because having to go back and redo a piece or a section of your post is a huge time suck.
Create your subheadings first to give your writing structure
Speaking of structure, subheadings are the key to keeping your outline (and post) organized, and your writing efficient. Subheadings will help you to identify the most important points in your piece and where they should go depending on flow.
As a side note, you’ll want to make sure your subheadings are SEO optimized. Subheadings play a big role in helping search engines index your content. And after all, the goal of content marketing is to be found!
Timebox the time you are writing
If you’ve ever spent your entire day trying to write one piece of content, you’re not alone. Writer’s block and writers’ fatigue are real. Sometimes, that little blinking black cursor is just not your friend and that’s why it’s so important to timebox your writing.
If you have more responsibilities in your role than just writing content, you need to make sure that content isn’t sucking up all your bandwidth. Giving yourself a specific time block to work on writing content will help ensure you won’t burn yourself out, or burn your whole day on a 600-word blog post.
When your dedicated content creation time block is over, force yourself to stop and work on something else, and then return to your content during your next set time block. You’ll be refreshed and ready to begin, instead of stuck spinning your wheels.
Which leads to our next point…
Along the same lines as having dedicated time blocks for content and other responsibilities, you also need to take breaks (you know, where you don’t work at all).
If we took a poll on how people find inspiration, we’d be pretty confident that approximately 0% would say “sitting at my desk staring at my computer and spreadsheets for 8+ hours.”
Writers need time to think, to reflect. So even if it is your dedicated content creation block, if you’re not feeling it flow, step back. Take a walk around the block, grab a coffee, play with your dog, and then try again.
Trying to force it when it’s not coming easily can often lead to frustration and wasted (precious) time. Writing when you are mentally ready to write is how you will truly create content fast.
Write first, edit later
If your ideas are flowing — let them flow! If you get on a roll with a piece of content, get it all out there onto the page and don’t stop to edit it until you’re through.
Writing and editing take two very different skill sets.
Writing is creative — it can be messy and jumbled and rambling. Editing takes focus, precision, and clarity.
If you’ve got a creative vibe going, write it out! Continue writing until you feel your creativity start to wane, and then go back and edit for perfection when you’re feeling a bit more focused.
Writing and editing with your energy cycles will help it feel like a more natural process, and will, therefore, be quicker and more efficient. (We know it sounds a bit like astrology, but it’s a proven strategy. Trust us, we write content for a living!)
So, now you have some great strategies on how to write content faster, let’s look at some other ways to create content quickly.
Other ways to create content really fast
Create user-generated content
From a time-saving standpoint, one of the best ways to save time creating content is to not create it at all! Instead, you can rely on user-generated content (any form of content, like images, videos, text, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms such as social media and wikis).
User-generated content is an awesome way to connect with your clients or customers using the experience of other clients/customers. Think testimonials, interviews, images with reviews, etc.
Odds are there is already content about your business on the web from those who know/use it. Use that to your advantage and think of fun/creative ways to repurpose it.
Carve each blog post up into multiple pieces of content
On the topic of repurposing, this point is huge. Every single thing you create should be repurposed somehow.
For example, a case study can turn into a blog post, a testimonial into an image for Facebook, your tweet screenshots can turn into Instagram posts, your YouTube videos can be Facebook stories…
We could go on and on. For more examples like this, check out this post from Gary Vaynerchuk on how to create 64 pieces of content in a day.
The bottom line: No one piece of your content should remain just one piece of content.
Work with a partner like Scribly
At the end of the day, there will be some cases where no matter how fast you can create content, it’s just not fast enough to meet your goals. Or maybe you just don’t have the expertise or experience to start quickly creating great content.
If that’s the case, don’t give up on content marketing — it’s too valuable — just bring on a partner who can help you (like us!).
If you follow these tips, faster content marketing is achievable, and we promise — it’s worth it.
Download the content marketing checklist