How to Make Your Content Creation Process Easier

One of the big challenges I’ve seen from small businesses that want to be online is content creation. I did a call for testers for a new content process I’m building and I had a lot of takers. A lot backed out too, citing reasons such as it’s too expensive, they were busy to participate, or maybe the process was too complicated.

So I’ll be addressing the last part but the other thing I want to address is that people back out because content making is hard. It’s something with no tangible and immediate payoff unlike creating a website or making a product. From afar, it looks like a heap of letters and images, like many other heaps of letters and images in the internet and no way to know which is better than the other.

On top of that, the process itself is long and full of effort. People need to think of ideas, they need to research, they need to edit and approve, and they need to promote the content. The back and forth itself is also a big turn off and I’ve found that this is what puts a wrench into the process. When one side gets stuck, the content process grinds to a halt and this demotivates people which causes a feedback loop and the entire effort is abandoned.

So, let’s make content creation easier. I’d like to follow the rule that done is better than perfect. Just make stuff, share to your audience, hope for the best and keep on creating. The key is the last part: keep on creating. You’ll get better over time and this will be seen by the most avid members of your audience.

For your business, here are some “hacks” on how to make a lot of content more often.

1. When writing down notes, blog about it instead. I use Medium pretty much as a public notebook so you can see what I’m thinking as I write it down. Yes, the grammar can be atrocious but no, I’m not intentionally publishing bad work. I just want the info to be out there.

2. Use social media to share ideas. This will make you more comfortable publishing stuff in public and over time, you’ll find that people will want to follow you for your ideas.

3. Curate content. If you want it to be a bit more formal, you can just pick up content others made and collect it in your site. People are busy but they still want to be informed.

4. Turn others’ content into something new. This will take a bit more work but it skips the ideation and researching part of content creation. Take two pieces of content from two sources, mash them together into a new format. For example, two blog posts into an infographic or two infographics into a talking head video.

5. Republish the work of other creators. Someone already has an audience, why not just take one of their older, better performing articles and republish it in your site? Skip the work and get some new viewers as well. With permission, of course.

6. Shoot short videos often. Your life is interesting and this is a very low-fi way to add commentary to what you’re doing each day. I’m not that photogenic so I don’t do this but if you’re comfortable with this, why not?

7. Or just record yourself talking. If you like to talk but shy on video, maybe voice recordings on your smartphone will work better? The bonus is you can have these transcribed so that it’s discoverable by search engines as well.

8. Do what you do normally, but do it online.

  • Ask in a group or forum the questions you ask your colleagues at work.
  • Write a blog post instead of emailing an explanation.
  • Use Instagram to take photos of events and other occasions.

9. Get your team to create content as part of their routine. If you have people working for you, have them create content for you. Not custom ones though, just ones that are like the things I mentioned above. No need to overburden them, especially since this is your job and not theirs.

10. Dig into old stuff and republish them. Did you write a report last year that’s still relevant today? Or did you have a stunning graphic made for a presentation that’s just collecting dust in your drive? All of your old stuff can be made into content with a bit of polish.

11. Record what you’re doing on your laptop. Rather than teach something to someone else over and over, why not record it via screencast and publish the video as well? Useful both for your own business as well as for showing your audience how you work.

12. Log your consultations with your mentors. If your coaches and mentors are up to it, record your sessions with them for sharing in your site. This works well for many formats from smartphone videos to audio recordings and even to Skype chats.

13. Volunteer to speak. Many events require speakers and on top of that, a lot of them record the talks. One speaking engagement can yield a video, a blog post, a slide deck, image quotes from you and even a Q&A part from the audience. A small investment in preparing a talk goes a long way.

14. Answer customers and publish those in an FAQ. Your interactions with your clients and buyers are a gold mine of content. On top of that, the answers will be super helpful for future customers.

15. Write down your process. Your company will need a user manual at some point so why not write that down now while you’re doing it? With a bit of editing, that can be published as a how to post in your blog. Of course, only share the not-so-secret processes of your business.

16. Collect content you find interesting, including those you create yourself. Emails, newsletters, even ads, are things that can be reused in the future in content you create. If it was interesting to you, it might be interesting to your visitors as well.

The key here is to make as much content as you can and then publish content at a regular basis in all the channels you care about. If you’re worried about the polish of your content, go ahead and hire someone to do that for you. It’s easier to work with something that’s already there versus having to think up of something new to create.

This article is written by Glenn Santos, one of the co-founders of 199Jobs.

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