Marketing a small business can be hard work, especially if you’ve got a hundred other tasks on your to-do list. One of the most popular methods of promoting a business is to write content for a blog or create visual content for social media, but it’s often tough to fit it into a busy schedule.
Below, we’ve put together five time-saving methods of producing engaging, shareable content every time – without compromising on quality, or your sanity!
#1. Use a content calendar to prepare topics in advance
Unless you’re super organized and have everything in your life under control, you’ll no doubt panic when you sit down to write your blog posts. Ideas may flow through your brain when you’re working on projects, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you put your metaphorical pen to paper and start speaking to your audience. That’s why having the right topics and ideas in place before you write is so important – and a calendar can help you get there.
By keeping a note of upcoming events and planning out the following month’s content before you start writing, you’ll get a clear picture of what you should be writing. You could even try to experiment with topic clusters, where you write a series of blog posts about a particular topic or niche. Events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas can also give you some content marketing inspiration, so create an organized calendar to stay on top of your content writing and releases.
#2. Follow a template or skeleton when writing new content
One of the most common struggles for small business owners when writing content is formatting and organization. Unless you studied English at University, you’ll likely not be a natural content writer, and so following a template or skeleton can help you organize your key points and help you write content that’s easier to follow and digest.
You may decide to play around and develop your own content template, or you could take inspiration from a competitors’ blog. The idea isn’t to copy what other people write, but instead copy a tried and tested style and format.
You’ll soon find that, once you’re familiar with a skeleton for your blog content, you’ll be able to produce content for your blog much quicker. And, from there, you experiment with different content formats and ideas. One of the most popular formats for bloggers, and one that’s easy to master, is the listicle. Try ‘5 things you should know about X’ if you’re struggling for ideas.
#3. Experiment with other content formats
Not every piece of content marketing has to be a 1,000-word blog post – in fact, if you solely stick to written content marketing, you might fall behind. Visual content marketing has exploded in popularity in recent years, with infographics and explainer videos becoming more and more popular.
The bad news is that, unless you’re experienced in Photoshop or know how to work a camera, you might struggle to create visual content as quickly as you do written content, but if you learn how to master free online tools like Pik Wizard, Canva and iMovie, you’ll soon be able to churn out more engaging material that can supplement your written material.
#4. Schedule content in advance
When you’re running your own blog, it can be tempting to miss a week or two when you’re caught up in more important business tasks, but consistency is important when it comes to content marketing. Therefore, writing your content weeks in advance and scheduling it on your website can help you save time and become more organized. Indeed, batch-uploading new content and sorting out the featured images, meta descriptions and SEO makes sense.
Whenever you have a spare few hours, start writing content and see where it takes you. Many writers agree that, once they’re in “the zone”, they can churn out multiple pieces of content that flow well together, helping them save time and get their content writing done much quicker.
#5. Accept guest contributions on your website
If your small business has a blog, then you’ll naturally spend the majority of your marketing time writing content that’s centered around your business and the products and services you offer. But stepping outside of your comfort zone and allowing guest contributors to submit content to your website can save you time and help you keep your blog up to date, even when you’re too busy to write for it yourself.
By turning your blog into a ‘resource hub’ for your niche, you’ll naturally find other bloggers who are willing to write content for your website in exchange for a link.
The truth is that, if you want to succeed with content marketing, you’ll need to put in the time and effort required. There’s no magic wand when it comes to content – getting your head down and focusing on quality, informative content is the way to go.
The tips we have offered in today’s article won’t turn you into a content marketing whizz kid overnight, but they will go a long way in optimizing your time and helping you produce content without getting caught up. Good luck!