Creation takes time. You know the saying that Rome wasn’t build in a day? The same goes for web content. It takes real creativity and effort and time to end up with the kind of content that grabs your target audience’s attention and holds it.
And, of course, time is your most precious commodity. We’ve all had the experience of wishing there were more hours in the day.
That’s why I’ve put in the time and effort to optimize my content creation process. I’ve developed a series of tips and tricks that help me create content as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here are 6 of my favorites.
#1: Talk Your Way into Great Content
Not all of us are master typists. If you’re someone who hates the look of a blank page and struggles to write, it may be time to leave the keyboard behind for a while and talk your content into existence.
There are a couple of speech-to-text tools I use, and they all allow you to create content quickly without typing. You’ll need to do some editing after the fact – no software is perfect – and you’ll also want to spend some time refining what you said.
Here are the tools I recommend:
If you use Google Docs, you can click on Tools > Voice typing to enable the speech-to-text feature. Any one of these tools can help you streamline your content creation.
#2: Work in Focused Blocks of Time
How easy is it to get distracted when you’re online and researching a blog post or a video? If you’re like me, the answer is “Very!”
One tip that I use is something called the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a productivity hack discovered by a man named Francesco Pirrillo back in the 1970s. He discovered that if he set a timer and focused on work until it sounded, he got more done than he did without the timer. (His timer was tomato-shaped, hence the name of the technique – pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.)
The original method used 25 minute blocks. The idea is to set the timer and work with complete focus until it goes off. Then, take a short break and re-set the timer. It might not sound like much but it’s hugely helpful if you’re prone to distractions and diversions when you work.
You can find an online timer to use here – or simply set the alarm on your phone.
#3: Create Content at Your Most Productive Time of Day
We all have times of day when everything is just clicking: our minds are sharp, we feel alert, and we’ve got tons of mental and physical energy.
Well… guess what? That’s when you should be doing your content creation! It makes sense. When your brain is fresh, you’ll create content more quickly if you do it when you’re tired.
What if you’ve got a day job or a toddler or something else that makes this hack impossible? I’ve got an easy solution for you: power napping.
Even a 15-minute power nap where you let your brain power down can help refresh you and make it easier to create content. And if napping’s not your style, consider meditation, knitting, or anything else that allows you to zone out for a few minutes and come back to your work refreshed.
#4: Set Short Deadlines for Content Creation
This might sound odd, but a lot of people work best when they’re on a deadline. I’ve noticed that if I give myself three days to create a piece of content, it will take me three days. On the other hand, if I give myself a day, I’ll finish it in a day.
There’s something to the idea that a deadline creates a sense of urgency – even when it’s a self-imposed deadline. So, the next time you set out to create a new piece of content, tell yourself that you only have a certain number of hours or days to do it. I think you’ll be amazed by how much you can get done in that time.
#5: Make a Content Creation Schedule
Do you have a content creation schedule? If the answer’s no, then you might want to consider making one. It’s a simple thing to do, but one that can keep you on track and speed up your content creation process.
Sticking to a schedule is something most of us do already. If you’ve got a day job, you know you’ve got to get to work on time and return from your breaks on time. You have a schedule for paying bills and doing regular household chores.
With content creation, a schedule sets you up for success. You can look at your day – and at the coming week or month – and mentally prepare for what you’ve got to do. That creates the mental space and the intention to do it, increasing the likelihood that you’ll accomplish what you set out to do.
#6: Repurpose Content Right Away
I’m a big fan of repurposing content, and what I’ve realized is that it’s easier to repurpose a piece of content as soon as you’ve created it than it is to wait and revisit the topic later.
Here’s how to do it:
- Complete a new piece of content, whether it’s a blog post, an infographic, a video, or whatever.
- Take a minute to think about it and brainstorm a few ways to repurpose it. Maybe you can take your blog post and turn it into a white board video. Maybe your video could turn into a written Q & A on your blog. Write your ideas down or put them into a mind map.
- While the content is still fresh in your head, get to work on repurposing it.
You don’t need to use the repurposed content immediately – although you can if you want to. If you don’t, you can simply add it to your collection of finished content. Of course, if you don’t plan to use the content right away, do your best to make sure it’s evergreen and can be used at any time.
Content creation isn’t easy, but the 6 tips I’ve outlined here can help you to create compelling content more quickly than ever before – and get the new customers you need to make your business a success.