How to streamline content creation without losing quality

Today's sophisticated consumer is looking for one thing and only one: content.

Whether it's a blog post, eBook, podcast, or video, people crave information from brands and businesses they trust. Marketers, entrepreneurs and creators know this and thus spend the majority of their working hours producing new content for their audiences. But the ever-growing demand brings a new challenge: how to streamline content creation without losing quality.

How can you keep your community engaged with new content without wasting precious time ? Outside of hiring a copywriter or a writing agency, here are a few things you can do.

1 - Get organized

It all starts with a content calendar, digital or physical sheet that lists all upcoming projects for a predetermined period in an easy to understand way. This calendar will serve as a home for all your content: social networks, blog posts, emails, larger projects, etc. Everything you post to the world should have space on this calendar.

Spending time building it now will help you streamline your process down the line, saving you countless hours wasted checking for updates when they're due.

Whether you're using a template (like these examples) or creating your own, here's what your calendar should include:

  • A list of all your upcoming content.
  • The date each part is due and the deadlines for any overhaul or overhaul.
  • Any notes, updates, or reminders you need to make on the project.
  • A reference for which a team member or an external source will take care of if necessary.

Create a content bank

Every content creator had that moment of panic where they realized they had no idea what they were going to post next. Save yourself the stress by creating a content bank, a collection of post ideas that can be added and retrieved as needed.

A good way to start this bank is to take an inventory of the topics you have already covered. If you're running out of steam, rehashing a couple of them will give you great links to older content, social shares, or general traffic. To keep your process simple, stick to 3-4 content topics.

Next, you'll want to list as many content ideas as possible under each topic. It can be a mix of questions, how-to tips, or resources that you think might be of interest to your audience. Try to think of each article as a topical headline to clearly emphasize its value.

Next, introduce the content formats (i.e. Instagram stories, blog posts, weekly newsletter) and all possible content types that could fall under each category on your calendar. For example, for “blog posts” you can write: interview articles, practical tips, review articles, opinion pieces, etc.

From there, decide which content idea will be used on which platform, then plug them all into your content calendar.

Establish a workflow

Creating a content calendar is just the first step in saving time. The next, equally important step is to establish a workflow that will help you stay on track and complete your projects and get to the world effectively.

Essentially, a workflow is a recipe for accomplishing a task that must include all of these ingredients:

  • A process
  • Tools you'll use along the way
  • Main milestones and timelines

Think of your workflow as the steps you always take to complete content. Following these guidelines will relieve you of the burden of constant decision making and give you a consistent set of steps to follow each time. It also makes it easier to delegate content creation to a member of your team or a contractor, as they can clearly see what to do.

You need to establish a workflow for each type of content you post. And while they're different for every business and content type, here's a basic example for:

  • Extract the idea from the content store.
  • Conduct the necessary research
  • Turn the idea into a first draft.
  • Proofread, edit and prepare for publication.
  • Incorporate feedback from the client or a team member.
  • Publication schedule.

Decide when you are going to create

Now that you've got a system in place, it's time to figure out when you'll put it into action.

Most people don't want to create content every day. So, depending on how much content you need to create, try to pick a day or two during the week to just focus on creating content.

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete each project and don't bite off more than you can chew on, especially if you have a tight deadline. You may want to leave a buffer space between your planned publication dates in case something is delayed.

Experiment with your schedule until you find something that works best for you and your business.

Remember to make it easy

Content creation can quickly become a sticking point that we feel in our businesses if we're not careful. As you build a streamlined system, continue to keep an eye out for ways to make it even easier.

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