in Marketing

Content Creation Strategy: How To Create More Content With Less Effort

It’s no secret that creating content is a fundamental component of a comprehensive online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it’s also true that too many business owners simply do not create high-value content on a regular schedule.

When I tell this to business owners, I either hear, “I just don’t have the time to create all of that content,” or, “I don’t even know where to begin!”  While it is true that all of us are busy, I find that a good marketing proverb to keep in mind is:

A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.

Content marketing is advertising, albeit a different twist on advertising than many business owners are used to.  This might be part of the reason it’s tough to “buy in” to the concept of content marketing…but trust me – your competitors are going to buy in.  You need to buy a ticket on the content marketing train as well!

In this post, I’ll outline some of the techniques I use to speed up the content creation process.

Where To Find Content Ideas?

Hilarious Yahoo Answer

Despite the absurdity of this question, Yahoo! Answers can still be a good idea generation resource.

Coming up with topics is one of the biggest frustrations I see with small business owners.  They typically have no idea what they should write about and end up doing nothing at all.

Does this sound like you? Here are the two magical words that will bequeath unto you unlimited content ideas: feed readers.

Yes, Google Reader shut down a while back, but grabbing a replacement feed reader and loading it up with a TON of sources will open the content marketing floodgates for your business.

What feeds to grab?  Think Google Alerts, Quora, Yahoo! Answers, industry blogs, and

Anything else you can think of. The goal is to get as big a list as possible of questions, articles, and posts that are related to your industry.

Once you have this set up, you will have a never ending stream of fresh content ideas pouring into your feed reader nonstop. There will be no excuse for having no ideas on what to write about!

“Speak” Your Content

Dragon NaturallySpeakingOne of my favorite ways to speed up content creation time is to use dictation software. While I’m a fast typist due to essentially growing up with the Internet, I’ll never be able to type as fast as I can speak. When I started to use dictation software to “speak” blog posts, white papers, articles, and even emails, my content output went through the ceiling.

There were a few extra benefits to using software to dictate your content:

  • Rest your weary wrists
  • Dictate into an audio recorder so you can record content away from computer
  • Tend to speak anymore comfortable and relaxed tone than you write, so your content usually comes off a little bit more personable.

I highly recommend Dragon NaturallySpeaking as speech-to-text software.  After just a little bit of training, it does an amazing job of picking up exactly what you want to say. It also comes with a gigantic list of commands so you can effectively control your entire computer just by speaking to it.

Create Trickle-Down Content

One of my favorite strategies for creating content is to use videos first and then pull content out of the video and spin it into an article or blog post.  The benefits of this are absolutely huge!

First, you get to pull in traffic from multiple channels (YouTube, blog, social, etc) while only having to put in effort creating the content once.

Second, your content will appeal to more people. Some people learn visually, some people prefer to listen, and others prefer to watch. By providing every single type of content format you’re going to be doing all of your market a service.

Outsource Your Content Editing

When you’re using dictation software or just churning out a lot of content in general, the editing and refinement process can sometimes be a drag. This is where hiring an editor is going to go a long way. You can find them on oDesk or other freelance websites, but I prefer to go locally and grab college English majors. They typically are in need of some cash and are generally very strong at editing for readability and clarity. They may need a little bit of help editing for the web, but with a little guidance you can send all of your content over them and have it “laundered.”

A Few Clutch Programs and Services to Make Your Life Easier

  • Screenshotting – If you’re doing a lot of web-based content, a solid screenshot program will go a long way in making your life easier. I prefer to use Sharex.
  • Screen CaptureSnagit is my go-to here.  Really convenient screen capture tool that makes creating quick videos an absolute breeze.
  • Video EditingCamtasia Studio is the #1 choice.  Syncs with Snagit so you can quickly transfer over to editing and easily upload to YouTube.
  • TranscriptionSpeechpad is the way to go.  $1/min 7 day turnarounds with really nice quality.

Rapid Content Creation Process Checklist

  1. Browse through your feed reader and come up with an idea you’d like to spin into a piece of content
  2. Do some quick keyword research and pick a good focus keyword
  3. Use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate your article
  4. Send it to your content editor for cleanup
  5. Toss your article into your CMS and schedule it to post

If you’re using the trickle down strategy, the process looks like this:

  1. Browse through your feed reader and come up with an idea you’d like to spin into a piece of content
  2. Do some quick keyword research and pick a good focus keyword
  3. Record a video covering your topic
  4. Send video to Speechpad for transcription
  5. Send transcription to editor to clean up for web
  6. Post video, transcription, and downloadable audio to site

Video Walkthrough

That’s all there is to it!  With a little creativity and a focus on scale and process, you can churn out high quality content in less time than you ever have before.  If you’ve got some good content scaling tips I’ve missed, feel free to drop them in the comments!