A big part of my raison d’etre (or something slightly less pretentious sounding) is showing people they can use digital content to stand out online. And more specifically, I like to share tips and tricks for doing all of the juicy marketing stuff, without investing a whole load of time. You’ll probably know this already if you’ve been here before.
One of the truths I live by – despite what I do for a living – is this:
Content creation is not the end goal. Creating content is what helps you get closer to the end goal, whatever that is.
With that in mind, is it wise to pour ALL of your time, energy and resources into churning out content?
I know what it’s like though, once you get stuck on the hamster wheel of nonsense. It can be really overwhelming when you’re soaking in “must dos” from every angle.
Today I thought I’d share 10 simple tasks to help you take back control of your content creation. Each of these can be completed in 10-15 minutes, in sequence or on their own. There really are no excuses. If you’ve got time for another tea break, you’ve got time for these.
Task 1: Create a 90-day content plan
I like to plan my content in 90-day chunks for a few reasons:
- I can see the full plan without scrolling anywhere.
- It makes it easier to keep things seasonal.
- It stops me from getting bored of ideas I had a year ago.
- I can see a big (ish) picture plan, without feeling hemmed in.
- I have space to adapt to changes in my business, my industry or the world.
If you fancy grabbing the very template I use myself, click here.
Task 2: Put together your business timeline
You’ve got the nice empty content calendar – now you need to make sure it stays in line with your wider business goals.
Take a few minutes to braindump the following:
- Launches: this could be of products or services you’re planning to sell, products or services you’re an affiliate for, new assets (i.e. a new website, business, team member, etc).
- Collaborations: interviews, summits, webinars, speaking gigs at industry conferences or retreats, joint-venture offerings…
- Events: either attending or hosting, online and off,
- Key industry (and world) dates
Task 3: Draft a content execution checklist
That’s a fancy way of saying you should note down all the steps that need to be taken in order for you to publish all the content you want to publish.
For example, if you have a podcast that list might include:
- Recording and editing your audio
- Getting it transcribed
- Drafting the show notes
- Drafting a blog post
- Creating accompanying graphics
- Sending an email to your list
Keep this checklist somewhere easily accessible so you don’t have to overthink (or miss) your content workflow each time. I recommend using your favourite project management tool – Asana, Trello, Google Keep, whatever!
Task 4: Brainstorm-a-palooza
Use my Pinterest idea generation hack to quickly come up with a whole stash of content ideas. You’re welcome.
Task 5: Edit. Effortlessly.
Use Hemingway to amp up your written content. It’s completely free, and really is the simplest way to see where your text needs a bit of pimping (or de-pimping, as the case may be).
Task 6: Template your visuals
Take one of your tea breaks (or two) to knock up templates for your different formats of visual content. This might be blog post images, Instagram graphics, worksheets, infographics, presentations, podcast images… whatever!
The point is to set these up in advance so that when you come to create the actual content, you can simply tweak the template and go.
My preference for this is Canva, but Stencil is good too.
Task 7: Republish your written posts to Medium
If you haven’t yet heard of it, Medium is an independent blogging platform that helps you reach a much wider, much more diverse audience. Plus, it takes a matter of seconds to do.
Task 8: Play around with micro-content.
Specifically, play around with micro-podcasts. I’ve not long since discovered Anchor, and I’m really enjoying it as a way to create (and listen to) more informal podcast episodes in under 5 minutes. All you need to get going is a functioning smartphone.
Task 9: Automate your videos.
Yes, that’s a thing. Turn your blog posts (or other written content) into video content with the nifty new tool, Lumen5. It’s free, it’s clearly magic, and it’s a nice way to create a video without feeling the need to brush your hair.
Task 10: Share all of your content. Everywhere. For the rest of time.
I once heard someone say that you should spend twice as long promoting something as you do creating it – I think there’s some sense to that.If you’ve put together something intelligent, or inspired, or even just insanely useful, there’s no reason not to keep it out there working for you.
I use Smarterqueue to automate all of this social sharing. It’s a really fab little tool for sharing those new posts as well as airing out your archives. Plus, idiot-proof.
There you have it – 10 steps to help you dream up, design and distribute killer content in a matter of minutes.
If you want more grab my guide of 77 content quickies – that’s 77 ways to amp up your content in no time at all – here you go:
77 ways to sex up your blog in 10 minutes or less.