Over the last few years, it’s become tradition for me to publish a list in honor of my birthday. Lucky me, I keep getting older, so I have to write longer posts each time. I guess I didn’t really think that one through.
Today’s post is all about making your content marketing easier. I do hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share it on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere. It’d be an awesome birthday gift.
Now let’s get started. Here are 41 things that can make your content marketing easier…
- 1. Write about what interests you most. Sometimes it’s good to challenge ourselves and expand our horizons, but if you want to do well with content, it’s best to focus on topics that are of most interest to you. If there’s no passion behind your writing, it’s going to be hard to get others excited about what you have to say.
- 2. Use the mediums you’re most comfortable with. If you prefer to write, focus on writing. If you like talking, do more audio and/or video recordings. Again, it’s good to stretch and get out of your comfort zone now and then, but for every day publishing, use the communication medium that lets you put your best foot forward. Some thoughts on this for you here.
- 3. Get help. Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you’re the customer support person, blogger, email marketer, CEO, accountant, bookkeeper and everything else for your business, some things are going to fall through the cracks. Get help, so you can focus on growing your business and keep your sanity in the process. I’m referring delegating more than just content creation, but if you’d like to know the cost not outsourcing your content, watch the video here.
- 4. Hire a ghostwriter. One way to get help is by hiring a ghostwriter (and heck, you can hire us). A ghostwriter will write your content and you can put your name on it. Because they’ve done all the writing, you can now focus on monetizing the content and promoting it. If you still don’t think someone else can write for you, read this post.
- 5. Get free guest bloggers. Most of us know by now that we can get free content from other website owners. Guest bloggers will write original content for you in return for a byline promotion and links back to their site. Having a guest blogger means you can provide varying points of view and bring new expertise to your readers. Plus, it saves you from slaving over the keyboard.
- 6. Hire a guest blogger. Instead of relying on free bloggers, you might choose to hire someone for pay instead. They still get a byline, but by hiring you can ensure a more steady stream of content as writers who are paid are more likely to produce the content they promise to add.
- 7. Interview someone. If you’re stuck for content ideas, just have a conversation. A recorded and/or transcribed interview can be a great source of content.
- 8. Plan your topics in batches. Sitting at a keyboard scratching your head never did anybody and any good. Instead of coming to the computer and deciding what to write just before you write it, plan your topics ahead of time. By planning them in batches, it’s easier to come up with more ideas. Plus, you can more easily shape your content topics around your product promotions, create ongoing series that your readers will keep coming back for.
- 9. Use our Content Accelerators for topic ideas. We have 100 topic idea lists in a variety of niches. Let us get the ideas together for you and again, you can just focus on the content creation. See our Content Accelerators here.
- 10. Use an editorial calendar. Get all those content ideas and plans organized in an editorial calendar. If you’re not sure how an editorial calendar works, Annette has some tips for you.
- 11. Do your writing in batches. The same goes for the writing process. Once you get on a roll with your writing, it’s easier to write a bunch of articles or posts at once. You can also more effectively create connection between your articles to keep your readers interest from piece to piece.
- 12. Schedule time to create content. If you approach your days thinking that the time to write will automatically present itself, it probably won’t. Schedule your content writing time, so it gets done.
- 13. If you don’t feel like writing, don’t sweat it. On the other hand, if you just don’t feel like writing one day, don’t sweat it. Give yourself a break. But beware of doing this too often. Improving your writing skills takes discipline and practice. Sometimes it’s kind of like exercise. You don’t think you want to do it, but you always feel better afterward.
- 14. There are no laws about the number of posts you must write. I’m always puzzled when people create strict blogging schedules for themselves and then get frustrated when they can’t meet that schedule. If you have a very high traffic blog and each post you write ensures a return on investment, then by all means, you probably need to be more strict with yourself. But if a blog is a supplement to what you do or your traffic is just starting to grow, give yourself a break…especially when other important business activities need to be taken care of.
- 15. Hire someone to do your research. Adding facts, statistics and resources to your content makes it much more valuable. Of course, thorough research is time consuming. You can always hire someone to collect research for you, so you can focus on putting the content together. We’re available to do research for you.
- 16. Get some PLR. PLR or private label rights content is perhaps the easiest way to get ready-made content for your website. You don’t have to hire someone, check their work and go through all that process. Instead, you purchase polished and ready-to-go content. We have a bunch of illustrated PLR here and then we’ve got articles, reports and other great content here.
- 17. Stay up to date with current events: If you’re informed, it’s easier to find things to talk about. Pay attention to headlines and listen to news broadcasts in your downtime. Just don’t get so bogged down in being informed that you don’t have time to use that knowledge.
- 18. When you write, just write…don’t worry about mistakes: First drafts needn’t be perfect. The words will flow better if you just write without worrying about mistakes, formatting or any of the other things you can do later.
- 19. Get someone else to proofread your work. Proofreading one’s own work is a challenge. It’s hard to catch our own mistakes and sometimes we just want to move onto the next thing. We do proofreading at All Custom Content or if you can’t splurge for proofreading, at least read your content out loud to make sure you catch the mistakes.
- 20. Use contextual ads: While I don’t think contextual ads like Google Adsense or Chitika are a substitute for full content monetization, they are certainly an easy way to apply site-wide monetization without the need for editing each article. So if you’re in a hurry, contextual ads will do in a pinch.
- 21. Automatic link insertion: If you commonly talk about certain products, you can set up links with a plugin like Pretty Link Pro. Each time you mention those products, a link will automatically be inserted.
- 22. Hire a VA to publish, distribute and help you get your content out there. Writing is only one piece of the content marketing puzzle. It’s important to get as many eyeballs as possible on our content and that takes work. Hire a VA (virtual assistant) to help you with those pesky, but necessary, tasks. If you’re looking for a VA, we had a lot of people post their services here. And, of course, if you happen to be a VA, you can tell us about your services too.
- 23. Watch your competitors and fellow online business owners. Sign up for RSS feeds or use a special email address or sorting rule to funnel emails to one place. Scan headlines for ideas, create content responses and more.
- 24. Focus on the most profitable content first. Look at your stats and determine which types of content are producing the best results for you and put your focus their. For most of us, that will be email. An email list produces such a high ROI, so put your time into growing your list and creating content for it.
- 25. Realize that your blog CAN do that. If you use WordPress and have ever thought, “I wish my blog could do this,” chances are, your blog CAN do that. Search for plugin solutions in the WordPress plugin directory and do check out our plugins designed to monetize your content here too.
- 26. Hone your copywriting skills. One of THE most important thing for any content marketer to do is to hone their copywriting skills. When you understand copywriting, you can write more interesting and persuasive content. We cover copywriting and how it relates to content marketing in our free Better Content Marketing course.
- 27. Let your audience contribute. Ask them questions, have them submit photos and other material. Not only does this give you free content, it intensifies a sense of community and is a win-win for all.
- 28. Not every content piece has to be a literary masterpiece. I’ve seen people who insist an article needs to be X words long or people who think every single piece has to be your best work. Now, I’m not saying to do a shoddy job. Not all. However, it’s often our shortest posts and the ones we create on the fly that turn out to be the most popular. Besides, brevity is a good skill to have. Just ask Seth Godin.
- 29. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a glance at your Facebook feed or take note of the rise of Pinterest. People are visual creatures and love photos. Get in the habit of creating and sharing great photos and other images. It’s easy to do!
- 30. Reuse, recycle and sometimes reduce. Whether you reintroduce content to your audience or take snippets and ideas to create something new, a lot of what you need is probably in your front lawn. Here are some content environmentalist ideas for you.
- 31. Create a style sheet for your articles and blog posts. Whether you write all your content or get help, create a style sheet that identifies how to manage headlines, subheadlines, lists and more. Lesson 3 of our Better Content Marketing course includes some helpful suggestions for this.
- 32. Create template for your reports. Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you put together a report. Create a template that includes a title page, style sheet, footer and service/product promotions. Then use it and modify as necessary for each new report you create.
- 33. Save your bylines and use them as templates. A lot of people use the same byline for all the content they write. That certainly is the EASY way to approach it, but probably not the most effective. Each piece of content needs a byline carefully crafted for its topic. To make it easier to craft new bylines, keep a file with all your bylines, so you can tweak them for your specific project.
- 34. Add content curation to the mix. Who says your website has to create all the content? Using content curation techniques can bring traffic to your website and offer excellent resources to your audience. You might want to check out this webinar replay with Kelly McCausey and Tishia Lee about getting your VA to help with content curation.
- 35. Skip the inbox. Email is a great distraction, so close down your email program while you’re writing. Oh and shut down Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and everything else while you’re at it. It’s time to focus.
- 36. Discover your own productivity. There are a lot of productivity systems and approaches, but works for you will likely vary. Experiment to discover your most productive times and figure out what works for you. Derek wrote a few posts on productivity for us you can check out: How to Get More Done and Pomodoro & GTD Systems.
- 37. Get your apps for when you’re on the go. If you’re out and about, waiting in line or at the doctor’s office, these are great times to boost your productivity. You can download your favorite apps to your phone, so you can write quick blog posts (try the WordPress app), take notes, make graphics and more.
- 38. Have a place to write ideas as they come to you. Speaking of taking notes, always have a place where you can jot down ideas as they come to you. I just use the notes feature of my phone, but you might have a different preference. Just make sure to keep them in the place, so you don’t lose all those great ideas.
- 39. Speak it if you can’t type. If you’re driving or can’t stop to type, you can always record your ideas or even create little podcasts or recordings for your audience. Most smartphones come with a voice recorder, so take advantage of this whenever ideas strike.
- 40. Set your priorities. We touched on it earlier, but knowing where to spend your time is important. You can make all the to-do lists you want, but unless you prioritize your work, you’ll likely be running in circles. If you need a bit of help with prioritizing, get our Priority Checklist for the Well-Paid Content Publisher.
- 41.Overall, don’t be in a rush. Content marketing isn’t a race. He who has the most blog posts rarely wins. Instead, take your time coming up with great topics, researching them well, creating great content, monetizing it effectively and promoting it well. Make everything you do work to grow your business. When you rush, so much of that work is lost because you don’t get a chance to make the most out of each piece of content.
But that said, don’t drag your feet either. Don’t overthink things or wait for perfection. There is no such thing.
That’s all for now…for previous birthday posts, check these out:
- Top 40 Business and Content Lessons Learned
- 39 Things to Make Content Better
- 38 Favorite Resources for Content Marketers