Whether you write for yourself or others, creating high-quality, valuable content on a consistent basis is a challenge. The traffic, subscribers, and sales that come from high-quality content make it a necessity for most businesses. However, creating great content is time-consuming. Many businesses just don’t have the time or resources to spend on content creation as it means they have to sacrifice something else that’s important to their business.
The good news is that you can learn how to create content faster without sacrificing quality. Below are just a few ways you can optimize content creation and shorten the writing process while still producing high-quality content.
1. Make an Outline
Creating an outline is one of the best ways to keep your thoughts and purpose organized before you write your blog post. When you create a complete, bulleted outline, you have a direction for your ideas, which helps keep you on track when you start to write. As you brainstorm, you can add content to each bullet point to ensure your ideas are organized. For longer posts, you can include resources under each header so that you can find your references quickly and easily when you begin to write.
While each piece of content will focus on a different topioc, the outline for each asset will pretty much stay the same. Consider making outline templates for the different types of content you create. For instance, you could create a blog outline template, like this one from HubSpot, that you use every time you write a blog.
2. Narrate Your Content First
Most people speak significantly faster than they can type. And while they may be able to articulate their ideas well when speaking, the words may not come as easily when they start to type. If you find yourself staring at a blank page or often stopping while you’re writing because you lost your train of thought, you’re not alone. It may help to get your ideas out first and then write later. All of the little pauses and delays can result in a significant amount of time spent thinking about writing and not actually writing content.
When you’re speaking, you don’t lose your train of thought as easily, so you can get more words and general thoughts down. Use a recorder app, a talk-to-text app, or other dictation software to get your ideas down before you start to write. The end result of your recording may not always make sense, but you can go through and organize your thoughts to make sure your ideas are clear and well supported.
One of the biggest benefits of narrating your content is that you’re not focused on length, vocabulary, or grammar like you would be while writing content. You’re just getting ideas down so that you can fine-tune it later.
3. Edit Later
Mult-tasking has a negative impact on mental organization and productivity. If you’re trying to edit your work as you write, you’re multitasking and cheating yourself out of valuable time. It not only shifts your focus, but it disrupts the flow of your ideas. Don’t think about what you should edit, just get the words down and you can edit later.
Most writers complete the first draft and then build from this draft to write a completed piece of content. This process should be no different for content marketing. Write everything that comes into your head, don’t worry about edits or revisions, and just get the words down. When it’s completed, you’ll have an opportunity to go in and edit errors and refine your content. You’ll not only have a better end product, but you’ll also save time in the overall process.
4. Remove Distractions and Interruptions
Some pieces of content are long and require a significant amount of research to complete. While you will need to spend some time researching and writing these more comprehensive posts, you can still save time by limiting the distractions or interruptions that may make the process even longer.
If possible, find a quiet and comfortable place where you can write without people interrupting you. Limit your use of social media, your smartphone, and anything else that might distract you from content writing.
5. Do More Research
This piece of advice may seem a little counterintuitive but stay with me here…
When content creators find themselves short on words, it’s often because they may not know enough about a topic or they may not know what information is important for the reader to know. Sometimes a little extra research can go a long way in helping you create more and better content on a topic.
Use your research to create content that will be the most valuable for your audience. If you are writing a topic about something that is unfamiliar, take some time to become comfortable with the subject matter so that you won’t struggle to write later on. As for topics that have been covered a million times, you can do a little research to find out what new angles you might take on the topic.
6. Practice Your Typing Skills
While this may seem like a simple tip, practicing your typing skills can go a long way in shortening your writing time. The average typing speed is around 40 words per minute. With a little practice, it’s not difficult to bring that up to 60 or 70 words per minute, which nearly doubles your production. When you’re putting out multiple blog posts, that time really adds up.
If you’re not proficient at typing, it’s a skill worth developing. Like other skills, typing takes time and practice to improve. There are numerous free tools and apps you can use to gauge your typing speed. If you fall at or below average, consider investing in typing software to help you reduce bad habits (like looking at the keyboard) and learn correct typing technique to improve your speed.
7. Break Down Larger Projects
Sitting down for hours at a time to write is not always the most productive way to complete writing projects. Sometimes trying to tackle a big project all in one sitting ends up leaving you with little inspiration or focus. Instead, you may want to try blocking out your time and working on larger writing projects in chunks, instead of all at once.
While not every person responds to the same time management techniques, many individuals swear by the Pomodoro technique. This method of time management involves working in short sprints and taking frequent breaks to keep you motivated and creative. If you find yourself often burning out from larger, more time-consuming writing projects, try taking more breaks. While this may seem counterintuitive as you’re trying to save time, it may actually make you more productive as you’ll have more energy and focus.
8. Hire Freelancers
If you’re struggling with workload or deadlines, consider hiring freelance writers. You can either have a team of freelancers who help with high-volume projects or you can bring on temporary freelance writers if you’re in a bind with too many projects and not enough time. Search for freelance writers who already have experience writing about the industry or topics that your content focuses on. These writers will most likely need very little direction from you to complete their assignments.
While hiring freelancers does require some additional budget, it’s one of the easiest ways for businesses to produce great content at a higher volume. And often the cost of freelance work is not on par with the opportunity costs you experience by having members of your team create content when they have other responsibilities that contribute to your core business.
9. Update and Repurpose Old Content
Polishing up old content takes less time than creating new content from scratch. That’s why business owners and content marketers should spend time updating and repurposing old or outdated content.
Stale content on your website is not only clutter for visitors, but it’s also a wasted opportunity for you. Ideally, you want your content to be fresh and topical, but you don’t always have to produce new content from scratch. Take some time to go through old blog posts to update facts and information, correct any grammatical errors, and add new information. This will not only keep your readers interested, but it will also improve your SEO by keeping your content relevant and optimized.
You can also repurpose old content. Having a mix of content types is a great help for your readers, so take old blog posts and turn them into videos, infographics, or podcasts. If you have a lot of content on a particular topic, consider turning the content into an e-book or guide or including them in a longer post. These are great ways to get more out of the content that you already have written.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
Like anything else, you will become better and faster at writing the more that you do it. If you’re only writing one or two blog posts each week, you’re not likely to be very fast at it. As you write more and more, you’ll find tips and tricks of your own that help you organize your ideas and shorten the content creation process to produce more good content.
If you don’t have a workload that keeps you writing every day, consider starting your own passion blog, journaling, writing short stories, or engaging in any other type of writing to make it part of your daily routine and get your practice in.
Get Professional Help to Improve Your Content Creation
These tips on how to create content faster should help you streamline your productivity and produce better content in less time. However, sometimes you just don’t have the time to write, even if your writing process is as efficient as it can be.
That’s where WriterAccess comes in. We connect talented freelance writers, editors, content strategists, and translators with the agencies and businesses who need help creating more and better content. Want to see how it works for yourself? Start your 14-day trial today.
Jill B has over ten years of experience in Internet marketing, including writing SEO website content, blog writing, and social media management. She has worked with many well-known national brands, large e-commerce websites, and dozens of attorneys and physicians across the United States. In addition to her Internet marketing experience, Jill has many years of experience in the staffing industry, where she has worked as an executive recruiter, a branch manager of a temporary staffing firm, and as a Career Services Specialist on a college campus.