3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly

Creating content isn't for the weak. It's so easy to get caught up when producing content for your brand. You may find yourself lingering on a sentence because you want it to sound perfect. Alternatively, you may be stuck on what to write to begin with. Today, we are going to cover three things you can do to write content quickly so that you can get to the best part of owning a business, connecting with amazing customers!

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Brainstorm Often So You Always Have Something To Write About

It's so easy to be stuck on what to write. You may feel like there will never be another topic to talk about or you may feel like there is so much to talk about that you don't know where to start. Either of these issues can be daunting for someone trying to get a blog post finished.

I am not too fond of the idea of starting fresh every time you write. Instead, I am a big believer in brainstorming often. Stop spending valuable time looking at a blank screen for hours. Instead, brainstorm when you feel inspired or excited and keep that content for a rainy day.

It's easy to brainstorm content and then rush to produce it and get tapped out again. When I was in college it used to be hard for me to keep up during the semester, classes would get busy, and I would always falter on my blogging schedule. When classes let out, I was a blogging machine. In hindsight, I know that I should have done that differently. If I had worked when I was inspired and then scheduled out content appropriately, my audience would have been much better served.

On the flip side, don’t think you should only work when you are inspired. This kind of thinking is dangerous because we are often not inspired. Most of the time, we aren’t feeling it at all. Action brings feelings of inspiration if you are doing it right. Have you ever noticed how once you get into the flow of working, time passes by quickly, and it’s hard to put your pen down? Don’t think that you need inspiration to work. Instead, work to get inspiration.

Related Reading: Never Run Out Of Blog Topics Again: 11 Ways To Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas

Always Start With An Outline

I cannot work without an outline. I am a somewhat disjointed writer. Sometimes I write pieces from start to finish, but most of the time I jump around to the part of writing that excites me the most. It's impossible to jump around if you don't know where you are going.

So, I start all of my writing sessions by creating a simple to follow outline. I don't get too specific. I list my main points. If I can think of any significant subpoints, I'll list those out too. If a sentence strikes while I am writing my outline down, I will also fill that in under the appropriate point.

Creating an outline of my work helps me understand where I am going. Instead of rambling about who knows what, I always know exactly where I am and where I need to go.

An outline also helps me understand if a topic is feasible or not. Sometimes I will get an idea in my head that I want to write, but once I start outlining it, I may see that it's not that easy. I may need to make the topic more specific or broad. Sometimes I need to scrap a topic altogether. It's all apart of the writing process.

Before you put pen to paper officially, I encourage you to test the topic with an outline. It will save you so much time and energy through prequalifying your subject and keeping you on task while writing.

3 Tips to Help You Write Content Quickly | Do you have the content creation bug, but it takes you forever to get one post done? Check out this article for three tips that will help you produce content quickly so you can get back to serving your customers. #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Stop Trying To Perfect Content

Last, but not least, stop trying to produce perfect content. One of my internet friends, who talks about video confidence on her site Hazel Haven, always says "done is better than perfect." I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

We get so caught up in the nitty gritty of our content when most readers don't analyze our content like that. Unless you are writing content for editors, most people won't notice tiny mistakes in your content. You should not lie about facts and figures, but stop being so nitpicky when it comes to content creation.

When I produce content, I don’t overanalyze it. I write my content, read it a couple of times when I am working (which I am trying to get away from), and then I edit it more thoroughly with Grammarly. I am not one of those people who looks over every word with care. As long as my message is clear, I am clear.

You’ve got to learn to let it go at some point. It may be time to hire a freelancer if you can't imagine being able to write content without being a perfectionist. In the content marketing game, we aren't trying to be perfect. We are trying to relate to our audience.

Think about who you are trying to attract with your content: are they more concerned with the lessons they learn from your content or the spelling errors you might have? Chances are, they are there to learn, not nitpick. We are often our own worst critics so don’t fret if you have a few mistakes.

Conclusion

Creating content doesn't have to be a lengthy endeavor. You can create content quickly and easily, but it takes time and practice to get content creation down to a science. I hope that today's blog post helped you rethink what content creation means to you and your brand.

What are your best tips for creating content quicker?

What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important?

It's Monday, so that means I am back at it again with some more tips to help you rock it at content marketing and business. Today's topic: evergreen content. You may have heard this phrase tossed around a lot as a business owner getting into content marketing. I want to help you demystify this term and give you some great ideas for how to make this work on your business blog.

What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important? | Have you heard the term evergreen content but you have no clue what it means? Well, you need to learn because evergreen content will change your content marketing strategy forever. Click through to learn more about this term so you can create great content today. #ContentMarketing #ContentCreation #ContentStrategy #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Related Reading: What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It?

What Is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is that fantastic content that is relevant no matter the season. Content marketers love this type of content because they know it will pull in an audience no matter the day, month, or year. Once you have this content on your website, it will continue to pay dividends. It doesn't have an end date.

Why Is Evergreen Content Important?

Now that we have discussed what this type of content is, let's chat about why it's so important!

Evergreen Content Is Always Relevant

Did I mention that evergreen blog or video content is always relevant? That's why evergreen pieces are so important. You know that what you post will continue to stay relevant to your ideal audience for a long time to come. Since your blog pushes out relevant content, you will begin to build authority in your niche, and we all know how awesome that is!

Evergreen Content Is Easy To Schedule

Have you ever seen someone accidentally post a Christmas piece in March? It's pretty awkward, huh? If your blog is filled with timely articles and you use an automatic scheduler like MeetEdgar or SmarterQueue, you may find yourself tweeting about Halloween in March. When you have a ton of evergreen posts on your blog, though, you cut down your chances of that happening significantly.

Evergreen Content Is Cost-Effective

Since evergreen content is always relevant, spending money on this type of content is cost-effective. You know that if you ask a freelancer to write an evergreen piece, you will be able to reap the rewards of that blog post for a long time to come. On the other hand, if you get a freelancer to write about your Christmas sale, that will only apply to your business for a few weeks to a month at most. While there is a place for timely content, that we'll discuss later, you can't deny that evergreen posts are pretty amazing.

What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important? | Have you heard the term evergreen content but you have no clue what it means? Well, you need to learn because evergreen content will change your content marketing strategy forever. Click through to learn more about this term so you can create great content today. #ContentMarketing #ContentCreation #ContentStrategy #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Examples Of Evergreen Content

Now that we have talked about evergreen content and why it's important, let's walk through some examples of this type of content.

Evergreen content is always relevant, so you want to write articles that people in your niche will always be searching for. I am going to walk through some ideas across a variety of categories like how-tos, listicles, checklists, and more.

When it comes to evergreen blog posts, I am particularly partial to listicles. I like listicles because they keep you organized. If you know you are listing six restaurants in your list, you can create a template to follow for each restaurant. Lists stop you from doing too much rambling.

How-To Ideas

  • How To Start A Community Garden

  • How To Start A Blog In College

  • How To Find Friends As A Young Adult

Listicle Ideas

  • 10 Things You Must Have In Your Car

  • 5 Amazing Places To Eat In Denver

  • 5 Things I Wish I Told My Daughter When She Was Younger

Checklist Ideas

Checklists and listicles seem similar, but I would say that the main difference is that listicles aren't necessarily a step-by-step process or something you are checking off. I would also include an actual checklist in your checklist articles that people can print off and check off as they go.

  • 7 Things You Must Do Before You Hit Publish On A Blog

  • 101 Things You Must See In Nashville

  • 11 Things You Must Do Before Every Party

Case Study Ideas

  • Instagram Madness: How The Brand Grew To 1,000,000,000 Monthly Active Users

  • How I Grew My Brand's Shares X% By Creating Infographics

  • How X Brand Increased Their Email List Signups By x%

Explainer Piece Ideas

  • What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important? (hey, that's this blog!)

  • Why Do You Need Good Lighting To Shoot YouTube Videos?

  • What Is IGTV And Should I Use It For My Brand?

Related Reading: Use These 16 Content Ideas To Get High-Quality Traffic To Your Site In 2018 (And Beyond) | Check out this piece for even more awesome content ideas you can use!

How To Mix Evergreen Content With Timely Content

Your entire site shouldn't be made of evergreen content. Timely content has a place on your site! Those timely pieces make a difference because they can increase traffic to your website. Posting about your sales can help boost sales. Talking about those initiatives you are running for a short period can help raise brand awareness.

There isn't a magic number or ratio of evergreen to timely content, unfortunately. I can't give you the number you are likely craving to help you produce better content. I will say that I would not personally make more than 10% of your content timely. If you are continually posting sales are chasing current events, your site won't be great in the long run.

Let's put it like this. A few months ago I was obsessed with rewatching old episodes of Saturday Night Live as I was going to bed. They had a bunch of older seasons of the show on Hulu from around 2007-2008 and some even earlier than that. Some of the sketches I got, but a ton of the sketches were laughable because they just weren't correct. Those pieces served a purpose to make the country laugh when they aired in 2007, but in 2018, they didn't make as much sense.

You want most of your content to make sense in 2019, 2025, and even 2038. The best way to do that is to make evergreen content.

What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important? | Have you heard the term evergreen content but you have no clue what it means? Well, you need to learn because evergreen content will change your content marketing strategy forever. Click through to learn more about this term so you can create great content today. #ContentMarketing #ContentCreation #ContentStrategy #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

Evergreen Content Upkeep

You may be wondering what I mean by upkeep. I know I just said that evergreen content is always relevant, but that doesn't mean you never have to show it some love now and again. You need to keep up with all of your content!

Every week I would dig back in your archive to check out some of your old posts. You may want to do 3-5 blogs a week or more depending on how much content you have. Go through a list:

  • Can I add more content to make this more relevant?

  • Do I still use the tools I am recommending here?

  • Do these links still work and get me to where I want to be?

  • Does this place or tool I am recommending still exist?

  • Are there any new tools or blogs I can recommend to my audience to make their lives easier?

  • Can I add some affiliate links to this article to monetize it?

  • Do my pictures look outdated? Do I need new social media images?

  • Can I interlink any new pieces to this post?

Upkeep is essential to keep your evergreen pieces evergreen. You won't likely need to make any significant adjustments to an evergreen piece, but you need to make sure that you are visiting them often anyway.

Conclusion: Pump Up The Evergreen Content!

So, here are my conclusions about evergreen content: pump them up! You should want to create pieces that are always relevant to your audience. Content creation can be difficult, so you want to make sure that all your pieces count!

You should mix evergreen and timely content. It never hurts to be current and trendy so you can get those traffic increases, but your entire content strategy shouldn't depend on that.

Related Reading: How To Plan One Year Of Content For Your Business Blog

Pin Me!

What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It So Important? | Have you heard the term evergreen content but you have no clue what it means? Well, you need to learn because evergreen content will change your content marketing strategy forever. Click through to learn more about this term so you can create great content today. #ContentMarketing #ContentCreation #ContentStrategy #Blogging #BloggingAdvice

What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It?

So, you are ready to hire your first content freelancer! Congratulations! That's an exciting time for any company. Freelancers can make your life so much easier, and writing freelancers are particularly remarkable. Content is king, but producing consistent content takes up a ton of time. We already know that freelance content only works if you do, so how do you make sure that you will get perfect content every time? Simple, you produce a content style guide. Today on the blog we will break down what a content style guide is, what to include in it, and how to deliver it to your freelancers! Are you ready? Let's go!

What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It? | Is your company ready to hire a freelance content writer? Well, before you hand out your first assignment, you should consider producing a content style guide. A content style guide will help you create the content you want, and get it done right the first time. #ContentMarketing #ContentCreation #ContentWriting #FreelanceContent

What Is A Content Style Guide?

First things first, let's talk about the elephant in the room. What is a content style guide? If you have never heard of this topic before, let's delve deeper into what it is and how it can help you as a business owner.

A content style guide is merely a document you produce that gives your content team an overview of what you want from each article posted on your blog. You can create a content style guide for things like ebooks or emails as well. We are going to focus on blog content for the sake of this article, though.

There are many types of style guides that a business might produce. For example, you have probably seen a style guide for the visual elements of a website such as brand colors, fonts, and logos. A content style guide is similar; only it's geared towards the content your team produces, not the visual elements your brand has.

You can imagine that this document is pretty important. When you create this style guide, your content will begin to sing in harmony. No matter if you have an in-house team or a group of freelancers, everyone will know what to produce and how to produce it.

What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It?

What Should You Include In Your Content Style Guide?

Now that we have talked about what a content style guide is, let's chat about what to include in yours. The following is not a comprehensive list of what to include. I am sharing some of the things that I feel are crucial, but it will depend on your brand.

Topic/Primary Keyword

One of the first things you should include in your content style guide is the topic or primary keyword you are trying to reach with this piece. What string of words do you want to appear most often in the article? What are you targeting with this piece? With this information, your content writer can do more research on this topic so they can produce a fantastic piece that will be better than whatever is currently out there on this topic.

Title

If you have a title in mind, you may also want to include the exact title of the piece you want written. The topic/keyword likely covers a vast subject area. The title will give your writer more insight into the direction you want to take the post. Without a solid title in place, you are giving your content producer a ton of free reign, which you may or may not want to give.

Word Count

Word count is a vital piece of information for any article you want written. If you were expecting the article to be 1,000 words, but your content writer produced something that was 500 words, you would be upset. By explicitly sharing your word count, or word count range, you can cut down on a lot of frustration.

Audience

Next, let's chat about your audience. You need to get detailed about the audience you write for in your content style guide. Let your freelancer or content writer know precisely who you are speaking to. Here are a few things you may want to let your writer know about.

Age

How old is your audience? Do they have a particular age range? Are they millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers? Let your freelancer know.

Gender

Depending on the type of content, women and men may perceive your article differently. Does your audience not conform to typical gender norms? There are so many things you may want to explain when discussing gender and your audience.

Lifestyle

When it comes to your audience, how do they live their lives? Do you speak to single mothers? Is your page trying to attract athletes? Do you want to help at-risk teens? Help your writer connect to your audience by sharing the lifestyle traits you want them to have.

Education

What is your audience's level of education? Are most of them still in school? Do they have a high school diploma? Maybe they have advanced degrees? Education will let your writer know what level they should be writing content for.

Brand Personality

After you have delved into your audience and their personality, chat about your brand personality. You want to use all these words and phrases you pick below to come up with a solid paragraph explaining your brand and how you see your brands personality.

Tone/Voice

What tone of voice do you use? Are you stern or silly? Romantic or dramatic? Excited or playful? Delve deep to pull out the mood you want to convey in your articles.

Adjectives To Describe Brand

One cool exercise that will help your writers out a lot is giving them 1-3 adjectives that would describe your brand. Check out this adjective list from Elise Epp Designs if you need some help picking your brand adjectives.

Language Used

You may want to consider some of the ways you speak. Do you use any:

  • Dialect of a language

  • Jargon

  • Purposefully misspelled words

Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation/Citation

Last, you also need to consider how you want spelling and grammar to be handled in your articles as well as punctuation. Also, do you have any particular citation style you want to use for outside information or extra reading?

Description Of Article

If you want to go into super detail, you may also have a paragraph giving a bit more explanation for the article you want written. This is where you can speak directly on the article, share any headers you want in the article, and give more description of what the finished result would look like.

Secondary Keywords

We know that articles can rank for more than one keyword. If you have some extra keywords that you would like used in the article, be sure to create a section for those keywords. Keep in mind that you don't want to ask for so many secondary keywords that your article becomes a cluttered mess.

Extra Notes

Next, you may want to add a section for additional notes. This is the time at the wedding where you say "speak now, or forever hold your peace." At least for this document, you can always exchange more information outside of this document.

Explain Weird Quirks In Your Brand

This is your last chance to add anything quirky about your brand that we haven't covered yet. If you have anything you can think of, add it here!

Content You Want Linked To In The Article?

Do you have any blog posts that you would like to see linked on this post? You want to add that to the extra notes section, so your writer knows to link this content as one of your internal or external links.

Content Examples

Last, but not least, you want to wrap up by providing some great content examples. Your writers should know what you would consider great content. This section holds even more weight if you can pull from your website. Share 3-5 examples, and make sure to include at least one sample from your website if you can!

What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It?

How Should You Deliver Your Content Style Guide?

Now that you have created your content style guide, you may be wondering, how do I deliver this style guide to my freelancer? Well, you can deliver this via Google Drive or as an attachment to an email when you are assigning them work.

Freelancers want to make you happy with the content they produce for you. They won't mind reading through a style guide to make sure they are creating the piece you want. When they can do the article right the first time, this cuts down on a ton of confusion.

Content style guides are beneficial when you are just starting a freelancer relationship. After a while, you probably won't need to hand them a style guide every time, but for the first month or so, deliver the guide with your assignments.

Wouldn't A Great Freelancer Ask All These Questions Anyway?

You may be wondering: wouldn't a great freelancer ask all these questions about my brand anyway? Yes, they may ask you all these questions. So, why is a content style guide still essential? Well, it delivers the answer to common freelancer questions in one, easy to read document.

Instead of looking through a dozen emails to find the answers to these questions, your freelancer can look through a straightforward document to make sure they have everything you want. Best of all, you cut down on having to answer those same emails. Both you and your freelancer's time is valued. You don't have time to answer emails, and your freelancer doesn't have time to send emails.

Instead of waiting for your freelancer to ask the right questions, give them the answers. You will both save a ton of time that way.

What Is A Content Style Guide And What Should You Include In It?

Grab Your Content Style Guide Template

I know that this may be hard to conceptualize, which is why I created a simple to use content style guide template for you. I even filled it in with an example of how I might create a style guide for this blog post.

Do you want your content style guide template?

––>Click Here To Get Your Content Style Guide Template<––

This will take you to a Google Drive document where you will get instructions on how to add this template to your Google Drive!

Extra Resources On How To Create A Content Style Guide

Here are some additional resources for you if you are looking to create a content style guide for your brand.

How To Create A Style Guide For Your SEO Content Writers via Search Engine Land

A Complete Process For Developing A Content Style Guide via GatherContent

MailChimp's Style Guide (MailChimp has a fantastic public style guide that way more in-depth than I could ever cover in this article.)

Steal From These Style Guides. Your Content Will Thank You. via Kapost Blog (For more style guide inspiration)

Conclusion

Let's end this conversation with the following words: your content department needs a content style guide. You will be a lot happier with the content that comes from your in-house and freelance writers. It only takes a few minutes to fill in a style guide for the articles you want created. If you can find a writer to write the article, you can produce a quick style guide for the article.

Get out and create your content style guide!

Have you ever thought about creating a content style guide? Are you going to create one now?