8 Ways to Speed Up Your Content Creation

In today‘s digital landscape, content marketing has become a core strategy for most businesses. Consider these statistics:

  • 97% of businesses use content marketing in some form (Semrush, 2022)
  • 71% of marketers say content marketing has become more important to their organizations in the last year (Content Marketing Institute, 2022)
  • Brands that have embraced content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than those that haven‘t (Aberdeen, 2019)

Clearly, content is key for driving awareness, engagement, credibility and conversions. But consistently producing quality content at scale remains a top challenge.

The good news is, by implementing the right strategies, tools and processes, you can dramatically ramp up your content creation without sacrificing quality. Here‘s how:

1. Develop a focused content strategy

Don‘t create content just for the sake of it. Take the time upfront to develop a focused content strategy aligned with your brand and goals.

  • Define your target audience and buyer personas
  • Identify the topics and types of content that resonate with them
  • Do keyword research to uncover content opportunities
  • Clarify your brand voice and style
  • Set measurable objectives and KPIs for your content

Document this in a content marketing mission statement and style guide to keep your efforts focused and consistent.

2. Map out your content with an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is essential for planning ahead and keeping content production on track. Map out your content a month or quarter in advance, including:

  • Blog post topics and target keywords
  • Content format (blog post, video, infographic, etc.)
  • Titles and outlines
  • Deadlines for first drafts and publishing dates
  • Channels for promotion and distribution

Break annual goals down into monthly and weekly targets. Assign owners for each piece. Build in time for reviews and approvals. Using a tool like Trello, Asana or CoSchedule can help you collaborate and stay organized.

3. Have a repository of content ideas ready to go

Writer‘s block is real, and it can delay your content efforts. Avoid this by building up a backlog of relevant topic ideas to choose from.

  • Brainstorm ideas based on your audience‘s key interests, questions and pain points
  • Use tools like BuzzSumo and Feedly to discover trending topics in your industry
  • See what your competitors are writing about for inspiration (but don‘t copy them)
  • Ask your sales and customer service teams what questions they get most often
  • Check your web and social analytics to see your top-performing content
  • Repurpose existing assets into new formats

Quickly capture these ideas in a spreadsheet or database. Aim to add 5-10 new ideas per week so you always have a supply to draw from.

4. Streamline research and outlining

Don‘t get bogged down in research. While it‘s important to back up your content with authoritative sources, you can speed up this process:

  • Save top sites and studies in your industry for quick reference
  • Use research and outlining tools like Evernote, Notion and Scrivener
  • Hire a virtual assistant to compile relevant statistics and examples
  • Reuse and update research from your existing content when applicable

Create a standard outline template for each content type to provide a consistent structure. This might include an intro, 3-5 key points, examples, visuals and a conclusion. Customize it for each piece and jot down bullet points before starting a first draft.

5. Find your peak writing time and eliminate distractions

Focus is critical for writing faster. While everyone‘s different, most people have certain times of day when they‘re most productive. Pay attention to when you have the most energy and least interruptions.

Then, block this time on your calendar specifically for content creation. Treat it as an important meeting with yourself. During this time:

  • Close your email and chat apps
  • Put your phone on silent
  • Find a quiet space to work
  • Use a tool like Freedom to temporarily block distracting websites
  • Set a timer for focused work sprints
  • Take short breaks and reward yourself when you hit milestones

Tracking your time on various tasks can help you optimize your content creation process. Aim to write during the times when your output is highest.

6. Speed up your writing process

Staring at a blank page is daunting. But a few simple hacks can get you in a state of flow faster:

  • Start with an outline and flesh it out, rather than writing linearly
  • Don‘t edit while you write – do a brain dump first, then revise later
  • Try dictation tools to capture your initial thoughts
  • Use AI writing assistants like Jasper or Copy.ai to generate ideas and rough drafts
  • Set small goals, like writing for 25 minutes or completing 500 words

The more you flex your writing muscles, the more efficient you‘ll become.

7. Leverage different content formats

Not all content needs to be long-form blog posts or videos. Mixing up formats can make your content more engaging while saving you time:

  • Turn quotes and stats into social media graphics with Canva
  • Summarize key takeaways from a webinar or podcast into a checklist
  • Create an infographic or SlideShare from a data-heavy post
  • Turn instructional posts into short tutorial videos
  • Curate social media posts into Twitter Moments or Instagram guides

Different people prefer to consume content in different ways. Presenting information in various formats makes it more accessible and shareable.

8. Repurpose, update and expand content

You likely have a wealth of existing content you can repurpose to get more mileage out of it. Identify your top-performing or evergreen pieces and consider:

  • Refreshing posts with updated information and examples
  • Turning a series of posts into an ebook or email course
  • Pulling key points from a white paper into an article
  • Turning internal data into case studies or industry reports
  • Creating "best of" roundup posts that curate your content

You can also expand on content that resonated well with your audience by creating follow-up posts, FAQs or complementary assets that dive deeper into the topic.

9. Establish a content review and optimization process

Having a standardized review and editing process can prevent bottlenecks before publishing. Implement workflows that automatically notify designated reviewers and clearly communicate deadlines.

Use editing tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to check for errors and improve readability. Optimize content for search and conversions, including:

  • Incorporating relevant keywords naturally
  • Adding engaging titles, headers and meta descriptions
  • Including clear calls-to-action
  • Making content visually appealing and skimmable
  • Optimizing for featured snippets

Build these steps into your content process to maintain quality and make your content as effective as possible.

10. Don‘t create in a vacuum – collaborate and outsource

Finally, you don‘t have to do everything yourself. Tapping into the skills and perspectives of other people can greatly expand your content capabilities and speed.

  • Crowdsource blog post ideas and outlines from your whole team
  • Have designers create templates for social media visuals that you can easily customize
  • Invite guest bloggers to contribute unique content
  • Interview experts and influencers to co-create content
  • Curate and share quality content from others (with attribution)
  • Hire freelance writers and designers to scale your content pipeline

Many hands make light work. By collaborating with others and using the right tools, you can significantly ramp up your content output to drive real business results.

Start implementing these strategies and techniques to streamline your content creation process. Track your progress and continually optimize your workflows to produce quality content faster. With a focused plan and the right approach, you‘ll be well on your way to content marketing success.