Sometimes, when I’m producing content to help market my business and my clients’ websites, I come up with epic ideas that take hours -- even days -- of hard work to complete. But other times, I’m staring down the impending deadlines on my editorial calendar with a hundred other things to do, and I simply don’t have the time to commit to lengthy content pieces.
When I’m crunched for time, any of the following ideas help me to get engaging content up and running in just a few minutes. Give them a try if you find yourself in the same “crunch-time” position!
1. Answer a question in a video. These days, you don’t need expensive equipment to produce good quality video. Most of the built-in cameras on today’s smartphones and laptops come with all the tools needed to record footage, give it a quick edit and upload it directly to Youtube or some other video sharing service.
So to create these types of content pieces, grab a commonly-asked question you receive about your company’s products or services and record yourself answering it. Don’t overthink things or spend too much time editing, as your followers may connect better with this type of “off-the-cuff” footage (compared to something that’s been overly produced). Pop the video’s embed code into a blog post, add a quick intro paragraph and you’ve got a new blog post for just a few minutes of work!
2. Share an album of photos. The old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words may not translate directly to blog posts, but they can still save you plenty of time when you need to get content up quickly.
Depending on your company’s purpose, you may be able to create photo series on a number of different topics, including “behind the scenes” shots, images of your products being used or “sneak peeks” of upcoming releases. Even if you don’t fancy yourself much of a photographer, you can still create these quick content pieces by gathering stock images around a central theme or encouraging your customers to share their own pictures of your products or services at work and compiling them into a single blog post.
3. Reflect on a quote. There’s a reason that so many images featuring inspirational quotes go viral on social media sites -- people love them and they love to share them. You can harness this goodwill for your own content creation needs by creating blog posts that reflect on your favorite sayings.
Here’s how to do it: Grab a quote or saying that’s particularly meaningful for you. Then, either type out or create a video of your thoughts on how you’ve applied the quote to your personal or professional practices. Your reflections don’t need to be long -- they just need to give your readers something to think about and apply to their own lives.
4. Round up your favorite links. If you share interesting industry links to your social profiles throughout the week, you’re sitting on a potential goldmine of content ideas -- especially if you have a social media monitoring tool such as Sprout Social [plans start at $59 a month] in place.
At the start of each week, log into the area of your monitoring tool that reports analytics on your past posts and select the five to 20 links that received the most engagement on your social profiles. Compile these into a “weekly link-round-up” post to share on your website. It’ll only take a few minutes and -- as veteran blogger Sarah Von Bargen points out -- the results could be huge!
5. Update a past post. One final idea for creating content in just a few minutes is to take a blog post you’ve written in the past, update it with your latest insights and re-release it on your website.
For example, say you run a software-as-a-service accounting program and new legislation rolls out that affects recommendations you’ve made in past blog posts. Instead of reinventing the wheel with new posts, just go back and add a clarifying paragraph (as well as the date of your update) to the top of the article. Change the publish date to today’s date, and you’ve got a “new” content piece that saves you time while still providing your readers and followers with plenty of valuable information.
Obviously, these are only a few of the different shortcuts you can take when it comes to creating content. If you have other ideas for content pieces that can be created in five minutes or less, I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments section below!
Related: 9 Steps to Becoming a Great Writer
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