Feeding the Beast – 5 Quick Tips to Satisfy the Content Generation Monster

There is a growing recognition amongst the business fraternity that the days of the static, brochure-style website are dead and buried. All hail the living, breathing, regularly-updated website and resource hub – packed full of up-to-the-minute news, views, opinions and downright valuable content.

No doubt you can see the benefits of this kind of approach – loved in equal measure by your contacts, clients and Google’s spiders too. (More on this here). So you work really hard to set up a new updateable site, populated with said news, views, opinions and good content. It looks great, clients say they love it, you start to see traffic and leads.

And then it dawns on you – the hard work doesn’t stop here. You’ve got to keep on feeding the monster:

…new blog articles…fresh ideas…latest case studies…daily tweets…monthly newsletters…emails…resources…downloads…writing…writing…writing…on and on….

You’re facing the challenge of constant content creation. It’s a strategic problem that every company will need to think through in the coming years. How do you ensure that you continue to come up with high quality written content on what you do?

There’s no easy answer here but the following ideas should help you:

1. Little and often

Make time. Recognise that this is of vital importance to your business and set aside time every day or week to write. Block time out in your diary, switch off your email and phone and hang a large ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door. Get the writing done.

2. Share the problem

Portion out the work to make it more achievable. A very organised, clear-thinking client of mine has set up a content writing rota. Each of his designated subject matter experts takes his or her turn to produce a new article every two weeks. With 6 subject matter experts that is one post every 3 months – now that’s achievable.

3. Shortcuts to good content

Make the task of creating content easier for yourself. Mix it up – share other people’s opinions alongside your own or invite guest bloggers to contribute whose ideas add weight to your company’s approach.

Another shortcut is to repurpose existing content. Remember – you don’t always have to start from scratch. Sales proposals for example are a fantastic source of inspiration for your articles, and you’ve already done the hard work of answering client queries. Repackaging some of this content for an article takes half the time. Find a way of writing more efficiently.

4. Create a content writing role

Make this someone’s job. Add the role of ‘Content Writer’ to the your organisation’s structure chart.

NB: Finding someone who can write well is not enough. This person will need enough insight, empathy and curiosity to ask the right question, to understand and respond to your customers’ issues and deliver your unique message. It’s a fascinating job that will really bring benefit.

5. Outsource the problem

(You had a feeling I’d put this in, didn’t you?) Another approach is to engage the services of an external content expert. Their independence will give them objectivity. The right freelance content writer will come up with a fresh approach to delight your customers and get you maximum exposure.

Choose carefully. You’ll get the best results from a long term relationship with someone who quickly understands your message, recognises the needs of your target audience and communicates this with interest and clarity. Oh – and it helps if they are easy to work with too!

What is your strategy?

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Constant content generation is a growing necessity for professional businesses in today’s web-based, social media driven world. I hope these 5 ideas help you to decide how your company will respond to the need for regular, high quality content.

Do tell me if they are useful. How will you feed the content generation monster?

» Download your free Idea Starter here: Feeding the Content Creation Monster | E-book »

We’ve put together a short e-book to help you come up with solutions to the content creation challenge. This Valuable Content Idea Starter explores the best ways of getting your people blogging. Download the e-book here.

US Content Marketing expert Joe Pulizzi has written a good article on the subject too. See  ‘Content Infinity’ – echoes the need to think about your future content strategy. Good read.

{Lovely monster balloon image © Lizzie Everard 2010 – super-talented Bristol-based photographer, designer, artist and Valuable Content consipirator www.lizzieeverard.com}

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  1. Lizzie

    Thank you for this Sonja. As ever, to the point, specific and direct. Really helps to have someone thinking clearly on the big picture. Some of us work necessarily in colouring outside the lines, but therefore it can be a struggle to get clarity! Look forward to more posts as Valuable Content finds its wings. (nb. Still no hot air…)

  2. Joe Pulizzi

    Hi Sonja…great post and thanks for the shout out.

    In addition to your recommendation on the content writing role, all companies need a chief content officer. Someone in charge of the educational messaging, who’s always looking for where the stories are at in and around the brand and how to communicate them.

    Content, as you know, is central to the marketing process now. Setting up people to own the content is critical.

    Keep up the great work!


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