Content is the backbone of a blog. And it can’t be just “any” content – it should be great content; epic content – so your business can really gain traction in this crowded web space.
But who has got the time to create long, in-depth content always? And it is a pretty daunting task too.
If you attempt to write longer, in-depth, detailed posts on every attempt – assuming you are publishing once or twice a week, you will soon burn yourself out.
You can put yourself in a lot of stress; blogging could become unpleasant to you in a short while. Plus if you attempt to write the same kind of post every time, no matter how much effort you put in, you could bore your readers.
The problem arises mainly because many bloggers think writing long posts will make their posts epic.
I find many of Seth Godin’s posts to be epic and you know how long they are.
It is not in the word count – but it is in the message you are delivering. At the same time, I am a fan of long, in-depth posts – some ideas need that many words to be clearly said and you might also need to make the post in-depth by not only telling people a simple message, but also need to
- tell your own story as to why you think that message is crucial
- how people can relate it to their own business/life
- what are the tips you offer in relation to that message
- how people can implement those tips
- what is the expected outcome of your suggestions
- any personal insights, etc.
As you can see, implementing all the above factors in your blog post will make it, sort of, complete, highly useful, actionable and of course, long.
However, on the flip side, here’s something I want to tell you – A blog needs to be fresh and entertaining while also being useful. So publishing the same kind of content at your blog is not a good idea. Plus trying to publish long, in-depth blog posts always is not a good idea too (unless you are publishing once a month or lesser or it depends on how many other hands you have to help you in your business).
So the main aim of this post is to provide you with ideas to help you create blog posts with much lesser effort.
Let me make one thing clear – I am, by no means, encouraging you to publish mediocre posts that involve much less effort. However you need not kill yourself in the process of creating content.
The key here is to strike the right balance. If you follow an editorial calendar, or a particular pattern/frequency in publishing posts on your blog, allot specific slots for long, in-depth posts, and also for the type of posts I am about to discuss in a moment.
You have to create the right mix so that
- you keep your blog interesting to your readers
- you offer variety in your content so your readers don’t get bored
- you provide value at the same time – not all of your posts are long doesn’t mean you are publishing rubbish
- you help yourself to continue creating content consistently without burning out and without putting stress on yourself.
Let’s dive in shall we?
Put up a video
A video is one of the quickest ways to put the word out! Of course I am talking about quick videos here.
There are videos that are created with much effort – established business owners like Marie Forleo, Derek Halpern and others script it, shoot it in a studio, have a crew and spend thousands of dollars on an episode (or at least hundreds of dollars, I’m not very sure).
I am not talking about “that” kind of video here. I am talking about switching on your webcam or the camera on your phone to shoot a quick video where you talk your idea, or tip to the camera.
Once done, just upload it to YouTube or other video hosting service, embed it on your blog, put a relevant heading, fill in the meta data and write a short description, hit publish.
This shouldn’t take longer. In fact, rather than writing your idea in the form of a “formal” blog post, shooting a video should make things a lot easier – talking is much easier, at least to me
Create a list post
List posts are classics that still prove to be interesting and useful. And they don’t need a lot of time to get written. In fact once you outline the post 80% of the job is done, in the case of list posts.
But don’t jump into the wrong conclusion that you can crank out crap in the name of list posts. That never works. I mean, crap never works on the internet, no matter in what form it is produced – that is an important side note here.
However, you can publish a highly useful set of tips, or ideas, in a short and sweet manner – to the point – in the form of a list post.
Not only you can write a list post in a very short time, but your readers can also read a list post in a very short time. For all those who scan a post, list post will make it much easier to scan.
Make sure you format your list post properly, by highlighting the crucial point (in every list item) – you can make the text bold or do something else to make it stand out.
Create a roundup post
This can be done quickly – however, you need to keep yourself updated in order to find awesome content to share with your readers. You have lots of options to stay updated these days. You can subscribe to certain RSS feeds. You can sign up for Google Alerts.
Or you can join blogging communities like DoSplash where you can discover new content and stay up to date in one place.
You may publish this kind of post once a week or once a month depending upon how your editorial calendar allows for it.
Roundup posts are not only easier to create, but you can also make some friends in the process. Of course when you recommend a set of posts to your readers, you refer traffic to another blogger. You get in his/her radar. This can be useful for building genuine, long term connections.
Write a short opinion on a topic
Seth Godin has been doing this for years now. Of course, you and me are not Seth Godin. So publishing only short opinions won’t cut it. As I said at the start of this post, you can occasionally publish this kind of post.
Take up any topic in your industry or even outside your industry and give it your spin; give your opinion; tell people why you like the idea or why you hate it. Or tell people how they can use that idea for their own business/life. Or tell people how you implemented that idea to your business/life and how you benefited.
Or simply tell people what you think about something – it couldn’t get any simpler!
Write a “best of” post
This is different from a round up post where you share some of the best posts around the web. A “best of” post is something where you compile some of your best posts, write a short, compelling description for each of them and publish.
There are quite some benefits in publishing a “best of” post:
- You can focus your best posts on one page
- You can create a new post quickly using your old posts
- You can remind your readers of your old posts – bring back those posts to life even after they are buried
- Good for on-site search engine optimization.
You could publish a “best of” post every month so you highlight/remind the best posts you published that month to your readers (and search engines).
Create content but don’t burn yourself out
That’s the point I’m trying to convey in this post here. These 5 types of content can be created with much lesser effort and in a short period of time compared to a long, in-depth post. However you cannot replace any of these 5 types of content for long, useful posts.
Long, in-depth posts make your blog useful, valuable and search engine friendly. But if you find yourself creating only that kind of content (and too very frequently), you could burn out. Plus you could bore your readers.
So do a right mix. Incorporate a variety.
Now, let me know if you are already burning yourself out in the name of content creation? And which of these types of posts is your favorite?