It’s no secret that high quality content goes a long way towards increasing your traffic and is one of the most creative ways to market your business. But how do you produce all this award-winning prose when your to-do list is already longer than your arm? How do you keep up in the content wars if you don’t have the budget to hire a writer? Come a little closer, I’m going to say this quietly – take a leaf out of my book and cheat.

Cheat?!! Before you get all judgmental, I’m not talking about running around willfully copying and pasting here. That’s a great way to get your site penalized and watch your credibility shrink. No, the main thing about cheating when it comes to your content is not to copy other people, it’s to feed off their ideas. Keep in mind that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your words.

See, most of the time, it’s not the actual writing that takes the time when working on your blog or social media. It’s finding the engaging topics and interesting ideas. So, put in a little research and figure out how to do it better. Be more interesting. Go viral.

Keep Up with The Industry

With all the information out there online, it’s almost impossible to come up with something completely new anyway. Sorry to break that to you. But if you’re wasting time pondering how to revolutionize the marketing industry with your words; you could probably be putting that time to better use.

Follow the latest news in your industry and keep tabs on relevant blogs. Use the good stuff to write great content for your site. Again, no copying and pasting here. Just see what people are discussing and how they present their arguments. Snooping, rather than copying.

If you don’t agree, then try writing an article about what you think is right and explain things in simple terms that your readers can follow easily. Don’t be afraid to express your personal opinions or concerns when it comes to your industry. People like an honest voice and this kind of content will engage your audience.

Take notes while you’re working on other tasks with apps like Evernote, or a traditional Post-it. It’s a great way of making sure that awesome ideas don’t get forgotten when you don’t have time to turn them into an article. You’ll also be surprised when you sit down to write by just how many topic ideas you noted during the day.

Use Comments to Get New Ideas

If you already have a fan base around your blog or Facebook page, don’t let your followers’ ideas go unnoticed. Use them unashamedly! Many people use comments to ask good questions or to express their doubts, so use their points of view to create interesting content.

If you don’t have enough information for a blog post, try to use what you have to create a Facebook or Twitter update. Keep an open mind and you’ll never have to waste your precious time staring at the walls, wondering what to share with your followers.

If you don’t have active followers, you can still find good ideas hidden in other bloggers’ websites. Check them out, process them, then steal them to kick-start your article.

Recycle Old Content

When you’re up to your eyeballs in work, use a simple solution to create some new content, without putting in the research. Look back at your old posts and use the main ideas to come up with something new.

Recycling old content (or content curation, if you like to be fancy) is also great for SEO purposes as you interlink old and new posts and spread that link juice.

You can even explore your artistic talents and organize the information into infographics. Canva is a useful tool when you’re new in this business, and it’s also free. In less than half an hour, you can produce engaging content that may increase your traffic in ways that plain text rarely will.

Publish an Interview from Time to Time

Interviews are a great way to give your followers something new to talk about. Organize some brief discussions with business partners, clients, maybe even a local celebrity connected to your brand. Making a 10-minute video isn’t exactly free, but with the help of a skilled professional, you can get high-quality material without paying much.

If you’re good with technology, you can try to do it yourself. You can even record a Skype video call with a program like Evaer and conduct an interview online.

Once your video goes live, pick several key themes from it to create new articles. Maybe you spoke about best practices when hiring, or important leadership qualities. Perhaps you covered dieting or discipline in your chat, or how to be more productive.

Break the video down into several articles, and once you’ve done that – go further. Dissect your articles and lift interesting sentences out of them to create tweets, Facebook posts and memes. One small video can give you a ton of ideas for a creating a veritable content factory in no time flat.

Planning content in advance isn’t easy, but it can help you save time that you can invest in your business (or personal life, if you have one). So, record all your ideas and organize them every time you have the chance. With some practice, it will soon convert into a habit.

Last of all, remember to share all your posts on social media and encourage interaction. Answer all comments and ask people what they would like to read about on your blog. You’ll be surprised how many suggestions people have.

Christina is a copywriter, MBA, marketer, columnist and general life enthusiast with a love/hate relationship with monkeys.

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