Finding and creating content quickly is the bane of every individual who works in publishing on the internet. It takes ages to create your own processes that work quickly and efficiently to find you reputable sources of content, and see as how many people don’t even know where to start, I thought I’d share some quick and easy tips for creating content surrounding your brand on the internet. First, let’s start by defining what kinds of content there is.
Company news is about your employees and events effecting the company. Consumers like to see the face behind the product every once in a while – it engenders trust. Keep these updates sparse unless you really know your audience and think your updates will impress them, for instance, a WordPress theme agency might post pictures of their employees working on a new theme which, when released will benefit me (the consumer). These updates serves purposes that are – it excites / informs me about the release and further impresses upon me that the company I’m patronizing is worth my time/money.
Product or services news
Unless you have a really engaged customer base, keep these updates engaging, fun and creative. Always keep in the back of your mind that nobody cares about your product, they care about your product’s benefits so share that instead of bland updates about a new feature (unless, as stated previously, the update its what that new feature means to your customers).
Industry news is about the ecosystem that your company lives in and will make up the majority of the content you share. These posts should be social media posts but also come, (very importantly) in the form of blog posts. You want your customer to return to your website time and time again. Even if you’re creating content for an accountancy agency (arguably a ‘boring’ type of client), you can still share content around the most recent Government financial claims and advise your clients as to changes that may affect them by citing several resources in your posts and keeping your clients up-to-date on Twitter and Facebook.
Release the hounds!
So, we now know what kind of content there is to publish, but the question remains;
Where do I start?
The internet is a big place and looking for an article to start with is like looking for a single drop of water in the ocean. But like most things digital, there are ways to automate and simplify your searching process.
Bloglovin is a Swedish company that flew in the face of risk and developed a tool that enables you to follow individual blogs by pulling in their RSS feeds back when Google Reader was still alive and kicking (did they know something the rest of us didn’t?). Its an easy tool to setup that helps you group individual blogs into categories and is automatically updated whenever one of the blogs publishes a new post. I can’t recommend this service enough – I have several tabs which I can flick back and forth through depending on the client or topic. For instance I have one called simply ‘technology’ and it updates me whenever something new is released from the major technology news outlets.
The one problem with this is that you need to know which blogs you want to follow first. They have a ‘find blogs’ section which is broken down into categories but I would often find myself just following blogs based on the number of followers they already have. Which is a good indicator, but unless your topic of interest falls nicely into one of the eighteen categories, you’re going to have a hard time of it.
Content idea generator
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just type in a keyword and get several news articles from varying sources and search engines? I thought so, and apparently so did Daniel Butler when he created a Google docs spreadsheet last year that pulled in Google news, Bing news, Reddit, Yahoo Answers, AllThingsNow, How Stuff Works and Cracked.
This tool is a simply Google Docs spreadsheet that acts as a funnel for content across the net and will be your first port of call for those tricky times you know you should post something but are completely stumped.
Getting the spreadsheet
- Access the tool here
- Log in to your Google account
- File > Make a Copy
- Enter keyword into cell ‘B3’ and hit return (for multiple keywords use the ‘+’ operator e.g. london+hotels)
As I discussed in my post about filter bubbles, lessening the factors that go into manipulating your search is a good way to come across content you usually wouldn’t. So when you’re spreading your search over several search engines and news outlets, you’re bound to come up with something interesting that starts you off on your content journey.
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