3 Ways To Get Quality Content On your Blog Or Website With A Minimum Of Effort #blogging

by Paul Wolfe on October 20, 2011

Back in the day Bill Gates said: Content Is King.  And yep, that quote would have been way cooler if Steve Jobs had said it, but even so I believe Bill Gates is right.

Quality content does so many things for your blog or website that it should be a no-brainer – and as Corbett Barr says quality content is the price of entry these days.

But the one problem with creating quality content is that it takes time.  And sometimes life has a nasty habit of getting in the way and you don’t have as much time as you would like to create that level of quality content that your audience expects.

Easy solutions to this conundrum are to:

  • Publish ‘average’ posts
  • Publish less frequently

The first option – to publish ‘average’ posts – is something that I recommend avoiding. To paraphrase the old sporting cliché: you’re only good as your last post.

Too many ‘average’ posts will diminish both your audience numbers, and the relationship you have with that audience.  It would be far better to publish once a week and publish only quality material than publish twice or three times a week, and have once ‘good’ post and one or two average posts.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently as commitments to my other websites have lessened the amount of time I have for writing.  I want to continue posting twice a week – but am struggling to find the time to create twice weekly content.

So here are three ways you can take to help maintain your publishing schedule in terms of both frequency and quality content.

1. Guest Posting

Publishing guest posts onto your blog or website can be a good way to get fresh, quality material into your publishing schedule with a low opportunity cost in terms of time invested in creating the material.

Guest posting is a common tactic used by a lot of blogs to help with publishing commitments.  Both Problogger and Copyblogger use a high proportion of guest posts.

And there are plenty of other websites and blogs that take guest posts to help their publication schedule.  So it’s definitely something that you can do too – but there’s a caveat with guest posting.

That caveat is that YOUR idea of what constitutes a quality post may not be the same as people who are looking to guest post.  I foresaw this time dilemma looming and posted this recently:

Guest Posts Wanted – $50 Per Post

The problem that I’ve encountered since then is that the majority of pitches I’ve received for guest posts have been just too generic.  And I’m looking for very specific types of posts – and so haven’t had much luck finding the type of posts that I really want.

So guest posting is a possible way of solving the quality content/time taken conundrum.  But how successful this strategy could be for you will depend on your perception of quality, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Does that mean I’ve stopped looking for guest posts?  Nope, still on the lookout.  But the lack of pitches that fit what I want to achieve has led me to adopt another strategy.

2. The Email Interview Method

On Monday I posted this:

New Business Model For Fiction Writers: Interview With Sean Platt

Now I really enjoyed this post!  Here’s why:

  • It took about 20 minutes for me to write – I wrote a few paragraphs of introduction and came up with a list of 12 questions.  And that was it.
  • Sean’s Kindle model is a brilliant idea and I knew he was looking to promote it – and I wanted to learn more about it.  So I learned a ton from his answers.  (That’s a big HINT – if you haven’t read the interview yet, then click on the link and read it).
  • I realized that there are topics I’m interested in that the audience here at One Spoon would be interested in.  And I don’t know the answers….rather than spend hours testing and tracking, I can ask someone who’s already doing that topic.  And use their answers to create an interesting, quality blog post!

There are two variations of this that I’ve seen around the Blogosphere that you could do – both take more effort, but if they fit the goals of your blog or website then they would be worth doing.

Firstly you could interview someone via Skype, record it, and use the MP3 that you create as a Podcast.  (Then you can post a link and transcript on your blog, and get your podcast on iTunes).

Or you could email a bunch of ‘experts’ in your field a number of questions.  And the answers to those questions can form a series of Blog Posts.

You can see Eugene Farber of www.contentstrategyhub.com doing it here:

29 Brilliant Minds Share Uncommon Content Strategy Advice

Or, another example, you can see Stuart Mills of www.unlockthedoor.net doing it with a series he called Value 101 here:

Value 101 Part 1

Whatever way you do it, interviews can be a great way to get quality content with a minimum of time input.

There’s a third method to get quality content with a minimum of time investment you can use as well.

3. Content Curation

Content Curation has been a bit of a buzz topic recently. I’ve seen people talking about it all over the Blogosphere and in various forums.

Essentially when you ‘curate content’ what you are doing is finding content that other people create – preferably great content – and linking to it.

Now you’re probably already doing this if you’re active on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn.  But you can do it for your blog too.

A great example of a regular, quality post that’s created by content curation is Kristi Hines’s ‘Fetching Friday Mash Up.’    (Are you a secret ‘gleek’ btw Kristi?)

Essentially what Kristi does is she posts a round up of blog post and article links on various topics that will be of interest to her readers.  Now I read a lot of blogs – but Kristi must have an army of elves out there scouring the old Interwebz for quality, relevant content because I nearly always find articles or bloggers that I’ve missed.

And the takeaway from this is that Kristi creates great value for her readers.  And because she posts to so many articles she establishes credentials as a thought leader in her space.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen a measurable spike in traffic after being featured in her Mash Up.

And that’s content curation in a nutshell – I think I read somewhere on Kristi’s blog that she has a system of marking posts in her Google Reader feed that she’s going to include in her Friday Mash Up so that the actual creation of the post is straightforward.

If you’re going to use content curation on a regular basis my advice would be to get creative and work out how to do it so that you stand out.  Every man and his dog publish link posts – and very few do them as well as Kristi.  So try and come up with an angle that positions you as a thought leader in your niche.

Summary

Writing quality content is a necessity for your blog or website – the downside of that is that regular quality content takes time.

If you have issues with time you could post average articles, or post less.  (Posting less is better than posting average IMO).

If you want to maintain a regular schedule and have time issues there are 3 strategies presented today that could help you overcome this:

  • 1)   Guest Posting
  • 2)   Interviews (email or otherwise)
  • 3)   Content Curation

Your Shout

Are there any strategies I’ve missed out that allow you to post quality content to your blog or website without an investment of hours and hours of time?  What strategies do you use when you’re short of time to maintain a consistent publication schedule?

Answers on a postcard please….or post in the comments section below.

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