A lot can happen in a minute.
Consider this: Every minute,
people create 571 new websites, YouTube users upload 48 hours of video,
Google receives more than 2 million search inquiries, Twitter users
send more than 100,000 tweets, and Tumblr publishes 27,778 new posts.
Social media, mobile, and digital publishing have altered how people
consume, share and interact with information. These same innovations
have also changed how those of us who create content work.
The stats are enough to make even the most seasoned editor's head
spin. It gets even harder when you factor in the reality that many
publications are cutting editorial budgets, and few have the resources
to hire new staff or dedicate precious time to creating more content.
So how can you create more content when you are already stretched to the limit with regular deadlines?
According to Corey Murray and Chris Blose, TMG managing editors, you already have the raw material. You just need to use it in a new way.
Murray and Blose shared tried-and-true ideas for getting more from
your content without a lot of additional work at the Construction
Writers Association annual conference in October.
Blose's advice: The key is to plan how you'll distribute your content at the point of creation. Don't let it be an afterthought.
Blose and Murray offered these five tips, along with practical
examples, for how to make your existing content go the extra mile:
1. Open your reporter's notebook.
Reporters spend three quarters of their time conducting research, and
not all of it will make the final cut. Don't let it go to waste, Murray
If you flag a statistic or other useful information during your reporting, share it with your audience in a quick online post.
Example: While conducting research for an article about education and technology, Murray discovered an infographic
about teachers' opinions on classroom technology. He wrote three short
paragraphs and posted them online as a standalone piece. In less than
two days, more than 400 readers shared the short piece with their social
2. Make a list.
People love lists. You add a lot of value if you can create a list
from information your audience might otherwise find daunting.
Example: To promote a corporate white paper about education on one of his client's sites, Murray extracted "21 reasons why technology works in education" and posted it online with a link to the full white paper. The result is less daunting, and a lot more digestible.
3. Make existing assets work for you.
Do your organization's leaders speak at events? Do they do Q&As?
You can grab some gold from these existing pieces and turn them into
Example: Blose worked with a client to round up key talking points
from a recent Web chat with a respected physician. The result—without a
lot of extra work—is a helpful piece on childhood diabetes.
4. Round 'em up.
Do you have 10 stories on the same topic? Pull them together in a
list or primer that allows readers to access all the resources in a
Write a short introduction, and include brief descriptions of each
item with links to the original pieces. You'll drive traffic to a new
piece of content and give a second life to older articles readers might have missed.
Example: Murray collected 10 articles written during the summer and assembled a list of "must-reads" for educators getting ready to head back-to-school.
5. Pull it all together.
Ask your fellow content creators what they are working on, Blose
says. You might find material they already produced that you can craft
into new content.
Example: A videographer at Cleveland Clinic produced a series of
short videos about a heart transplant patient. Blose used transcripts
from those videos, as well as some new reporting, to craft a seven-part Web series that gave the audience multiple ways to experience the content.
Allison King is marketing director at TMG Custom Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the Engage blog.
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