Data gathered and presented in HubSpot’s The State of Inbound 2016 Report showed that 38% of marketers in North America spend 1 – 2 hours writing a typical blog post. Just under 30% spend 2 – 3 hours per post, and another 29% spend more than 4 hours per post. Wow.
Creating great content takes time. The statistics we mentioned don’t even include research time involved. You probably don’t want to dedicate so much time throughout your week writing content. You need time to spare in order to promote your content as well.
We’ve learned that there are a couple of ways you can go about saving time. We found 4 things that helped us shave off an hour of content writing time, which can be used to promote your content and help you achieve your content marketing objectives.
1. Neil Patel’s templates
The hardest part about creating content is organizing your ideas. Putting the pen to paper is easy, but you might find it a struggle to organize your ideas so they make sense. We were in the same boat at one point, until we stumbled across Neil Patel’s content templates. The 12 different templates available made creating content so much easier.
Using templates allows you to plug in your topic research and ideas into a structure. You’ll catch yourself hammering away at your keyboard as you begin to fill out the structure. This gives a smooth flow to your ideas, which will increase your audience engagement. As stated in the link above, the templates provided are not limited to written content. They can be used for both audio and visual content, as well as long and short content forms.
We used the list template for this article.
Time saved using a template: 20 minutes
2. Grammar checking tools
Editing could arguably be the most painful part of creating content. It’s either you or your editors reading over the first draft. Either way, somebody is going to be cringing at a few mistakes. Ever heard of a tool called Grammarly?
Bookmark it, add the extension and send the link to your whole office.
It’s not just a spell checking and grammar tool; it’s a tool to get the editor off your back. You probably already know that editing is one of the most important steps to publishing content. Editing isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time. We use this tool before we even think about sending our 4,000 words of content to the editor. Using Grammarly will refine your content, which can shorten your entire editing process.
Time saved using Grammarly: 15 minutes
3. Increase readability using Hemingway
As if we couldn’t stress editing enough, we found another tool that can get your content a step closer to being pristine. When you’re typing away and letting your words just come out, it’s easy to overcomplicate ideas. Hemingway is an editing tool named after Ernest Hemingway. The purpose of the tool is to make your written content easy to read. Hemingway identifies hard to read sentences, excessive use of a passive voice, and overcomplicated phrases.
Hemingway provides suggestions you can use to increase the readability of your content. We’ve used Hemingway for every piece of content, which made it easier for our editor to do their job. Try running one of your existing pieces of content by this tool. Did it make easier to digest?
You might think your content is easy to read; however you want to be absolutely sure. Hemingway gives you a measurement system you can follow. For most audiences, it’s recommended you aim for a Grade 10 readability level.
Time saved using Hemingway: 15 minutes
4. Create images with Canva
Visual content captures attention more than the written word. Creating compelling visuals is almost always the lengthiest task at hand. That’s until we’ve discovered Canva. It’s a free tool that gives you the ability to create and design visuals using a simple user interface.
You can pick from a wide assortment of templates depending on the type of content you are trying to create. It’s absolutely mind boggling to create visual content so easily.
Want to make an infographic? It takes 10 minutes using Canva.
A menu for your restaurant? Canva’s got you.
Granted the functionality of Canva, you’re still going to need your graphic designers. We recommend Canva if you’ve always struggled with Photoshop, or you don’t have a graphic designer available to create simple visuals. How many hours have you and your team spent creating visuals?
Time saved using Canva: 25 minutes
Using templates and tools can cut down the time it takes to create content. If you find that it takes too much time for you to write, try using one (or all) of the 4 things above. We all have 24 hours in a day, and we’ve found a way to free up an extra hour to spend time with family, friends, and work.