No matter how much we plan, there will be instances where you just simply run out of time. Someone on your staff gets sick. People take vacations. A holiday shuts down the office for a few days. Maybe there’s been a merger or acquisition drawing your attention away. Perhaps you were focusing your resources elsewhere. Lots of things can happen that derail our content plan execution. And all of a sudden, you realize you need to get a blog post out ASAP.
So, what are some ways to get a post out quickly?
1. Do a simple list.
Maybe it’s a list of books you recommend. Or it could be a list of websites or podcasts you think other people should know about. People in the industry you admire. Products you like. It sounds like an easy way out (and it is), but readers like lists, and you can put together a simple one pretty quickly.
2. Pull together a collection of quotes or ideas.
It’s a good idea to pull together some of your stakeholders, contributors for team members in the beginning of the year. Ask several questions (I use Typeform), and keep those answers on file to use in a situation just like this. If you haven’t collected advice in advance, you can still pull this off. Send an email to five or six people and ask them one question. See if you can get them to send you one or two sentences in response. Those answers become the post. And all you need to write is an introduction.
3. Update a previous post.
A lot of the content we put on our blogs is evergreen. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be refreshed and reused. Look back at your older posts and pull out one from two or three years ago that still has some relevancy but could benefit from a refresh. Go through it, and update anything that’s outdated, rework some of the language, and be sure to write a new title and a new lead.
4. Get help.
If your concern is that you have an idea but simply don’t have the time to write, sketch out a few bullet points and bring in a contract copywriter to put it all together.
5. Do a Q&A.
Are there questions you’ve been receiving a lot lately? Make your blog post a Q&A using those questions with you (or a subject matter expert on your team) giving the answers. You’ll be assured you’re creating useful content since you know these questions are out there. And at the same time, it gives you some leeway to be more conversational in your writing, which for most of us is faster.
In an ideal world, you’d stick with your content plan all year long. But things happen. Having a back-up plan for creating something quickly when you need to is wise. But remember — just because you can do it more quickly than a typical post doesn’t mean it’s of low quality. Lists, advice from others and Q&As are useful content. We remain firmly on the side of quality over quantity, so if what you are going to put out is total crap, you’re better off just skipping this month’s post.