I love to bake. I don’t always bake from scratch, but even when I use a cake mix, my family loves the results. I love the results too: less prep time for me, sweet goodies for them.
Believe it or not, when it comes to building content or copy, you can use the same process. We all know creating fresh articles can be a challenge. So why not start out with information you already have? Consider it your Betty Crocker mix for content writing. And yes, you do have at least one box of content mix. You just have to find it.
I’m always surprised how often clients feel they don’t have any material for a story or newsletter piece. They might have just given a speech or resolved a customer issue, but they don’t really consider these things as source material.
Anything can be turned into content really—speeches, work product, presentations, letters, even emails. Sure, you can brainstorm ideas for new pieces. But as a good content chef, you should check your own pantry first.
Here are a few things you should look for…
- PowerPoint presentations
- Long emails you’ve sent to clients
- Customer service emails
- Articles about you or your company
- Press releases
- Previous newsletters
- Proposals for projects that never happened (unless they’re confidential)
- Old, archived files or materials
- Event photos
- Videos of events or presentations
- Industry magazines
- Phone conversation notes
Like any good cake mix, raw content will save you a few steps. No research, extensive writing or idea brainstorming required. Just add a couple of ingredients, let it “bake” and polish it off with a few toppings.
You’ll serve content like a pro and no one will know it wasn’t made from scratch.
(Image by Seattle Municipal Archives)