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, tasty sweets for them.
The Betty Crocker way
And yes, when it comes to building content, you can use the same process. Creating fresh articles can be a challenge, so why not start out with information you already have? Consider it your cake 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, blog post 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.
Check the pantry
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 to look for…
- PowerPoint presentations
- Emails you’ve sent to clients with advice
- Customer service emails
- Articles about you or your company
- Press releases or media pieces
- Previous newsletters
- Proposals for projects (unless they’re confidential)
- Old, archived files or materials
- Event photos, videos or presentations
- Industry magazines
- Phone conversation notes
Like any good cake mix, ready-made 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, i.e. your expertise and value for your readers.
You’ll serve content like a pro and no one will know it wasn’t made from scratch.