As a content creator, there are expectations to deliver a certain amount of content in a week or month, at the same time as this content need to maintain a certain level of quality – two goals that can sometimes clash. Fulfilling both these goals has turned out to be one of my major pain points as a content creator. How do I schedule my days when I need to be efficient and deliver quality content, both at the same time?
Yes, I could create a little less content that holds an acceptable quality level, but is that really desirable? I can’t help but wonder: do I need to sacrifice one for the other?
Most times, the answer to this question is a definite YES, due to the simple fact that you’ll need to put the time and effort into creating that quality content piece! So how can I try to make this quantity vs. quality issue a little less painful? I started by looking at how I spend my time and how I can become more efficient by using some simple tools.
Following are a few more specific examples of some of my main pain points as a content creator, and the tools I have begun using to help make my days a little more efficient.
Pain Point 1: Lack of resources
Working in a startup often means that you have to find clever solutions to your problems. With a lack of resources (such as people or money), you’ll need to find the best and most reasonably priced tools that can help you do your work faster and better. I usually try to find tools that offer free solutions and start from there. If it turns out that I really love it but would like to get some more features that the tool has to offer, I’ll try to make a good case as to why we should pay for it. Test it out, and if you really love it, upgrade! Here are two of my favorite tools that I currently use for free that makes my day a little more efficient, and a little more beautiful.
Grammarly (the free version)
There is a God, and her name is Grammarly! As a non-native English speaker, this app saves my day, every day. Even though I’m decent in English, writing in another language than your own can be challenging. This app lets me be more efficient in my writing wherever I write. For the free version, the app mainly correct typos and grammatical errors – in emails, documents, and even on Facebook posts. If you have the upgraded version, the tool gives you vocabulary enhancement suggestions, access to an automatic plagiarism detection system, and you can even get a human proofreader. I’m actually thinking about upgrading myself if I’m being honest, there’s just so much help you can get from this tool, whether you’re a student writing your thesis, a blogger or a content creator in a company.
Use the app as a browser extension, or choose to use the online version and write directly into your Grammarly account and create your documents there – or both.
Canva (the free version)
If you are anything like me, you’re neither a great graphic designer nor particularly talented at programs such as InDesign or Photoshop. But you don’t really have to be either. Canva is actually a great tool that can help you get the work done! You can create beautiful photos, posters, presentations, guides, infographics and even thumbnails for Youtube videos. Simply choose the purpose of your art (a post for Facebook, banner photo, presentation, thumbnail, etc.) and you’ll get a bunch of free templates to choose from. Like this youtube thumbnail template:
Yes, there are some restrictions with the free version, and after using it for a while, you might consider paying for it to get that extra something-something, but to be honest, the free version works just fine for my purpose. It saves me a bunch of time since I don’t really have to design much myself. I just choose a template I like and make some small alterations to it to fit our brand profile and style. And once you’ve found your favorite template for a specific content piece, you can stick to that for the next time you want to create something similar! If you need free beautiful images to use in Canva, I recommend these pages.
Pain Point 2: Speed of content delivery
Delivering content fast is at the core of my so-called quality vs quantity problem. How can I make sure that I deliver great content within a relatively short time frame? Both Canva and Grammarly can help me create my blog posts, presentations, and guides faster, but what about videos? I’m neither talented nor fast in Premiere Pro, and if it’s something that tool requires, it’s time.
I believe that all departments in all companies should be creating videos. It’s just that much more engaging! When it comes to VIBBIO, I might not be 100% objective, but hear me out!
I can create so many videos, in so little time. I’m neither a videographer nor a video editor, so being able to use VIBBIO is golden. Because the truth is: you don’t have to be either one of those to create solid, on-brand videos for different purposes. You can film videos with your phone, upload the footage to the library in your account, and start creating videos. In your video projects, you can insert video clips, images, text (and subtitles if needed), and choose music – all the things you need for a complete video without needing to edit a thing!
The thing I really like (and a thing that I think many other companies really appreciate) is that you set your brand colors, logos, and fonts before creating your first video, making sure that all videos will come out with the same style every time. It makes it really easy for anyone in the company, regardless of role, to confidently create videos on their own without needing to get a confirmation on brand guidelines every time! This is a big advantage for me because I can create engaging videos very efficiently, and it’s reassuring to know that regardless of how many videos I create, they will all be on brand. We obviously have a free trial you can check out here!
Pain Point 3: Managing time
So, I’ve found tools that can help me create content a little faster. But another thing I need to be more efficient in my day-to-day work is tools that help me structure my work, push content automatically, and that helps me keep my deadlines.
If your company is working with an inbound strategy, you’re probably already familiar with Hubspot. If not: consider reading this.
Hubspot is a great tool to use, working both as a tool for CRM and as a CMS. As a content creator, I use Hubspot mainly for scheduling posts for social media, analyze the data for our content, look at conversion rates, and for managing automated nurture flows. We’ll soon be creating all landing pages, CTA’s, and our blog in Hubspot, to gather everything in on place and get a better overview of all relevant data. This will make it much easier for us to align all marketing efforts. If you host your blog on Hubspot, you can very easily see what call to action-buttons has the best click-through rate, and what content people are most interested in. You’ll also easily collect the contact information from visitors by gating longer content pieces with forms created in Hubspot.
I really recommend Hubspot for everyone that uses an inbound strategy, it’s just such an easy tool to work with, and it’s great for the cooperation between sales and marketing.
Notion is a great tool to use for organizing tasks in your department among team members. We’ve only used for a short period of time, but it’s proving itself as a very useful tool. It’s great for structuring your daily tasks, to cooperate with your team members on different types of projects or campaigns, and to set deadlines for yourself. There is a free version of Notion, and the lowest price point for the paid versions starts at 4$ per month, which is not bad at all!
One of the things I find challenging is finishing tasks within a certain time frame. Tasks have a weird tendency to just drag on. I don’t know about you, but I always want the content I create to be as good as possible, and one can easily find oneself nitpicking on every paragraph and every line in a blog post. When it comes to the quality of the content, this can, of course, be a good thing. But if you’re anything like me, the content you create is never really finished, and it can be nice to block out that “goody-two-shoes” part of my brain sometimes. In Notion, you can set deadlines for when your projects should be done, and it definitely helps me work towards that goal. You can also assign projects to other team members, move the project-card on a timeline depending on where in the process you are, create lists and much more. They also provide an editorial calendar, which is great for maintaining a better overview and delivering on those deadlines.
That’s it, folks! Are you using any tools that help you streamline your content creation that you think I should know about? Or any other major pain points? Please, let me know!