Agile content marketing

A big part of content marketing is coming up with great content on a regular basis. In fact this remains one of the biggest obstacles faced by content marketing professionals — producing enough content [source]. This problem isn’t just faced by content managers and marketers, even individual bloggers who want to make money off their blogs come fact-to-face with this hurdle sooner or later. How do you overcome it?

You can apply the concept of agile development [WikiPedia explanation] to your content marketing to inject the needed boost.

In terms of software, agile development means interactive and incremental release of an application that is ready to be used by customers and clients, whether those customers and clients are internal (from within the organization) or external. It is based on the concept of evolutionary development, as developers obtain feedback from real-time users and keep on adding further features, and this is how the product begins to grow.

The old, conventional method was, working for months, and even years, building a complete application and then releasing it into the market and after that releasing subsequent versions according to feedbacks and problems. This approach required lots of effort and resources and before one could find out whether a concept would work or not, one needed to wait for a long time.

The same concept – agile development – can be applied to content writing and content marketing. Whatever you write, whether it is a blog post or an article, is after all a product that you plan to release for the benefit of your audience. It represents some idea, some thought, that you think will be useful to people who are exposed to it.

As I mentioned above, producing and distributing quality content can be a great challenge despite zillions of ideas floating around you. It requires lots of concentration and brainstorming to write a full-fledged blog post or article. Here are a few things you can do in order to publish and distribute your content in the form of agile development:

Consider every blog post or article a product

This is a bit unrelated, but it can give you a head start. I don’t apply two benchmarks for writing content for my clients, and for myself. I write blog posts for my own blog as seriously as I write them for my clients who pay me for that. It means multiple revisions and further additions of content are natural evolutionary steps in the lifecycle of a blog post.

Start toying with the main idea without worrying about the complete thing

Do you think you have a great idea to write about but somehow cannot bring yourself to writing it down? Just present your idea in a single sentence, the most compelling aspect that you might use as the title of your blog post. Post it on Google Plus, Twitter or LinkedIn and encourage people to give you feedback. Even if you haven’t yet built yourself an audience on the social networking platforms, you can post a couple of your own thoughts under the main idea.

Even if you have just a single paragraph, publish it

This might not be possible if you are writing for another publication (for instance, the Business2Community editors wouldn’t appreciate a single-para guest blog post) but for your own blog this will work great. As the famous saying goes, “something is always better than nothing”, if you think that right now you can come up with just a single paragraph, publish it on your blog. Of course you need to make sure that that one single paragraph represents the central idea of the message you want to broadcast.

Add content whenever new inspiration hits you

Believe me, lots of pressure will be taken off your mind once you know that a blog post is already published and you just need to add some more content to it. You can use the feedback that you have obtained by the initial releases of your content on social networking websites as well as your own blog to add new content and expand the original idea. Keep everything live. If you add a couple of more paragraphs, immediately publish them so they become available to everybody.

Don’t shy away from broadcasting the newer versions on your timelines

When you share valuable, relevant information on your timelines, people don’t mind if you post the same link multiple times; just mention that you have added more content.

Keep revisiting older content

Even if you wrote a blog post a year ago, or even a few years ago, keep reviewing it, at least twice a year, if possible. This will not only keep your content fresh it will also give you an excuse to broadcast older links to your audience.

What about writing for other publications?

You cannot publish blog posts and articles piecemeal when you’re writing for other publications, but you can certainly play around with new ideas within your community and keep on storing your thoughts in a file. Even a seemingly hitting-the-wall concept will miraculously start flowing like a mountain stream once you have jotted down a couple of paragraphs.