My job, as a Cloud Advocate involves creating content. In whatever form that may take. However, it isn't something I've always done as a job it's been a passionate for a good number of years now. And I did it in my spare time.
Over the years I've learnt a few things that can help make content creation more efficient and more effective.
If you create something look at reusing it, slicing it up into smaller or different chunks to help a different audience or to be reused on another platform.
A great example is if you are building a presentation and you have to do things to create a demo or if you have demo videos look at creating blogs or videos out of those steps.
Do a voice over on that demo video and post it on your YouTube channel, give it a new audience.
If you had to work through a bunch of steps, troubleshoot issues to create a demo of say something like Azure Traffic Manager (this was me a few weeks ago! 😉) share your learnings in blog posts.
Make the time you spent learning and creating for that one presentation work for you on different platforms and with different audiences.
Build up a bank of presentations
If you are someone who likes to speak at user groups or conferences, spend sometime working on a number of presentation ideas for the year and focus on them.
I have a bank of 3 or 4 presentations that I deliver at various different user groups and conferences and stick to that for a period of time and then look to do new topics. Yes it does mean that sometimes I repeat content, but it's never a full repeat as each time I present I refine that presentation based on how I think the presentation has flowed or based on audience feedback.
Working on those 3 or 4 presentations at a time can really help you focus on delivering quality content, as each delivery of that presentation will help refine it and hopefully make it better.
Doing this and keeping my presentation pool of suggestions means I can focus on making my presentation delivery the best it can be. It takes a really long time to build a talk track and you want to get the best out of it both for you and the audience.
Build a plan and schedule
Having a plan and sticking to it takes time and disciple. Any new habit, any new hobby takes time to become the norm and creating content shouldn't be any different.
Set a schedule of how many times a week and how often you are going to take time to sit and create new content. Having that time in you diary or calendar will hopefully help you build up the muscle of doing it. It isn't always easy to create something new on demand but the more you get into the habit the easier it will become.
And with a schedule you can start to plan ahead, and have a steady stream of content you can release. At the moment I am working with a whole set of content for the month for my blog, that's 3 blogs a week. And I am a week ahead for my YouTube channel. That means if there is a day or a week when I am not feeling great or maybe I want to go and spend time outside cause the weather is good I can go do that without stressing that I have a blog due the next day etc.
It also helps to have a schedule when you release content so your audience knows when to expect or look for that new content, it will help to build up your visitors and interactions with you.
Understand the metrics
When you write a blog or create videos on YouTube you'll be thrown some kind of metrics, telling you how many people have viewed your blog or how long people are watching your videos for.
These metrics are important. But they aren't the only thing to concentrate on.
They can help you understand if the topics you are touching on or the format you are using is useful, but it won't tell all the picture.
Use it to understand popular topics or styles of content, maybe even times when your visitors are most active so you can time releasing new content to match and hopefully have maximum impact.
Don't obsess with how many visitors or likes you have though, that will all come in time. Build quality content, consistent content and they will come. It's a long term plan this content creation thing, it isn't an overnight success. 😊
Ask for feedback
It's important to look at your content objectively, which can be hard to do. So ask for feedback. Ask someone you trust to review what you've done and get some feedback, even if it's just spelling and grammar feedback. It can be helpful to catch those small mistakes which can bring the quality of your content down.
Use the feedback to see where you can improve.
Learn other skills
I've recently started looking to into writing courses to help improve my writing skills and understand the different types of writing and telling a story to audience. Build the skills around your content creation. Whether that be taking a course on how to do photography, video editing, writing, social media engagement, these skills can help bring up the quality of your content and may lead to other opportunities.
Invest in yourself, it will be worth it!