If one of your New Year's resolutions is to write more blog posts every week, you probably had the same sinking feeling I had when I made that resolution: "How in the world will I ever find time to do it?"
Here are seven shortcuts for when time is at a premium:
1. Answer frequently asked questions.
Every time someone emails a question about your product, service, industry or expertise, save the question and answer in a Word document. At the beginning of every month, open the document, cut and paste, and write a quick post about the frequently asked questions.
If you receive a lot of questions, you can group them by topic. Each topic can be a separate post. This is a perfect task for an assistant.
2. List must-read articles on a topic.
If you have Google Alerts, you regularly get a lot of helpful articles in your inbox. If you're on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and frequently click on links to articles others share, you might feel like you're drinking all that great content from a fire hose.
Create another Word document of articles you find particularly helpful. When you add one to the list, note what you found particularly helpful. When you compile a dozen or so links, write a post.
3. Transcribe a short phone interview with an expert.
One of my other resolutions is to call people I meet via social media, record short phone interviews about their areas of expertise, outsource the transcriptions, and use them as blog posts.
Do you want three blog posts from one conversation? Do a short interview on three topics during the same call. Each topic gets a blog post.
When you create the posts, let the experts know and ask them to share the link.
4. Explain industry definitions.
While updating my eBook, "How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound," I added to the long list of PR and social media definitions in the back of the book. Then it hit me. I could divide the list into separate blog posts by topic. (This is another great task for an assistant.) If you don't have your own ready-made list, you can create one simply by conducting a Google search.
5. Reveal the most valuable tool, trick, or tip you learned that day.
Maybe you learned about a free tool, like FreeDigitalPhotos.net, where you can download free stock photos. Or maybe you recently discovered an expert on Twitter and started following him or her. Or perhaps you learned a trick to encourage more people to comment on your status updates.
At the end of the day, write a short post about your tips-two or three paragraphs are fine-or compile the tips from each week into a blog post every Friday.
6. Share your favorite tweets from the week.
Every Friday my assistant compiles a list of my 10 most helpful tweets from the week and turns them into a post for my blog readers who might not be following me on Twitter. I'm amazed at the number of people who retweet the list. You can see some of my recent tweets here.
7. Talk about your next event.
This is the area where I need the most improvement. Even though I blog regularly about the events I sponsor, like webinars, I frequently forget to let my readers know about other people's webinars where I'll appear as a guest. Update your readers about your book signings, tweet chats, Meetups, industry meetings, networking events, trade shows, radio or TV show appearances, podcast appearances, etc.
What are your favorite ways to create blog posts quickly? Leave a comment below, and feel free to link to a post you created so we can see an example.
Joan Stewart is a publicity expert, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She writes The Publicity Hound's Blog, where a version of this article originally appeared.