This article and expertise was originally published on Forbes.
Mmm, fresh content. It’s the fuel for modern online marketing strategies, whether your goal is to drive more traffic via SEO or social media, get more conversions on your site, or just feed the audience you already have. If you want your campaign to thrive, you’re going to need a steady supply of content, both on your main site and on external publishers.
But you can’t just use any content—you need high-quality content if you want to be competitive. The problem is, writing or producing high-quality content is very time consuming, and hiring a professional writer with lots of experience and talent can be very expensive.
What if you’re a startup just entering the fray, or a small business with limited income? Where do you get the time and/or money to create the content your website needs?
Here are seven strategies you can use to make fantastic content even on a super low budget:
Rely on experience
“Write what you know” is common advice given to novelists and creative writers, encouraging them to focus on subject matter they understand intimately, but the advice also works for content marketers. For example, if you have a Master’s degree in Accountancy and you’ve prepared tax returns for businesses for 20 years, you can consider yourself an expert in the field. Write about your experiences, and your perspectives, and include as much detail as possible. You may not be as eloquent as a professional writer, but you’ll be able to produce engaging, valuable material nevertheless—and you won’t have to pay anybody to do it.
Crowdsource – kind of
Crowdsourcing has become popular because it divides a large team effort into many individual contributions. Take that model to your existing team; rather than hiring someone to do the work for you or putting the burden of development on any one person, get each individual on your team to create something useful for your blog. It might take a bit of time to get everyone trained and up-to-speed on your brand voice and best practices, but if everybody contributes equally, you’ll have a recurring stream of high-quality content without taking up too much time or money from anybody.
Attract user submitted content
Why stop at just your team? User submitted content is starting to become more popular, in part because it allows a company to create new material without investing heavily themselves. User generated content campaigns can take a variety of forms, as Hubspot shows in this post, so spend some time creative brainstorming. You might launch a contest that encourages your users to take images of certain products, or tell stories that you can use in the future, or you might launch a forum where your customers can speak freely to one another.
Woo guest authors
There’s never a shortage of aspiring content marketers and writers looking for guest spots on external blogs. Most guest authors are happy to contribute to your blog for free, so long as you allow them to link back to their website or give a small pitch for themselves in the body of the content. So long as you screen your guest posters effectively, and edit for tone and style, this can be an effective, recurring way to get new content.
Is there a popular post that’s currently trending? Use it as a convenient platform to generate some new content of your own. Depending on the nature of that post, you can take this in a number of different directions. If it’s a news story, you can try covering it with your own opinion on the matter. If it’s an opinion piece, you can offer a strong dissenting opinion. The options are limitless; just take inspiration from whatever’s popular, and take advantage of the opportunity.
Reinvent and transform
Hopefully, you’ll never run out of ideas for new blog posts, but there will always be a massive archive of previous work to draw inspiration from. If you want something new, but don’t have the time or money to spend on a wholly original piece, consider reinventing or transforming something you’ve already created. For example, you could take a written survey results post and turn it into an infographic, or make a video out of one of your how-to guides. You could also do a short sequel or follow-up piece, or just update the piece with new information.
Finally, you could find an influencer in your niche and collaborate with them to produce a new piece of content. There are some mutual benefits to collaborating, including doubling your potential audience and getting a complementary perspective, but most importantly, you’ll each spend half the effort you ordinarily would have to attain this finished piece. The trickiest part of this strategy is finding a social influencer who has enough expertise to make a stellar finished piece, but isn’t too busy to talk to you.
Having a low budget is no excuse to rely on cheap content, nor is it an excuse to cop out and avoid developing new content altogether. Instead, use these tactics and whatever other creative strategies you’re able to dream up.
While it’s true that you get what you pay for in content marketing, you can also earn a return based on how much effort you put in—and these inexpensive, effort-driven tactics will work for just about any content campaign.
This article was written by Jayson DeMers from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Twitter or its affiliates.