Creating a killer content machine

As a blogger and social media user I have a constant battle to find great content to share with my followers. Am I alone here? No, I didn’t think so!

I am not really one for tweeting what I had for breakfast (though occasionally I might, but it would have to be a pretty stellar spread) or posting pics from another boozy night out on Facebook – my preferred interaction is to share what I find interesting, and read and comment on others similarly chosen articles – finding common ground or looking at something from a new angle. So, a lot of my social postings tend to be articles I have seen and read from around the web.

My other dilemma is that I don’t really tend to stick to just one subject – loads of stuff interests me, it just depends what kind of mood I’m in or whether I have my professional, relaxed or downright silly head on.  I’m a real human being, not a marketing guru or a chef or an artist or even a tech junkie – I have eclectic tastes, just like you. But how to relate these in my social feeds?

In truth if I attempted to source, read, collate and post all my articles individually then I would be at it pretty much all day, every day, and then I wouldn’t have any kind of life at all. So…  I admit I cheat. Only a little – I use a combination of nifty apps to do all the donkey work for me. And here’s how:

You remember Feedly that I told you about last weekend? Well this is where it starts – I feed in there all the blogs and websites that I regularly find great articles on, plus the websites that I subscribe to, and this collates all new posts to all these sites as and when they are published. I have also discovered a few new blogs and feeds using Feedly – by searching on a subject that interests me.

Every few days I pop on to Feedly and scroll through all the new articles since my last visit. Any article that grabs my interest gets ‘shared’ to my Pocket (…remember Pocket was the very first great app I mentioned on this blog?). Doing this filters out all the articles that I am not interested in, and files those that I am all in one place. Now I have a single go-to location for both articles for my social media feeds, and a great reading bank.

SM-GraphicThen I decide which articles to share … I read the article on Pocket, and if I wish to share via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn I use another brilliant app called Buffer. I haven’t told you about Buffer yet – I can see I am going to have to remedy that pretty soon – but it is by far and away (in my mind) the best app for automating your social media updates.

In essence (and I will go through this in more detail another time) Buffer allows you to connect several social media accounts, decide how many times you wish to post to each – at what time of day and which days of the week – and then will post automatically for you from a ‘bank’ of posts you have saved.

So, when I am in Pocket and want to share an article on one or more of my social channels I simply click the share button, select Buffer, and the article is miraculously added to my Buffer queue, ready to be posted on the appropriate timeline at the next designated posting time.

And it’s that easy.

Using this method gives me great ‘bread and butter’ content on my social media accounts – and then when I want to post a more timely update, or a presonal message or picture or whatever, I can do this manually, knowing that it will be seen in amongst my other content, providing the balance and human element that we all enjoy in social media.

To recap: I use Feedly to gather the latest posts on my favourite sites, I save all the ones I like to my Pocket, and then from Pocket I share the ones I want to via Buffer. Doing this just once or twice a week keeps a steady regular flow of new updates on my social timelines, whilst I’m busy getting on with the rest of my life… be that working, playing, sleeping, learning or writing.