Contingency Planning: Build a Content Repository

Somedays I feel like the shoemaker’s children. I have long advised my clients to create a Content Repository so they are never left scrambling trying to make a posting deadline. Today I find myself in this position.

For the past week I have been knocked off my feet with the flu. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick. I have almost no energy, and I’ve been sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day for the past 5 days.

This morning it dawned on me, I have to write an article for the blog. I’m sure I could skip a day, and it wouldn’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. But I have a personal commitment to post every Tuesday and Thursday.

Today I really wish I heeded my own advice, and maintained my Content Repository.

Put 3 weeks of articles in the vault

A Content Repository is your contingency plan. It’s unrealistic to think you can show up every day for weeks on end without life getting in the way. Things happen.

Plan for the unexpected. Have articles and content at the ready when you’re not able to show up.

Create the equivalent of 3 weeks worth of articles in your repository. In my case that’s 6 articles. If you face a major issue you may just need the extra time to get back into creating new content.

Focus on timeless content

Not all articles are relevant for your Content Repository. Focus on timeless content:

  • How-to’s: Tips and suggestions articles.
  • Aspirations, values and beliefs: Share your point of view on a topic, and what you’re company is striving for.
  • Contrarian or Counterintuitive posts: Challenge the assumptions of your audience or your industry.
  • Personal Stories: We all learn vicariously through story. Share from your own experiences to guide your audience.

There are plenty of opportunities to share content that is not time specific. These articles are also very useful from a search engine optimization perspective, because they grow in value over time. The more people that link to and reference these posts over time, the higher they’ll rank.

Let your Content Repository drive inspiration

Beyond contingency planning, a repository of extra articles provides a creative benefit. When you write more than you need, you can be more selective about what you publish.

I maintained a repository last year, and found myself referring to those articles whenever I was looking for inspiration on what to write about. Seeing the posts in the vault gave me inspiration to approach similar topics from different angles, or rewrite and polish articles I had previously written.

The extra content actually made me stronger, because it set a standard for excellence.

Fill the bucket one week at a time

Once I get back on the mend I am going to replenish my repository. Being sick has been a clear reminder of just how important it is to maintain a Content Repository.

What about you? Do you maintain a Content Repository?

(Image credit: Simone Capretti)

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Jeremy Miller is Brand Strategist, Speaker and the President of Sticky Branding — a strategic branding and business development consultancy that helps companies stand out, attract customers and grow sticky brands.

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3 comments
Sticky Branding
Sticky Branding

I even think it goes beyond blogging. Look at all the content commitments companies invest in: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Newsletters, and every other social network a company uses. Each of those requires a Content Repository.