Addicted to content? 3 tips to make it even more valuable with automated sharing

Systems & Operations

I admit it.  I’m an addict. I’m utterly addicted to… content.

It’s not Reddit that I’m addicted to either. It’s business content. I’m constantly reading, learning and finding ways to apply that new knowledge to my own routines and in work I do for my clients.

Being a high-end content addict, I’ve found some great methods to get through a lot of content very quickly, selecting the best articles, storing and sharing them. The nerd in me almost shakes with excitement!

How does this bring value? In two ways:

  • Sharing carefully hand-picked articles with my social networks 2-3 days per week.
    • I choose articles that I haven’t already seen on LinkedIn and ones that are widely relatable to my connections.
  • Sharing specific, applicable articles with clients and members of my community.
    • If you have a problem, I’ll find an article on how someone solved it, and I’ll share it with you!

Here’s my methodology.

Consuming endless content fast

There’s no shortage of content online. To get the very best of it, you’ll need to be strategic and leverage technology.

My favorite tool is Feedly.

Feedly takes content feeds (called RSS feeds) from multiple sources and through its user-friendly platform, creates an easy way to skim, browse and review. There are apps for your phone, tablet or PC—you can review content anywhere you like.

I have dozens of websites and other sources (Harvard Business Review, Inc, Fast Company etc.), grouped by categories (Geek tools, Business etc.). This makes scanning easier.

Here’s my process (done on my phone or tablet):

  1. Open Feedly
  2. Choose the category I want to scan
  3. Scan headers
  4. If an article is potentially interesting, I mark it as “save for later” (swipe right)
  5. If an article is interesting, I save it to Pocket (see the next section)
  6. When I’m done the list, I mark the list as read
  7. Lather, rinse, repeat when convenient

Using this method, I can scan dozens of articles in a minute or two.

Creating a database of high-end content

There are lots of different tools to create your content database. Instapaper, Evernote and OneNote are popular (I’m a heavy OneNote user), but they weren’t robust enough for me. I’m a big fan and user of Pocket.

Why Pocket?

A few reasons:

  1. It’s simple. I can grab articles from anywhere with its sharing widget.
  2. It’s free.
  3. It has great integration with Zapier (see the next section of nerdiness!)
  4. It offers the ability to tag content. This way I can create a database based on topics.
  5. It’s fully multi-platform. I can access Pocket from anywhere.

In pocket, I’ve created several tags—strategy, people & culture (PC), productivity, project management, technology and many more. As I’m reading articles, I tag them appropriately, making it easy to find things in the future.

Pocket screenshot

Most importantly, when I read something that might help a client or contact, I tag it for them and will send them a link. Painless and a tremendous value add. For most people, there’s too much content out there. But carefully curated content that exactly targets their needs? That’s the good stuff.

Automating social media

The epitome of my nerdiness—I use a combination of tools to automate my social media posts from Pocket.

First, is Buffer, my post scheduling platform. I have a social media calendar built in for my LinkedIn/everywhere else posts. It lets me select when and where, then automates the entire process.

I then use Zapier to link content from Pocket directly to Buffer.

Zapier is like glue for websites and applications. It lets you connect them with simple instructions. The free account in Zapier is enough to do the basics.

In Pocket, if I tag something with social, Zapier picks it up and puts it into my post queue in Buffer. Ta da!

Buffer screenshot

To cap the process off, once every week or two I log into Buffer and personalize the message that goes with the link.

Social sharing and connection building

With this solution, I’ve managed to turn my addiction into something good, saved myself countless hours and created value for my clients and network. That’s a win-win-win!

Curious? Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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