If you don’t have content, you’re nobody.
Content defines you and your brand, but creating it can often be an arduous, time-consuming process - the good news though, is it doesn’t have to be. Bring a bit of minimalism into your content creation strategy by incorporating these content hacks from Richard Heby, Head of Content at Hokku PR.
1. Record a video of your screen. Most everyone knows how to take a screenshot on their computer, but many individuals don't know how to take a video of their screen. Using a Mac, the process is very simple. Open QuickTime Player, go to File > New Screen Recording (or just click command+control+n).
Then click the red button to start recording, or click the downward arrow to select a microphone option.
After that, QuickTime will prompt you to click the screen to record the whole thing or click and drag to select an area to record. And then you're down.
To stop recording, you have to right click on the QuickTime icon and select stop recording.
Your recording will automatically pop up and then you have the opportunity to watch, save, edit, etc.
2. Hyperlink text. Every content creator should know how to hyperlink text, and do it easily. On a Mac, all you have to do is highlight the text you want to hyperlink and click command+k. On Windows, highlight text and click ctrl+k. If you're using Google Docs, it's even easier as Google will give you suggestions for links based on the text.
Make sure to test out your link by clicking on it before you submit your document or send your email.
3. Convert PDF files to Images. Sometimes you need a file in picture format (for example to insert it inline in an email or document) and all you have is a PDF. On a Mac it's super simple to convert the file without needing any programs but what comes standard with your OS. Open the PDF file in Preview (if it doesn't open automatically in Preview, then right click on the file, select "open with" and then select Preview. Once the PDF is open, click "File" then "Export" then click on the Format tab and change it to your file type of choice.
Click save and you're done!
4. Create an Automatic Table of Contents. Whether you're using Microsoft Word or Google Docs, the process for this goes along the same lines. To create a Table of Contents that automatically populates, you need to start by making your headers into boilerplate headings. Find the Styles tab on your document page and change your desired Header to a Heading 1 (or Heading 2, 3, etc).
Once you've changed all your headings go to the Insert tab at the top of the page then click on Document Elements, then Table of Contents.
Microsoft Word will prompt you with a few different choice of TOC styles.
Once you select your TOC, the program will automatically insert it into your document.
If you change your headings or page numbers you can click on the arrow in the TOC and click on Update Table, and it will update automatically.
Before you save the final draft of your document, make sure to update the Table of Contents one last time.
5. Create and share a folder of documents or images. Let's say you need to share a dozen large files and your email client won't allow you to send such large files. Creating a shareable folder is a simple way to surpass this limitation. I use Google Drive, but other cloud services including Dropbox have processes that are equally as simple. Go to your Drive home screen and either click New >Folder or right click anywhere on the Drive page and select New folder.
Once the folder shows up in your Drive, open it and you can drag and drop the files anywhere in the folder.
To share the folder click on the icon of a person with a plus (circled in red in the image below) and your share options will pop up. You can either type in names or email addresses, or you can make the folder publicly accessible by clicking Advanced settings, clicking "Change..." and selecting a link-sharing setting that suits you.
I usually go with "On - Anyone with the link" so I can share the folder link via email. Once you save your settings, Drive will give you a link to share, which you can feel free to cut and paste wherever you please.
About the Writer
Richard Heby is the Head of Content at Hokku PR, a boutique public relations firm where stories begin. He is also the Founding Editor of Beechwood Review, featuring minimalist writing and art. Richard is also a published author and poet.
Follow him on Twitter: @rjheby | @hokkupr