As small business in a niche market and followers of the Givers Gain principle I write a lot/create content about:
- our products,
- our services,
- our solutions,
- our preferred methods of installing and/or maintaining your wood floor,
- what to be aware of when you have underfloor heating
- etc etc
We use our FAQ blog, our website, PDF files, AWeber autoresponder and printed reports to 'publish' this content. And then I'm not even talking about my 'second career' over at "1 Plus 1 Makes 3", where I write about Web marketing tools for Small Businesses.
The programs I used before to create this content varied from MS Word to writing 'live' online in the blog platforms or autoresponder software. Copy/pasting directly from Word can create havoc with formatting, so frequently when I have existing content in one program I have to copy/paste it to notepad, then into the other software and 're-format'. Not so handy.
Since last year August I've been increasingly using ScreenSteps Pro (aff) from Blue Mango Learning Systems. In this single program I create that specific content I need for various methods of publishing: blog posts and PDF-files mainly. (Our growing list of wood-guides are created with it, and so are various short 'how to...lessons' for my blog-workshop students.)
The real beauty of ScreenSteps Pro (desktop) is that you only have to create your content once and are given at least 3 options to publish your content: PDF, blog-post (all main blog platforms covered) and HTML-pages. For instance one 'lesson' in a manual can be exported as blog-post where the whole manual can also be 'exported' as PDF file.
If for one reason or the other your content needs editing, the changed document/blog-post/html-page will be 'exported' to your selected medium again, overwriting the 'old' one.
The snapshot (right) of the export function in ScreenSteps Pro shows a 4 method - ScreenSteps Live.
ScreenSteps Live is an additional product with the Desktop that allows you to host your content in "manuals" on the ScreenSteps Live server. And a manual contain 'lessons'.
Now, "lessons" can be interpreted in many ways. For small businesses who answer questions from prospect/clients - the customer service or technical department comes to mind - it can be 'instructions of use', how to.. documentation, up to a whole list of FAQs. For training businesses - software training up to English grammar training - a lesson can be just that: a lesson in the study.
Imagine your customer service department having to answer the same question over and over again. Wouldn't it be nice, practical, effective, efficient and evidence of good customer care to simply direct the client to that specific lesson online? It is proven that correct and accurate documentation available to clients reduces the number of times your customer service department is called again by the same client still struggling with the same question.
The beauty of ScreenStepd Pro (desktop) and Live is that new lessons are created in no time at all and as soon as the lesson is ready it is uploaded and added to the index - with one simple click on a button: Export to...
Last week I've taken the step to add ScreenSteps Live to my SS Desktop, and today Blue Mango launched the ScreenSteps 2.5 Candidate - with more features, benefits and ease of use. Over at 1 Plus 1 Makes 3 I'm in the process of creating the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses and a pre-view of some of the tactics can be viewed on ScreenSteps Live by those who registered for my pre-launch news.
Both ScreenSteps Pro and ScreenSteps Live receive my very own K.i.S.S. award - it makes my live as 'web marketing toolbox maker' so much easier!
And what about the title of this post? It mentions (at least) 5 methods. The 5th method I discovered this morning: adding AWeber to the 'publishing' options of ScreenSteps Pro. But that, as they say, is a completely different story I will come back to later (and if you subscribe to the pre-launch news for the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses you will have a excellent chance to hear it sooner ;-))
Blue Mango Learning System will hold an 'early' webinar (early for the US, just after noon over here, thanks Greg) on ScreenSteps Desktop for new Users:
Tuesday 28 April 9am Eastern = 2pm BST