This is a guest post written by Natalie from Strategist Cafe.
Creating and designing is the best part of work for me.
I love developing useful content to help my audience and clients grow their business. The more content I create and that my audience can use and apply, the more I build relationships, brand awareness, and my influence.
My goal is to always mass produce content, so that I don’t spend all of my time thinking of what to create next. I will also avoid possibly over planning and not being productive. It’s what most of us want for our business - we want to have all of our content organised and automated so we can focus on our clients and spend time with our families.
To mass produce content, it’s important to create in batches, no matter how many topics you cover. Batch creating will help you stay organised and productive in your business. So here are three tips to help you batch create more effectively.
#1 | Create content in themes or series
Creating content in themes or series helps you stay organised with your business, because it gives you direction in what to create and share with your audience. There are many different areas of business that our audience needs help with understanding, implementing, creating, adjusting, etc. This makes more work for us as we must fulfil the needs of our audience.
It’s easier to take care of our duties through themes or series. These are specific topics that we need to produce to deliver to our audience based on their responses and engagement with our content.
I find that creating in themes or series helps with creativity and productivity. Just because we create amazing content doesn’t mean that we have to use it right away. I create monthly themes. It’s the easiest way to talk about several things under one category.
For example, one month I covered content creation. Each week, I broke down content creation and the steps it takes to create useful content for my audience. A different week explained what content is and why it’s important for a business. Another week, I talked about different types of content, mistakes that are made with content creation, and how to organise content. Before I presented my audience with anything, I created and developed all of the content for each topic under this one specific subject.
I’ll share another example with you:
I love talking about design, content marketing, personal branding, brand identity, and more. In my process of creating in themes or series, I’d start with the first subject or whatever is on my heart to talk about first.
Let’s choose design. It would be best for me to write all of the things that I want to share and teach about design and create content just on that subject alone. I’d ask myself, “what does my audience need to know, what does my audience want to know, what do I want to share for free and what do I want to create for revenue?” Then I’ll create the content, make the designs, and put them in my folders or automate them in my posting tool depending on what I want to post at the time.
From this point, I’d do the same with all of the other subjects I love to write about when it’s time for me to batch create again. It’s totally fine to mix match topics and subject. Here’s an example of a content calendar that has weekly themes.
Just do whatever feels right, but be sure to produce a lot of it. Whatever works best for your schedule and business plans, create content based on those things. Once you develop this strategy, scheduling, presenting, and posting becomes simpler for you!
#2 | Create time to actually make the content at your highest creative peak
The most time consuming part for content creators is actually creating. We write so many ideas and give ourselves a long to-do list, but we have to make time to complete those tasks. Using high peaks of energy can help us get so much done for our business. Consider testing different times and locations if you haven’t discovered the times when you’re most creative.
I am mostly creative at night after 10pm. During the day, I am scheduling, proofing, and designing for the content that I have made. At night, I can complete at least three blogs, plus three to five blog outlines. I have to write at the times when my creativity and productivity are most high. Use the same method! You will create pockets of extra time for yourself by completing your content creation tasks when you are most inspired, motivated and excited about what you are doing, even if it’s at 2 am in the morning.
#3 | Create outlines before you create your content
Ever have those days when you can’t get it together? Your mind is all over the place and you have to make yourself finish one thing. You have 3.5 million tabs up on your computer. You remind yourself to not forget to do this and that. There are so many things that go on in your head. Working seems to be pointless because nothing is being completed.
This happens to me more than I’d like to admit. That’s why I learned to get it all out on paper (in my Google Docs) then categorise and organise it. If I have four different topics in my head and I seriously want to produce and finalise them all, these are the steps I make to get these topics out of my head:
- I create a new document for each topic that I am urgent to discuss
- I outline what is it that I want to say by creating at least 3-5 key points that I need to make in each document
- I write what my thoughts are even if it doesn’t make sense at the time under each key point that I want to make. I use bullet points for my thoughts and order them later
- I revisit and write more under the topic that is most present in my head until the content is complete
I know this sounds like an unorganised mess but for most of us creatives, that is exactly what we are to other people. We have to learn how to juggle and take control of all the things we have going on in our heads.
In my world, I’d call this organising my thoughts on paper so I don’t forget. I am just recreating the beginning process of my batch creation strategy all over again. When I revisit those outlines, I blog a whole lot faster, because each of them are easier to finish because there is less to think about. You don’t have to complete any of your outlines at one time. Outlines are to get ideas and topics out of your head onto paper. They are great for revisiting, especially on those days when writer’s block is present.
Take a look at how I organise my Google Drive Folders of Blogging and Blogging Ideas:
Batching is an awesome creation strategy to stay productive, organized, and sane. Creating in themes can be fun and helpful for our audience and brand. Whether we choose to share all of the topics we create under one subject or randomly select different topics to teach our audience who are on different levels, themes and series help us control many areas of business on the front and back end.
It’s important to take advantage of those high peaks of times, days, and moments to maximize your talents and knowledge when creating. This practice lessens stress in so many ways when you have a plethora of content ideas waiting to be proofed and polished.
I hope these tips were helpful for you in your content creation process. Do you incorporate batch creation in your business strategies? If so, when are you most creative? I would love to hear in the comments.