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I know I need to create more blog posts for my website, but who has the time? Do you have any shortcuts to help me create blog posts faster?
Well, it's not exactly a shortcut, because you still have to put the time into writing, but batching content can be a great way to create blog posts faster. You can use it to free up time throughout the rest of your month to do other things (like work with clients, create new products, update your bookkeeping… the fun stuff)!
Step 1: Pick a theme for the month. It's much easier to create related content than it is to come up with totally disconnected ideas. For example, a food blog may have a theme of veggie side dishes, while a bookkeeping service may be writing about getting organized for tax season.
Step 2: Come up with 4-6 big ideas that fit within that theme. Each of these big ideas will be a piece of content for the month. (This process works whether you're writing or video blogging!) Our food blogger may write about roasting autumn veggies, bacon-wrapped asparagus, supreme mashed cauliflower, minted peas, and corn casserole. The bookkeeper would write about organizing receipts, sending 1099s to subcontractors, separating business and personal expenses, and how to contribute to a retirement account.
Step 3: For each of those big ideas, come up with 5-7 “talking points.” These talking points are the main ideas that you need to get across with your post. For the foodie, you may have fewer points, since the bulk of your post may be the recipe itself. For the bookkeeper, some of these may even turn into a numbered list, like “7 ways to organize your business receipts for tax season.”
Step 4: Get to writing (or recording). Set aside a few hours, go to your happy place, and put your fingers to work with writing out that content. Leveraging the “talking points” from step 3 should make this go pretty quickly.
Step 5: Optimize, Visualize, and Edit. All of your posts will need a bit of search engine optimization (SEO) work, and will need graphics. After you've done your first draft of writing, do an SEO review, add needed graphics, and edit for accuracy.
Step 6: Schedule Your Posts. In both WordPress and Squarespace (the two biggest CMS systems used by small businesses), you can schedule your posts to publish in the future. Use this feature to make sure you've always got new content coming out.
Step 7: Schedule Social Media. After you've scheduled when the post will publish, you can also pre-schedule tweets, Facebook Posts, Instagram Posts, Pins… you get the picture. With the right social media tool, you can set this up once and “forget it”.
And that's it! In a matter of hours, you can have all your content creation done for the month.
I like to do steps 1-3 on the first day, step 4 on the second day, and steps 5-7 on the third day. I find that spreading the creation over three partial days gives me the chance to be more creative. I know others who have taken one day, rented a hotel room and done everything at once in the solitude. Only you will know what works best for you.
Do you have a system for batch-creating content? Let us know about it in the comments!