Are you creating the content every week?
Are you thinking of the content topic on the day of posting new content?
Are you having a staring contest with the blank screen every time you start writing your blog post or write the script for your podcast or a video?
Then it is high time, you should stop ‘As and When’ strategy. And start using a full-proof plan that will prevent not only wastage of your time but also increase your productivity.
Allow me to show you a better plan to avoid the disaster of creating content every day.
Create the idea dump in two hours
Assume you’re posting every Thursday on your blog. Now, if you have to find a new content topic every Thursday morning; you will waster a lot of your time.
You will be under tremendous pressure of not just finding the new idea but to write an article on it. This may result in low-quality content.
I know it’s challenging to think of a new content idea every week.
Therefore you have to have a set of ideas ready with you. But how to go about it?
Here’s the process I use. I call it the idea dump.
In this time, you should start a timer for 2 hours. And start writing different ideas on a piece of paper or some note-taking app like Evernote or any method you are comfortable using.
The strict conditions you have to follow during these 2 hours are
- No mobile notifications
- No phone calls
- Don’t scratch anything you have written, just keep on writing the ideas
- If you are posting the content every week, that is you need fifty-two ideas. So, write at least twice that number. So, around a hundred different ideas.
Now, you may have a question, how am I supposed to have an exact title of the content, the outline ready in two hours.
The answer to that question is you’re not expected to have an exact headline and an outline during the content dump session.
The whole purpose of content dump session is to have ideas ready with us.
Let’s move on to the next step.
One-day refining session
Now, you have almost a hundred ideas ready with you. But these are still raw ideas. Now, we should convert these raw ideas into actual topics.
To do this, reserve an entire day.
I know, reserving one full day may seem very outrageous. But hear me out.
What if I say, in this one day, you will be able to create a complete content calendar for 1 year.
Ok, so let’s go step by step.
1. Weed out the bad ideas
We have jotted down raw ideas during our idea dump session. We will now show the trash can to a few of those ideas. And find out good ideas.
That’s why we created more than required ideas in the first place because in two hour time some poor ideas will emerge out of your pen.
2. Add your ideas in different buckets
When you are blogging or creating videos, you have content in various categories.
For example, if you are running a blog on investing for beginners. Then, you may have different categories like Mutual funds, fixed return investment, how-to guides, research etc.
Same way categorize your raw ideas in different categories or buckets.
3. Convert the ideas into headlines
We have segregated the ideas in various categories, but still, they are raw ideas. Now, we need to give them a formal title.
When you are converting the ideas to the titles, make sure the titles will result in different types of content.
What are the content types now?
- Case studies
With this, we will have a variety of content that your readers, listeners or viewers will crave to consume.
Let me help you out further.
Some tools are available that will make your life a hell lot of easier while writing headlines.
- CoSchedule Headline Optimizer: This headline analyzer, will help you write a headline that is engaging and will compel people to click on them.
So, once you write the headline, make sure you are analyzing using this free tool.
- Blog Ideas Generator by HubSpot: Let’s say your raw idea is financial planning. You have to enter this word in Blog ideas generator. And viola, it will give you different headlines.
So, don’t forget to use these to tools.
With this process and the above tools, write down content ideas for one whole year. Create a spreadsheet of this.
Write the title of the content and in another column, write the proposed date of publication.
Now your day is over. Did you waste it? No, absolutely not.
If you are posting every week, you have fifty-two ready-to-use content ideas.
You will not spend a day more to think about the new idea every week.
Your next question might be, I have the headlines ready, but I still need to write or record every week, right?
Again the answer is big no.
4. Batching your content
Batching is a potent tool, and a lot of people use it very effectively. So, what exactly do we do in ‘batching’.
In the last step, I asked you to spare one day to generate content headlines for a whole year.
Now, I will ask you to spare a day every month or maybe two days every month depending upon how much time you require to create your content.
So, what you are going to do, in this period of two-days?
You are going to complete producing the content. Maybe it’s writing, recording or shooting. In one or two days, you have content ready for a whole month.
So, this is the concept of batching. What we did is we spared a day or two and dedicated it entirely for only one task and avoided the agony of spending multiple hours every week.
This is like a chocolate factory, where they dedicate a few days to produce chocolates of the same type. And then that type of chocolate has to wait for a few days before its next turn.
Assume it takes you two days to create content for one month. So, you will be just spending 24 days in a year to create the content.
Compare that with finding an idea every week and then producing it. That’s 52 days we spent creating content.
If you are someone who likes mathematics, that is a saving of 53.84% of your time.
That’s the power of batching for you. I use it for my WordPress blog regularly, and so should you.
As you can see, using a better plan can result in almost 54% productivity. Plus you will get rid of the headache of finding a new idea every week.
So, avoid the disaster of planning and creating content every week, instead embrace the above process.
Prathamesh Sakhadeo is the founder of Cresco Systems and WordPress expert teaching WordPress and blogging to non-technical people.