It’s as already time to publish the next post. Didn’t you only just finish the last one?
Have you been there? I know I have. Consistently creating new pieces of content can feel like you’re on a hamster wheel.
You know how important content is, and that consistency is key, but it’s hard to make time for all off it when you already have a day job.
I get it. After all, my day job is also creating content. And I would be buried by the demands of content production if I didn’t have a system to create content efficiently.
In this post, I’ll explain the advantages of batch creating your content and share some tips for getting it done.
What it means to batch your content creation
There are several steps to producing a post — from coming up with the idea, to researching, writing, editing and publishing the post.
If you only had one post to publish in your lifetime, you’d have no decision you make. You would just follow the steps, one at a time, until you were done.
But if you have a regular publishing schedule to keep up with, then you might consider doing things a little differently.
Instead of completing the entire cycle for each post, from start to finish, batch producing it simply means that you will complete step one for several posts, then step two for the same posts, then step three, and so on.
Think of it as a content assembly line. And it has all the advantages of an assembly line, and then some.
Advantages of content batching
Here are just a few of the advantages of batch producing your content.
Getting in the zone
Creating visuals is something I can do in the evening while I watch TV. But I do my best writing first thing in the morning, when it’s quiet and there are no distractions. Batching your content lets you easily create exactly the right circumstances for each stage of the process, instead of trying to power through all the steps in one sitting.
Delegating parts of the process
Producing quality content requires a varied set of skills, from writing and editing to graphic design and SEO. If you need to outsource parts of the process to people with specialized experience, it will be far easier for you to manage the process when you batch produce your content, because you can give your team members or freelancers multiple pieces to work on in one go.
Producing more content, faster
For the reasons I just outlined, batch producing your content helps you create that content more efficiently, so that you aren’t always scrambling to keep up with your production schedule. Once you get your batch production process working like a finely-oiled machine, you may even decide to publish content more often.
Building up a content backlog
When you batch produce your content, it becomes easier for you to create content pieces in advance of when they’re due to be published. That means that you can feel more free to take time off when you need it, knowing that your content will keep working for you while you’re gone.
Being more consistent
Batch producing content makes it easier to be consistent with your content. Not just with your publishing schedule, but with the tone of voice you adopt with your content, as well as its look and feel. That consistency will make you more familiar to your readers and can help build up your readership.
Creating content series
When you create your content in batches, it make it easier for you to think up multiple interrelated posts around the same topic. Doing that gives your readers a reason to return to your site more often. It also promotes natural internal linking opportunities between your posts, which can help you rank on Google and boost your organic traffic.
How to batch your content, step by step
Batch creating your content begins with breaking the process into distinct steps. Here is how I break it up.
1. Content planning
Your first step to batching your content is to hold a content strategy session to brainstorm a ton of content ideas. Consider all the important factors, including your business goals, who your ideal customers are, what they’re searching for, the questions they ask on their path to purchase, the materials you use for client onboarding, and more. For help coming up with content ideas, check out this post.
2. Research your content
After you’ve planned your blog content topics, comes the research phase. Here is where you uncover interesting facts, insightful quotes and relevant statistics to support the points you’ll be making in your content. I like to create an Evernote notebook for each article I’ll be writing. As I encounter supporting material for each article, I slot it into the appropriate notebook.
3. Outline your content pieces
Next in your content creation process, you will draft an outline for each content piece. Starting with an outline will keep you from digressing in your writing and make sure you cover all the important aspects of your topic. For each piece of content, simply write out the top-level headings and slide in any initial thoughts you have for each section that you might otherwise forget.
4. Write an ugly first draft
Once you have your outlines done, it’s time to get to the actual content writing, which should now be much easier because you already have your structure and basic ideas lined up. Now, all you have to do is fill the gaps.
Follow one of the incomparable Ann Handley’s 13 writing rules, and write an Ugly First Draft. Focus on getting your content down any which way, without worrying about the quality of your writing. Writing will flow much more readily if you do that.
If you are looking for more advice on writing your content, check out my 12 simple tips on how to write faster.
5. Edit your content
If your ugly first draft is like gathering and prepping the clay for a beautiful sculpture, then editing is where you carve out the extra stuff so that what matters most comes through.
There are different levels of editing your content needs to go through.
- Macro-level editing is where you move misplaced ideas to the right section so that the structure flows more smoothly
- Micro-level editing is more about wordsmithing. For more information, check out thes great copy editing tips from Coppyblogger.
6. Create visuals
Once your posts are written, it’s time to think about visuals. What types of imagery can you add to your posts in order to support your points and add visual appeal?
In addition to the visuals you embed within your content, what will you use as a feature image? Which visuals will you use in your social media marketing to promote your article? This is the stage where you collect or create all those images. (And here are some great free stock photo websites to help you with this step.)
Now that you have completed your posts, you’re just about done. All you need is to publish your content to your blog. In this stage, you’ll also write your post excerpts, assign your posts to the right category, add relevant tags, and optimize your content for search engines.
Over to you
Have you started batch producing your content yet? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. And if you have your own tips to share, I’d love to hear from them in the comments below!
Carole Alalouf is the President and founder of Exaltus, and primary contributor to the Exaltus blog. In her Content Marketing role, she focuses on turning her clients’ complex information into a compelling story. Carole particularly enjoys visual storytelling in the form of presentations, whiteboard videos, websites, and infographics. Sign up to her email list and get powerful marketing tips in your inbox, 2-3 times per month.