Confession: I’m terrible at batch-creating content. When I’ve set aside dedicated Content Batching Days Where Amazing Things Will Happen, I’ve had serious blank-screen syndrome and a grand total of nothing got done. Frustrated, I’ve turned to some amazing, successful entrepreneurs that I admire, who consistently produce wonderful, creative and fascinating content that we come back to again and again, for their best tricks in batch-creating content.
Need help batch-creating your content? The Content Quest is going to help you do just that! A free virtual coworking day to batch our content because Winter is Coming, with workshops by hand-picked experts on graphics, videos, photos and blog posts, and a special Strategy MasterQuest workshop by Maggie Giele and Heather Crabtree. Read more about the Content Quest!
Batch-creating content might be the biggest trick in being your own boss and building a business, whether your focus is on blogging, graphics for social media and Instagram especially, videos, or photos, and this post will help you do that.
Batching Blog Posts
Batching content is the only way to go, but it’s definitely harder than just sitting down to bust out a bunch of posts at once. You need a plan before you write so there’s a clear direction and strategy, and then you need to actually carve out time to do the writing. I’m a big fan of creating a ritual around your writing so when you batch you’re in the zone. Plus, it really, really helps to know when you’re at your best so your writing isn’t forced or harder than it needs to be.Maggie Patterson
My biggest secret for a smooth blog post batching system is to separate the planning process from the actual writing or creation process. So I’ll plan and outline my posts on one, write them on another, and process them (editing, creating images, content upgrades and related social media) on another day. All of these task types require such different frames of mind and doing it this way helps me stay on task instead of jumping around!Hailey Dale
My biggest trick for batch-creating blog posts is to work against the clock. I am a work-from-home mom, and I try to do most of my work while my daughter is at school — about 3 hours a day. When I have multiple posts to write for clients in that 3-hour period, my best strategy is time blocking. If I know, for example, that project A will take me about an hour and project B will take 2 hours — and so on — I can block that time out in my calendar. I’m very visual, and I like to see the time blocked out so that I know what I should be working on or wrapping up at any given time.
Working fast and to a self-imposed deadline also helps to quiet my perfectionist tendencies and any imposter syndrome thoughts that crop up! If I’m focused on creating to a deadline, I don’t have time to worry about whether it’s good enough or not. 😉
The key here is to know approximately how long each task takes you (1 hour for first draft, 30 minutes for editing, 30 minutes to find a photo, etc.) and then block those times out in your calendar. If you’re not sure, get religious about timing yourself for a while until you can guess at an average. Obviously you’re not going to always hit your deadlines — sometimes it will take a little more time, sometimes a little less — but I find it tends to all come out in the wash.Lacy Boggs
I’m such a planner! Perhaps even to a fault at times! However having a game plan or strategy when it comes to content creation, for me, is crucial to combatting overwhelm and procrastination (which I can be very good at!). So, before I even consider batch creating any content…around November/December each year, I plan out my business/life calendar for the following year; and then (taking inspiration from specific times of the year, planned launches for my business, and of course suggestions on topics from my audience) I overlay my calendar with my content plan for the year ahead (so boss right?). Next steps? I set aside a day to write/record 3 months worth of content, and then another day to create images and schedule the social media and blog posts in. Love it when a plan come together!Ashley Knight
It is true that I will film a year of video content in a full-week shoot. Getting this done in a batch means that my team and I can focus on high level strategies that grow our business, rather than scrambling to create content on a weekly or monthly basis. For us, batching our videos means we can serve our community with value-packed content while also not letting content consume all our time. I know a lot of business owners who are always trying to come up with new content, and it becomes a huge distraction.
I want to make it clear that filming a year of content requires careful planning and execution. My team and I work on this production week for about 4-6 weeks, creating topics and scripts, and creating a production plan. We don’t just wing-it during production week. Great things take time, and batching our content like this is a worthwhile way for us to spend 6 weeks of the year.Natalie MacNeil
Video content is SO important for online business but it takes much more planning than writing a blog post. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to film a few videos at a time! My secret is to follow the same structure for every video. I write the bullet points I want to make on a sticky note and stick it to my camera. I always intro and outro my videos the same way and keep them under 7 minutes. Then, I edit my videos all at once (right after filming when they’re fresh on my mind!) and give them to my VA to upload to Youtube. In short: Use templates for everything so that you can focus 100% on the content!Courtney Johnston
To be able to batch film videos I first complete some research. I head to Youtube and Google Adwords to find the keywords people are searching relating to my topic before I even starting creating any content! To be searchable you need to make sure you are using the key words your target audience is using in search results, otherwise it makes it much for difficult for your content to be found. Once I come up with some highly searchable key words and phrases I start crafting my content. I follow a script template when writing my videos. Each of my videos are crafted with the same template.
When I first started creating video content I would write out my script word for word so I made sure all my thoughts and ideas were organized and worded well. Now that I’ve been doing it a while I just come up with bullet points for my main content to share. Once I have 4 or 5 videos planned I will pick a day to film. If you can film at least 4 videos in one day and upload one video a week, you are done with your video content for the month in one day! It also helps save time because you are putting up your equipment, maybe finding a place to send the kids to make sure your house is quite and then the most difficult part, putting yourself together (i.e. showering and looking presentable). And that’s how I make uploading 3 times a week to Youtube possible!Trena Little
I always tell my clients to spend 1 or 2 days per month taking photos, to start building a giant photo bank. Have all of your supplies on hand like backgrounds and props so that when you’re ready to shoot you have no shortage of materials or inspiration. As a photographer, I try to create my own content while I’m creating for my clients. When the marble slab is down and the ice cream is out and already dripping, I might as well snap a few extra pictures right!? Think about how you can incorporate content creation into your workflow to save time and energy.Alisha Johns
Create a plan for what you hope to get out of the shoot and gather your props accordingly. Have all your props within reach during your shoot so you can quickly and efficiently change props in and out of the photo. For the same reason as above, you want to have your backgrounds nearby so you can easily switch them in and out without wasting a lot of time.
Find the location you are going to shoot in, and if it is indoors, make sure that it is near a window so you can maximize the natural light. Remember, natural light is by far the most beautiful and flattering light!Alli Elmunzer
I set aside time 1 day each month to take all of the photos I will need for social media, blog posts, and other marketing material. By doing this, I’m able to streamline my workflow, save time, and always have a library of images to pull from to ensure that my visual content is consistently on brand!Elle Drouin
To help streamline things and save time, I batch create my social media and blog graphics. I have templates for every graphic – blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube thumbnails. I use the same fonts, colors, and layout for each particular graphic to save time, but this also really helps me save a lot of time! And, because I have an editorial calendar, I know what my blog posts will be about, so I can create all my graphics for the entire month!Jessica Freeman
Creating batch content starts with a game plan: you need to understand what your end goal is and which platforms you’re working with, as they all speak different languages. If batching for the same platform (say, Facebook) I’ll typically have a blank art board saved in Photoshop with the ideal Facebook Post dimensions. Live fonts, color palettes, and smaller graphic elements like a divider bar or our watermark are also stored in this template file.
Consistency is key. From there, I keep a folder of hi-res (royalty free) stock images that jive with my brand aesthetic that I simply drop in, depending on the subject matter or tone. Sometimes one single hi-res image can stretch to 3-4 posts, as I’m able to cut up one larger photo in several smaller photos that still come out clear on web. After creating a series of posts, I schedule them during my audience’s peak hours. Take note of the analytics, then adjust as needed.Erica Kelly