4 Ways to Get Ahead on Content Creation
Raise your hand if you've ever felt like a slave to your blog. Yeah, me too.
Creating quality content week after week is hard. Running a blog is enough to make a busy solopreneur want to rip their to-do list to shreds and hide under their desk all day---and that's without mentioning all the other content you probably produce. (Like webinars, Twitter chats, email newsletters, videos, podcasts, worksheets, opt-in freebies, infographics, and social media updates.)
I used to carry a ton of stress each day. Not because of client work, but because of my blog. How could I claim to help others with their business blogs if I could barely even keep up with my own?
This was the year I finally decided things had to change. I wasn't going to let myself run on the hamster wheel of content creation for another minute. I made one small change that took my blog from overwhelming and stressful to no big deal.
I learned to get ahead on content creation.
And I stay ahead by at least a month---even through my maternity leave.
Having wiggle room in your schedule takes the urgency away from blogging. Less urgency means less stress, a more enjoyable writing process, and the comfort of knowing you can give your full focus to your clients because your blog is taken care of.
So how did I get ahead on my blog? Glad you asked! Here are my top tips to get ahead on content creation.
4 Ways to Get Ahead on Blogging
Blog less frequently.
This doesn't have to be a permanent change (though it can be if you want it to). Let's say you typically publish new content on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Try posting only once a week for a month or two . . . but keep writing posts as though you're blogging twice a week. Once you have a nice backlog of posts built up, you can go back to your regular posting schedule. This is a simple way to get ahead without trying to squeeze more writing into your already full calendar.
Set aside one day a week for content creation.
This tip takes advantage of two of my favorite blogging strategies: batching and theme days. Blogging can feel overwhelming because there's so much work that goes into a quality post. It's easy to underestimate how much time blogging will actually take you, which leads to stress and an unrealistic schedule. Blocking off one whole day gives you the chance to focus on your content for a bigger chunk of time. This lets you focus fully on client work or other jobs during the rest of the week since you know your blog will be taken care of on its dedicated day. It also leaves you with room to batch each step of the blogging process so you can take several posts from brainstormed to scheduled more efficiently, all in one day.
Go on a content creation retreat.
What if you don't have a schedule that plays nicely with a weekly blogging day? (This is the boat I'm in since I'm working my schedule around two small kids.) A content creation retreat is an awesome way to get ahead on your blog in a short amount of time. You don't actually have to go somewhere for a retreat to work. All you do is set aside a big chunk of time to work waaaaaay ahead. I like to take a weekend every quarter to get ahead on my weekly email newsletter. You have to be disciplined enough to focus for a solid stretch of time---and of course, you have to actually take the time to try a retreat. A content retreat isn't right for everyone, but it's a strategy that can get you miles ahead on your content creation.
Outsource part of the process.
Sometimes we forget how much work goes into blogging, or any other type of content creation. You're not just writing, you're also brainstorming ideas, creating eye-catching images, and editing for grammar errors. Typically there's at least one part of the process you don't enjoy. Maybe you're not naturally good at it, or maybe it just stresses you out. Outsourcing the part of blogging you absolutely dread can save you more time than you realize---enough to make it a worthwhile investment!
How do you handle content creation when it becomes overwhelming? Share your strategies in the comments!