People ask me all the time how I focus on so many projects at the same time and truthfully it all comes down to compartmentalizing and batching. Content batching, in particular, is one of the tools that I pretty much live and die by.
I usually prepare all of my content a month ahead of time – I don’t like to feel like I’m running around trying to finish things at the last minute. Procrastination used to be the name of my game (until mid-way through University), and I was probably not a very nice person to be around because I was constantly stressed out and anxious. A real treat.
I feel like I’m always saying this but when you create content from a place of negativity because you feel like you have to – not only are you making the job dreadful (it doesn’t have to be), that dreadfulness also comes across in the finished product.
So I wanted to show you my process for the entire month.
I like to divide my content-batching process into a few phases
- Finishing & Details
- Content Marketing
At the center of each of these phases is to make the process an enjoyable and easeful as possible meaning good food, lots of breaks, sometimes a staycation at a local hotel or AirB&B, rewards for hitting certain milestones, booking at least an entire day so that I don’t feel rushed and preplanning to avoid likely distractions (like Facebook or Netflix binging).
This part of the process doesn’t necessarily require an entire blocked-off day, but before I take my batch day I have to have a plan of what I’m creating.
I start with the Monthly Content Planning Kit – I like to make a mess and brainstorm by hand.
Once I have a plan full of topics that I can’t wait to write about, I move everything to a digital editorial calendar (mine tool of choice is Asana). I have a colour-coded project for each content channel. I start by putting in any launches and events (like webinars or challenges), blog posts, newsletters and then any social media posts to distribute my content.
Here’s my February editorial calendar. Once the calendar is set up, I choose and block off a day for writing my posts, newsletters and creating any info products.
The only other piece I do before the batch day is a stream-of-consciousness outline and notes for each blog post, newsletters, and any info products. The goal is just to get my thoughts onto paper, so when I pick the piece back up, it’s really easy to reconnect quickly with the enthusiasm I felt when I put the piece on my calendar.
My batch day begins even before I wake up in the preparations. I like to know exactly what I’m going to work on, set up my workstation, pick an environment to work (minimal distractions and a few different work surfaces), stock up on healthy/yummy food, decide on rewards for reaching milestones.
Usually (like the day below), I break my schedule into 6-7 sections:
- Blog Post #1 (followed by a fun break)
- Blog Post #2 (followed by a workout break)
- DIY Kit (followed by lunch break)
- Blog Post #3 (followed by a fun break)
- Blog Post #4 (followed by a workout break)
- Finish writing DIY Kit (followed by dinner break)
- Quickly write up newsletters (Week 1 – Week 4) and send everything off to proofreader (found her on Fiverr, she’s great!)
Then I wrap up my day. All in all, the work part of the day is around 8.5 hours – not too bad. The blog post sections take me around 25 minutes, and the longer sessions for bigger products are around 2 hours.
Once I get everything back from my proofreader, I’ll finalize all of the pieces and get them scheduled.
Here are the steps to this stage:
- Read through each piece
- Spent 90 minutes creating content upgrades for posts
- Gather stock photos or take my own photos (and edit)
- Create my images to go along with the posts (featured image-sized, Facebook image-sized, Instagram/Square-sized and Pinterest-sized)
- Create lead boxes for all content upgrades
- Format posts in schedule in WordPress
- Create and schedule weekly newsletters with links to posts
Sometimes it can be tempting to skip this phase (you just finished a bunch of work and can’t you be finished already?!), but I would argue that it’s the most important.
Your content can only help as many people as the number that reads it – so it’s your job to make it findable.
I have theme days for my social media, so I have a good idea of what content I need for each month. I go content channel by content channel and schedule everything as I go.
Here’s what it typically looks like (although a lot of the time, I’ll do my FB group posts the week of):
- Create all of my Facebook page posts (schedule in SocialPilot)
- Create all of my Facebook group posts (schedule in SocialPilot)
- Create all of my Twitter posts (schedule in SocialPilot)
- Create all of my Instagram posts (schedule in (Planoly)
- Create all of my pins (schedule in Tailwind)
Now All in all, the entire process takes me between 2.5 and 3 workdays. The rest of the month, I focus on client work, creating webinars, working on bigger content projects, being active in Facebook groups and my other social media channels and avoiding my bookkeeping (I really have to get better about this!).
Click on the button below to download a worksheet to design your own Content Batching Retreat Day!