Content batching is a magical time-saving process.
You’re probably already familiar with the concept of batching. Cookies, for example. If you had to grab the flour, sugar, chocolate chips, then fire up the oven every time you wanted a single home-baked cookie, let’s face it, you’d probably skip the cookie.
Baking batches of ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies at once is a no-brainer because it saves time and yields a lot of goodness in one sitting.
When I think of batching, cookies are usually the first thing that comes to mind. And batching content is a close second.
When I started my business, creating content consistently was so challenging. Like all good business owners, clients come first, which means all the content I needed to support my business growth came second. It’s not a great spot to be in when you’re trying to build a brand and bring in more clients.
Like batching cookies, batching content is the process of spending a specific amount of time cooking up a week’s worth (or month’s worth) social media posts, email newsletters, videos, or blog posts.
We’ve all been there — getting stressed because you don’t know what to post next, but knowing you need to post to stay present.
Coming up with ideas, researching, writing, designing, and scheduling posts is hard work. Every minute counts when you’re a business owner or freelancer trying to grow your business. Why add to the stress?
Batching content for social media, websites, and newsletters can save you hours, give you clarity, and free up mental space for other areas of your life. Sounds pretty good, right? Trust me, content creators, this process is going to be your new BFF.
At its heart, content batching —or tasks in general — is when you set aside a specific time to focus on one project until it’s complete. Instead of repeating the same thing day after day, we only have to do it every month or so. That frees up time, allowing us to work in a state of focus instead of scrambling.
For content creators, this can look like spending a few hours or even a whole day researching ideas, writing social media posts or blogs, designing graphics, or scheduling your content.
It’s a highly strategic set-it-and-forget-it technique that ends inconsistency. The amount of content and when you publish it is integral to any savvy content strategy. And we all know how bad inconsistency can be for your brand.
There is so much freedom in knowing exactly what post is going up every single day when you wake up. It’s a fool-proof system that will save you hours every week and get you back to growing your business instead of working in your business. Here are four key benefits of batching content for your business:
I have found that oftentimes small business owners become overwhelmed by content creation because they don’t know the basics of content marketing strategy, and they don’t have tons of time to spend creating and posting content. Batching content isn’t difficult, but it does take some discipline to get into the habit. These five steps will streamline the process.
Content Pillars or Brand pillars give your content direction and allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field by constantly posting relevant information for your audience. They will help you develop content ideas and solve the question, “What should I post today?”
These pillars are the key topics that you use to categorize the content that you create. For example, if you are a health coach, you can choose fitness, nutrition, and mental wellbeing as your pillars.
You should have around 3-4 content pillars, and they should be topics that your target audience cares about. Most importantly, these pillars should answer your audience’s most common questions or solve their biggest problems.
Are you wondering why your content isn’t getting the engagement that you want? Maybe it’s because it doesn’t do one of the 3E’s. Whenever you sit down to write content, you need to ask yourself the purpose of the post.
The 3 E’s is a simple strategy that you can use to make sure your content is purposeful and provides value for your audience. Before you post something, ask yourself, will this EDUCATE, EXCITE, or ENTERTAIN my audience?
If the answer is no, don’t post it. People will organically engage with your content when they find that it adds value to their lives.
Companies that publish more than 16 posts a month generate 3.5 times more traffic than those which publish less than four times. Coming up with that amount of website content — plus social media posts — will be nearly impossible to wing.
That is why all businesses need an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars should map out blog topics at least one month in advance. This will help you and your team stay organized and on track instead of scrambling for content.
Having a schedule will also help you keep your content consistent. This is key to keeping your audience interested and coming back for more.
Posting consistently on your social media channels is a crucial element to your content strategy for the same reasons. Make sure you’re also mapping out your social media posts on the calendar as well.
Crafting a calendar or ideas that combine your content pillars with the 3 E’s is the secret sauce for never running out of post ideas. Carve out a day or a few hours to research, write, design, and schedule, and you’re done. The important part here is to set a specific amount of time. Don’t drive yourself crazy creating until you’re exhausted. Set a deadline, stick to it the timeframe, and walk away when the clock times out. Make it fun and it will fly by and you’ll look forward to coming back to batching.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Have you ever tried to cut a birthday cake with a spoon?
It’s possible, but it’s a hell of a lot harder than if you were to just use a cake knife. We all know that not having the proper tools makes even the simplest tasks harder to complete. This fact is true when it comes to cutting a cake, putting together Ikea furniture, and most importantly, when batching content.
As a successful content creator, you need to have a toolbox full of apps and websites that you can use to help make content creation faster and better overall.
I have shared some of my favorite tools for coming up with content ideas, designing graphics, and scheduling in my Ultimate Content Creation Cheat Sheet, a free guide to online tools for digital content creators.
It’s not just about digital tools. Pen and paper are all you need to brain dump content ideas to kick start the process.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You have already created some fantastic content.
You know that it was good because your engagement on that particular post was through the roof. Your audience commented, saved, and shared it several times, so it must have provided some authentic value. Great job!
Now, what are you going to do with that amazing piece of content? You’re going to repurpose it, of course!
You’re going to join the likes of Celine Dion, The Beatles, and Tupac and add that post to your “Greatest Hits” Album. Artists repurpose their best songs by compiling them and reintroducing them to their audience, and you need to do the same thing.
Repurposing content allows more members of your audience are exposed to its value. Repurposing content not only saves you time but also helps boost your SEO, reach new audiences, and reinforce your brand’s message.
This is a win-win situation for both you and your audience.
Batching my content truly saved my sanity and my business. Taking one day a month to gain back the rest of the days is invaluable for so many reasons, primarily saving you from the stress of panic posting and allowing you to focus on what’s really important: creating the best possible experience for your clients while not working 24/7.
Cyndi, Owner of Ascent StoryCraft
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