I’ve been doing this blogging thing twice a week for years now and people always ask me…

“How do you find the time? It takes me FOREVER to create content and I just can’t seem to keep up with it!” 

Now, these days I do have a bit of help behind the scenes from my lovely team…

But when I first started my business, and was busting my buns and blogging my way to a fully booked out web design hustle, it was just me, myself, and I!

And with about a million other hats to be wearing in my business, the only way I was going to stay consistent with content marketing is if it didn’t take me all dang day to create just one post.

So how was I able to seriously cut down on the amount of time it took me to create quality content in my business?

So glad you asked!

Here’s what I did then (and what I still do to this day, even with a team backing me!)

6 ways to speed up the content creation process

Tip #1:

Build a content topic idea bank

Nothing is worse than finally having an hour to devote to creating content for your business…

Only to realize when you sit down that you have exactly zero ideas for what to write about. ‍♀️

And suddenly, that hour that could have been spent a million different productive ways has now been spent feeling personally victimized by your blank screen.

I know myself…and the fact that I tend to procrastinate on the things I don’t think I will be able to do easily or well.

Which means that if I were to leave my idea brainstorming until the exact moment I’m sitting down to try to knock out a post, I’d probably never get started.

(And you wouldn’t be reading this, or any of my other 400+ blog posts).

The only way to ensure I will actually stay motivated and consistent as a content marketer is to always have a giant list of blog post ideas at the ready.

A blog post idea bank I can borrow from at a moment’s notice!

I set tasks to keep this bank topped up on a regular basis so I’m never scrambling to find new ideas when I should have been using that time for actually implementing on them.

So where do the ideas come from?

Every time someone asks a question in my inbox or DM’s that I think would make a solid, helpful blog post, I write it down. 

I also love to put together a list of keywords I want to try to rank for (words or phrases my target audience is most likely to be typing Google or a search engine when they are searching for answers related to my topic) and then use those to come up with as many blog post titles that use those specific keywords as possible.

Last time I did this exercise, I came up with 221 content ideas in less than an hour.

Wayyyy better than trying to come up with things on the fly, right?

And doing it in advance means that your ideas will be backed by some actual keyword research (read: it has a decent monthly search volume and is therefore worth writing about.)

Will I end up using all 221 titles?

Probably not, but if I’m feeling stuck while trying to write a particular post and want to come back to it another day, I now have 220 other ideas to pick from so that my content calendar never skips a beat.

Then, I can save the harder-tackle-posts for the days that I’m feeling a bit more bad-ass.

Suggested reading:

Tip #2:

Batch create for better content & more freedom

You may think you work better under pressure, and therefore will take less time to do something if you are forced to quickly whip it up the night before it goes live…

But I promise you, always leaving it til the last minute is a recipe for fluff pieces.

(See31 random facts about me & what I do when not working, which no lie was an ‘oh shit, tomorrow’s Tuesday and I don’t have anything scheduled!’ post.)

Yeah, it’s cute. And some people were probably entertained…

But it’s not a piece of content that will continue to serve my business for years to come, which is kind of the whole point of creating content that lives on and on forever on your site!

How to start batching content creation for more consistency

If you are going to take the time to create content, set yourself up to actually do it well!

Try creating in batches (and in advance) so that you can be ultra-focused on the one task at hand.

I personally work much more quickly when I can get in a flow and knock out a bunch of similar repeated tasks in one sitting.

And creating content is no different!

So rather than sitting down to brainstorm, research, write, and edit a single post from start to finish, and then starting over when it’s time to write another one, I like to break the creation process down into phases or steps.

I won’t move on to each new phase of the creation process until I have batched at least 4-8 post’s worth of that thing. (ie. added next 8 posts in my editorial calendar, researched 8 post ideas, outlined 8 posts, written 8 posts, optimize 8 posts, built blog post graphics for 8 posts, etc.)

Outsourcing parts of the content creation process

Batching becomes extremely important for when you start to outsource tasks or bring on team members.

Whether you are creating video, podcast, or blog content, the goal is to pass over entire batches all in the same phase to the next person who needs to work on it…

Rather than assigning them individually, and having to keep track of where 30 different posts are in their process.

Batch working is my favorite way to speed up literally any process you do in your business, whether working alone, or with a team.

Batching the creative process for more freedom 

I’m muchhhhh much more productive on the days that I know I have a single goal and focus, and won’t be having to hop around from task to task.

But in order to be able to devote entire days to batching new content, you really do need to plan for it in advance!

It takes some serious commitment to figure out your writing process, and get those first few batches to where you are scheduled out weeks in advance, but once you have a solid number of posts lined up, you’ll have so much more freedom to focus on the other things that move the needle in your business.

Nothing is better than looking at the back end of your blog or channel and seeing that you have 8 weeks worth of content already lined up and ready to market your business for you on autopilot while you work on other income generating tasks!

NEW! Content creation course coming soon…

Sell out your services & get ready to scale your business through a proven algorithm-proof content creation & list building strategy!

 

Tip #3: 

Create a content outline to keep you on topic

If you’re like me, and you are annoying levels of passionate about your topic then you could probably talk for hours about #allthethings.

I seriously get so much joy out of teaching what I know…

So it can honestly take me forever to write a post because I feel like I constantly have to be giving my audience the entire picture with every new bit of content I create!

(It’s the course creator in me! )

Having a solid outline helps me keep on topic, and hyper focused about what exactly I’m hoping to cover and communicate with that one post, and what would be best left for a new bit of content altogether.

‘Complete guide’ type posts can be helpful, but they can also equal information overload, which makes it much less likely for your audience to actually take action on what they are learning.

And if they never take action, they will never know how useful your post was. ‍♀️

It can be more useful to offer your audience quick wins and easy-to-digest steps for where they are currently at.

How can creating an outline help someone who is not sure what to write?

Maybe you have the exact opposite problem!

Rather than struggling to keep posts short and to the point, you tend to feel at a loss for what to write at all!

Having an outline created gives you permission to skip around to different sections, knowing that it’s all going to tie together in the end.

Some ideas will come easier than others, so start with the ones that you feel more equipped to chat about, and then circle back around to the others.

You’ll have already built up momentum at this point and you can let your newfound creative mojo carry you through those trickier sections that would have otherwise kept you from getting started.

Honesty hour: I used to be terrible at thinking up intros for blog posts.

And I think it’s because I was trying to write them first.

But trying to introduce your post before you’ve even fleshed out the main content is kinda like being asked to stand up in front of a whole bunch of people at a fancy event and talk about someone you’ve never met and don’t know the first thing about.

Even if you have a basic idea of what your bit of content will be about, it’s bound to change and evolve as you go about creating it!

New ideas will pop up, or you’ll realize you can cut certain sections altogether.

It may even take a whole new direction as you get more clarity about what it is you are actually trying to communicate to your audience.

So if you don’t want to spend time staring at a blank screen every time you sit down to create, or end up having to rewrite the thing altogether because your idea changed, save writing the intro for last!

Tip #4:

Use a content creation checklist (no matter how many times you’ve done it before)

At this point, I’ve written well over 400 blog posts.

(Maybe even 500. I’ve honestly lost count!)

That means I’ve done every single one of the steps in my content creation process at least 400 times.

But still…I use a template/checklist.

Why?

So my team members and I aren’t having to check back 50 times to see if we remembered to do a certain step.

(And fewer missed steps will mean less time spent trying to fix it later!)

Beyond streamlining the way you work, a content creation checklist can also be super helpful when you are just plain stuck for ideas!

Maybe in your checklist, you include a list of things you try to answer with every piece of content you create…

Have I answered:

  • What is it?

  • Why it’s important and why my audience should care about it?

  • Who is it for?

  • How to do it?

  • The next step once that’s done (and how I can help with it?)

It also allows me to focus on writing, knowing that I don’t have to worry about proofreading, remembering to add in Pinterest graphics, adding tags & categories, or double checking that I’ve got all my keywords covered.

Those are steps that I have written down on my checklist and can cross that bridge when I get to that part of the creation process.

Suggested reading:

Tip #5

Stop editing yourself as you go

It can be super hard not to filter ourselves as we create.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect that some of our greatest ideas never make it on the page, because we are so wrapped up in making it worthy of going viral.

But your first couple cracks at a piece of content are for nobody’s eyes but your own!

So write down ideas and thoughts with abandon! Silly ideas, jot notes and sentence fragments are totally welcome and encouraged here.

Trying to edit yourself in real-time is seriously slowing you down.

You can always circle back around to that section with fresh, objective eyes after you’ve completed your first draft, so just write ideas first, and worry about polishing them later.

If your brand voice relies on you being super cutesy or ‘miss personality’, don’t force yourself to write something clever the first round.

Get the ideas down that you are trying to communicate, then go back in and sprinkle in some charm later! ‍

Tip #6

Add “repurpose content” into your content creation workflow (so you never have to post on the fly again)

Creating content can be super time-consuming, but nothing makes the clock run out faster than trying to come up with an Instagram caption.

Seriously. Is it just me? Or can a 3 sentence social media caption take longer to write than a 2000+ word blog post!???

By adding “repurpose content” to your list of content creation to-dos, you’ve officially done away with the need to figure out what to post on the fly!

Or worse…skipping over sharing your awesome content altogether because you simply don’t have time!

But if you silently hit publish on your post, and never let your audience know it’s there, all that work is pretty much wasted.

Now, I’m not saying that Insta is the only way to shout out about your content. I actually prefer to remind my readers via a newsletter!

(Which is how I was able to take an entire year off Instagram and not have it affect my site traffic. Like, at all.)

However you decide to repurpose your content, make a plan to do it at the same time you are sitting down to create it!

For me, this looks like whipping up a quick caption and drafting a newsletter (sometimes even using the same copy, if it fits!)

If I’m recording a YouTube video, I’ll take two minutes while my studio is still set up and my hair is still combed, and grab my phone to record a little video teaser to schedule to my stories…

That way I don’t have to shower and show up live the day the video actually drops!


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NEW! Content creation course coming soon…

Sell out your services & get ready to scale your business through a proven algorithm-proof content creation & list building strategy!

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