It’s easy to start a blog, but it can be really difficult to maintain it.
When you start a blog or other similar content creation (like a heavy social media presence), you do it because either. it’s your job or you’re writing about something you’re interested in and want to share your thoughts or something you created with the world. It’s exciting and it’s new, and you look forward to creating content every week.
But then, maybe it starts to get boring or tedious. You start procrastinating because you are overwhelmed with what topic to cover and how to reach people. Your fun job starts feeling like, well, a job. And that leads to inconsistent posts and content that doesn’t fit together with your overall message.
The best way I have found to prevent this kind of mind paralysis in both my personal and work career is by content batching. It’s a way to combat those feelings of being so overwhelmed that you start to procrastinate, think, “I’ll deal with this later,” and then eventually throw something together that is not your best work.
Content batching isn’t something that necessarily comes naturally, as you have to think about content many weeks or months (sometimes even a year!) before you post it. However, once you have the process down pat, then you’ll struggle less to get quality content posted in the timeframe you’re aiming for.
Beat the procrastination cycle
When you’re feeling overwhelmed at the job ahead of you, it can be easy to toss it into the “later” pile. Sooner rather than later, though, it becomes crunch time, and you’re scrambling to put together a content piece that may not be your best work, just so you can have something done.
Batching helps solve this problem.
What to batch
Again, it’s easy to start a blog, but it can be laborious to maintain it. By batching your content, you’re helping yourself in the long run by making all the steps less overwhelming as a whole.
There are different methods to content batching. One is creating all the various pieces of your content in one sitting: the social media posts, the blog posts, the videos, and the visuals. While this has merit, this can still be difficult for some people.
The easiest way I’ve found to batch content is by figuring out every single step of the content creation process. This starts from a high-level perspective. Discover the questions that your target audience is asking and how you can create content that will answer those questions. Then, figure out the best time to publish your work and the best way to get it out there.
The most important step in content creation: Keyword research!
If you work in the digital marketing sphere, then you know that a common theme is keyword research. Whether it’s paid or organic traffic you’re after, keyword research is the bread and butter of modern marketers.
The best way to do this is by using a keyword research tool such as Moz or SEMRush. You can look up general keywords and then narrow them down to specific queries, all while knowing how many online users are searching for these terms on a monthly basis. This is an important step because if you don’t do keyword research, you are essentially sending your content out into the void, not knowing where it will land. If you create your content based on research and user intent, you’re more likely to reach a wider audience, and you’ll be more motivated to continue to create. It’s hard to want to maintain a blog when no one is reading it.
So, say you are hoping to batch your content on a monthly basis. Dedicating a work day to content creation keyword research is a valuable use of your time. Not only can you ensure that you will know what topics to write about, but also that by analyzing the keyword metrics with one of the tools mentioned above, you will have the greatest chance of users finding your content.
Other kinds of research
Once you have an idea of where you’re headed with a topic because of your keyword research, then it’s time to research some more, outside the keyword field.
Some content take less research than others. For example, if you’re writing on a topic you’re familiar with, you may not need to refer to many outside sources. However, if it’s an in-depth topic that has many moving parts, you’ll need to spend time seeking out resources and knowledgeable experts in the field.
Once you’ve got your sources aligned, you’re halfway there.
Time to structure your content
After coming up with ideas and then researching the associated keywords, the next step is structuring out the content. This can include creating outlines and knowing exactly what you’re going to create: Am I making a video? Do I need a videographer or editor? Am I making a blog or infographic?
No matter what kind of content you are making, having an outline is a necessity. It’s easy to have a topic in mind to write about, but in order to ensure that your piece is coherent and flows well, having a solid structure will prevent you from going off topic.
If you’re writing a blog and have done all of the above, then the actual writing of the blog should be the simplest part of the process. At this point in time, you’ll have the topic, the keywords, the research, the outbound links, and the outline completed. All that’s left is to fill in the blanks.
If you don’t have an editor, then once you complete your blog or other form of content, you probably want to proofread what you just wrote. However, after writing multiple blogs in a day, correctly editing afterward is a challenge. A separate day dedicated to editing all your creative pieces will put you into “edit mode” and help you see errors that you may not have noticed if you had gone over it as soon as you finished writing.
Putting batching into action
How you determine to batch all your pieces is up to you. If you can, take a few days one week a month and work solely on your content. Dedicate a morning to keyword research and the afternoon to more broad research. The next day, structure your pieces and start creating. On the third day, write your content. The next, finish edits, make your social media posts, and schedule everything out. Once you do this, you don’t have to worry about these pieces at all throughout the next month (or months, depending on how much you created).
Like all things, it can be hard to change when you’re used to doing something one way. However, since content creation should be one of your main focuses, figuring out a process to consistently create optimized content on schedule will help your organic traffic and improve your website’s overall authority and rankings.