One of the things I've been teaching on and talking about is a basic approach to a content creation plan. I wanted to bring it up here again. It can be hard to balance blogging, trying to be present online, and trying to start and maintain a newsletter.
I am also exploring ways to minimize my online presence as far as social media, but that's another topic. The impetus for this content creation plan came from a space of also feeling kind of overwhelmed and burnt out. And I found that this is a sort of repurposing 101, but it's a wonderful way to get on track with everything that you're creating and get it out there in an organized way.
I also chatted with Eric sero about SEO a couple of weeks ago. You can go back and check out those episodes. One of the things that he mentioned also was tying your campaign to your social media. For example, if you are doing a campaign to be ranked for Minneapolis wedding photography, consider using your keywords in your campaign and in your blog post, as well.
Eric is a big advocate of tying these things together for the purpose of search engine optimization. And I'm a big fan of tying these things together just so that you don't lose your mind.
Let's take one month and I'll just outline it for you. And you can go ahead and give it a try yourself when you have time.
So let's take one month of content creation using my content creation. The first thing I like to do with all these things is to make sure I'm batching. So when we're talking about putting together content for a blog post, and then for social media, I like to break it up into different steps, just like this podcast.
So I'll record three or four episodes at one go, they'll all get edited at the same time. They'll all get scheduled for publishing at the same time. One of the main reasons for that is when your brain is engaged in an activity, you can enter a flow. The feeling of recording a podcast is a little bit of a different flow than if I were to do a podcast, then create the artwork for it, then schedule it, et cetera.
So the idea is to stay in flow. And what do you say kind of in a flow state with what you're creating? It goes a little bit faster and it's a bit clearer and you get more done ultimately. That's why I recommend batching.
The first step in this content creation plan is to brainstorm a bunch of ideas.
Let's say you're going to do a blog post once a week for the next month. That's four posts. I'd say that's a really reasonable place to start. It's not too overwhelming. It spreads things out pretty evenly and gives you a chance to talk about stuff. So brainstorm for different topics, let's say around wedding photography.
Here's some examples: maybe you'll share about one particular wedding. Maybe you'll go talk about your favorite venue. Next, you can cover the lenses that you'd like to use. Then, you talk about just a specific wedding again.
So you've found the four things that you want to write about.
The next step is to write.
I like to open up a Google doc and set a timer. Here's where it gets important to focus. Put on some noise canceling headphones, put on some music, and just turn off your phone. This is the one step in all of this where you're going to be glad that you're not interrupted.
Give yourself 60 to 90 minutes and start writing blog post number one—I like to keep it to five to eight paragraphs—then blog post two, etc. By the time you're done, you'll have four blog posts.
The next step as photographers, especially, is to find the photos that you want to use for each post.
This is where I usually create just a folder in Google drive. So the text gets thrown in the folder and then any photos I want to use get thrown in that folder as well. Everything's in one place. This will be really helpful when you want to go back to stuff you've created a year or two later, and it's all right there.
I highly recommend doing it that way rather than like searching in real time for the photos you want to use and uploading them that way.
The next step is scheduling everything or formatting everything on your block.
This involves formatting the text, uploading the photos, doing some alt texts to describe the photos, and making sure you have keywords in place. Do that for all four posts in one stretch as well. By the end, you'll have four posts ready to go. You can schedule them on most sites you'll use.
From there, this is where my content plan helps people organize their brain a little bit. Let's say I do all of my blog posts on Mondays. For the rest of the week on Facebook and Instagram or Twitter, I take snippets from that blog post.
Let's say, we're talking about a favorite wedding venue. So for the rest of the week, I'm talking about that favorite wedding venue, all across social media, using the photos from the blog post on social media. Maybe you'll tweak the words a little bit so it's a little bit of a different message, but you'll still be speaking to that same topic.
Later on in the week when I put together my newsletter for my audience, I will link back to that blog post. I'll do an intro and say, “Hey, this wedding venue is really awesome. Read the rest of it here.” It'll link back to my blog posts. There you have a week's worth of content—your newsletter, your blog, your social media, it's all connected.
You don't have to like be thinking of things to post all the time. It's all in that folder. You'll have four weeks of content ready to go, and you did that in one afternoon. That's one approach to organizing your content: a campaign that's connected between your website and your blog and all of the external platforms that you use.
I am a huge fan of this. It is an awesome way to stay organized. It's an awesome way to stay on top of stuff. A common questions is, well aren't people going to get sick of me talking about that same venue all week? And my answer is no. Most of the time, people aren't following every single thing you do all week. There's way too much coming out for them to be aware of the fact that you've said the same thing a couple of different times. The folks that do notice it because they follow you that closely are probably already fans and appreciate your content.
It's going to seem way more redundant to you than it will to your audience. So stick with it, put together a campaign around one topic each week. Start there.