Content creation for the busy solopreneur
Sometimes I just want to sleep. No stress over what I need to post on Instagram when I should schedule my pins or how much I engage in facebook groups.
Having to always create content is soul draining. This post alone took me 3 days to write. Always finding an excuse that something else needs my attention (Netflix is extremely important to my sanity). And right there is the reason why I need to stick to my content creating routines.
Otherwise, when the day comes to publish a new post I’m sitting there cursing at myself for falling on the ‘stranger things’ trap!
What I’ve done is create a process that lets me not only come up with new content every week but also streamline it to all my social media accounts with a click of a button. This doesn't have to apply only to blog posts, you can use it to streamline your podcasts, weekly newsletters, youtube videos! Anything that goes through the same process over and over again can implement these steps.
Step 1: Have a month's worth of blog post titles and call to actions on hand
Where most of us go wrong is coming up with content at the last minute. This is a sure way to stressing yourself for no reason at all! What I do is give myself an hour to come up with all the blog titles, keywords and social media call to actions for the coming month. This lets me know exactly what I need to write about, gives me Instagram caption ideas through keywords for every day of the month and which call-to-action to use and also the types of pins I'll need to drive traffic to my site. What you can do is create a simple excel spreadsheet or use a simple piece of paper and have columns for Blog post title, Instagram caption keyword, Instagram CTA, Pin titles and if you have a facebook group then also add what you’ll be posting to engage with your followers. Otherwise, you can go to a post that I wrote specifically about how to be more productive where I share a free cheatsheet that I use to plan my year (long term), monthly tasks (what we talk about today), weekly tasks (short term) and daily tasks such as emails to send and phone calls to make.
Step 2: Create outlines for all blog posts
So now we have an outline of EVERYTHING we’ll need for the upcoming month. Taking it a step further, we write down the outline of all our blog posts. An outline can be bullet points of what you want to write about. The sub-topics you want to discuss. Take this blog post as an example, I wrote down the blog title, then the steps as my subtitles. This breaks down your post into sections. So instead of writing a post as one huge piece of information, you break it down into small bite sized pieces which is great not only for your reader but also for you as a content creator. Now you have mini topics that you can easily write more about and ideas tend to flow much better (for me at least)!
Step 3: Write the blog posts
Writing the posts themselves is the struggle and it’s real! You need to be very selfish and stingy with your time when it comes to writing your posts. Don’t take calls, switch off the tv, close all those extra browsers and focus! You can easily write 3 to 4 blog posts in a day if you focus! Schedule breaks in between to refresh and go in with a new mindset for each blog post. Your title is set, your outline was written, the game now is to just fill in the blanks with your voice.
Step 4: Create graphics for your blog, social media and Pinterest
My favourite step of all is creating graphics! Now you might cringe at this part cause not everyone is tech savvy. And I get it. That’s why I also incorporate Canva (free) besides using Adobe illustrator (paid). The trick here is to create multiple templates for your blog thumbnails, pins, Instagram feed, twitter and facebook posts. You can easily do this on Canva because they have already created them for creatives such as yourselves. Personally, I use Adobe Illustrator because I've used it for years and can create my graphics faster than on Canva. What you’ll need to keep in mind is using your brand colours and graphics on the pins and other social media posts. This creates a consistent look and feel and makes you so much more memorable to your readers. That's where the connection happens.
Step 5: Streamline your content
Once everything is written and designed comes the automation. Automation means just that. Putting everything in a system that posts your content automatically.
Let's start with Pinterest, there are many apps out there to post on your behalf such as tailwind.
I love tailwind because I can schedule all my posts and other pins on the app, then I can shuffle the posts to make sure that no two pins are pinned back to back. Another great thing is that I decide how many pins to post in a day and at what times.
Another great feature of tailwind is the tribes. These are groups just like those on Pinterest and you post inside and the members get to repost your pins to their boards. Lastly is the fact that tailwind is recognized by Pinterest. So, on the site, besides the pin button, you also get a tailwind button that allows you to save the pin directly from your browser.
Next is Instagram, for this I use planoly. I can upload all the posts for the month, see how they look, write down my captions and hashtags then set a reminder to when I’d like to post. This is because Instagram still doesn't allow third-party apps to post on your behalf.
For all other social media platforms, twitter and facebook, I use HootSuite to schedule my posts weeks in advance. And I can’t tell you how much better I feel after going through this process.
Lastly is my weekly newsletters. I use Convertkit to help me with this. Sometimes I find myself too busy to manually send weekly content to my email subscribers or even forget to do it but, since using convertkit, I've been able to upload all my emails way in advance and schedule them to go out at the exact date and time that I want. I even get to play around with who gets which email through their tags feature. I've tried many other email service providers before but Convertkit beats them all!
Automation is where the magic happens in a business! All the stress of coming up with content and then remembering to actually post it goes away with just a good few days of focused planning and execution. Take these steps and implement them in your content planning or marketing strategies and see for yourself how easy it will be after you get into the groove of things.
Let me know in the comments below what it is that blocks you from consistently creating content for your business.
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