I produce a heck of a lot of content. And aside from an occasional absence here and there, I’ve been incredibly consistent with producing that content over the last couple of years. In the past two years, I’ve written over 200 blog posts for my own site as well as at least four posts a month for Yummy Mummy Club, have been a regular contributor to Hustle & Grind and have released 12 episodes of my podcast, Riding In Cars With Cats, over the past 12 weeks. That much content, at that regular of a rate, doesn’t happen on its own. So what’s my strategy?
Make a List
One of the common problems that I hear from those that want to produce content, primarily blogs, is that they don’t know what to write about. They sit down to write and they’ve got nothing. And that’s fair. And it’s why I’ve never written down to write without having a list of topics already in place. Instead, I spend a lot of my time coming up with content ideas for the future. I have both a physical notebook as well as a note on my phone where I’m able to add content ideas. And I write them about anything and everything. The trigger might be something my kids do or something my wife says or something I watch or something I read. No matter what, if I have an idea that I think could become a piece of content, I write it down. Make a list, check it twice, Santa Claus style.
Don’t Write a Blog
Wait. What? You heard me. Don’t sit down and write a blog. Sit down and write two blogs, three blogs, four blogs. When I sit down to write, I never write a single post. Typically, I try to write three or four pieces at a time. I do this for a few reasons. First, writing is all about getting in a groove. My first piece often takes the most amount of time and effort but as I get into it, I find that I find my cadence and creating that content becomes easier and easier… to a point. Obviously there comes a time when you’re just done and you should probably stop. But finding your groove is about putting aside legitimate time to work.
So I said that I write multiple pieces of content at a time for a few reasons. Here’s the second reason; shit happens.
I’ve got two kids and a busy wife. I never know what the future will hold. My son’s flu doesn’t care in the least if I’ve decided tonight’s the night I work on my book. A snow day doesn’t care at all if today was the day I was going to record a podcast. If there’s one thing in the entire world that you can count on, it’s that you can’t count on anything. Consistency is inconsistent. So rather than making sure that I write every single week, or several times a week, I make sure that I write…period. By writing a few blogs at a time, I’m able to get ahead of the game so that if I miss a week here or a few days there, I don’t fall behind.
Right now, at this very second I have 5 podcast episodes and 16 blog posts “in the bank.” This means that if I decided today, that I wanted to take off the next month of content creation, I could. In fact, I could not write another blog post from now until after Advent. That’s a lot of time off. And sometimes I do just that. I’ve gone a month without writing content. I’ve gone a month without recording a podcast. And if you bank it, you can. Whether you’re sick or you’ve got other commitments or you’ve just decided to a take a break, getting ahead of the curve is never a bad idea.
Content Is, At Worst, Prince
As one of my favourite marketers Ross Simmonds loves to say, “content isn’t king, distribution is.” And he’s right. Content doesn’t mean a damned thing if you’re not getting into ears and in front of eyeballs. But you still have to have the content in the first place. You can’t promote nothing. These steps will help you create the content. Distribution (which I’ll talk about in a future post) is a whole other ballgame. You may not know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but you can’t sell content you don’t have, so start banking it.
Now go make something.