Batching my blog content creation process has been transformational. I honestly used to dread writing a new blog post. That dread dampened my publishing and made my website suffer. I was so random about creating and publishing new content, and no one was happy.
How I Batch My Blog Posts For My Blog Content Creation Process
Previously, I had no editorial calendar, no outline or plans, and I was quite literally just winging it. I might publish three posts in one weekend and nothing for a month. There was no process to my blog content creation then. You can read more about what I’ve gained from launching a blog here.
Before: I Had NO Blog Content Creation Process
Yall, this is NO way to be successful when it comes to blogging. Google even starts noticing your bad habits. Did you know that Google prefers consistency? Yep, just like everything else in life.
I came across a blog post that changed my blogging life. Catherine Oneissy, thank you for writing How to Get More Done By Batching Your Blog Posts. This post renewed my spirit and led me to enjoy blogging again.
The Process I Use to Batch My Blog Posts
Here’s how I do the whole batching thing for my blog content creation:
Blog Content Creation Step 1
First, I will brainstorm as many ideas about one particular topic as I can. As a Pinterest Strategist, I get asked a lot of the same things. Those questions I am repeatedly asked were the first ones on that list. From there, I just let my fingers do the talking.
Getting All The Ideas Out
In just one of these brainstorming sessions, I ended up with over 75 ideas for blog posts. Being that my goal is to publish one post per week, I was ecstatic with a year and a half of blog posts!
After taking the time to brainstorm a list of ideas, I will leave it. I do not do anything else with blogging or the blog content creation process at that time. Later on, I will come back and start the next part of my process.
Step 2 of Batching My Blog Posts
When it’s time to move to the next step, I will select one idea. At the beginning of batching my content like this, I picked the easiest thing to write about or the thing I was most excited to write about.
Now that I’ve been writing like this for a while, I pick whatever topic is next in my editorial calendar.
Dump All Your Thoughts
From here, I’ll open an Evernote note and start typing away. I do not care if it makes sense. Everything I know, think, and feel about the particular topic just literally gets dumped into this note and I let the page fill up.
Within Catherine Oneissy’s blog post, she shares a list of questions she uses to create her outline. Catherine’s method allowed me to make sure the blog would cover all the information necessary.
This method has allowed me to write longer blog posts and please Google. Hopefully, Google is giving me some SEO brownie points with these long posts!
Making Google Happy With More Words
Before using Catherine’s method, I would painfully get words on the page until I hit that 300 minimum.
When I say it was painful, I’m talking pulling teeth painful, yall. Now my posts are somewhere between 900-1500 words each and every time. Whoop!
The Guiding Questions for Your Braindump
Each Evernote dumping session gets the same four questions at the top of the note. I use these questions as a guide during my blog content creation braindump portion. From Catherine’s list, I’ve simplified the questions to the following:
- What’s the point?
- What do people need to know?
- Other questions?
As I’m braindumping, these questions help guide the process so I get out everything I know. I make sure to answer each of these questions during this step.
Let’s Chat About How
Question 3 is a bit tricky. Since I don’t want to write a book, I will mentally make sure that one of two of these W’s are answered in the braindump.
Most of the time, I reserve the HOW for another blog post or it is answered in one of my paid resources. Such as my Pinterest Pro program that teaches social media managers and virtual assistants HOW to become a Pinterest Manager.
Tangents = More Ideas For Future Content
With this braindumping method, I always have tangents pop up. I have to reel it back in and remind myself to stick to the topic at hand.
However, when I do start going down a tangent, I will make a note of it and add it the topic to my content ideas list. This is an easy way to come up with ideas for future posts!
Tabula Rasa Anxiety
Sometimes, admittedly, it is hard to come up with words to get on the page. I think it’s blank slate nervousness.
So I will force myself to just type away for 5 minutes. Usually, that leads to 15, 30, and eventually an hour of writing or braindumping. I try to make it a habit to write about an hour a day for 3-5 days a week.
Just Write. And Write Some More.
Within that hour of writing time, I can usually braindump 2-3 topics. But, I am honestly happy to just get one topic done as long as I’m typing for an hour.
That whole thing about wanting to be good at blogging? Well, it takes dedication and practice, not a half-ass-write-when-you-feel-like-it mentality.
Practice Does Make Perfect (or at least close to it!)
Professional athletes don’t practice when they feel like it. They make it their JOB and work their asses off!
Sure, they have a little sprinkle of natural talent, but they are out there giving their all day in and day out. So if you want to be successful at blog content creation, you better be doing the same.
Step 3 to Creating Blog Posts
After I have a handful of these braindumps in my Evernote account, I will take the one that’s next on my editorial calendar and copy it over into a Google doc.
I literally paste the entire text into the doc. At the top, I made a little line with hash marks to designate the braindump from the actual draft.
A Fresh Start
This allows me to refine the content as I move through this part of the blog content creation process. Remember when I said to just write and that it doesn’t need to make sense, be pretty, or in any particular order?
Well, this is exactly why I “start over” with the braindump as my roadmap.
Don’t Forget To Keyword Research!
Prior to even writing my draft, I will craft a title and do some keyword research.
A blog post without a keyword and a catchy title is just hot air that no one is going to find. I put the title and keyword at the very top of my Google doc so I am reminded of it the entire time I’m in this step of the blog content creation process.
The messy braindump I created in Evernote gets cleaned up. I basically rewrite the braindump, making sentences whole and in an order that makes sense.
Processing The Blog Post – Step 4
Here is where I steer away from Catherine’s process. While her original idea is completely fine, I have found this works best for me.
Creating A Process That Works For You
Blog content creation is really about finding a process that works for you! So take one of these ideas as your starting point and tweak it into something that works best for you.
Step 5 – Creating The Pin Image & Scheduling
I take the Google doc draft and I will paste it into a WordPress post. Inside the post on WordPress, I will edit until my SEO green dots from Yoast appear.
I get this puppy ready for publishing and I’ll even go ahead and create a pinnable image and embed it into the post. Everything is ready for the public to see, so I will schedule the post to match my editorial calendar.
Use Your Excitement
As I mentioned above, Catherine does it a bit different. She will continue to batch each step of the process, including images.
I am just too excited to wait! One thing I do that saves me time here is the template I have created for my pin images. I use a template on PicMonkey for my pin images so I’m not reinventing the wheel each time, I’m just redecorating it!
Jump, Jump, Jump Around & Create Some Content
With my blog content creation process, I’m not necessarily doing each of these steps in order each time.
I may braindump 8-10 posts before I get to the drafting portion. However, I will only write one draft on Google docs at a time since it takes me a good chunk of time.
Hopping around with topics during the braindumping portion is fine, but it is harder for me to switch gears when I’m in the draft portion.
Once a draft is finished on Google docs, I will come back and get it ready for the final edit on WordPress as I mentioned above. I do not have a pile of drafts sitting on my Google Drive waiting for me to move them to WordPress.
For some reason I like those portions of the blog content creation process separated.
Blog Content Creation Is Now Enjoyable
Writing blog posts has become somewhat therapeutic for me. What was once a dreaded task is now a joyful activity that I look forward to doing.
I hope by sharing my blog content creation process, you are able to refine your own process.