Content Batching: The Key to Successfully Managing Your Content Creation
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If it is a Saturday morning at my house, you can be sure that my kiddos are begging for pancakes. My husband is the breakfast chef on weekends, so he mixes up the big bowl of batter, pours it onto the griddle in generous portions, and adds the requested toppings. He makes a whole bunch of pancakes, then serves them all at once to our four hungry children.
Imagine what it would be like if he only mixed up the batter for one single pancake, cooked it, and served one pancake at a time, repeating this single-pancake-process over and over again until all four bellies were full. It would take all day! Taking an efficient batching approach to making pancakes comes naturally. Now what if we applied that same batching concept to your content? That’s called content batching.
What is Content Batching?
Content batching is the process of creating multiple pieces of content at once, in a structured, organized way. It involves planning and grouping tasks and completing them in one sitting, rather than on an as-needed basis. By batching content, you can also ensure that your content is cohesive, that it follows a consistent theme, and is focused on your goals. This helps to create a more unified and professional look for your content, which can help to increase engagement and reach.
Why Should You Batch Create Your Content?
Are you an online specialist, coach, or consultant feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content you have to create for your business? Content batching can be the key to helping you manage the content creation process more efficiently and effectively. If you know where to start, batch-creating content can be a fantastic approach to streamlining your content production process and give you the extra time you need to focus on other aspects of your business.
Improve Efficiency and Productivity
With content batching, you increase efficiency by repeating similar tasks and increase productivity due to a set workflow. Batch-creating content can help you eliminate the time it tasks to switch between different types of tasks. For instance, while you are in your graphic design tool, create all of your social media graphics for the month, instead of creating one graphic, then one caption, and scheduling that one single post. In this scenario, you have to go from graphic designer to copywriter to admin. You’re probably using several different tools, switching between several different tabs on your computer screen.
When you switch the focus of your attention from one task to another, your brain requires additional time and mental effort to complete the tasks. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that participants who switched between tasks took 50% longer to complete the tasks and made twice as many errors compared to those who focused on one task at a time.
By batching your content creation and focusing on one task at a time, you can avoid the mental load of task switching, and increase your overall productivity and efficiency.
Consistency in Content Quality
If you jump around from task to task when creating content, it can be easy to let the quality of your content slip. You may not have as much time to spend on each piece, and it can be easy to sacrifice quality in favor of just getting it done. When you create your content in batches, you can ensure that it is consistent in terms of tone, style, and value. You can take the time to ensure that each piece is high quality and well-researched. This helps build a strong brand identity, and in turn, build trust with your audience.
Reduce Stress and Burnout
Let’s be honest: content creation can be a stressful and time-consuming task. Have you felt the panic of “what should I post today” or “I have to get a blog post out by tomorrow”? If you’re like most online business owners, you have a lot on your plate, and it can be easy to slip into panic mode trying to do all the things. If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed by your obligations, it can be easy to burn out, and we don’t want that to happen! Using content batching as part of your workflow is a practical way to get ahead of the game, and reduce the stress that you feel around content creation. When it’s time to publish or post, you’ll already have it planned, prepared, and ready to go!
How to Prepare to Batch Your Content
Whether you are writing blog posts, recording videos, or creating social media graphics, producing valuable content is crucial to establishing yourself as an expert in your field and attracting new clients. Write down your list of content ideas to get you started. This will help you avoid creative blocks and stay focused during content creation. Then, break down the content creation process into smaller tasks and allocate time for each task. Let’s take a look at the steps to do this.
Choose Your Goal and Focus
Before you can start creating content, you need to know what you want to achieve. What are your goals for this batch of content? Your content should be built around the goals of your brand, whether that is to increase brand awareness, grow your website traffic, warm up your lead, or sell a particular offer. The content you create should move the needle towards those goals as you share value, demonstrate your authority, and build trust with your audience. Knowing your goals will help keep your content focused, purposeful, and effective.
Create Your Content Calendar
A content calendar is a schedule of your content releases across the platforms and channels that you market on. With a content calendar, you can get a bird's eye view of everything happening in your business AND your personal life. This helps keep your content cohesive and goal-focused and to set reasonable expectations. Taking a 2-week vacation to Japan in June? Then that’s probably not the best time to plan a big launch.
The Mama Hen Media Content Planning Calendar is the ultimate tool for streamlining your content planning process to create a cohesive marketing plan that ensures you stay focused on your goals each month. Get it here.
Complete Your Research
Once you have your content ideas and goals put together, it’s time to dig in and do some research. Research is a critical step in the content creation process. It helps you identify your audience’s pain points, so you can create content specifically around their wants and needs. Answer the Public is a great place to find what people are searching for online around any particular topic.
Using keyword research tools like Keywords Everywhere, SEMrush, or Ahrefs will help you to identify the words and phrases that your audience is searching for. Then, use these keywords to optimize your content for search engines.
For Pinterest content, Pinterest Trends is a helpful resource to identify upcoming trending topics and preparing timelines for seasonal topics. Staying up to date with industry trends in your niche will help you deliver content that is informative and valuable to your audience.
How to Implement Content Batching
The premise of content batching is to create a large amount of content in a shorter amount of time, so the first thing you need to do is set aside a block of time to complete it.
This will change for you based on your schedule and work style. It may be a few hours, a day, or an entire week of batching. I don’t take meetings on Mondays or Fridays so that I can set aside large chunks of time to batch out content for myself and my clients on those days. During your batching session, it’s important to stay focused and avoid distractions that may take you away from your work.
Create a routine that works best for you to maximize your productivity during content batching. This includes giving yourself breaks as needed to keep your ideas fresh. Your routine will vary, but here is an example of what content batching looks like for me when I am working on a client’s content.
Batch Session 1:
- Identify the goals for the month + offers to sell
- Plan dates for blog posts and newsletters
- Research, brainstorm and plan content topics
- Create blog post titles and outlines for the month
Batch Session 2:
- Write drafts of blog posts
- Write drafts of email newsletters
- Create social media prompts
Batch Session 3:
- Review, edit, and schedule blog posts
- Review, edit, and schedule email newsletters
- Create graphics for social media, and repurpose them for email, blog, and Pinterest
- Write social media captions and Pinterest descriptions for the entire month
- Schedule social media and Pinterest pins
By following a batching routine, not only am I able to make sure the content is high quality, but it’s also very cohesive because I’m working on an entire month of content at once.
Once the month of content is created and scheduled, I have the time and space to support my clients in their overall marketing strategy, knowing that our content will be consistently shared with their audience.
Tips for Successful Content Batching
While content batching is a highly effective technique to increase your productivity and streamline your content creation process, there are certain tips and strategies to keep in mind.
Planning is key to successful content batching. Identifying your goals and topics before you sit down to batch-create the content will help the process move more efficiently. Planning also helps to avoid any last-minute scrambling for ideas, or sloppy content. Planning also helps to make your content more aligned and goal-focused.
Sometimes you plan a day to batch out your content for the month, but then everyone in the family gets the stomach bug. (Been there, done that.) Or, you plan to write your blog posts in one sitting but have a terrible case of writer’s block.
One of the benefits of content batching is that it allows you to work ahead and create a bank of content to cover you during those unexpected disruptions.
When it does happen, it’s important to give yourself grace. Remember, content batching is a tool to help you work more efficiently. Just make sure you have allotted enough time so that you can still get your high-quality content created and maintain your consistency.
Use Templates and Tools to Streamline the Process
If the thought of sitting down to create a whole bunch of content at once makes you want to pull your hair out, don’t worry. You don’t have to start from scratch with every piece of content. I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve to help you. You can get the full run-down on the blog post “Tips and Tools to Speed Up Your Content Creation.” Here are a few of my top tips.
- Use a Content Calendar to plan and organize your content
- Use or create your own social media templates to make graphic creation a breeze. You can find them on Canva, Etsy, and Creative Market.
- Use prompts to help with caption ideas, like this one
- Tools like Grammarly help catch any spelling errors in your content.
Schedule your content to post with scheduling tools like Tailwind and Later.
Content batching is an effective technique that can help you streamline your content creation process and achieve your content marketing goals. By batching out your content, you can save time, reduce stress, and maintain a consistent output of high-quality content.
However, batching content requires planning and organization, and it can be tricky to know where to start. If you’re struggling to plan out your content, or need support in implementing a content batching strategy, a Content Strategy Session can be a valuable tool in your arsenal. During your session, I’ll help you create a customized roadmap for your content marketing efforts, including strategies for content batching, goal setting, and tracking your progress. By working with me, you’ll gain valuable insight and guidance to help you achieve your content marketing goals more efficiently and effectively. Book your Content Strategy Session here.