One of the biggest struggles of starting up a new blog or trying to grow your social media following is having enough content in rotation to be able to keep up with a posting schedule. It took me a long time to get the hang of posting routinely, not missing any upload days, as well as learning to branch out and try new avenues of content creation. Up until just a few months ago, I was writing every new post the day of publishing, finding it very difficult to get the task completed, and the blog post up before it was well into the evening. I needed a way to avoid feeling overwhelmed on posting day, so I decided to implement a new strategy: batching.
I noticed that in my most productive surges, I’d think of various blog posts and article ideas that I wouldn’t be able to draft right away. I used to stick them in a list somewhere to be forgotten, a list I didn’t revisit enough. So, I took an hour out of my downtime at the end of the workday to pump out a few first drafts for both my website and medium publication. That way, I’d spend the next day editing and developing a piece instead of having to come up with it from scratch. This not only saved me time, but it allowed me to clear up my schedule for other projects.
I tried to adopt this strategy on certain days, but I noticed that I was still falling short of getting things done on time because every new day came with new writing responsibilities. I had to be continually thinking of new material to meet my posting goals as well as publish thoroughly-edited content. So, I compiled a few steps to help me along the batching process and make the best use of my time.
1. Brain dump all of your thoughts before you begin
You don’t want anything clouding your mind when you’re trying to force new ideas to the surface. I like to take the first ten minutes of my writing routine gathering my thoughts in my journal, toying around with possible article or blog ideas, before I settle on the ones I want to explore.
2. Outline your publishing schedule to see how many posts are going up each week
If you’re using a planner or calendar, map out the days where you want your posts to be published so you can see the big picture of what your upcoming week is going to look like. This helped me a great deal when I was trying to decide what days would be best for batching, and what days I could leave entirely open for other things.
3. Tackle one platform at a time (if you have a blog, freelance deadlines, or write elsewhere online)
When you’re writing across multiple platforms such as having a blog, needing to come up with ideas for your freelance project or drafting an article on medium, I find it the most productive to focus my energy on handling one at a time. If I’m working on drafting blog posts for one hour, then I don’t switch to something else during that time. It has improved my productivity significantly to train my brain to concentrate on one area at a time.
4. Write out possible ideas for each post to work on later
Forget that list you stuck in your writing journal and abandoned. Take your ideas straight to the draft folder, so when you open it up the next time, you’ll be able to have a clear idea of where you can begin. I like to draft three posts at a time per platform for the week, and this sometimes can occur over different days. It helps me to map out my week, as well as have a good idea of the content I’m going to produce.
5. Write and complete multiple posts in one go
Don’t call it quits after you’ve drafted the first one. I know it can be tempting to pat yourself on the back after finishing one post, losing out on all the creative energy you still have, but you must make proper use of that time. I’ve gotten into the habit of pumping out at least two posts every day so that I can make the next publishing time a bit easier. If I have a bit of extra time at the end of the day, I pull out my phone and start typing a few notes in my draft folder or even finishing the post altogether so I can edit it later.
The main takeaway here is that you’re constantly remaining in the creative process, knowing when to cultivate ideas, and understanding when it’s time to switch off for the night.
Do what you can today, help your publishing schedule along, and encourage those ideas to keep coming. Sometimes, when you’re writing every day, it can be hard to stay motivated or get the work done on time. Don’t be afraid to look for inspiration when you’re struggling to find a good idea to write about. Don’t be scared to play around with different ideas until something you genuinely like sticks.
I hope these tips help you batch content ideas so you can start to publish your work on schedule.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.