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Mastering Your Content Creation Process and Flow for Bloggers
Creating a solid content creation process and flow for all of the work that needs to be done on my blog hasn't always come easy to me.
In fact, I spent the first couple of years pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, trying to figure out what needed to be done on a week by week basis.
While this method technically “worked” and I got most of my tasks completed, I often felt scattered and rushed.
This led me to start seriously considering what a more organized content creation process would look like for me as a business owner and content creator.
I looked around at a lot of other bloggers' systems and processes, but to be honest most of them just weren't a good fit!
One of the reasons for this is that I'm a full time stay-at-home mom, which of course means that my work schedule is going to be a lot different than most other bloggers.
I can't pull off a 9 to 5 schedule, put in 8 hours of work time per day consistently, or basically work in any way that resembles the work life of bloggers who don't have kids.
And I'm (finally) okay with that!
Since I couldn't seem to find what I was looking for from anyone else, I decided to create my own mom-schedule-friendly content creation process and routine that keeps me organized and focused week after week.
As work from home moms, I think it's so important that we embrace the fact that our work-life balance is going to look a little bit different than other entrepreneurs.
In the early days I spent a lot of wasted thought wondering why I couldn't seem to do things like other bloggers did, and why my results didn't come as fast as some of the big shots.
Turns out that when you don't have two people working 14-hour days to build a blog, it takes a lot longer to meet your goals! (Shocking, I know.)
My work schedule has pretty consistently been about 3 to 4 hours per day of work time, 5 or 6 days per week. Sometimes life gets crazy and I work about half of that!
And there have been a few occasions where I've been able to put in closer to 6 hours per day of work for a short time.
I've definitely noticed that when you only have 15 to 20 hours per week to work on your blog, you both have to accept that things will take longer, and you need to find solid strategies for staying extremely focused and productive.
It's too easy to spend an hour and a half on Facebook and not know where the time went.
And according to Neil Patel, "It doesn’t take a genius to create a content calendar. All it takes is somebody who is interested in staying organized and remaining on the right path."
So let's get into what my content creation process and flow as a work from home mom REALLY looks like.
1. Start with a list of blog post ideas.
First off, I always keep several months worth of blog post ideas in my Evernote app.
I've found that it is way, way too hard to try to come up with blog post ideas on the fly as you are writing, but having a list to pull from is fantastic. I will usually rotate between post ideas for Pinterest and Google SEO, as well as posts that answer reader questions I frequently get.
Pinterest and Google are always sort of competing forces, and I haven't yet found a good way to write content that satisfies both of them perfectly at the same time. If you have, send me an email! I'd kill to know that secret.
2. Write a quick outline.
The next thing I do is write out a quick outline inside my Google docs app on my phone. You probably know by now that I'm a huge fan of dictating posts, and I now dictate all of my content including emails.
Not only does this save me a ton of time, but it also makes it really easy for me to include my voice and personality in my writing. After all, this literally IS my voice!
I try to keep my outlines dead simple. An intro story, 3-5 main points I want to talk about, and a quick conclusion are all I write down for the content.
Then I make sure to note which email opt ins, digital products, and other posts I want to link to within that article.
If you want a complete digital checklist of everything you should include when you upload a post, make sure to grab my free smart blogger’s blog post checklist here.
3. Dictate the middle and end of the post.
Here's the fun part.
Once my super short outline is written out in my Google docs app, I simply start talking! Beyond my main bullet points, I really don't plan out what I'm going to write.
I simply give the most useful tips and strategies I can think of in the moment, and edit the post well later.
When you first start dictating your content, it can feel pretty awkward speaking into your phone, and it may take a while to get used to it. If you've always planned your posts down to the tee, it can also take some practice just winging it and writing whatever comes to mind.
I promise though, if you stick to it this part gets so much easier! This is really my big secret to creating new blog posts in about 30 minutes per post.
I used to spend 3 to 4 hours per post actually typing them out in an effort to keep the quality high. But you know what? I just don't have time for that.
That was two full work days out of every week dedicated only to writing blog posts, which only left a couple of other days to get all the other blogging tasks done that I needed to get done.
It was too much, and I often found myself falling behind. Once you get into the swing of dictating your posts, you'll find that writing a high quality 1,500 to 2,000 word blog post in around a half-hour is totally reasonable.
Just stick with it!
4. I edit my posts in another work session.
I've talked a lot about how I batch my tasks to get as much done in as little time as possible, and editing is no different!
I used to be an edit-as-you-go kind of person, and I found that it slowed me down so much. Now I set aside a completely different work session to edit a handful of blog posts all at once.
This is a great task to do in the evening when you're a little more tired and don't quite have the bandwidth for creating new stuff.
To edit my posts, I simply pull them up inside of Google docs on my laptop and start adding in grammar, punctuation, and proper spelling. This is one of the reasons I love Google docs so much, it syncs to both your laptop and your phone!
This is perfect for dictating posts into your phone, but editing on your phone tends to be way too time-consuming. I prefer to use my laptop for that piece to get it done quickly.
5. I send the post to my VA to be uploaded and scheduled.
The last step in my content creation process and flow is to send my edited documents to my virtual assistant to be uploaded.
I uploaded my own blog posts for the first few years I was in business, but it was one of the first things to go when I hired part-time help. As a busy mom, this has really helped me to stay on top of my work.
Uploading blog posts can be time consuming, and hiring it out is so simple. If you’re working part time on your business and can’t squeeze in any more hours, I highly recommend leveraging that time with a part time hire!
Along with the blog post itself, I also send my VA other necessary information for uploading a post properly:
- Alt tag text
- Any screenshots I plan to use in the post
- Blog category
- SEO title
What My Content Creation Process Looks Like in the Big Picture
I hope this post gave you a pretty good idea of what my blog post creation process looks like. But how does this all fit together in the big picture of running my business month in and month out?
First, I have several months of blog post ideas available to me at all times, and I will draw from that list to fill out my monthly content calendar each month. Then I batch dictate several weeks to a month of blog posts at once, so this usually isn't something I'm doing on a weekly basis.
After that, these posts are scheduled in advance so they go out several weeks after they are written. This gives me time to make any final edits and to stay ahead of my work schedule.
I also use a weekly blogging workflow calendar to bring together all of the tasks I need to do on which day to keep my business humming along.
We all know that there are so many more tasks to running a blog business than just writing content. You've got emails, social media, creating products, writing sales pages, setting up affiliate partnerships, updating old content, the list goes on and on.
You can learn more about how I keep all of these tasks organized and executed on time with my super fun course Plan Your Blog Biz .
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