How do you bake cookies? You don't measure out the ingredients, mix them, and bake them all for one cookie, and then repeat that 20 times, right? (We hope not...) Your blog content is no different. Learning how to batch your blog posts will save you serious time and energy.
If you're not familiar with the term "batching," it's no different than baking a batch of cookies. You create a bunch of cookies at once, because it's easier. Why not take the same approach with your blogs?
Let's talk about how to batch your blog posts so that you can maximize your creativity and minimize the time you spend on them. (P.S. This will be especially helpful if you're a beginner blogger and you're feeling overwhelmed.)
How to Batch Your Blog Posts: A Step-by-Step Guide
Remember the goal, here: We're going to group like tasks and tackle them one at a time. For the sake of this blog, we're going to say that the goal is to publish four blogs a month, and you want to be one month ahead. So, we'll pretend we're planning out all of our content for the month of June.
Here's how you could batch your blog posts.
1. Come Up With a List of Blog Topics and Keywords
It's always a good idea to keep a running list of topics and keywords that you want to blog around. You can keep it simple and put this in a Word or Google Drive doc, although a spreadsheet might keep everything more organized. You can put the topic in one cell, and that topic's keyword in the cell to the right.
Since we're planning a month's worth of content, you'll want at least four topics and four keywords. However, when you go to start this list and batch this task, you might very likely find that you end up with a lot more. That's great! Guess what? You can save those for the following month.
If you really want to go the extra mile, your spreadsheet can also include columns for metrics like monthly traffic and competition. This can help you prioritize which topics and keywords to create content around first.
2. Draft Up a Batch of Blog Outlines
By this point, you have (at least) four topics and their corresponding keywords. Our next step in batching our blog posts is creating the outlines.
Here's a simple way to look at this:
Start with the title.
Outline your H2s.
Create your subtopics/H3s.
This is going to make it really easy to get clear on exactly what you talk about. This is also a great starting point for drafting up your content. Once you know the title, H2(s), and H3(s), you're going to find it more seamless to expand on these points and flesh the outline out.
Keep in mind that outlining is supposed to make it easier to write the blog, so you want to be sure to include all of the most important points.
3. Write Your Blog Drafts
We know what you might be thinking: Here comes the hard part.
But here's the thing!
Ideally, you already did most of the heavy lifting when you wrote the outlines. Look at these drafts as simply expanding on the outlines.
Keep in mind that your drafts don't need to be perfect. It's not like we're going to publish them immediately after. If you're feeling overwhelming, simply think of it as getting all of your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Don't stress about being perfect. We're batching! Put the pen to paper and just start writing.
After you've drafted up your four blogs, we encourage you to step away from them for a day or so. This helps you come back to them with a clearer perspective and fresh eyes. And that's going to help you tremendously in the next step.
4. Edit Your Blog Post Drafts
Here's where we're going to go back into our four drafts and clean them up. We're going to look for more technical issues (grammar, punctuation, etc.) but also matters of clarity.
Are you covering the topic in the way you need to?
In this step of batching your blog posts, you should be doing less writing and more revising. If you go through this step and notice that there's still a ton of work, it could mean that you need to plan more accordingly in Step 3, next time.
5. Prepare Any Media That You Want to Include
Do you want to add any images? Videos? GIFs? Social media embeds? Branded graphics? Now's the time to get those ready.
This includes any resizing, editing, and compressing you might need to do. If you plan to create your own images in something like Canva or Photoshop, this is when you'll do that. Remember: If you have multiple graphics to make in Canva specifically, do them all at once. If you have multiple GIFs to make, do them all at once.
Once all of those things are ready, plug them into your four blog posts!
6. Do One Final Read-Through of All Your Blogs
We're almost done!
One of the final steps is to get yourself another cup of coffee, get comfy, and read through all of your content. This is your opportunity to fix up any last typos and make final adjustments.
You might find it helpful to give yourself a day off before doing this step, like you did after drafting up your content.
7. Schedule Everything to Publish in Your CMS
If you were drafting up your posts in separate documents, go ahead and put that content into your CMS. Otherwise, the content should already be saved there. (Hint: It never hurts to have a back-up, though! Consider having your content stored in a second place.)
At this point, you're ready to set their due dates, and *drumroll* you're done!
How quickly you get through this process will depend on the availability you've got. If you have a designated person on your team and this is all they do, this can likely be done in a week. If you're squeezing this in between other tasks, it'll understandably take longer.
But the point is this: By batching your blog posts, you're going to move through them much faster than if you were to do one blog at a time. And if you don't want to touch your blog at all, let us do it for you! Contact LSM today for a free strategy session.