3 Ideas To Help Scale Up Your Content Creation Process
If You’re Looking To Write More Online This Year, These Tips Could Help
While the “write every day” debate continues to be endlessly trashed out on Medium and elsewhere (note: I tend to think it’s bad advice), there are those who, for other reasons, are looking to do more online writing without necessarily striving to reach that magical “daily writer” KPI.
If you’re simply looking to write more online this year, then here are a few suggestions to make the process work more fluidly.
Hold A Brainstorming Session — With Yourself
It should go without saying that if you’re striving to write more online (or create more YouTube videos or podcasts) you should invest some time into coming up with ideas to write about.
My own content creation process is a mixture of ad-hoc writing (I didn’t plan to write this post but inspiration struck) and more formal sprint-based tracking.
For the latter, I’ll set aside some time to brainstorm new ideas for both my business content marketing and my personal writing. When I adopt the more formal approach, I take a pen and paper and jot down some ideas. Then I log these — as quickly as possible — into a project management system.
Once it’s in the latter I use a simple Kanban board project management layout in order to move pieces of writing between various stages.
For a workflow for Medium.com I might include:
- To write
For articles that I intend pitching as guest posts (offsite) I might include:
- To write
None of these categories are hard and fast suggestions and you should obviously come up with whatever categories work best for you.
Find somewhere comfortable and jot down some great ideas for writing. My recommendation is then to digitize the output of that brainstorming session as quickly as possible, preferably as soon as you’ve filled up a whiteboard / piece of paper.
Build Out And Maintain Your Own Stock Image Library
Much to the annoyance of my significant other, I’ve taken to shooting random images of restaurants / road signs / cranes / other urban features in order to slowly build up a stock image library which I can use in future blogs / social media posts / etc.
I try to grab a few images whenever I’m out and about and chance upon something interesting or which I haven’t seen before even if the topic is as obscure and relatively unexciting as the arrival of salt and vinegar crisps in my city.
My current process is to batch the images I shoot (at least the halfway decent ones) into Google Photos albums. I sometimes also add descriptions (thanks Google support forum!) so that I can add more keywords which can be searched.
I’ll give each album a theme. Like so:
What I like about this process is that it’s scalable and cloud-based. I can add photos to the cloud from wherever I happen to be, whether I’m working at my desktop or on the road. I plan on creating literally hundreds of albums.
Don’t Get Caught Up In Responding To Every Comment And Notification
(But don’t ignore your readers / commenters either).
Tim Denning recently authored an interesting piece which caught my attention.
I Don’t Read the Comments on My Writing. There, I Said It.
It’s not for the reason you think. I will radically transform your perspective on comments.
Tim’s reasoning is that he doesn’t want negative comments to ruin his motivation to keep writing.
Doran Lamb authored this piece in rebuttal:
Why I Won’t Be Following Tim Denning’s Latest Advice
I know he’s the Godfather of Medium, but he’s not always right
I have to be honest, I’m on Doran’s side of the argument here.
As I commented, while I understand Tim’s motivation, I think that avoiding negative comments because they’re energy-sapping is a form of avoidance behavior.
As writers, we need to be able to roll with the punches a little and if we’re afraid to do that then I think that learning to confront that feeling is a better approach. And while trolling and hate are indeed virulent punches to receive, civil and respectful disagreement with what you write is not. It’s par for the course. And I think that as professional writers we need to learn how to deal with that.
Nevertheless, I think that there’s a fine line between being reasonably engaged with your readers and not obsessing over every notification and follower.
I’m guilty of periodically refreshing my Medium homepage to see whether I’ve picked up any new followers. It’s an unproductive habit that I would like to break, even though I assume that there’s some sort of neurochemical / addictive basis for doing so (probably rooted in the dopamine system and the validation of receiving new followers as a small form of reward).
Don’t be like me. Monitoring your personal brand development is one thing, but it’s easy to become a little too involved in tracking how much engagement your work is getting.
Again, I don’t advocate Tim’s approach and deliberately ignoring comments. I think that reciprocating reader engagement is courteous. But equally it’s probably prudent advice not to get pulled in too far, particularly as you begin scaling up and your engagement volumes increase.
These are three quick ideas for scaling out your content creation process. They’re mostly applicable if you’re writing on the internet. But even video and audio creators could benefit from these tips. Simply build up your own stock video (or audio) library instead of images.
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