In this article, you’ll learn how I create my weekly content and do it on a shoestring budget.

People who watch YouTube are often interested in how they can create on YouTube. I’m going to share with you the process I use each week to produce a blog post, YouTube video, podcast, newspaper column, the subject of an email to my list, and short social media content. Yes, I like to repurpose!

It starts as a note in Evernote

Every new piece of content starts as a note in Evernote. You could do the same thing in any note-taking app. Pick one and stick with it. That note provides a place to start with just an idea, add to it, refine, and publish it.

I encourage you to pause, create a note, and jot down your idea. Then come back and let’s keep going.

I’ll use Evernote as an example throughout. If you’re using another notes application, adapt my ideas to your needs.

Content Creation Notebook

I have a notebook called “Content Creation.” I also created a tag called “Content Creation.” That tag as a placeholder to allow me to nest other tags underneath. For more information on how I use tags visit this post.

The tags I use for my content creation start with the letters “cc” followed by a dash. My list includes a tag for previous posts, future posts, and tags for each of the 12 months of the year.

Content Creation Tags (Future)

Let’s start with the tag called “cc-Future.” Ideas are often fleeting. How can we trap the initial idea that may become the best post we ever created? The answer could be on a memo pad in your pocket. It could be on the back of a napkin, provided you put that napkin in a place where you will see it later and can put it in a more permanent place.

If I am walking one of my dogs and an idea occurs, I pull out my phone, hit the microphone icon on the Remember The Milk widget, and speak. When I review the Remember The Milk inbox later in the day, there’s the idea.

To trap the thought is the first step in the three-part workflow I teach. Next, we must organize the thought. Those who have a computer lined with sticky notes have mastered “Trap” but failed in “Organize.”

Here’s your formula for organizing good ideas for the future:

  1. Create a note in the “Content Creation” notebook.
  2. Tag the note “cc-Future.”
  3. Insert a table of four columns. (Date or the season, a working title, description, and notes. You now have a place to house a bunch of ideas in a very compact space.
  4. Duplicate the note so you always have a clean copy. If the ideas are plentiful, there’s nothing wrong with splitting those ideas across several notes, all tagged “cc-Future” and housed in the “Content Creation” notebook. 

The ideas you trap now have a permanent home. Transfer the information to Evernote and throw away that napkin.

Content Creation Tags (Present)

I like to work a month ahead. When a new month begins, I want to have every post written, every video and podcast recorded, edited, uploaded, and embedded into the blog post. I want to have every newspaper column written and have ideas for tweets composed. My attention can then turn to the following month.

The first step is creating an Evernote note for each piece of content. With a piece of content being published once per week, my job is to create four or five pieces of content. To help me organize the note, I have a template. I start the note by inserting that template. While I am at it, I tag the note with the name of the month. The tag contains the letters “cc,” a dash, and the name of the month. Tag the notes all in one batch and assign them all to the “Content Creation” notebook.

With the templated notes created and tagged, I have a canvas on which to paint. A good starting place is to click the “cc-Future” tag and look at the ideas already recorded.

Another source is your daily life. What thoughts have been running through your mind that you think would benefit other people?

At first, those notes have only a rough title and random thoughts. Work on the text. Set aside dedicated time to write, if you wish. Writing during waiting time is an option. Do you like to write while watching TV? Go for it.

Since Evernote syncs across all devices, use that capability to add and refine text from anywhere. Adding text can even include speaking into a note on the phone and letting Evernote convert your voice to text.

Batching Is Everything

Producing a piece of content from beginning to end has many steps. Things go quicker and smoother when batching similar activities. When I’m in writing mode, I write. The goal is to get the text right on all posts for the coming month before moving on to any other aspect.

While fine-tuning wording, I often have a blank PowerPoint presentation open beside the note. When there’s something the audience needs to see, I’ve found creating the visuals in PowerPoint to be easy and effective. More on that later.

Now for the Title

Obviously, we need a title. When I create my blog post, the Yoast plugin asks for a focus key phrase and a meta description. Yoast also wants to see that I have included the key phrase in the meta description. One more thing to do, right? Later, I’m going to compose tweets to hopefully drive traffic to this content.

Using AI

Let’s use AI to help us with the title. While we’re at it, well let AI do more. I’ve already got the text written. I’m going to go to chat GPT and enter the following prompt:

  1. I am writing a blog post. Could you create for me each of the following:
  2. 5 titles that would hook readers and rank high on SEO
  3. A focus keyphrase no longer than three words.
  4. A meta description for the blog between 140 and 155 characters. Be sure the focus keyphrase is included in the meta description.
  5. 7 tags to use on YouTube that will rank high for SEO
  6. 5 tweets that will hook readers and rank high on SEO. Include relevant emojis and hashtags.
  7. Five quotes related to the topic of the post with the name of the author.

Here is the text of the blog post:

If you want to use that same prompt feel free to copy it and paste it somewhere so that you’ll have it handy. For me, I use a text expander. I created and stored the one you see in TypeDesk. (I also use TextBlaze when working exclusively in Chrome.)

In ChatGPT, I hit a couple of keys and that entire prompt appears. I copy the text for the episode from Evernote and paste into ChatGPT. ChapGPT does its magic.

I need a place to put the result that chat GPT returns, right? Copy and paste back in the Evernote note. 

While I’m at it, I have also pasted the same prompt and text into Gemini, Copilot, and Claude. You will get similar results from each. Pick your favorite and put the prompt into that service for each piece of content.

I now have a wealth of suggestions for a focus key phrase, and meta description of the appropriate length that contains that key phrase, and a wealth of social media content I can use when my content publishes.

Record the Video

Now it’s time to record the video. I use a Blue Yeti microphone. The webcam I have is a Logitech C922 1080p. I bought a separate stand for it that allows me to position the webcam just above eye level.

I strongly recommend downloading and installing Krisp to remove background noise. You won’t believe how much room noise you’re introducing until your hear yourself without that room noise. My dogs can bark in the next room and the sounds will never be on the recording. At present, the free version of Krisp gives me 90 minutes per day.

After downloading and installing Krisp, the icon appears in my system tray. Before you begin recording, click that icon to be sure Krisp is showing the correct microphone and speakers. I want to be sure that Krisp is using the Blue Yeti for the mic rather than using the webcam’s mic. I use Zoom to record, so I want to be sure that in my Zoom settings the microphone and speakers selected say “Krisp.”

Now, I can start recording. I use Zoom. You’re probably already familiar with Zoom. Create a new meeting just like you create any other meeting. The only thing you’re going to do differently is hit the “record” button.

Before I hit “record,” I open the Evernote note for that content. There’s my script. I highlight and change the font size to 30 points so it’s easy to read from a bit of a distance. Decreasing the width of the window keeps my eyes from moving side-to-side. With my right hand on the mouse, I gently scroll so the top line of text is as close to the lens of the camera as possible. Throughout the recording, I’m reading the text. That keeps me from rambling and helps me make my message to you as clear as it can be.

As I write the script, I keep in mind I’ll be using the audio portion for the podcast. For this reason, the audio must be able to stand alone. Those listening to the podcast will not see any of the visuals that those who watch the video see. Therefore, I’m making an effort to write the script in such a way that it can stand alone.

If I make a mistake, and I often do, it’s time to just pause for a couple of seconds and pick right back up. There’s no need to record the entire video just because you make a mistake. You’re going to edit out those parts.

Since I’ve created the script ahead of time, it takes no longer to create the raw video than it does for viewers to watch it. When someone tells you they spend 5 hours creating a video, don’t think you have to do that. I don’t have that kind of time. I record all of the videos back to back in a single session.

When I’m done, I click the “stop” button on Zoom and click to end the meeting. The Zoom files begin downloading onto the computer desktop. They’ll be in one folder containing three files. You’ll only need one of them. It’s the one that contains both audio and video. Drag it to the desktop and drag the rest of the trash.

Typically, I record all videos for the coming month back-to-back in one sitting.

Edit the Video

Next, I edit the video using a free program called “Shotcut” and have been since before the Pandemic. I recorded a video early on to describe that process.

Shotcut allows me to edit out mistakes. I can add captions to add emphasis. YouTube allows what is called an “end screen.” In Shotcut, I resize the dimensions of the video at that point to make room for the videos I’ll later insert into the end screen.

If I’m not using any other visual aspects, I’m ready to export. But if there are other visuals, I add another video track to Shotcut. I can drag images of video clips onto this track. 

When I demonstrate a concept I’m doing on my computer, I have found the easiest thing to do is create screenshots in PowerPoint. 

I’m not going to try to drag the entire PowerPoint presentation into Shotcut. There’s a very useful technique that most people don’t know. In PowerPoint, you can export the presentation as JPEG file interchange format or PNG portable Network graphic format. With either option, you’ll be given the option to export “just this slide” or export all slides. Export them all. On the desktop, look for a folder with an image for each slide. In other words, PowerPoint has created a picture of each slide.

The slides are 16×9. My video is 16×9. It makes it so easy! I start dragging the images onto the new video track and adjusting the starting and ending points. This allows the viewer to see my full screen when there’s nothing to show and hides my face when the focus needs to be what’s on the screen.

Now it’s time to export from Shotcut. On the menu click on “Advanced.” You’re going to see an option for YouTube. Click “Export” and watch the MP4 be created.

Create the Audio for the Podcast

My next step is to take this video and create the audio that I will upload to produce the podcast. I use a very popular program called Audacity. In Audacity, I drag the MP4 into the window. In a matter of seconds, Audacity creates the audio that I now download as an MP3 file.

Again, I batch my content. I’m going to have all of the videos for the coming months sitting on the desktop. One after the other, I open Audacity and drag the video into the window and then export. Rinse and repeat.

I’m not quite ready to upload the audio or video quite yet. I know that when I upload the YouTube, I’ll be given the opportunity to upload a thumbnail. so I want to have that ready.

Also, for both YouTube for the video and Spotify podcast, I’ll be able to add a description. I want to have those ready and include in the description a link to the blog post

Create the Thumbnails

For the thumbnail images, I like to use Canva. In Canva, search for YouTube thumbnail and you’ll find templates as well as the ability to create from scratch. What’s important is you know the dimensions are going to be exactly right. I have a single Canva project that houses all of the thumbnails for that year. So,

I open Canva one time, open that project, and create a thumbnail for each of the posts for the coming month. The next step is to download all thumbnails for the coming month at one time.

I like to compress the size of those thumbnails. The site I use for this purpose is Optimizilla. It’s free and allows me to drag all of the images into the window at one time. After downloading all of the compressed images, I trash the uncompressed ones.

I know I’ll be using these images in the blog posts. So, I log into WordPress and add to the media library all the images. That way, as I compose the posts, the featured images will already be available to me.

Secondly, I drag those images into the Constant Contact library. I email my list once a week using Constant Contact. The content I post that week is the major focus of the email and will need the thumbnail for that piece of content. When it’s time to add the image to an email, the images are already loaded in the library.

Create the Blog Post

My next step is to create a blog post for each piece of content for the coming month. I log into my WordPress site, create a new post, and get started.

In the Evernote note, I’ve already got the title. I’ve already got the text. I’ve already got several suggested key phrases and meta descriptions to choose from. I just start pasting all of that into the blog post.

You’ll probably want to do some formatting. You may wind up turning some text into a list of bullet points. Be sure that paragraphs are not too long. And, if you like to include a relevant quote, you already have several suggestions from AI that are in your Evernote note. Include the featured image. You probably also have a place to paste a short excerpt. That one is easy because you already have a meta description. Use it.

I’m going to schedule a day and time for each post to appear. I want the blog post, the YouTube video, and the podcast to all go live at exactly the same time. For me, it is on a Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.

When scheduling the blog post, WordPress provides the URL. I copy it and paste it into the Evernote note. It will be needed again when uploading the YouTube video and the podcast.

Upload to YouTube

Now it’s time to upload to YouTube. While logged into the Google account, go to YouTube, click your picture in the upper-right corner, and select “YouTube Studio.” Click the selection to upload and drag the first MP4 into the window.

While the file is uploading, I take the time to work through the various menus presented to me.

I copy and paste the title from the blog post. I add the thumbnail, which is sitting on the desktop.

AI has already generated a variety of descriptions for me. Pick one, and copy and paste it into the YouTube description. I also include a link to the blog post, because after all, I want people to visit my website.

AI generated a wealth of tags, and I stored them in the Evernote note. Now is the time to use them. In addition to what AI generates, I take the entire title of the video and add that entire title as a tag.

Another technique I started using recently is to take all of the tags and include them in the bottom of the description.

As you work through the menu YouTube is providing, take advantage of the “end screen.” Select one or two videos to present to other people. Now you’ll see why the size and position filter I used in Shotcut comes in handy. I have plenty of real estate to insert those videos.

Schedule a date and time for the video to go live. For me, Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. is when all of my content appears.

Before I leave that YouTube video to upload the next one, there’s one more thing I want to do. Copy the “embed code.” To find this code, start to play the video for yourself. Right-click in the video and look for the option to copy the embed code. Copy and paste it into the Evernote note. You’ll need it soon.

Like everything else, I batch this upload process. When I finish with the upload process for one video, I continue to the next.

Upload the Podcast

Next, let’s turn our attention to the podcast. I use Spotify for Podcasters. When I first started doing a podcast, I wondered how I would get that podcast listed on Apple, for example. It turns out that’s all being done for me. All I do is upload the audio one place, and Spotify handles pushing it to a host of other platforms.

I create a new episode and upload the audio. While the audio is uploading, I copy and paste the title, description, and URL for the blog post. Schedule the audio, and save.

I would like to grab the embed code here also. That way I can go to the blog post and embed that code. When everything publishes, people will be able to click a link in the blog post and listen to podcast right there if they choose to do so.

There is one “fly in the ointment.” I find that the embed code is not available until the episode publishes. The URL for the episode, however, is available immediately. After examining the URL side by side with the embed code of episodes already published, I figured out a simple formula.

If you already have a podcast on Spotify, look at the embed code for one of those episodes. Look for the word “episode” in that URL. Just before that word, insert the word “embed” followed by a slash. You now have the embed code. Copy and paste that embed code into the Evernote note.

Continue uploading each podcast episode the same way.

Add the Embed Code into the Blog Post

Now that we have the blog post, video, and podcast scheduled, there’s one final step. Return to the blog posts you have scheduled. Let’s go to the top of the post and include the embed code for the video and the audio. In WordPress I will insert HTML blocks for each.

Some years ago I ran across a video that talked about getting YouTube videos embedded in the blog post to display properly on mobile devices. That video included a wrapper to put around the embed code. To be honest, I’m not sure if that is still needed or not, but it’s still a practice that I continue to use.

Write the Newspaper Column

I write a column for the local paper, and the text of the blog post serves as the foundation. I copy and paste the text from Evernote into Word and modify it as necessary. It’s one more example of repurposing content. I do the editing for all newspaper columns for the coming month in one batch.

Sit Back and Watch It Publish

My content for the next month will appear each week. To help promote that content, I post to Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter). I have the thumbnail originally created in Canva for use on YouTube and the blog. That’s a great image to repurpose across the various social media platforms. Earlier, I used AI to compose a variety of tweets. Feel free to post in real-time and schedule them out. X allows you to schedule posts into the future.

More Automating

In addition, I use the free version of Publer to schedule across several social media platforms.

To repurpose the audio, check out Headliner. Each week, soon after the podcast publishes, I receive an email from Headliner. The service has automatically selected a clip just under a minute in length. One click downloads the creation. I now have a short audio to post on social media.

Email the List

Each week, I send an email to those who have signed up on my list. The main thrust of that email is letting my audience know about my latest post. I already have an image, a description, and a URL to paste into the email. That means most of the work is done before I start.

Preserving Content for the Future

Once the content for the month posts, what happens to the notes I used to create them, the thumbnails created, the video uploaded, and the audio uploaded? Read on.

Content Creation Tags (History)

When the current month becomes the past month, it’s time for some cleanup. I don’t need to preserve everything in those notes I used to create my content. However, I would like to preserve a record of the date, title, description, and URL for each post.

The ideas for content began in a table within a note tagged “cc-Future.” They will end up in a table within a note tagged “cc-History.” The table contains columns for the date, post title, description, and URL.

File Away the Rest

In my OneDrive Account, I have a “Content Creation Folder” Inside it, you would see the folding folders:

  • Blog images
  • Blog PowerPoints
  • Podcasts
  • Videos

That arrangement gives me places to file away the various pieces and parts. As for the Evernote notes that housed everything from the first words of the post to the finished product, they’ve now completed their usefulness. I delete them.

Content Creation: Many Steps. Batching Makes it Doable.

There’s the process. That process involves quite a few steps. None of them are hard. The hard part is remembering them, and getting them in the right order so that it takes less time to accomplish.

Batching is crucial. When you do similar items together, it takes a lot less time, and the chance for error diminishes.

I don’t have a team. That means I’m not paying a team. You likely don’t have a team either. I’ve been blogging regularly since 2005. I added the podcast component in 2017 and the video a couple of years later. While many other channels have come and gone, this one has brought you regular content for quite a while.

One morning I got the idea for the piece of content you’re reading at this moment. I grabbed my phone, created a new Evernote note, started talking, and didn’t finish until all the words were on that screen in front of me.

You can do this too. What I’m doing it’s not perfect, but I hope it’s helpful.

“Organizing your content is as important as creating it. Efficiency is key.”

— Ann Handley

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