Creating blog content used to be easier when I started in the fall of 2004. Keep a list of ideas. Pick an idea and write about it. Schedule a date for it to publish. You were done!
Later, the idea of adding a nice picture to the post was introduced, followed by the idea of superimposing the title of the post on that picture. As I started to write a weekly column for The Daily Home, the process included modifying the blog post to repurpose it as a newspaper column.
Along the way, people suggested I start a podcast based on the blog post. The latest addition is repurposing the content as a YouTube video. YouTube opens the opportunity to demonstrate a technology concept and allows viewers to see the concept in addition to reading about it.
Lots of steps
People often make the decision to read or not to read an article based solely on the title. Therefore, more time than you would think goes into crafting the title. When an article turns up in a Google search, a short description appears. Crafting an interesting description of the right length adds another step.
The post you’re reading now went through at least 18 different steps to publish it to the blog, podcast, YouTube channel, newspaper, and various social media channels.
But not hard steps
If I described each step, you would wonder how I keep it all straight. In truth, many of the steps are not hard. The challenge is keeping up with what’s been done, what’s still to be done, and organizing it in a way that it happens in a timely manner.
A content creation calendar
I’ve written about the time-management technique called “batching” in this space. It’s the idea that handling a bunch of similar items at one time accomplishes them quicker than if they were done in isolation. You get “in a groove.”
Therefore, I craft the titles of all four posts for the upcoming month before going further with any article. I then compose all of the short descriptions in one batch.
When it’s time to look for an image to appear at the top of the post, I’m looking for all four images, one for each post. As soon as I complete the text for one article, I move on to compose the text for the next article.
When it’s time to record the podcast, the easiest thing to do is record all four back-to-back, then edit all four, then upload and schedule all four. The same holds true for creating the videos.
A single spreadsheet keeps track of everything I’ve mentioned to this point. Each row is an article. Each column represents one of the 18 steps in the process. Formulas and conditional formatting within the spreadsheet let me know if titles and descriptions are the right lengths. They also show me what’s been done and has not been done.
Want to see it in action?
In the video at the top of this post, I show you this spreadsheet and demonstrate the features. Perhaps your job involves repetitive processes. If so, you may want to adapt the spreadsheet you see in that video to your own project.