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Podcast

Episode 084: Making Time to Create Strategic Content

November 16, 2021

Podcast episode: Steal These 4 sample content plans

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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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Ready to start creating strategic content, but constantly feel like you don't have time for strategic content creation? Here's how to fix that

Make Time for Strategic Content

I want to create strategic content, but with everything else I’ve got on my plate, it’s hard enough to get my content out on time.

Creating content always takes me so much longer than I think it will, and every time I sit down to create, I just want it to be over with as quickly as possible so that I can do the next thing on my list.

I KNOW that it’s important, but it also doesn’t FEEL important in the moment. So, instead of sitting down and taking the time to be strategic with my content, it’s just easier to pick a topic, make the content as quickly as possible, and move on.

Can you relate? If so, you’re stuck on the content creation hamster wheel. Knowing content marketing is important, but dreading it all the same. Wanting to get strategic, but not having the time or mental space to do so. Feeling frustrated by your lack of progress from your content, but not able to make any changes to what you’ve got going on.

Welcome to the Chasing Simple Podcast -I’m your host, Amanda Warfield, and I’m so glad you’re here for episode 084. Today, I’m sharing what you need to do to make time and space to create strategic content for your business and I’m sharing a tip on how to get strategic with your content EVEN when your brain is not feeling strategic or creative in the slightest.


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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.

I want to create strategic content, but with everything else I’ve got on my plate, it’s hard enough to get my content out on time. Creating content always takes me so much longer than I think it will. And every time I sit down to great, I just want it to be over with as quickly as possible so that I can do the next thing on my list.

I know that it’s important, but it also doesn’t feel important in the moment. So instead of sitting down and taking the time to be strategic with my content, it’s just easier to pick a topic, make the content as quickly as possible and move on. Can you relate? If so you’re stuck on the content creation, hamster wheel, knowing content marketing is important, but dreading it all the same, wanting to get strategic, but not having the time or the mental space to do so.

Feeling frustrated by your lack of progress from your content, but not able to make any changes to what you’ve got going on. Welcome to the Chasing Simple Podcast. I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. And I’m so glad you’re here for episode 84.

 I was sharing what you need to do to make time and space, to create strategic content for your business. And I’m sharing a tip on how to get strategic with your content, even when your brain is not feeling strategic or creative in the slightest. If you love this episode, I’d love it.

If you’d share about it over on Instagram, but for now, let’s dive in. When you are stuck on that content creation hamster wheel, it feels so incredibly difficult to be able to have that not only the time and the space, but also the mental capacity to pull yourself off of that hamster wheel in order to think strategically about your content and when you’re on that content creation hamster wheel, it very, very, very commonly becomes a, okay, I’ve got to get content out.

I’ve got to get this created next time. I’ll think of something strategic for now. I’m just going to do this and go, okay, then you get to the next time I still don’t have the time or the space or the mental energy. There’s so much going on. I’ve got to get this done as quickly as possible. So next time, next time I’ll be strategic. 

Here’s the thing, friend it is going to be a really, really, really difficult to ever get strategic while you’re stuck on that content creation hamster wheel. And I know that I talk about this all the time, but it’s because it’s so important. And in order to create that space for grading strategic content, you have got to batch your content.

Yes. I know. I sound like a broken record when I talk about bashing your content. But if you don’t have that time and space, you’re never going to be able to get strategic. And then is that content that you’re putting out really doing much for you? Yes. It’s creating a backlog of content that is showing up for SEO and yes.

You’re putting something out there and you’re, you’re staying visible, but is it really moving the needle forward on your business or are you just kind of staying stuck? You’re staying stuck, obviously. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t have tuned into this episode to find out how to greet that time and space.

So you have got to batch your content. How do you do that? You set aside one week, every single month to batch that content. Having a batch week where the only thing that you are focused on is batching content. Having a batch week gives you the time and the space to focus solely on creating content, which puts you in the mindset of creating content and affords you the time to not worry about anything else.

So you’re able to sit there and say, I have an entire day to plan out my content. I’m not going to make anything today. I’m just focused on planning that gives you the ability to really think strategically about what you’re going to put out there. It is so important to have that batch week here is. One of the biggest mistakes that I see in students and even with myself, when it comes to batch week is forgetting to mark it off on your calendar.

Well in advance. And then what ends up happening is, oh, I forgot that it was going to be batch week. And now I have this doctor’s appointment. That’s going to take up half of my day on Thursday. Oh man! I totally forgot that I was going to be batching this week. And now I’ve got this big project and now I’m going to have to try to fit batch week into the cracks of my regular to stuff.

And that doesn’t work. If you are not specifically setting aside time, well in advance for your batch week, you’re going to end up with this, this overcrowding of your schedule. You’re going to end up with this inability to actually focus solely on your content. And the important part of batch week is yet.

Yes, it’s so important to be able to get all of that content done to that. You’re not creating content all the time, all month long, but a really important priority in batch week is setting aside that time, just to focus on your content so that you can get strategic. So preaching to myself also for all of my club, content batching members who have gotten away from this practice.

Make sure you’re setting that time aside every single month.

Now, once you have that time set aside, you’ve got a batch week on your calendar and you’re going to batch your content solely batch your content for that one week, each and every month, something you can do to make the process even faster and help with the strategy. Because frankly, sometimes when you get into batch week, you’re not feeling it and that’s just life.

It’s not going to be exciting every single month. It’s not going to be perfect every single month. And some months you come to batch week and you’re tired.. You’re hormonal. You’ve got something going on in your life that you just don’t have the mental capacity to think strategically. Here’s what I want you to do so that when those times come up, you have the ability to be strategic regardless, and that’s creating.

Uh, content bank. I personally keep mine in Trello. I know some people keep theirs in their notes app on their phone. I think that some kind of project management software is the superior way to do this. Whether it’s Trello, Asana, Click up, Air table, whatever the case may be, just because you have more of an ability to easily see what you’ve got in your content bank, and also categorize it, make notes, link to things so on and so forth.

But regardless. Create a content bank that way, when it comes to batch week, if you just don’t have the capacity to think strategically you have strategic content already set aside, maybe not created yet, but topics and themes and questions that your audience has asked set aside in that content bank.

So that, you know, okay. If I create a piece of content around this, That’s strategic. That’s going to relate back to this other thing that I do. When you set up your content bank, I would very much encourage you to set it up so that you have different categories and themes.

So So for me personally, inside of my content bank, I might set it up as time management, uncomplicating business, content, batching, content marketing. I might have all of these different things, launching all these different themes that I like to talk about. And then within each of those lists, I can go over.

I’m getting ready to do a launch of Club Content Batching again, so I need to look at my content batching theme. What are some strategic posts that I already have listed out that I can create and turn into a podcast episode. Now, what are some strategic topics that I can turn into a podcast episode?

Because I’ve already got it written out. And so I don’t really have to think about it if I’m just not feeling creative, not feeling strategic when batch week comes along. Now, inevitably the next question is, but how in the world do I even begin creating a content bank that is strategic and that isn’t just random ideas?

Well, first things first.

in next week’s episode, I’m going to go into four steps on creating strategic content and the how behind creating strategic content. But for now, here are some ways that you can fill up your content bank. First, absolutely put an ideas that come to you. If you sit down and say, these are my themes and okay. Ooh, I could write about this on this theme.

And I could write about this on the other theme. And I could write about this on this theme. Go ahead and put those in there. That doesn’t mean you have to use them, but no idea is a bad idea because it might spark other ideas later on down the road. And maybe it’s something that you really decide later to use that maybe you won’t, but put it in there.

It doesn’t hurt to have it inside of the content bank. Another thing you can do is to survey your audience. You’ve got your ideas. You also want ideas from your audience. And I hear all the time, and I know I thought this back at the beginning of my business, when people would say survey your audience, I’d be like, I don’t have an audience big enough to survey.

I was very, very wrong. You can survey your audience even without having a big fancy audience. Now, there are quite a few ways you can do this First, if you have a Facebook group, those initial questions, as we welcome questions that people have to answer. Put one of those questions as what is your biggest struggle when it comes to X X being the overarching theme of what you talk about most?

So inside of a Facebook group that I create, I would put, what is your biggest struggle when it comes to content marketing? Right? That way I am constantly every time someone new joins my group, I’m getting some kind of feedback on what their struggle is. And every time someone joins my group, I copy their answer.

I paste it into. One of my Trello boards and that way, anytime I feel like, okay, I have no idea what to create. I’m feeling stuck. I can go right to those answers. And I have a list of things that people have told me they struggle with. Another thing you can do is inside of your welcome sequence inside of your initial email that you send to someone. And if you don’t have a welcome sequence, maybe put it in your opt-in delivery email, but somewhere inside of your email list, email newsletter have a question that says the same thing.

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to whatever your main topic is? Because here’s the thing. Sometimes when people join your Facebook group, they don’t even throw the questions. Sometimes when people join your email newsletter, they don’t respond to your emails.

That’s normal. You’re not going to get a response every single time, but the more places you have this question, the more likely you are to get a response. When you get a response, put it back in that same Trello board that you keep all the other ones. Keep a running list of all of the different struggles people tell you they have about your topic.

You can also do a yearly survey. I try to do one a year if possible, where I ask some questions, I’ve gone in depth about my yearly survey in past episodes. So I’m not going to do that right now, but send out a yearly survey. Even if you only get five or 10 responses that is still five or 10 responses to help you as you create content moving forward.

And then the last idea I’ve got for you for serving your audience is to put a question box up on your Instagram stories. Put her a box and say, Hey, what is your biggest struggle with, again, this is the key question here, right? What is your biggest struggle with whatever it is this episode and the next few episodes in fact, all came from responses I got, when I asked what is your biggest struggle with content marketing on Instagram stories? So I had someone literally respond and tell me that they don’t have the time or the mental capacity to create strategic content. So I said, okay. So how do we make time to create strategic content?

And then I created this entire episode around that. Again, you don’t need thousands and thousands of responses. You just need a few and then you can create content based on those. And when those people see, Ooh, they answered my question. Okay. That’s a problem I have, even if they don’t recognize that they put in that question, even if they don’t recognize that you’re directly answering whatever question or the struggle that they gave you, they’re going to recognize who this is the problem I have and they’re solving it for me.

And so next time you ask for responses, they’re more likely to respond. They’re more likely to share about you and what you do with other people. So don’t discount the followers you have in the engagement that you have, no matter how small your audience is because you just need a few to get that content wheel moving.

Well, So do all those things to survey your audience, to come up with ideas, that’s going to help you create some strategic content and then put that in your content bank so that when you move into batch week, you’ve got strategic content ideas all ready. Now remember next week, I’m going to go even farther in depth on how to choose strategic content outside of just creating a content bank and outside of just surveying your audience.

So make sure you tune into that. And your action step for this week is to go put batch week on your calendar and mark that week out for the rest of the year. For the rest of the year, put on your calendar so that you’re not planning anything else during batch week. If you’re listening to this as it airs and we are mid November, there’s not much time left in this year.

Go ahead and put batch week on your calendar for all of 2022. That’s your action step for this week. If you do that, take a picture, share it on Instagram. Tag me. I’m Mrs. Amanda Warfield. I want to see that you took that action step. 

And this week’s book recommendation is One Last Stop by Casey. McQuiston. Now this one, it’s a romance, but it’s also, it’s like a Sci-fi romance, but it’s not super scifi.

It’s very interesting. And it’s a quick read. It’s a young adult novel. If you are interested in Sci-fi but maybe not heavy Sci-fi if you it’s not really even dystopian. It’s very interesting. Basically, the premise is that now I can’t tell you that because it would give it away all of it to say, if you like.

Young adult genre, and you want something different than just the typical romance. This is one that you should check out and I’m just going to leave it there. But highly recommend One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. You can find the link to that as well as the link to more information about Club Content Batching and all the other things I mentioned inside of this episode at the show notes, just head to Amandawarfield.com /084.

And until next time I hope you go out and Uncomplicate your life and biz.


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