4: How I Batch Out 30 Days of Content in 4 Days: My Strategy • Dolly DeLong Photography

4: How I Batch Out 30 Days of Content in 4 Days: My Strategy

Creating content can take up so much time and energy, but what if I told you that you could optimize your content creation by batching? Every month, I batch out 30 days of content in just four days. Join me in this episode as I share my 8 step system to planning, creating, and scheduling a full month of content!

The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This is a podcast for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategy in order to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose. Because even muggles can become automated wizards.

If you are interested in watching a Masterclass on how to be strategic with your content for one month at a time, I have a special deal for podcast listeners; check out my strategic batching masterclass and use the code PODCAST to get 20% OFF! This is my tried and true method and I would love to help give you a strategy in content batching for your creative business!

Review the Show Notes:

Step 1: Start with Content Pillars in Mind (1:52)

Step 2: How to Create Content (3:14)

Step 3: Batch Your Content (5:31)

Step 4: Batch Out the Graphics that Correspond with Your Content (8:20)

Step 5: Organize Your Content with a Content Management Tool (13:13)

Step 6: Automate Your Instagram Post with a Planning App (17:10)

Step 7: Automate and Organize Your Email Newsletter (18:38)

Step 8: Create Short Form Videos Around the Content You Just Created (22:10)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Ashlyn Carter 

Stephanie Kase

Natasha Coyle

Flodesk

Kaila Ruan (Stepping Up Your Instagram Stories) 

Download the Freebies:

20 Pages of Ideas for Lead Magnets

30 Days of Content

Connect with Dolly:

instagram.com/dollydelongeducation

facebook.com/DollyDeLongEducation

pinterest.com/dollydelong

Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the systems and workflow magic podcast where I help entrepreneurs go from scattered to streamlined in their creative businesses. I’m your host, Dolly DeLong, a wife, a mom and a photographer turned systems educator. Join me every week as we have conversations centered around creating tactical workflows, and automations in your business. Now, let’s make some strategic workflow magic.

So one of the quotes that has always led my business is this, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. I got that from Benjamin Franklin. As a small business owner, I know how important it is to be proactive in my planning so that I can be strategic with my time and energy. Without planning, I waste time and energy every day, that energy could have been spent moving the needle in my business, for example. And that’s why I believe in the power of batching, your content creation. So in just four days, I can prepare 30 days of content for the month of my business. That means for the rest of the month, I can focus on things I want and need to do. So in today’s podcast, I’m sharing the exact strategy I use for batching my content creation. Now it has taken me over a year to establish this specific workflow for my own business.

But I can confidently state that this is a workflow I will continue to use as my business grows. So without further ado, here is my workflow and strategy I use to batch out my content creation. So step one, start with your content pillars in mind, with the help of Ashlyn Carter’s prime to launch mini course, again, if you don’t know who Ashlyn Carter is, she is a sales copywriter, and the host of a YouTube channel called Ashlyn writes. So with her help, I’ve come to understand the value of writing my pillar or hero content pieces. So hero content is a term I learned from Ashlynn. And it’s content that leads your audience into what you do. And it demonstrates the purpose of your business. For me, my hero content is on this podcast. And it’s also in my blog. So I have two different places where my pillar content lives.

Yours could be a YouTube channel, a podcast, or another format, like a blog, as long as it shows people what you do, and drives them to your site. So your website, a place that you own, then you’re good to go. After you’ve laid out what your pillars are. Again, these will not change month to month, list out a few topics you can think of for each pillar. And then you’ve got some ideas ready to prepare for the upcoming month. So step two is how to create content. So I know this is something that a lot of creative business owners struggle with. But there are so many ways you can begin the process of creating content for your pillar pieces. If you’re struggling to come up with topics, I would encourage you to look around, what are people talking about in Facebook groups, think about the questions you get a lot, or what’s trending on the platforms you use. You also want to think about evergreen content.

So this means content that is persistent over time, and it doesn’t have an expiration date and can’t become obsolete. So this type of content will have the same value for users today or in a year. You can also think about a series of posts that build on one topic for a longer period of time. Other ideas include sharing opinions or thoughts about your field of business, or even asking a guest expert to come blog for you, or be interviewed for your hero content. So with all of these options, you can quickly come up with your exact topics for the month, I have had great success in carving out one day to sit down and brain dump content ideas that I know are in alignment with my offers. If you don’t have a full day to dedicate to this brain dumping process, then I encourage you to set a timer for 45 minutes, and then write out all of the ideas that are swimming in your head in relation to your services or products. One of my favorite tips I want to share with you about content creation is this. If you have an FAQ section on your website about your services and products can you can For each question into a blog post or podcast episode, or YouTube episode, I have tons of FAQ is centered around my own services.

Again, I am a photographer and a systems and workflow educator. So I am constantly going into my FAQs when I hit a wall to get some ideas of what type of content to create, to help my future clients and my current clients out because I know they are searching for a specific type of answer. So step three is now you’re gonna batch out your content. Now that your content ideas have been hashed out, you can now batch out at least two to three main pillar pieces for the next month. This is where you’ll sit down and either write record or film that content. I share two to three pillar content pieces, because those pillar content pieces will be packed with information. So they will be what you would call a content rich, so I know it can feel overwhelming to actually write out a full on blog post or record an episode on a podcast. So I would say, instead of thinking I’m gonna batch out 50 episodes right now, baby start out small if you’ve never done this before, and start with two to three. So since I’ve been blogging for eight years, I will share my experience with blogging. For example, when it comes to blogging, make sure you’ve got your Yoast plugin installed on WordPress.

So you can optimize each blog for Google. This plugin will help make sure you’re not wasting your time or energy when it comes to what you’re writing. As you batch out your blogs, make sure to include the appropriate h1 through h3 headers, and infuse your keywords you’re wanting to be known for. And that goes with the content you’ve written about. Okay, so side note, if your head is spinning, and I said a lot of words like h1, h3 headers and keywords, I’m actually bringing on a guest expert in the next several episodes, to chat about how to set up a system for yourself for blogging. She’s incredible. And I cannot wait for you to listen to that episode. So stay tuned for that episode. But I’m just bringing you back now so you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Also, if you are looking for a creative way to boost your email list, I would encourage you to have specific call to actions that correspond with a lead magnet, which is a freebie or an opt in, that leads others to offers in your business. So you can infuse these call to actions in your blog post and you can infuse your lead magnets in your blog posts because your blog posts your hero content should have call to actions to continue the relationship with you.

Now, if you’re wondering, Okay, I’ve no idea what a lead magnet is dolly or I know what a lead magnet is. But I don’t necessarily know where to begin. Well, I have a freebie all about lead magnets. And I will attach that to the show notes of this episode. It is over 20 over 20 different pages of ideas for you. And so you that’s a great way to get started. So the next step for you is to batch out your graphics that correspond with your pillar content. So now that you’ve created your pillar content pieces, again, your pillar content is either a video form, or it is a podcast episode audio or a blog post, set those in draft mode and head on over to Canva or a similar graphic design tool. I’m sharing Canva because Canva has become my BFF in graphic design. And I am not a graphic designer at all I have no training in graphic design. But I love that Canva has templates for everything.

So I don’t have to worry about designing from scratch. I literally use it every day in my business and I use it for my batching days. So when Canvas opened, I would say your game plan is to create graphics for all of the social media platforms that you know your audience is using. And social media platforms you know you could drive traffic to to Ward’s your hero content, your pillar content. So if you’re wondering how you can figure out where your traffic is coming in from I’m going to I know I keep on giving teasers about who I’m going to interview for future episodes. But I wanted you to know I’m going to be interviewing a Google Analytics pro in again in a future episode about how she has she would recommend creating systems to use Google Analytics. But for now is short version I can easily share With use this, go into Google Analytics, open up acquisitions, go to all traffic, and then click on channels, and then click on social. And you’ll discover where your traffic is coming in from in relationship to social media platforms. Thus, you can create a game plan for yourself on what sort of images to create, that will pertain to that specific social media platform. Again, side note, if you don’t have Google Analytics set up, and if you haven’t embedded a Google Analytics tracking code on your website, where your pillar content lives, then you may not be able to gain this data. So please be sure to do this immediately. And you cannot retro actively gain past data. So do this immediately. So you can start gathering data from here on out. Okay, for me, I know that data from my audience now is coming from Pinterest, Instagram, Instagram stories, and Facebook. And again, because of data, I know I don’t have to be so spread out then on being on all the social media platforms. And I can concentrate on either between one to three platforms at a time and create traction over time. So going back to Canva, here is what I do once a month after I sit down and I have batched out all of my content pieces, either for for my case, it’s blogging and podcasting. So for Pinterest, I’m creating between five to eight Pinterest pins for each pillar content piece I have written out drafted out, I am creating three Instagram posts for each pillar content piece that I have drafted out, I am creating four different Instagram reel covers that correspond with each pillar content piece, I am creating some Instagram story templates, which correspond with my pillar content piece for that month. And then if I want to have specific call to actions in each podcast or each blog posts, I am creating blog manners. And so I can insert that into my blog. And it could lead to either a another resource they can use that corresponds with that, with that pillar content piece of freebie a lead magnet or an offer that I have that corresponds with that pillar content piece. Once you have created all of your images for each specific platform within Canva, we encourage you to save everything to a folder on the desktop of your computer. I normally labeled the folder by month I’m creating. And then within that folder I’ve created each week labeled with the specific graphics for that week. Once you have created all of the graphics for your month, go back into the blog posts or your podcast or whatever draft you’ve updated for yourself and update it with the graphics. And then after you’ve added your graphics and any images, then schedule those out if you are able to. So step five, now you can organize your content using a project management tool. And I like to use Trello. So in episode two, I shared several different project management tools and a free project management tool I have been using in my own business is Trello. Again, decide on what project management tool you will use and stick with that. There are so many different options and opportunities for you. So just do some research and then stick with it. And don’t get overwhelmed with all of the research. I promise they’re most of these tools are great.

Creating strategic content that serves your audience and grows your business is time consuming, I totally get it. So let me introduce you to my secret weapon, my free content creation guide and checklist. In this guide to content batching. I’m sharing how I create 30 days of content in just three days. And I’m also sharing my Trello board template that helps you organize and streamline your content creation and a checklist of steps you need to take to set yourself up for successful content batching. So grab this free guide in the show notes of today’s episode.

Now that you’ve maxed out your hero content, your graphics for Instagram and your social media stories and Facebook and Pinterest, wherever you know your data, your audiences coming in from and you’ve batched out those graphics for those different platforms. It’s time to open up your project management tool. And in my case, this is when I open up Trello and Trello I have social media columns where I can plan out my content For Instagram and Instagram Stories, I’ll make notes based on my hero content. And I will know exactly what to chat about for that day. So I try to be very intentional about my stories and about my posts. And if I write it all out, then if I’m hitting a wall, like let’s say, the next in two weeks, and I know I’ve batched everything out the first week of the month, I can just open up my Trello board and see some notes I’ve taken and I can see an idea of what to talk about on Instagram stories or what to point to on my Instagram posts. So again, I’m trying to think ahead and plan ahead for my brain for future Dolly.

Now, I will say if you struggle with posting consistently to your Instagram stories to Instagram in general, but you know, that’s where your audience is, is that that’s how they’re finding you and interacting with you based off data. Then I have a huge solution for you and she doesn’t know I am promoting her. Her name is Kayla Ruan and I will insert her Instagram handle in the show notes, but she has a program called Stepping up your Instagram stories. And she is an Instagram marketing guru. Like she is incredible. And I have learned so much from her and I’ve implemented so much from her program and just I love following her on Instagram. So follow Kayla, and she is she is a gem of a human. So you are going to love learning from her. And again, I get no benefit from promoting her Instagram Stories program. It’s called Stepping up your Instagram stories. And again, check out the show notes. So we have just, I just want to like make sure I know I’m like going all over the place with some strategies and with recommendations and I have have inserted a lot of notes for the show notes. But I want to bring us back and we are at step six. Okay, so this is where you will organize and automate your Instagram posts with a planning app and I use tailwind. So if you have been around me for any length of time, you should know that I am slightly obsessed with tailwind because it helps me automate my Pinterest strategy. And I’m all about automation. You guys should know that. You might not know it. But tailwind can also help automate your Instagram posts too. So once my captions have all been written out for my Instagram posts, I open up tailwind and I start batching out my posts for the entire month. To other reasons I love tailwind.

They also have a hashtag feature where you can search for relevant tags based on your posts. So yes, yes, yes. And I also love tailwind because they offer a lot of templates for you. So if you need caption help, or if you need even pictures to use, they have a whole resource library for you to use. And I just really appreciate that so much. And another thing about tailwind is if you want your Instagram posts to be auto-posted to your Facebook business page. You can connect those two together. And so whenever your Instagram is auto-posted from tailwind, it will post to Facebook as well. And you can’t meet that so that way you are reaching your audience on Facebook. So we are we are in the home stretch guys. So step seven, organize and automate your email newsletter. So if you’re building your business on the borrowed land of social media, I’m sorry to say but you’re not being wise. Yes, social media is amazing. I mean, I use it every day for my own business to promote my hero content to promote my podcast, promote my photography business to promote my systems, education business. But what happens if it all goes away, you could literally lose your followers, your corner of the internet, your credibility, pretty much everything you have built out on the blink of an eye. So that’s why I truly believe in the power of building an email list. And if you haven’t set up an email marketing software list for yourself if you haven’t invested in an email marketing platform, now is the perfect time to do that. So I use Flow desk and you can read more why I use them in the show notes I’ve linked in older blog post two reasons why I love flow desk, but there are so many different email marketing platforms like ConvertKit and MailChimp.

So again, do your research and see what would fit best for you and your small business. And whether you are just starting your email list or you have one going already, start planning your email content alongside your hero content each month, avoid copying and pasting your blog copy into your email. I know that’s so tempting. But your followers, the people on your newsletter deserve so much more than that. Try to craft a more personalized newsletter. So summarize your blogs, your podcast, your videos, and provide extra value and give insight into you and your business. And it does take practice, but it’s so worth it. Try to write to your email list at least once a week or once every other week and stick to a schedule, I promise it gets easier. So stick to a schedule by deciding on a day of the week. And let’s say you decide on Tuesday. So every Tuesday, you know you are going to email your list. And again, the whole point is to build a community and show up regularly and just become a figure in their inbox every week delivering value. So something that I personally do every week is sending a top three or top four systems and workflow tips newsletter to my list, meaning I’m either sharing my current podcast or blog posts and I share other systems or workflow-related resources that they can consume.

And I try to be as intentional about weaving in my personality when I deliver systems and workflow education because I know that sometimes systems and strategic automation and workflow education can seem boring to people. Shocking, I know. So I try to weave in my personality. So I talk a lot about my family, my husband, my son, my love of all things, Harry Potter, of course, I’m still nerding out about systems and automations. But I really want them to know my personality. And I’ve gotten great response back especially for my Harry Potter newsletters, I get a lot of responses back because people are very opinionated. When it comes to Harry Potter, and I love it, I’m in for it. So Okay, step eight. So if you want to take it a step further, create short form videos, which center around the content, you just batched out. So now that you’ve hatched everything out, work on creating video content for the month that corresponds with the pillar content that you just created. So in this step, you can create content for Instagram reels, for example, make your videos with your phone and create a folder for each week. So it’s easy to find. Don’t forget to mix up your outfits and your looks. So it looks like you’ve filmed over multiple dates. So I’m not gonna lie, I’m going to be very transparent with you.

This is the hardest part for me, because I hate the way I look and sound. But I know that video content is crucial, especially in building more of a connection with my audience. But I have to remember if I batch up my video creation, now, I wouldn’t have to, you know, fill myself every single day. But I’m just being honest, this is a step I struggle with. I am not consistent with this step. And again, I said it’s not only draining for me, but I sometimes hit a wall because I don’t really know what to do with my hands. I don’t know what actions to do. So I kind of freeze up. But I will share it to amazing resources with you in the shownotes people you need to be following in order to get great education in video content matching. These two resources are Stephanie case and Natasha Coyle. Both of these women are powerhouses when it comes to creating video content. And so I hope you’ll give them a follow. Okay, so I know we’ve covered a lot of information and I shared over eight steps with you. But if you took those eight steps and divided them into four days, you can conquer a lot of strategic content creation. I do you want to point out I am a mom, a wife, and a business owner. So I am juggling a lot in my life. And I’m sure you are too.

So I don’t want you to think that I’ve unlimited time or resources. When I’m sharing these strategic batching blueprints. I take around three to four hours per day for the first three to four days of the month. And this is how I have established my own workflow for batching. And sometimes it’s two days, I’m able to do this in sometimes it’s it bleeds into five to six days. So it just like it really depends on what type of month I have coming ahead. So it may look different for you. But overall, I encourage you to take a step in developing some sort of workflow and system for yourself in strategic content batching. In the past year alone, because I have stuck to this workflow, I have been able to dedicate my business to grow in new ways, because I’m not doing the same thing every day, like Meaning I’m not on the hamster wheel of content creation. And I’m allowing my head to have space for at least, you know, 15 to 20 other days in the month, and I can focus on other goals to move the needle of my own business, which is a huge deal for me, especially since I am running the show on my own. Being able to think and plan ahead allows me to free up brain space. So if I sit down, write a blog, or record a podcast episode and then write the corresponding social media captions and email marketing pieces.

I’ve saved myself so much energy. Please remember that this process has taken me a while to master. So there is no shame if you’re still figuring this all out for your business. It seems overwhelming. But this is how I do 30 days of content creation in just four days. And again, thus, I am normally left with 15 business days to move the needle in my business in other ways for the month. I know we covered a lot of information and you may want to give this episode another listen as you take notes, but I hope you have found some new strategies to conquer content creation and strategic batching. I would love to know if this episode was helpful for you at all. Please take a screenshot of this episode. And please tag me on Instagram at dolly DeLong education. I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope you continue to find the magic and workflows and Strategic Systems for your business bye.

Thank you so much for listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at Dolly DeLong photography.com forward slash podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it to your stories and tag me at Dolly DeLong education over on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic.

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