The 3 Keys to Successful Batching
If you have read my Time Hacks for Consistent Content Creation, you know that I am a huge fan of batching content. Batching content means setting aside a block of time to create a quantity of content. Then you can take that batch—that bundle or bunch—and publish it piece-by-piece over time. Think of a batch of cookies. You make a couple dozen at once and then sit back to relax and enjoy them over time.
Batching is a simple concept, but the execution is not always easy. The nuances of how you approach batching can determine whether you will end up frustrated or ecstatic. Start with these 3 keys to successful batching to ensure that you will be one of the lucky ones to become an ecstatic batcher.
1. Set a Goal
Before you sit down for your batching session, be sure you have defined a clear goal. Will you write 3 blog posts? Schedule a week of social posts? Draft a sequence of emails? Be clear about what you want to accomplish in the block of time you have allotted to batch.
Also, be sure that your goal is realistic. Everyone works at a different pace, and you might need more hours to write a blog post than another person. Know your own limits and set a goal that is feasible to accomplish during the batching session you have planned.
In the interest of time, consider brainstorming your batching goals while you are at the gym, out for a run, or cleaning the house. These are the times when your mind is free to wander and be creative. Plus, if you come up with a batching goal while cleaning the house, you have doubled your productivity. That is a serious time hack.
2. Clear Distractions
Email, text messages, and Facebook notifications are serious time suckers. If you are in charge of answering the phone in your office, that is another time tunnel. If you want to make the most of your batching session, turn off the distractions.
One way to do this is to go to a location where nobody knows to find you. If people are always knocking on your office door, go hide in the corner of a coffee shop. If you need to work on a weekend but your house is filled with kids, find a nice hotel lobby to hang out. There are always nooks and crannies where you can turn off distractions and buckle down to create.
3. Plan the Delivery
Batch-produced content will do you no good unless you schedule its delivery. If you are batching blogs, you can post them as drafts on your website and schedule dates for them to go live. If you are batching social media posts, use a scheduler like Hootsuite to be sure your content is delivered consistently. If you are batching an email sequence, set up the automation in your email service provider. Depending on what sort of team you have to support your marketing efforts, planning the delivery could be something that you delegate.
I have one final point about planning the delivery. One way to leverage your time is to repurpose your content. If you write a blog post, be sure to repurpose it as an email, a post on LinkedIn, an image on Pinterest, and/or a Facebook Live. If you have gone to the effort of creating the content, you may as well use all avenues to broadcast it to the masses.
You have a message to share. Creating consistent content is the best way to share it. The task is not always linear and not always easy, but it is well worth it.