When I'm working on any single project, I'm becoming bored pretty quickly. I'm sure that a lot of people will empathize with this feeling. When a project is fresh and new everything is interesting about it. However, when the newness is gone, and you're actually doing the day-to-day routine of just hardcore work, it can become pretty dull.
I experienced this, especially during my project management days. Currently, I'm working on in 3 projects:
- this newsletter,
- community finder,
- hackeranalysis - a platform to connect content sponsors and content creators.
You can only imagine the number of tasks, schedules, group chats and tools involved in all of them. From a logistical standpoint, this easily can be described as A TOTAL MESS! And you'll be right.
For about 6 months, everything went shenanigans, with staying awake till 3 am and significant insomnia issues.
Things started to take a turn when I revisited one of my favourite books, a 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. I read two years ago, and at that time, I was not working for myself, and this was an exciting read. However, right now, as I'm working only on my personal projects, I looked at the book with a different point of view.
How to organize a day or even a week, so you can spend less time planning and more time on actually doing stuff? When you're doing your own business 90% of the time, you have to deal with small things, like remember to follow up on an email, schedule an interview, do social media posts, promote the new blog post, etc. The answer to this almost rhetorical question is automation.
What processes can you automate?
- creating a meeting,
- sending a follow-up email,
- posting on social media,
- tasks/deadlines reminders.
With this post, I'm going to share the routine I've created after a few trials and errors. This is how I'm automating simple processes of content creation for all my projects.
Currently I'm using Friday as a content creation day. Here's my schedule for the Friday:
For Engineering Growth:
- write an article for my blog,
- write the article that should be guest posted on other blog (if any),
- draft the newsletter issue,
- record a podcast episode (this was introduced last Friday so, I need to experiment with this)
For Community Finder the process is always on. If I accidentally find interesting community I save it in my bookmarks so I can post about it.
- review the submitted communites,
- add the submitted communities and my findings to the list,
- schedule posts about introduction of those communities in the twitter and linkein.
I'm really hoping to automate the community adding process with Airtable, Coda and Zapier in the future.
Hackeranalysis doesn't have any content right now, so it doesn't weight to the day.
As you may know from all of the productivity gurus around, creating a good schedule is half of the work, so here's how I'm working on my content creation day.
I have a predefined list of topics from which I choose th potential article. I try not to write more than 1 article per day, becase it takes a lot of energy and 2 articles will suck all my day. On average it takes me around 2 hours to write a single article.
After I have the article ready I'm drafting the newsletter. As I'm not using the paid version of Mailchimp I can't schedule the newsletter. To be honest I'm looking for alternatives to Mailchimp, but right now I'm rolling with it. I'm generally sending my newsletter late at night. I'm an owl by nature so I'm almost certainly up at night, and sending at night is the best fit for my audience. On average writing the newsletter takes around 40-50mins.
Podcasting is something I just started to do, my processes are not really tailored around this new activity. For the first episode it took me around 2 hours to get a satisfying version, and I still need to edit it and create a Transistor page. So this part is to be continued
This is second to last of the tasks and it's stupid easy. As I mentioned in the beginning I have special bookmarks for the communities that I discovered. So this task basically is to add the bookmarked articles and the submitted communities to one big Airtable table. And that's it.
As I'm updating this article, a few things have changed regarding my tools. In the previous version, I used Hootsuite and not I'm fully migrated to Buffer. The big thing about Buffer it suggests the perfect time to post something based on your audience location. For example, I set my audience location as the US.
Choosing the social media platforms that are necessary for your business is not that easy. There are a lot of places you can register, launch, be part of the community to put your product on the surface so your potential customers can find you. Sure, you'll meet a lot of peers who get a lot of valuable information and feedback, but at the end of the day, it's better to focus on 2-3 platforms that are priorities and make most out of them (sorry Gary V).
I'm using my twitter account, personal LinkedIn account and my company LinkedIn account. These are the social media channels that bring the most value and traffic to my website. On average, it takes me around 10 - 15 minutes to figure out what kind of content I'm going to put out.
With this setup, I get 6-7 hours of content creation a week for the whole week. Depending on how it goes with the podcast, this is how the process goes through, and I find it easier to do it just on one day, so I have the rest of the week for other stuff. I hope this helps with your content creation process.