If you’ve read the excellent book by Tim Ferris, The 4 Hour Work Week, you’ll be familiar with this quote.
“Doing less is the path of the productive.”TIM FERRIS
One of the things that’s worked REALLY well for me this year in terms of extracting the maximum value from my time, is my content creation system. It’s super flexible (you can batch create or do it daily in 15 minutes per day) and generate at least 15 separate pieces of content for your blog and social channels.
Sometimes I have time to put together the whole week’s content on a Monday, but when I’m busier, I love having the freedom to do it on the fly by writing a single paragraph each day. In this article, that’s the approach I’m going to focus on.
The beauty of this process is that you can use it to create any kind of content, from blog posts to lead magnets and test your content organically to see what kind of comments and questions come up, meaning you can improve the finished piece as you go along.
By the way, I find I work best when I can see all of the content together, so I write all of my blog posts in a Google doc, which means there is a central place which everyone in my team can access to pull out quotes or grab content for emails. There’s a link to my Google doc template at the bottom of this post.
Choose your theme and plan your week
Start by choosing a theme for the week which has the potential to be a blog post topic. If you’re short on inspiration here, check out this blog post on content themes.
The secret to introducing your topic is having a great hook and to have a great hook, you need to know how the story is going to end.
That’s why it’s important to plan the week ahead with simple bullet points.
- Your first post will essentially be the introduction to your finished blog post. Use this post to create excitement and highlight the problem that your topic is going to solve. I usually use this paragraph to tell a story that my audience can relate to.
- Days 2,3 and 4 will cover the ‘teachable moments’ or knowledge you want to share as the expert you are.
- Day 5 will be your summary post.
Creating Engaging Captions
Do you struggle to write social media captions that don’t suck?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing for Instagram, Facebook or somewhere else entirely, the secret is that every caption has to take your audience on a little journey.
The structure of that journey will depend on your goal. Are you trying to position yourself as an expert, provoke a response or highlight a problem they might not even know they have?
Whatever your goals, there are some key features you need to make sure you have, for every single post. Obviously, the first sentence needs to do some heavy lifting. On Instagram, for example, your post preview is shortened to 3-4 lines, so make them count.
- Lead with your hook in the form of a compelling statement of question that’s going to get them clicking to read more.
- Write with as much personality as you can. Use descriptive words that create a visual picture in the mind of your reader. No marketing speak or boring jargon.
- Use emojis to break up the text or to create lists of tips or ideas.
- Include a call to action with every post. This will vary from platform to platform and Instagram has more limited options than Facebook or LinkedIn for example. Essentially, you’ll be asking people to either click through to your bio or to like, comment, tag or share. Be specific about what you want people to do.
- In terms of the graphics you create (and how to do that well is a whole other post), pull out a key line from your copy and polish it up to make it as thought-provoking and scroll-stopping as possible.
If you’re aiming to create all of your social content in 15 minutes per day, then repurposing is going to be key. It’s how you squeeze every last drop of content ‘juice’ out of the work you’re doing.
Personally, I use my daily Instagram post as the ‘anchor’ for my repurposing, but that daily Instagram post gets posted into my Instagram Stories, posted onto my Facebook page, into key Facebook groups and finally, the graphic is reformatted and posted on Pinterest.
I also look for opportunities to amplify the daily post in my Stories by talking about it or creating a Reel showing some examples of the weekly topic in action. Tip: If you’re creating Reels, don’t forget to share it into TikTok too or vice versa.
In addition, I use the Monday slot to create a “Monday Motivation” post which also gets sent out to my list every Monday via email. It’s usually a storytelling / inspirational piece of content which can then be used to kick off your blog post, or be edited down a little so that it feels natural in the blog post.
Square images work well for Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, so there is plenty of opportunity to get traction on other platforms.
In a typical week, my little repurposing system creates the following:
- 5-6 Instagram feed posts (depending on the number of points you want to cover
- 5-6 Pinterest pins
- 6-10 Instagram Stories (and pushed to Facebook Stories)
- 1 blog post
- 2 emails (Monday’s ‘motivation’ pot & Friday’s link to the blog post
Turn Your Week’s Content Into A Blog Post
Boom! You’ve been posting every day and now (imagine) it’s the end of the week. You should have 5 captions and some lovely graphics that you can compile into a punchy blog post. The great thing about creating your content in chunks is that they can easily be turned into a list-style blog post (and Google seriously loves a list).
You might even have had some comments and feedback which will help you improve your finished blog post, so it’s worth doing a final quick edit.
This is when doing all of your caption-writing in a Google Doc really pays off. You can pre-apply H1 & H2 tags in the Google Doc, so really it’s just a copy and paste job. Add in some of your Instagram graphics to liven things up and you’re done.
Go Live & Repurpose Across Your Social Channels
I like to make sure I’m making every single piece of content work as hard as possible. Once my blog post is published, I try to go live on Instagram or in my free Facebook group talking through the daily points and highlighting the blog post. I then save the Live broadcast to Instagram TV and of course you could post it over on YouTube and LinkedIn videos for maximum exposure.
I also create a final post on the Friday, to highlight the blog post. And of course, (yes, you guessed it), I summarise the blog post in an email to my list and create two or three Pinterest pins to promote the blog post. A final share into Instagram and Facebook stories and my week is done.
Making It Work For You
I can genuinely do all of this in 15-20 minutes a day but that doesn’t mean to say you have to do all of the cross-platform sharing that I’ve outlined above.
You might also like to create all of the captions and blog copy at once and batch produce the graphics. If time allows, I often do all of this on a Monday, scheduling the social media posts for the week, leaving me free just to respond to comments.
And I have to confess that I have help from my team creating the blog post and the weekly emails. That probably saves me another hour each week.
If you’re feeling a little daunted, don’t think you need to do it all. You need to make it work for you. I’d suggest getting into the content groove by starting with a daily post on the platform of your choice and then turning those daily posts into a blog post. It’s the perfect way to get your workflow nailed before throwing in the cross-platform repurposing, emails and Live broadcasts. Those are desirable, but not essential.
If you’d like to use my content generation Google Doc, you can grab a copy right here.