7 ways to make space for content creation in your small business
Making time and space for content creation in your small business is hard. Even as a writer, content creation – and carving out the time – feels tough sometimes. I struggle with motivation and ideas just like everyone else, even now that we’ve ‘moved on’ from the collective experience of the global pandemic.
Energy goes up and down, we get more – or less – interested in what we’re working on, life gets busy…the list goes on. I’m also conscious of not wanting to add to the gazillion inputs my audience already has in their face each day.
To maintain some joy when it comes to writing – and to keep the process more streamlined – here are seven ways I make space for content creation in my small business. If you choose to do the same, you can create the content you need without burning out in the process. Writing your next newsletter or batch of social media posts might feel a little bit easier, and a whole lot more fun.
Here are 7 ways to make space for content creation in your small business.
1. Set a timer
Trying to set aside a huge chunk of time can feel unreasonable. Instead, try writing for 25 minutes at a time using the Pomodoro method. This way of working means you focus hard for 25 minutes to earn yourself a five-minute break. If you’re on a schedule or can’t manage 25 minutes in a single sitting, try just five focused minutes and see what happens then. Tasks often expand to fit the time that we give them – that’s Parkinson’s Law. By putting a boundary around your time, you’ll find you often get straight to it.
2. Pull back on quantity
Sometimes we have big goals about what we want to achieve, which can be great. But not if it becomes a bit all or nothing. To keep some momentum going, try taking your foot off the pedal gently instead of slamming on the brakes. Here’s what I mean. For example, when I’m feeling overwhelmed or short on ideas, I’ll pull back to one weekly post on socials instead of three or four.
I also give myself time to pause if I need it, such as over the holidays or if it’s been a while. This can give me a much-needed creative reset. Last year I took three weeks off my socials and it really got some ideas flowing again. Ask yourself, where can you scale back or press pause?
3. Focus on quality
Do less, but do it better, more thoughtfully and mindfully rather than just for the sake of it. For instance, one great quality 1000-word blog post is a better investment of your time and energy than four shorter ones that just skim the surface of something. You’re better off creating hero pieces that genuinely offer lots of value to your audience. Then you can slice and dice this content in lots of different ways.
From an SEO perspective, this is a better choice when it comes to content for your website. It’s a tip-off for the search engines that you know your stuff. Wondering what topics will give your audience the most value? Try asking them or use the questions you always get asked (your FAQ) as your content prompts.
4. Batch your creation
When the creative spark hits, batch, batch, batch! As much as I’d love one, I don’t tend to have a weekly rhythm with my content writing. Instead, I find a couple of times a month I get on a roll and then I go with it while I can. Next time you find yourself in the groove, try staying with it and seeing what you can bash out, rather than stopping yourself or jumping between tasks.
5. Explore new mediums
Consider a change of scene or approach when it comes to creating content. If you need a break from writing, a conversational podcast interview interaction might energise you. Try an Instagram story or a reel instead of posting in your feed. Or team up with a biz buddy and write something together. By keeping it fresh, you’re more likely to enjoy the process and have a better outcome.
6. Look for ease
I’m always looking for time-saving tips when it comes to content creation. If I’m out for a walk and inspiration strikes, I hit record on my voice recording app to capture my thoughts in the moment. I encourage you to do the same. If you record podcast episodes, you can use a free auto transcription software to save time preparing your transcript. Otter and Descript are a couple I’ve used, though Otter’s my favourite so far.
7. Repurpose content
Invest some time digging through the content you’ve already created. See what still feels relevant or could be tweaked to add extra value for your audience. It’s always easier than starting from scratch with a blank page.
If you’ve made a conscious effort to create content with a clear purpose – for example, a high-quality blog or podcast episode – it gives you the best returns. Repurpose this content into a bunch of emails, social media posts and other types of content to save you valuable time and energy in the long run.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into tip 7 because it can really move the needle in terms of how you feel about content creation. I know it did for me.
Here’s why repurposing content is so good. Look out because this blog is about to get meta.
Saving time is always a good idea.
Content repurposing means no more creating content day in and day out or coming up with new ideas on the fly constantly. Instead, it’s about getting your existing content in front of more people. I love starting with a hero piece of content – my podcast is usually where I start. Then I’ll slice and dice it to share the value differently with my audience.
Now, here’s a little peek behind the curtain. The content for this blog post is – yep, you guessed it – repurposed content but it’s never looked quite this way before. However, if you dig deep enough into my Instagram feed, the back catalogue of the podcast or my weekly emails, I’ve shared many of these ideas before. But, here are two questions for you.
- Do you remember?
- And even if you do, is it valuable to hear the information again, in a new format with a fresh take?
I believe it is. So think of it this way. By not repurposing your thoughtfully created valuable content, you’re doing your audience a disservice. Give them the opportunity to engage with it over a period of time so it really makes an impact.
Would you like to reach a new audience?
Your original content may have only reached a particular segment of your possible audience. For instance, you may read my blog, but not subscribe to my email list, follow me on social media or listen to my podcast. (If you need it, here’s your invitation to come and do all those things!) Showing up in multiple places actually puts your content where different users are searching for it.
Do you want help to build your brand authority?
Publishing quality content in a variety of places can help by raising your profile in a particular industry. It can also develop your status as a subject matter expert or thought leader. Here are some questions to help you narrow your focus.
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are your favourite topics to talk about?
- What do you specialise in?
Content repurposing can give you an SEO boost.
Multiple pieces of content on the same topic give you bonus opportunities to target particular keywords. By taking your repurposed content beyond your own site, for instance, as a written guest post, or by appearing as a guest on someone else’s podcast, you can also build quality links back to your own website.
Take the time to reinforce your message.
People need to hear your message many times before they act. While your messaging might sound repetitive to you, it doesn’t to others. Stop and think for a moment about the content you’ve absorbed today. The posts you’ve scrolled past in your social feed, podcasts you’ve listened to, emails you’ve clicked open. At best, our attention is often scattered and the content we see is algorithm-driven. Repurposing your content to get more eyeballs on it is a helpful way to achieve this reinforcement.
Here’s a quick recap of my seven top tips for making space for content creation in your business.
- Set that timer
- Pull back on the quantity
- Focus on building quality content
- Batch your creation
- Explore new mediums
- Look for ease
- Repurpose content.
Over to you
If content repurposing is something you’d like to explore further, I’ve got some free resources you might find useful, including a Content Repurposing Checklist and mini course. I also have an in-depth blog post about how to create and repurpose content with intention.
Prefer an audio version of this blog? Listen to the podcast episode: How to create content without burning out.
Love some support? Explore the copy coaching options.