A guest post by Alexa Peduzzi of Food Blogger Pro
If you’ve been in the blogging industry for more than a few minutes, you’ve probably heard a very common catchphrase –– “Content is king.” At the new year, you may have set some goals for your blog. If they’re anything like mine, they revolve around creating more content.
And, of course, that’s easier said than done. I’m coming off a year where I took eight months off from posting on my blog (more on that here). Now I’m excited to head into this year with a plan to help me actually achieve my goals.
Here are the five strategies to create more (and better) content this year:
1. Batch your blog posts.
Content batching allows you to make a bunch of content all at the same time. It is all about planning, working ahead and making the most of your limited time. For example, you may decide to content batch a month’s worth of recipe development on a Saturday afternoon. During that time, creating content should be your only focus. Your goal should be to complete all of the month’s recipe development that day.
What I really love about this strategy is that it keeps you in a focused mindset. As I’m sure you know, food bloggers wear a lot of hats: we develop recipes, photograph the recipes, write about the recipes and promote the recipes (among so many other things!). I sometimes find it difficult to turn off my “recipe development brain” and switch on my “writing brain” or my “photography brain.” There’s resistance when going from one task to another each time I need to produce content.
It seems that each element of putting together a solid blog post requires different parts of our brains. By batching content, we can stay in a “recipe development zone,” and build up momentum for longer periods.
We recently had Karli Bitner on The Food Blogger Pro Podcast talking about this very topic. So if you want to learn more about how content batching could work for you (or how Karli batched an entire year’s worth of content!), check out that episode here.
How to successfully batch your content:
- Have a plan. How many recipes are you trying to develop during this batch? Do you have all of the ingredients? Do you have styling ideas for your photos for each recipe? If you’re editing photos during this batch session, are they all uploaded into your editor of choice? Remove any obstacles that can slow you down so that you can focus on creating that content during your batching session.
- Set a timer and make a schedule. If you don’t give yourself a time limit, it’s easy to lose focus and energy. Lock in your time so that you know that, at the end of X hours, you should have Y done. It’s a great way to remind yourself that there’s an end in sight, too. It’s no small feat working on multiple recipes or photo shoots at a time.
2. Repurpose to create more content for your blog content.
This strategy is all about working smarter, not harder. As we’ve already established (see #1), creating great content from scratch takes lots of time and effort. So once you’ve created and published that content, what then?
Have you thought about using old content to create new content? There are countless ways that you can repurpose your existing content to make your message go further, without the extra work of creating something brand new.
For example, if you have a great salad recipe on your blog that your readers love, have you ever shared a cooking demo for that recipe on Instagram Stories or Reels? What about a video that’s performing really well on YouTube? Can you edit that same video to create something new for TikTok? Can you republish an old post with new information, tips and photos?
By using the content you already have, you’re eliminating one (or a few) of the time-consuming activities that go into producing a quality piece of work. And you generate something new for your audience. For additional information about this topic, check out:
- This episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast with Brita Britnell about repurposing video
- The Republishing Content series on the Food Blogger Pro blog
How to successfully repurpose content:
- Take inventory of what’s performing well. What are your top pieces of content? Use Google Analytics or Google Search Console to figure that out. Chances are, just a handful of posts drive the majority of your blog traffic. How can you take that top performing content and breathe new life into it?
- Make the process repeatable. You repurposed a piece of your content. Do it with another piece of content. And another. Work your repurposing strategy into your creation process to streamline work in the future. Essentially, you want content that is easy to repurpose when you need it.
3. Use (and stick to) an editorial calendar.
Tons of content calendar solutions exist. Some integrate flawlessly with WordPress (like CoSchedule). Others allow subtasks and due dates (like Asana) or produce reports on content performance (like InfluenceKit).
What’s working for me is good old Google Calendar. I keep the rest of my scheduled life –– full-time job and personal responsibilities –– in Google Calendar, so it’s helpful to include blog tasks in the same place. That way, I can see when I’m being a little too ambitious or when I may need to move some scheduled tasks around. I also created a new calendar within my Google account for all of my Fooduzzi content so I can easily see it among my other tasks.
I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to my content calendar. All I need is a way to:
- Schedule my blog work, and
- See how my blog work fits into the rest of my schedule.
You may need other functionalities (such as tasks, team integrations or more robust labeling capabilities), and that’s great! It’s just a matter of figuring out what works for you.
How to successfully build a content calendar:
- Pick the right tool for you. There are dozens of tools to keep track of your content calendars. For some bloggers, a paper calendar and pencil work best. Others may need more customization, integrations, and digitized due dates. Give yourself permission to play with some of the products to find one that works for you. If you need some more ideas, there are other recommendations in our How to Create a Content Calendar course on Food Blogger Pro.
- Actually use the calendar. It’s one thing to set up a calendar with all of the pretty color-coordination, labels and due dates, and another to actually use (and stick to) the calendar. If you’re just setting up a content calendar for the first time, set a goal to use it for a month and then evaluate how it worked. Did it give you everything you need? Have you produced more, better content? Did it help you stay organized? If so, it’s probably worth using it moving forward!
Find more time in your schedule by unloading some of your responsibilities to others. That could mean hiring for your business or using a grocery delivery service to save an hour each week.
I just did this. I need to shoot a few recipes this weekend (thanks to my content calendar 😉), but I have a busy day at work today (working on this article). So I ordered a grocery pickup. By not having to go into the grocery store myself, I saved time and freed up time to do other things.
A few years ago, I hired my mom to schedule my pins on Pinterest. That gave me a few extra few hours each month to plan content, develop recipes, write, or photograph my recipes. She’s worth every penny. It’s a recurring task each month that needs to get done, but it doesn’t need to be done by me.
But I do need to develop recipes, because I want all of the recipes on my blog to come from me. I need to write blog posts because I want my voice to be the only voice on my blog. I don’t need to spend time on my Pinterest strategy. I don’t need to be personally responsible for it to get done.
Maybe that’s different for you. Maybe you enjoy working on your Pinterest strategy and you know how to effectively promote content on Pinterest. If that’s the case, then identify another task to pass off to a person or service.
How to successfully delegate:
- Make a “What I do/What I don’t do” list. Decide what you absolutely, 100% have to do to get recipes published on your site. What are some things that you’re currently doing but don’t have to be doing? The things that fall into the second bucket are the tasks that you could potentially offload to someone else (through hiring or through a service). You can also make the same lists for your personal life. Maybe you hire a babysitter for your kiddos every Wednesday so you have planned time each week to develop and shoot recipes.
- Have a replacement in mind. Let’s say you’ve identified a task that you’d like to pass to someone else. What blog task are you going to put in its place? Can you produce another entire blog post? Could you learn how to shoot and edit videos? Could you use that time to reach out to a new potential sponsor each week? Remember the goal we’re trying to accomplish here: creating more content. What content-creation task do you now have more time for?
5. Work on what excites you.
It’s much easier to stick to it and get it done if you actually enjoy the work you’re doing! If there’s a part of the content creation process you resist, maybe that means you need to hire someone or to stop doing that part all together. This is the strategy I’m relying on most for 2022.
Remember the “What I Do/What I Don’t Do” list from #4? Is there anything on the “What I Don’t Do” side that you could remove from your responsibilities altogether?
Maybe you don’t actually enjoy creating TikTok videos. If that’s the case, ask yourself:
- Are you receiving a lot of engagement on TikTok?
- Do you have brand contract responsibilities that require you to continue posting them?
- Is growing your TikTok following a big part of your growth strategy for this year?
From there, you have three options:
- Yes, it’s worth it, and I need to keep doing it because of a strategic decision for my business.
- Yes, it’s worth it, but I’m going to find someone (or something) else who can do it for me.
- No, it’s not worth it, and I’m going to quit doing it (at least for right now).
This is the strategy that I’m relying on most for 2022. If I don’t enjoy doing a particular task, then it will be difficult to keep up momentum and keep creating content.
How to successfully focus on what you like to do:
- Identify the tasks you don’t like doing. Video was one of those things for me. I didn’t enjoy shooting them myself, so I asked my brother to help me out. I get to hang out with my brother while making content that’s important for my site’s growth, and I don’t have to do it all on my own. That’s a win-win.
- Remember why. Ask yourself why you’re doing the tasks that you’re doing. Is it because of a strategic decision in your business? Is it because you love to do it? Or is it because you feel like you have to? If the answer falls into that third bucket, it’s probably worth digging deeper and asking yourself if you really need to be doing it.
Now let’s chat in the comments: What strategies have helped you create more content for your food blog? Why was that strategy so successful for you?
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Alexa Peduzzi is a 20-something lover of animals and books, and the doer of all things at Fooduzzi, the plant-based food blog. As a blogger, Alexa has been featured in publications like Buzzfeed, Country Living, Brit + Co., Greatist, MSN, VeryLocal, and MindBodyGreen, and she works with sponsors like Bob’s Red Mill. She also works full-time managing a food blogging membership site called Food Blogger Pro. By day, Alexa loves to cook, photograph, and write to all of her invisible Internet friends on her blog. By night she’s typically in bed by 10, preferably snuggling with her calico, Maya (but we all know how cats are).
Disclosure: This post uses affiliate links for Food Blogger Pro.