This week, the ProductivityCast team discusses the tools and tricks for producing content productively. Content production is not just for marketers; it’s a fundamental component of many of our job duties. So, producing content productively can really help us save time and garner a stronger reputation among our peers and employers.
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:24
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Art Gelwicks 0:27
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:24
And today, we are here to talk about something that many of us have to deal with on a regular basis. And we don’t actually form formalize the process many times which of course, competes with our productive output, and that is our productive output. How do we create content, whether that be for internal purposes, you know, internal memos, if you work at a law firm, you have to do legal memoranda. If you’re at a company where you have documentation that needs to be kept, you’re constantly having to write including probably email as well where you know, some email requires quite a bit of substantive thought process plus outbound content, whether that’s for a blog, a podcast scripting, video scripting, and all kinds of other kinds of outbound. You’re writing short guides or ebooks for the company, we have to write a lot of content in our daily work lives, especially in the knowledge worker age. And what we want to do today is talk about some of the the gears that are necessary to make that engine so that you don’t have to have your system be so hodgepodge to be cluttered and chaotic in the process of getting your content out the door. And so let’s start off with some of the challenges people have with producing content productively.
Art Gelwicks 1:42
Well, I think some of the main areas that I see consistently are one getting ideas for content, evaluating those ideas and then putting them into a content production schedule. The actual creation of the content itself whether it’s writing the article, recording the podcast, The review and approval, especially if you’re dealing within a business environment, that can often be one of the biggest bottlenecks to your production process. And then finally, how is that content distributed to your audience? And what feedback are they providing to you? And how do you incorporate that into the lifecycle of your content production process? So there’s a lot of different steps that can be issues.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:27
Absolutely. So let’s try and tackle some of these in that order. Throughout this episode, I’m not sure we can really deal with the review and approval process. But we might touch on that as we as we make our way through. So let’s start with the concept of kind of the macro level here of how do you gather ideas and set the tone for any content that you’re going to be doing? And so I’m going to I’m going to use a blog as the easiest perspective here, but we could go in we this could work for almost anything. In essence, unless it’s a one off kind of project, but the idea here is that you would have some kind of thematic calendar or schedule that you’ve created, so that you are not trying to ideate in this amorphous expansive field, you really need structure in which to be creative. I know that sounds very counterintuitive, but you need structure in order to be creative. And the boundaries help you be creative. And so whatever it is that you’re going to be talking about, giving yourself some level of boundaries, some kind of theme allows you to be able to then brainstorm within that space, and then to be able to come up with ideas for topics, parts of, you know, the outlined parts of of a of a topic, you know, so you might say, Okay, well, I’m going to talk about this particular topic. I’m gonna talk about cars. Okay, well, what kind of cars are going to talk about and then once you pick a particular A type of car, say Toyota Prius, okay, well, you know, there are different models of Prius. And then you start talking about the different. So maybe the idea that is Oh, well, I’ll talk about kind of the history of the Prius, and how it came to be. And I’ll talk about some of its particular finer points before I go into compare and contrast between the different models of them. So the the brainstorming process really helps you once you have a theme, but if you don’t have that theme, then you know what, what is the Lewis Carroll quotation? You know, if you have nowhere to go anywhere, we’ll do something like that, you know, you really need to have some overarching direction.
Augusto Pinaud 4:41
Interestingly, when you go into writing, one of the counter intuitive things is how much organization you need in order to really make the writing happen. You know, people think, Oh, well, you know, I will just sit and write and I wish to tell you that that works. haven’t worked. For me a bit, but for me requires a lot of organization and when you read about, you know more, say mainstream or famous writers, they all have a structure on a plan. And I think it is really important regardless what the content you are producing, what is going to be that instructor where you are going to capture the ideas because the ideas will come Hey, write about x, okay, write about the Prius write about how about I write about the right button under the radio fantastic, but if you don’t capture those ideas, what happened is they get back to to the author and after you capture them now. Okay, let’s start with your outline. In this. What we’re going to do is is where I’m trying to go with this article, so you can go into the actual writing and then editing and approving and everything else, but I think you need that and I think you need this structure to be able to do that in a more more effective way. And when we get to the to the next part, let’s talk about software that we use a person who writes, you know, short content, like a blog and articles, but also write long content, like books, it is important, I use different tools for those two kind of writing because they require a completely different mindset. When you are doing one thing or the other.
Art Gelwicks 6:31
I’m going to take it from kind of a corporate business positioning. If you’re generating content, one of the key structures of this at the very early stages is does your content align with the corporate strategies that you have in place and the objectives that you’re trying to drive within your business as you come up with ideas, or you’re even just farming ideas. One of the first steps is to make sure those ideas are on those correct roads. Using your analogy from earlier, if not, they may be great ideas, but they’re not going to help you stay on the target that you’ve already set out for yourself. So being able to quantify the idea immediately, I think about for process tools that I’ve built, if somebody puts in an idea, the literally the next step, the next field is how does this tie to the strategic needs? You know, which one of the strategic goal sets for this particular group team company organization? Does this resonate with? And if they can’t quantify that, then it’s okay. It’s a good idea. But we’re not going to do anything with that right now.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:40
I really love the idea of making sure that whatever whatever you’re doing is in alignment with the mission or goal of the greater organization. And that that could be you know, your, your fundraising committee at church. It could be your your library book club. It could be your company or organization, your nonprofit organization, it doesn’t matter what the group of people it is, if you have a mission, I think that you should have all of this, make sure that it’s an alignment. I really, really like that art. Next up, I want to I want to talk a little bit about once you once you have the the organization of designing those things, and there are lots of templates online for this. So you can just google templates for all kinds of things. So don’t try and reinvent the wheel here. Use the templates that are available for framework and then you can start plugging in your ideas from there. My big next step, and as you as he kind of talked about art is the idea of organizing your ideas, gathering those ideas. And so once you have a thematic calendar, and or some kind of schedule, you need to start centralizing your thoughts in a single place and that’s my number one suggestion to most, in my case small business owners who are trying to produce content, whether that be for blog or other kinds of media for marketing purposes, but really this works for operational purposes as well, which is that on an ongoing basis, you’re not creating content. I mean, people constantly talk about creating content for marketing purposes. But if you were in business, you’re actually capturing content when the content arrives in your in your space, and you never know what content you’re really going to end up using. And that’s the way in which I’ve written for years and years and years, which is that if I see something really interesting, I snap a picture of it, or if a really unique phrase comes to mind about about a thought, I capture that and that allows me to have a pool of resources to pull from when I’m ready to sit down and actually produce the content. So I might I might have written a paragraph here, I might have a screenshot or capture to come have articles there. And the point is is to centralize that all into a single place. Now, I choose to centralize that in Evernote, but you might choose to Central not just centralize that in Dropbox, or into Apple notes or wherever you decide that you need to keep everything in one place. But I really love the idea of being able to say, okay, for this topic, I’m going whenever I see something, I’m going to capture those things. I have an idea. I’m, I’m with a client, and, and they say something. And I respond to it. I think you know what, that was a really great response to that question that they had or to that problem that they’re experiencing. I should formalize that I should write that down so that I have that. And now when I’m writing a blog post, or I’m doing a webinar on that topic, I now have that piece of content that I captured, that now I can utilize in that space.
Art Gelwicks 10:54
I mean, this type. This type of gathering ideas and outlining and organizing is really cool. closely tied to something we talked about all the time, which is the note taking tools and and those kinds of capture tools. I could take this as an example. And you could use something like Trello to capture the initial ideas and to start to gather the asset pieces. You could use something like workflows to start to create an outline, you could use Evernote, you could use OneNote, you could use notion there’s no, you could use folders inside of OneDrive or Google Drive. There’s no limit to the number of tools to do this. There are ones that are specifically built for this. But I think you’re hitting on the most important aspect, which is don’t try to create your content until you have all the parts of the content that you need to create. So things like the imagery and the core concepts and quotes and links and things. Put it all in one, one place. Then when you sit down to start creating, you’re not breaking that that That creative focus to say, Oh wait, I need an image for that. Or Oh, what was that link, you’ve got all the tools there. To use the analogy, if I’m going to paint a picture, I’m going to actually want to have my canvas, my brushes, my paints, my water, my rags, everything needs to be right there. So I can focus on the picture that I’m trying to create. Same thing goes for any type of content creation.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:23
I want to take kind of a quick step back in, in, in a way because I had formulated a method for being able to produce content. And the idea here is to have a clear set of milestones, which are their own kind of project, right. So in essence, I use the acronym bruited, you know, as I brooded over my writing, and which a lot of writers do. But the idea here is to have br o d, d, right, and it stands for brainstorm. Research, organizing outline, draft, edit, and disseminate. And so this can work again in in almost any type of medium. So whether that be scripting for audio or video writing, you name it. This really works for all of those pieces. So remember that you’re you’re you’re starting off with brainstorming. This is where the thematic calendar and editorial calendar really gives you structure, then you go into research, researching allows you to be able to look for materials that are already in existence to see what’s out there. It gives you then the next step, which is organizing and outlining so you organize your research, you bring your brainstorming and with that, and and then you ultimately outline the thing you’re going to do whether you’re whether you’re outlining your slide deck for a presentation, you’re outlining your ebook, you’re outlining your blog or podcast, it doesn’t matter. You’re you’re getting some level of framework for what you’re going To produce, and then ultimately you draft it, you edit it, and then you disseminate it. So, as a podcast, obviously, you’re recording and putting that out there, all of those different pieces happen along that pipeline. So just keep that in mind that the bruited methodology is available to you to use as a regular method or structure to being able to create content. And so with that, that takes us to the organizing and outlining phase of our discussion today. And what what, but beyond the tools, what can you use to be able to, to provide yourself with a framework when it comes to organizing your thoughts and then getting them into a proper outline? What What do you all use to be able to get yourself kind of organized there and outlined for writing or producing something
Augusto Pinaud 14:59
when the work or short content, I use a piece of software called Ulysses and Ulysses allows me to you know, see the same thing you know on all the devices synchronize and I have different folders for when they are on research stage or when they are on on different you know levels So, depending depending if they are researching or I’m already writing and I’m second draft and when it is longer pieces, then I work on a piece of software called Scrivener that allows me to, to know what I’m talking about chapters are big parts. Scrivener does an incredibly job, you know, keeping all those parts and allowing me to move things back and forward. So it really depends what is exactly what I’m trying to To build on what I’m trying to write, that the software for me works better or worse.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:10
I always think of things as beginning, middle and end. Like very simplistically, and then I try to think about whether or not I should, should I write the beginning and ending first and then write the middle content of it, I tend to create the outline and then I put in all of the captured content into the into the document so that I’m able to see all the pieces in some level of flow so I can see okay, well, I’ve got a paragraph here, I’ve got something here. I need to fill in the gaps here. I need to do some more research in this particular capacity, and then I can start to fill things in. Many times what happens is that once I’ve written the beginning and the ending of a piece for storytelling purposes, I made Designed to swap beginnings and endings, because it helps to create dramatic tension. Maybe the the hook that I wrote for the beginning of the ending is actually better than the one I wrote at the beginning. So you can then they become fungible. And you have this ability to use the the interchangeable parts of what you’ve written. But I’d like to look at things in the space. Once I’ve, I’ve I’ve outlined. And so I start to just create a basic outline. And once in a while, I’ll look at the outline and say, you know, what, the the middle pieces, the different, the different sections, the heading titles, don’t match up with what I want to do. So I might decide to move those in a different order. And so then I’ll move sections but upper below. And I do, I do about 80% of my writing in Google Docs, and then another 20% end up ends up in Evernote in some way, shape or form. So I do a lot of that content in spaces where it’s just easy to copy and Paste blocks of text up and up and down. So it really does give you that flexibility. Obviously, if you’re using Microsoft Word or Libre Office writer, same same thing applies, you can just move move text by copying and pasting it to different sections.
Art Gelwicks 18:14
Yeah, I always use OneNote for mine, because I’ve found two features in it are extremely helpful when creating the content pieces. One is the fact that when you build an outline in OneNote, you can grab sections of the outline and drag them around. So when you’re working on thought processes, and trying to figure out how something’s going to flow, you can write a section say, No, it doesn’t really go here, it goes a little further down and just click and drag it you don’t even have to copy paste. The other thing is the outline is collapsible right on the screen. So you’re able to then go in and take your main topics and say, Okay, I’m going to drill into this one drill into that one and rework it. It’s that kind of flexibility that uh, that I found really helpful. A couple of side pieces, I do use page templates that are designed around different content that I’m going to generate. I have a template for podcasts, I have a template for blog articles, I have a template for how to guides and strategic article pieces. But I also really like the fact that it’s portable. Because I don’t know about you guys, rarely do I finish a piece of content in a single city. So as I start that, I may have to, I may get interrupted and have to go to a meeting, do something else. If I have a few minutes of idle time, I can pull it up on my phone, look at my outline, look at my content, add some other things and move it around and take advantage of when those little sparks of creativity strike.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:39
Likewise, I don’t ever have an opportunity to sit down and write a whole piece in one sitting. So I have to be able to fill in the pieces of the outline and this is where it really becomes useful as you’re talking about art here is that once you have something well outlined, then you can you’re not writing a whole piece right now and spending two hours in one sitting potentially You are sitting down and you’re writing just a section which may take you 15 minutes, maybe takes you maybe takes 20 minutes, and you can do it and be done and move on and come back to it later when you next have that open block of time, either between meetings or when you when you start the day, so you’re writing, you’re writing parts throughout, and over time, to completion of, of these of these writing projects. And that really helps me stay on top of things, so that I’m not running behind on all kinds of different writing projects that I might have. So really, fundamentally, outlining helps to break down the writing project into their smaller individual parts. And then that gives you the right next action, which is not, you know, finish writing book. It’s right, this paragraph right this section, and and therefore, you can go ahead and say, Okay, well I’m writing chapter two The section entitled acts, and that’s what you then get to put as a task in your system. And that’s doable on the action level, because you’ll be able to actually complete it, and then anchor the next section, wherever you need to, in your system to trigger you to get that thing done. So just be be mindful of, you know, putting too big a chunk in your, in your system, because then it becomes this, well, I can’t write a book, you know, when you sit down, you know, you maybe have an hour between now and your next meeting, or, you know, whatever your whatever you’re doing for the rest of the day. And you say, Okay, well, I have this project to write, but it says, To finish the book to write the book or to write the E guide or to write the blog post and I don’t have time to complete the whole thing. So So what’s the what’s the individual parts within it, that you can chunk it down to to make it more doable and therefore won’t turn you off? Because what happens is then you get demotivated to actually sit down and write that thing. Because Cuz you’re like, well, there’s no way I’m going to finish that. So your brain gets overwhelmed. And you go, Oh, you know what I should go, you know, sharpen pencils. Alright, let’s let’s move on to some of our tactics for drafting and editing, our content. So what are some tactics that you use for drafting and editing, when it comes to producing content, and I’ll start with environment. I am a very big proponent, as you probably have learned over time if you’ve listened to us for any length of time, which is to make sure your environment is as similar or the same as possible for the particular modality in which you’re working. So if you’re in writing mode, if you’re in producing mode, then you need to make sure that all the pieces around you look the same. Your mind has a very important area, that in the brain that decides where things are And that and where things are is the context in which it pulls in all of its resources to do that kind of work there. So if you’re a blacksmith, you go to your blacksmith shop, and you see all of the resources there. And your your unconscious mind automatically kicks into gear and says, Ah, good i can i can reduce my my alarm system, because all of the pieces that I need to do what I need to do are present. And I don’t need to, I don’t need to start recreating remapping how I’m going to make things happen with partial resources or with none of the resources visible to me. And your brain does that when it comes to your computer. It does that regarding your physical environment. So remember that your digital and physical environment need to be as similar as possible. So you want to use the same tools. You want to want to maybe have the same even desktop background for when you’re writing so that when you start your system, your setup looks the same. If you use side by side Windows, you know or split view on on on the Mac or iOS, you want to make sure that the split view is the same. You want to make sure those pieces are, are similar to each other so that you can you can manifest that unconscious trigger to reduce the alarm bells that are, you know that that typically go off which is your fight or flight fight or flight syndrome telling you that there’s something amiss with the work that you’re trying your Central Executive system in your brain is trying to tell you, your to do. So you need to you need to reduce that conflict between the two two minds so that you can go ahead and sit down and say, Oh, you know what, I have my favorite drink, which is the drink I have when I’m writing. For some of you that might be a bit of bourbon whiskey. For some of you that might be a coffee or a latte. And then you decide on, you know what you’re going to be writing on and you you go ahead and structure environment for that.
Art Gelwicks 24:59
It’s interesting. You bring this up and phrase it the way you did, because that’s totally not the way. For me, it’s important to break away from where I normally do, the things that I do. If I’m going to be in a creative mindset to generate content, I have to, I’ll pick up my gear, I’ll pack grab my Chromebook, grab my headphones, go find a spot, maybe a coffee shop, maybe a gallery, maybe some who knows where someplace has to be totally different than where I normally am. Because if I don’t, my brain is saying, You’re in this spot, you should be doing your normal things. And maybe I’m wired backwards, but it just seems to be most efficient for me. Now, that said, though, thinking about the things you just described, what I’m doing is I am taking the same set of tools in the same structure in the same consistent working environment with me. It’s just to disconnect. From the place that I know is going to interrupt that creative flow. So maybe I’m not that far off from what you’re describing.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:08
I think you’re describing exactly what I was talking about. And just in different a different context, I think you’re absolutely right, you know, you, you sometimes need a change of place. And that change of places what actually triggers your mind to know that you’re going to start producing content? And so whatever, whatever is the trigger that gets your mind calm against the storm of, oh my god, do I have everything that I need? And and for some of you, you might be listening and saying, Oh, well, I don’t have that problem. But in reality, your unconscious mind doesn’t, doesn’t elevate your heart rate, and, and do all of those things always in a manner that you can necessarily feel you’re not. You’re not aware of your fight or flight response. When your system is just shutting down parts of your brain. It’s actually it’s it’s doing the job in the background for Our hunter gatherer ancestors, where we’re not, we’re not necessarily feeling at the pit in our stomach, per se. But it’s doing that in the background, it’s doing it because it’s your unconscious mind, you are not aware of it, that’s the whole point. And so we, we, we, I see this all the time people become unaware of those things, they, they tell me, right, I’m not able to sit down, I’m having, you know, all kinds of blockages and I’m constantly distracted when I go to sit down to write, and just these little tiny interventions that allow them to be able to to set their, their, their mind at ease, the unconscious part of their mind at ease, and all of a sudden, guess what they are start they start producing maybe what the writing is rubbish, but now they’re actually writing as opposed to not writing and remember, you write rubbish you can always edit it. You know, you can edit it into a masterpiece you you you write rubbish and you edited into good, good work. Don’t try to write you know the best work the first draft wrapped around, you know, I tend to be someone who thinks a lot about what I’m going to write before I sit down to write. So my written work is usually in a closer to finish state than I think most people, but at the same time, I’m not sitting down to write the perfect final draft, I’m looking to write a good draft. And then I can always sit down and say, Alright, I’m going to I’m going to edit this now into what it should finally be, but you have to have some kind of you just have to start putting words onto paper. And that’s my other suggestion for most people is just not to don’t think, but don’t overthink when you sit down to write, and also listen to your inner voice. As you sit down to write. If you’ve done the brainstorming, the researching, organizing and outlining process, your mind has now taken over that problem solving and pattern recognition that happens and again, if you’ve heard us talk before about this, you’ve heard me talk about this, which is your, your unconscious mind when you go to sleep, guess what your brain is doing. When your mind wandering, and you’re in that default mode network, guess what your brain is doing. It’s doing all the work of problem solving and pattern recognition, it’s sitting down. And it’s thinking for you through those through those issues, so that by the time you sit down to do something like writing a piece, if you’ve done the brainstorming the organizing and outlining, your brain is already ready. So you have to kind of listen to it now surface, that inner voice surface, so that you can then start putting words down on paper, or, you know, words into your document, your word processor. So that’s why I can produce so easily when I sit down to write because if I’ve done the right work upfront, if I’ve done the pre work, then sitting down to write, and ultimately to edit, I’ve I’ve I’ve problem solved, right? So I always space these things out as well. So I try to give at least 24 to 48 hours between brainstorm Researching, organizing and outlining, I can do those four steps. Typically together, although brainstorming and research happens a little bit more, organically, you know, I’ll sit down, I’ll brainstorm a bunch of topics, I’ll pull a few of those out of a brainstorming, maybe a mind map. And then I’ll research those topics determined that they’re good enough for a blog post or podcast episode, and then they’ll, and then they’ll get organized into where they need to go. And then ultimately outlined, once I’ve done that, I like to have about 24 to 48 hours, which is a night to two nights worth of rest, so that I’ve had that time for my, again, my unconscious mind to do that background work. Then when I sit down to draft, I’m ready to go, that the ideas are bubbling to the surface, and I’m ready to produce. So just keep that in mind that you want to give some time between that and then again, there’s that time between drafting and editing, where you you read through what you’ve read. wrote, ad, then you close the document and you go away, you come back 24 to 48 hours. And lo and behold, you’re going to, you’re going to see the different sentences that are awkward, you’re going to see the grammatical errors that you didn’t see when you looked at it the first time. And you’ll be able to start manifesting the different set of skills that are necessary to be in editing mode as opposed to in drafting mode. So keep that in mind that sometimes you need a little bit of space from these things. To be able to do that. I’ll also give the tip that I use an app called Hemingway. And so if you go to Hemingway app com, you can actually post you know section or paragraph or a whole document into Hemingway and it will automatically help you look at misspellings and awkward phrases and you know, sentences that are too long and that kind of thing and give you some some primary feedback for being able to quickly edit on the go.
Augusto Pinaud 31:58
It is important to To walk away and it feels like okay, I need to go and write an edit and on I like you I tried to best of my abilities to keep distance between that writing and that editing before it goes because what happened is you tend to when you don’t do it that way you fill in this blank space and don’t see the mistakes anymore. You know, it’s, it’s like a book after you have any manuscript 10 times, you don’t see the things anymore. That’s the reason why the editor plays an incredible role because you simply can’t. So, is it is important to understand the importance of those steps and how they are different. You know, it is if we make the correlation to the world of productivity and more specific to getting things done. It is important to differentiate the capture from the processing, from the actual organizing from the doing when you are doing When the writing is happening is exactly the same that those processes need to have distinct moments and distinct things for them to be really effective. And for you to do a really good job.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:14
That’s not always the case. I mean, for some, some things that are really short if I’m going to write, you know, a little 600 word, blog post, and it’s got to go out the door. Today, I’m going to do all those parts in in close succession. I’m just soup to nuts, it’s going to get done. It’s it’s for longer pieces. And also for thinking about writing all of the content that you have to write on a larger timeframe say on a on a monthly basis, where this type of organization can really have compound productive benefits. Because if you’re continually manifesting the individual parts that need to move forward, that again, just chunks it down to the granular action level. That’s when what Augusto just said, and and what art has been talking about throughout the podcast really starts to help materialize greater output, because you’re able to fit more in, in the spaces of your workflow throughout the day. So really keep that in mind that yes, there’s going to be opportunities in times when you just have to sit down and plunk down a block of writing, you’ve got to write that email. And so you’re going to block out the next two hours and just really think through a very important document. But generally, we’re not under that kind of, of, you know, high pressure environment. And so therefore, step back and create this infrastructure so that you’re able to better manifest quality content. Okay, so now we get to distribution, what I call dissemination, in the in the bruited methodology, so what What do we do in the distribution phase of producing content? What what are things that we can do? What tips can we give to listeners about how to get content out there faster?
Art Gelwicks 35:12
Well, most contents distribution setups and content publishing revolves around a content calendar. So you’ve got material that you’ve generated, pre cued, and ready to go on a scheduled basis. Unless you’re dealing with a news reactive type of content, or you’re beholden to the events of the day. I would say leveraging this kind of a calendar means that you can not only provide a chronological structure to your content, but it also means you’re taking a lot of the delivery stress off of your back. You know that by creating this piece of content in two weeks, it’s going to go out. And this is this is often a platform technology piece that you have to take into consideration if you’re doing Something that is technology driven for distribution such as a blog, such as a podcast, videocast, something like that, where it’s a digital distribution of the content. If the tool you’re using, I’ll use WordPress as an example for blogging has the ability to schedule to actually put a publish date and time on a particular piece of content. And then when that date and time rolls around, it automatically enables that content to be read. That’s a key part of this type of distribution mechanism, because then you’ve got control, while also being able to distance yourself from that button push. Now within business environments, that’s not always the case a lot of your content. Let’s say for example, you’re generating emails that are distributed to multiple people, not all email systems have scheduled email sends and things like that. So you have to you have to decide Is this something I can leave to the technology? Or is this something I’m going to have to do manually on a schedule, but in either case, there’s a schedule involved. So when it comes to content distribution, I think one of the best friends you can have is a content calendar.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:13
Yes. And many times you can manifest the calendar inside of a tool going back to WordPress, the software, when you are inside of WordPress, you can install if you’re if you’re self hosted, you can install a plug in that has a calendar built into it so that you can actually see all of your draft items as as calendar items in the interface and the particular plugin that I’m using. I’m able to drag and drop those in a calendar, a monthly calendar interface so I can actually see where they’re going to be published in and then say, Okay, well this one actually has to move down and drag this one up, drank that one down. And so you have some ability to move those deadlines around for yourself. And then they automatically update the the individual blog post dates, so So keep that in mind that you have some flexibility within some of those tools, you might decide to use something like Hootsuite or buffer that allows you to be able to schedule those things so that they disseminate on the schedule. I like to be, you know, several weeks ahead of schedule so that kids soccer game, you can get sick without worrying. You could go on a vacation, all of those things can happen and you’re still ahead on the production schedule. So keep that in mind is you know, having the ability to disseminate on a schedule ahead of time. You can you can do that. And and this is where again, going back to Art’s point about the the calendar or the editorial schedule really helps you is that most often than not you’re you’re not at the whims of, of time sensitive things. So you know that you know, national ice cream Day is coming up Thanksgiving holiday or whatever other holidays are coming up. So you can you can say okay, well if you look at the calendar and in the next three months This is happening and that’s happening. You can you don’t have to wait till Thanksgiving shows up to start writing about gratitude and, and, and thanksgiving type topics you can you can prepare for that thing and that includes internal, you know organization based items, there’s that big meeting coming up in six months, you may not have all the materials yet people might not have gotten you particular resources, but you can still put it on the calendar so that you know it’s there. And when you need to start asking people for the requisite pieces for say the annual report. You don’t get that stuff to the designer a month before it needs to be laid out. And then ultimately sent to the printer you get, you start collecting that stuff, maybe three months or four months ahead of schedule, so that you can start getting at least a baseline pieces in place, you can send that along to the designer, the designer can now start getting the framework for the report put together the the basics of the design, and then you start putting the pieces in as you get them along the way. So it gives You have a level of control over the process that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you didn’t have the calendar and you weren’t at least anchoring, the things that you know, are going to happen. And then yes, the occasional emergency press release needs to go out, you know, on occasion, in larger organizations that happens, but for the most part, you really have much more control over what you know is going to happen along along the time horizon than you think. All right, this has been a lot of fun talking about the topic of producing content productively. If you have a question or comment about this episode, or something that we discussed in the episode and you’d like us to give a little bit further clarification or resources. If you were listening from anywhere other than the podcast website if you’re not at productivity cast dotnet I welcome you, I invite you to visit that and there at the bottom of each episode page, we have a comment section, you can leave a comment or question and one of us will be happy to respond to it. Also there on productivitycast.net, you will see on the episode pages, our show notes, which include links to what we talked about, and links to us if you need to find us and also a transcript of the episode. So you can find those and download those and have access to them. And you can also learn how to follow us on the podcast. So if you’re not listening through one of your favorite podcast apps, you can find a favorite podcast app and you can likely find us in it. 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And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.