From idea nuggets to published pieces of content
From idea nuggets to published content…
Let me clue you into the journey…
One of the ways that I’ve found that improves my productivity is to systematize all of my processes in a way that allows me to narrow and focus my attention on the insight, rather than the next move - it saves me so much time and the quality of the message is better in the long run.
For a while, there was no rhyme or reason built into my creative process - I would just jot ideas down, or make them up on the fly, and then take however long it took to get those words to actually mean something.
And then, I’ve met many people in the speaker, author and coach space who are productivity geniuses, and, their strategies and techniques inspired me to step up my game.
That’s why i’ve broken down the process of transforming an idea nugget into a published piece of content - it’s been ridiculously helpful to keep the objective clear every step of the way.
By identifying all of these steps, it has helped transform my aversion to writing anything into the passion that I have for it today.
Hopefully, the same thing will happen for you...well, there’s only one way to find out, :)
Let’s take a peek at them, shall we?
CREATING THE IDEA NUGGET
Whether you were gifted with an idea nugget during a client call, hanging out with your family, speaking engagement, engaging in a hobby, brainstorm session or even walking down the street minding your own business, it’s important to make sure that whatever you’re doing, you find a second to jot that idea down in analog (pen and paper) or digital (phone/tablet/computer) means.
SOCK THE IDEA NUGGET AWAY OR DEVELOP IT THEN AND THERE
If I were to look in my Notebooks app and count all the idea nuggets that I’ve saved over the past year and a half, it’s probably somewhere over 100 - and those are the ones I haven’t developed into full-blown social posts and blog articles
So, I have a couple left in the tank should I need to tap into the reserves.
Some of these ideas have been sitting around for over a year, and the reason is because there are some ideas that I feel much more passionate about at the time, so, I will push those through the process much faster.
How do you know which ones with which to do this?
Well, it really depends on which ones you feel are more impactful or are time sensitive, those are the criteria that I go by to choose which ones I will expedite their development and get them in the scheduler immediately.
DECIDE IF IT’S A SOCIAL POST OR A BLOG ARTICLE
So, what’s the difference?
For me, the fundamental difference between the two is length of the post - social posts are shorter (1-300 words) than blog articles (600-1000 words). Content-wise, for the most part, the stories and the lessons are interchangeable.
The other major difference is that my social posts are single-image based, whereas the blogs are unlimited.
If I have an idea, say a unique angle to present a recent portrait session, and it requires multiple images, I will focus my energy to create a longer form, blog article with that idea.
On the flip side, if I have a story that is visually punctuated by a single image, say a selfie with a client, then that’s best served as a social media post.
But again, the key is that everything is interchangeable and able to be easily repurposed - we’ll talk about that later.
FLESH IT OUT
This is where we prepare the meat and potatoes of the story, :)
I do this in both my phone and in Google Docs.
Sometimes, I figure out a series of the story points and the order in which I want to them to appear in the article. Other times, I take the idea nugget and freestyle an entire post and see where it goes…
...it really depends on how the idea inspires me and how I’m feeling at that moment.
For example, the idea for this blog and it’s corresponding story points were not freestyled - they were thought out and written in my phone, I pasted it into a Google Doc, and really developed the idea in depth from there.
I have Google Doc backups of my articles in case Squarespace ever shits the bed.
PASTE INTO BLOG & FORMAT FOR SEO/SOCIAL SCHEDULER AND EDIT FOR TWITTER
Once the idea is fleshed out, you know where you want to insert images, if any, and there is a logical and well-defined call-to-action at the end of the piece, it’s time to put this post on the calendar - either your blog calendar or your social media scheduler.
When it’s a blog, I have to format my Headers, throw in some hyperlinks and copy edit the entire thing - and hope I don’t miss another silly grammatical mistake, which happens more than I care to admit.
If it’s a social media post, the biggest to-do is to take my 100-300 word story and turn it into 280 characters, which sometimes is a gigantic pain in the ass…
...Twitter and I are not the best of friends, but we tolerate each other regardless.
Sometimes, I’ll just copy a piece of copy and use that as the entire message, or, I’ll summarize the expanded post into a short phrase for the Twitter version.
Once that’s complete, I add in my hashtags and for the Twitter version, I usually eliminate one or two so it doesn’t make the post too long, especially if I’m including a hyperlink to the content I’m referencing in the post.
ADD IMAGES THAT VISUALLY PUNCTUATE THE STORY
In some cases, I have my images already picked out in my mind, and in other cases, I simply re-read what I wrote and go hunting to find image(s) based on the sentiment of the story.
Does this post need lifestyle portraits, headshots, a shot of technology being used, a book, etc.?
If it’s a social post, I just need one photo but sometimes, the story leaves it open for me to choose something interesting as a visual punctuation. Other times, the story is based on something captured directly in one image, so, the creative latitude is none in those cases.
For blogs, it varies - sometimes, I just need an image for the thumbnail on the feed, and other times, I am displaying a series of images, either from a single event or session, or a collection of images used to reinforce the message in the story itself.
I really enjoy this part of the process because it merges two of my biggest passions - photography and writing.
It’s also the last piece before I hit SCHEDULE, so, I’m also happy about that, too, :)
Oh, so you think that once you schedule a post that you’re done with it forever?
Oh hell no!
Now, it’s time to repurpose that content so that it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Actually, when I say repurpose, I mean it in two different ways:
First, I mean to recycle these social posts and blog articles in whatever social media scheduler you use - yes, promote your blog posts through your social posts, as well!
Second, I also meant that you can repurpose a social post as a blog post by expanding the content and perhaps add more images, or conversely, shrink a blog post down, rephrase it, and choose one image to repurpose it on social.
By repurposing your content in these particular ways, it gives you a tremendous amount of ammunition with which to leverage while you’re establishing your online presence that resonates deeply with your audience.
It also gives you a chance to catch your breath from time to time during your busy times or vacation time because this content is automated by your scheduler and you don’t have to worry about writing or posting a thing.
As you can see, it’s quite a process to get those magical idea nuggets chiseled, buffed and polished, but, once you do, you create amazing content that, if it’s not time sensitive, can run for a long, long time, over and over again…
...not a bad return on the sweat equity investment, eh?
How do you generate and develop your social and blog ideas before you post them? Do you have a process at all?
Well, if you need help learning how to generate endless amounts of social media posts and blog articles, I can certainly help you with that.
Set up a time to chat with me, and let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together, :)