Not to be dramatic or anything, but I think I burned my whole thing down Content creation workflow and started building a new one. 😶
It took a long time, a long time of trying, and I think it’s finally starting to work.
I’ve wanted to email you this for months, but I also wanted to have a better idea of how this new experiment would work before “reporting back” on it.
So here is the deal:
If you know my job you know that I am a long-formed, contented girl.
I rarely publish a blog post with less than 1,000 words, regularly run out of space in individual tweets, and am very familiar with the character limit for Instagram subtitles.
That is NOT going to change, but the way I work with this long piece of content is.
Heavy Lifts: How I used to create
For the past 10 years, my approach to remixing content on a topic has been:
- Decide on the topic and sketch
- Create the entire content of long form
- Break it down into smaller pieces to remix
It was super sprint oriented.
And that worked well when I had more energy, was healthier, had a more structured schedule, etc.
At that time, I could sit down and write a 2,000-word blog post in one session, several times a week. And in between, I’d remix this content and use it for social networks, emails, and more.
Why it doesn’t work for me anymore
But when you overwhelm yourself, you are borrowing energy from your future self.
And if you know my story of workaholism, you know that in her twenties, Bberg borrowed a lot of energy from Bberg in her thirties. 😬
So this sprint-oriented writing habit is now harder to maintain.
I rarely write a whole long blog post at once, and know this approach works better for me.
But I hadn’t really done much to purposely tweak this habit (which is so dissimilar to me 😝).
My content calendar and workflow started with a long piece of content that I publish 1-2 pieces a week.
And when I got on the ball, I’d work on something well enough in advance to write it down a little (200-500 words) at a time.
But most of the time it just doesn’t happen. So I have to write the whole thing in one go, the evening before it goes live.
What then happened in the end …
I do that two days a week for the two planned long-form pieces. And it’s so exhausting that the rest of the week I’m too tired to make any great progress on anything.
But I’ve been working on it for a while … let’s call them micro-habits … to change that.
My atomic content process
Stage 1: content consumption and taking notes
First, I’ve become much more aware of how I consume content.
Not only do I pick up and take notes on the books, blog posts, videos, and podcasts I consume (I’ve been doing this for a while), I also review them regularly and take as many notes as I take notes (here’s a great one Explanation.) Of the difference).
This gives me more building blocks to remix when it’s time to produce content so I don’t have to do as much work from scratch when it’s time to create a newsletter or blog post.
So far I’ve done this in two places:
(I’m working on making add-ons for the Content Remix Planner for these if you have one and want to implement a similar workflow.)
Stage 2: assembling Atomic Notes
Second, I’ve made my note databases more intuitive in my content creation process. Thank you Notion for making this easy. 😉
When it comes time to create the weekly newsletter or blog post in my content calendar database, I can link to any notes I want to use and create them from there.
Last week I published my first blog post, made almost entirely from the building blocks of evergreen notes, and it was wild how quickly it came together. 🤯
And I “bump into” social and email in my content remixing workflow so they come BEFORE long blog posts.
This email you see is an example of that.
In the past, the bigger the subject of this email, I would have written an extensive guide on knowledge management for content marketers before I sent you this email.
Before you tweet or post an Instagram post about it.
I would take the big thing and then disassemble it.
Well this was never the only way I recommended.
In fact, I’ve recommended the opposite approach to others: start with email and social media as building blocks, and later merge them into longer, larger pieces.
But I was in a groove and I wasn’t unhappy enough to really try to change it. Until now.
However, earlier in the year I was dissatisfied enough to change.
My Atomic Content Experiment
I’m writing more shorter blog posts and emails, turning more Twitter threads into things I can’t link to in the end (yet 🙃).
And this week I started a course / accountability program to publish 30 “atom” or “micro-essays” in 30 days.
I see it as a way to build long form building blocks.
It’s too early to be specific about the results of the course, but it feels like the final step in a series of several that all pay off.
Writing feels easier again.
Giving more energy than draining again.
I missed it.
And it came back because I broke all of my contents down into its atomic pieces and started there.
I can’t wait to share more results with you!
Plan your perfect conversion strategy
Download my free content reuse planning worksheet to find out how to reuse and recycle your content in the most strategic and sensible way.
Start remixing your content now