Monday 6th April 2020
There’s a number of reasons I enjoy producing The Climb. It’s a lot of work and can sometimes turn into a chore, but not only does it document my entire journey but its content for social media.
Now, I get for a lot of people, trying to raise my social media profile seems a bit premature, but in reality, now’s the perfect time. When relatively few people are following, it gives me time to play, to try new things out. Hopefully, if things ever get to a stage where I have cause to need a social profile, I’ll have a strong idea of what works.
Trying to produce content during lockdown presented its own challenges, especially since I’d not been able to relaunch The Climb when things weren’t so constrained. But I figured that if I could get this to work now, then it’ll be a strong foundation going forward when we all start venturing outside our houses again.
So how have I approached this challenge?
I took a leaf out of my task management processes where I’ve started doing something called batching. This is a little productivity hack whereby you schedule similar tasks together. It doesn’t just save you time from having to switch between tools and resources, but means you save time by not having to make the mental switch from one topic to another.
How I applied this to my content has been to give every day a theme. Some themes are pretty obvious: my writing and swordfighting are two of the main ones. I also thought back to the type of content I did on old editions of The Climb that performed well.
Because of how I organise my tasks in various groups to enable batching, that gave me a couple more themes.
I tried to assign days based on my own schedule. For example, on Mondays I’m doing a lot of task management admin, so blog posts on productivity and process make sense to go on those days.
I also thought about alliteration. #FitnessFriday has a ring to it which will be helpful for tagging. Warcraft weekly resets are already on Wednesday so whilst I intend for Wednesdays to cover gaming in general, #WarcraftWednesday made sense.
The themes are meant as a guide rather than anything restrictive, and there are plenty of blog post topics that match one or more of the themes. But these are intended for my benefit to aid blog creation and reader retention rather than something for visitors to the blog… although I suspect that regulars will get used to the cadence and start to expect certain types of content onc ertain days.
The end result is a lot of varied content. It means in these lockdown days where not a huge amount of activity is happening, I just have to do an update once a week on an aspect of what I’m doing. Spread that across seven different themes and I have a week’s worth of content.
I’m only a week in and it’s going to take a few weeks or months before I can judge how well it’s worked, but if nothing else it should make it clearer to me what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, I have a better idea of what I’m going to write each day, which in turn makes it quicker to produce blog entries.
I’m also already finding its holding me accountable to myself. If I’ve push back one of my various tasks, I run the risk of not having any content the next time it’s corresponding theme rolls around. Hopefully my themes are broad enough that it’ll be an aid rather than something that will eventually feel constrictive.
I suspect as time goes on I’ll change days, either swapping them around based on my schedule or swapping out themes that don’t seem to be working as well. But for now, I like that I have a structure and can experiment with a wider range of content within that structure.
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