We've all experienced 'content burnout' at some point haven't we? It's a bit like writers' block, but worse! That feeling of running an endless treadmill - constantly working but never getting the job done. As soon as one post is published, there's another one hanging over you...
Then you miss a week... that turns into two and suddenly it all feels a bit too much... so you start churning stuff out for the sake of it. But your heart's not really in it.
You feel guilty because you know you should be creating more content, but you haven't. You know you should be creating better content but you just don't have the time...
Then comes the overwhelm because the more behind you get, the more your lack of content feels like a huge burden on your shoulders...
And of course, there's good old self-doubt. 'Ugh. I just can't do this, no matter how hard I try!'
Content burnout is no fun, that's for sure. SO how about you give it a miss from now on, eh?
1) Create a Content Schedule
Look, I know you KNOW this. I mean everyone knows it don't they? You're supposed to create some kind of content calendar - to actually plan it all out in advance.
But have you actually done that?
Because if you haven't that's a case of content burnout just waiting to happen.
It's funny really, when we're feeling under pressure and like we haven't got time to get everything done - do you know what generally gets dropped first?
And do you know what actually saves us most time in the long run?
I rather think you do... Good old planning.
Oh and before you say it - do you know how many people have told me 'planning doesn't work for me'?
Do you know how many of them I believed when they said it?
The way you approach your planning can vary - different methods work for different people. But the need to plan in order to achieve a successful and timely outcome?
That's universal, my friend.
Additional Reading: If you'd like some additional help with creating your content plan then go check out my post, How to Create an Editorial Calendar - the Easy Way
2) Choose a Monthly Theme
One of the biggest brain drains when it comes to content creation is actually thinking of topics in the first place! It can be easy to give up before you've even got started because you just can't think of anything to actually talk about.
Then make life easy for yourself (and for your audience while you're at it) and pick a theme for each month.
I mean trying to write down 52 content ideas is a whole lot harder than coming up with just 12 themes, right?
Then once you have your themes you can start to break them down into topics and suddenly your 52 content ideas becomes so much simpler to accomplish...
From your audience's perspective you're also providing consistency and a more congruent experience for them - so it's win, win!
3) Plan Out Each Post Before Starting
Ok, now we've cracked your content topics, let's get down to the nitty-gritty; your actual content creation. Remember what I said about planning?
Well that counts here too. Even if you already know exactly what you want to say - plan it all out first or you'll just come off as jumbled and directionless.
Oh, and talk about a time saver! It's so much more pleasant to get to work on a piece of content when your headings and sections are planned out for you already - and all you have to do is fill in the blanks.
Here's how to do it:
Additional Reading: For more inspiration when it comes to your content creation, check out these posts:
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4) Batch Create Your Content
This has been a game changer for me - and I know it will be for you too!
Set aside some specific time each month or quarter to plan and create ALL your content. How and when you do this will depend on your own preferences.
I currently set aside the last week of each month for content 'batching' and in that week, I plan out and write my posts, I create and schedule all my social media promotion for the posts AND I write and schedule the emails I send to my subscribers to tell them about each post.
My plan is to transition to quarterly batching soon so that my content creation causes even less disruption to my work schedule.
Not convinced why you should batch your content? Here are just a few advantages!
Go on - give it a try and let me know how you get on!
5) Use the Pomodoro Technique
No, despite the name, this has nothing to do with tomatoes...
The Pomodoro technique works fantastically well when it comes to upping your focus and productivity. It's so simple, but so effective!
You simply use a timer to break your working sessions into short periods - usually of 25-45 minutes, with a short break of 5-15 minutes after each one. Once you have completed 3-4 of these sessions, you take a longer break of around 30 minutes.
This helps to keep you fresh and focused during each of your mini-sessions.
I even use a Chrome App called Marinara to help with mine!
If you combine batching your content with using the Pomodoro technique, I know you'll see a huge difference in your levels of content burnout.
6) Choose the Right Frequency
There's one big cause of content burnout that we haven't covered yet.
You're just trying to do too much!
Too often, we confuse frequency with consistency when it comes to content creation and there's this sense that we have to churn out as much as we can as often as we can. The more the better and the longer the better!
The fact is, that isn't necessarily the case.
Frequency doesn't equal quality and length doesn't either.
Now if you can post frequent AND high quality content on a consistent basis then you're golden but if something has to give, then dial back on the frequency before you even consider cutting back the quality.
Moral of the story - choose a frequency that you can realistically stick to (without killing yourself or sacrificing quality) and then be consistent with it.
7) Find the Right Tools
Last but not least, cheat! I mean it's NOT cheating of course, but using tools that can help with your content and productivity makes life so much easier, that it can certainly feel like cheating.
Here are a few of my faves:
Rather like an online notebook (or rather, lots of online notebooks), Evernote is a great tool for brainstorming ideas and keeping a record of all the potential themes and topics that you'd like to cover.
If you're a visual worker, then Trello can be a fantastic tool for creating your Content Schedule and Calendar. It allows you to create boards and works in a similar way to an online whiteboard!
Personally, I LOVE a good spread sheet. I use Google Sheets to plan out everything from my 12 week goals and projects right down to my blog and social media content.
Already mentioned above, but deserving of a shout out here too. This fab little chrome extension times your Pomodoro sessions and reminds you when to take short breaks so you stay fresh and focused.
This one may seem a bit left field, but Headspace is a fab little meditation app and when I'm feeling a bout of content burnout coming on, then nothing works better than take 10 minutes to clear my mind and get re-focused.
If you've never meditated before, then give it a go and see what you think!
Additional Reading: For more on my fave productivity and time management tips, check out:
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