I’ve been creating 3 videos and 3 blog posts each week... approx 150 videos, 150 blog posts per year since 2015.
(The vast majority of my blog posts are located in the “description” field of the hundreds of videos. I've only placed some of the best ones here on my website blog.)
A reader asked about my schedule for creating content. I’ll share it here in detail...
More importantly, I’ll share the principles behind my schedule so that you can create your own ideal rhythm of content.
It all starts with having a trusted system for logging ideas when they arise.
Content ideas don’t neatly show up only when I’m at the computer with free time.
Ideas can show up at all times… while I’m preparing breakfast, walking my dog, taking a shower, or when I’m working on another project.
When it arises, I quickly note the idea, using Todoist. I put it in a Project called “video ideas” — which is the start of my content creation, more on this later.
(The only time I can’t log ideas like this is in the shower, but then, I use Aquanotes and after the shower, I transfer the ideas into Todoist.)
The only times I purposefully don’t log ideas are when I’m in a meeting (I do it right afterwards), or when I’m sleeping. Sounds obvious, but a lot of people are afraid that if they don’t write down "brilliant" ideas that come up in the middle of the night, that they’ll lose it forever. The problem is that you will train your “muse” (or creative brain) to wake you up at night with ideas!
Instead, I’ve learned to disregard ideas that I might have in the middle of the night, focusing instead on gentle breathing and drifting back to sleep.
Since I practice writing down ideas during the waking hours, my muse / creative brain has gotten used to giving me ideas during waking hours! It takes practice but it’s totally worth it for a good night’s sleep.
Once a week, I’ll spend about 15–30 minutes of focused time planning the next week’s content.
Each week I’m committed to making 3 videos and writing 3 blog posts related to those videos. The topics are:
If you’re just starting out, and don’t know what topics your content should be, don’t worry about it. Focus first on getting into a rhythm of creating content authentically, then once it’s become a habit, you can figure out which topics you want to champion, to talk about regularly.
Which day of the week do I do my content planning? On a Tuesday or Wednesday. The actual day doesn’t matter, as long as it’s at least 1 day before I do my initial content creation, so that I have time to “sleep on it.”
Initial Content Creation
Every Friday afternoon (the day doesn’t matter, just pick a consistent day) I go to the dog park with my wife. While she walks the dog, I’m at a distance, recording my 3 videos for the coming week. If you watch my videos you’ll notice that for several videos in a row I’ll be in the same location, wearing the same clothes. Nobody seems to mind… thank you :)
The principle here is that I set a specific day and time each week so that there’s no question in my mind when I’m doing my videos.
Otherwise, if I just say I’ll do it “weekly” it’s easy for my inner resistance to spring up and allow me to procrastinate or become perfectionistic about having the optimal situation before I can do video.
I call it being strict about showing up, lenient about the results.
Another key principle: there’s a deadline to my content creation. I’m at the dog park with my wife. She can’t hang out there forever. We give me about 45 minutes to record the 3 videos, approx. 15 minutes each so that I can do 2–3 takes per video if needed.
Otherwise, if I’m just recording it at home, in my spare time, I can easily spiral into perfectionism and spend more than an hour doing multiple re-takes of a 5 minute video.
A wise mentor once said to me, “Deadlines focus the mind.” I’ve found this to be essential for my ability to produce a lot of content.
If you don’t love setting deadlines for yourself, and yet, you want to produce more work, I recommend repairing your relationship to deadlines.
Should you do videos before blog posts? The reason I do videos before my blog posts is because I’m used to it. I started doing it this back in 2015 when I still very much disliked writing and felt it easier for me to speak out my ideas on video. Once I made the video, I felt able to write down what I basically said.
You might find yourself the opposite: maybe you think better in writing first, then do video later.
You don’t even have to do both types of content.
The key is to get started. Pick a medium that you enjoy, whether you write, do video, podcasts, or any combination of these.
Get started into a rhythm that becomes a habit.
Morning of the next day (Saturday) -- I move the videos from my phone to my computer, then upload it to Youtube as private videos (since I’m not ready to publish them yet.) This only takes 3 minutes to get started, then I let the videos upload in the background as I do other things.
Sometime that afternoon or evening (once Youtube has finished processing the videos) I’ll use Youtube’s enhancement features to Stabilize my video and adjust the lighting.
I keep it simple and make the same adjustments to every video. My style is that I like to click the Stabilize button, and then I add fill light +1 and reduce contrast (shadows) -1. You might want a different look to your videos — totally up to your style/brand. These adjustments are very easy to make, and take me less than 1 minute per video because I do the same thing to each video.
Sometime the next day (Sunday), after Youtube has finished processing the enhancements, I download those 3 videos from Youtube, and upload them to my Facebook Business Page as draft posts. This way, the FB videos will have the benefit of Youtube’s enhancements.
The writing of my blog posts happen on the mornings of each Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
One principle here is “sleeping on it” — I’ve had the benefit of letting my subconscious mind consider the ideas I spoke about in my videos from last Friday, before writing about them the following Monday, Weds, Fri.
For my writing, I do it from 7am-9am.
The principle of “deadlines focus the mind” applies here again: I usually have a client appointment at 9am, so I need to publish my blog post by then.
Another principle is Frequent Creative Rest.
Between 7–9am I’m writing in small chunks of time, making myself take several breaks. When I move my body, I move my brain. I always come back from my breaks with a slightly refreshed perspective on what I’m writing.
To remind myself to take those breaks, I use 1-click timer. If you don’t use Chrome, try Timer-Tab.
Here’s my exact writing schedule:
7–7:15 — Do the initial writing. I'm mindful not to judge myself. I simply take down my ideas as quickly as possible, no matter how bad the writing is, knowing this isn’t the final product.
7:15–7:20 — I step outside for some deep breathing.
7:20–7:35 — I continue writing at a fast pace.
7:35–7:45 — I make breakfast.
7:45–8:15 — As I eat breakfast, I finish my blog post draft.
8:15–8:35 — I go and take a quick nap. I don’t need to fall asleep, just laying down for about 15 minutes and gently breathing and relaxing is helpful.
8:35–8:45 — Edit the blog post.
8:45–9am — Publish:
Publishing, not Perfecting
By the time I publish my videos or blog posts, am I always happy with them? Not always.
I’ve practiced becoming neutral, non-judgmental about my content.
I’ve experienced this so many times — I’m happy with a video/blog post and I believe it’ll make a big difference for people... and yet, it does nothing for people.
In contrast, I’ve also had many blog posts/videos that I thought were just OK, that people really loved!
I’ve come to believe that when it comes to Content, Quality comes from Quantity.
The key is to design a rhythm or schedule that works for you, that can become a habit, so that you produce enough content to really grow your skills, and to see what the world wants most from you.
Now that I've described my own content rhythm, it’ll inspire you to create yours.
As always, I’m open to your comments and questions. You can comment on the Medium version of this post, or below the Facebook video.
My schedule isn’t “the ideal” schedule for everyone. If you have a content rhythm that has been working for you, I welcome you to comment and inspire others with another possibility.
OK, it’s 8:15 now. Time for my nap :)
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for Counselors, Coaches, Speakers, and Authors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
For George's most recent writings, visit his Medium.com profile.
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