At least once per week I’m asked the same question by someone on Twitter:
“Just how the hell do you publish so much content?”
With this newsletter, my weekly podcast (B2B Better – check it out), daily tweets and – slowly but surely – regular posts on LinkedIn, I can see why someone would be curious.
My usual response is “working a lot of evenings and weekends” because I do have a full-time job running marketing for a global enterprise tech company.
Oh, and parenting a little hell-raiser who’s two going on twenty.
But thinking on this question over the weekend, I realised my answer isn’t all that helpful.
After all, the question is usually being asked by someone running marketing solo for a B2B company who is balancing content on top of a bunch of other responsibilities.
So, I thought I’d lift the lid on the workflow I use to pump out so much (hopefully high-quality) content across my personal channels.
Over the next few paragraphs I’ll be sharing an overview of my process, toolset (+costs) and other tips I hope helps the one-person marketing team get more out, quicker.
Here we go!
First an audit of everything/everywhere I’m currently creating and publishing on a regular basis:
- B2B Bite – a weekly newsletter where I break down the most effective strategies for early-stage B2B marketing teams into actionable tips you can start using today.
- B2B Better – a weekly podcast where my guests and I break down their strategies on doing better than boring marketing into actionable tips.
- Twitter – daily musings on how growing marketing teams can grow revenue, increase market share and stand out from the competition. Also the best pizza toppings.
- LinkedIn – right now an additional distribution channel for all of the above though this is something I want to change and tackle LinkedIn with a specific strategy.
This is by no means a science and there are still a bunch of kinks to iron out but it has come a long way since day one. Here’s my process:
- I manage my content calendar in ClickUp. I’ve tried a lot of tools – Notion, Trello, CoSchedule – and this one just works best for me.
- In ClickUp I have a ‘Content Calendar’ and ‘Content Ideas’ board – the former for managing what’s going out, the latter for capturing new pieces as I think of them.
- My ideas come from all over the place – Twitter, Slack, conversations with colleagues, blogs, podcasts. They’ll stay in the ideas board until I’m ready to develop them.
- I tag all my ideas based on their content type to help with search + filtering – e.g. ‘newsletter’, ‘podcast’ or ‘social’.
- At the start of each month I’ll sit down and move any ideas I’m ready to develop into my content board. I try and stay at least four weeks ahead.
- Each content piece has it’s own card (see screenshot) below which includes the copy/recording, various subtasks (e.g. promote on Twitter) and due date.
- What I love about ClickUp (and no, they aren’t sponsoring this newsletter!) is that if I move a card to another date, all the various subtasks move accordingly.
- Both the newsletter and podcast have pre-made templates in ClickUp, so when I create a new card it automatically attaches the same subtasks as needed.
- For my podcast, I also have a template that is sent to guests in advance that includes recording info, Zoom link and any questions I plan to ask.
- Both my newsletter and podcast are always at least two editions ahead – that is if I did nothing for the next fortnight, four pieces of content would still be published.
- Each week I always create at least one newsletter and record/edit one podcast. I’ll squeeze in more if I have the time but I have to do one.
- I write and edit my newsletter directly in ClickUp using their ‘Documents’ feature. I have a template set up in the tool that includes all the usual headers I use for ease.
- I record my podcast using Zoom. I’ve experimented with other platforms – Riverside.fm, Zencastr, Audacity – but I’ve never been let down by Zoom’s reliability.
- I edit my podcast using Descript. This is a new addition to my stack – I like how it transcribes the audio and allows me to edit the episode like a document.
- When I’ve finished writing a newsletter, it’s a simple copy/paste job into Substack. Any images required are made in Canva using templates I’ve already set up.
- When my podcast is ready, I export the audio and throw it into Buzzsprout that lists it in all the relevant directories (e.g. Spotify, Apple, TuneIn)
- I’ll also take the description of the episode, tweak it, and copy/paste into Substack along with the audio as an additional newsletter.
- B2B Bite goes out every Monday before 9am. New episodes of B2B Better are published on a Thursday before 9am – both in the directories and to my database.
- Each piece of content gets at least two pushes on social in the week following it’s publication on both Twitter and LinkedIn.
- This is managed by Zapier. I have an automation set up that detects when something is sent via my Substack that sends two template posts over to be scheduled in Buffer.
- The idea is that I get a second to add some flavour to those posts before they go out. BUT they’re written in a way that it doesn’t look weird if they’re published as it.
- I also try and write a Twitter thread (that can be repurposed as a LinkedIn posts) of either my podcast or newsletter once a week.
- Any and all posts from you lovely readers sharing my work across your own channels gets a retweet/Fleet/share (thank-you).
- I’ll also share either the podcast or the newsletter once a week in one of the Slack groups I’m a part of – FINITE, ContentUK, #CMWorld, etc.
- Across the week I’m looking for conversations on Twitter/LinkedIn/Slack where it makes sense to drop a link to my content but I do this sparingly, not spamming-ly.
- I also have an automation set up that will automatically Buffer any tweets of mine that I favourite to avoid me copy/pasting each time.
Here’s what I’m currently spending on all the tools in my stack. All of my subscriptions are monthly payments rather than annual – silly, I know. But subconsciously I think I’m waiting to have proven to myself I can commit to content creation for a year before taking the leap.
- Zoom – £14.39
- Descript – £11.16
- Buzzsprout – £11.91
- Canva – £10.99
- Zapier – £21.94
For a grand total of £70.39 per month.
I started my podcast in August 2020 and the newsletter followed a few months later in November. Since then:
- B2B Bite has grown to 1,023+ subscribers with an average open rate of 35%
- B2B Better has been listened to 4,000+ times averaging about 500+ per month
- Twitter has grown by 3,300+ followers with around 750k impressions p/m
Things to Improve
As I’ve mentioned, things are by no means perfect. Here are some areas I want to focus on over the next twelve months:
- Distribution. I spend a lot of time creating content – I need to get better sending it out. Some ideas I’ve been noodling include personal DMs to folks that may find specific issues of the newsletter interesting, better use of automation and, of course, a bigger push on LinkedIn with some native content.
- Automation. While I can see the benefits of trying to remove some of the manual processes in my workflow, I can’t afford to let this come at the expense of quality of publishing original content on social. I have to carefully manage where it makes sense to include new Zaps.
- Website. I’m a big believer in owning your audience and minimising reliance on third-party platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn to reach them. With this in mind, I feel that I’ve outgrown Substack and need to migrate onto an ‘official’ website + CMS. I think this will open up more opportunities around personalisation to boot.
If I’ve taken away one lesson from the last year, it’s been to not overthink the process. I’m prone to analyse every decision, to try and optimise before I’ve even started. And that’s something that can hold you back from doing what’s most important – creating.
Take this article as it’s intended, a starting point. And given the choice, it’s always better to start with the work and let the process follow than vice-versa.