A simple guide to creating more consistent content and working on multiple projects.
When I was a novice content creator, I didn’t know what to expect from my work. I didn’t know what I should have continued doing and what to give up. And even if my days were full of ideas and aspirations, they always died out as fast as they came to me. I didn’t know how to nourish them, so I lost many opportunities, and that’s a shame.
If you are a novice content creator or feel like you are often wasting your time on ideas that are not worth deepening, this article is for you. Instead of leaving all that talent to get ruined, make a roadmap for your projects. So you can focus on one at a time, refill your motivation more efficiently, and give your audience more structure.
Why should you make a content roadmap?
If you are a content creator or want to become one, you need to make a content roadmap sooner or later. Perhaps it is not the first thing that comes to mind when starting a new career, and you are still unsure about your future. But once you have produced content for a while and want to get serious about content creation, a content roadmap becomes necessary.
There are many reasons why this type of plan can help you. But there are some cases in which it is more helpful than other similar techniques. For example:
- If you have too many ideas and try to work on too many projects, a content roadmap can help you focus on one thing at a time. You can build a backup of projects for the future and work on them as soon as your current one is ending, or you automatized it enough.
- If you are unorganized and can’t remain consistent, it helps you split your activities into a sequence of progressive steps.
- If you lack planning and scheduling skills, it can help you organize better and experience the pressure of incoming deadlines.
- If you procrastinate on beginning new projects, it can help you set a definitive starting date.
Content roadmap: progressive and divisive approaches.
When I wrote my first content roadmap, I didn’t have any clues on what to do. I took my journal and wrote my plans for each month. And for this reason, I could not reach every goal I set up because I lacked a system and surrendered to my greed.
Yet, on the following content roadmaps, I built more realistic plans using a combination of both progressive and divisive approaches.
Before starting a content roadmap, I always define my measuring unit. For example, for a medium-term map, it could be one week.
Then, I define the minimum amount of content I can produce for each unit and distribute it over the entire roadmap. The sum will be the minimum amount of work I need to deliver to achieve consistency.
Once I calculate how much to create to be consistent, I want to increase that number to expand my business. So I can make a few projections with increasing difficulty. I could decide to increase the work on a project or start working on another one. And then, I subdivide the work for each of these projections until I have three or four scenarios for my roadmap.
How to make your first content roadmap (in 4 simple steps).
Writing your first content map won’t be easy if you don’t follow a strict approach.
Many times, content creators are greedy for recognition. And they push themselves to produce too much content. But if you stretch your creativity, you risk creating poor products. So it is better to follow an approach that values consistency and quality over quantity.
If you have never built a content roadmap, here are 4 simple steps to make your first.
1 — Build a progressive approach.
When building a content roadmap, I always want to reach the bare minimum first. So I analyze how much content I can produce in a week, on average, and assume that I will achieve it each incoming week.
With writing, for example, I sometimes write one article a week, and some other times many more. But since I want to focus on consistency, I set up a minimum of one article per week. So each unit of my roadmap will have at least one task: writing a piece.
2 — List the achievements you want to reach.
Once I finish the progressive approach, I build a few projections of the milestones I would like to achieve. Also, I rank each milestone based on its difficulty and sort them from the simpler to the harder.
Projects I still haven’t started have the higher rank.
Starting a YouTube channel will not be easy, for example. I can’t know how much it takes to write and record a video or how much time it takes to edit, publish and promote it. So this type of milestone will be the hardest to achieve.
Projects I’ve been mastered have the lowest difficulty rank.
If I want to double up my articles by the end of the year, I know which part of the process takes me the most, and I can search for ways to solve that problem. So milestones of mastered skills are the easiest to achieve.
Every other project has a medium difficulty rank.
I am working on five projects on my current roadmap, for example.
- Writing new articles and optimizing old ones.
- Creating more free infographics for my audience.
- (PROJECTION 1) Collaborating with many other publications. (Low difficulty rank — it only involves researching publications)
- (PROJECTION 2) Building a weekly newsletter of at least 100 subscribers on Substack besides The Challenge, which is already running monthly. (Medium difficulty rank — it requires learning a new medium.)
- (PROJECTION 3) Open a YouTube Channel. (High difficulty rank — it requires producing another type of content.)
As you can see, two of these goals are part of my progressive approach. I will remain consistent by writing new articles and making more infographics each week.
The other three goals are projections I still need to master.
3 — Set preparation steps for each achievement.
Projections are the main points of my improvement. If I don’t make them, my business as a content creator is not growing, which is a terrible signal. But projections are often things I don’t know how to do. So I need to prepare for them.
Last year, for example, I wanted to improve my content output. My projection was writing at least double the articles a week. But I was clueless on how to do it.
The content I was producing was already drying up all my creativity. And I didn’t know how to reflow it and get new ideas more consistently. So I had to study it before increasing my content output.
Once you define your projections, study them. You need to find out how to achieve your goal. But most times, you don’t know how to do it. So you need to find out.
For example, one of the easiest projections for this year is to write with more publications. So I made a list, and for each of them, I am collecting data.
Before sending them my articles, I want to know their favorite topics and style. I need to know how I should approach their community, if they are formal or informal, and if they use specialized or generic language. Without those statistics, my chances of publishing with them will shrink. So I would fail my projection.
4 — Distribute milestones and tasks.
The distribution of milestones and tasks is the last and most satisfying job because I can finally give potential to my content roadmap.
On this step, I try to remember that success requires consistent work. So I focus on daily or weekly tasks. Milestones can be complicated, but the steps to achieve them must be precise and clear.
For my second projection, I want to build a newsletter of 100 subscribers. But to do that, I have to set up at least two different tasks:
- Write the newsletter each week.
- Promote each new episode.
Moreover, I will set up three growing milestones to boost my motivation.
- 25 Subscribers until the 6th month.
- 50 Subscribers until the 9th month.
- 100 Subscribers as the final goal.
The first one will be lower because it takes time to start, while the last will be the hardest. But I am hoping on a little bit of word-of-mouth to reach it.
If you have problems dealing with consistency or growing your content creation business, build a content roadmap for your projects (it only takes 4 steps). With a content map, you can continue working on what you have already established and make projections on future projects you want to build.
Projections can build on different levels, depending on their importance for your final goal. And even if you are unable to reach all of them, at least you started working on them, so it will always be a victory.
You can create a content roadmap in 4 simple steps. First, build the progressive approach by setting up the minimum goal you can already achieve with your current situation. Then, use the divisive one by setting up projections, preparation steps, and milestones. This way, you will boost your business reach and become more consistent with your projects.
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Cover photo by veerasak Piyawatanakul from Pexels.