Content sprints: where grit, creativity, and caffeine collide to bring your ideas to life!
Have you ever heard the myths that content sprints can’t boost your online business presence, that producing content takes too long, or that it’s too expensive to invest in content? Don’t be fooled! I’m here to share the truth and show you how utilizing content sprints can be a powerful tool to help you build a successful online presence.
In this episode, you’ll learn how to:
- Accelerate your online business presence using content sprints.
- Establish a unified content approach with the help of a strategy and style guide.
- Excite your audience by weaving in hooks, metaphors, and decisive calls-to-action.
- Achieve the perfect balance between task distribution, relaxation, and preventing burnout.
- Utilize key metrics to evaluate content sprint triumphs and opportunities for improvement.
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Highlights in this episode:
- 00:02:32 – Why Use a Content Sprint
- 00:07:14 – Setting Up Your Content Sprint
- 00:09:19 – Sprint Length
- 00:10:47 – Content Creation Process
- 00:13:43 – Hooking Your Audience with Content
- 00:15:30 – Making the Most of Your Content Sprint
- 00:16:31 – Avoiding Burnout and Dealing with Unexpected Changes00:19:55 – Recap and Call to Action
Are you tired of your content falling flat? Feeling like you’re always one step behind your competitors who have a widespread web presence? It’s time to shake things up with a content sprint! Say goodbye to playing catch-up and hello to turbocharged content creation.
The big idea: These babies will have your back when it comes to tackling a tough content challenge, implementing a crucial part of your content strategy, or leveling up your skills, whether you have external support or not.
In this blog, we will discuss what a content sprint is and why it’s important for elevated online businesses. We’ll also dive into how to set up a content sprint, including deciding on the sprint length and making the most of your time. Additionally, we’ll address potential pain points and how to overcome them, such as avoiding burnout or dealing with unexpected changes. Lastly, we’ll discuss how to measure the success of your content sprint and recap the benefits of using this approach for your business. So let’s dive in and learn more about the power of content sprints!
What Is A Content Sprint?
A content sprint is a specific, concentrated period that involves creating and promoting high-quality content in a short amount of time. Content sprints can be useful for businesses looking to create momentum, establish their brand voice or rebrand themselves. Also, for microbusinesses and established online service businesses, content sprints are a great way to create content and build their evergreen content library.
It requires planning, collaboration, and teamwork to create a large amount of valuable content in a short time frame, so microbusinesses may want to hire outside help during the sprint. If done right, content sprints can be an effective way to achieve tangible results for your online business.
A content sprint is like a turbo boost for your online business. It’s all about going all-in with a laser focus on creating and delivering top-notch content. It’s an intensive period of supercharged content creation that’ll take your online presence to the next level–for whatever goal you’ve set.
Overall, a content sprint is an effective tool for boosting your content creation efforts and taking your online business to the next level.
Why use sprints?
By committing to content sprints as a core strategy, you:
- Elevate your online business to a level of sophistication. For service providers, content sprints are one of the most effective ways to produce evergreen-worthy content to help them establish their authority in their niche.
- Boost your productivity. Content sprints are useful for improving productivity, quality, and consistency in your content creation process. They can help you generate new ideas, explore different formats, and experiment with new strategies.
- Increase your SEO. By consistently producing fresh, valuable content, businesses can increase their website’s visibility and authority in search engines. This helps them attract more organic traffic and build a loyal audience over time.
- Stay competitive in an increasingly crowded service market. Content sprints also help businesses stay ahead of their competition by providing a steady stream of relevant, engaging content for their audience. By planning and executing a content sprint, businesses can save time and resources while still producing high-quality content that resonates with their target market.
So, let’s lace up those runners and get to designing our sprint, shall we?
Sophisticated, elevated online businesses are built on a solid content marketing plan built over time, and you can unlock new levels by committing to a content sprint.
4 Steps To Setting Up A Content Sprint
Content sprints can be a powerful tool for online businesses to elevate their content creation and meet their goals. Here’s your step-by-step guide to setting a sprint plan:
- The first step in setting up a content sprint is defining your objectives and goals–this might include creating new pillar content, increasing your social media presence, or building a user-friendly sales journey of content. These goals should be SMART goals and you should map them to your other business goals.
- Once you have defined your goals, creating a detailed plan and schedule for the sprint is important, including specific deadlines and responsibilities for each team member involved. If it’s a team, set a sprint planning meeting first, before creating new content!
- Regular progress monitoring is crucial throughout the sprint to ensure that you are on track to meeting your goals. This can be achieved through content measurement tools that enable you to track engagement levels with your content–and if you’ve done a previous sprint having that data on hand.
- Finally, it’s important to be flexible and adjust as necessary during the sprint. This may involve tweaking your approach or shifting priorities in order to meet emerging needs or challenges.
Deciding on sprint length
A content sprint is a focused period of time where a team creates a large amount of targeted content. Before starting a sprint process, deciding on the length that will work best for your team and project is important. Shorter sprints (1-2 weeks) may be best for smaller teams or projects, while longer sprints (4-6 weeks) may be better for larger teams or more complex projects.
Suggested timeline for a service provider (therapist, website designer, career coach, etc.) to flesh out cornerstone content:
- break three cornerstone topics into four sub-topics each
- plan out each subtopic to correspond with weekly long-form digital content like a blog post, podcast episode, or video
- break out two-three points from each week’s long-form content into social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) on your chosen platforms
Is that 12 weeks of content? Yes. But you can plan it all in two weeks and potentially batch it all in two weeks as well if you have the support of a content strategist.
Suggested run to create launch content for an online business owner who provides services and launches a program twice a year:
- what are the three phases your best client needs to move through before considering your program? those are your three topics
- create long-form content for each of those topics, with two-three emotional hurdles in each
- this creates six-nine weeks of content leading up to the launch period, with a piece of content dedicated to each major phase and topic
Making the most of your content sprint
Here’s the deal for a killer content sprint: first things first, get your planning hat on and create a content calendar that’s all about consistency and organization. No more content chaos, friends! Then, keep on iterating and improving that content strategy for the long haul. Long-term success is the goal–not going viral.
Every sprint will have distractions. If you find that there are topic areas not covered during the sprint, schedule them for a future sprint to ensure all bases are covered (and ensure you don’t get off track!). By following these steps, you can elevate your online business with high-quality, consistent content that engages and retains your audience, keeping that pipeline full.
Content sprints have a long-term success goal; your results will build over time.
Tips for batching content
Every sprint starts with the idea that you’ll be creating more content and copy in less time. Your normal business systems might not be enough here! Batching will help you stay organized and efficient. This involves setting aside a specific period of time to create as much content as possible, and breaking it down into smaller tasks. Another content batching benefit is that outsourcing work to freelancers can be more cost-effective when done in chunks.
To streamline your writing process during a content sprint, consider using a style guide or outlines that are tailored to your workflow. If you don’t have one yet, take 30 minutes to look at some of your long-form content and also some of your design elements for short-form content. What are the commonalities? Create some proprietary templates. This can help save time and ensure that all of your content has a consistent structure and tone.
For example, I nearly always follow the Hook, Line, and Sinker template when writing my podcast emails to my list. It gives me a flow that my readers come to expect and takes the blank-white-screen horror out of the mix.
Remember to take breaks and recharge during your content sprint to avoid burnout, as taking care of yourself is just as important as producing high-quality content. A content-creating session can be scheduled twice a day, for example, or you can use the Pomodoro technique.
Need a content strategy template?
Leveraging evergreen content
When it comes to making the most of your content sprint, leveraging evergreen content is key. If you already have great content on a topic, don’t recreate it. Use it. Optimize it as part of the sprint, but don’t create more work for yourself!
How can you optimize your content? Look first at any cornerstone content you’ve already created–especially if the focus of this sprint is related to the methodology you’ve covered before. This can include adding new information or insights to an existing piece, creating infographics or videos based on the original content, or breaking down a longer piece into a series of smaller articles. A content audit will suggest the same optimizations.
To identify potential evergreen topics for your content sprint, tools such as keyword research and analytics can be used to identify gaps in current content and guide the creation of new pieces. Most good keyword tools have an actual gap analysis function so you can see where you need to fill in more content to rank well.
Creating a content calendar
Creating a content calendar is crucial when it comes to making the most of your content sprint. A content calendar allows you to plan your content in advance, ensuring that you have a steady stream of high-quality content at regular intervals. This is where you truly see the benefit of the short run instead of taking months to deliver this level of quality. Additionally, a content calendar is a second level of integrity to keep you from falling down the rabbit hole of related topics.
It’s also important to ensure that your content is optimized for search engines (more important than ever in the age of AI) and social media platforms (YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). This means using appropriate keywords and hashtags and including engaging visuals and headlines.
When it comes to your content sprint, strategic planning and flawless execution are the keys to unlocking epic success for your online business.
Potential pain points and how to overcome them
Let’s talk hurdles to embracing a content sprint.
- Time management can be a challenge, but you can overcome it by breaking down tasks into manageable chunks and setting deadlines using project management tools.
- Maintaining quality is also important, and you can achieve this by setting clear guidelines for content creation and reviewing each piece before publishing.
- Generating ideas is another potential issue, but brainstorming topics with your team or audience and repurposing existing content can help.
- Finally, consistency is key, so develop a content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule.
With a little strategic mojo, your content sprints will work. Flexibility and preparedness are the names of the game when it comes to nailing those content sprints. Anticipate those pesky pain points ahead of time; have your strategies on standby.
While content sprints can be incredibly effective for increasing productivity and output in online businesses, burnout is real! Burnout will occur if you don’t manage your time and workload effectively.
I’ve had clients hit Week 6 of a 12-week content sprint and give me the face–the face that says I know this is good for me, but right now it feels hard. I get that!
To avoid burnout during content sprints, setting realistic goals and deadlines that allow for breaks and self-care is important. This could mean taking short breaks throughout the day, practicing mindfulness or meditation, or even taking a day off to recharge. It can also mean a 12-week sprint becomes a 15-week sprint with two or three scheduled weeks off where you re-run content.
Avoiding the dreaded burnout is all about teamwork and smart delegation. Don’t be afraid to join forces with others and pass the baton when you can (yes, finally got my sprinter’s relay nod in!).
This not only lightens the workload but also promotes a healthy work-life balance. The idea of a content sprint isn’t to create more work for you–it’s to give you the freedom in the future to rely on the content created in this sprint.
Dealing with unexpected changes
Another common challenge that can arise during a content sprint is unexpected changes, such as shifts in priorities or new information that needs to be incorporated into the content plan.
For example, while working with a career coach we had to pivot mid-sprint because the end of the year is commonly a time when career people have performance reviews and we didn’t have that topic covered in the original content plan. Change is okay.
To overcome this challenge, it’s important to stay flexible and adaptable. Anything typed can be deleted. Anything written, erased. And an eight-topic plan can easily become a seven-topic plan if something is no longer relevant or a ten-topic plan if we find we need more nuance on a subject.
Ultimately, by anticipating potential pain points and having strategies in place for overcoming them, businesses can maximize the benefits of content sprints for improved online performance.
With a little strategic mojo, flexibility, and adaptation along the way, your content sprints will work.
Measuring The Success Of Your Content Sprint
Measuring the success at the end of the sprint is crucial to understanding how effective your strategy is. To ensure your content sprint is a smashing success, set clear goals and metrics upfront, and use analytics tools to track your website traffic, engagement, conversion rates, and social media buzz like a pro. Get those numbers soaring and celebrate those wins; we want to use the confetti cannons you’ve had in your Amazon cart for months!
It’s equally essential to gather feedback from your audience through surveys or comments on the content. This feedback can give you insights into what worked and what didn’t work for your audience. You can use this data to refine future content sprints and improve your overall content strategy. By analyzing the data collected, you can determine whether your content sprint was successful and make necessary adjustments accordingly.
Metrics to track
To do this, it’s important to track relevant metrics, such as:
- website traffic
- engagement rates
- conversion rates
Analyzing data from these metrics can help you determine the effectiveness of your content marketing and identify areas where you may need to adjust your strategy in future sprints.
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Tracking metrics is good; it’s also worthless without analyzing the results. You set goals at the content sprint outset and now it’s time to see how those goals have been accomplished.
Recap of the benefits of content sprints
Fellow content connoisseurs, regularly embarking on content sprints can be a game-changer for your online business. If you’re looking for a way to elevate your online business, then it’s time to consider giving content sprints a try.
Increasing the thought leadership and authority you carry online is one of–if not the–best thing you can do for your online business. Keeping a steady pipeline of inquiries–whether you’re regularly only working with a handful of clients a time or need hundreds–depends on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a content sprint?
A content sprint is a focused period of time where a team creates a large amount of high-quality, valuable content quickly. The ultimate goal is improving a business’s online presence and engaging with its audience more effectively.
By using a content sprint, businesses can produce a significant amount of content quickly, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition, keep their audience engaged, and build authority and referrals.
How do you organize a content sprint?
To organize a content sprint, start by determining the goals and objectives of the sprint. Identify the team members who will be involved and set a specific timeline for the sprint, including deadlines for each task. Use project management tools to track progress and ensure accountability, whether you’re a team of you-yourself-and-I or several. By following these steps, you can successfully organize a productive and efficient content sprint that turbocharges your online presence and increases leads.
Are you ready to share the sophistication and evergreen + elevate your business? Let’s talk about co-creating your content sprint today–so you get the benefits we’ve talked about here with the support you need to cross the finish line.
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We offer complimentary one-on-one consults to help determine if a done-with-you or done-for-you approach is best for you and your business right now.
Content sprints can be a game-changer for businesses that want to create high-quality content. Whether you want a consistent flow or batch content, by setting aside dedicated time for content creation, you can streamline your process and produce more content in less time. But how do you set up a successful content sprint? And how do you measure its success? Read our comprehensive guide on content sprints to find out. We cover everything from setting up your sprint, making the most of your time, dealing with potential pain points, and measuring success.
Start creating better content and elevate your online business today!
- Set up a goal for your content sprint, such as creating new content for a specific content bucket, improving your social media presence, or building a user-friendly sales journey of content.
- Create a detailed plan and map it out, including a sprint planning meeting with your team if you have one.
- Monitor your progress regularly, using content measurement tools to track engagement levels and compare results with previous sprints.
- Be flexible and adjust your approach as necessary, tweaking your content sprint based on the data collected from content measurement tools.
- Employ specific batching time periods to stay productive and cost-effective during the content sprint.
- Consider using a style guide or tailored outlines to streamline your content creation process and overcome the blank white screen horror.
- Take breaks and recharge during your content sprint, using techniques like the Pomodoro technique to ensure you don’t burn out.
Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!