It’s tough producing content. I know – I do it for myself and my clients on a constant basis. But once it’s produced, you’ve got to get it in front of them.

I know several people who produce content in sort of a “just in time” way. They work on deadlines that either creep up on them, or come rushing at them like a freight train. I can be like that, too. Especially when a client needs the content posted immediately.

But I’ve found a better way. A lot of my content is now produced in advance. Some times it’s just a few days, sometimes it’s months in advance, but those are the extremes. I generally try to have whatever I’m working on – whether it’s writing, video, audio, or graphics – done far enough ahead of time that I can make tweaks if I have to. Between 2 and 4 weeks.

It’s actually one of the biggest challenges I have with some of my clients. There’s always something that gets in the way of them producing their content. Hey, as I said it happens to me, too.

I want to encourage you, like I do with my clients, to start working on longer production schedules. As long as you’re the one controlling the publication schedule, you can start pushing some of your content off a bit. Even if it’s just a few days, let yourself wait to “push the button.” Unless you’re creating something that’s either time-sensitive – like a movie review or comment on a news item – try to produce it earlier and let it rest.

The first thing to start you on the path is a list. Write out everything you know you’ll need to produce as far in advance as you can. If you own a retail store, you know when your biggest sale days are next year. Go ahead, list out the ads you’ll have to make for those dates. Making this list will also alleviate at least some of that “oncoming train” feeling!

Once you have the list, you should know the date on which the event needs to occur. If you’re placing a piece in someone else’s media, there is probably a submission date. For instance, if you need to write an article for your local daily paper that will appear on July 4th, the very latest you might need it there is June 27th – a week prior to publication. Some lead times are actually months in advance!

Now, start working on the piece that’s needed soonest. Maybe you need a blog post for next week. Sit down and write it! You might need a video clip for next month. Shoot it today! The more time in advance you can produce content, the better off you are as the submission date draws near. You have time to revise your piece, if needed. Polish it. Re-write, re-shoot, re-edit, re-work. But give yourself a “due date” that’s a lot earlier than the publication date.

Once you get that piece done, start on the next.

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