How to Stockpile Content for a Rainy Day

When I was a little girl, I had a frog wallet and a piggy bank. The wallet was shiny green and made from some sort of vinyl material. Coins went in the frog’s “mouth” — a pouch accessed by opening the U-shaped metal clasp. There was another space for folded paper money in the frog’s belly.

The piggy bank was white plastic molded into the shape of a pig sitting up like a person. The pig was wearing a blue jacket and a red bow tie, and the money went into a slot cut into the top of his blue cap. That slot was the only opening the piggy bank had.

My parents taught me that the frog money was money I could spend now. Piggy bank money, on the other hand, I was saving for a rainy day. That’s why there was no easy way to get money out of the pig.

Money isn’t the only thing we saved for a rainy day. Our freezer was always stocked with meat, and my mom kept a large pantry cabinet filled with canned vegetables, soups, and other non-perishable food items like beans, rice, and pasta. She didn’t want us to ever have to go hungry.

Whenever we had “extra,” we put money and food aside for a time when we would need it later.

I do the same thing with content now that I’m a professional copywriter. Let me explain …

Putting Extra Self-Marketing Content Aside for Later

One of my first retainer writing gigs was creating daily Facebook posts for a local appliance store. I learned early on that it was easier to write many posts all at once and then save them to be published as needed.

The same thing applies to regular email and article projects. When I’m already in the flow of writing for a specific client, it’s more productive to stay in the flow and write multiple pieces all at the same time.

This is also true for self-marketing content. So, when I have “extra” writing time during slow client months, I stay in the flow of my own marketing and write extra blog post articles and emails. I save these extras for the busy client months, so my marketing can remain consistent even when I’m focused on client work.

You can, too.

Developing an Organized Content Pantry

My mom’s pantry wasn’t always perfectly organized. Sometimes she forgot we already had six cans of corn, so she bought more when they were on sale. And then we’d have to eat a lot of corn.

It wasn’t long before we became tired of corn. The same is true for your audience. They’ll grow tired of reading the same kind of marketing content over and over.

When you’re stockpiling your extra self-marketing content, you need to have a system in place, so you know what you already have. This accomplishes two things. You can be sure to write a variety, AND you can use what you have in a timely manner.

For example, I promote myself with content about email marketing and social media marketing, among other topics. So, my pantry needs a balance of content covering both topics stockpiled for future use.

I have folders for future emails, blog articles, social media posts, and videos. The content also gets organized by category. Once the content’s been published, or uploaded and scheduled to be published, the files get moved into archive folders.

My filing system looks like this:

Email Marketing
Social Media Posts
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Posts

Email Marketing
Social Media Posts
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Posts

When I have the extra time to write self-marketing content, this system makes it easy to look at my files and see at a glance what I’ve got and what I need to write more of.

Stockpiling the Right Kind of Self-Marketing Content

Since you’re writing this self-marketing content when you have extra time and saving it for the rainy day when you’re busy with client work, you need to make sure it has a shelf-life and actually can be saved to use later.

My mom didn’t stockpile food like bread or fresh fruit, because these items go bad after a short period of time.

The same is true of your content. If what you’re writing is time-sensitive (perishable), you have to be sure to use it before it loses relevance. That’s why I suggest stockpiling evergreen (non-perishable) content you can use whenever you need it.

For example, an article about Facebook updating the algorithm or changing an ad feature would quickly become outdated. On the other hand, an article about engaging emotion on social media is always relevant.

Your Rainy Day Fund

I keep my rainy day money in a bank account these days. I’ve used it to get my car repaired, replace worn out appliances in my home, and to pay insurance deductibles when someone in my family gets sick or hurt. Having it is a blessing when an unexpected expense comes along.

I’ve found my stockpile of self-marketing content to be the same kind of blessing. With it, I can be consistent in my marketing, even when I’m busy with client work. And this consistency helps minimize those slow client times.

So, if I have 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday blocked out on my calendar as writing time, and I don’t have a client project I’m working on, I use that time to write something for myself and add it to my rainy day fund in my Promotional/Future folder.

I hope you’ll get into the habit of saving content for a rainy day, too … so you’re always prepared to market yourself, to keep your project pipeline full, and to enjoy the writer’s life with more security and less stress.

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Published: December 18, 2019

2 Responses to “How to Stockpile Content for a Rainy Day”

  1. This is a great, very well-written article Michele. The personal stories you used were really warm and engaging, painting a vivid mental picture and setting up your readers to envision the concepts in the following paragraphs. I especially liked the information about your content filing system, which I’m going to implement immediately! The section about stockpiling the right kind of content is particularly valuable, as well. Thank you for contributing this awesome article to the AWAI library!

    June Frost

  2. I think is a great idea to keep content arranged and organized always in a simmilar manner but always keeping in mind the needs of the final reader. I also use season awareness. And I make a post mortem analysis (like in a project management situation) of which content was better received and why.
    Also I do a bit of situational analysis and then pivot from that point rescuing the more underlying needs of the final readers ("the jobs to be done" they are looking for to speed up (faster) , do more predictably (avoid variations) or do efficiently (avoid waste ). Is important for the system used takes in account all the above.

    Viviana Puebla

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