February 26, 2021
My current approach to content creating and note taking with community in mind
A peek at how I use Notion to never run out of things to share.
One of the biggest challenges with community building is the non-stop flow of content. It just never stops. It is really something that you need to be able to get comfortable with.
Communicating can come in many forms:
- support requests
- forum & discussions
- social media
- blog posts
- events, meetups, and conferences
- even in real life conversations 🤞
As with all things, my processes of doing this have changed over the years. Tools and trends come and ago. I've tried setting up methods and systems. Most of them last for a while before they become an unhelpful mess. I’ve been through so many tools over the years. 🙈
These days I do most content planning with Notion. It has taken me a bit of getting use to and a fair bit of experimenting to find what works, but I think I'm now settled on a fairly simple workflow that works for me.
The content I currently create
For context, this is in relation to my work at Indie Hackers and the type of things I generally create on a day to day basis.
Currently, I'm responsible for creating:
For most of these content areas, I dump in ideas as I come across them.
Generally, my new ideas might come from the community. When I say community in this context I don't just mean the website, I refer more to the ecosystem:
- forum posts on Indie Hackers: with a focus on most popular posts or ones from specific groups
- Podcasts: mostly I only. have time for the Indie Hackers one, but I try to listen to others.
- Blogs and websites: an RSS feed that I've been curating, I have one for tech, for indie hackers, for indie women and actively keep adding to these. Anytime I come across a blog for an indie hacker I add it in.
- Twitter: keeping a general eye on it and keeping also keeping an eye on what our TweetMaster Flex bot spits out ( ← it's quite handy!)
- frequenting other aligned communities to see if they are talking about anything that I think would be of interest to the community
My Notion Setup
Based on the above activity, unless it is something I feel needs to be written about straight away, I will log it into my singular project page area. It's a one Notion page per area and I can get to it with just a click. Too many clicks to hunt down where it is for me and I lose the will to live.
Every click matters!
An inline table for repeatable posts
There are some posts that are repeated. Once a quarter, once a month, once a week, etc. These are forever evolving. They are not always re-used but are more there as a reminder of what we can post and schedule in.
This post is for repeatable Twitter posts. There’s a similar one for forum posts.
An inline table for posts
For posts that aren’t repeatable I create an inline table. This is so that it appears on the same page (less clicking around! 👍🏼) as the table above.
In this instance, this is the ‘end product’, a Tweet.
And this is the process behind it…
I created a list of types of posts we can create too. These are still rough around the edges to be honest and serve more as a reminder of the types of posts we can make.
I think this should be forever evolving, as trends and we change, we will keep adapting what types of posts we make.
I also have a list of people I have in mind when writing. This is mostly to help me think about a ‘persona’ to help me improve what is being written. In time I will probably go back and see who I’m creating content for the most, or not enough.
There are 3 states a post can be in. I do my best to double check, edit and review posts over a few days. It’s not always possible, but I’m a trier!
When something is ‘ready’ then it gets scheduled into Twitter. I have a helper who schedules them in for me. 😇
And here is how a table looks.
And that’s mostly it! 🎉
The above is for Twitter, but the same applies to other content areas I create for.
A process for clarity and connecting
For me this process is important because it ensures I never run out of ideas. It is baked in the back of my mind to ‘always be collecting ideas’. And because of this, whenever I see something interesting I put it somewhere so I can address it when I have the headspace to do so.
The other aspect is that all the content I gather is either of interest to the community or created by them (and not necessarily on our platform). It ensures I stay on top of ‘the trends’, I stay relevant and most importantly I am better equipped to help my people.
The more I think about it, the more I see that communities can quickly die out when they become irrelevant. Not keeping on top of what people are interested in and talking about inside or outside of your community could be a death sentence.
I know that sounds harsh, and sorry to end this post on that depressing note! 😬