In this Deep Dive, we wanted to pull back the curtain and share our exact content strategy for growing our email list to 100k.
- Monday - Sunday, 3-5 Tweets/LI posts per day
- Timing cadence (when we plan on posting each day and why)
- Tools we are using to research, create, and schedule content
- And more…
Most of the time, creators share this sort of stuff AFTER they’ve achieved their desired goal, but we don’t want to wait that long. Instead, we want to show you how we think about creating systems for achieving the goals we set for ourselves—and also pull back the curtain so you can see that we have to go through the process just like everyone else. There’s nothing “magical” about growing an email list, building an audience, or creating viral content. In fact, it usually just comes down to creating a repeatable system.
So, that’s what we want to show you.
How we created a repeatable system for our content:
Start to finish, this took us roughly 3 hours to do.
- We blocked an afternoon on Sunday.
- We sat side-by-side so we could see each other’s screens.
- We made a list of all the things we wanted to “plug” (what are the assets we want readers to know about?).
- And we got clarity over the 1 place we wanted to drive attention: our Digital Writing Compass newsletter.
By the end, not only were we amazed we hadn’t done this sooner (we make mistakes just like everyone else!), but we also realized we’d created an incredibly valuable blueprint for anyone else who wanted to use social content specifically to grow their email list and generate organic leads for their digital products.
But instead of charging ($$$) for it, we wanted to give it to you here—for free.
Step 1: Create a calendar view for the week in Notion.
We use Notion for almost everything—but feel free to use whichever platform works best for you (can do this in Asana, Trello, even a Google Excel doc if you want).
The idea here is to create a visual of The Week: Monday through Sunday.
Here’s the screenshot of our final Content Cadence, but keep reading so you can see how we actually assembled all these pieces.
Step 2: Morning/Evening “2 Tweets Per Day”
All social algorithms benefit from volume.
If you want to grow, you need to maintain a steady stream of content from your account (and it needs to be good—or “good enough”). These are not threads. These are short, individual posts—still valuable, but primarily to keep you top-of-mind for readers so that when you drop a thread, they’re ready.
Here’s the cadence:
- 8:30am (your timezone)
- 8:30pm (your timezone)
One of the most-asked questions we get asked is, “What time should I post each day?” The honest answer is: we have no idea. And even if we did, that “best time” probably changes on a monthly basis depending on a slew of variables: changes to the algorithm, popular users dominating within a certain geography, etc. So, instead of thinking, “What’s the best time to post?” we want you to instead think, “What are all the things I want to draw attention to—and where do I have open slots in my schedule?”)
Because that’s really the game you’re playing:
You have a schedule (Monday through Sunday) and now you are plugging content INSIDE that schedule to accomplish a set of goals.
We’ll explain more in a moment.
Step 3: Make a list of assets you want to “plug.”
Digital businesses seem complicated, but they’re actually very simple:
- [Attraction] Create free, valuable content on 1-2 social platforms.
- [Retention] Drive a % of that attention to an email list (where you deepen the relationship you have with readers—and continue to prove you’re the right person to learn from).
- [Monetization] Some % of those engaged readers will then go on to buy products from you.
That’s the whole business, in a nutshell.
Which means, part of your [Attraction] Content Strategy is educating people on all the things they can do/use to [Retention] deepen their relationship with you.
Here’s our list:
- Typeshare: We want more Digital Writers using templates on Typeshare.
- Newsletter: We want more Digital Writers learning our frameworks, mental models, and distribution/monetization strategies through our newsletter, The Digital Writing Compass.
- Ship 30 for 30: We want more Digital Writers to learn about Ship 30, and we want them to see the success stories of alumni who have gone through the program.
- Podcast: We take the time to interview other prolific creators in our community live sessions, and so we want more Digital Writers to not only learn from those creators but also see how valuable our live sessions & community are.
The big idea here is that if we are going to spend the time to create so much content on Twitter & LinkedIn, then we want to make sure it’s actively building our business at the same time. (A lot of people—ourselves included—assumes this “just happens,” but it wasn’t until we sat down and really went through this process that we realized how we’ve basically spent a year and a half barely plugging our own stuff. Through a business lens, that’s a problem.)
Step 4: Inside your calendar, 1 Asset Per Day
Now, inside your calendar view, you want to spread the assets you want to plug across the week.
And you only want to plug 1 asset per day (not all your assets, every day).
The goal here isn’t to overwhelm readers and constantly promote yourself. The goal is to consistently get your assets mixed into your content strategy—and put it on autopilot so you don’t have to think about it.
*Note: “Plugged” content is rarely, if ever, going to outperform your value-based content. And that’s OK. Your “plugged” content probably isn’t going to have very impressive analytics on any given post. It’s the compounding that is the “lever” for your digital business: each post, each day, each week, each month, month after month.
Here’s our cadence so you can see how we “plug” different assets on different days:
- Monday: Dickie plugs newsletter in the morning
- Monday: Cole plugs newsletter in the evening
- Tuesday: Dickie recaps newsletter in the morning
- Tuesday: Cole plugs Typeshare in the evening
- Wednesday: Dickie plugs Ship 30 testimonial
- Thursday: Dickie plugs Typeshare
- Friday: Cole plugs Ship 30 testimonial in the morning
- Friday: Cole plugs podcast in the afternoon
- Saturday: Cole plugs Ship 30 testimonial in the morning
- Saturday: Cole plugs Typeshare in the evening
- Saturday: Dickie plugs podcast
- Sunday: Dickie plugs Typeshare in the morning
- Sunday: Cole plugs newsletter in the evening
Now, at first this might seem like “a lot” or “too much,” but if you think about how quickly social platforms move, it’s really not. An hour on Twitter is like 24 hours in the real world. So if you space content out every 3-6 hours, it’s very unlikely you are “annoying” readers. (Besides, as you probably know: it’s not like every single person who follows you sees every single thing you post. Content gets distributed to different followers at different times, and only gets distributed to more readers if it performs well. So volume is a good thing, not a bad thing.)
[Optional] Step: “Open Windows” for growth content
Both of us are focused on growing quickly on LinkedIn right now, so we also thought about how we could get a little more LinkedIn specific content into this cadence.
Especially because (if you look at our calendar view), you’ll notice we have an open window around 3pm almost every single day.
So, why not put that time to use?
The idea we came up with is LinkedIn specific—and you’ve probably seen it already.
A lot of creators on LI do this thing where they screenshot their Twitter content and share it as an image.
Our idea is: why not do this with our own content, but also content from other high-performing creators?
- Take viral content from 1 platform and post it on a different one
- If readers enjoy reading your content, they’ll likely enjoy reading content from other creators a few degrees of separation away from you (A Super of 1 is a Super of 9)
- Those creators will be thankful you are sharing their content
You can do this very easily by using the Chrome extension, Twemex. Just type in the name of a big-name creator and it’ll show you all their highest-performing content. Then, look for stand-alone Tweets that have performed well (since it’s a screenshot you don’t want threads, just solo tweets) and share those LinkedIn with a blurb of what you think about the content as well.
Looks like this (you sharing a different creator’s Twitter content on LinkedIn):
If you want to tag the creator, we recommend tagging them in the comments and not the main post (LinkedIn is weird and sometimes penalizes you for tagging people in the primary post). But it’s not necessary. You are “crediting” them because you’re screenshotting their name/face from the original post.
Step 5: Two long-form Threads/LI posts per week.
Now we have the bulk of our calendar filled in:
- 2x/day stand-alone valuable content (8:30am / 8:30pm)
- “Plug” 1 asset per day: Typeshare, newsletter, podcast, Ship 30
- 3pm “Open Window” LinkedIn content: sharing screenshots of high-performing content from other creators
All of this work is very foundational. This keeps your social account actively “playing the game,” tapping into the algorithm and allowing you to grow, and also creates a steady drip of new email subscribers and attention for your digital business. Table-stakes stuff. (And you can see how, if you don’t have any of this systematized, it’s a nightmare to keep organized in your head—and these very quickly become tasks you tell yourself, “Meh, I’ll do it tomorrow,” and then forget, and then fall out of rhythm, etc. etc. etc. Systematic growth here is the goal.)
Now it’s time for the home-run swings.
Threads & Long-Form LinkedIn Posts
This is where the bulk of your growth is going to come from—because this is the content that is REALLY worth people’s time. For context, we might spend 1-2 hours each week prepping all of the above content, and then we’ll spend an additional 1-2 hours PER THREAD. That shows you how all the work we’ve done up to this point in our Content Cadence is really just about creating templates and staying consistent, whereas Threads & long-form LinkedIn content are really about over-delivering for the reader.
Where you publish these Threads & long-form LI posts in your Content Schedule is up to you.
Basically: just look for open windows. Try to avoid posting 2 things within an hour of each other or less. Instead, look for gaps where you go 2-4+ hours without posting anything in your schedule. That’s when you should publish your long-form content.
And at the end of your thread, don’t forget to “plug” one of your assets (likely your newsletter/a free opt-in) at the end / in the comments on LinkedIn:
Step 6: Create templates for repeatable “plugs”
All of the above seems like a ton of work—until you realize that 80% of it can be templatized.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you plug one of your assets (like your newsletter). Instead, just create a template and use that over and over again (remember, not every follower is going to see it every time you post it, so it’s OK to reuse the same “plug”).
For example, here’s our template for plugging our newsletter (please don’t be lazy and just copy/paste what we do—use it as inspiration and create your own!):
- Newsletter plug can be a template
- Testimonials can be a template
- Podcast plug can be a template
Step 7: Reuse successful stand-alone content from 6+ months ago
This is one of the most underrated content strategy techniques:
GET MORE JUICE OUT OF YOUR OLD CONTENT!
All social platforms are heavily biased toward discoverability of NEW content, not necessarily OLD content. So, as part of your process, you want to reuse high-performing content from 6+ months ago. Because again: chances are a) not everyone who follows you saw it and b) you’ve gained new followers since then who would still benefit from reading.
You can find this content easily inside Typeshare.
- Open your Analytics
- Sort by All Time
- Sort by preferred metric (Views or Likes are good leading indicators)
Now, you don’t have to create “as much” net-new stand-alone content for your morning/evening slots.
You can just reuse old high-performing content!
Step 8: Batch posts (like sharing Creator screenshots on LinkedIn)
You can also work ahead by “batching” content together.
For example: sharing screenshots of high-performing content from other Twitter creators on LinkedIn is a super easy task to batch and schedule in advance.
- Use Twemex to find viral stand-alone Tweets from other creators your audience would probably like to consume
- Grab 25+ screenshots
- Schedule them out in advance
Batching like this is what allows you to curate 30, 60, even 90+ days of content in a few hours or less.
Step 9: Schedule all of this in advance inside Typeshare, Hypefury, etc.
Typeshare allows you to schedule content in advance and cross-post to Twitter and LinkedIn (and Medium!) all at once. (Hypefury does this too, if you’re already comfortable there.)
- You have your Content Calendar schedule outlined
- You have a list of the handful of assets you want to drive attention to (newsletter being top priority)
- You have templates for your “plugs”
- You have a library of stand-alone content you can reuse (pulled from your Typeshare analytics)
Now, with all of this on autopilot, that means you can focus exponentially more on:
- Writing insanely valuable threads
- Building your digital business
Which is exactly our goal.
We know what we want to build Ship 30 for 30 into, and what products we want to launch next, and that requires us to dedicate as much of our headspace as possible working in that direction. However, as a digital business, we don’t really have the luxury of “not caring” about Twitter or LinkedIn since those two platforms are what educate people on why they should become a Digital Writer, launch digital products, and take the Ship 30 for 30 challenge. So creating this Content Cadence was really a way for us to keep our social engines running (and growing), but also do so in a sustainable way that allows us to have more time to building products and our business.
We encourage you to do the same!
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