Today, content runs the world. From entertainment to news to marketing, getting your message out there has never been more important. Unfortunately, with everyone under the sun attempting to have their voices heard, it can be hard to break through the noise and make an impact. So what are the best ways to make sure your content doesn’t fall between the cracks?
In an age of endless content, the importance of consistency and quality cannot be understated. Staying on a strict schedule while still churning out engaging information is vital to the success of any content creation process, which means you may need to dedicate significant resources to stay relevant.
However, between busy schedules and inefficient processes, not every business can commit the time, money, and energy necessary to ensure that their content creation strategy is as effective as it needs to be. That’s where a refined, effective process can make a huge difference.
With the right strategy and the right tools, it doesn’t have to be a resource-draining chore. It can be a simple, step-by-step process that produces quality results on a consistent basis. All you need to know is how to pull it off, and we’ve laid out all the key steps to help you along the way.
Content Creation Process: How to Focus on Quality and Consistency via @CoSchedule
Before you get started on your content creation journey, set yourself (and your team) up for success by downloading this collection of content creation templates, designed to help you make the most of your process.
Because you’re attempting to develop a consistent content creation process, you can’t just jump right in and start producing. The goal is to get the whole team involved and informed on this new strategy, which means you need to keep track of every step along the way. This is where a checklist will do wonders.
When we say “keep track of every step along the way,” we mean every step. No step is too big or too small to include, particularly if you’re hoping to create a consistent content creation process. A few steps you could include are:
Add Calls to Action
Schedule in advance
Obviously, you’ll have to cater this checklist to your particular business, adding other steps that fit better and subtracting others that aren’t necessary for your particular needs. Still, this is a good place to start if you’re trying to get your content noticed in the business world.
Benefits of using a checklist
If you’re trying to make consistency a priority, a checklist is the most obvious and most necessary step in this process. It ensures that your team is always on the same page when it comes to content creation, and allows for a simple and effective template.
A checklist not only ensures consistency, but also cuts down on turnaround time for any given article. Writers will be blessed with the basic steps to get started and finish up, given them more time to write quality content. Plus, a checklist helps you significantly cut down on simple mistakes, saving you even more time when it comes to edits.
It may sound a bit technical, but the reality is that researching keywords is what sets apart the good content from the great content. It allows you to better understand who your audience is and what they want, giving you more insight into what your content should be saying.
The how can be a bit daunting when it comes to keyword research. The best strategy is to start basic and quickly refine your search to eventually end up with a tailored set of keywords that can drive your content to the next level.
Start by coming up with a few keywords that you think might fit your content. If it’s an article about, for example, creating online content, start by delving into searches for “content,” and branch out from there. This will not only give you an idea of what you want to do, but will also help to inform you of who your competitors are and what keywords they’re using.
Finally, there are a wide range of tools online that can help you make keyword research a priority without taking a hit to your budget. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and People Also Ask let you dig a bit deeper on the trends surrounding your keywords. All you’ll have to do is add URLs to the platforms and you’ll get an automated list of keywords, providing actionable data that can inform your content moving forward.
Benefits of researching keywords
Search engines drive a majority of the clicks on the web, with organic search accounting for 53.3% of web traffic online. Consider this, you’re going to have to do a bit of keyword research if you want to have any hope of getting your content out in the world for potential readers to see.
Sincerely though, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to research keywords and obviously, implement them into your content, you’ll be infinitely more findable online, while also providing users with the exact information they’re looking for.
In the same way that using a checklist will help keep your team on task, creating an outline before writing an article is a great way to make sure you consistently create quality content.
Creating an outline for an article doesn’t have to be as stressful as it may sound. Whether it be building out every single bullet point in or simply creating a basic header-by-header account of what the article contains, any kind of pre-writing will lead to a more comprehensive, quality article in the long run.
Just make sure you have the main points of your article laid out ahead of time, and you’ll be set when it comes to actually writing. As for what the outline should specifically include, answering these questions is the best place to start:
What keywords are you using?
What angle are you taking in the article?
What kind of research have you done?
Which headers will you be using?
How long will the article be?
What kind of tone will the article have?
Benefits of creating an outline
On a very basic level, writing an outline before you write can benefit you almost immediately. For one, it significantly speeds up writing time. As any writer knows, writer’s block is a very real ailment that can waste hours of your day. With a good outline, you’ll be able to see the road ahead and get out of your funk. Even better, if you’re really stuck, you can just skip ahead to another section, and come back to that one later. After all, you’ve got the outline, so there’s no harm done.
Additionally, having your thoughts written down in advance can notably improve comprehension when it comes to actually reading your article. While stream of consciousness writing can be beneficial for some, organizing your thoughts and sticking to it does a lot more for understanding your writing than anything else.
No man is an island, and that goes double for working on content for your business. The input of the whole team is invaluable when it comes to creating content, as well as when developing a content strategy. Two heads are better than one, right?
There’s always a way to get your team involved when it comes to content. From editing work before it goes live to full-on writing together to create a large guide with multiple points of view, collaboration is vital to the success of any team. But how do you do it?
As with the rest of the content creation process, you need to have a set plan for collaboration. Using an online platform to communicate consistently is one way to approach it, particularly in the pandemic when remote work is the standard. Another is to meet in-person on a regular basis, so you can trade ideas in real time.
If you want to go old school, you could always establish a process of handing off the article between the team, so everyone can get a look at it before it goes live.
Benefits of collaborating with your team
From a content perspective, diversity of thought goes a long way in ensuring that the piece is the highest quality. Typos alone are enough to derail a great article, and if you really want to reel in the readers, you’re going to have to meet the needs and interests of your readers. And the best way to do that is together.
Additionally, if you’re going for consistency from a branding point of view, getting the whole team involved can go a long way. Not only will it ensure that your content is on-brand, but it will more quickly establish your voice as a team of content creators.
Arguably the most important step in the process is, of course, actually producing the content, and doing so efficiently. The key is to stay focused on the task at hand and use the tools you’ve set up for yourself to finish up quickly without sacrificing content. Particularly when it comes to a team effort, the process will be integral in making sure everyone keeps up with the standard of your content and the speed at which it should be produced.
This is the moment you’ve been preparing for since the beginning of this list. Grab your outline, your research, and your checklist and simply sit down and put together a quality article that hits all your points, uses the proper keywords, and engages readers at every turn.
In addition, you can use this handy editing checklist to ensure that you have all your bases covered before you ship your content.
The benefits of efficiently producing content
If you use all the tools we’ve come up with so far to write your content, you’re going to have a breeze creating good, quality content that engages your audience and makes an impact online. After all, the whole point of the process is to be able to build out a loyal audience with good, consistent content right?
The most valuable aspect of this content creation process is the time saved. Team members won’t have to take hours to hammer down the procedure every time you need a new article. You’ll be able to go back to the checklist, start your outline, and have a high quality piece of content ready with time to spare. This makes consistency easier than ever, as it takes most of the guesswork and added deliberation out of the equation.
The moment of truth has arrived. Posting your finished content may seem like a simple process, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. For one, posting consistently is one of the most important aspects of content creation. In fact, one Forbes study found that consistency can increase traffic up to 90% in just six months.
Additionally, you can’t forget about the importance of promoting your content after it’s gone live, and there are plenty of avenues of doing so. Social media, for one, has transformed the content creation game, providing platforms designed for sharing and discovering content. In fact, social media drives 31% of all referral traffic.
Email marketing is another great option that is proven to work. You’ll be able to reach a set of readers that have subscribed, giving you a chance to really dig your heels in on building a loyal fanbase. Plus, consider that 60% of marketers believe that email marketing provides the best return on investment.
Simply, you need to put yourself out there if you want to have a chance of getting that extra push to really make an impact. And with the average user checking out content for 135 minutes per day, getting in front of the right eyeballs can make a huge difference.
Benefits of posting and promoting
Simply put, no one is happy with just having content out in the world; you need results. The best way to get results is by promoting your articles as far and as wide as possible. That means investing in email platforms that can automate processes or investing time into social media campaigns that will naturally generate virality.
Promoting your content this way will generally increase the traffic to you and your business and improve the engagement with your piece, which will in turn lead to increases in readers. It’s all connected! And with billions of social media users around the world, there’s certainly a lot of potential for getting your content seen by a lot of people.
Honing a content creation process isn’t possible without data, and the only way to get data is by keeping track of everything. We’re not just talking about the date each article went live either. We’re talking about who wrote it, when they wrote it, how long it took, and how many steps they followed to get there.
The best way to do this is to keep a detailed calendar of your content creation organization and make sure that your team is sticking to deadlines. You’ll be able to easily keep tabs on everyone’s progress and working patterns, so you can improve the content creation process along the way.
Yes, there are other methods, like the boards you find on Trello or the Gantt charts found on a wide range of project management providers. But the reality is that calendars are pretty hard to beat when it comes to work management.
Benefits of keeping track of everything
If the goal is to develop a content creation process, you need data and analytics. It will improve your general organization as a business, further encourage consistency across the team, and provide actionable insights into how to improve content in the future and make your content shine down the road.
Simply put, you need to really track your progress when it comes to developing your content creation process. While this may be the end of the list, the reality is that your strategy needs to be ever-evolving if you want to stay relevant in your industry and in the content-creation world as a whole, and keeping track of everything is the best way to do so.
Start Making Great Content
Content creation doesn’t have to be a chore. With a well thought out creation process like this one, your team will be able to turnaround high quality content in an efficient manner. You’ll be able to consistently stay on top of your schedule, while providing the valuable information your readers want and need.
So what’s your next step in getting this plan off the ground? Start implementing this process immediately. This content creation process isn’t going to help you sitting on the internet. If you want to see results, start making these real changes in your team and get your content back on track.
Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last five years, he’s written about everything from content marketing and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at firstname.lastname@example.org.