Scale Content Creation
How to scale the content creation process? That’s the no. 1 question for any digital marketing team. Here we tried to answer that question taking inspiration from Ahrefs.
However, we encounter 2 problems when trying to scale up content creation.
- Quality tends to degrade (cannot rank with mediocre content)
- It can get expensive (many companies build systems in a very inefficient way)
Why scaling content is important?
Data and content are the lifeblood of the internet. It is everything you consume every day as a front-end user(text, images, videos, etc.
For any digital marketing agency, ‘Content’ is the core product. And your content creation process can make or break your business.
No matter which marketing channel you utilize to drive traffic, you need content to create the initial spark and It takes around 8 to 16 touchpoints before sales take place. [content (online sales funnel)]
So it is obvious you need to create a lot of meaningful content (and you need to produce them fast) in order to ensure success further down the road.
Basic Content Creation Flow
Blog Post [1, 2, 3] -> Outline -> Write -> Edit -> Images -> Publish
Set up your system for project management
Project Management System: [Notion, Airtable, Trello, ClickUp, etc.]
- Systemizes the workflow for your content creation process
- Gives everyone a high-level view
SOPs (Standard Operation Procedures) of a task are detailed documentation and videos that explain how to carry out that task from (start to finish).
Benefits of SOPs
- Make it easy to hire and onboard new help
- Ensure consistent writing style and formatting
- Improves efficiency
- Save you time from answering frequently asked questions
- Allows you to remove yourself from the process
You need to create SOPs for each of the tasks of your system. Learn and document the steps in each process [Style guidelines, Content guidelines, Editor guidelines, etc.] details
Prepare your content assets
Target Keyword Validation
Content Brief [An outline you’d create for writers on what you expect to see in your piece.]
- Proper article structure
- Proper HTML formatting
- Quick content production
- Saves editor’s time
You need to hire people who will work on the following 4 stages of the content creation process.
- Someone to do the keyword research [Ideation + Outline] SEO (1-2)
- Multiple Freelance Writers (7-14)
- Editors (1-2)
- Someone to Upload/Metas/Check in the CMS (Content Management System) (1)
Hiring Stages for SEO, Editor, and Uploader:
- Put together a job post
- Publish it
Hiring Freelance Writers
- You need a lot of them
- You will get the most application for this position
- Writing is subjective
Steps for hiring a freelance writer
- Create a detailed Job Post for the position (Problogger Jobs, Upwork, LinkedIn, Your website’s job page)
- Use Google Forms (no spam email, google sheet integration, test writers knowledge at scale) define seo and its significance in 50 words or less.
- Paid Writing Test (Quality Writers Guideline)
- Test article that will be published (beta articles) quality is super important for us.
Optimize Your Processes
If multiple people in your team ask the same question, it is time for you to document the answer to that in the SOPs of that task.
Noticing inefficiency in your system? Speak with the people who are involved in those stages and brainstorm how you can make them better.
Consider, we have one SEO who can produce 15 content briefs per week.
Seven writers who are outputting two articles per week per writer, or 14 in total,
one editor that can edit 15 posts per week, and a part-time uploader who can upload five pieces per day, or a maximum potential of 25 posts per week.
Then, we have a total of 14 published articles per week or 2 per day.
You can scale things up by multiplying the number of people in each area of the whole process.
Now, let’s add another SEO to create content briefs. We now get 30 of them per week.
We will actually add nine new freelance writers, for a total of 16 freelance writers who will deliver 32 articles per week.
Out of these 16 freelance writers we are going to offer of our best writers a full-time position as an editor.
So our output now drops to 30 articles per week and we have two editors that can edit all of them.
Finally, we employ the uploader full time and either pay them overtime to work another day’s worth of uploading, reprioritize their workload, or bring on another person who can upload our posts to WordPress (CMS).
This way you will be capable of publishing 30 pieces of content per week which is 6 posts per business day without compromising quality.
Once you grasp the process, you should be able to act as a project manager just to make sure that everything is continuing to run in a smooth way.
Now, as you add more steps to this process, it will slow down the output which is totally fine. But a way to avoid unnecessary bottlenecks is to prioritize appropriately.
For example, if you create custom graphics for featured images, it is recommended you do that at the content brief stage. This way, your designer has sufficient time to create your graphics, get feedback, and make any necessary revisions.
While this system should make sense conceptually, it’s not as easy as it looks. It takes time to find good writers, train multiple people for multiple roles, and to build a team that really works well together.
If you want to get started with this system, it is highly recommended that you try all the different steps until you have really mastered them. Start slow, build-out, and with enough commitment and hard work, you should be able to build out a scalable content system that works for you and your business.
How to learn something (a skill or a subject) F-A-S-T?
“The same level of thinking that created the problem won’t solve the problem.”– Albert Einstein
The problem we are addressing here is to reduce the amount of time it takes to learn something new. For most of us in our adult age, it takes an awful lot of time. As a matter of fact, we tend to operate based on our past experiences and hate to embrace the new idea; anything that requires us to go through a learning curve. (i.e.: a new app that can really streamline the SOPs of your organization)
Before jumping into the topic “how to learn faster” we need to learn “how to learn”.
“There is no learning without remembering.”– Socrates
If you really want to learn any skill or subject F-A-S-T and make that skill a long term memory; you need to ensure the following steps are in place:
F – Forget
A – Active
S – State
T – Teach
F – Forget: A lot of people don’t learn faster because they feel like, they already know what they are about to learn.
For example, consider a project manager who use to manage every task he assigns to his team members through excel sheets. Now, If you introduce him to a new app that can really streamline the process, he might not like it in the first place as there is a new learning curve associated with it (and he/she already knows how to do it in the old school way).
In the example above, the project manager didn’t embrace change. Although he knew the app has the potential to reduce his workflows and can save him/her some time (in the long run).
But, his stereotypical mind gave him the notion (to keep things as is) and overlook the advantages of incorporating the new app.
So, to learn something new and to learn it F-A-S-T, the first thing you need to do is to Forget the cliches you have in your mind. Remove those “NOs” from your belief system. Believe you “CAN”, your mind works like a parachute, it works only when it is open.
A – Active: Learning is not a spectator sport. The human brain doesn’t learn by means of consuming information. It learns through creating information.
Your mind doesn’t learn based on consumption, it learns through creation or co-creation.
You need to be Active in the process.
Participate, take notes, ask questions, collaborate with your colleagues. The more you will remain active (in process of learning something new), the faster you will learn it.
S – State: All learning is state-dependent. We are talking about the “states” of your mind, and it is not a good idea to learn something new when you are actually feeling bored.
Can you recall those days? When you attended those classes (with a boring course instructor), and you forgot what the teacher delivered right after stepping your feet out of the classroom.
Now consider, the day when you learn “how to ride a bicycle or a moto bike”. It didn’t make you bored to grasp the skills of a bike rider. You engaged your enthusiastic mind in the learning process and the skill became your muscle memory. When you learn something engaging your emotion, it becomes a long-term memory.
Your State of mind plays a crucial role in how fast or slow you learn something. You need to exercise and take proper nutrition to achieve an enthusiastic state of mind; when your body moves, your brain grooves.
T – Teach: Once you grabbed a new skill or expertise, feel free to teach that skill to others. It can be your friend, colleague, family member, or whoever best suits you. When you teach something, you get the opportunity to learn it twice.
Let us step back to our childhood when we were enthusiastic learners. Can you remember, you used to learn things a lot faster and you loved to share your learnings with the people around you?
You can bring in that inner child of yours – the next time you are about to learn something new and follow the steps (we just discussed above), it will make your learning process a lot faster and a whole lot of enjoyable!