Basic Workflow and Blog Workflow
Basic project workflow looks like this: Initiate, Plan, Research, Execute, Implement, Analyze, Repeat. It’s a process that never ends, and it should be applied to all areas of business, but what does that specifically look like in daily operations when we’re just talking about something as simple as blog workflow. Workflow contributes to efficiency and improvement, but sometimes when you are doing tasks alone workflow is overlooked, but here’s why it shouldn’t be.
Books like the E-Myth and Lean Startup place emphasis on process, because the more you focus on process, the easier execution and improving iterations becomes. Additionally, having a clearly defined process lets you easily train and delegate work when the time comes to add more team members. The following workflow is just one workflow on how we develop blog content, it may not work for you, but at least it will get you thinking about designing the process that does work for you.
Our Blog Workflow
- Organize – Keep your files organized in a way that is conducive to how you work. Create a manageable file system because one of the areas that slows down efficiency is a disorganized workspace, even if it’s digital. You want to reduce time spent on content marketing? Keep your files organized so you always know how and where to find them, regardless of the topic or the content. File names is a simple way to start. Think about things like grouping content types or topics together and grouping images together.
- Write – On the publishing side of our business, we work independent authors who are anxious to finish their work, and one piece of advice we often offer is to just get something out. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first go round, or even the second go round, in fact if you’re waiting for something to be perfect, you’ll probably never get there. The trick is to get all of your ideas out on paper. Stick to the key topics you’ve defined ahead of time, and once you have something down then you can move to the next step in the workflow.
- Edit – Editing is HUGE. Editing is the difference between something good and something great (read: effective). Content marketing is about quality content, and editing also gives you the opportunity to refine your ideas, eliminate as many mistakes as possible, and inject keywords and key phrases to improve SEO.
- Images – People are visual by nature. Finding the right images to accompany your content is crucial. Images also provide another opportunity to support SEO with image names and alternate text. Also, in the sharing stage, images will catch potential readers’ eyes before your title or description will.
- Schedule – Scheduling is important by a factor of two. Scheduling helps you stick to your deadlines, and scheduling helps with optimizing post visibility. Once you’ve done some testing, and keep with your plan, you will see patterns emerge. Depending on the content management system you have in place, you can get analytic data and refine your schedule.
- Publish – Publishing means making it public on your blog, and also includes defining categories and keywords. In addition to formatting with the proper external and internal links. Publishing is not where the process ends. Publishing and the next step, sharing, go hand in hand.
- Share – Sharing is one step to integrate your overall content marketing strategy. Important tips to remember when sharing include using hashtags for searchable topics and funneling your traffic all to the same place. Also remember to use the right tone and style for different audiences across different channels.
- Re-Share – Just because your content has been used and shared once, doesn’t mean it’s dead. Revisit old content, especially if it becomes relevant once again because of current events. Use different ways of testing how people become engaged with the content by testing different questions, quotes, and taglines.
- Measure and Analyze – See how your content performed. Start replicating the popular posts in terms of content, tone, and style and minimizing the content that doesn’t get much engagement. Make sure to schedule regular analysis sessions and build it into your overall marketing strategy.
So just to get one blog post out into the world we follow 9 different steps, so it’s easy to see how when you’re juggling a ton of other tasks how things can get overlooked. Our entire blog workflow we’ve described usually takes about 3 hours per piece not including the original planning session to get all of ideas out into the world, or unstructured or structured engagement time. However, we do save time when we combine measurement and analysis with our weekly roundup of all the marketing efforts we’ve performed.
Good luck with getting into your content marketing groove and finding your blog workflow. Explore our blog for more posts on content marketing.