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How We Developed a Foolproof Process to Create Content

Everyone and their mother has banded around the phrase “content is king” by now, but no matter how overused it is, it still holds true today.

Creating great, shareable content is one of the best ways to get your name out there, whether you’re looking to earn money through your blog or by selling a product, such as a training course or ebook.

In our case, we knew that blogging would be a great way to both make a name for ourselves as valuable contributors to our niche, but to market the benefits of our product. The problem was our inconsistency.

As much as we’d like to think otherwise, we’re only human, and so we’re bound to forget to carry out a vital task sooner or later. A post might go out with an unsuitable keyword or the tags/category left blank.

In short, we lacked any way to measure our marketing methods.

So, to combat this, we developed a foolproof process which we’re still using to create content to this day.

Now, every blog is different, so I’m not going to tell you exactly how to create your content. However, I am going to give some tips on how you should go about creating your own process to suit your exact needs.

Let’s get to it.

Record your current process

To develop and improve your content creation process you first need to record it. Simply put, hop onto any app that lets you take notes (or even just grab a pen and some paper) then write down every step to your creation process.

We (obviously) used Process Street to make our process into a template, but again, anything from Wunderlist, Trello, and Airtable, to good old-fashioned pen-and-paper will get the job done just fine.

For example, your process could be as simple as “get an idea, research, write, edit, publish, promote”. However, for the sake of explaining this a little better, our process when we first recorded it was as follows:

Record your idea in a Trello card

  • Perform keyword research for the idea
  • Fit it into the blog calendar
  • Research the post
  • Write the post
  • Do an editing run
  • Write email for blog subscribers
  • Submit for approval
  • If approved, schedule the post and email to go out

Optimize the process

Once you’ve got your process recorded it’s time to optimize it as best you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to have your team run through it individually and make sure that you aren’t missing any vital steps.

For example, after I showed the rest of my team our initial creation process and got their opinion on what was missing, it looked more like this:

  • Record your idea in a Trello card
  • Perform keyword research for the idea
  • Fit it into the blog calendar
  • Research the post
  • Draft the structure and rough points
  • Get feedback on the plan
  • Write the post
  • Do an editing run
  • Run the pre-publish checklist
  • Give to the rest of the team for feedback
  • Write email for blog subscribers
  • Submit for approval
  • If approved, schedule the post and email to go out

As you can see, the optimized process now included reminders that we should be getting approval on the rough structure and points our posts will make. This means that instead of writing a full-length post and then discovering it’s wrong, we can catch any large mistakes early and save everyone a headache.

Use on-boarding to find flaws

Although this is a trick we learned through cycling customer support duty through all of our team, using the onboarding process of any new employees is a great way to see the flaws in your content creation process.

Think of it this way – all of you have been working from the same process for every post you write, doing the exact same thing over and over again until it becomes the normal thing to do. Now imagine you’re doing something wrong.

You’re normalizing the deviance in your processes by repeating them, becoming blind to any way that it could be done better.

However, by giving your process to a new hire and telling them to make notes of any steps they don’t understand (or think can be done better) you’re effectively breaking that cycle.

Take in as much information as you can

Okay, so that’s how we managed to develop our foolproof content creation process, but there’s one thing that I want to touch on before leaving you in peace; how to generate ideas. I mean, if you have no ideas to process into posts then you’ll have no content to create in the first place.

Essentially, to easily generate great ideas consistently you need to be taking in as much information as you can. That means:

  • Reading more
  • Listening to podcasts (eg, while traveling)
  • Setting up an RSS feed
  • Subscribing to email roundups

In short, do anything and everything you can to make sure that you’re staying active and up-to-date in your niche.

That’s really all there is to it – as long as you’re constantly managing your processes and looking for ways to improve, there’s very little room for human error. After all, with all of your instructions laid out in black and white, you’re never going to worry about forgetting to put alt tags on your images again.

I’d love to hear your own content creation process in the comments!